FISH is an energetic nightclub percussionist who specialises in playing a variety of customized percussion instruments. He performs live over the DJ’s music to add unique rhythms and funky beats that create a whole new sound to clubbing. He is currently finishing the last few weeks of his season in Ibiza where he has been performing weekly at pool parties, boat parties, and in the biggest clubs in the world! As well as countless other gigs around Europe so we wanted to catch up with him as he lives the dream and reaches for the stars.
How did you become a nightclub percussionist?
Before i started drumming in nightclubs I used to work at one in Huddersfield as part of the PR team. I used to watch as they hired in a percussionist to do an hours work and earn 4 times more than i did all night! Now I’ve been drumming in almost every different type of band there is from the age of 6, so one evening while i was out with some friends, i asked a guy called Bongo Dave, who’s a lil local celeb in my home town, if he could give me some advice as to how to get started… He told me to just buy the gear, practice at home first, and then offer to perform in some clubs for free to gain a bit of experience and a good rep. So one night i asked my PR boss if i could perform instead of promoting, and luckily my very first gig was with Dave Kelly from Galaxy, now Capital Radio, and Richard McAspern who owns a big entertainment company…both of them gave me their cards and said give me a call!
What does your drum kit set up include?
My set up differs most nights depending on the club and the music, but it’s always based around my custom made LED bongos, they’re like my signature thing. Then I’ll normally use a set of Congas, a Timbale, my rocket toms and a selection of Cymbals, and for some gigs add my Rotor Toms, Yamaha Trigger Pad, some Congeetas, a variety of Wood Blocks and Cowbells…just depends what i think fits best on the night, its tricky jigsawing all that into my car!
I’ve just finished making these new wireless bongos too, fitted them with the same LED light strips as my others and got a guy in Ibiza to custom build me a control box that fits on my belt. So now I can attach my wireless mic to them and perform out in the crowd, walk all around the club, get on the tables, jump up on the bar. Everyone’s loving the Wireless LED Bongos out here in Ibiza…they are what got me the residency at Privilege!
Do you freestyle new drum beats and progressions or do you have set combinations you use?
I do both, because you hear some certain songs quite a lot in clubs and I have found some rhythms that I know work well with them, but I prefer playing to music I haven’t heard before so I can just improvise and come up with new riffs.
Is Ibiza as crazy as they say it is? A yearlong beach party?
Yeah it can be if you want it to be, there are loads of amazing nights and events out here, and some of the stage shows you see and performers you watch are just unbelievable! I went to go watch the Swedish House Mafia the other day and that was so good…you could go out to a different party every night of the month! I haven’t really taken the party approach to a season in Ibiza though…on my nights off instead of getting drunk, I like to jump in my car with some friends and explore new parts of the island, find a nice new restaurant or cocktail bar, and in the afternoons go cliff diving, jet skiing, spear fishing, wakeboarding…something a bit different. Take my day today for example; me and some mates drove up to the north of the island to a place called Benneras Beach, I took my Djembe and joined in with about 25 other drummers…Africans, hippies, Spanish, all just jamming to a few hundred spectators who flock to this beach every week to watch and party. Then in the evening we went out for a meal to a restaurant where you cook your own steak on coals in the middle of the table. I love doing something different every day is why, that’s why I love my job too…no gig is ever the same!
What major venues have you played at? and which is your favourite?
During my summer out here in Ibiza I have been fortunate enough to get in with several of the major venues on the Island, I perform weekly at Eden, Es Paradis, Space and Privilege…those two mean the most to my career, to have a regular gig at the 2011 Best Club in the World and the biggest club in the world is something I’m really pleased I’ve achieved, but to be honest I think my favourite venue is one I haven’t managed to play at this summer, an outdoor venue/hotel called Ushuaia. It’s in Playa Den Bossa and it’s like Ibiza Rocks Hotel on steroids! Hopefully next year…
What are your plans for the upcoming future?
I intend to work with some big DJ’s and Producers to get my percussion sound on their new tracks, I want to steer away from just being a nightclub entertainer and become more of an Artist, so that hopefully one of the tracks I’m featured on will help boost my career in a big way! Before my summer in Ibiza I recorded with Kryder who’s signed by Tiesto and Emanuel Kosh who’s signed by Sony Music, and when I get back next month I intend to continue working with as many big names as possible. That doesn’t mean I want to stop performing in clubs, I just want to perform in all the best clubs around the world…and that’s my plan do so!
Thanks for your time Fish! Make sure you check out his 2011 Promo video at the top of this interview! It’s amazing!!