Forum Member Profile - Th0mas25
Forum Member Profile - Th0mas25 aka Bjorn Steeman
Name: Bjorn Steeman
Date of Birth: 8th April 1973
Tell us about yourself
My name’s Bjorn, or Th0mas25 on the forum, after my old cat (although our current cat is also a Thomas) and my old BMX racing number. Despite my Nordic name I’m actually Dutch, but my parents moved to Benderloch, near Oban on the west coast of Scotland in 1979, when I was six, after several holidays in the area. I currently live and work near Glasgow, but get back to Oban when I can, to see family and just because it’s a beautiful part of the world.
Despite often feeling more Scottish than Dutch, I’m still able to use my native tongue, working for a IBM providing first line technical support to large companies in Holland and Belgium. I enjoy the work, but as it’s shiftwork it makes work, family life and being in a band a bit of a juggling act. I’ve been with my better half Cheryl for 18 years, she’s a children’s nurse. And we have a seven year old son Louis, who I’m trying to encourage musically. He loves to sing and dance and he’s dabbled on the drums and guitar, but letting him have fun with it seems to work better than actually trying to teach him anything too serious at the moment. That said, I''m pleased to say he''s just been accepted to join the National Youth Choir of Scotland so at least that''s something music-related.
Aside from music, I love all forms of two- and four-wheeled motorsport, I like to read, and I think I may be having some kind of mid-life crisis, having recently bought a motorbike, and another BMX after 25-odd years!
How and when did you get into drumming?
My dad was a drummer from his teens in the early ‘60s through to the ‘70s when he packed it in due to work and family commitments and apparently the ever increasing use of recreational ‘substances’ within the band. Around the time I was born he sold his kit and never played again. When I was growing up my dad’s musical tastes were very much an influence though, and although he encourage me as such I was always aware that he used to play so maybe that did have something to do with me picking up the sticks. Or maybe I just wanted to make a lot of noise!
From a young age I always tapping and banging away on well, everything… but it wasn’t until I watched ‘Monterey Pop’ in the mid ‘80s, specifically The Who’s performance, that I decided I HAD to buy a kit. Watching Moonie giving his all, playing with such reckless abandon yet sounding so great… and then trashing the kit at the end. That was just the coolest thing to a 14-15 year old kid!
What are you doing musically at present?
Truth be told, very little. My drumming ‘career’ has never progressed beyond hobby player/pub cover-band status. I was in a few bands in my teens and early twenties before taking a break of almost 15 years. During my break from drumming I took up guitar, and also got into vintage drums, my first restoration being a 1960 Premier kit that I built up and wrapped to look like my dad’s old kit. Since then I’ve refurbished and restored several other kits and snares (mostly Premier) and it’s become a hobby in itself which I enjoy as much as playing.
In the past few years I’ve been playing again, mainly in a blues-rock band, which was fun but the band recently broke up. Right now I’m half-looking for another band to join, but taking the opportunity to practice more at home in the meantime. I''ve been playing a little more guitar. And I also recently restored a ''70s mahogany duro Olympic kit and am now working on an early ''70s Premier kit in turquoise shimmer, which needs quite a bit of work, but should be worth the effort when it''s finished.
Most memorable drumming experience?
Probably playing the “Booze Cruise”, which was an annual evening ferry trip out of Oban, featuring various bands in different parts of the ferry. I didn’t know it at the time but it was officially called the Ceilidh Cruise, and so all the other acts were playing Scottish folk music of one sort or another, where as we played fairly heavy rock covers from ACDC, Nirvana, GUN etc. We thought we’d go down like a lead balloon but we had the biggest, liveliest audience on the boat! Apart from playing at a few school dances it was also one of my first gigs so it was a real buzz!
Kit set up?
My main/gigging kit is a ‘90s Premier Genista, 22”, 10”, 12”, 14” & 14” snare in turquoise lacquer, with Zildjian A cymbals, 14” hats, 16” medium & 18” thin crashes and 20” rock ride. I’ve experimented with more crashes, a china, splashes etc. but found I only really used the ‘basics’ so stripped it back a bit.
I also have a restored 1959/60 Premier kit in black diamond pearl (20”, 12”, 14”), with matching 14” Super Ace snare. And I recently bought a Premier Heritage Club kit in walnut lacquer, in 20” (x8”!), 10”, 13” & 13” snare. That’s a gorgeous little kit and would have been for smaller gigs with the band but since we split up I have yet to use it live.
I have a Roland TD6 setup at home for practice, although I often use my son’s kit, a little jungle type kit (16”, 10”, 12” & 12” snare) which I built for him, with mesh heads, triggers & TD3 module.
Favourite drummers and why?
There are a few, but those who spring to mind are: John Bonham, an absolute powerhouse of course but so tasteful with it. Keith Moon for his own inimitable wild style and the Monterey Pop performance that really turned me onto drumming. Matt Chamberlain, who I really got into through Edie Brickell & New Bohemians and his own band Critters Buggin, he''s is a fantastic session drummer aswell. And Reni, who was a huge inspiration to me in my teens. Watching old Stone Roses performances it still amazes me how much Reni could do with such a minimal setup, and that sound (Reni and Mani as a rhythm section) really defined the whole baggy/Madchester scene of the early ''90s.
Favourite drum DVD?
Upto a few months ago the only drum DVD I owned was a Bob Gatzen tuning DVD, which was very informative. But I''ve recently bought Tommy Igoe''s ''Great Hands for a Lifetime'', and Jojo Mayer''s ''Secret Weapons for the Modern Drummer''. I''ve yet to work through the DVDs properly but just watching them is enlightening and inspiring and I''m sure they will help me improve my playing.
Favourite bit of kit?
Well, I love almost anything made by Premier, from the vintage ''50s drums onwards but my favourite bit of kit is actually my Roland e-Kit. It started off as a standard TD3 but now has a TD6 module, all mesh heads, extra cymbal and reconfigured rack. That''s not the reason it''s my favourite bit of kit though, it''s because that TD3 got me playing again after my 15 year break, because I could finally play at home without upsetting the neighbours! It sounds daft but back then I wasn''t buying drum mags or going into drum shops and I really had no idea that e-kits like Rolands and Yamahas existed. I only regret not knowing that, otherwise I''d have bought one earlier!!
Anything you would like to add?
Yes, a big thank you to Mike Dolbear and everyone else who is and has been involved in the site and the forum. I visited almost 10 years ago to ask for some advice on vintage Premiers and have been a regular visitor ever since. Both the site and the forum have been interesting, fun, helpful, and an inspiration at times, and I''ve got to know and meet some great people. I''d also like to point out after all the Premier talk, that I''m aware that''s a Pearl kit I''m playing in the picture haha! It was a kit-share gig OK? (and it sounded pretty good actually!).
Please log in below if you wish to add your comments on this item. If you are commenting for the first time, you will need to register for security reasons.
|SHARE||PRINT THIS PAGE|