I'm a graduate of Berklee College of Music. I'm currently a working musician in the Boston area and I've been playing drums for 17 years! My experience ranges from rock, pop, jazz, metal, and punk! Check out my website jamesknoerl.com for more details on my playing!

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Interview with James Knoerl

Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
I just finished work on a jazz record that'll be coming out next year. I was able to record drums on it in a huge live room in New Orleans and I engineered the drums for the session and the results were sick!
What are you working on at the moment?
I'm working on two instrumental metal albums and an acoustic EP!
Is there anyone on SoundBetter you know and would recommend to your clients?
I don't know any of the pros on here but I'm sure I'll meet them sooner or later!
Analog or digital and why?
Either or!
What's your 'promise' to your clients?
I'll make your song super sick!
What do you like most about your job?
I'm playing drums!
What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
Can you play this song exactly like the recording and the answer is always yes.
What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
There really isn't any because I'm so transparent about my process!
What questions do you ask prospective clients?
What are your influences and what kind of drum grooves/drummers do you like?
What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
Don't be afraid to be as detailed as possible with what you want!
If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
Computer, Drums, Audio Interface, Piano, Drum Sticks!
What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
My career path was play drums and that's what I'm doing. I've been playing drums for a job for the past five years!
How would you describe your style?
I describe it as floaty or bouncy.
Which artist would you like to work with and why?
Dream Theater because I always wonder what it would be like to jam with them. They are such high caliber musicians and I feel like I would become so much better in such a small amount of time!
Can you share one music production tip?
Don't be lazy!
What type of music do you usually work on?
I work on a lot of singer/songwriter material, video game soundtracks, and metal music!
What's your strongest skill?
My ability to listen!
What do you bring to a song?
I bring groove and energy to the song!
What's your typical work process?
I listen to the song a lot and transcribe the sections and run it until I have a good feel for it and then I just start recording takes until I get a few that I think are perfect!
Tell us about your studio setup.
I run two Motu 8pres running ADAT. 16 channels of drum audio! I have an assortment of microphones, drums, and cymbals that I use pending on the job at hand!
What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
Matt Garstka, Matt Halpern, Tony Williams, Benny Greb, and Chris Coleman
Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
I record drums for their songs and add my originality and flair to their material!