Interview: A D-Beat Odyssey with D-Beat Dad

A conversation with the hardcore punk youtuber D-Beat Dad.

YouTube is not only the kingdom of digital entertainment where you can find tons of punk channels shamelessly uploading songs, records and live videos you never imagined existed, but it can also be a great environment for DIY tutorials and learning about pretty much everything nowadays.

It is also the place where you can find scores of guitar, bass and drum covers of your favorite bands whatever the genre is, and this is exactly how I bumped into D-Beat Dad‘s (formerly D-Beat Dan) channel. For more than a year, Dan’s been doing some great drum cover videos, as well as educational ones about the nature of hardcore punk, crust and d-beat styles from a drummer’s perspective.

This week I’ve reached out to him with a few questions about his channel and he was kind enough to reply to me.

d-beat-dan

First of all, let’s start with a brief introduction to yourself. Who are you, where are you from and how did you find hardcore punk, crust, and d-beat in first place?

My name is Daniel, I just made my username ‘D-Beat Dad’ because I love D-Beat and being a dad—so why not combine the two?!

I’m from the United States and I started listening to punk around the age of 13, and it was by seeing interesting patches on kids at school that prompted me to be curious of what those bands were. Funny enough, my cousin showed me a compilation called Punk Core Records Sampler #1 with bands like A Global Threat, The Casualties, The Virus, Defiance, etc. 

Can you pinpoint a time in your life when you felt that you want to start playing drums? What came first—hardcore punk or drumming?

I guess the first time I technically played drums was when I was just five years old. It was a toy drum set and looking at old family videos I apparently enjoyed it. Fast forward to me being about 12 years old, I remember begging my mom for a drum set for Christmas. I have been playing them ever since.

As far as what came first for me, I would say drums. I have an uncle that would non-stop show me metal bands, especially Motörhead. Watching their drummer Phil Taylor was definitely the moment when I said to myself I want to play like that!

My biggest influences in drumming would be Phil Taylor of Motörhead, Marc Eggers (Meggers) from The Casualties, Frank Johanssen of Wolfpack, and Dadde Stark of Wolfbrigade.

Your D-Beat Dad channel has been active for more than a year now. I think I’ve found out about it from your drum cover of “The Day After” by Tragedy in my recommended videos. How did you come up with the idea to start such a channel?

Wow! It’s been a year already? It honestly feels like six months. But you’re right!

To be honest, I did not intend for this to be a “channel”. I just love playing drums and recording music. At the time I was really wanting to record something with a bunch of friends but we almost never seemed to sync our schedules and be able to write music together. So, I figured I would focus on getting better at drums because, although I have been playing for years, I somewhere forgot how important it was to continue to work on developing myself as a drummer.

I decided to record myself and do drum covers of my favorite bands and just leave them out there on the internet and look back someday at my progress as a drummer to see the improvements I made over time. Little did I know that people would actually watch it, then start requesting specific bands and songs, and now here we are.

I’m pretty sure “What is D-Beat?” is by far the most watched video on your channel. How did you come up with the idea to make something more than just the usual drum covers?

Yes it is, and still quite surprising. Same as the last question, at the time there were a lot of drum cover requests. But then someone commented “What is D-Beat?”

At the time I think I only had about 60 Subscribers, I figured instead of typing an answer I would just record a video of my opinion of what D-Beat is and my knowledge of how it came to be known. After that video, I assume it is shared a lot and it drove a lot of really cool people to reach out to me and now able to have cool conversations like this!

Can you summarize the origins and evolution of d-beat again for the purpose of this interview? It was great to watch the follow-up video about Diamond Head as well.

I can, but I highly recommend whoever reads this goes to check out Spike Smith’s video interview of Tezz Roberts (Discharge) and John Maher (Buzzcocks) that was just released last week on his channel.

When I made my video, I honestly only knew about the influence Discharge had in the name ‘D-Beat’ and that is why there is a “D” in D-Beat. To me, D-Beat is a primarily a drumming style. I assume as time progressed it generated a whole subgenre of punk which we all now know and love today.

