INTERVIEW: Professional Drummer Isaias Gil

Hi Isaias, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?

Howdy VENTS! I’m doing well! Thank you for letting me be part of this.

How were you drawn into drumming?

Music was always around my folks house. I think most kids are naturally drawn to the physicality of drumming and that was no different for me. I just dug how I could swing my arms and move my feet and if I did it in the right order then maybe music could be created.

Usually as a musician, especially drummers, tend to settle down with a band or an artist, however in your case you have provided your talent to a wide range of musical acts – what’s been that experience like?

The experience has been hella fun. I’m never bored at the gigs. I try to find a new thing that’ll make me sound a little more genuine to the genre I get to play that night. Also, I may not seem settled down but I feel like I’m very much a part of all of the bands. Up to this point the schedules have allowed to play all of them with little to no overlap. However, if I can’t make a show and I get a sub I feel so bummed. I enjoy all of the folks I get to play with and I try to always be available when I’m needed.

Does it get difficult to jump from one different group to the other?

When I first started playing country music it did. I was playing too hard or coming in with fills that were not “country-ish”. The guys were very patient with me though and would get me hip to certain songs to reference or a feel to go for. I think that was the hardest. Once that got set I feel like it helped me “feel” music differently. I could play a train-beat for what might seem like an eternity to other drummers and I’d focus on new aspects of it. The dynamic between the notes that weren’t full on snare hits or I’d try to make the feel become like a billiard ball rolling down a table. Stuff like that started becoming more and more fun rather than difficult.

How this back and forth has help you grow as a drummer? Have you gotten to learn some new skills?

I’d like to think that it’s made me more aware of the intricacies that go into a “feel” or a “vibe” of the tune. Understanding that the guitar could be driving the tune and not the drums or maybe it’s the bass. I then have to find a way to support that. I can still be part of the foundation even when I don’t strike a steady grouping of notes. Does the space add more anticipation to the song? Will this “BOOM BASH POW” really add something to it or is it just me trying to fit in the latest thing that I’m working on? All of the different groups have helped me see this in each genre. I think that has been an important skill. The other skill, and I’d say this is more important than the previous one, is the art of listening. Not only to the music you’re playing but be present in conversations. Listen when someone is giving the game plan for the rehearsal or for the lobby call or for the lunch options. So many times we get so into what we are working on and someone is speaking and we miss it. We miss the conversation because we are tuning or noodling mindlessly. Listen to the information that may or may not seem important. I’ve had to get some people to repeat themselves and I feel terrible as it wasted everyones time. Not to mention it’s just common courtesy and the kind thing to do.

Taking this in consideration – have you come up with a formula or do you take a different approach depending on the act?

I think just being mindful has been a solid formula. I try to be mindful of the lyricist or the arranger. Serving each individual with respect isn’t that hard and that usually goes a long way. Being a good person to hang with goes a long way with any act and any crew.

Can we expect in the near future perhaps a solo material? How’s that coming along?

I worked on some solo stuff a little while ago. I really wanted to play some complex things and show how I could fill over the bar-line and maybe lose a few people in the process just to show them where the ONE is a few measures later. That was fun for me at that time but I feel like my taste and message has changed. I don’t really want to prove I can play weird stuff anymore. I want to make music people can smile with or feel whatever emotion is put on it.  I hope to record some stuff but it might be more acoustic guitar driven or something super abstract so that you can pop it in during a long drive and it just plays in the background. Who knows? I’m all over the place but I do have some things recorded and I have to focus on sorting those ideas out.

What else is happening next in Isaias Gil’s world?

Next up is serving whoever wants to have me. I really dig getting new opportunities and meeting new people in the process. That’s been my favorite thing to be a part of (second to hitting drums;). I’m here and happy to be part of anything anyone thinks I could help with. I want to be a part of the crew that helps the main artist, for lack of better words, to deliver their message clearly and as they intended for it to be delivered. Whether in a studio or in a live setting it is a privilege for me to help with that process.

Isaias Gil

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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