Drummer | Student, Silver Creek High School | Clerk, Dixon Racing Supply | Sellersburg
I started playing drums five years ago in 2011 at the age of 11. I had taken a few guitar lessons and I was getting aggravated. I loved the teacher, but I was struggling with the hand positions. My brother, who is 10 years older than me, had a set of drums and played in the marching band. I picked up some sticks one day and started playing around. My mom heard me and asked if I wanted to take drum lessons. I took lessons with Duane Smith at Maxwell’s House of Music in Jeffersonville. I love John Bonham (Led Zeppelin) – he is always my first choice as my favorite drummer. I love him to death. I also admire Neal Peart (Rush), Ian Paice (Deep Purple), Nick Mason (Pink Floyd) and Peter Criss (Kiss). Most of my influences have been self-discovered. I read about bands I’m into – read about their influences – and that’s how I find new bands to listen to. It branches off from there. I’m that person that says, “You gotta hear this band!” I’ll try (to play) whatever once, any genre of music. You have to be open-minded to be a musician.
I was in five to six different bands when I was taking lessons at Mom’s. Most of my bandmates were not as committed as I am. It is rare to find someone my age that prioritizes music as more than just a hobby. I just got in an all-girl band a few months ago. We don’t have a name yet. We practice once a week. I’m the youngest member; the others are closer to my mom’s age.
I play the jam every Sunday at Bearno’s Pizza on Bardstown Road. On Wednesdays, I play the jam at Stadium Joe’s in Jeffersontown. My parents drive me. I did just get my driver’s license a few days ago, but my parents will still probably bring me to my gigs. I’m not allowed to drive across the river yet.
It used to bother me that nobody at school wanted to play music with me. I kept thinking there was something wrong with me. It actually drove me to practice more. I will be a junior this year, (and) I feel a lot better about myself. I am more confident, thanks to my “jamily” (note: jam family). Without them, I would still be questioning myself.
The best thing about drumming is getting lost in what you are playing and the coordination. The worst part is breaking sticks and drum heads. It’s an expensive habit to have. I can read music. I play both match and traditional. Drumming has opened a lot of doors for me. It is an outlet that has boosted my confidence – I’m pretty shy. Drumming keeps me busy. If I weren’t playing drums (this past summer), I would just be being a loser somewhere. Playing keeps me disciplined, focused and gives me a goal to work towards. This is what I want to do for a living.
You can see or perform with Sydney and her ‘Jamily’ 7 to 10 p.m. Sundays at Bearno’s Pizza, 1318 Bardstown Road in Louisville.
Compiled by Stacy Thomas | Photos by Eddie Dant