As we all know, Thomas needs no introduction. He is one of the world’s top drummers and he’s heading back to Oz to debut his Drumming Boot Camp to the land down under. And not only that, but Lang is also co-headlining this year’s Drumscene Live National Tour, culminating with his appearance at Australia’s Ultimate Drummers Weekend’s 20th Anniversary Concert.
Let’s talk about the Boot Camp: you will be debuting the camp in Australia in Melbourne in August this year. What can attendees expect from the camp?
Over the last 15 to 20 years drummers from all over the world have often approached me for private lessons while I’ve been on tour. And on days that I have off I would rather do something productive than nothing, so I started doing private lessons in Hotel meeting rooms or wherever, and it was always fun and great to meet people and do something productive. And out of this came the idea for the Boot Camps. At one point one of the students said, “Hey, do you mind if I bring a friend and we’ll share the cost?” And another time I had 7 to 8 people sitting in a meeting room in a Hotel, and it was a little chaotic and I decided, ok I can organise this. I can plan this properly get gear for everybody to practice on etc and advertise it, and that’s how the Boot campaign started. I started doing these camps in late 2009 and I have done about 24 to 25 camps around the world so far. What I try to do is create a camp that is very different from other drum camps.
Let’s talk about the Drumscene Live Tour coming up in August, you are co-headlining along with Dave Weckl and Dom Famularo. No doubt you have come across each other at various drumming events over the years?
Yes, Dave is a good friend he lives close to me and I see him frequently. I’ve played with Dave many times at different drum events and also I have done drum camps with him over the years, like the Drum Fantasy Camp in Cleveland. We’ve done that twice together, that’s a week long camp. So we’re friends and very close, and with Dom I have done many things over the years including a Drumscene Live Tour in Australia a few years ago, and I’ve performed with Dom at many festivals. I know him well it will be a lot of fun to hang with those guys and I’ll have a ball. It’s going to be an amazing experience - Dom has such a great sense of humour he’s so entertaining and fun. I’m looking forward to catching up with them both.
To finish up, Thomas, what’s coming up after the Drumscene Live Tour and your performance at Australia’s Ultimate Drummers Weekend AUDW 20th Anniversary?
I’m currently working on a new Stork album - we’ve added a singer to the line up now, a female singer, which is very different, and I’m excited about this new direction. I’m also working on Paul Gilbert’s Mr Big new album. I have also produced and recorded two more albums, an instrumental Fusion record and a World Music record with great guests like Luis Conte, Paul Gilbert etc. I wrote all the music and produced that record also. And I work a lot with my Italian friend Gianna Nannini. I’ve been working with her for 15 years or so, she’s my ‘regular gig’, if you like. I’ve played on ten albums with her and I’ve done all of her tours and we just released a special DVD live CD and studio CD from the last tour.
BY ALEX DEEGAN