Ben Thompson Tells us What he Knows

12 February, 2015

BIMM graduate and live drummer for Two Door Cinema Club, Ben Thompson, has proved he’s an all-round top bloke by joining us for Masterclasses throughout January and February at three of our BIMM colleges – London, Brighton and Manchester.

For each event, Ben was joined by fellow BIMM alumni, Pete MacCourt, who himself is a session bassist well-versed in many different genres, having worked with artists including Della Lupa, Jenna Bennett, The Weight, Murdoch’s Crazy Eyes and Phonic Boom.

Ben talked about his time at BIMM Brighton where he studied a Professional Diploma in Music Performance (Drums) and how, at the age of only 17, he got his big break with the band after an intense recruitment process – he travelled to London, did an audition for them and the following day was asked to attend a sound check before a gig. The next day he began a week of rehearsals and he hasn’t left the road with them since!

Ben and Pete discussed the audition process in general, and talked about some of the most essential skills required of a musician in today’s industry, plus the realities of touring and performing to huge crowds around the world. As part of the band, Ben has played at some of the world’s biggest and most iconic venues, as well as major festivals including Reading and Leeds, Glastonbury, V, T in the Park, Bestival, Radio 1’s Big Weekend, Coachella (USA), Summersonic (Japan) and many more.

Together the boys performed a range of material, including a couple of Two Door Cinema Club tracks, and answered some great questions from our students. They showed the importance of performing as a tight rhythm section, and gave tips and techniques on how to become a better session musician.

This Masterclass series has really highlighted just how much our current students can benefit from being connected to the BIMM Alumni Network – after all, the best people to give them advice on how to make it in the music industry are those who’ve already been in their position and have done just that. As Ben himself says:

“If you go to the college and know what you want to do; if you turn up to classes, be reliable and the most important thing for me – to network with the hundreds of musicians there… and even the lecturers – then it will help you take the next step into the industry.”

We love to keep in touch with our students after they leave, and it’s always great when our past graduates come back to chat with our current students – Ben has even visited us for our BIMM Summer Schools! It’s been amazing watching the careers of both Ben and Pete go from strength to strength – and it’s living proof that we’re all just one big happy connected family here at BIMM.

Thanks to Ben and Pete for visiting us all, and we hope to see you both again soon!

© 2020 BIMM Institute
British and Irish Modern Music Institute