‘Zoom Drum Hangs’ take off in lockdown


Surrey based drummer, Russ Gleason, has been busy trying to ‘Keep the Beat Alive’ during the lockdown with ‘Zoom Drum Hangs’.

“When the lockdown hit, I really wanted to do something that would help support the drummers I love and connect the drumming community as a whole”. Russ has worked in the music industry for nearly 25 years so he knew the impact that the lockdown would have on musicians due to the closure of recording studios and also the fact that all tours & gigs were immediately cancelled until further notice.

Russ called on his friend, UK drumming legend, Neal Wilkinson (main pic). In a career spanning over 40 years, Neal has built an incredible reputation as a first call session drummer working with the likes of Van Morrison, Paul McCartney, James Morrison, Ray Charles, Annie Lennox, Joan Armatrading and Mike & The Mechanics to name but a few. As well as working on many film soundtracks including Star Wars – ‘Return of the Jedi’ & Avengers ‘End Game’, Neal was also the drummer on the 2004 season of American Idol, the last season of “Friends” and could also be seen behind the drums on ITV’s X-Factor and BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing many, many times.

“Neal is the real deal. He really is the epitome of the working drummer. I knew that drummers in the UK would want to hear from Neal as he really doesn’t do lessons or social media – his career is built on reputation. We decided I would host a ‘Zoom Hang with Neal Wilkinson’ where Neal could share stories & drumming knowledge and I would invite drummers that I knew. The initial response was simply incredible and I’m now communicating with drummers globally who would like to join us!”

The benefits of drumming are no secret. It has been scientifically proven that drumming has a really positive impact on your mood and overall well-being, so it’s no surprise then that sales of drum kits and drumming equipment have increased massively during the lockdown along with a spiked interest in drumming on Google Trends, a web search reporting tool.

“Well, it seems the lockdown has increased the amount of people looking to play the drums, so who better to inspire and help teach them than Neal Wilkinson!” Russ says.

Due to the success of these ‘Zoom Drum Hang’ events, Russ & Neal have decided to begin inviting special guests along to hang with them and to further inspire the meeting participants. Russ got in contact with New York-based drummer, Nate Smith, who he had gotten to know in recent years through his work in the music industry. Nate is simply regarded as perhaps the most exciting drummer to have emerged in the 21st century.

“We’re overwhelmed to say that Nate Smith has agreed to join us on Zoom for a hang on Saturday 23rd May where he’ll share his drumming secrets & ideas!”

The fact that Nate Smith will be joining Russ & Neal on Zoom is hugely significant. Mr. Smith is a 3-Time Grammy- nominated artist whose drumming has been seen by literally millions upon millions of viewers on many viral YouTube videos with Vulfpeck band ‘The Fearless Flyers’. A prolific composer, he also co-wrote and produced the Michael Jackson song “Heaven Can Wait”.

“Not only is Nate a complete genius at the drums, he is one of the coolest guys you’ll ever meet, so to have him chat with Neal on Zoom and interact with all of our participants from the drumming community is a world exclusive!”

Zoom has been a vital form of communication for many during the lockdown period and it’s obvious from the interest Russ & Neal have been able to generate that it lends itself so well to these sessions where people can spontaneously interact in real time with their drumming heroes.

If you would like more details on how to join ‘A Zoom Hang with Neal Wilkinson featuring Nate Smith’ on Saturday 23rd May from 15:00-17:00pm GMT please get in touch with Russ Gleason directly on russgleason@hotmail.com for more details.