Indie folksters The Winter Gypsy released a soaring new single and video for Took Me By on July 8, the first taste of the band’s debut EP, Page I which is set for release on August 5. To celebrate their new tunes, the Adelaide six-piece will be heading out on the road in August, kicking off in Melbourne on August 28 and moving through Adelaide, Sydney and Canberra, before returning to Adelaide for another home town show to end the tour at The Exeter on September 17. The Winter Gypsy’s drummer Max Lambert took some time out from rehearsals to to answer a few questions for us.
What was your first kit like?
The first kit I played was my dads Rogers Londoner. He bought the kit second hand in the early 80’s and it was the kit I began learning the drums on. Even owning two high end kits now, I still set up the Rogers every now and then and love the sound it produces.
What’s your regular kit set up?
At home I have a Pearl Reference kit permanently set up for rehearsals/practice. The kit was custom ordered for professional drummer ‘Virgil Donati’ to play on the Adelaide leg of his tour and all shells are signed. The kit was then advertised for sale after the show and Virgil being my drumming idol I had to own this kit. The full set consists of a 10×8” 12×10” and floating 14×14” tom. 16×16” 18×18” floor toms & of course the 18×20” kick. Sadly the set didn’t come with the infamous 22ply Reference Snare but I have a Ludwig 14×6.5” snare that I favor in all styles/bands I now play in. However, I bought a Mapex Saturn IV for gigging as it’s lighter and not quite as valuable to kart around town but I now prefer the sound and feel of the Mapex over the Pearl!
Is it the same for recording?
Recording on the EP for ‘The Winter Gypsy’ I used the Mapex, this was more due to the fact I only just put new heads on. Previously I’ve recorded the Rogers which was quite cool but I think I’ve had the best natural/unedited sound out of a very old Ludwig kit at Capitol Sound Studio (Adelaide).
What sticks do you favour?
I have always played with Vic Firth 7A’s since beginning drums in 2003. I have only broken 3 drum sticks in my life which is quite surprising when I play in some heavy bands.
Other drummers you admire?
I’ve always admired Virgil Donati, Thomas Lang, David Jones & Dom Famularo. Last time I saw Dom play in Adelaide he was on a Mapex Saturn kit which heavily influenced me to buy one myself as the walnut ply adds the most outstanding kick/tom sound, in my opinion anyway. I like stumbling across drummers on Youtube doing their thing, so much talent around in the drumming world it’s really hard to name the ones raising the bar.
What’s your latest recording and when will you be back in the studio?
The latest recording I’ve been involved in is The Winter Gypsy’s new EP ‘PAGE I’, since then I’ve been back in a studio for some demo recordings which may lead to some interstate recording in the first quarter next year.
What gigs have you been playing lately?
Played a show at Rocket Bar (Adelaide) with the band ‘Tomorrow Rising’ and then the night after with another band at Ancient World. Before that The Winter Gypsy played at the Unbar and also at the Ed Castle with Tash Sultana.
Most memorable gig?
I feel like the most memorable gigs are the ones that the band organizes themselves around a single or EP launch. I always remember a show I played at the Producers Bar for the Tomorrow Rising EP launch. The place was packed to the back and walking on stage to probably the fullest room I’d played in front of at the time was an amazing feeling. Another very memorable show was at the Grace Emily with The Winter Gypsy. The room was full but the chatter was so minimal it was almost silent between songs, everyone was so involved in the moment it was great.
Worst stage nightmare?
I think there’s been plenty but the worst would be mid song my kick pedal unlatching from the kick drum. Not being able to keep something going whilst fixing the problem, I was in a pretty bad situation. Luckily I grabbed someone’s attention side stage and they ran over to save the day.
Album that changed your life?
This would be a toss up between Led Zeppelin IV and Bring Me The Horizon Sempiternal. Both completely different albums but both have been obsessions for me.
What gigs are coming up in the next few months?
The Winter Gypsy are about to head to Melbourne, Sydney and Canberra for the EP tour with a few Adelaide shows in between, before that we have another Grace Emily show with Sons of Zoku which will be great. Another band I play in ‘Moonhunter’ have been added to the ‘PAK Winterfest’ in August too.
A drum tip for the kids?
My advice would be to go through Rick Latham Advanced Funk Studies book, Jim Chapin’s Advanced Technique book and also play along to lots and lots of music with headphones. I think I learned most of my drumming independence through improvising over random pop songs and playing a lot of Latin grooves, I think the most important thing whilst learning is to keep your drumming fun and exciting rather than honing in on just the technicalities.
Check out The Winter Gypsy Facebook page
THE WINTER GYPSY EAST COAST TOUR
SUN 28 AUG | BAR OPEN, FITZROY MELBOURNE | 18+ | Tickets available at the door
SUN 4 SEP | THE JADE, ADELAIDE | AA | Tickets available at the door
THUR 8 SEP | PLAYBAR, SURRY HILLS SYD | 18+ | Tickets available at the door
SAT 10 SEP | SMITH’S ALTERNATIVE, CANBERRA ACT | AA | Tickets available at the door
SAT 17 SEP | THE EXETER, ADELAIDE | AA | 18+ | Tickets available at the door