His percussion workshop attracted more and more fans of drums, of all ages, who want to learn the best groove and tricks on drums. In Europe, its popular drum clinic is the „Thomas Lang Drumming Bootcamp” and they are amazing percussion workshop. Do you think there might be something better? Of course, yes! This is a great workshop “BIG DRUM BONANZA” in sunny California, where you experience the amazing moment of greatest drummers, such as: CHRIS COLEMAN ( Prince, Sheila E ), MATT GARSTKA ( Animals As Leaders ), GERGO BORLAI ( Gary Willis/Tribal Tech ), AQUILES PRIESTER ( Hangar ), DEREK RODDY ( Serpents Rise ) and of course, THOMAS LANG ( StOrk/Paul Gilbert ), who will tell you about these BDB magical workshop.
Big Drum Bonanza is amazing percussion workshop. How came the idea to organize a workshop with six drummers at the same time for 5 days?
Both, my Drumming Boot-camps and the Big Drum Bonanza are camps I created to “pay it forward”. I wanted to create a camp format that I would have wanted to go to when I was a drum student. The Big Drum Bonanza (BDB) is the ultimate drum event. It is the most exclusive and most inspiring camp that I know of- and I know ALL of the drum events around the world, because I have participated or taught at them for many years!
I wanted to create an environment that is exclusive, intimate, inspiring and eye -opening. I wanted to put students in the most exciting and luxurious place possible: In a classroom and in private lessons with their drumming idols, poolside with like-minded new friends, in a beautiful hotel in a beautiful place with drums and drumming around them 24/7. I want to provide the students with the best of the best, on every level. I wanted to provide the campers with the best drummers, the best education, the best entertainment, the best food, the best hotel, the best overall drumming experience for almost a whole week! That was the idea.
For each edition of BDB invite others drummers. What is your motivation selecting drummers like Matt Garstka, Chris Coleman, Aquiles Priester, Gergo Borlai, Derek Roddy?
Every year I invite my favorite drummers! I invite the drummers that I want to see too! I invite the drummers that are the most inspiring players to watch, that are the most advanced and technically proficient players out there, and that are also amazing teachers. I look for the best of the best in their respective genres. Each style of music- and drumming- has its absolute heroes, leaders and pioneers and I look for that absolute “high end” factor in the artists that teach at the Bonanza.
Do you already know exactly how many students will be in the BDB or list of participants is still open?
There are still spots available for the 2014 Bonanza! Please go to www.bigdrumbonanza.com or register directly at www.muso-mart.com
Hurry up because spots are limited because we want to keep this camp very exclusive and intimate. It is a once in a lifetime experience that you will never forget. The best drummers on the planet will teach you for five days, you can take private lessons with your idols, you take part in master-classes and clinics at the world-famous Drum Channel facility, you can participate in a global live stream from Drum Channel, you will see how drums are made on a DW factory tour, you will be able to relax in the Jacuzzi after every intense day of drumming, go to the gym before your classes, jump in the pool between lessons, eat great food and get a fantastic tan in the California sunshine! It’s the best drum camp EVER!
Hurry up if you want to come because we always sell out!
My guess is that you are happy with the last edition of BDB and their participants. Is that why you decided to organize another workshop?
Yes. This is our (Muso Entertainment) Third “Bonanza” and it’s been nothing but fun to host it. The students are LOVING the experience and that’s why we bring it back every year. We do it for the educational benefit of the students of course but also because it is so much fun to host it!
I love every minute of it and once a year I like to experience this magic!
I sit in the classes as well and I am there to learn as well so for me it is also my annual learning experience!
How great interest is the BDB in the USA?
The BDB has quickly grown into the most popular and in-demand drum camp in the US. We have the most amazing line-up, the most beautiful location and the best weather! We are 35 minutes from Hollywood- the entertainment capital of the world. We are only 15 minutes from Malibu with its world-famous beaches. We give every student the ability to play and practice at the camp. Students get to see and experience the Drum Channel studios etc. The whole package is simply the best and there is extremely high interest in the BDB from drummers here in the US and all from over the world.
Have you ever wondered the extension BDB and organize such a great workshop in Europe like Drumming Bootcamp?
It would be impossible to do something equal to this in Europe. I would be cost-prohibitive and it would never have that “Hollywood flair” and the California scenery. Los Angeles is by far the best place for it. This is my home and it’s the home of most of our teachers and artists. DW is here, Drum Channel is here, and only here we can offer the tickets at such a low price. If we were to host the BDB in Europe, a ticket would have to be twice as much to pay for the added cost and expenses to get all the artists over there. It would be impossible to do in Europe at the same level for the same price.
