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Here at Get Sad Y'all, we thought it would be a great idea to interview numerous people in various aspects of the music industry to serve as guides for those that might want to pursue a career. Those interviews can be found here.
If there's anyone you'd like us to interview, give us a shout.
Below, we chatted with Kortney Grinwis (Chapel) about life as a drummer.
Who are you and what do you do?
KG: Hi, I’m Kortney Grinwis and I play drums in the band, Chapel.
How long have you been drumming?
KG: I was first inspired by the drums during 5th grade, so 11-ish years old. I started off by playing books and chairs, then eventually got my first real kit for Christmas that year.
What are some of the bigger shows/tours you've been a part of?
KG: We did a full 6-week US tour with Sum 41 and Pierce The Veil, for Chapel's second tour ever. That was pretty insane. Then we spent a weekend opening for Good Charlotte and 3OH!3, which still blows my mind. I grew up listening to and being inspired by those bands so that’s when things really started to hit me that I was actually “doin' the damn thing.”
What's your day-to-day look like?
KG: Typically, when I’m in work mode, I’ll wake up about 10ish, spend an hour or so watching self-help/motivational OR drum videos on YouTube to wake my brain up while engulfing myself in a massive cup of coffee. After she is awake and ready, I’ll make a healthy-ish lunch, get dressed, and go upstairs to the garage to play drums for a few hours. I have a playlist on Spotify with a bunch of good jams to play along to. Top 40 hits work really well too when trying to explore new beats. After I wear myself out, I’ll go back to the kitchen and whip up a health-induced smoothie. Lots of fruit, ginger, lemon, proteins, all the super powders, all the goods. After I drink that, I’m usually set for another couple hours to keep playing. When all of that is over, I’ll try to run a mile or two, just to really wear myself out. Shower, relax for a bit, then Carter (Hardin, vocals/guitar) and I will either work on music or do some sort of productive activity. Eat dinner, then either keep working or have a glass of wine and put on a good movie. Wow, my life is ridiculous.
How did you get on the path to becoming a drummer? What made you want to become one?
KG: I don’t recall there being like, one specific moment, but I have always been extremely passionate about music since a young age and just always wanted to be in a band and tour. That was the dream. I was really big into bands like Green Day and blink-182 and the drums were what always stuck out to me the most when listening to music. I’d find myself constantly air drumming and just twitching to the grooves. I did start going to a lot of concerts when I hit 13 and was so mesmerized by the bands on stage. I looked up to them like gods and thought it was so out of this world that people could just DO that!
What is something you've learned about drumming over time that you wish you had known from the start?
KG: I’ve been learning, and it’s something I think I’ll continue to learn and realize during this whole journey of being a musician, is that there’s no easy, or right way to do something. Every single person is going to have a different path no matter how much you try to replicate an idol. You just have to put in the time and realize that amazing things do take time. Even if and when you feel like you’ve “made it” or gotten to a huge milestone, you’re always going to crave the next. So, just enjoy the journey and play for you!
Where should someone looking to become a drummer start their career path?
KG: Honestly, the internet. Find that “thing” that makes you unique and focus on that. Play music with people, even if it’s just your local friends for fun. Play, get experience connecting and jamming with other musicians. Build up your own confidence behind your instrument and things will tend to work themselves out. I do believe the internet is the biggest platform to start your career though. I started randomly putting videos up on YouTube, nothing fancy by any means, but that’s how I started to get connected with record labels, which lead me to Favorite Weapon, and that’s actually how I met Carter. Learning covers for YouTube is also a massive benefit when it comes to discipline. There are so many songs I’ve covered that I spent months on learning and perfecting. If the internet idea freaks you out, you could always play open mics, join random bands, travel to a big city and do drum clinics, there are so many possibilities.
What are three key things that someone looking to become a drummer should know?KG: You don’t need expensive gear to start playing. I truly believe the drums are the greatest, most special instrument out there. You really have to fall in love with the drums to be able to play the crap out of them. Anyone can pick up sticks and hit objects, but it takes passion and love to really solidify that groove and make something special. The more you put in, the more you’re going to get out. Oh, and be ready to have your hands covered in blisters. I don’t get them much anymore but when I was starting out, I didn’t have the best technique/form, so my hands would be in constant pain. :)
Anything else to add?
KG: Have fun with it. Nothing in life is worth it if you aren’t having a good time and enjoying yourself, or at least that’s what I like to live by. Don’t focus on making everything happen right now. Slowly take your steps, become a well-rounded soul, and live your life for you. Also, my band’s album is coming out v soon so if you want to stream and share that when it comes out that would be v cool. Also, don’t TP your friends, it’s really not nice.
Be sure to follow and check out Chapel below!
Liked this interview? We've got a whole bunch more with music industry gurus for your reading pleasure!