Kasbian’s Processed Beats: Masterclass With Ian Matthews

11 February, 2015

Being a BIMM Manchester student truly rocked last week when the drummer of one of the best UK bands of the last ten years visited the college for a not-to-be-missed Masterclass – Ian Matthews of Kasabian!

Ian began by telling the packed-out audience about life before Kasabian. Growing up, he was taught basic rhythms by his stepfather and was massively influenced by American jazz drummer, Buddy Rich. At 11 he joined the Drum Corps in Bristol, where he became a snare drummer and learned lots of different genres playing in orchestras at the weekend.

He was booked to be a pit drummer at the Hippodrome, which opened some doors, and eventually led to him becoming a session drummer. He then met the then un-signed band, Kasabian, and played on their debut single ‘Processed Beats’ in 2004, with a twisted ankle after falling down the stairs the day before the recording session! He was asked to tour with them later that year and in 2005 became a fully fledged member of the band – and the rest is history!

He spoke about their swift rise to the top, and the unwavering belief by guitarist Serge that they were going to be massive:

“It wasn’t a dream. He had so much confidence in the band… and it happened naturally, albeit with a lot of hard work.”

Ian told the room about the brilliance of his kit – 24 13 16 18 – saying:

“It looks best on a big stage and doesn’t have kit triggers, but plays with click all the time, so it’s the same every gig.”

He gave everyone a first-hand taste of his drumming style, and cited jazz, AC/DC and Iron Maiden as his favourite types of music, with his main musical influence being rock drummers in the 70s and 80s… the bigger the hair, the better.

He’s certainly lived a crazy rock and roll existence, and described touring with the band over 2010 and 2011 as some of the best times of his life. Over the years, Kasabian has played some truly incredible gigs, from headlining Glastonbury in 2014 to opening the BAFTAS last week at the Royal Opera House in front of the world’s biggest names in film.

The “inspiring” Masterclass drew to an end with Ian answering a round of questions from the audience, who were visibly impressed by his approachability and humbleness:

“It’s great to have a ginormous guest like Ian, and see he has a really great, positive attitude,”

said Diploma Guitar student, Kieron McMahon. Diploma Drums student, Andrew Marshall-Lee, agreed:

“Ian’s really down to earth and it was great to hear about the dynamic in Kasabian and how well they get along.”

Thanks for visiting us Ian. Come back any time… and feel free to bring the rest of the boys too!

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