Gideon Waxman is the founder of Drum Helper, an amazing website with free drumming resources for everyone, from newbies to pros. I was excited to interview him and hope you’ll enjoy it as well!
Gideon Waxman Interview
I’m really thankful to Gideon for being here. If you enjoyed this interview, please check him out on his social media links posted below!
Let’s start with the basics: How did you get into music? Was/is your family supportive?
My family has a piano in the house, and my parents tried to get me and my sisters to learn from a young age. I didn’t enjoy it at all. In fact, I would try and hide before my piano teacher arrived!
A couple of years passed and when I was 10 I became fascinated by drums. All I wanted was a drum set, and thankfully my parents bought me one for Christmas (or Chanukah in my family) and I became obsessed! I began having lessons when I started high school, and I just loved playing, and haven’t looked back.
Since then I just became more involved and interested in music, and I achieved a music scholarship towards the end of high school, with most of my academic study being focused on music.
My family has definitely been supportive of me over the course of my music education and professional music pursuits.
That’s awesome that they were supportive! Who are your drumming idols? Who should young drummers look up to?
There are way too many to mention! The world is full of unbelievable drumming talents. But if I had to mention a few, it would be drummers that tick all of my boxes. Drummers that have an incredible groove and playing feel, as well as an ability to bust out blistering chops (but tastefully) when required to do so.
Steve Gadd, Neil Peart, Dennis Chambers, and Tony Royster JR are some of my favorites that spring to mind. Right now I’m very into Gavin Harrison. He is just such a phenomenal player and achieves such a powerful yet beautiful musical sound.
I’m into heavier styles of music and there are some very technically proficient modern drummers such as Alex Rudinger, Matt Garstka, Mario Duplantier, and Matt Greiner who are all incredible too. I actually put together a list of some of the best metal drummers in the world right now so feel free to check that!
Along those lines, who are your favorite artists/bands?
I enjoy quite an eclectic mix of music. Right now I’m enjoying pop music, epic film scores as well as video game soundtracks, and also some old school melodic death metal in the mix. I’m writing a lot of my own music right now and it’s sort of a blend of all of it! Sounds kinda weird, but I’m stoked about it.
Right now I’m really enjoying London Grammar a lot, as well as composers like Jeremy Soule and James Newton Howard. I like to listen to this sort of stuff when I’m relaxing or writing for Drum Helper, it’s not too intense.
I frequently listen to bands like Gojira, Rammstein, Breaking Benjamin, ERRA, Wintersun, too if I had to name just a few when I need my heavy music fix!
It’s great that you have such a wide variety of musical tastes! I’m sure that helps you as a drummer. Speaking of, Drum helper is amazing. What inspired you to start it?
Thank you! I started the website in 2018 with a goal to create a trustworthy and reliable source of information for all things drums. I saw a real lack of quality content online, and I wanted to bring my experiences and knowledge together in order to help other drummers find their rhythm.
Also I wanted the site to have a lot of practical information for all levels of drummers – including complete beginners and experienced drummers alike.
What have your struggles been as a drummer working online? What are some curveballs you’ve had to overcome?
I’ve worked hard creating content for my website. With online stuff, there is an element of unpredictability, which can be tough. You can create the most epic guide full of unique and amazing information, but it just doesn’t blow up like how you’ve imagined. The same goes for a video.
There’s something called the 80/20 rule, also known as the Pareto principle, which dictates that the majority of success comes from a very small percentage of causes. I certainly believe this to be true, and it’s important not to be disheartened even when things don’t seem to be going the way you want. Over time, all of the collective efforts will pay off.
You’ve traveled all over the world playing drums. What was your favorite experience and location?
I have played some awesome festivals and tours. I’ve loved all of the experiences and creating new memories on the road. I enjoy seeing lots of new locations and meeting different people. One of my favorite experiences was playing in Romania with my previous band Familiar Spirit, the venue was incredible, and traveling around that part of Europe was so cool!
I also really enjoy recording music and just the whole studio experience in general. I like being a part of the creative process and seeing the music come to life. In April I’ll be recording all the drums for my upcoming project and I can’t wait!
How has the pandemic impacted your work? It’s interesting how some musicians were greatly impacted and some of us not at all. Where do you fall in that spectrum, have you had any difficulties?
While we are on the topic of my new music project, this question is super interesting and relevant. I would never have found the inspiration or motivation to write the music I’m writing now if it wasn’t for the pandemic. I’ve been forced to try out new things and experiment, and fortunately for me, it’s proved to be very fruitful and rewarding.
So while there has been no concerts, I’ve found creative outlets in new ways and I’ve had a lot of time and energy to focus on producing awesome content for Drum Helper too. My previous band split up in December, so I suppose I’m quite fortunate I haven’t had to deal with a whole bunch of canceled tours and gigs.
What is one thing you wish everyone knew about Drum helper?
Haha, I wish every drummer would know about it! Or anyone who is looking at taking up the drums. There’s a ton of information on there, and I’m passionate about constantly improving the site and adding more content to it. It’s only about two and a half years old so I’m excited to think about where it will be in another five!
Most importantly, where can we find you? Let us know your links!
You’ll be able to find me at my website and all of the social media platforms listed below too. One aspiration I have is to really build my YouTube platform along with my site, I think the two go hand-in-hand, so check it all out, and watch this space!