Moms on Drums: Part 3

Drummer Trish Naudon is a California native and transplant to Brooklyn, New York by way of Washington D.C. With bassist/vocalist Paris Mancini, and guitarist/vocalist Chris Thomas (also Trish’s husband), Trish drums for The Natch, a febrile, angular power trio with a solid touring schedule across the United States. Trish has continued to tour with The Natch while pregnant with her first child, albeit with strategic bucket placed near the drum kit at all times.
-By Jane Boxall

Drummer: Trish Naudon
Location: New York City
Band: The Natch
Baby: Girl
Due: August, 2010
Drums: TAMA custom Rockstar five-piece kit, Zildjian hi-hats and splash cymbal, Sabian splash and ride. Vater and Vic Firth drumsticks.

TomTomMagazine: Hi Trish! How are you doing?

TrishNaudon: I’m doing well…we just found out we’re having a girl!  We’re psyched, she’s got long fingers so of course we thought…ooh bass player?

TTM: How has pregnancy affected your drumming activities?

TN: So far all has been normal except for my belly and trying to figure out what to wear on stage, especially for a drummer.

TTM: So you have the RockStarMoms clothing endorsement – is that working out well for stage-wear?

TN: YES! They rocked me so hard.  I’m so psyched they hooked me up with some sweet clothes that I now live in! Honestly, they got it right for rocking mamas to be…thank you RockStarMoms!

TTM: And you are still actively gigging and touring, right?

TN: Oh yeah, we have a local gig next week in Brooklyn at Bar Matchless then more recording for our debut CD out this summer then touring in May, which will probably be my last tour before a few months break.

TTM: How is the recording going? (I’m just listening to ‘Drama Queen’ – nice hihat work!)

TN: Recording is going really well and we’re so excited to get the CD done. Thanks, that version of Drama Queen is with a couple of mics in our studio in one take.

TTM: And how have audiences reacted to seeing a pregnant drummer rocking out?

TN: Ha! Good question…they don’t really believe I’m pregnant at first because our songs are an average tempo of about 160 bpm.

TTM: Have you found it to be a physical challenge at all the last few months, to drum at high speed?

TN: A little bit, I’m more concerned about over heating so we’re trying to slip in a slow one every 3 songs to give me a break and even out the pace. Also, since it’s been winter it hasn’t been such a huge deal — the real challenge is coming up.

TTM: Has everybody (friends/family/band members/doctors) been supportive of you drumming while pregnant?

TN: Yes, overall not one person knows anything about pregnant drummers doing their thing so I just try to listen to my body. When I asked my doctor I just got a blank stare, so then I did a ton of research and there isn’t much out there for us. I guess if runners can continue running, why can’t we keep drumming?  My band is psyched that I want to keep playing and it’s kind of a joke on stage now.

TTM: Were you in other bands prior to The Natch?

TN: Yeah, I was the drummer for America’s Sweetheart, a four-piece, for almost 6 years. We toured heavily for 5 years, and the original bassist quit to have her baby.  Then she was replaced, and then the lead singer and rhythm guitar player quit last April. So the remaining three Sweethearts decided to rename ourselves and write new tunes and here we are.  Having been in our previous band was really a great step off for the NATCH as we already had a built in fan base throughout the South, Mid-west and Northeast so we got lucky.  We only had a 10 day break between bands because we had contractual agreements to play and we locked ourselves in the studio and wrote a set worth of new songs, learned them and played, recorded rough live demos and hit the road.

TTM: wow!

TN: We were all sad that she left but she wasn’t into it and that’s the biggest part so we tried for another year and a half to work it out and it just didn’t work.  I honestly never thought I’d be pregnant. This was a total surprise and I wouldn’t dream of stopping, I love playing with my band too much.  I guess at some point it’s a way of life and stopping would be stopping part of my life. My band is really awesome and supportive and so are all the other bands we play with and I feel really lucky. It’s also a great thing to look forward to and making sure to keep healthy etc.

TTM: So, what is your musical background?  I see you also sing while drumming – what instruments did you learn first, and how long have you been playing drums?

TN: I’ve messed around with the drums in high school then in college I was able to hang with a great Washington DC scene and learn a lot. I actually played guitar and sang but started out as the drummer but they didn’t want a “girl” on the kit. So I took on the guitar which I hated. It wasn’t until about 7 years ago that I really dug in and took it seriously. I took lesson from a drumline teacher who cracked the whip and caught me up really quick, and I haven’t looked back.

TTM: I hope someone else is carrying your kit around for you, though?

TN: Oh yeah, that’s a sweet perk of being pregnant – everyone else carries your gear!!! I’m loving that for sure.

TTM: So is Washington DC your hometown?

TN: Actually, I’m from Santa Monica, CA and went to college in DC and met the posse (Discord scene) my second day there and that was it.  Fugazi was over all the time hanging with my roommates so I became a sponge.   I moved to NYC to be near the music scene and arts in general. I actually started a marketing company to help musicians in DC and ended bringing it to NYC and it took off. I got lucky then Sony offered to buy out my domain name, PressPlay and the rest is history.

TTM: So is music and music management the focus of your life, or do you have other interests/work too?

TN: Oddly enough I got recruited by Bertelsman’s BMG to head up their marketing efforts for the new Napster and that’s how I got back into the indie scene. I saw the big change coming and dove in head first. The major labels were sucking the life out of the artists and I hated it.  I do various marketing for my “day” job and really try to spend most of my time working on my band and I love to cook and create as much as possible.

TTM: Do you have any specific drumming or musical influences on your style?

TN: Oh, I love the Funk Brothers/Motown, The Buzzcocks, Ramones and old punk, Dave Grohl’s massive hitting and straight up beats, Buddy Rich’s playfulness and ACDC’s drummer who says a lot with his simple in-the-pocket grooves.

TTM: Do you have any recording tips to share (as you’re currently working on the debut album)?

TN: Get on a click! It makes everyone’s life so much easier. I hated it at first but I’ve come to love it and it’s saved many arguments.

TTM: You can’t argue with a metronome, eh?

TN: Exactly!

TTM: What are some of the positive and negative experiences you’ve had as a female drummer?

TN: Ooh…hot topic! Well, let’s see — I’ve had countless guys ask me if I know how to play my kit as I was setting up on stage. I’ve had guys trying to show me how to warm up right before my set as well as try to get on it too…pretty unbelievable really. But then those same guys will shake my hand right after the set and say good job. I did have one guy in WDC push me off my stool as I was playing because he just didn’t want to see a girl playing a kit. Wow! Of course that only made me want to play more. I get lots of great love from the girls though and it’s across the board where ever we play.  Girls Rock!

Jane Boxall has always loved hitting things. Originally from the UK, she moved to America in 2004 to study percussion at the University of Illinois. As a solo marimba artist and a rock drummer, Jane has performed and toured in the US, UK, Italy, Belgium, France and Ireland. She plays and endorses Coe Percussion marimbas and Vic Firth sticks and mallets.

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