Do you have a precise plan that you have to realize, or that it’s depends on the students and their ability to perform what program you’ll realize?
We have a very concrete schedule and plan for the event. Everything has to be planned very precisely. However, there is no obligation to participate in everything. You can participate in the group lessons and master classes, or you can book your own schedule of private lessons with the artists. If you just want to chill out by the pool then that’s cool too! The idea is to offer such an amazing schedule that students will want to participate but also have time to make friends, go for a drink, see a concert in Hollywood, practice and jam with other students etc. The camp offers both a total structure if you want it and total freedom to decide what to do or who to take lessons with.
What do you think are the most important principles in the life of a drummer, that need to be addressed in order to reach the summit of which you’ll want to tell your students to BDB?
You have to come here and participate to find that out!
I remember that in March this year at Bootcamp in Poland, you based program on the weaker side of our abilities. Are you running a BDB in a similar way?
No, the BDB has a completely different format. I teach my personal approach and philosophy and every other teacher teaches their own approach and philosophy. You get many different views and ideas from the best players on the planet so you can form your own opinion and pick and choose which approach suits you best. You are being offered such a wealth of information at the BDB that you leave with years of information and inspiration. What you get from the artists at the camp is pure drumming wisdom, working experience and magical inspiration, and then there is the most important thing: Information on how to make it in the world of drumming!
I read about BDB percussion competition-related workshops. I’m interested in whether the way you like to help enthusiasts drums giving them the opportunity to promote themselves under the banner of BDB or a from of motivation to work on yourself?
The idea is to provide a platform for young drummers to promote drumming and to promote themselves. This is a friendly drumming competition that is unlike any other one as well. There is a completely level playing field. Everybody plays the same song, the same length, the same tempo etc. The drummers have to get creative within this rigid structure so the contest is about personality and creativity. I wanted to offer a HUGE prize so the young players are motivated enough and can see there is something big at stake here. This 10,000.00 $ grand prize is substantial and something worth competing for. The free admission to the BDB alone would be worth practicing for! We do the BDB-Play Along Contest to create a buzz among young drummers around the planet. This year we had over 200 entries from 46 countries and the contest is growing every year. Keep in mind that every drummer spends an average of 15 hours to download the song (for free of course), learn the song, record and film the song, upload the song etc. It’s not an easy feat and the song itself is usually quite challenging as well so to have over 200 contestants is absolutely incredible!
The prize for the winner is a very tempting and motivating right?
I hope it is! I think 10,000.00 Dollars worth of drum gear are more than motivating! For many kids it’s a massive chance and a dream to win a DW drum kit with Meinl cymbals, etc. Thanks to our sponsors Drum Workshop, Meinl, Audix, Vic Firth, Remo, Ahead Armor and Muso Entertainment, we can offer the ULTIMATE grand prize. It’s the absolute BOMB!
Are you plans are focused mainly on the workshop because of what they have noticed this year a lot?
No, My focus is on the new StOrk album release, a lot of song writing and production and on working on new ideas and techniques. I host the camps on off-days between shows and when I have a few days off while on the road. The Bonanza is the only regular annual event that I am planning in advance.
I’m interested in whether this busy artist like you, who driven the whole world with different stars and also himself, still draws energy from playing?
Absolutely. Playing is still the magical thing. It is still as exciting today as it was on day 1 for me. I love it. It still gives me the greatest satisfaction and the most positive energy.
I had the pleasure to be at your workshop in Poland and came out of them very happy. Do you also workshops make as much joy as your students?
Thank you! I am very glad to hear that because that it the whole point of a camp. I do it to inspire, to inform and to entertain a little too. If you walk away happy then I have achieved my goal and succeeded in what I set out to do. I have gotten only positives reactions like yours to the camp and I am very lucky and blessed that so many drummers around the world are getting so much joy out of the camps. It has been a wonderful and inspiring journey also for me and I learn from the campers as much as they learn from me. It is a win-win for all!
Remains for me to wish you, your friends and the participants good luck and great fun on the Big Drum Bonanza.
Thank you! If you are interested in more information on the Big Drum Bonanza or my other camps, please check out www.bigdrumbonanza.com and www.thomaslangdrumcamp.com , and if you want to sign up for a spot at the BDB 2014 (July 2nd-6th 2014, Los Angeles/California) then sign up quickly at www.muso-mart.com .
Thank you for interview Thomas
Interviewed: Paweł 'Mr Sticky' Larysz
Photo: Archive Thomas Lang and Bigdrumbonanza.com