I've been a fan of Colin Stranahan ever since I saw him perform in a band with my friend Jake Saslow, Matt Stevens, and Harish Raghavan years ago in Williamsburg, while he and Jake were on a break from the Monk Institute (they were roommates).
Since then Colin's "blown up", touring with his and my hero Kurt Rosenwinkel, finishing in the final 3 in the Monk Competition, and not incidentally leading an award-winning trio of his own. As soon as I decided to launch the 80/20 Drummer podcast, I knew I wanted Colin on as one of the initial guests because he quite simply does everything right. Feel, musicality, originality. Like a friend who makes you feel interesting because he's the one with the social chops, Colin has a knack for making everybody he plays with sound great, and pushing the band to new and interesting places.
This week Colin invited me over to his apartment to play some drums and talk about his journey with the drums and his approach to music and life. You can watch the video above or listen to or download the audio-only version below. (To play on a smartphone, click "download".)
Here are the main things I learned in this interview, for which the complete transcript is here:
- What attracted Colin to music initially, and how he balances technique and musical instinct.
- How he copes with the many "high pressure" situations he's performed in, and a mental hack you can make work for you (that's much simpler than you'd expect).
- The biggest single predictor of future success in young drummers he hears and coaches.
- The biggest single mistake Colin sees young musicians making, and a new mindset to help break out of that.
- The biggest misconception aspiring players have about "success", and what "success" looks like in real life.
- How Colin keeps centered in his life and his playing.
Resources and links for this episode
Check out Colin's new record, Limitless, from Capri Records, here.
If you dug this interview and want to get more like it please click the button below to subscribe in iTunes, and if you want to do the show a solid, leave a rating and review so iTunes will rank it more highly! See you back next week for Episode 2.