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Prog rock band Coshish Drummer Hamza Kazi To Conduct Master Class at SIES Thunderstruck

Kazi, who also plays with comedy rock band Workshop, on the best and worst he’s faced at drum demos

Rolling Stone India Jan 07, 2014
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Hamza Kazi performing with comedy rock band Workshop in July. Photo: Jai Sangoi

Hamza Kazi performing with comedy rock band Workshop in July. Photo: Jai Sangoi

Drummer Hamza Kazi and extreme metal band Demonic Resurrection’s frontman Sahil Makhija created a band called Workshop in 2007. Kazi has been conducting drum clinics and band workshops with Makhija so often that they decided to form a band. Ahead of his master class at SIES College of Commerce and Economics’ annual band event, Thunderstruck, Kazi spoke to us about his best memories from workshops [not his band, Workshop], clinics and master classes.

What is the biggest concern that upcoming musicians talk about during a master class?

Mostly, they [attendees] are worried about what [music] they should be practising and how long it takes to be good, which is always kind of stupid to answer. I always reply telling them it’s not about how long it takes. That’s like a painter asking his mentor how long will it take to create a masterpiece. It’s subjective.

I also get questions like, “How long will I take to play “Bleed” [the song by Swedish prog metal band Meshuggah]?” and stuff about how to sound good as a band. I think the other concerns are about gear and how they can’t afford it.


What’s your one big tip for metal musicians?

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Particularly for drummers, I think it’s a problem when they want to play complicated stuff without learning the basics. They just all want to buy a double bass pedal and play [American groove metal band] Lamb of God songs.

My advice for them is to play songs that they’re at ease with when performing on stage and practice the ones that are out of their league in the jam room.


What’s the one question that almost always comes up at a clinic?

I always get asked how fast I can play. Drumming is not all about speed.


What’s the best workshop that you’ve ever attended?

That would be [German drummer] Benny Greb’s workshop in 2011. It was one of the best I’ve attended because it was the perfect balance between knowledge imparted and jokes. It was like a stand-up comedy performance with tips on drumming. The workshop was followed by a live drum performance.


What is the worst joke you’ve ever cracked at a workshop?

Sometimes, jokes are not under your control. You just make it up as you go along and sometimes the audience latches on and sometimes they’ll just be staring at you. It’s all in the moment.

I cracked a really bad one once when I said the easiest way to remember this drum is by calling it the “Hum Tom.” Sometimes I use slapstick comedy. Like the time when I was showing people a China [cymbal] and when someone asked why it was called a China. So I put it on my head and said, “Because it looks like a China hat.”

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Hamza Kazi conducts a drum master class at SIES Thunderstruck on January 8th, 2013 at SIES College of Commerce and Economics, Sion, Mumbai.

Coshish and Indus Creed perform at SIES Thunderstruck on January 9th, 2013. Event details here.

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