An Interview via e-mail with Robin Guy,

Drummer Extraordinair who mans the stool for GMT - a trio that conisits of Robin Guy, John McCoy & Bernie Torme.

Completed 18th September, 2008. Q's by Glenn Milligan

Why drums as your chosen instrument?
Drums chose me! Since as long as I remember, there's always been a part of me tapping out rhythms
(no matter what I'm doing) with my teeth, toes, fingers etc

Who in fact made you initially wanna start playing and why?
Me - haha! I don't know how, or why, but I've always been drawn towards the drums
- right back when I'd accompany my folks to watch my Sister in the school band/ orchestra,
I'd always sit where I could glue my eyes to the drummer, for the entirety of the concert!

What was your first kit and what made you decide to have it?

Well my first kit was Mum's ironing board with pots, pans & bells + mini cymbals tied to it & hanging off ropes!
(my Mum was a Music & Movement teacher so we had weird percussion lying around)
But my first 'proper' kit was thirdhand (ie: 1 more than secondhand!) from the drummer
(from the school orchestra I mentioned earlier) who lived at the other end of the village.

It had "The Midway Brass" logo'd on the front head, which I changed to "The ass", which suited me better I think. (see below - note kitchen stool!)

Who are your fave drummers and why?

My fave drummers are not only ones who have a terriffic groove (natch!) but also have a personality & character too!
Insanely-amazing-yet-faceless-drumming does nothing for me - I want to believe that the person behind the beat is equally amazing/ exciting too y'know?!!
Roy Mayorga, Chad Smith, Morgan Rose, Travis Barker, Abe Laboriel Jnr, Bud Fontsere, Tommy Lee, Jimmy De Grasso, Randy Castillo, Nicko McBrain, Clive Burr,
Buddy Rich, Stewart Copeland, Joey Jordison, Shannon Larkin, Kodo drummers, the list goes on...all these people have inspired me, & in return I have stolen from them!
But the best drummer I've ever seen in my life was Ron Bruner Jr. - when he was playing for Suicidal Tendencies - the road crew were pouring water on his drum skins,
he was hitting drums behind his back, & cymbals would appear to move by themselves... A mindblowing performance.

What albums or songs stand out to you from purely a listening point of view and why?

Well the first music I really got into as a kid was Adam & The Ants, & The Police. If you listen carefully to both bands, you'll hear incredible (& original) rhythms being played.
Then at 13, my life changed when I discovered Iron Maiden. Both Clive Burr & Nicko McBrain are amazing drummers - Clive in a punky, fast singles kinda way,
& any Maiden track with Nicko on is a drum solo anyway - arf arf!

Did you take aspects on them and incorporate them into your own style?
Totally - I guess Adam & The Ants gave me the percussive tribal groove thing, & The Police/ Copeland showed me how the drums can drive & change a song,
bringing it up & down just by changing from the hi-hat to the ride, switching from 1/4 notes up to 8th notes, then back again!

How would you describe the Robin Guy style of drumming and how does it set you aside from other drummers?
Well hopefully I've been inspiring to some in my approach to the kit - live or otherwise!
I look at drumming as a kinda rhythmic dance - I mean with drumming, your whole body's gotta feel the groove, & your arms just follow suit!
When I'm working out drum tracks for a particular song, I take onboard everything - ie: vocals, guitar breaks, links etc
& try to come up with drums that not only complement the song, but bring it to a new level musically too.
I've done sessions where I've laid down the drums, & the singer's said OK - I want to re-do the vocals now, as you've given the song a new edge!

As for style...well, I remember when Sack Trick were supporting Bruce Dickinson way back, we came offstage & Bruce's then drummer (Dave ----?) was like:
"Wow Dude - you're just like Keith Moon on drugs!"
I replied: "I tend to think of it as Keith Moon, deprived of drugs...!!!"

What have been your fave drums kits that you have owned and why?
My 1st kit cost £48, I think I paid it off on £1 a week pocket money (+ help from Aunties, Uncles, Grandparents etc!), & I loved it!
(It also had Buddy Rich's autograph on one of the toms - I still have the skin today!)
My second kit was based on Nicko's 'Powerslave' kit...(ie: too many drums!!!) It was a 9-piece Tama Imperialstar in silvery-gold..& I loved this too!

