DARREN CESCA Interview (USA)


Hello Darren, How are you now? there any occupied of you doing at this time?
I always wish I had more hours in the day! Right now I am busy learning a new album on the drums, which I will hopefully start recording in May 2015.  It’s is very fun, technical and brutal.  I must finish this album and then begin working on another one. I will begin filming some new drum footage as well to go along with this new record to help with promotion.  In my spare music time will continue to work on the new Pillory record hopefully for release around 2017 or 2018.

What companies are you endorsed by? Tell us why you use their products.
I currently work with TRX cymbals, dB drumshoes and Kick Port.  TRX has been a great company to work with, I think their cymbals are as good as any company out there.  They are a huge part of my sound and have supported me over the years.  I started with db Drumshoes about 10 years ago.  I never play the drums without them.  Kick Port has been a nice addition and add some low end when micing up my kick drum.

What kind of gear do you use today?
Outside of the gear that I just listed, my drumkit is from a company called Shinedrums.  They endorsed me a few years back but the company is not around anymore. I really love the way that the kit sounds and have no reason to change it right now.  I also have a custom made all maple snare drum which is my main snare.  My other 3 snares are from Pearl drums. (Piccolo, soprano and brass free-floating) I use all Evans heads on my kit and Zildjian Mike Mangini Signature sticks.

What has the reaction been like to your latest Work in ESCHATON " Sentinel Apocalypse " and INCINERATE? What are some different things you tried on your latest album, drumming-wise, that you haven't before?
Anyone that is open-minded and enjoys good heavy music has shown a very positive response with Eschaton and Incinerate.  As you know with metal, some people are close minded or insecure so you will always have some people with negative remarks that want to make themselves feel better.  Outside of that, I am very happy with both releases. I’m not sure if there is any technique that I haven’t tried before, but I approach each song separately so I feel that on a whole, they are each something different that I have never tried before.  Eschaton presented different challenges then Incinerate did as with each project I work on.

I did so enjoy once all Your drumming this, since I was pleasantly surprised with the First Material Pillory " No Lifeguard at the Gene Pool ", and Arsis " We Are the Nightmare ", yet I still enjoy your first skill in virulence " A Conflict Scenario ". So When did you start to be more interested in playing extreme music for first time?
I started focusing on extreme drumming seriously around the year 2000.  Before Pillory and Arsis I was most well-known for my work with Goratory on the album “Rice on Suede”.  This was an extremely heavy, fast and technical album.  The drumming on the first Pillory album was also very extreme but unfortunately the production of the album lacks the power to showcase that. The Arsis album was a more melodic death and trash style album, so the drumming needed to fit and be very appropriate but it is still quite extreme.  I have always been interested in playing extreme music ever since I discovered bands like Krisiun and Nile.  But I also took in the influences of bands like Dream Theater to be creative and add dynamics and texture to my writing.

What conditions must a band offer you to recruit you as a full member? Because today you are a lot of several bands i look. what you can play in every band so enjoy every challenge the concept of the band itself? or keep free to play with your skill that you want to show?
It would be extremely difficult to become a full-time member of a band these days.  I would not be able to commit 100% unless it made sense monetarily.  It would not be fair to join a band if I couldn’t go on the road often to help promote the music. I enjoy working with bands and their albums and being a part of their history and I do hope one day to go on some short tours and perform again but right now life is too busy to be able to leave and tour often. Playing with many different bands is definitely a challenge, but it helps improve my playing and writing skills each time.  Each band approaches their music in a different way so I must think a little differently with my drumming on each album. Creating a great final product is the most rewarding part.

What band or drummer may have influenced you on your latest recording? and Who are some of your main drumming influences today, and back when you first started? Do you listen to different styles of music outside of the metal realm? and How do you keep your drum patterns original and innovative?
I don’t really use any other drummer as inspiration at this point.  When I write I use all of the skills that I have gathered over time and just let my mind create.  I actually think by not using specific drummers as inspiration it helps to keep my ideas fresh and creative.  I don’t want to sound like anyone else, nor do I try to. I do listen to some other styles of music outside of metal.  I do enjoy video game soundtracks, some modern and also some from back in the 1980’s.  Some of the writing was so creative when they had very little to work with, so that is inspiring.  I have done a few new version of video game music in a modern heavy style.  I have a video of some songs arranged from the game “Castlevania II: Simon’s Quest” released in 1987.  Check it out! 


