Mike Avenaim has toured from one end of the world to the other. He was making quite a name for himself in Australia when he decided to pack up and relocate to the US. Since then it has been non-stop gigging and recording for the Aussie transplant with artists such as Emblem3 (SyCo Records), Scott Weiland, Troy Harley (Dream Merchant 21), Colby O’ Donis (Grammy Award Winner), Rai Thistlethwayte/Sun Rai (Thirsty Merc), Reece Mastin (X-Factor Winner – Sony Music Australia), and Casey Donovan (Australian Idol).
Mike is also no stranger to Ultimate Studios, Inc and working with engineer Charlie Waymire. He has recorded two albums for Jordan Millar as well as tracks for Australian superstar and X-Factor winnter Reece Mastin (topping the charts in Australia!).
Real Drum Tracks Now talked to Mike about how he approaches working with different artist.
1) What’s your experience working with different types of artists?
I love working with different Artists. It allows me to use all of the creative tools I have been learning over the years weather it be different drums or playing styles etc. Its always a challenge to jump into a session or a live situation with an artist you are unfamiliar with, but, there is a sense of excitement and pressure that comes with this that allows me to be a better musician. All artists a different so i always try to make sure I do my research and bring to the table exactly what they want to hear mixed with what I bring through my own creativity. I learn a lot dealing with all the artists I work with in different genres.
2) How do you approach a song when it’s presented to you?
This really depends on the style of song. There are a few things I always do but the most important is Making sure that I really “understand” what the artist is trying to say with their arrangement and instrumentation. A lot of drummers just play “beats”, I try not to do that. Im trying to play music and I need to be in the song to make sure that I don’t tread all over the intention.
3) What if an artist has a specific drum idea for their songs?
I love it when the artist has a vibe that they’re going for. This always helps with the musical conversation and allows me to make suggestions within the original idea that will hopefully lead to a killer finished product.
4) Does it help for the artist to give you references of other artists to help convey their ideas?
Yes. This is always a major help for Tones and also Playing Style.
5) What’s the most important part of your job as a drummer?
To LISTEN to what the Artist is asking for. My or Your musical opinion is not always the best. Collaboration on the session is where the magic comes from.