My 3rd kit was a Tama PINK! It was fkn amazing & had 3 racks, 2 floors, 2 kicks, a Power-Tower rack system, & a billion cymbals! (I completely loved this one..)
I then (stupidly) found a shop selling a 24" kick, 10" tom & 18" floor, also in pink, so I bought them to add to my monster, leaving me with:
4 tom-toms, 3 floor toms, 3 bass drums, the rack system, & a billion cymbals (inc. 2 chinas with those weighted boom stands!)
It was 80's, OTT, & awesome! (just like my hair at the time...)
Then I saw sense, bought a double pedal, & retired most of the kit to my folks loft.
Then I saw more sense, split the huge kit into THREE kits(!!), sold off 2, & kept the one.
My 4th kit was an endorsement kit from Pearl - a black Masters Custom - fuck yessss. (you guessed it - pure love.)

Another Day In The Office Pt 1

My latest kit was one I designed & played for 'Pearl Day 08' & they let me keep it (Vision series), it's totally versatile, compact, but can destroy buildings with it's power...
Naturally, I love this one the most.

Another Day In The Office Pt 2

I noticed that you have played with numerous bands and musicians - out of all of them who have been the most memorable to record, gig and socialise with and why?
Damn - what an impossible question to try to answer!!
Without sounding like I'm taking the easy way out, I'd say pretty much most times I've recorded, gigged, socialised etc, there has been something memorable to take away!
- Even if it's been the worst experience ever, you learn the most from it!
Socialising with Faith No More was pretty interesting when I did Top Of The Pops with them - I had to try & fit into their vibe & humour (& dressing room!)
in the short time I had to get to know them - like do I laugh at their in-jokes, or just sit there bemused...
Mike Patton 'flipped me the bird' on national television, & Billy Gould was shouting: "I'm gonna freakin tape this freakin mask to your freakin face",
& I later found & returned his (80's Bon Jovi-tastic style haircut) passport (I was thinking: "your nuts, my hand..."), so he was rather humble & bought me drinks next time we met!
I have great stories from recording with:
Casey Chaos - "Man - you're like the ghost of (Shannon) Larkin!!" He then asked me to join Amen...
AntiProduct - I think in 3 days rehearsal + 2 days recording, we'd finished the debut album, clocking up something like 60 hours of drumming...w.o.r.k.a.h.o.l.i.c...
Sack Trick - recording album tracks I'd never heard b4, in the lounge, with a broken walkman earpiece as headphone,
Rachel Stamp - "What's that intermittent buzzing Robin?" "Oh - it must be this office fan in my drum booth...!",
Vatican Roulette - "What's that intermittent buzzing Robin?" "Oh - it must be these bangles on my arms...!" (then they were gaffa-taped up.),
Rag Dolls - re-recording 'live sound' over some live footage for MTV, using the video as visual click-track...
Fatman & Robin - recording a footbal song entitled: "Win The F*cking Cup"...strange it never made the charts...

Eating my breakfast off my snare drum, whilst embarking on a 2-song session with The King Blues, that went so well, I ended up recording the rest of the album!
(Then opening Reading Festival with them...see below!)

Recording the entire Doom Day album, + playing 2 shows with Chemical Kaos & 1 show with The FOUR DAYS!!!
Recording with Conspirators - on a farm - like actually where the cows would be milked - doing drum tracks in the open air, with one mic...
Martin Grech - recording at Island Records, re-working a 4min track into a 12min overture, including a mental tribal drum battle involving Martin, myself & the guitarist!
Walking in to jam & record with Rancid's guitarist Lars Frederiksen was pretty special, & then in walks Dave do some vocals!

Robin in the studio with Lars Frederiksen........................& Dave Courtney!!

Sh*t - the list is endless, & that's just recording stories - offa the top of my head!
To answer gig & social stories would take a book... ;o)

How did you come to get the gig in Sack Trick?

I've known (Sack Trick main man & founder) Chris Dale for a long time - he's one of me best buds & always has a story to tell!

