Drummer Spotlight: Erica Warner from UV Rays

Photo Cred: Lila Murphy
Words: Lindsey Anderson

Brooklyn rockers UV Rays have a lot to celebrate today. Their debut EP Try and Begin is out in the world and I promise you won’t be able to stop listening to it. UV Rays started in the bedroom of Adrien DeFontaine; an art rock project that has now expanded into a four piece band made of Adrien DeFontaine(guitarist/vocalist), Danny Sullivan(guitarist), Tim-Marchetta Wood(bassist/vocalist) and Erica Warner(drummer/vocalist).

Try and Begin is an upbeat, groovy masterpiece and one of the strongest debut EP’s I’ve heard in awhile. The EP hits the ground running with “Flowerhead,” an ode to the person/people that make us feel safe, loved and seen. Personal fave, “Existential Dread” is a groovy one as UV Rays searches for peace and reassurance in a world that gets messier by the minute. Try and Begin is an EP that’s bound to stick with you;  it’s tight 10 minute run-time and even tighter grooves will move you to play the full EP at least 5 more times.

In celebration of the EP release, Tom Tom got the chance to chat with drummer & vocalist Erica Warner about Try and Begin, her history with drums and advice she has for aspiring drummers.

When did you start playing the drums? Do you remember what it felt like the first time you sat behind a kit?

I started playing drums in 3rd grade, I was 9.  I remember the first time behind a kit like it was yesterday-  I had been taking piano lessons for a year and my teacher knew I wanted to learn drums so he would teach me basic beats at the end of our piano lessons until I started taking full on drum lessons.  I remember the feeling of getting the limb independence right for the first time and feeling like my body was a working machine.

What about UV Rays made you want to be apart of this band?

I joined UV Rays because I had taken a year off music and was ready to play with people again.  My boyfriend was friends with one of the dudes in the band and they needed a drummer, so I jumped in!  The music was so fun, and honestly intimidating, but I was psyched to learn and improve.  UV Rays started off as an excuse for me to move to Brooklyn sooner than I was planning on, but it became a huge creative outlet for me.

‘I remember the feeling of getting the limb independence right for the first time and feeling like my body was a working machine.’

What was the most fun part of putting together Try and Begin? Were there any challenging moments? If yes, how did you and your band mates overcome those challenges?

I think the most fun part of putting together Try and Begin was being a lead singer for the first time.  I’ve been drumming and singing since I was a kid, but never for anyone bedsides myself.  Also, my band mates are 3 of my favorite people, so it’s always fun to create with them. Try and Begin is our first release since becoming a 4 piece band.  I think the hardest part was figuring out how to make music with one of our leads out of the band.  In the end, we all stepped up and wrote this EP together.  It really became a collaborative process.



What’s your favorite drum pattern on Try and Begin and why is that one your favorite?

Good question!  I have two answers though.  I truly love grooving to Tim’s song “Existential Dread” because there aren’t many groovy moments in our set and it’s really fun to sit back in it.  “Boys” also has one of my favorite drum parts because it’s so intertwined in the melody.  I find it challenging trying to drum that song without singing and vice versa.

What are some songs/albums that inspired you while making this record? Any non-music media that inspired you during the making of Try and Begin?

During the main weekend we were creating Try and Begin, Tim and I left the session to see St.Vincent and I think that show had a huge impact on me, both musically and personally.  Her album Masseduction and her performance made me feel like a brave, feminist, badass.  I also remember First Aid Kit dropped their song “Fireworks” that weekend and I was so in love with that song, I listened to it endlessly for inspiration.

What advice would you give to people who are interested in drums but don’t know where to start?

My advice would be to find your favorite song and try keeping time with it.  Buy yourself a Syncopation blue book and play those exercises to your favorite songs; it will make the boring stuff more fun!

Finish this sentence: Try and Begin makes me feel ___________

Try and Begin makes me feel psyched for the future of UV Rays.

Keep Up with UV Rays & check out their EP Try and Begin

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