In 2018 drummer Allan Bone (Tokyo Roze) joined the band Every Mother’s Nightmare. Bone came in to the band a during turbulent time but after only 4 rehearsals, EMN was off to Ohio to play their first show with Allan, the HighVolMusic Summer Bash. Needless to say but we will, that he locked the job almost immediately and the band has been better for it ever since. We recently caught up with Bone for a Q&A…
Give us a little history on how you got in to music and what inspired to you to play drums.
Bone: I’ve always enjoyed music from a very young age. I remember being up late several times when I was a little kid seeing Buddy Rich on the Tonight Show and being blown away. I just always thought drums were cool as shit. I loved the way Ed Shaughnessy played the theme song too. That gave me a subconscious itch, and then I discovered KISS and Peter Criss. He had this massive Pearl kit and big drum riser and I was hooked.
Did you have a drum teacher or are you self-taught? If self-taught, how did you teach yourself?
Bone: I took a few lessons early on, but I really wasn’t into it. I just wanted to play rock n roll. Once I figured out how to play a 4/4 beat I was done with lessons. I wish I had studied more and learned more music theory, but I was in my rock n roll rebellious stage and didn’t wanna deal with more authority than I already had with parents and teachers at school. I started playing along with records and figuring it out on my own. I started out on Kiss, Scorpions, Priest, Maiden, AC/DC, Van Halen, and on and on.
What were the things that you practiced that brought you the best results?
Bone: I just practiced playing songs that I loved. The more I played, the better I got, and the more I loved it.
Let’s talk a bit about foot technique. What advice can you give readers about developing speed and accuracy?
Bone: My right foot isn’t as fast as it once was (need to do some wood shedding before we go back out touring). It’s all about repetition and muscle memory. Some of these younger guys play some crazy fast double bass stuff that I can’t play, but it’s not really my thing. A good starting point to develop right foot speed is to sit down with “Good Times Bad Times”.
What type of grip to you use on the sticks?
Bone: I play matched grip, and I hold the sticks about as close to the butt end as
What type of warm up techniques do you do?
Bone: Honestly, I rarely do any warm ups before a I just make sure my body is warm and loose and I try to stay hydrated.
How often do you practice playing the drums?
Bone: As far as me just sitting down behind the kit alone, I don’t get to practice nearly as much as I’d like to. When I’m not writing, rehearsing, or touring with EMN I play in a local cover band. We do your typical bar gigs which consist of (3) 60 minute sets. Between 5-6 of those gigs per month and 2-3 EMN rehearsals each week, I get a lot of time behind the kit. I’ve always enjoyed trying new licks during a gig, mainly because it’s the only chance I have to develop my chops. I have a couple of drummer buds here that like to come see me play because they never know what I’m gonna do. I like to keep it fun and spontaneous. It’s kind like sex. Ya gotta change things up and keep ’em guessing or else it gets boring as f**k.
What type of player are you? Are you a flashy Tommy Lee type player or more of a John Bonham type player and why?
Bone: I used to do a lot of flashy stuff back in the twirling and throwing the sticks etc. Back when I was on the road in the 80’s on the cover circuit, I did a solo every night and lit my sticks on fire in the middle of it. It looked way cool but it was hell on drum heads. I’m really more about the feel and groove now, plus I do a good bit of singing, so I’ve got plenty going on back there.
Who is your favorite drummer?
Bone: Favorite drummer?? .. That’s a tough one. Obviously Bonzo is at the top of the list, but there are so many. Tommy Aldridge was always a huge influence from his time with Black Oak and Travers, to Ozzy and Whitesnake. Ray Luzier is crazy good. Portnoy, Eric Singer, Peart (of course), Nicko, Benante. When I’m sitting around losing track of time on YouTube these days, I tend to spend a lot of time watching Brian Tichy. That guy is a beast! Phenomenal groove player and has the coolest, tastiest chops! If you’re not familiar definitely check him out!
What was your first kit and what is your ultimate drum kit?
Bone: My first kit was a blue marine pearl, Maxitone kit. It was a 4 piece kit and I added 3 roto toms. My ultimate kit is probably my current touring kit, Ludwig Vistalites. Bonzo setup, 1 up, 2 down. 24,14, 16, 18. I love em and they sound HUGE!!
Can you tell us what drum setup you are currently using in the studio and on the road?
Bone: I think I just answered this above. As far as recording, it depends on the track. I used my Vistas on about half of the upcoming album and the studio’s house DW kit on the rest. Several different snares, but mostly 2 of my Luddy supraphonics and a 8×14 black beauty.
Tell us about your cymbal setup and why this brand.
Bone: I own quite a few cymbals. Zildjian, Sabian,and Paiste, and I change them around occasionally except for my ride. I have an old 20″ Paiste color sound and I’m I love with the bell on that cymbal.
Tell us about you pedal setup and why you chose this brand.
Bone: I am currently playing a DW 5000 double pedal. I’ve tried many over the years and broken a lot of chains and foot boards along the way. I’ve had this pedal for about 7-8 years and it has been through the ringer. Road tested and thousands of hours and it’s still going strong.
You landed the Every Mother’s Nightmare gig, tell us how you landed the gig and what your experiences have been.
Bone: I’m coming up on 2 years with EMN and it’s been a great gig for me. It was a great fit from the first audition. It’s funny because Troy and Rick always say “how the hell have we all lived in the same city all these years and not known each other?!” I was hanging out at a local watering hole 2 years ago with some of my musician buds when Rick came walking up. I knew who he was since I’d seen them play from time to time over the years. He knew the guys I was hanging with and they started shooting the shit. My buddy Tracy asked Rick how things were going with EMN and he said “we’re looking for a new drummer”. Tracy, without hesitation, points at me and says “that’s your guy right there.” Rick and I talked for a quick minute and that was it. I didn’t think much of it at the time. There was alcohol involved and since I was an unknown I figured they’d go a different route. As luck would have it I went to high school with their tour mgr and Rick’s long time friend. A couple of weeks went by and I got a message asking if I was interested in the gig. I said “hell yeah!” The next question was “how easy is it for you to travel?” I replied ” my kids are grown, I’m self employed, and I’ve got a valid passport. They gave me a set list and I went in 3 days later and we blistered through about 8 songs. 2 more rehearsals and we hit the road for a few shows. They officially offered me the gig after the first show and here we are.
EMN has been around for a while now. How does the band differ from the beginning to what the band is now?
Bone: The band has been around for a long time and obviously had some personnel and changes.The thing we keep hearing, especially when people hear the new songs, is that this is by far the best version of this band. All I can say is I love all my bandmates and it feels really good when we play. Writing the album was an adventure and for the most part it went surprisingly smooth. We had a few nights where we left and weren’t really speaking to each other, but that’s just part of the process. There were 2 songs in particular that we really butted heads on, but the finished product is great and I couldn’t be happier with the album.
What have been the biggest challenges in working in a band like EMN?
Bone: Honestly, this is one of the easiest of any band I’ve worked with. As I said previously, it’s a great fit. We all get along and work well together. I think the biggest challenge has been trying to decide which of the 11 new songs would be the first single.
Are you working on a new album? If so, tell us about it.
Bone: As I’m answering this question we have recently completed recording a new album and it went to mastering a few days ago. It’s due for release in the fall. We wrote 10 new songs and recorded one that’s a surprise. This album is the heaviest thing EMN has ever done. I’m super proud of what we accomplished and can’t wait to get it out there for everyone to hear. We didn’t set out to write a heavy album or try to write hit songs or anything like that. We just did us. Our influences can definitely be heard in certain places on this one.
Tell us about what you have coming up in the next few months.
Bone: We have a few shows coming up in the next few months, depending on the stage of the world. We are preparing to shoot the first 2 videos for the first 2 singles. Things are busy with photo shoots,press, etc. I think 2021 is going to be a good year for EMN. It’s bound to be better than 2020!!!
What advice can you offer aspiring musicians?
Bone: My advice to aspiring musicians is to play as much as possible. Work with as many different players as you can. The more you play the better your chops will be, and the more people you play with, the more you’ll learn about what to do and what not to do. Be prepared and professional and always be humble. We’re all in this together and there’s no room for ego trips. Do what you love and enjoy it while you can. Play every gig like it’s your last.