One Drummer One Question: Elizabeth Venable

Kelly Abeln_ Tom Tom magazine_ female drummers

Full name:  Elizabeth Venable ­­­­

Nicknames:  Venable/Venny

Hometown:  Terre Haute, IN

Current city: Portland, OR

Age: 33

Past bands: Venable (solo project), The Naysayer

Current bands: Sad Horse

Dayjob: Random

Elizabeth Venable_ Josh Orion Kermiet_ Tom Tom Magazine_ female drummers

What is going on in your head as you play live?


Oh man, it’s amazing where my thoughts go when I’m playing sometimes.  It’s easy for Geoff (my bandmate) and me to sync up; I’ll lose myself in the song [and] some other part of me comes out.  Ideally, and most often, I’m just being present with the beat. That’s what I love about playing drums!  For me, they demand presence and that whole living-in-the-moment business takes very little effort. But sometimes my thoughts drift. I’ll start thinking about how bizarre it is to play in front of people – the whole dynamic. I’ll notice how my tits are violently bouncing and wonder how clear that is to the audience. I’ll pay too much mind to the kick drum which will invariably screw me up. I’ll wonder if I’m playing with every ounce of energy I’ve got – which is a good thought: [it] focuses me and reminds me to do just that.


Sad Horse recently released a split cassette with 2UP on Toad Records, and has an album out on PDX’s Water Wing Records this summer. Learn all about Venable at

By Lisa Schonberg

Top illustration by Kelly Abeln

Portrait by Josh Orion Kermiet

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