Hear me drum on CBS or see me perform at Bonaroo. You won’t just get drum tracks when we work together; you will get my heart, soul, and passion to work hard and create the best music with you. I aim to elevate and capture the energy/vibe/sound/groove of your music. My goal is for us to have a great time while serving your song's vision.
Hi, I'm Chris Potocik, and I am a session/performing drummer, songwriter, engineer, and producer based out of Knoxville, TN. I play(ed) drums for a wide spectrum of artists and bands including Jackie Lee, Rachel Holder, CBDB, Backup Planet, Matt Leadbetter, The Young Fables, Fairview Union, Janelle Arthur, Monet Maddux, Sonic Fuel, Johno Clayton, KissYourGhost, Homer Hart, and many more. I've worked with various producers/engineers including Wilbur Rhymes, Chuck Howard, Carson Chamberlain, Jason Elgin, Todd Divel, Andrew Troubadour, Chris Utley, Lewell Molen, Miah Lajeuness, and more. My drumming can be heard on CBS, Hulu, and Amazon Prime, and have also been featured in commercials. I also endorse Parton Drumworks and Coopergroove Performance Drum Sticks.
I've been recording music for nearly 20 years. I grew up a rocker and will always be one, but I also love playing Pop, Country, Funk, R&B, Folk-Americana, Gospel, Blues, and so much more. In addition to live drum tracks, I can also program drums/other instruments as well. Feel free to hit me up anytime! I'd love to talk with you about your music and goals.
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Interview with Chris Potocik
Q: What are you working on at the moment?
A: I just finished up a metal album for a talented guy named Brent Picard, a couples weeks ago. I'm working on demoing new songs for my band CBDB. Also, currently finishing up a couple songs for an amazingly talented band, The Black Door Society.
Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?
A: I care deeply about your music and strive to make the end result something that makes you proud to show others. I promise to deliver 100% of my attention and focus to producing the best drum tracks I am capable of.
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: I serve the song by playing intentionally and working closely with the client. I pay attention to details and support those details in different ways depending on the particular moment in the song.
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: I have a humble, yet powerful drum tracking studio in my house that I have put together over the last couple years. The room is acoustically treated with absortion panels, bass traps, and deadening curtains that I can quickly re-position for more openness or close them up and deaden the room a little more. I have 4 different kits to choose from, all made from different material woods (one acrylic kit too) that can achieve different sounds, depending on the vibe of your song. My main workhorse drum kit is a special home-made Walnut/Maple stave kit. I have a nice collection of snares- a few of my favorite go-to's are a 1964 Ludwig Supraphonic along with a Ludwig Black Beauty and my Parton Drumworks snare. They definitely get the most use out of the whole collection. Various Sabian cymbals of all kinds. For recording, I use industry standard microphones to capture the drum performance. Those microphones run into Neve-style and UA 4-710d preamps that run into a Universal Audio Apollo interface that gets recorded into my computer. Let me know if you have any questions.
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: Musical inspiration, for me, comes from anyone and everyone. I think it is a good idea to always consider another's perspective, especially when it comes to the subjective nature of music. But to answer the question, I'll keep it more simple with drummers...and I know I'll forget a few...drummers that inspire me are John Bonham, Dave Grohl, Todd Sucherman, Steve Gadd, Neil Peart, Alex Van Halen, Ringo Starr, Larnell Lewis, Chris Dave, Vinnie Paul, Tommy Lee, Buddy Rich, Vinnie Colaiuta, Tommy Harden, Eddie Bayers, and many more. Music production professionals that inspire me...Quincy! Bob Rock, Mutt Lang, Bill Putnam, Jason Elgin, Chris Utley, Stevie Wonder, and so many others..
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: Most commonly, I record live drum tracks for any client that needs drumming for their project. I can either write the parts or replicate drum/percussion parts if you already have any in mind. Typically, I include basic percussion (like shaker/tambourine) into the price of live drum tracks unless you would like a percussion-heavy track. Whatever the style is...Bring it on! Let's make it happen.
Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
A: I would have to say one that comes to mind is drumming and co-writing Backup Planet's album Reactions. It was a blessing and incredible experience working with producers Jason Elgin and Fred Mascherino. Definitely one of the coolest and best sounding records I've ever been a part of. I learned and grew so much during the month my band spent in the studio with Jason. The learning experiences I underwent during this record made me a better. musician.
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A: I was born to keep rhythmic time. I started playing drums when I was 8 years old. I come from a family that plays and prioritizes music so finding my way over to the drum kit was only a matter of time. Playing has always been natural. Rock n roll has always been natural. I had various rock bands in middle/high school that worked hard, playing out and cutting records as preteens/teenagers- this is where it all began. Over the years, I started branching out into just about any and every music project I could get myself into, regardless of style..regardless of how big or little the gig was. If it had anything to do with music, count me in. Writing music became a major passion during this time, too. I learned in this musical transition to think more like a "musician" than just a "drummer" and my goal is serve music, no matter the genre, to the best of my abilities. Not just bang away on drums. The main consistency in music that I've noticed is the fact that I have never "questioned" music. Music has lead me to some of the most incredible people and experiences of my life. Not playing has never been an option.
Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
A: A common misconception about musicians is that we don't have "real" jobs because we love what we do and have a passion for music whether we get paid or not. What people pay for is the lifetime it's taken musicians to refine my skills, accrue professional gear, and load heavy gear lol. The phrase "easier said than done" applies because developing technique, etc takes time...and a lot of it.
Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A: Keep it simple. The moments in your song will shine brighter if you do.
Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
A: Assuming a tracking space with electricity/essentials to record is provided lol...In no particular order... -My Walnut Stave drum kit -Coopergroove drum sticks -Neve style Preamps -My Apollo Interface -Oreos
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: Rock. Pop. Country. Americana. Folk. Metal. Punk. Funk. Blues. I am a versatile drummer, and I love playing anything and everything that comes my way. Whatever it is...Let's take it to the next level.
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: I excel at working close with the team; injecting your song with a proper dose of energy while maintaining a solid sound, vibe, and groove.
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: Communication is key in the recording process. To start, send me an mp3 or similar of your song idea(s)- if you have the idea to a click/metronome even better, but not absolutely necessary. I like to talk through the song and get an idea of what you want as for as vibe, groove, and particular parts you might want. I will then record multi-track drum tracks and send you a stereo mp3 (with drums) back to you for approval. I'm happy to correct/fix anything that needs to be changed- my #1 goal is for you to be happy with the music. Once the drum tracks are approved by you, I'll bounce down multi-track wave files and send them back to be mixed and move forward with the rest of your project. Last but not least, if you enjoy working with me please leave me a review; I would greatly appreciate that kind gesture.
Q: Is there anyone on SoundBetter you know and would recommend to your clients?
A: Just scroll up or down. This place is packed full of talent.
Q: Analog or digital and why?
A: I lean a little more towards analog than digital, because there's nothing like the real thing...but why not both?
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: The music and the people.
Q: What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
A: 1. Q) How soon can you get the drum tracks back? A) Typically, it takes 24-48 hours to get your song back to you. 2. Q) Can you do a beat/fill similar to (insert- artist, song) ? A) Absolutely. If I am not familiar with a specific part request I will look it up and learn it.
Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?
A: I learn a lot from my clients by asking questions about them, their project/songs, expectations, and past history with remote sessions. -What's your goal for your song(s) and overall project? -What are some expectations you have from me? -Have you worked with remote session musicians before (yes/no)? What were some of the things you enjoyed about their processes? Didn't enjoy?
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: Explosive, groovy, vibes.
Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?
A: Dave Grohl because....well....it's Dave Grohl.
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: Listen carefully to the details.