July 12, 2024

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Interview with Sander Smeets։ I feel that the musical intellegence of the yourger generations gets less

Interview with drummer Sander Smeets. An interview by email in writing.

Dear readers, get to know more about our US/EU Jazz – Blues Festivals and the activities of our US/EU Jazz – Blues Association in the capitals of Europe, we will soon publish program for 2024, enjoy in the July – August – Brussels, Berlin, Prague, Warsaw, Sofia, new addreses this year, also in Amsterdam, Budapest and Liverpool.

JazzBluesNews.com: – How has your sound evolved over time? What have you been doing to find and develop your own sound?

Sander Smeets։ – As a drummer you always try to adjust your sound to the situation and band your playing in. You choose different tunings for the drums and different cymbals depending on the size off the hall or the style of music. Over the years trough gaining some experience playing different halls and drumsets you learn what sound every situation needs.

OUR US/EU Jazz and Blues Festivals 2023

JBN: – What routine practices or exercises have you developed to maintain and improve your current musical proficiency, in terms of both rhythm and harmony?

SS: – Most practise routines for me are of course based on rhythm since I am a drummer. I do technique exersices, wich can be snaredrum solo’s or certain exersises to develop speed. I do a lot of coördination exersises, these are exercises to train your brains to play different rhythms with differents limps at the same time. I also do melodic exersises where i try to play the melody of a certain tune on the drums and then play around with it, this is also the way I think about drumsolo’s, a drummer should always keep the melody in his/her head.

JBN: – Have you changed through the years? Any charges or overall evolution? And if so why?

SS: – Of course, like many others, I started out mostly just practising a lot inside the safe surroundings of my practise room. Playing a long to many records. The moment I started going out to jamsessions and to play a lot with other musicians is when I really started to get a hang of the role of a drummer within a band. I think for drummers it’s the most important thing to play a lot with many different musicians and to listen to a lot of music.

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JBN: – In your opinion, what’s the balance in music between intellect and soul?

SS: – I think the soul is the most important. You should always play the stuff that you really hear and feel. Intellect can help you to hear more stuff and actually being able to play it. By getting a good balance between this two you can become a well rounded musician

JBN: – There’s a two-way relationship between audience and artist; are you okay with delivering people the emotion they long for?

SS: – I always like to play in the way that I feel music, because that’s the best way to get my message across. Sometimes you feel the audiance might need something different and you adjust a little bit to that. But music should always come first.

JBN: – How can we get young people interested in jazz when most of standard tunes are half a century old?

SS: – By playing them in the way that you feel and like them, while respecting the music. The great thing about jazz music is that it’s new everyday, so everyday you might play it different too, altough the tunes are there already for such a long time. When you know the history and meaning of a old tune and you’ve checked out many versions, you are ready to play it your own way.

JBN: – John Coltrane once said that music was his spirit. How do you perceive the spirit and the meaning of life?

SS: – For me music is the most important thing in life, music always comes first. But there’s more in life than music like family and friends.

JBN: – If you could change one single thing in the musical world and that would become reality, what would that be?

SS: – I hope that more people my age or even youger are getting more into acoustic and improvised music. Nowadays there are so many meaning less and simple songs, that I feel that the musical intellegence of the yourger generations gets less.

OUR US/EU Jazz and Blues Association 2023

JBN: – Whom do you find yourself listening to these days?

SS: – At the moment it’s mostly Elvin Jones, Tony Williams, Philly Joe Jones and Sonny Payne.

JBN: – Let’s take a trip with a time machine: where and why would you really want to go?

SS: – To December 9th 1964, to the Van Gelder Studio’s to witness the recording of A Love Supreme by John Coltrane. I think that would be the most intens musical experience ever.

JBN: – So far, it’s been me asking you questions, now may I have a question from yourself…

SS: – What was the best concert you ever saw and why?

JBN: – Below or on the website in general, you can see our festival concerts, this year also in Amsterdam, but without you… Look above, after your first reply, our reviews of last year’s festival concerts are inside, one by one wonderful, and so it has been for 10 years.

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Interview by Simon Sarg

Sander Smeets 7459-1_3272 | Drums; Member of the Jacob Bedau… | Flickr

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