Drum Brigade Drummer of the Day: Candace Hansen
Once again we are super stoked to feature this heavy hitting drummer! This girl is the epitome of punk rock drumming! She straight up KILLS IT!! This week we are featuring Candace Hansen:
When did you start playing drums?
I unofficially started playing drums in grade school after like 2 years of begging to play snare drum instead of clarinet in school band. All the girls were relegated to either clarinet or flute, and finally after months of incessant asking I was finally given snare drum haha. It may have had something to do with the fact that I was a terrible clarinet player, but I was happy to finally be playing drums! I didn't learn a whole lot, but I did learn the concept of a fulcrum and paradiddle, so I'm grateful for that.
Officially I got my first drum kit when I was 15, my mom and I made payments of like $5 a week on it to a football player at the high school I was attending that year. I would practice every day and even take it with me to school some times, its a rad little red sparkle 1960's banger kit with a 20" kick drum, so I would just pile everything in it and take it to my friends houses and to school. I still have it and its as banged up as you might imagine it. I started playing in a ska punk band my junior year of high school (03) and drumming has been a big part of my life ever since.
Who do you play with/ (or where do u teach etc)?
Currently I'm playing drums in a band called YAAWN with my friends Josh and Jessica who are both really awesome musicians and all of us are drummers so its been great. We play weird music, I like to think its like post-hardcore or something but we don't really know. We've got some black metal songs, some hardcore songs, some weirdo odd time stuff, so we're kind of all over the board nerds. I also just recorded some drum tracks on Alice Bag's new record which should be coming out really soon. That was a lot of fun and Alice is such a great song writer and musician as well as an author, so it was really neat to get to work on that project with her.
I teach drums in a few places. One is I do private lessons once a month in Huntington Beach out of a studio in North HB called Sunstar. Another place I teach at is the Rock n Roll Camp for Girls OC, its an amazing org that I help run with some friends that empowers female and gender non-conforming youth through teaching them to write and play their own music.
What are some artists/ bands you've played/ toured/ recorded with?
In addition to YAAWN and Alice Bag I've played with some really cool folks like Exene Cervenka, a very short lived thing called Amongst Animals with some friends and way back with this 77 style punk band Neon Maniacs and a ska punk band called Not a Chance.
Biggest and/or best gig you ever played?
The biggest gig I ever played was probably in 2004 when I was playing drums in the Neon Maniacs and we were on this huge punk festival in MorcambeUK. It was like a 3 day thing with multiple stages that took over an entire beach town, I'm pretty sure its the same place that Morrissey used in his video for Everyday is Like Sunday. I was 18 and had just graduated high school and it was the first time I had really ever left my hometown except for a few short trips to San Fransisco with the same band, so needless to say I was starstruck and taken with the entire thing, and consequently spent the entire night before drinking since 18 year olds legally drink in the UK. We played the next afternoon in this big hanger type thing, it was so cool.
The best gig I ever played was probably when I was playing drums for Exene Cervenka and we played the Fonda in LA as direct support for Tiger Army on their Octoberflame show in 2012. I think of it as a "best gig" type of thing because we played a rad set of classic LA punk songs in LA including Germs, Black Flag, Weirdos, X, and some of Exene's solo stuff. Its not every day you get to back up a seminole punk poet playing some of the music that was so formative for you. As if the gig wasn't memorable enough, my hilarious mom came to the show and between songs I could hear her screaming "MY BABY! AHHHH CAAAANDACE!!" over a sold out crowd, I felt like I was like 10 at a clarinet recital and was kind of mortified, but I don't think anyone else noticed haha. Leave it to moms to bring you right back down to earth.
What is your favorite thing to do besides play drums?
I love writing and am a total nerd academic who specializes in history, gender studies, and music. I write a lot of different stuff for fun, but I also contribute music and history focused stuff to Tom Tom Magazine and OC Weekly. This year I applied to a few PHD programs, so hopefully I will be accepted to one!
Favorite drummer(s)/ influences?
Janet Weiss, Jason McGerr, and whoever is programming the drums in HIRS right now are the biggest influence on my playing. I love Janet Weiss's playing so much. She's blends big heavy arena grooves and simple but linear stuff into like rock riot grrrl complexity. Its like she took everything Bonham was doing and turned it into modern art. Jason McGerr is just such a phenomenal player, when I heard him on Tegan and Sara's The Con it completely changed my playing. And the HIRS collective is the most brutal band that nobody's heard of and I dream of playing blast beats like that.
Right now? chilaquiles!
Coffee all day every day.
Three things that people may or may not know about you?
I'm a Sagittarius/Sagittarius/Scorpio. I am obsessed with taking showers and usually ask for body wash for xmas. My first brush with being in the "public eye" was when I won the Pavilions Cookie Club drawing in the early 90's and I had my mug up at the cookie counter for an entire week cheesing with my giant cookie prize. I made my mom go to the grocery store multiple times that week to look at it.
What's your set up (drums, cymbals, heads, sticks, etc)?
I am a total gear nerd, so glad you asked! hahaha
Cymbals: Istanbul Agop XIST 24" ride, 20" 1960's Zildjian crash ride, and 14" Istanbul Agop XIST brilliant hi-hats. In YAAWN i have a very coveted 18" Wuhan China too.
Drums: Gretsch New Classic Maple in gold sparkle, 18x22, 10x12, and 12x14. I've been using a maple DW snare, but I also have a pearl black brass that I love.
I've also got the Ludwig Questlove kit that I am obsessed with.
Heads: I have for years been using Remo, I love their darker and deeper sound, especially their Vintage Ambassador stuff. BUT- lately I have gotten into the Aquarian Modern Vintage stuff.
Sticks: I have been into Vater for the last few years, right now I'm into the Jazz Ride sticks.
Hardware: I jumped on the flat stand boat after my DW9000 stands started feeling like a ton of bricks. I also wouldn't trade my Iron Cobra for any other pedal ever.
Who is your dream gig with?
I feel like I've already had some dream gigs, but I've always kind of fantasized about playing in the Disneyland Jazz Band, how much fun would that be? Go to Disneyland every day and play music? I mean, come on it can't get any better than that. Gotta get my chops up if thats ever gonna be a reality, Jimmy Ford was the last guy I saw doing that and his chops are fire. Maybe if they start a Disneyland Hardcore Band my dreams may be more realistic.
"One day may we all meet together in the light of understanding." -malcolm x
For more info about Candace please check out: