Full name: Amy Aileen Wood
Hometown: Van Nuys, CA
Where do you live now: Echo Park, CA
Bands you are drumming in currently:
All Wrong and the Plans Change, White Sea, The Broken Remotes, Lonely Trees, The Outdoors, Quincy Blaque Trio, Ponyboy, and Big Black Delta
Bands you were drumming for in the past:
The Dollyrots, Get Set Go, Good Grief, The Grown Ups, Yortoise, Reubens Accomplice, Service Group
What you do for a living:Drummer, Producer, Recording Engineer
Tom Tom Magazine: When did you start playing drums?
Amy Wood : Technically, I got my first kit when I was eight. They were sweet Rogers’, but for some reason my dad traded them in for Tama’s. Bad idea, but it was the 80’s. I really started playing around 12 though.
Tom Tom Magazine: Reason that you started playing drums?
Amy Wood : My dad is a musician and we always had a studio in our garage so we would jam a lot and every now and again I would sit in with him when his drummers were late; I think that’s when I started taking drumming a little more seriously.
Tom Tom Magazine: What is your favorite drum set-up? Why?
AW : I really only play a 4 piece kit which normally consists of a 16” high hat, a ride/crash cymbal (gives me the best of both worlds really,) a 12” Rogers rack tom, a 16” Rogers floor tom and I just bought a 20”, 1964 Gretsch kick drum. I’m obsessed. I also use a 14” free floating Pearl snare. My dad and I call it the Madonna snare. Fun fact, we actually had the original kit that was used on Madonna’s Blonde Ambition tour for the longest time in our studio. We eventually had to give it back but I loved the snare so much that I bought the same one. So that’s pretty much what I play on nowadays, the only time my setup ever changes is in White Sea. I play the 4 piece plus a Roland drum pad with them.
TTM: What do you think the role of a drummer is in a band?
AW : The most important part of my job is getting the count off right…just kidding….maybe. I think it’s different for every drummer and every band. For me, it all depends on which band I’m playing with. In All Wrong and the Plans Change, I’m not just the drummer but also a writer/arranger. In most of my other bands however, I tend to play the parts I’m given. But in White Sea, I usually focus on my head bobs.
TTM: What do you consider to be the most challenging thing about the drums?
AW : Bringing my gear to shows. I wish I had picked the kazoo at eight.
TTM: Most notable show you ever played?
AW : I played in a band called, Reubens Accomplice, a few years ago. We opened for Jimmy Eat World at the Fillmore in San Francisco once. That show is definitely up there for me.
TTM: Have you experienced any setbacks as a female drummer?
AW : Only when I’m on my period ; )
Actually I think it’s been helpful if anything; I think it’s good to be a girl. To be honest, I think people still get excited when they see a girl behind a kit. It’s becoming less rare but it’s still considered a novelty. And because of that, I feel like the audience takes the time to actually hear what you have to play.
TTM: Where do you shop for your drum gear?
AW : Jammin’ Jersey’s in Northridge, CA and Pro Drum Shop in LA
TTM: What would you recommend to a new drummer starting off?
AW : I would say, find a band to play in right away. That’s probably the exact opposite of what most drum instructors will tell you but I think it’s the best way to learn. My first band was actually with the guys that now make up, Maroon 5. I think we were around 13 at the time; I was terrible.
TTM: What are some of your other hobbies / interests?
AW : My dog Hazel. Seriously, she’s the best.
Recording, frisbee golf, reading, and so on…
TTM: Who are some of your favorite lady drummers right now?
AW : Carla Azar (Autolux) and Cindy Blackman (Lenny Kravitz) are incredibly rad. I’ve been hearing a lot about Stella Mozgawa from Warpaint too.
TTM: Who are some of your favorite bands right now?
AW : The bands I’m in of course. The Breeders, always, Autolux, Arcade Fire, Band of Horses, Blind Pilot, Neko Case, Pedro the Lion, Pixies, Screeching Weasel, Descendents, Chasing Kings, Flaming Lips, Elvis Costello, Dr. Dre, Lucinda Williams, Wilco, …