What were your early influences that led you to the position that you are in today?
A. My biggest influences as a young drummer were Steve Gadd and Buddy Rich.
Q. How and when were you introduced to drumming?
A. I don’t actually recall how I was introduced to the drums, but my next-door neighbour at the time was a rock drummer who showed me a few things. I also got involved in a school band.
Q. Tell us about your creative process while preparing for an album.
A. The creative process begins with the thought of the direction of the project. I then usually invite my bandmates to assist in the musical composition aspect. Most songs that I am involved in start at the drum set with the type of feel and groove that I want to convey. The writing is done either as a group or individually. This process continues until we have an assortment of music that makes up the flow of the recording.
Q. Could you talk about some of the challenges you faced in your early days as a drummer?
A. Being a musician is always challenging. The time and dedication that it takes to realise a high level of ability is beyond what most people can comprehend. But for musicians it’s standard procedure. The biggest challenge was graduating from local gigs to the level and type of work to join the best in the business.
Q. How excited are you to perform in India for the first time? What are your expectations?
A. It’s not actually my first time. I was in India almost 10 years ago with “Metro”. I generally never have expectations but I am looking forward to playing with the fine group of Indian musicians joining me, and to play for the people there.
Q. How has your experience been performing with so many different artistes? Which was the most amazing one?
A. Of course, every artist is different, and I’ve had the opportunity to play with many great ones in different genres.
Q. How do you prepare yourself, mentally and physically, before performing live on stage?
A. The biggest preparation is feeling comfortable with the music I am about to play, which means practicing and learning the music. Then making sure I am comfortable on stage with the drums and the overall sound. After that I warm up, stretch, and don’t eat too much before the show. Mentally, I try to ensure all things in life “not music” are on a positive track. This keeps the mind clear and open.
Q. Do your audiences vary in different parts of the world? Or do they all react in the same way to your music?
A. Audiences definitely vary just like the cultures themselves. Some are reserved, some are very passionate. We like the passionate ones!
Q. How important do you think is formal training when it comes to taking up music as a career?
A. I’m not sure how you define formal training, but studying and gaining as much knowledge as you can makes sense to me. Getting good direction is very important. But in the end, it is up to the individual to practice and study.
Q. What do you think is the best part of being a musician, or in your case a legendary drummer?
A. The best part is being able to do what I love to do and being able to survive doing it.
Q. Have you ever tried playing the tabla, or any other instruments that are famous in India? What are the similarities or differences between Indian and Western rhythm instruments?
A. I don’t really have any formal training in the tabla or in any other Indian instrument. I do like to play with my hands on my own drums that can sometimes sound tabla-like.
Q. Tell us about your online school.
A. My online school (daveweckl.com) is a streaming service where I have uploaded very high quality videos, with many courses and lessons ranging from foundational study to insight into everything that I do as a performer, with many live performance videos as well. At the moment we have over 20 hours of lessons uploaded. We have a private Facebook page for students only, where my interaction is frequent. It is becoming quite the cool community!
Q. What are the key points that an amateur drummer should remember to become a successful drummer?
A. Most important is to study all the great drummers of the past, listen to as much music as possible, and practice and play as much as possible. Set yourself goals and have ideas about where you want to go and what you want to do in the music business. Once good enough, be smart about advertising yourself to other musicians so they know who you are.
Q. What are you coming up with this year?
A. I am very busy as a side man for many different groups. The Chick Corea Akoustic Band will be on a reunion tour all summer. Of course, my online school keeps me busy, constantly adding to the curriculum. I do have some ideas about forming new groups of my own, but that will remain a surprise.