Robin & Chris in Greece, with their new car *ahem*

Here's a brief history:
Chris, Alex (Dickson) & Sponder (Alex Elena) were Bruce Dickinson's band when he quit Maiden, it was called Skunkworks.
When Skunkworks finished, Chris, Al & Sponder had a band called Fling.
They also had Sack trick.
Chris left Fling, but stayed to help roadie for them, with me driving (drummers gotta have a car - right?!),
They then recorded the 1st Sack Trick album (I'm unwittingly on a track called "Robin's Good News", involving our friends Faith No More, but that's another story)
Sponder left to find fame & fortune in New York, Chris moved into the house I lived in, I joined Sack Trick, resulting in many gigs dressed as
A Furry Chicken, A Bald Angel, A Transvestite Rapper, A Pimpin' Stripper, & A Stripe-y Gimp. I also do a neat strip whilst singing Kiss's 'Beth'.

I'd also like to add that Bruce Dickinson loves Sack Trick, & he not only booked us to play his Sons Birthday party,
but then took us on tour as first support on the Chemical Wedding tour, which in turn led to him pretty much hiring Sack Trick as his backing band,
when he was booked to headline some of Europe's biggest metal festivals....most excellent. More madness at

Love to know all about working and hanging out with Doogie White as I am an Yngwie J. Malmsteen and Rainbow fan!
Doogie is a lovely chap - the few times I've met/ hung out/ played with him have been nothing but a pleasure - & he has lungs of steel.
When he sings the middle-8 part in Sack Trick's 'Blue Ice Cream', it's 'hairs-on-the-back-of-the-neck-time', it's even better if he's dressed as Jesus...

Are you still in contact with him much at all or any other artists you have worked with in the past?
I bumped into Doogie the other day/ month - at a Deep purple convention! - I was there with Bernie Torme (GMT)

Me, Rob Grain (GMT Tour Mgr), Doogie White & Bernie

How did you get to know John & Bernie and become part of GMT?

I was doing some recording with The Scapegoats (myself, AntiProduct frontman/ guitarist Alex Kane, & The Wildhearts bassist Danny McCormack)
at Bernie Torme's studio ( ), & Bernie dug my playing & vibe, & he told me he needed a suitable drummer for him & legendary bassist John McCoy.
The rest is tinnitus-inducing history...

GMT on TV! GMT with Twisted Sister's Dee Snider on vocals!!

For you personally what are your fave times working with John & Bernie ?
Everytime we get together, something out-of-this-world happens!
Recording the 1st album 'Bitter & Twisted', I'd be flying blind alot of the time (Bern & John wouldn't bother telling me how the song we were about to record went...),
& this one time, it came to the middle-8, & Bernie looked at me & screamed "GO MAD!" - I collapsed in a heap laughing so hard,
as I realised this was his 'musical direction' for how the song went at that particular bit!
Literally every show we do, something ridiculous happens that has one of us pissing ourselves laughing, & that usually starts a chain reaction...!

Fave GMT songs and why?
Well, playing-wise live, some of my mega-faves are "You Can't Beat Rock N' Roll" - simple to play, but really fun to rock out to!
Same with "Rocky Road (From Dublin)". (The vids to these two songs are at: & )
"Vincenzo" is one we've only started playing so it's cool seeing the audience's reaction as they hear it live for the 1st time, despite it being out 2 years!
We are just finishing mixing the 2nd album, so once that's out, we'll be touring more songs off that - in the meantime, we've added a few newies in the show,
& "Perfumed Garden" is a journey in itself (all 10 mins of it!) which builds & builds, then drops to a whisper...
"You Can't Hold Me" is me doing my best Keith Moon,
"Punko Rocco" has Dee Snider singing on the album, so you know that's gotta ROCK!
When I listen back to the album(s), I'm amazed at what we've achieved - I mean, alot of these songs (on debut album) are 1st takes, of songs I hadn't really heard/ learnt before,
so there's alot of magic captured within that record - most of which is good magic...!! ;o)
The 2nd album will suprise alot of people I think - as we've pushed it 'out there' a bit more - we've got some bhangra/ ragga beats goin on, a blues extravaganza,
+ a good dose of rockin juggernauts...