How many takes did each track require? What's your opinion on the gravity blast for your own playing there? and What sort of triggering and drum brain do you use? Do you use triggers in the studio or live? What’s your opinion on triggers and drum modules?
When I track in the studio I typically play a song between 2-3 times on average.  I will then take the best parts from each take to create a final track.  If I need to, I will go back and fix any fills or transitions that were not played perfectly. The actual recording process goes rather quickly once it gets started.  The Roll blast is something that I’ve been using for many years.  I think of it as just another way to be creative with your playing.  I can do it on either side so it doesn’t limit its usage.  I do believe that I implement it in a different way than anyone else I have heard. For triggering I use Ddrum triggers and had always used an Alesis brain for live situations.  It’s durable and easy enough to travel with and set up.  I don’t trigger anything else on my kit other than the kicks.  I’ve played live without kick triggers and it just doesn’t have the same impact.  It is impossible to mic a kick drum live and have the audience understand the patterns and notes.  I like to mix the trigger with a mic if possible. In the studio, I only trigger kick drums to run through my headphones so that I can listen to exactly what my feet are playing to line them up as close as possible for the track.  When mixing, I take the acoustic drums and mix them with a sample to give impact and clarity at the same time. Many people have misconceptions or are self-conscious and talk badly about triggering when they often don’t understand what it is.  If they don’t want to ask questions and seek out the correct information then I have nothing to say for people like that.

What foot technique do you use the most for rapid double bass patterns and how long did it take you to perfect? Any suggestions you can give are readers who want reach insane speeds on double bass like yourself?
For my feet, I have tried all kinds of techniques over the years but have always liked using single strokes, heel up.  It is just my personal preference.  I find that I have the most control there and can still play with some nice speeds.  As far as advice, I recommend spending a lot of time training your feet one at a time.  Try to treat both of your feet equally.  Play 8th notes or 16th notes with one foot while performing different hand combination on top. (Grooves, and blastbeats) It’s important to think of both sides of your body as equal and don’t let one fall behind.

How do you get a good snare tone in the studio? What Death metal album do you think had the best sounding snare you ever heard? What's more important to you... Having your drums sounding sick and fast, or having character?
To me, for snare tone you need a few things, make sure that you have the right drumhead and the right combination of microphones.  Technical music is a lot different than Rock or even Heavy Metal.  The tones and mix used for those styles of music do no work for fast technical music in my opinion.  Personally I like the keep the overall sound as clean as possible.  A little bit of character is natural in the drums, but most of my character is on my playing.  I want to be sure that the listener can hear the notes that I am playing.  That is most important for me when putting a mix together.  Also when I mix my snares I will usual add in a sample of the drum on top of the performance to help reinforce the playing.  I’m not sure what my favorite snare tone would be but of the top of my head I enjoy the snare drum on the Krisiun albums “Southern Storm” and “Assassination”.

How about practicing linear patterns? Do you cover any of this in your practice routines? How are your drums arranged, in order to achieve the ultimate results from your playing?
I have practiced them in the past, but I do not have much time for drum practicing outside of working on new albums.  I still spend a good amount of time on my drum pad to help keep my hands fast and clean.  Unfortunately right now life does not leave the time for a practice routine outside of preparing for new work very often. When I had time, I would often do many different types of practice routines.  I would write out goals and specific things to work on.  This was a great way to gain new skills and ideas. 

How do you usually come up with fills when writing an original song?
I write all of my fills and ideas out on the computer on sheet music first.  So often times when I write fills and transitions they are brand new ideas.  I don’t like writing on the drum kit because I feel that it will limit me by doing what I’m comfortable with.  I want think of what sounds good in my head first, then figure out how to play it afterwards. 

How do you advise drummers build up their endurance and speed? What did you do personally for yourself to enhance both of these areas?
Just like anything else in life, repetition with good technique will go far.  Your body will slowly improve over time and get used to these kinds of motions.  It helps to have a good teacher as well to help you get the process started.  I spent years working on a drum pad with a metronome to get comfortable playing the tempos that I do.  You need to invest the time playing singles and unisons, there is no other way around it.  It may be boring at times but you have to be consistent.  Outside of drumming I take my personal fitness very seriously, so that does help me a bit as well.  It makes wide movements around my kit easier and helps with overall muscle endurance.

