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Interview : Anup Sastry (Drummer – Intervals , Skyharbor)

Anup Sastry – Drum Wiz-kid, Protege , ‘Next-Big-Thing’ – has many aliases but stands out as a ‘Young- Adult’ making waves in the music industry.
Anup started his drum pounding pretty early and secured his own unique playing style which shows clearly in the two bands he plays for – Intervals and Skyharbor( With Keshav Dhar).
He flew down to India to perform with Skyharbor on their NH7 gig in Pune (India).On the tour he grabbed many eyeballs and showed effortless mature playing.
The Debut EP of his band Intervals earned many accolades and Skyharbor signed with Basick Records in the last year – making him a sought after drummer.
In between his hectic schedule i managed to grab few minutes for an interview.

Hey Anup! glad to have you on board, so whilst you are beating the hell outta your kit – tell us how did you and Drums meet ?

Hey! Thanks a lot for having me on board! I was 11 when I first started playing drums! I actually played the clarinet in my middle school band… My best friend at the time played drums. I remember him playing a really simple groove on a kick and snare one day in class. I turned around to look at what he was doing (because it was pretty groovy), and it completely blew my mind, hahaha!!! I immediately asked my band director to switch me from clarinet to drums… and so it began! haha!
A peek into your studio – what gear do you use Anup ?
As far as drumming gear, my kit is a Shine Custom. Its a satin lacquer baldwin black dull rub finish with powder coated off set tube lugs. I use a Pearl Masters Studio Birch snare, which I absolutely love. I use a 19″ Paiste 2002 Wild Crash, 19″ Paiste Signature Series Power Crash, an 18″ Paiste Rude China, 14″ Signature Series Sound Edgde Hats, and my stack usually changes frequently… And I also use Pearl Demon Drive pedals.
As far as recording gear, I use the Anima pre amps by Prodigy Engineering. I actually recently became a proud endorsee of Prodigy Engineering! I use Aurora Lynx converters. My interface is a DigiDesign 003 Rack +. My microphone collection is pretty basic. I have a few SM 57’s, some 98 D/S’, a Beta 52, and AKG 414 silver face, a pair of SM 81’s, and a pair of MXL 604’s. I also have an Axe Fx Ultra!

We have seen the obvious tilt towards Djent -what other genres do you love playing?

I am a huge fan of hip hop (9th Wonder, Gang Starr, Little Brother, etc.). I am also an even bigger fan of post rock (This Will Destroy You, Explosions In The Sky, Mercury Program)! I don’t think that I actually listen to as much metal as you would assume based on my videos…

Skyharbor – how did this wonder happen?

I had heard of Skyharbor a while before I had actually started talking to Keshav. I remember hearing his tunes for the first time and just being blown away. I believe we started talking about the possibility of me playing for Skyharbor if any opportunities were to present itself. Its pretty awesome that it happened. I started doing videos for Skyharbor tunes! My first video was for Aphasia, which to this day is one of the hardest songs I have ever had to learn. This was also why I wanted to knock it out first… hahaha! I guess the videos were my audition videos in a way. It was to show that I can and do want to play the material!


Your other band ‘Intervals’ gathered lot of critical acclaim – how would you describe the ‘sound and feel’ of the band to our readers who are yet to experience its awesomeness?

Well it is a good change of pace for sure. There is some pretty insane guitar work in the Intervals music. Aaron Marshall is a mad man… haha! There are a lot of tight grooves, and the drums and guitar really go hand in hand in my opinion with a lot of the riffs. Its almost as if I’m playing the guitar parts on the drums. The Intervals music is VERY fun to play and it has a lot of energy!!! Our EP if available for free, so I hope people do take advantage of that to experience the material themselves!

A little beyond music – tell us about the Anup we dont know ( don’t worry we will just print it ! :D)

Well, I’d like to think that Im a pretty nice guy and easy to get along with! Im pretty open minded too. I love dogs. I have a Shiloh German Shepard. He is huge (120 pounds) and all black, and extremely intimidating at first glance! haha! But then he turns into a big goof once he gets to know people! I like to go to the gym pretty frequently. I love coffee… I have already consumed two cups while typing up my responses to this interview!!! My parents are both from Bangalore. I was born in Maryland (U.S.) and have lived in Maryland my entire life. I record and produce bands whenever I can.

Young drummers worship you – who does Anup worship as a drummer? your role-models?

I am a huge fan of Tony Royster Jr., Eric Moore, Travis Orbin, Matt Halpern, and Chris Coleman! All of these guys are absolutely insane at what they do!

What was your biggest hurdle while you were in your learning stages as a drummer? any particular pattern,notes etc?

To be honest, I’m still in my learning stages as a drummer. And I hope I will continue to be in my learning stages until I physically can’t play drums anymore. I guess my biggest hurdle was phrasing. Once I kind of understood how to phrase fills and patterns in a musical way, that really allowed me to be able to flow. I would say another hurdle was independence. Its still a huge hurdle for me today. But I do feel like I am improving. Patterns, fills, and grooves weren’t really ever a hurdle because those are things you can learn fairly quickly (relatively) if you put forth the effort and dedicate the time. Larger concepts such as phrasing and independence are things you can always continue to improve on.

You performed recently in Pune at the NH7 Weekender , how was the experience like? Any indian bands which amazed you?

The NH7 was AWESOME! I met so many amazing people and musicians. It was an insane experience. I do feel fortunate for being able to play at the NH7 with Skyharbor. All of the bands that played were amazing. I really enjoyed Goddess Gagged and Scribe!

If you were not a drummer what would you have been?

I’ve always wanted to be able to play guitar and/or piano. So I think I would have eventually done either or… haha!

Any advice/message to the budding drummers/musicians ?

Be diverse in what you listen to and what you practice, regardless of craft. Its important to be open minded (not only with music) because I really do believe that it will help to create and shape your own unique style.Anup Sastry on facebook – http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1101039750
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