Interview with Jack Freestone

Interview with Jack Freestone

We recently caught up with our resident drum teacher Jack Freestone, owner of Leicester Drum Lessons to find out a bit about his background and what its like having a career playing drums.

What got you into playing drums?

Funnily enough, it was another resident of Stayfree – Bhav, of Beats And Vocals Studios that got me into all of this. I’ve known Bhav since nursery school, he’s my best mate! In secondary school Bhav decided to grow his hair out, wear skinny jeans, and get a drum kit in his bedroom. I followed suit on all three. Growing my hair took the same amount of time as it did convince my parents playing the drums wasn’t another fad. Eventually they kindly gifted me a red Sonix fusion kit for my 16th birthday from Sheehans on London Road. My drum kit was in my cold, damp garage which was covered in high quality sound proofing materials – egg crates! Unfortunately the sound proofing failed and I constantly had angry neighbours banging on my garage door. Long story short, I then studied music performance at both college and university. I have a degree in playing drums!

 

What is drumming for a career like? What opportunities have you had?

When I graduated from university I spent the best part of year working on my reading and auditioning for cruise ship gigs. An agency called Sonic Artists took me on and I did the sight-reading show band gig on a cruise ship for 10 months straight! Before this I’d been out of the country once, so it was an amazing experience for me getting to travel all over the world. I recorded the audition video for this at Stayfree! During my contract I met a guest entertainer band called ‘The Runaround Kids’. Guest entertainers don’t live on board but rather fly around joining various cruise ships. The major perk was you got plenty of time at home in between. When they offered me some work I snapped there hand off. I still work with them today 4 years later. My time on cruise ships is by far my fondest memories within my music career.

What bands are you in?

Aside from the generic cover/function bands I play with in the summer, I’m currently playing with an artist called Harri Georgio from Leicester. It’s the first original project I’ve been involved with and it’s very refreshing to not be playing covers. It’s a fun challenge to take Harri’s recorded music, specifically the sampled drum parts and re create them for a live performance with real drums. We have done some great gigs which include playing Y Not festival under BBC Introducing, along with supporting the likes of Fun Loving Criminals, Dub Pistols and The Dualers. If your’e interested you can find his music on Spotify – Harri Georgio 

Who are your drumming idols?

I have a lot. At the moment Freddy Sheed from the UK is up there. I managed to have a few lessons with him  a few years back. The only plus side of the pandemic was that my favourite musicians became available for lessons as they weren’t out on tour. I also love Aaron Sterling, he’s recorded for everyone and plays in the live band of my favourite artist – John Mayer. Others would include Steve Gadd, Steve Jordan, Jim Keltner and Ronnie Tutt. I love simplicity and playing for the music, it’s hard!

How long have you been teaching drumming?

I’ve been teaching private lessons for 5 years or so now, with all of it being done from Stayfree. I’ve changed resident rooms a few times and painted my fair share of white walls, I really try my best to make the room welcoming! I’m very grateful for my room at Stayfree, I know lots of drummers who don’t have any where to play drums let alone teach. In the past year I’ve also started to work with a few other freelance drum tutors, this is great as we now have increased availability throughout the week!

If you are interested having lessons from Jack or one of his associates you can get in touch with him at leicesterdrumlessons@gmail.com or call him on 07910 690938. Lessons are held on the second floor here at Stayfree. Find out more at leicesterdrumlessons.com/

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