Interview with Tim Waterson in October 2008 - Mr. Masterblast

Although he has the worldīs fastest feet, attested by the Worldīs Fastest Dummer organization, he doesnīt like playing death metal so one can say that Tim Waterson is the one and only undead death metal drummer on this earth. And as if that were not enough he recently released a highly interesting double DVD set about bass drum playing. So be prepared for the zombie attack!!!

ragazzi: "Isnīt it a little strange that many extreme metal drummers admire you although you donīt like this kind of music?"

Tim: "Its a misconception that I don't like extreme music; its the vocals, I am not a fan of the vocals. I have played extreme music before, its just in Alberta you have to play country rock and variety if I want to be able to pay the bills."

ragazi: "Do you actually use blast beats in the music you are playing?"

Tim: "I use a single foot blast in fills ie; rolls between the hand and foot 5,5,10 or 7,7,13 played as a fill or at the end of my solo Iīll play a two foot blast using the freehand going from slow to as fast as I can go for the climax of the solo. I also use freehand to duplicate a two hand fill while twirling looks impressive - LOL"

ragazzi: "For what reason do you practice blast beats - just for fun or instead of to go in for sports?"

Tim: "I practice single foot blast rolls so that I can have the ability to perform rolls around the drums with a hand and a foot instead of just using double bass drums. This means you can still keep the groove with the hi hat and gives more intersting possibilties as opposed to just double bass drums."

ragazzi: "For how long can you play a double stroke roll on the double pedal at 240 bpm?"

Tim: "Double strokes or single strokes at 240 for as long as any song demanded.I did the drumometer 15 minute run for fun and was running over 250 in singles and the doubles is much easier to go much faster. But seriously anything over 15 or 20 seconds gets kind of boring LOL"

ragazzi: "Do you prefer playing double bass drums or a double pedal?"

Tim: "Of course I prefer two bass drums for power and overall sound but you can also get a lot more variations as you can tune them differently like playing on two toms a lot more musical possibilities. When I play two bass drums I try to tune them to George of the jungle."

ragazzi: "By the way do you prefer playing acoustic or electronic drums?"

Tim: "Of course overall I prefer the sound and feel of accoustic drums BUT when volume or variety of sounds is needed you can't beat electronic drums. I can play my Pintech electronic drums at four in the morning and to me the drums sound like you are play a Colliseum but to the neighbors the cant even hear me plus if you need to access 1000's of sounds you need electronic drums."

ragazzi: "What are the advantages of strong and fast feet for a drummer?"

Tim: "Every drummer has good hands as opposed to feet, so developing the feet gives you the ability to play things with the feet that the hands normally do. This will allow you to keep the groove going while playing patterns with your feet as opposed to just filling in with the hands.
Overall this will make you a better drumer because both your hands and feet will be good. Also you can actually double the speed of your drumming simply by separating the hands and feet. In certain musical situations itīs the drummer with good hands and feet that will get the gig. I know of certain situations where drummers with smokin hands but the feet were average lost the gig to drummer who had only good hands and good feet. John Longstreth always had great hands but his feet were behind. He was also always a heel down player and we talked about improving his foot speed and after some suggestions and going through exercises from my TMA DVD, John is now breaking new bounries on the new ORIGIN CD."

ragazzi: "Do you practice regularly?"

Tim: "My passion is drumming so when I can't access my drums I practice on my practice pad or do foot exercises. I am not disciplined enough to practice something for 90 minutes, yawn... but I watch DVDs at home so I practice either my hands or feet while I watch a movie. Sometimes l'll just play along to the movie and next thing you know Iīve been practicing for two or three movies or till I drive my Girlfriend nuts LOL So my endurace is being built up subconsciously and my muscle memory is constantly working."

ragazzi: "Do you play the same exercises each time?"

Tim: "No, sometimes I'll go through the drum books or DVDs - I have tons..LOL Other times I'll just freeform on the practice pads or drums to see what comes out. Right now I am working on an expansion exercise for the hands and feet. This gives you the abilty to go from singles to doubles to flams simply by modifying the motion of the sticks or pedals."

ragazzi: "Are you capable of playing everything with your feet what you can play with your hands?"

Tim: "No, I wish. Unfortunatey NO drummer can play everything with the feet that the hands can do .To be able to play Joe Morello type drumming with the feet is a dream and a GOAL I hope to one day achieve and that is one the reason I am trying to incorporate the Vruk pedal attachment into my playing the Vruk allows me to get more accented patterns and mutiple strokes similar to what we do with the hands. For those of you who donīt know what the Vruk does you can check out my Vruk clips at youtube."

ragazzi: "Isnīt it frustrating for a versatile drummer being reduced to his fast feet?"

