Artist Spotlight: Drummer Avinash Ramachandra
LOS ANGELES - India-born drummer Avinash Ramachandra is known for his work in such bands as The Acid Quartet, The Caleb Mark Band and others. Most recently, he joined the band Bones Like Snowflakes which is known for its eclectic post-rock sound which features electric guitars and synthesizers in a blend of rock, jazz and reggae into a compelling blend of instrumental sound.
Ramachandra is joining the band just as before it kicks off its tour in Los Angeles and in support of an upcoming album. We spoke with Ramachandra and got his take on music, his new band his career overall.
Question: What led you to get interested in the drums? Did you drive your parents crazy banging on drums all the time?
Answer: It seemed like such a complex instrument with so many choices and so much to experiment with and watching Nico live playing with Iron Maiden just made the choice for me. I played on the table and chairs or anything I could get my hands on at the house, which drove my parents crazy. They ended up buying me a drum set and sound proofing my room where I ended up playing for eight hours every single day.
Q: Who did you admire as a drummer and did you pattern yourself after them? A: At the moment I’ve been into a drummer named Gavin Harrison who plays for Porcupine Tree. His approach to drumming is very very different from everyone else around and i gravitate towards that and it helps me keep my playing fresh .
Q: What is the music scene like in India? Is it getting more diverse or interesting now than in the past?
A: The music scene in India is definitely improving, but it still has a long way to go. People there look at music as a hobby and don’t really consider it to be a profession. If that mentality changes everything will fall in place really fast.
Q: What was it like to audition for Bones Like Snowflakes? Did you realize right away that you had the gig?
A: Post rock is not very mainstream at all. Well at least not yet. For a long time now, it’s been my favorite genre of music to listen to and playing post rock music requires a very different approach as it deals a lot with messing around with time signatures and has a really different song structure. You don’t want to end up counting in your head the whole time. It’s no fun that way. Since it’s my favorite kind of genre I sort of developed a knack to writing drum grooves and playing them. It definitely separates me from other drummers. And as soon as we jammed with the band we all just knew that we had something special here.
Q: Post Rock is only now coming into its own. What attracted you to joining a post rock band like Bones Like Snowflakes?
A: The band already had a couple albums out, I heard the music and was hooked to it.They were looking for a drummer and Marvin from the band contacted me.Its wierd sometimes how things work out.
Q: Do you feel the pressure of being the heartbeat of the band when you're on stage? Is that daunting for you?
A: As a drummer I am the backbone of the band and I have the responsibity to start the song of with absolute confidence and take it from there. I am always well prepared before the show and no I don’t get nervous. In fact, the feeling of playing on stage is something I crave.
Q: What was it like performing with Caleb Mark and his bluesy sound?
A: Performing with Caleb Mark is always fun. His energy levels are always through the roof and he’s such a fun guy to be around.
Q: What do you do for fun, besides playing drums?
A: Besides playing the drums I play football semi-professionally or what in America they call soccer. I have been playing soccer since I was 6 years old and it’s my favorite thing ever other than music. I also mix and master music for other bands and often produce as well for independent artists since I am Apple Logic Pro X and Avid Pro Tools certified.