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, …
I’ve seen you play girl and you are a rocker indeed. This interview was really great. Good job. Keep up the good work.
this is not a good interview? too commercial, brands of drums, who cares, it’s a weird culture being nerd about what brand, or the classic, wish I’d picked a kazoo.
best drummers I kno, can make any drums sound good.
Female drummers are only a novelty if you live in Hollywood aka as a bubble…
lots of girls play drums, pointing this out as if it’s surprising and unusual….why does everyone need a pat on the back.
professional drummers culture is really an obsessive order, organizing sounds, punctuating them, and for pro drummers, it’s usually boring and predictable, meanwhile
Moe Tucker over 40 years ago, kept a beat,way way more interesting, and with so few drums, one of the best drummers I kno, uses a snare floor tom and cymbal
awesome interview! i’ve seen Amy play many times AMAZING drummer — male OR female! she’s got her own unique style of playing, writing AND producing that any band would be lucky 2 have on their side. i don’t know what gary has up his ass, but i thought this was a cool interview!!
Oh Gary! it’s 4:15 am. you should learn how to spell, find a kazoo, stick it up your ass and quit being so grouchy
you all just want mutual admiration land, there are no misspelled words, kno is abbr.
you all just throw around a bunch weak expressions i.e. IDK what’s up Gary’s ass.
my comment is matter of fact about this interview, being an advertisement, and things about being a nerd about drumming, taking it too seriously, like brand names of the fact that a snare was used on Madonna’s tour, some of these things contribute to mindless classism, talking about drumming could be interesting, this is talking about drums as a commodity by some person “known” for her drumming.
I know way way cooler drummers, the coolest ones you never read about, because they’re not making careers of music, they’re making music.
Interesting,can you link me to her pls.
Gary, why so angry so early in the morning?? This is just an interview about a drummer who seems passionate about drumming. They asked her about her favorite drum set up and she told them. It was just a simple interview that didn’t warrant that kind of comment. I’m glad you know “way way cooler drummers” but really, do you know her?? Where’s the love, Gary??
Good job Amy! Loved the interview and love how you’re doing what you love to do!! Look forward to hearing you play someday!
Gary, Hmmm, me thinks thou doth protest too much . . . what is really bothering you? All music that resonates for someone is valid. What is the point of devaluing an artist when you can encourage them and perhaps inspire them to greater heights? Then we all win those who have grown and those who can appreciate the fruits of their labors. Any musician, professional or not to whom the music has become mundane and predictable needs at the very least a pat on the back to let them know we hear them and then if that doesn’t jump start them, then perhaps they need to take a break and find the music in them again. I say more ‘Cow Bell,’ less complaining.