Performance On Drums: 14 Years
Destroy A Drum: What made you start playing drums and then pick up bass later on?
J.M: "My mom and dad gave me some sticks as a kid and I started banging away on anything I could find, then gradually started playing bass when a jazz band director showed me how to transfer over playing percussion to bass. From then on I took that bass home everyday and started playing it to the max. Jaco Pastorious, Geddy Lee, and Flea influenced me beyond anything I could imagine and made me determined to become the bass guitar emotionally and physically while I play."
Destroy A Drum: How did your dedication to playing drums transfer over to bass and do you practice one more than the other now?
J.M: "I put the same drive and motivation into finding another musical instrument with similar attributes of percussion and drum elements. In high school I was section leader of the entire drum-line and played quads. When I started playing in the jazz band I learned how playing bass in jazz opened up more of an ability to expand the creative and musical horizon of notes and tonal expression. Bass opened up notes and tones more than drums and showed me how to integrate a lot more feel without over playing as many drummers are well aware of the old saying 'Less Is More'. Drummers are often scolded for putting their all into the feel of playing and how that's not the 'right' thing to do in a lot of people's musical point of view. I understand playing to the music is great, but for me personally you have to throw your own sauce on it and have someone look at that piece of music and know that's you playing. Establishing your own feel and slapping your own taste on the music allows people to get an ear for what you bring to the table and it gives it that personal touch that a lot music nowadays does not have. When I play, I unleash any and every kind of fury and passion from my mind, body, and soul into the bass. You see that physically and in the sound when I perform, it's like I become the bass when I step onto a stage and into my own world. I would also say right now I devote more of my time to bass even though I started on drums first."
Destroy A Drum: What would you say makes you devote your time to playing bass and striving for perfection in your own playing?
J.M: "By seeing what the instrument could do for me as a person as I got better and better, I dove into the realms of another reality when getting lost in a groove and exploring different bass patterns. Playing an instrument in general is an out of this world feeling, but when I combined the two elements of percussion and bass I entered a new world of music and life. I explored a journey from being just a drummer, to being an All State Jazz bass player. My jazz instructor told me to pick it up and always told me to push the boundaries of learning the instrument in and out no matter if I was 'just a drummer'. That same year I made it all the way to All State for bass which blew my mind. I never imagined jumping from drums to transforming into a bass player and then taking it to the next level by making it past all these competitions and getting paid to play high end gigs with musicians that were well above me in age and experience."
Destroy A Drum: Would you say that devoting your time to bass and drums have influenced you to push your overall life goals further and strive to become a better person with overcoming boundaries you once saw as 'impossible'?
J.M: "I believe it goes to show that when you devote your life and passion to something, there is no limit as to how far you can go. I believe everyone should at least play one instrument and find themselves within the music they create. Everyone has a different story to tell within their own passion for music or anything in life. It's artists like Pink Floyd, Rush, and Tame Impala that really push me to explore different boundaries of sound and creativity. I stand behind a brand like Destroy A Drum that pushes people to find a passion of their own to help find happiness within themselves and anything they pursue in life. That's a very important factor in my life, no matter if it's my everyday job or picking up the bass and getting lost in the music, I personally strive to be successful in life doing the things I enjoy the most. Everyone needs an outlet for every kind of emotion, and to find a successful outlet to express that passion and emotion is all the better, and really makes living life a whole lot more interesting and rewarding. Playing bass to me is like breathing and picking it up everyday makes me feel alive and strive to try new things. Whether that be lifelong goals or smaller objectives that will help me push to be a better me and keep on keeping on."