Fave gigs so far and for what reasons?
Well, without doubt, the best day of my life so far was headlining Wacken Open Air with Bruce Dickinson.
Close to 40,000 metalheads, we went on during daylight, & throughout our performance it became dusk, the lights kicked in, then nearing the end it was night
& darkness enveloped the audience, save for thousands of lighters & various fires etc - we played a blinder of a set & the whole show was pure magic.
Not to say that I haven't had truly remarkable experiences since, but it'll take alot to top that!
I even got to do a drum solo to the masses - & when I finished, Bruce ran back on & asked the crowd if they "wanted some more?"
to which (in my mind) every one of the 40,000 strong crowd screamed: "Yes please - we'd love it if Robin played some more drums...!" *ahem*

The 1st gig GMT did was for Clive Aid (Charity set up for ex Maiden drummer Clive Burr who has MS) at Maiden's birthplace The Ruskin Arms,
Clive used to be in a band with Dee Snider & Bernie, called Desperado, so there's another crazy connection there!

Me, Bernie & Clive - at our 1st show

Headlining the House Of Blues in Chicago with The Business was pretty special - it's a wicked place to play (as anyone who's played there will testify!)
- they totally took care of us & it felt only slightly out of place that this punk rock machine of madness was playing this top notch glossy venue!
Same with El Rey Theatre in L.A. - red carpets & chandeliers, mixed with psychobillys, skins & mowhawk freaks + The Business!!
We also headlined the legendary-but-now-sadly-no-more New York club CBGB's - TWICE on the same tour!! (the 2nd show & last show on the tour)

Typical show with The Business - audience end up onstage, band end up on drum riser!!

When Conspirators opened for Fightstar, the tour ended at The Scala in London - we wanted that little bit extra, so we brought on cheerleaders with pom-poms,
& together with my brother hobbling around on stripey crutches (he'd fractured his ankle whilst jumping off a stage in Glasgow..) it looked like a Rob Zombie concert!!

Headlining the Astoria with Rachel Stamp was probably one of the best feelings/ times ever - here we were, still unsigned(??!!!), pulling 2000 people,
all dressed up to the nines, willing to pay a tenner to see us, losing their minds whilst stagediving - we had the best-looking moshpit you'd ever witness!!
(& just for the record, The Last Of The Teenage Idols were the 1st band able to do this, we were the 2nd, & The Darkness were the 3rd...not the 1st!! meow.)

Supporting Stevie Salas at the Underworld with Kitty Hudson back in '03 which lead to me recording the Swans In Flight album - 4 years later!
& Ultimately lead to me playing with T.M. Stevens (James Brown/ Steve Vai) 5 years later...

Anytime I've ever played The Six Bells in Chiddingly, with any band...

Crash-learning some of the hardest stuff I've ever heard, in 2 rehearsals (with Martin Grech), then that night playing a show down South (with Kitty Hudson),
then after the gig, being dropped at Gatwick Airport, flying to Scotland (4am), to arrive just in time to open Main Stage at T-In-The-Park (with Martin Grech),
which lead to me playing some amazing shows, tours & recording for Martin for the next couple of years!! Which also included:

Opening for Muse at Wembley Arena, with Martin Grech
(Excited Robin: "Mum, Dad - I'm playing Wembley!!")

Opening for The Offspring in some huge French arena (with TAT), then being invited out for drinks with Dexter Holland (he got fairly whacked on tequila..)
Opening Reading Festival with TAT - there's something really special about being the 1st band making noise - as the excited crowd rush in!!

Rocking Reading fest with TAT

One of the best tours I've done was back in '03 - with All About Eve. Everybody thinks they're this wussy Goth Hippy-lite band,
but they were one of the most Rock n' Roll & fun bands I've had the pleasure to tour with.
I'll never forget a drunken freestyle rap-battle between myself & Julianne Regan, in some hotel room - JR is quite the Hip-Hopper y'know?!!
(My nickname on that tour was MC Bobbinz....nuff said!)

