Ronnie Vannuci Interview – by Travis Marc – 2010.
Ronnie Vannuci is a killer drummer, who happens to play for “The Killers”. I was lucky enough to sit down with him and talk a little bit about drums,for a few minutes, before their sold out show at the Dome in Jhb, South Africa. Here’s what this solid stickman had to say…
It’s your first time in South Africa, how do you like it so far, and have our crowds differed in anyway to that of say a Las Vegas based Killers crowd?
They’re actually very similar. Sometimes it’s a little rough for us, we travel so much, that on occasion it’s as if he hit stage and feel as though we should be hitting the sack. But, we always give it our all, so the crowd response is generally fairly similar…
Tell us about the products you use, and why you choose to use them?
To put it simply, I basically only use stuff that I like. I’ve been playing most of the products that I endorse for most of my life, and although I’ve tried a lot of different products on the market, I always land up coming back to what I’m used to.
You always manage to get such a huge sound on the Killers recordings, what’s your secret?
Honestly, I’m not really happy with a lot of the sounds that we achieve. I’m always the guy who wants to redo things and re-record the tracks so that we can get the best performance possible. Recording parts or songs has a lot to do with trial and error, because sometimes you get it, and sometimes you don’t. I’m not really concerned with studio trickery though as I really do believe that a good performance overrides and sound or studio gimmick that can be added after the take. I do enjoy recording though, and find myself looking more into what makes the great sounds great. It’s cool. I guess the bottom line would have to be that you really need to get your stuff together before you try and record, that way you have more chance of getting that “great performance”.
Who are your influences?
So many guys man, Brian Blade, Jay Z Johnson, Billy Martin, John Bonham, Stewart Copeland etc, etc. I’ve always thought that the greatest thing about drummers is that if they’re really doing their jobs well, they can’t really hide what they’re doing, because there’s no way to pose or front because of the physicality of the instrument.
Tell us about your input within the writing process with the Killers?
We all get really involved with it, so that we all get a fair input. Sometimes songs are brought into the rehearsal room, and are almost complete and sometimes they’re not, but for the most part it’s really a team effort.
What has been the best piece of drumming advice you have ever received?
Be musical. Just because you’re playing the drums, doesn’t mean you have to be a knuckle dragging cave man. Create hooks and treat the drums as a musical/melodic instrument because there’s more to it, than just hitting stuff all the time.
UK Drummer do not own the rights to the above used photographs, thank you.