Steve Moore: Interview with the drummer at the wrong gig

Categories: Interview

Note: You can see Rick K. & The Allnighters performing from today through Sunday at Grand Casino Hinckley. More information can be found at the band's website, and on Steve Moore's website.

The video of a shiny-jacketed cover band playing ZZ Top's "Sharp Dressed Man" at an outdoor pavilion in Texas was posted over two years ago, another tchotchke gathering dust on YouTube's virtual shelf.

But on June 2nd, sports site Deadspin received a link and re-posted it under the headline: "Cover-Band Drummer Is Far Too Intense For A Cover Band Drummer."

Then it hit Digg. Before long, the video was everywhere.

The newly-minted star is Steve Moore, a West Virginia drummer who has been playing with Rick K. & The Allnighters for more than 10 years. We spoke to The Mad Drummer about his history in music, the life of a touring show band, and what it's like to go viral.

Well thanks again for talking to me. Have you given any other interviews?

I've done four. And I apologize to you, but unfortunately I'm running on very little sleep, I have been for the past four or five days now. I've done two of them that I know and they're on my website. And another one I just did with Monthly Drums.

You're from West Virginia, right?

Yes. We're not there very much since we're usually out on the road about 200 days a year, but we like to sleep there once in a while.

How long have you been running a schedule like that?

Well I've been with Rick for about 10 years. And it's been the way it is now for probably about 6 years I would say, as far as having this schedule.

How's that, being on the road so much, for so long?

The most difficult thing is traveling. It's not performing. It's really nothing for us to play a show, tear everything down, jump in the bus and drive sometimes 22 hours, then show up at a hotel, maybe sleep an hour, grab a shower and do a soundcheck and play the show then do it again. You don't get the opportunity to stop and sight-see, look at a bridge, or whatever, or stop and have dinner, you just see months of interstate.

It's not a vacation...

Exactly, right. Because so frequently you hear people say "Oh I'd love to do what you do, I just love to travel," you know? They just don't understand it's not vacation; it's's interstate. We're not stopping to see the sights. Now, once in a while Rick will schedule something, I mean like sometimes we go to the beach and go out on the ocean, see the Grand Canyon, you know, things like this. It's really seldom. You know our schedule is just so tight. It's just go go go.

What was the music scene like where you grew up?

Absolutely not existent. Completely not existent. The only thing to do where I actually was raised, um, the very best gig you could probably get would be playing the Moose Club. I mean, that was it. When I got a little older, around 16, 17, 19, a few clubs started popping up here and there, but you could count 'em all on one hand. I mean if you wanted to play any place even halfway decent I had to drive at least four hours to make that happen, either north south east wherever, but there was nothing. Most of the bands I was with, before I got with Rick, sometimes I would have to drive 5/6 hours just to rehearsal. But again you know I've just done it for so many years you just get used to that.

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No rest till Hinckley
And you said you started playing in bands when you were 16 or 17, or playing out rather?

Uh no, I actually started playing drums when I was about 6, and then I was pretty much playing about every weekend I would say by the time I was 14.  But again, it was just, you know, your Moose Clubs, VFWs, things that like that, nothing to brag about at all. Just like we all did when you get your start.

And what was the first "proper" band you were in?

Well it's actually funny because whenever I first started off, you know when I was really young, I did the typical cover thing like most people did, but by the time I was 17 I would say most of the bands I was in were pretty much original bands. I mean almost every band I was in actually until I joined Rick they all played original music.

What kind of music?

Most of it was really really progressive, really really heavy stuff. Some punk-style stuff, but most of the stuff would've been in the vein of like, Joe Satriani, Dream Theater, Rush, just your typical progressive metal

Some pretty sprawling 80's metal stuff.

Very much, yessir. Some of it was pretty similar to stuff like Metallica, Slayer, know, that kind of thing. You know just like I said, on the heavier side.

And when did you start practicing all the moves?

Where it really took on a new life, if you will, the bands I was in before Rick were very fast bands, if you know what I mean by that. A lot of notes, a lot of playing going on. You know, that was what's appropriate for the music, it was progressive metal. And then whenever Rick hired me, when I first came into his organization, the songs...they weren't that. There was a lot of space in the songs. So as a result I was almost confused because I had never really done that. I had always just played a lot of notes, but as a result of having a lot of space in between each note, I basically started filling that space with the stick twirls, and a lot of the antics that people comment over. And that's where most of that came from, was just having so much in the songs.

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