Rescuing the Guitar Gangsters (drummer broke leg) with 1 rehearsal, then festival in Germany the next day....which in turn then lead to:
Touring all over the world with The Business, having some of the most insane hardcore experiences ever.......which in turn then lead to:
Filling in for shows with Deadline - again with 1 rehearsal (what's with these punks?) supporting Mad Sin.......which in turn then lead to:
Almost joining Berlin's finest punkin' psychos Mad Sin..!!
+ the Doom Day band/ project I'm involved in (with ex The Prodigy guitarist Gizz Butt) came out of a direct result of working with The Business.
Yes, the music business is nuts.

What's next for you and GMT?
Finishing this bloody album!! Then playin it to the world... (it's now out!)

I understand you do drum clinics - how did you get into that, whats been your faves and why?
I am lucky enough to have full sponsorship with Pearl drums, Sabian cymbals, Vic Firth sticks, Aquarian skins, Audio Technica mics, & Protection Racket cases
(& Armitage Shanks make my Kitchen Sinks!!), so one day, my man from Sabian calls me up & says: "you gotta get down to 'Four Four' in Fareham, as they are hosting
an open day there with some clinics going on, & it's mainly Zildjian (other main brand of cymbals) endorsees, so get in, do your thing & represent!!"
As I was driving down with my kit, I thought "what the Hell am I gonna do or play?!!" I had no songs/ tracks to play along to, so I just went for it, dived in, rocked a solo,
then talked for a bit then played some more.
It was a success, & then I started doing more clinics, armed with solos, grooves, talk/ advice + some tracks to play along to.
I was then asked to represent Pearl at the first "Drummer Live '05"...& then again at the second in '06!

Rocking at 'Drummer Live' at Wembley

Since then I've done loads more, & recently I played main stage at "Pearl Day '08" - alongside Jimmy De Grasso (Suicidal/ Megadeth/ Ozzy etc!),
Primal Scream's Darrin Mooney, & Purple's Ian Paice!!

Robin Guy signing..............................................................................& rocking at Pearl Day '08

Got any more planned in the future and where?
I'm doing a couple of clinics at Music Live '08 at Birmingham's NEC, then playing with T.M. Stevens at 'Bass Day' in Manchester,
so I'd better stop this interview, & pickup some sticks...!
Any further clinics will be up on the GuySpace -

What are your most memorable tour stories over the years - the more, the better !! for better or for worse!!
This question will take me weeks to answer, so I'll just skim through some highlights (& lowlights!)...

Playing TWO SHOWS, in TWO DIFFERENT COUNTRIES, with TWO DIFFERENT was with Bruce Dickinson, at Graspop festival in Belgium,
(wicked bill - Slayer, Biohazard, Machine Head, Rob Halford, Dream Theatre etc), then flying back (with Bruce, who incidentally changed his First Class seat to sit with me!)
to headline Thurrock Music Fest with Rachel Stamp.
After a 100mph chauffer-driven James-Bond-esque car race from Heathrow Airport round the M25 to Thurrock, I got there with 2 minutes to spare!!!
Rock, & indeed, Roll.

I've survived two utterly insane tours of the USA with UK street-punk legends The Business, both tours were 55 shows in 60 days, give or take a mile...
The 1st tour was mental as Micky, the singer was a full blown alcoholic (he's rehab'd & clean/ still alive now - bless him!), so he'd just disappear...daily!
The most overused tour saying was: "Where's Micky?",
The most overused reply was: "I dunno!", + we never had any info given to us by the tour manager, so everytime we asked a tour question, it went like this:
Robin: "How far to the next show/ hotel?" or: "What time is the soundcheck/ food served/ showtime/ curfew etc?" or: "What time are we leaving to go/ waking to leave etc?"
TM: "I dunno!"
So we nicknamed the tour the "I Dunno Tour 04", & I printed some shirts up, with all the dates up on the back, but with NO venues, & NO towns, just DATES,
& a huge "?" in the centre of the shirt's dates, & on the front it stated "...I survived The Business 'I Don't Know Tour 04'..."

