Drumming isn’t just beating the drums with a pair of sticks. It demands the drummer to fully open up to his senses so as to have both the body and the mind directing together the infinite sound palette that a drum set can offer. Drumming is telling a story on a very versatile instrument.
To play the drums is to interact with the other musicians, feeling each other, completing and bolstering each other. That’s the essence of musicking. A good technique and control of the instrument are essential yet subordinate to this ultimate goal.
Growing up on the countryside near Brussels, I first sat behind a drum kit when I was 9 years old. The following year I enrolled in the local music school only to find out that although drums lessons were promoted, the school did not have a teacher and asked me whether I wouldn’t go for violin or piano instead. Luckily I was determined and soon thereafter they found Wim De Bie who taught me for the next 5 years.
Taking drum lessons in the rehearsal space of the local brass band evidently triggered my interest in applying my knowledge by joining them. Starting with the concert bass drum at the age of 12, I gradually discovered the world of concert percussion and 2 years later I took up the stool behind the drums. At about the same time the saxophone player asked me whether I wanted to join a real band, playing surf music. I had no idea what that was, but I still remember bringing my drums there, setting up, trying to play what the band instructed me when at some point the lead guitar player attacked Misirlou and I was blown away.
A couple months later, before turning 15, I was touring Germany playing this extremely cool music that nobody of my school peers knew anything about. Touring, playing, recording and releasing with Los Venturas became a part of my life and has been ever since. As did my interest in developing my skills, learning different styles and playing with different musicians. Ranging from chamber music to ska-punk, during my 20’s I was open to any kind of music that could challenge me. Playing with Kostas Chatz made me rethink my traditional approach to the drum kit and working with Raphael van Goubergen has greatly enlarged my musical vocabulary and understanding of jazz. Though I would never consider myself a jazz drummer, learning how to swing and improvise, has given me great joy.
My skills further developed when I took on a teaching job at Class & Jazz, a private music school. I have taught there with love and passion for 9 years until I moved to Italy in 2018. This is where I reconnected with my origins as a surf drummer and joined the rhythm section of Surfer Joe, full time touring musician. While enjoying the life on the road, expanding my network in new surroundings will definitely lead to interesting new collaborations.