“To play the unplayed ” That is the self-proclaimed lifelong aspiration of drummer/producer Thomas Lang. Given his astonishing independence of limb and his stalwart dedication to improving his craft – Lang’s aspiration is more than well on the way to reality. Thomas Lang has dedicated his life to the exploration of all things drum.
In addition to his relentless touring, recording and performing schedules, Lang’s instructional DVD “Creative Control” (Hudson Music) is now one of the biggest-ever selling instructional DVDs of all time and he has managed to find time to lend his expertise to Meinl Cymbals, the Remo Corporation and Sonor Drums to help develop new and exciting gear and drums accessories.
A native of Vienna, Austria, Lang took up drums at the tender age of five. Inspired by a televised performance of a heavy metal band, Lang assessed (quite rightly!) that he wanted to be a drummer when he grew up because, “the drummer looked like he was the boss – AND he got to sit down!”
In addition to years of private tuition, Lang was formally educated at the Vienna Conservatory of Music. As the youngest student enrolled at the legendary institution, early on Lang received a diverse education in a multitude of styles including Jazz, Classical, Fusion and Big Band?
After leaving the conservatory, Lang began working professionally – slowly working his way through the European Pop, Rock and Jazz scenes. Working obsessively (sometimes with up to 15 projects simultaneously) Lang earned his stripes by working with some of Europe’s most demanding recording and touring outfits including Falco, John Wetton, Bonnie Tyler and many others.
In addition to his work with other artists, Lang’s 1995 solo release, “Mediator” topped the charts in Europe and garnered rave reviews for its innovative Jazz/Dance/ProgRock sound.
Despite his grueling touring and rehearsal schedule, Lang remains committed to a rigorous daily practice schedule. “I religiously follow a constantly-evolving practice routine. It’s not glamorous, but for me daily practice is a principle source of growth and inspiration in my playing,” says Lang.
Despite his reputation as an innovative and prolific drummer, Lang has a surprising take on technique. “Technique has nothing to do with music. It’s like a tool, like a hammer. You can build a shed – or you can build the Sistine Chapel,” Lang told Modern Drummer magazine. “Some days I want a shed – some days I want the Sistine Chapel – or a villa or maybe a bowling alley!
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