On the 2nd tour (in '06), after the 1st week, I stuck my drumstick through my eyelid, narrowly missing my pupil, onstage, in Atlanta.
I was halfway through the gig(!), so decided to finish the show(!!), then went to hospital at 1am. It was the hospital where they patch up the local prison inmates(!!!),
so there were armed nurses running down the hallway that I was laying in etc (complete madness, & me thinkin I've lost my sight/ eye...)
I had stitches (whilst still wearing my sweaty stagegear), then I got out at 7am, & off to the next show(!!!!).

Before...........................................................................................& After:


Do NOT try this at home folks.

Who else if you had the chance would you like to work with in the future if you had the chance? - not that you would leave GMT of course!
I'd love to work with Vanilla Ice, Suicidal Tendencies, Snot, Soulfly & White Zombie. In any order...or combination. Oh & Millie Jackson.
I wouldn't say no to depping for Nicko in Iron Maiden should he ever fall foul of the flu...

How did the teching with Fightstar come to be?
Well, my insanely-talented film-making brother Corin has shot alot of band vids (Rachel Stamp, Martin Grech, GMT, The King Blues...)
& he was also responsible for the Fightstar vid "Waste A Moment". I went to the shoot to hang out & help with drums etc & got on really well with the guys.
Fightstar then took my brothers band Conspirators (that I play drums in, natch!) out on a UK tour, which was mega fun.
Then a while later, Charlie (the frontman) called me up & in an embarrassed tone asked if I'd consider drum tech for them on a Kerrang sponsored tour,
with Coheed & Cambria headlining, + Madina Lake & Fightstar, with Circa Survive opening.
I had no shows for that fortnight, so said yes & it was one of the most fun times I've ever had on tour!
+ I was eating swordfish & prime steak every night in catering!!!
+ I became friends with Chris Pennie (C & C's drummer, who used to be in The Dillinger Escape Plan!),
- we shared Maiden stories (C & C covered The Trooper every night!), + he asked me to soundcheck his kit one night...awesome!

Is it strange to do teching when you are used to being on the kit playing the gig yourself?

Actually no, being on tour is a bit like err, camping(!) in that you gotta make the best out of what you've got, when you get it.
So I'm good at finding things (gaffa tape, Jack Daniels, ice, more gaffa), making things, fixing things & generally helping things to run smoothly & fun.
I was also the cocktail maker on our bus. Madina Lake would say: "Robin Guy's making Cockies again...let's rock!"

How is it all going so far with them?
Very well thankyou - here is my special stagewear for teching with Fightstar, meet The Jager-Fairy:

Overall what are you most proud of as a human being and as a drummer so far?
I'm just pleased & proud that I've managed to stick it out thus far in life to achieve my dream of becoming a professional drummer (ie: getting by, through playing drums)
Some months, I don't earn a penny & it can get stressful, but ultimately this is what I do, so I'm thankful! (apart from some hearing loss along the way...)
Looking back on all these pictures & words (way too many - right?!!) I know I have some good stories to tell, & I think this is really what life is about
- it's not the destination that matters, but the journey, & if you haven't got stories from life, where have you been...?!!

I'll leave you with this picture that says it all really - at the 1st Clive Aid that GMT played, I got to hang out with Clive,
which lead to me helping to sell his 'Number Of The Beast' drum kit to the Hard Rock Cafe for £10,000!

Slightly proud moment this! L-R: Adrian Smith (Maiden), Sam Hill (Clive Aid Main Man - me & Sam sold Clive's kit), Yannick Gers (Maiden), Tony Iommi (Sabbath),
Clive's drumming hero Ian Paice (Deep Purple), Yours Truly, Bruce D (Maiden), Clive's kit (I got to set it up!!), Don Bernstein (Hard Rock Cafe Memrobilia Guru),
In front - Clive Burr (original Maiden drummer) with a very large cheque (in all manner of the word!)

Alright, sorry if this is the longest interview in history, (now you know why it's taken 8months for me to find the time to reply..),
but if you've read this far, then thankyou, & come visit me at & tell me that METALLIVILLE SENT YOU!!!

Rock. ON.

Robin Guy