We recently interviewed Mapex artist Martijn Peters from The Netherlands. Martijn has been touring and recording on the Mapex brand for more than 5 years and clearly enjoys his craft. We asked Martijn a few questions about his kit and about his band, Stream of Passion.
Mapex: You've been a Mapex artist since 2009, what originally drew you to the Mapex brand?
Martijn: I heard their high end drums and their support were fantastic and being a (touring) drummer, that is exactly what you are looking for. The first time I contacted Mapex Drums Germany at the beginning of 2007, my level of exposure wasn't enough to get them convinced, but luckily that changed in 2009.
Mapex: You perform on the Mapex Orion Series, we've listed your configuration below. How long have you been playing this particular kit? Why does this configuration work for you?
Mapex Orion Series drum set - 'Cinnamon Fade' with chrome hardware 22" x 18" bass drum 8" x 8" tom (optional) 12" x 9" tom 10" x 8" tom 14" x 12" floor tom 16" x 14" floor tom
Martijn: The initial configuration was influenced by seeing a video of Nick D'Virgilio at the Modern Drummer Festival in 2003 and also the setup of my former drum teacher, Jusso Whistler. This set of toms is most versatile to handle any style of music.
Mapex: You use a variety of snares, what's your preferred snare drum?
Martijn: I use the Mapex Black Panther Deep Forrest Walnut 13" x 6" and Mapex Black Panther steel snare 10"x5.5". Both so distinctive, there's nothing on the market that even comes close in terms of sound. Thinking of adding the Mapex Black Panther Black Widow to the collection soon.
I use the Falcon direct drive because of the incredibly smooth feel.
Mapex: I also understand that you play a Mapex Left Foot Falcon pedal. Do you use a direct drive, chain, or strap on the Falcon?
Martijn: I use the Falcon direct drive because of the incredibly smooth feel.
Mapex: What about the custom weights for the Falcon pedal?
Martijn: It was shipped with the 10g weight and never changed it since.
Mapex: You currently perform with the progressive metal group Stream of Passion, how long have you been with the band?
Martijn: Stream of Passion started when Mexican singer and violinist Marcela Bovio and Arjen Lucassen joined forces and I joined just after the release of the band's second album in March 2009. Stream of Passion has now released four albums and toured extensively throughout the world, in Europe, Canada, Russia and Israel.
Mapex: You've shared with us several drum cam videos from the recording of your band's latest album, A War of Our Own from April of 2014. These videos were fun to watch, how did the drum cam come about?
Martijn: Stream of Passion was asked to record A Tribute To Sonata Arctica – Releasing July 3rd 2015 – and we had some time left to record a one take play through of the song called Monster from the album A war of Our Own.
Mapex: On the album your drumming is fairly hard hitting, but your band has also recorded some of these songs as acoustic versions where you modified your playing to lighter, more hypnotic style. I’m specifically thinking about your playing on the acoustic version of The Curse. Was this a challenge or did you enjoy crafting the rhythm in a different way?
Martijn: An acoustic version always needs a different approach otherwise they can kind of miss the mark. The acoustic performance was recorded live at SandLane studios on March 1 and sent to all our contributors and some of them were able to attend as audience in the actual recording room.
Mapex: I understand that funding for this last album came from an international crowd funding campaign after your band ended the contract with their record company. It must have been very rewarding to know so many fans supported your band. How are things going for you and the band today?
Martijn: In order to make the album a reality we initiated an international crowd funding campaign through the Indiegogo platform and the Stream of Passion fans managed to raise the staggering amount of € 44,000 (about $47,860) by bidding on band-related goodies and events. We did underestimate the amount of work that you have to face without a record company but in the end it was definitely worth it.
Mapex: Are you going back in the studio any time soon?
Martijn: To this day we are still promoting the latest album, but will start writing new material soon.
Mapex: You tour quite a bit with your band, 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?
Martijn: We always bring along our own front of house engineer and most of the time are able to have my own kit or a Mapex rental. In other situations I try to find out what will be available beforehand and make sure I have enough time to change drumheads if needed and tune the drums.
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?
Martijn: To get myself warmed up and ready for a gig I always search a quiet place to change cloths, go through some basic rudiments, check the first few bars of every song on the setlist and stretch a little. Mostly takes up to 40 minutes before showtime. If there's a staircase to the stage I run up and down a few times to get the adrenaline pumping.
Mapex: Do you have any superstitions, like always wearing the same type of shoes every show?
Martijn: No not really, I tend to use my oldest pair of sneakers for drumming. I do check cymbal nuts and clamps during the intro just to make sure it is still in place.
It all started when my older brother bought the Deep Purple album 24 Carat Purple with Ian Paice on drums. I knew in that moment, I wanted drums in my life.
Mapex: You've credited Ian Paice of Deep Purple fame as the catalyst for you starting to play drums, what was it about his playing that inspired you to be a drummer? How old were you when you started playing?
Martijn: My first serious attempt was 1989. It all started when my older brother bought the Deep Purple album 24 Carat Purple with Ian Paice on drums. I knew in that moment, I wanted drums in my life.
Mapex: Do you remember what it was specifically about his playing that so impressed you? A specific rhythm or set of fills maybe?
Martijn: The prominent role of the drums and importance on the overall sound. Totally fell for the opening of Fireball.
Mapex: Who or what inspires you today?
Martijn: Drummers like Benny Greb and Matt Halpern. Very different in their approach on playing the drums, but totally committed.
Mapex: If you could give an aspiring player advice—what it would take to get to the level that you’re at— what would you tell them?
Martijn: Visit concerts and clinics because watching other drummers is always a good source of inspiration and remember that there's a big difference between practice and rehearsal. The way I see it 'Practice' means playing stuff you haven't master (yet).
Mapex: Is there a single concert or clinic that you’ve attended that impressed you more than any other?
Martijn: Not long ago I was at a clinic from Benny Grebb. He's not only a great musician but he also knows how to inspire and entertain.
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?
Martijn: I am not sure who told me this, but there a three reasons to say yes to a job. 1) It pays a lot of money 2) It is good for your resume 3) Because you just LOVE what you do. And I couldn't be more happy then being behind my drums. The more the better!
Mapex: So besides drumming, what do you like to do for fun?
Martijn: Running and I enjoy food. Anything except blue cheese.
Mapex: Do you feel you've already achieved what you want to artistically or is there something more you hope to learn or experience? Perhaps a specific drumming technique? Or something not even related to drums?