To sum it up, there can be a lot of discussion about who invented D-Beat or who played it first. But I honestly don’t think anyone can argue that the reason we all know it so well is because of Tezz Robert’s from Discharge. Yes, John Maher (Buzzcocks) played it in one song (“You Tear Me Up”), Diamond Head played it in one song (“Helpless”), Motörhead probably in a couple. But one-off songs don’t really define a certain sound, and Tezz Roberts of Discharge played it on several songs of their first EP’s. Now that is why we paid attention to it. But of course, this is only my opinion, I wasn’t born yet when all of this had started but Spike Smith was and that is why you should watch his video and interview him about that!

What other plans do you have for growing your channel? The interview you did with Veli-Pekka from Rattus was a great one. Do you have any other interviews planned soon?

My plans are to just continue doing what I love and that is playing drums, punk & metal. As far as growing content, that is determined by you! Every video idea I’ve posted is based on what people subscribe & comment.

Yes, Veli-Pekka is a good friend of mine, we did a tour together and we had never talked about the things I asked him, funny enough! I do have more interviews planned, one of the upcoming ones is with Spike Smith so, he can tell us more about his video and get it out there. I also have videos with the drummers of Anti-Cimex, Driller Killer, Wolfpack, Wolfbrigade, and Disfear. As you can tell, Swedish D-Beat is my favorite!

Who are some of your favorite hardcore punk / d-beat drummers to watch? What are some of the best bands you’ve seen live?

A drummer I watch a lot is Tragedy’s, Paul Burdette. In my opinion he has taken D-Beat to a whole new level, but you can say that about Tragedy in general!

My favorite drummers I have seen live other than Paul are Mikkey Dee (Motörhead), Dadde Stark (ex-Wolfbrigade), and Adrian Erlandsson (At The Gates). In general, the best bands I’ve seen live are those three plus the one of System Of A Down.

What advice do you have for aspiring d-beat or hardcore punk drummers? Are there any useful resources that you would like to share besides your own videos?

My best advice is just play those drums!

Don’t worry about how you sound yet, you only get better by practicing. If anything feels challenging keep doing it, keep failing at it, because that’s how you will grow. As far as resources, I’m sure there are plenty, but I honestly don’t know. I will say that I’m sure there are plenty of better drummers than me on YouTube, from whom you can learn better techniques and how to apply them to what you want to do.

Tell us about your current drum kit and set up. What advice do you have in terms of drum sets and gear for new hardcore punk drummers on a budget?

My acoustic set is a Black Pearl Drum Set, I use a 4 piece set to play D-Beat and use Rude Paiste Cymbals because they’re loud as hell!

For practice and doing my videos I use a Roland TD17-KVX.

If you are on a very tight budget and you just want to play drums, go buy drum sticks and just start practicing on your couch, bed, floor, or buy a cheap drum pad and practice there.

If you are looking to get an electronic kit, I would recommend getting a basic kit first so you can feel it and get comfortable with it, and see if you’re actually going to dedicate time to it. Once you do, then I would suggest thinking of investing in a better quality set like Roland’s.

Tell us about the “D-Beat Trip Around the World” series on your channel. Do you find a lot of bands you’ve never heard about before from the comments on your videos?

That was fun!

Yes, that was another idea that was mentioned in comments by simply saying “You should check out this band from this country!” And the second thing is that I started seeing several comments of people saying “Thanks for showing me this band!” Which is great because that means more people can learn about more bands around the world and enjoy them too.

As far as me finding out a lot of bands I have never heard of until they were recommended, Yes! That is definitely the case. I have been listening to a lot of South American bands because of that. It’s hard to say what is the biggest discovery but since I love Swedish bands, my favorite discovery so far is Fredag Den 13:e. Go check them out!

What are some records of 2020 that you have really enjoyed? Are there any up and coming bands you’re excited about?

It’s sad to say this, but a lot happened in 2020, as you can imagine, and I honestly did not listen to any new bands. 

Thank you so much. Anything else to add?

Thank you for reaching out to me to do this. Whoever reads this if you have the time check out the channel whenever you can and follow me on Instagram: @dbeatdad. Subscribing is important to allow YouTube’s algorithm to know these videos are out there.

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