Tim: "Unfortunately the whole WFD fastest feet kind of overshadowed my being a versatile drummer and teacher. I created the WFD fastest feet record in 2000 to promote a drum association I started in Edmonton. Having a world record got my name out there which led to exposure on Discovery Channel and Extreme Sports TV as well as demonstrating my techniques at NAMM and performing at drum clinics and drum festivals. I wanted to be known for my feet and no pun intended but the WFD was my foot in the door to the drum community, unfortunately it became kind of a circus sideshow. My focus was on drums and drumming and demonstrating how my techniques can help drummers with their drumming. WFD wanted me to break records period. After a while it became very boring and thats why myself and some of the others stopped doing WFD events. The fastest feet record was a double edged sword in one way it gave exposure of my name so that when my DVDs came out showing the techniques."

ragazzi: "Can you give an expert advice to young drummers in order to learn how to play blast beats very fast on two counts?"

Tim: "You are only as fast as your weakest limb so start SLOW. Try single foot blasting right foot and left hand use a metrnome and set the tempo exactly 1\2 speed to what you think you are playing. I try to avoid using the quarter note pulse as it gives a false sense of speed seing that this can fool our ears; ie: if you want to play 16ths at 200bpm set the metrome on 1\8 notes at 100bpm so that the metronome will click in time with your bass drum this will help you hear when you fall out of time. RF LH RF LF do this for as long as you can while still remaining relaxed. Once you can do this start left foot and right hand on snare..LF LH LF LH etc. Of course now you want to add RF RH RF RH etc and then LF LH LF LH etc. Once you are comfortable trying alternating between the single foot blast to playing 16ths on the bass drums."

ragazzi: "Your ability to play dynamically with your feet was even more astonishing than your speed to me; is there any trick to manage that?"

Tim: "Thanks for the kind words and glad you could see past all the fastest feet persona.LOL
IMHO Being able to play with dynamics will make you a better and more versatile drummer. For the TMA |DVD I spent a lot of time developing and explanning the transitions from heel down to heel up to heel toe because this gives us the abilty to play dynamically as well. Learning the transitions from heel down to heel up to heel toe gives us the abilty to play dynamically as well. Some musical situations would not allow me to pound double bass drums in the music so I need to be able to play dynamically. I am allowed to play double bass drums in country and blues songs becxause I can fit it in the music without overpowering the song. I try to play double bass patterns with one foot as much as possible because the feel is also different."

ragazzi: "What is your favorite playing style?"

Tim: "I enjoy playing a wide variety of music so if I could play in a HEAVY band that employed dynamics and combined speed and melody I'd be happy."

ragazzi: "Your drum solos on your new DVD from 1991 and 1997 are very tribal oriented - are you interested in ethnic music?"

Tim: "Yes I listen to all styles of music and try to incorporate this into my playing but somtimes itīs just a subconscious decision. Also try listening to classical music and you'll see what you can come up with. All your influeces will come out as you normally donīt have a drum rhythm to guide you in any direction, could be tribal, could be a march or extreme speed...etc."

ragazzi: "Please tell us some details about the bands you are playing in at the moment?"

Tim: "I am touring with my musical partner JUDEA SAN PEDRO, sometimes we play as a live duo. NO sequences, just drums, guitar and vocals and some gigs we can bring in our bass player and rock out a bit more."

ragazzi: "Would you join an extreme metal band if the band members offered you a lot of money?"

Tim: "Yes of course I'd love to play in an extreme band that would give me the opportunity to use my speed. Also I believe playing in an extreme band would push me further because playing in an extreme band would allow me to push my ablities, I believe I could play as fast as the band could push me but I need to be able to pay the bills one of the reasons I play variety music for a living. So, yes if there are any extreme bands that need an extreme drummer who I can make money with contact me

ragazzi: "What are your plans for the future?"

Tim: "A new CD with Judea San Pedro is in the works as well as another drum TMA DVD. But this one will be for drumset playing and will introduce the expansion exercises I was talking about earlier. I'll be performing Drum clinics when thereīs time to arrange them while on the road with Judea. Also when I get a break from touring I'll be recording some tracks for the hyperspeed project of the Italian guitarist Paulo Rizzotto and Dave Maytons. The youtube worlds fastest gutarist Dave Maytons want to do a CD where all the songs are 250 bpm and up to as fast as I can play. Itīs neo classical style superspeed metal. Thus type name Hyperspeed project LOL I have been writing an experimental instrumental CD where I can showcase my drumming against freeform musical expressions. Also Ive had a Christmas CD on hold for a while, we always get booked up North somewhere and I dont get a chance to finish it but I think it would be cool to have Christmas songs with some cool expressive drumming..."

Frank Bender