We recently connected with Michael Bland, drummer of the classic alternative rock band Soul Asylum, to talk about his drums and drumming technique. Soul Asylum recently released their eleventh studio album Change of Fortune, which includes twelve new tracks. Change of Fortune was three years in the making and recorded while the band toured non-stop. Bland has had a huge career in popular music, having also played with Prince for over seven years, Paul Westerberg, Indigenous and many more.
What one piece of gear do you use to obtain your signature sound? Michael: My hands and ears get me where I need to go.
What about it makes it so important to you? Michael: I know my sound when i hear it. My stroke is just my stroke.
How was this gear used during the recording of your latest album? Michael: Without my hands and ears, I'd be lost.
How do you recreate your album (guitar/vocal/bass) tones in your live set? Michael: They're drums so I pretty much hit them the same way, live or studio.
What are the major pros and cons? Michael: It's hard on my body, but it's fun.
Do you have a backup for this gear, if so, what? Michael: Nope.
How long have you had it, how do you use it, would you ever change it? Michael: I don't think that's a realistic option.
Give us your best "gear goes wrong" story. Michael: So far, so good. no major tinnitus of the ears. Hands are still functional.
Any final thoughts or comments on the gear? Michael: I read somewhere that drummers are practically Olympic athletes. I feel pretty good, most of the time. After 38 years, I can't expect much better than that!