The Christian Drummer Interviews Paul Evans (The Christian Drummer)
Last modified: 01 Dec 2008
Source: The Christian Drummer
Author: Matt Hains
Date: 01 Dec 2008
Paul Evans is the envy of many a drummer as he was chosen to pick up where Stew Smith (Delirious?) left off. Bringing his energy and enthusiasm and wealth of drumming experience to the table, and the news that Delirious? are set to end their chapter in the book of music, Paul is a vital member of the band as they finish off probably one of the greatest chapters in their lives - but as the band have said, "The best is yet to come!".
I had met Paul briefly at Heart to Drum '07 and saw him on stage bashing away. I was able to get hold of Paul and threw a few questions his way to gauge where he was at with his drumming in the band and his views on Christian drummers in the music business.
How long have you been drumming and how did it all start?
I started Drumming at 11, my dad bought me a kit for my birthday, he told me I'd been asking for one for a while but I couldn't remember asking but was happy anyway! the next day my uncle gave me a lesson just the basic "billie jean beat" and then the "we will rock you beat" I really struggled playing the 2nd kick and keeping the hi-hat going! I learnt playing mainly along to CD's had a couple of lessons here and there, It wasn't till I went to ACM at 21 that I really started understanding what I was doing! Then I had a few lessons with Terl Bryant who really helped! it wasn't long till I started playing at my dad's church and it just grew from there.
Tell us about your current kit setup
My current Set up is a Tama Starclassic Performer (birch) its cheaper than the maple but I prefer the sound of Birch! size wise its 22? by 18? kick, 12? by 9?rack Tom and a 16? by 16? floor tom ( I also have a 14' by 14' floor tom if I can be bothered or have space in the car!). My main snares are a 402 Ludwig supraphonic 14? by 6? 1/2 ( I think it was made in 1980 the year of my birth!) and a 14? by 5?1/2 ludwig acrolite, my cymbals at the moment untill I break them are Zildjian 14?new beat hi hats, 18? A medium thin drash, 21? K crash Ride and a 21? A sweet ride, I like big sizes anything smaller than 18? feels like I'm hitting a splash......
What drumming experiences do you have, church or mainstream etc.?
Experience-wise most of my playing has been within the church scene, mainly at events like Soul survivor, New wine and churches around the world, I played for a girl called Cathy Burton and a lot of bands who have played a lot of clubs around London, I also went through a stage where I did a lot of studio work which I enjoy enormously just getting ideas a playing late into the night! you get to play more in the studio than live!
How did it come about that you became the next drummer for Delirious?
Before I moved to Watford I had been going to the same church as Delirious for over 15 years, so I've known them for a while and they knew my playing well from seeing me play with other people, I'd been doing sessions for their front of house engineer for years a guy called Paul Burton who (along with others) had put my name forward for a lot of gigs, it just seemed like a natural progression in a way and Stew had been a huge influence on my playing( I only recently got rid of my pearl maple piccolo which was the same as Stew's!) 2 years previous to Stew leaving I filled in for him on a US tour which he couldn't do, so when he decided to leave it was easy to get me in 'cos I already knew the songs!
Do you feel that you have some big shoes to fill now that Stew Smith has left Delirious?
Delirious are one of those bands that the people know the names of every member of the band not just the die hard fans, and I think that's 'cos they all bring something very different and integral to who Delirious is, so I was very aware I couldn't just come in a play whatever I wanted, I mean the parts that Stew had come up with were every much as part of the song as the chord sequence or melody line, so I tried as much as I could to keep the parts the same, I realised watching them live before I joined that I would never look as exuberant as Stew or as muscular! It's been a real honour to take the role on and go through the back catalogue and learn his parts.
How do you feel your style of drumming contrasts/compliments the sound of Delirious now as opposed to when Stew was their drummer?
It's hard to say really! in many ways are playing is quite similar so I think that compliments Delirious quite well, Stew had a real shuffle to the way he played which at times I don't think I completely emulate but hopefully only the most die hard Delirious fan would notice.
As a Christian and a drummer, what are your thoughts on worshipping God with or on your kit?
That's a question I get asked a lot, I think sometimes drummers/musicians can really beat themselves up over their motives for playing, because at times we can quite enjoy the attention we get from being on stage or we find a lot of our identity in our skill, its quite hard to ever feel like your motives are pure but I think God understands our struggles, insecurities and the way we try and cover them up, I think thats were are own relationship with Jesus comes in, I realise this could sound quite liberal and there are times when I have seen people play and you know that there are up there more for there own reasons than any other and its horrible but honestly the amount of times I've done that myself are shameful, but God's grace is there.
Some guys struggle with being able to worship and being aware of what's happening around them, some times I think your worship can be in focusing on arrangements and where the worship leader wants to go, but I do understand that wanting to be lost in the moment is a real tension that people struggle with. Practically, I think being aware of what's going on around you is hugely important I very rarely look away from the worship leader and when I do I usually miss an ending! Having an understanding and awareness of what the bass player is doing is also important it's great when you get to play with someone regularly you can kind of guess where they're going, and also playing simply with dynamics and knowing when you don't need to play are where it's at!
If money was no object, what kit/setup would you have for the biggest gig you'd ever play?
Probably John Bonham's Ludwig Amber Vistalite , I'm too lazy to have more than 3 toms!
In your spare time (haha) what do you like to do?
I like to listen to music a lot, it luckily doesn't feel like work! also a bit of reading and a lot of sleeping just to catch up!
Interview originally published by Matt Hains on The Christian Drummer.
Reproduced with permission.