When did you become a Mapex artist?
I signed on in 2009.
What originally drew you to the Mapex brand?
In 2009 my former teacher was with Mapex at the time and I always liked the sound of his kit. I decided to buy a mapex kit next. But then a friend of mine luckily got me in contact with Mapex Germany and so we got together in 2009.
Mapex: Which Mapex Series do you perform on? What’s your configuration?
Anika: I perform on a mapex black panther white widow kit. It’s originally a black widow kit with a variation in the configuration of the kick drum and in the color.
my configuration is:
10x8 rack tom
12x9 rack tom
14x14 floor tom
16x16 floor tom
Mapex: What other Mapex drum sets or Mapex snares do you regularly use?
Anika: Besides the white widow kit, which is my main kit, I also use a Mapex Orion in silver sparkle and an originally black widow kit.
Snares which I regular use in different combinations are:
14x5 Black Panther black widow (side snare)
14x7 Balck Panther Phatbob
Mapex: Do you use any Mapex hardware?
Anika: I've used the falcon series for a considerable time now. I really like this hardware because of the rotation ability of the boom stands and also the feel of the kick pedal is awesome and really smooth to handle.
Mapex: Do you use a direct drive, chain, or strap on the Falcon?
Anika: All my pedals are with a chain. Probably it’s a habit but this absolutely suits me.
Mapex: Do you use the 10g and/or 20g weights with the Falcon pedal?
Anika: I’ve put the weights out of the beater to obtain the lightest result. The original weight of the beater is perfect for my kind of playing.
Mapex: Who are you performing with at the moment? How long have you been with the band?
Anika: At the moment I’m focused on producing and playing my own music and working on performing the songs live on stage with my newly formed band „Nevell“. But as an independent artist I work with different artists in the studio and live as well.
Mapex: When you’re on tour, when you're dealing with so many different venues and situations, what is your method for ensuring you get the best drum sound every time?
Anika: The important thing for me is to always feel comfortable behind the kit. A good or bad feel within the acoustic conditions of the venues have a big affect on my playing. To get the best result for a show, I need good monitoring. It's important that the kit is well tuned as well. So, I always take the time to tune for one or two hours.
Furthermore, I have some special tools along with me on the road to handle the sound of the different venues, some damping stuff for example. Also a good monitor or in ear sound is a crucial piece in the puzzle.
Mapex: Do you warm up before a gig? If you do, how long do you spend warming up and is there a specific routine you stick to?
Anika: It varies from show to show. Sometimes I do some rudimental warm ups on the practice pad. If I warm up like this is always a situational decision. But I always do some stretching exercises to loosen up the arms and legs to forestall injuries.
Mapex: Do you have any superstitions when you’re performing? (ex. Always wearing the same type of shoes every show)
Anika: No superstitions, I swear! :-)
Mapex: What was the toughest performance you’ve ever had, where things just weren’t going your way? What did you learn from the experience?
Anika: There was one show a few years ago. We were playing on a big open air festival and the stage was built on a huge river. The day would start with no snare drum, because the backliner forgot the snare in the warehouse. Yeah!
This day was extremely windy and we would have no inear monitoring on stage. While playing, the wind would carry away the sound from one side of the stage to the other. It felt like the sound of all monitors including my drum set would be blown away and I'd start hitting the drums like hell just to hear myself better. It didn’t work really well. Then a cymbal would brake, another one dropped down of the riser. Ahhh! I was a bit busy that day holding everything together.
And the next day, I felt like I went to the gym for 10 hours! I’ll never forget this show! And the days after :-)
Mapex: Explain the importance to you for having a strong presence on Youtube along with the importance of those video presentations being very high quality.
Anika: The original idea was to do just one video in the first place, to get a promotional video.
It took me a while to realize that this would not only get me good job offers along, but rather give an opportunity to share my music and passion with lots of people all around the world. Now everything makes completely sense and is of course a very important thing to me. Because I see myself not as a
youtube drummer as such, but present my songs with my drumming on it, like a band does perform their original music in special videos. With the help of close friends, who are also musicians, it has been and still is possible to produce videos as highly profiled as we can. Getting the best result is a principle we always stay on, sometimes it just costs time.
Mapex: Who or what inspired you to start playing drums? And how old were you when you started?
Anika: The first person who inspired me to play drums was my father I think. He was a drummer as well and he'd rehearse with his band in a regular period of time in our basement. I remember as I'd sit down behind his kit and watch him play. I was 5 years old. He taught me the first grooves I'd ever learned. Especially „Man in the mirror“ by Michael Jackson.
Mapex: Who or what inspires you today?
Anika: Today there are different drummers and bands who inspire me in drumming and composing. Sometimes it’s indivisible. But there are guys like Chris Coleman, Jojo Mayer, Aaron Spears, Steve Jordan, Adam Deitch and Vinnie Colaiuta who inspire me, but also musicians like Me’shell Ndegeocello, John Mclaughlin, John Scofield, Mister Barrington, John Mayer, Joss Stone, Toto, Dave Matthews Band and many more.
Mapex: If you could give an aspiring player advice—what it would take to get to the level that you’re at— what advice would you give them?
Anika: There is no other answer as to practice on the skills you already have and also on new things to build a bigger vocabulary in your drumming. I’ve figured out what my interests in music and drumming are and work those things out first. I thing important is to get an idea of why exactly you work on a special topic. Otherwise it feels perchance like waste of time.
Mapex: Is there a single performance, a concert or a clinic that you’ve attended that impressed you more than any other?
Mapex: Because we're always on the look-out for good advice, we'd like to know, what is the best piece of music advice you've ever received and who was it from?
Anika: Oh, this was when I was 12 years old. A really close friend of my family introduced me to TOTO that time and told me, if the band came to Germany again, he would take me with him to the concert to see a very, very good drummer live on stage. Unfortunately, Jeff died before this would happen. So the first concert I saw of TOTO was with Simon Phillips on drums.