“Hail true metal,” Steve said as I shuffled through his latest mix tape, although this was no ordinary tape – a collection of his favourites past and present. Instead a back-to-back collation of all the bands he was once involved with right up to his current role drumming in The Redeemed – a five-piece thrash metalcore band from Surrey.
Steve Peter David is no run-of-the-mill drummer though, he has devoted his whole life to the craft and can play enhanced, complex solo with speed and accuracy. “People with a real passion for the music and scene, be it thrash, metalcore or the lighter stuff they really appreciate a good drummer.”
I wanted to get to know how Steve Peter David became so respected at what he does both live on stage and in the recording studio. There was no better way to start than right at home in his studio to see if I can find out how it all came together.
“At the age of fourteen I got my real piece of kit – a pearl forum, rock size 5 piece.” Steve replied, “in black.”
He grew up listening to the likes of Slipknot, Slayer, Dimmie Borgir, Cradle of Filth, Pantera and Metallica to name just a few. “There really are too many to mention but those bands were big around about at that time.”
I had been eager to ask Steve about an old cassette tape he had passed my way around a decade ago. The tape consisted of bands such as Deftones, Placebo, Fony, Earthtone9 and Marilyn Manson. “The tape was given to me by a friend,” he added, “back then people you know would make up a mixtape of bands or records they liked and give it to you to listen too.”
“I’ve made up my own mixtapes to practise drumming to – latterly on CDs. That is how I learn,” he adds, “someone else’s track, by ear. Just listening and working out which cymbals to hit or use the kick pedal.”
The early mixtapes and social scene at the time paved the way for Steve to start drumming for his first band at the age of 16 when asked to become part of a group called Handheld Universe which later changed its name to Mirrorfist.
By the age of 18 Steve had become part of Neoentity and with many changes in style along the way he has ended up in his current role drumming for The Redeemed. “Drumming in several different bands has seen the style of drumming change along the way,” he says. “You might start out with a more mainstream classic metal angle but then change to thrash for example. There’s no real rules so to speak, just enjoy it.”
During the early days of Mirrorfist Steve played at local venues such as the Leatherhead Theatre where they won Battle of the Bands. Nowadays with his current band The Redeemed on tour Steve has played the likes of Sin City in Swansea, Sanctuary in Basingstoke, The Fighting Cocks Kingston and The Star Guildford.
At this point Steve took one of his swords off the wall to show me. It has been two years since I last saw him and much has changed. The studios really taken shape with bizarre and interesting objects on show, I noticed Steve himself had a full sleeve tattoo on his left arm to complement the right.
I wanted to ask Steve about the band that never happened. Was there once talk of forming a band that never materialised? “Indeed there was,” Steve replied. “The band Decapitated were asking the public to forward them demos as they needed a new drummer.” “The demo was for a hard song to drum, very complicated and I didn’t get the demo in on time.”
“There are still great memories along the way though and recently seeing the crowd’s reactions and singing the lyrics to our songs, that really pushes you to do more.”
A great band Steve has come across recently whilst on tour were called Redwood Avenue he tells me: “They are really musically talented and good at what they do.”
My final question had to be had he ever been on stage and the lights gone out. Steve replied, “every time we go on stage the lights go out, for the intro… then they come back on again.” He laughed, “Haha that was a good question” and with that it was time to go, with a bundle of new mixtapes to keep me occupied until the next time…
Words by Trevor Osborn