How much of your time do you concentrate on practicing things you may not be so good at yet? What are some of your strengths and weaknesses behind your playing? What are some of the methods you practice in order to get great pocket time and feel?
As mentioned previously I don’t have a ton of time to practice things that I’m not so good at.  I do continue to focus on strengthening the left side of my body to help balance it with my right.  I think that is something I will always want to improve on. Pocket time and feel came from first working with a metronome a lot.  I really became comfortable will all types of tempos.  Also, playing along to albums that have a good feel to them and are consistent also helps.  I did this for many years. 

Apart from being a drummer, you are now almost over charge of every instrument that you face today, Have you also gained experience as a producer or engineer?
I began with drumming but I have always had an interest in music production and engineering.  Even as kid in my first band I wanted to work on mixing our music.  This seemed like a natural progression for me. I work with many different musicians but sometimes it is nice to be able to work alone as well.  This gives me the ability to make all of the musical decisions and not have to compromise or argue about anything.  By learning other instruments it gave me the ability to create the whole picture and think not only in rhythms but also in a melodic sense.  It is also a great challenge, which I enjoy. 

You can tell the " House Of Grind Studio "? Is the project you are working alone at home? and whether it has been the Main of your current job? and what really are you doing here? about Drum Only or .... ?
“House of Grind Studio” is something I run by myself.  I needed a way to work with other musicians from across the globe.  It has grown into much more of the last few years.  I can record all of my own music, but I have also worked with other musicians there and do mixing, mastering and video editing work.  It is not my only job, but it does consume many hours when deadlines for albums are coming through.  I have recorded the entire Eschaton and new Pillory album performances in the studio. I also shoot and edit all of my drum videos there.

What are some albums you are listening to now?
I mostly have to listen to the music that I’m trying to learn! But outside of that I’ve most recently listened to Dream Theater “A Dramatic Turn of Events”, Dimmu Borgir “Spiritual Black Dimensions” and Fear Factory “Mechanize”.  There are many others but those are just off the top of my head.

How supportive are your family concerning your drumming?
My parents were extremely supportive and I could not be where I am today without them.  They always were happy with letting the bands come over and practice at the drummer’s house.  They helped me complete my education at Berklee College of Music and still support me even to this day with my technical, heavy music. 

I saw some of the video you are trying to play some Cover drumming, whether this is a form of a challenge than many people about whether you are able so to do, whether this drum cover video just as warm when you want to do? how about Comments so far from origin drummer track when you are doing that? I'm Still Surprize When you Play track Fleshgod Apocalypse - The Violation, That Very Amazing !!
I’m glad you enjoyed some of those videos.  I originally started with videos from bands that I played with and some people starting watching them and requesting other songs.  When I have some free time in between projects I try and fit in covers once in a while.  I like to pick something that is challenging but also something that people will enjoy.  I hope that if people like the cover videos then they will purchase more of the albums that I have been part of over the years.


Aside from drumming, what else do you like to do?
I have a family that I like to spend time with.  We enjoy being outdoors, playing and watching sports together and spending time with other friends and family. I like to play video games when I can find the time and spend a lot of time on personal fitness and some martial arts.  I like to stay busy.

What projects are planned for the next soon?
I’m not sure what I can and can’t announce right now.  But I am working on the drums for an album and have another lined up to do after.  I am also in contact with another artist to work on their record.  When I have some free time I will get back to working on some new Eschaton material and on the follow up to Pillory “Evolutionary Miscarriage”.  As much as I enjoying working with other musicians, it’s nice to work on your own personal music sometimes too.

Without any tricking for the ending session for this chance soon it will be continued, do you have a last command  to the LOSTINCHAOS readers  so this interview will one of the best be an affirmation and for who  are in awareness finding ? Thanks to you all guys,  keep on moving and stay Technical!
I just want to say thanks to everyone that reads LOSTINCHAOS and supports the music.  I hope you enjoy these interviews and please spread the word about the scene.   The fans inspire me to keep working hard and trying to put out the best music possible. If you enjoy my work please follow me and keep up with my current and past works.  Thanks again to LOSTINCHAOS and look out for the New Incinerate and Eschaton albums out in 2015!

Personal Website - http://darrencesca.weebly.com/

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