Musicality, Groove and Sound come first. Recording and touring drummer for 80's legends ABC. I've recorded for Sting producer Kipper Eldridge, Producer Fraser T Smith, FPN music amongst many others. I run a remote studio service using high end API mic pres, great mics and can offer vintage and modern kits.
I'm lucky enough to have the space, Kits, Snares, cymbals and mics to get a wide variety of different sounds you might be looking for on your project.
I've been drawn into many different styles throughout my career and have a passion for old school funk and rare groove. Happy to sit on a pattern as long as you want!
Over the last ten years I have been musical director for the international "Rewind" festival house band featuring mainly 80's artistes. A small number of those artistes are mentioned below. Over these years we have built a roster of over 100 artistes.
Musical director for Frankie goes to Hollywood frontman Holly Johnson, Jimmy Somerville big band, "Cool Britannia" Orchestra, Go West (15 yrs as their touring and recording drummer) and currently with ABC.
ABC toured and recorded with a full orchestra with Grammy and Oscar winning arranger, composer and conductor Anne Dudley. BBC last night of the proms - https://youtu.be/46_FBIjXcD8
I recorded on the last ABC album "Lexicon of love II" and some tracks on Annie Lennox's grammy
nominated album "Nostalgia".
Go West https://youtu.be/BGlRG44WSDc
Holly Johnson https://youtu.be/SSgB1lBqqzs?t=24
My own band "Headspace" formed with Adam Wakeman (Ozzy, Black Sabbath) and Lee Pomeroy (ELO, Take That) https://youtu.be/aZ4dG7gUo-g
Tell me about your project and how I can help, through the 'Contact' button above.
- Go West
- Steve Augeri
- The BBC
- rick astley
- Fraser T Smith
- Tinchy Stryder
- Candi Staton
- Sister Sledge
- Nik Kershaw
- Marc Almond
- Annie Lennox
- Take That
- Gary Barlow
- Holly Johnson
- Hugh Cornwell (Stranglers)
- Jimmy Somerville
- All Saints
- Rick Wakeman
- Joe Lynn Turner
- Acoustic Alchemy
- The JB horns
- Anne Dudley
- "RENT" West end
- Cutting Crew
- Martha Wash
- Eddi Reader
- bonnie tyler
- Victoria Beckham
- Alex Parks
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Interview with Richard Brook
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A: Started playing at 18, self taught until 25 (Then went to music school). Pro player doing cabaret reading gigs at first then moved from Scotland to London to study for a year. Had Bernard Purdie, Thomas Lang, Pete Zeldman and Chuck Silverman as some of my tutors. Got a pop gig with a Spice Girl and went from there.....sounds simple doesn't it.
Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?
A: What sound are you going for. Do you have a lot more production to go on? If so, do you want lots of space in the part?
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: Mainly bands or songwriters. I do quite a bit of "recreate" a track for some library companies. I have been (ahem!) Jeff Porcaro, Alex Van Halen and Bernard Purdie for some sessions.
Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
A: I recently produced a cover of "I wish you well" by Bill Withers with a 25 piece band, Rick Astley and Jimmy Somerville. All done remotely and we're trying raise money for a musicians charity helping players through the Corona Virus lockdown.
Q: What are you working on at the moment?
A: I've just finished a country album for producer Ian Shaw based in Florida and am moving on to a UK acid jazz album with guitarist Pete Harris.
Q: Is there anyone on SoundBetter you know and would recommend to your clients?
A: Lee Pomeroy on Bass. Lovely player, lovely human and great gear! We've worked together a lot over the years. We met on the Rick Wakeman gig.
Q: Analog or digital and why?
A: Both! Mind you the quality of the plugins are getting so good it's hard to tell the difference.
Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?
A: I'll get you what you want....!
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: Working out how to get the right kit sound, getting the fattest groove possible and delivering exactly what the client is after.
Q: What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
A: What mics do you have? What snares have you got?
Q: What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
A: "It's just drums, it's not that difficult"
Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A: Give me as much information as you can about where you're going with the track. Reference material (songs by other artistes in the ball park) and a kit sound in mind. Let me know to keep certain sections more simple if there's a busier vocal phrase going on. I'll be more than happy to also give you what I think works with what you're doing.
Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
A: A tent, some biscuits, Wheelbarrow, Spade and a Helicopter.
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: A jack of all trades with total conviction.
Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?
A: You can't ask me this. Too many......Michael McDonald - just brilliant, Lewis Taylor - Genius, Stevie Wonder - Untouchable, The 1975 - They've got a drummer but I just love their production, Jellyfish - A one off, I'll send in a report of the thousand or so Artistes I love and want to work with......
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: Overheads - focusing on a tighter snare sound using the 45 degree Glynn Johns position gives great high end focus on the snare but still captures cymbals with a great balance.
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: I do a lot of varied projects. I've been working with MANY 80's artistes over the years so you could say I'm well versed in 80's music. That was a decade of such varied styles I'm quite good at morphing from a hair rock player to some pop/funk synth carnival quite easily. Go figure.... My real love is funk and rare groove though. Give me some JB grooves or early Cameo or EWF and I'll be a happy boy.
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: Boring people about recording drums......er..... Making sure the part is sitting right in the pocket. Listening to what else is going on and phrasing from that so it has a reason to be played.
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: A musical part that sits where you want it to.
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: Speaking to the producer/artiste about the track. Getting reference tracks from the producer for kit sounds and general feel they're after. I always ask what else will be going on it and is the vocal phrasing going to change much (If it's a vocal song of course). Keeping out of the way and supporting the vocal is the key I think. This gives me a much better idea of how to play the part if I know what the long term plan is.
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: I run 8 x API mic pre's with in line custom attenuators to drive the pre's that little bit harder without overloading my Apollo 16. I also have an Audient 880 asp unit and a focusrite ISA one. I use that mainly on the snare for a bit of neve-esque loveliness. I'm using Logic right now but am really getting into Luna. My mics have been a passion. I use coles 4038's for over heads mainly but for more pop / brighter sounding music I might switch to the AKG 414 XLII mics. Standard Beyer 421's for toms, AKG 451's for Hats or ride and two mics in the bass drum. Depending on the music I'll have either an Audix d6 or an original Shure SM91 inside the drum and a Shure Beta 52 either at the hole or the middle of the resonant head. Depends on the track. Shure 57 or Beta 57 on snare (Top and Bottom) and as a bit of an effect mic, an EV RE20 in the 'Wurst' position over the bass drum and between the rack and floor toms and squeeze the life out of it with some compression. Royer 121's in the Blumlein position for ambient room sound. Mix that with the UA Ocean way room plugin and you got any sound you could wish for. Yes, I'm a geek.
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: I am a big fan of Ricky Lawson's work. Very sympathetic musician with HUGE ears!