Q&A with Carly Chatwin

Story and Photography : John Carlow/ Finding Charlotte Photography

Name: Carly Christine Chatwin

Age : 24

Hometown : Victoria, Canada. (Born in Sudbury, Ontario & bounced around but Victoria is definitely my home)


Favourite place to go eat and why: Logan’s Pub always has great food and beer. The staff at Logans are absolutely fantastic. I love The Reef too. They make their own jerk sauce and it is unreal.




TT : What motivated you to take up drumming?

I hung out with the guys from local band Psychosomatic Itch a lot in high school. They’d always be jamming, so it didn’t take long for me to start burning to join in. I didn’t play anything except clarinet in high school band (COOL); I couldn’t sing and was definitely not patient enough for guitar. On a whim I got myself a set of drums without ever having played. Luckily the hand/foot coordination and rhythm came easily to me. From there I drove my neighbours insane all day, every day.

TT: What’s the most valuable thing you have taken from playing ?

There’s nothing better than getting really into a jam, and suddenly you’ve made something great out of absolutely nothing. The drums aren’t exactly a shy person’s instrument, so I think they have really helped me to just say, fuck it, relax, squash the qualms, and play the show. That way of thinking has definitely made its way into all aspects of my life.

TT: Tell us about your kit .

Haha. I still have the same CB factory kit that I started with, aside from updated skins. I have some weary Zildjian & Sabian cymbals. You know just general debris.

TT: Band / musical project history ?

My first “real” band was an all girl surf punk band called New Tricks. Since then I’ve been with garage punk band Line Traps, going on two years now. About a month ago I started with punkabilly band, 12 Gauge Facial and a horror punk side project called Grim Creeper (stay tuned).


TT:Lessons ? Self-taught or both?

I took 3 drum lessons, where I learned how to read/write drum sheet music and the beat to “When the Levee Breaks.” I am an extremely impatient person, so after that I stopped going and started teaching myself by playing along to all of my favourite songs and playing with friends. My mp3 player took quite a beating during that time.

TT:Funniest / unusual thing to ever happen to you on stage?

I wore this off the shoulder top to a gig one night (idiot) and while I was playing it started slinking down my body; but you can’t stop in the middle of the song!! I had to play about 30 seconds with my bra out until my friend lurked onstage and shimmied it back into place like an angel that she is.

I was almost crushed by a wayward stack recently. It missed me and instead crushed the only two pints I had for that evening.

TT:Is it important to have a magazine like Tom Tom and why ?

Of course! Good female drummers are as rare as a desert rose. I love reading about why they do what they do. It’s heavily inspiring.

TT:In your musical collection ?

Basically snippets of everything. Recently it’s been The Boys Next Door, Man or Astro-Man, Fidlar & local band Black Valley Gospel. The Cramps have been my favourite band since I first heard them at 17. They are a perfect band. I love a band with a crazy lead singer and some ridiculous theatrics. Other long time favourites have been The Gories, The Mummies, Man Man, The Murder City Devils and The Pixies. I also really love old jazz and swing with creepy undertones. Think “Nightmare” by Artie Shaw. Also the more upbeat stuff like “Out of my mind” by Ray Collins Hot Club.


TT:What would you say to someone curious about playing drums ?

Not to over simplify, but “ Do it!!” To me, curious sounds like nervous when it comes to drums and the only way to excel is to just rip the band-aid off and start smashing the drums. Get yourself a kit, electric or not (it’s hard to find a place for acoustics these days) and you’ll know if it’s for you the second the stick hits the skin.

TT:What do you want to do from here with drumming?

I’m constantly searching for new music and drumming styles. I always want more out of it. I’m just trying to play as much as I can, with as many different styles as I can. I want to get to a place where I know I’m as good as I can be. I know that I can always be better so it’s going to be a lifelong process. How much fun is that??

TT:What female drummer would you like to meet and what would you want to ask them ?

You know, this was a hard question , as I’m not aware about the most notable female drummers out there. I could write a book on male drummers that I love, and before this question I didn’t realize that this kind of sucks. I recently played a show with a Vancouver band called The Plodes and Gemma was an amazing drummer. Her banter in between songs was absolutely hysterical. I also adore the Peggy O’Neill from The Gories. She smashes the floor tom with a maraca sometimes while playing and I think that’s great. If I could meet her, I’d really just want to ask her to go for a beer! There isn’t just one question. I’d want to know all about her life’s experiences. That’s what makes up a person and ultimately forms their choices. That would be the ultimate “question” for me.

Line Traps

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