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Interviews |  27 Feb 2015 17:19 |  By RnMTeam

Pete Lockett excited about prospects with Fazal Qureshi, Selva Ganesh and Anindo Chatterjee

Pete Lockett, the well known English percussionist, is in India to perform and advice drumming enthusiasts during a drumming workshop, in association with Furtados. Lockett has previously worked with Grammy Award nominated artistes, such as Björk, Peter Gabriel, Amy Winehouse, Pet Shop Boys and Sinéad O'Connor. Lockett released a book in 2008 called ‘Indian Rhythms For Drumset’, and even released a mobile application for iPhone and iPad about learning percussion and drums. Lockett spoke with about his Indian tour, Indian music, his book and mobile application.


How has your India tour been so far?

There are some amazing gigs with Selva Ganesh and the Idea Jalsa tour in Hyderabad and Bangalore. Next up, there is a performance for Banyan Tree with Anindo Chatterjee and his son Anubratu. After that, we have the workshop with Furtados in Mumbai.

You were in Varanasi recently. How was that?

I have been meaning to come here for years. I am blown away by the city. It has such an amazing intensity.

What aspect of Indian music attracts you most?

You cannot separate music from its culture and people, as an abstract. There has always been something there for me with India. Hard to pin down but it is very addictive! The cities are so packed, yet you feel safe pretty much wherever you are. Everything is complex, the music, the spice combinations in the food, the traffic, the electronic cables in the street, yet it all makes total sense. The music does exactly that for me. It is a combination of explosive virtuosity, fireworks, deep reflective moods, mathematics, poetry and a really good story and narrative. 

You are well known for using the Indian rhythmic systems and instruments. Which other percussion instruments do you play?

My instrument is ‘multi – percussion’.  They are all my family. Luckily I cover many zones, from north and south Indian to Arabic, African Latin and more, I love them all. I cannot choose one over the other and instead bring them all together into my hybrid world where I try to create a hybrid rhythmic 'smörg?sbord' which not only reflects my individuality but also reflects the integrity of the specific traditions with pride. This is vitally important. However, I would say that certainly the Indian stuff is the most challenging, both intellectually and physically.

What advice would you give to those eager to learn drums?

To make a sound on the drums is very hard in the beginning and the rhythmic systems are very complex. It takes years to even get a foothold.  However, an important area to master is your philosophy of what you are doing and why you are doing it. I want to be able to use what I can do effectively, and for me, to get more technically able is not the only answer to making music. In fact, if anything, I want my playing to be less technical, I want less technique than I have got. In time, I realised that you can make music on an instrument without having any technique. Of course you have got to be of a musical mind, like someone like Keith Jarrett.

You have previously worked with a number of mainstream artists. Are you working with anyone right now? How does the collaboration sound?

I am lucky to have many amazing collaborations currently. I have just been touring with Selva Ganesh and I am about to perform with Anindo Chatterjee. I have also just finished a new album with Fazal Qureshi. These are such exciting prospects!

How did you get associated with Furtados?

Luckily for me, Furtados distribute two of my endorsing companies, Mapex Drums and Zildjian Cymbals. The vibe that I have got from everyone at the company is entirely positive and supportive. They have a massive infrastructure across the whole of India and so that will be a vital link for me with my future projects here.

Could you tell us a little about your workshop?

It is about presenting information in a clear and concise way whilst, hopefully, inspiring and instilling belief in participants that they can improve their playing. The other important point of focus will be philosophy. Try to understand what it is you are doing and why.

What is your opinion on students choosing to learn percussion based instruments?

It is the best idea in the world!