By Lindsey Anderson
Photos of Tricia Purvis by Brandon Kornprobst
It’s a great day for music Tom Tom fam! In addition to a brand new video from Graveyard Lovers, Tom Tom also got the chance to chat with their fantastic drummer, Tricia Purvis. Check out the interview and video below and be sure to keep up with Graveyard Lovers via facebook & bandcamp!
TT: Name/Age/City & State you call home
TP: Tricia Purvis, Not in my 20’s, Brooklyn, NY
TT: What moved you to begin drumming?
TP: I didn’t learn how to play drums until I was in my 20’s, but I’ve always been drawn to percussion. At live shows, I always positioned myself so I could watch the drummer. To me, it was the most dynamic instrument to watch. One day, I decided, I am going to be a drummer. I didn’t start playing in my teens, so I would have to work harder but I was determined. I asked one of my friends if she would give me lessons and eventually it became our Tuesday night ritual, she would teach me some drum beats then I would buy dinner. It went on for a while until she got busy with other bands and eventually started playing with Black Rebel Motorcycle Club. So I sought out an experienced drum teacher, Matt Ritter, and got really serious about learning the craft. I ended up taking lessons with Matt for years. It was my favorite, and most frustrating, time of the week. But I kept at it and practiced my heart out and eventually Graveyard Lovers was born.
TT: What’s your current kit setup?
TP: I play a black 4-piece 1975 Tama Swingstar, made in Japan. I love this kit. We bought it from a woman who was selling it on Craigslist. She was a former jazz drummer from Boston and she was relieved to pass it on to another female. As far as cymbals, I use a mixture of Zildjian and Sabian, one ride, one crash, and Sabian hi-hat cymbals. For the last album I used a Supernova Diamond Drive ride cymbal and I loved it! It eventually cracked and then I learned they were discontinued. It was a bummer to find that out. Oh, and grip tape on my sticks. It’s a habit I started years ago, and I can’t seem to let it go.
“At live shows, I always positioned myself so I could watch the drummer. To me, it was the most dynamic instrument to watch. One day, I decided, I am going to be a drummer.”
TT: How did you meet your bandmates?
TP: Zach and I were introduced through a mutual friend. Zach was living in New Orleans and wanting to move to NY to pursue a solo career. I was living in Brooklyn and looking for a roommate. Almost immediately after moving in, we started dating. While Zach spent a year seeking out musicians to play with, I continued practicing and taking lessons. I would constantly ask him to jam with me, but he didn’t know how serious I was about playing. One day, he relented and we had our first jam session. We found that we shared undeniable music chemistry. We began co-writing music in our home studio, and in a matter of months Graveyard Lovers was born. Our friend, Orion Wainer, played bass with us for a bit and then Zach’s brother, Joel, joined the band and made us a 4-piece for a while. Although the dynamic of the band has changed a few times over the years, Zach and I consider ourselves the core of the band.
TT: How did the concept for the ‘Gabe’ music video come to fruition?
TP: Our friend, Richie Fraschilla, wanted to do a music video for the song “Dreamers” a few years ago. The timing didn’t work out. He got busy with work and we got busy writing a new album. After the release of our current album, Richie reached out again and the timing was perfect. He listened to the album and decided on “Gabe”. He called on his friend Brandon Kornprobst to join him on the project. We basically said, do whatever you want. We wanted to give him creative freedom to come up with his own concept for the video. The song “Gabe” was written about Zach and Joel’s brother with autism. It’s Zach’s ode to Gabe, but we didn’t want Richie to make it about that. We wanted Richie to have his own artistic spin on what the song meant to him. It’s interesting how he chose his own interpretation of hardship between siblings.
TT: What are your favorite Graveyard Lovers songs to play live?
TP: I love playing “Everyday is a War” because it was the first song we wrote together. It has a lot of sentimental value. “Funmachine” is really fun to play too. We wrote that song while obsessing over Iggy Pop and the book “Please Kill Me”. It’s fast and full of energy!
TT: What plans do you and the band have for the rest of 2017?
TP: We are currently working on new music and looking forward to recording a few new songs this summer. We had fun experimenting on the last album with a new sound and really love the songs we wrote together with Joel. We’re going back to writing as a two-piece, so we need to be thoughtful on how we’ll perform the songs. It’s tricky playing as a duo, but we’re excited for this next phase of the band and going back to our original set up.
TT: Top 3 favorite songs to cover on drums?
TP: One of the first songs I wanted to learn when I started playing drums was Wolfmother’s song, “Woman”. I had only been playing a little more than a year and I remember walking into my lesson and saying, “I want to learn this song”. It was very ambitious of me as a new drummer, but I pushed through and learned it.
“Bastards of Young” by the Replacements is another one we love to jam at practice. We have yet to cover it live, but maybe soon. When I’m alone just jamming, I love playing songs with cool hip-hop beats. I secretly want to start an all female hip-hop band one day.
TT: Are there any other instruments you play? Any you’re interested in learning?
TP: We have a piano now. I really want to learn to play. I’m worried about my neighbors though.
TT: Top 3 albums you can’t stop listening to?
TP:“Lost in a Dream” by The War on Drugs. I recently started running and I’ve been obsessing over music with fast bpm. This album is a killer album to run to. Sonic Youth’s “Daydream Nation” and “Sister” are oldies but goodies! And of course, I’ve been nostalgic for Soundgarden lately. You know, because…Chris Cornell.
TT: Describe your relationship to drumming in 10 words or less
There’s no other seat I’d want to be sitting in.