By Craig Blundell for Tom Tom Magazine | Photos: Nikki Nooteboom
Full Name: Femke Krone
Lives In: Netherlands
Past Bands: I’m a session musician so I worked with a lot of artists, check my website.
Current Bands: Caramba (South American Music with Dutch Lyrics), Beat The Kitchen (International Female Drum Group), and several other projects as The Roland Demo Band Benelux.
Drum Set Up/Gear: Jimmie Morales signature Congas Remo, Valencia Bongos Remo, Valencia Timbales, Remo Pandeiro, Istanbul Agop Cymbals, Octapad SPD-30 Rolland, Handsonic Roland ,Vater Timbale sticks 7/16 and Qsticks, Stagg Cases.
Fav Drum: Conga
Fav Food: Sushi, Thai, Indonesian, Italian.
Fav Venue: Ahoy
I first met Femke when I was playing at Frankfurt music Messe a few years ago, I’d heard of her from various magazines when I’ve been on my travels around the globe. What I got in the first 5 minutes of meeting her was an extremely driven woman who is hungry to learn. We’ve since gone on to become close friends and as an international clinician for Roland myself, I’m delighted she’s representing them in Holland and Belgium. One thing I love about this woman is that whatever obstacles lie in her way, nothing is ever to big for this monster percussionist.
Tom Tom Magazine: What made you start to playing percussion? Femke Krone: I was always into noisy things! My mother was a ballet teacher, I was always singing and dancing and wanted to get a kit when I was 4. In my teenage years I was asked to join the school band. I wanted to do more then just backing vocals, so decided to buy myself a set of timbales, that was the start of my fascination. When I went to my first percussion festival, I knew that’s what I wanted to do.
What inspires you? My brother who is disabled is a big inspiration. He knows how to enjoy life despite his handicap, he’s one of the most creative people I know. Seeing smiles on kids faces when I teach them how to play percussion is amazing, I also love art and photography or just watching and talking to other passionate musicians or just listening to different genres of music
What are the ups and downs of the job? Being able to pay my bills with something I love to do is one of the greatest feelings in the world. I get to travel, meet and work with amazing people. The feeling I get by making people happy I when they study with me is incredible. Getting the chance to play and meet your heroes, is priceless. Weird things happen when you don’t expect it, like when I was invited to play some congas with the great Luis Conte during one of his clinics in The Netherlands. The first time I travelled to LA to visit the NAMM show. I got invited to the studio where the amazing guitar player Julian Coryell was recording a album with Mark Schulman. He asked me to play percussion on one of his tracks and I ended up doing eight tracks!
The downside, still having to play if I’m sick, the show must go on! Not a lot of sleep, working long days, jet lag, worry if you are getting payed on time or sometimes if you get payed at all! The joys of being freelance.
Do people view you differently as a woman in the music business? In the beginning of my career I always had the feeing that i had to prove myself and work twice as hard, Now after 18 years as a professional musician and winning the award of best percussionist Benelux you would think people would take you seriously. However some people still think differently, oh well.
Describe your practice routine. I’m not the most disciplined student, but if I need to study new material or instruments like I’m doing right now with the Octopad and Handsonic from Roland, I give it my all. I wake up early in the morning, go for a walk to clear my mind. Then I take my sticks and my practice pad to warm up for an hour or so. I continue doing some exercises on my congas and pandeiro and then go on with the new stuff I have to learn. I also like to study with other percussionists like the great Gerardo Rosales.
What do you do to relax? Hanging out with family and friends, eating an laughing. Going to the movies, concerts, reading or exercise, sadly I don’t have the time for everything. I love taking pictures, I take my photo camera everywhere I go.
What has been the highlight of your playing career so far? I played at all the big venues in The Netherlands and Belgium. Worked with so many artist , Signing my international deal with Remo. My endorsements, Remo, Roland, Istanbul Agop, Stagg Cases, Qsticks). playing with Mark Schulman on the album of Julian Coryell. The session I did in Hollywood, at the Cat and Filddle with a.o. Mark Schulman (drummer Pink), Vivian Campbell (Whitesnake), Eva Gardner (bassplayer Pink), Justin Derrico (guitarplayer Pink), Todd Morse (Offspring), Ken Stacey (backing vocalist Michael Jackson). I was invited to play three songs with Incognito (famous band from England) The award that I won, Best Percussionist Benelux 2013.
Seeing my photo on the Remo booth at the Namm show and signing drumheads with my Remo percussion colleagues in LA, writing and taking pictures for a 4 page article about my first Namm visit for a dutch music magazine
Is there any advice you would give to any budding female percussionist out there? Follow your dreams, be different, practice, work hard, watch other musicians play, get inspired, don’t let anybody say you can not do it!
What does 2014 hold for you? I start the year with a gig in Detroit for BMW, then new projects: The group Caramba and the new international female drum group Beat the Kitchen. Working on my first album, Doing demos for Remo and Roland , Organizing a drum event together with a Dutch radio DJ for the Dutch Lung Fund
Do you still have any goals and ambitions? Finishing my first album. Continuing working on great projects, doing a world tour with a international artist. Improving my skills on electronic percussion as well as acoustic percussion, playing at international drum festivals, just becoming a better musician over all.