Article by: Leanne Ridgeway
The Gear Assembly interview series is especially for the music gear addicts, or simply the curious like myself.
Each article in the Gear Assembly series features a different musician answering the same questions, highlighting both their varying preference in music gear, as well as their own music that results from using that gear. Hopefully it brings some awareness to both the artists and their gear makers. You’re reading, so we’ve got at least one more. Find new music, learn about who’s making it and what they use to create it…
GEAR ASSEMBLY Series #21:
WORSHIPPER / SUMMONER’s Dave Jarvis
Mr. Jarvis has been part of the heavy doom realm of Worshipper since the early days with their debut album ‘Shadow Hymns,’ through their most recent single ‘Slipping Away‘ last month. As of a little over a year ago, Dave also joined on with Summoner‘s atmospheric stoner rock brigade, just in time to play at their ‘Live At Day Of Doom‘ performance, with an album from it soon to be released at the end of this year.
Both bands are in the midst of writing new music and maneuvering the present state of a world temporarily without tours, but let’s get the facts direct from Jarvis himself, as he’s here to be our twenty-first piece in the Gear Assembly! Rock on…
Riff Relevant /Leanne: What instrument(s) do you play?
Drums / Percussion
Riff Relevant /Leanne: Give us a rundown of your current live gear set-up.
I have two kits in rotation right now. One is small for touring purposes.
Kit #1 is a 1970 Rogers Holiday set
Kit #2 is a 2012 DW Collectors set
Riff Relevant: When was the exact moment you realized you wanted to play your instrument(s)? Who was your primary influence at that moment?
I used to play guitar and sing in bands until I was about 16, but I wasn’t very good at it.
There were kids around who were way better than me, so I started playing the drums by jumping on other people’s kits when they got up to use the bathroom or go outside to smoke when we were jamming. I was able to pick it up pretty quick and felt so much more comfortable hiding behind the kit.
My half brother’s dad was a drummer in the 70’s and 80’s in some regional bar bands and had this amazing Fibes clear acrylic kit that he let me borrow so I could learn on my own. It just took off from there.
I think my influences at the time were Dave Grohl, Dale Crover, Bonham, and anything else that was simple and big.
Riff Relevant: Which one of your songs best exemplifies you as a musician? Why?
That’s a tough question. I’ll just default to “Black Corridor” from our first album ‘Shadow Hymns‘.
I’m rarely satisfied with all of my parts once a song is finished and recorded. This track wrote itself and was so easy to finish and knock out in the studio. I’m not really into complicated parts. I just want my drum parts to be simple and driving.
Riff Relevant: Is there specific gear you prefer to use in the studio that would be different from your live set-up?
Sometimes I use my kits, sometimes I use what’s available in the studio. Depends on the studio and the sound we’re going for.
Riff Relevant: Any type of pre-show/practice warm up rituals?
Stretch my hands / forearms and nervously drink beer.
Riff Relevant: How do you keep things interesting when able to be out on tour & playing the same set each night?
I like the challenge of working on making the set tighter every night. I have a hard enough time just doing that.
We’ll change out songs here and there, or add songs if needed, but I prefer to keep it the same if possible.
Riff Relevant: What do you think gives your playing its signature sound?
I don’t know if I have a signature sound… I just try to keep the plane in the air, you know?
People tell me my playing has a lot of swing to it. It doesn’t always translate to heavy music, but I like that because I get bored with heavy music being the same a lot.
Riff Relevant: Any brand loyalty? Are you partial to one company over another? Any current sponsorships or your own signature gear?
I play Vater 5a Los Angeles sticks. I can’t live without them. PLEASE SPONSOR ME.
Other than that I don’t really have a ton of brand loyalty.
Riff Relevant: What is the most important piece of equipment currently in your live set-up? Why? What is it about that one?
It’s definitely my Ludwig Supraphonic snare. Getting it has changed my feel.
Having a snare that cuts without having to smash it makes all the difference in the world when you’re playing loud music. I tend to over exert myself when I’m not comfortable or can’t hear what’s going on.
Riff Relevant: What do you enjoy doing outside of music, that you feel ultimately contributes to your musicality? (For example, a hobby that you turn to in order to stimulate your creativity.)
Outside of music I’m a bore. I don’t really have a lot of hobbies besides hoarding vinyl.
I think going to shows and watching other drummers gives me inspiration. I feed off of what others are doing.
Riff Relevant: Are there any newly emerging artists or bands who are currently influencing you (or you just enjoy)? If yes, how so?
I don’t do a lot of seeking out new music, because I stink.
Ziptie Handcuffs – 3 piece punk/psych awesomeness out of Boston.
Lesser Glow – Post hardcore, noise rock, post rock from Boston.
Horseburner – Epic metal/stoner from West Virginia.
Holy Grove – Heavy rock from Portland, Oregon.
Riff Relevant: If you could give one piece of advice to an up and coming musician, what would it be?
There are so many people trying to do what you’re doing right now. It’s hard to stand out. I would say my biggest advice is don’t be a dick. Show up on time. Return emails. Thank bookers and clubs for helping you out.
I find that scenes will out people/bands who don’t act at least somewhat professional. Make friends. That’s what this is all about. If you think you’re gonna be rich from doing this, you’re lying to yourself.
Riff Relevant: How has the pandemic impacted your music life or career? What are some ways you’ve been doing things differently?
It’s brought it to almost a complete halt honestly. No practices. No shows. No tours. My drums are at my practice space but I rarely get to play them. Both bands are writing in their own capacities.
With Summoner, we’ve managed to get into the practice space and rehearse a new tune a few times before going into the studio and recording our first track with me on the drums. We are slowly working on a new album.
Worshipper hasn’t played since we got off the road in March when the world shut down, but there are songs and demos being shared via dropbox for now, which is good news. When this blows over we’ll get back to work on album #3.
Riff Relevant: If you could have any music gear you wanted, what would be your ideal set up?
I think my DW kit, but with a 24 inch kick drum instead of my giant 28 inch kick. Other than that, I have the gear I want.
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