Web Exclusive: Corey Pierce of God Forbid

Corey Pierce of God Forbid

By Andy Doerschuk Published August 3, 2009

Age: 34
Hometown: Somerset, New Jersey
Drums: Ddrum
Cymbals: Meinl
Hardware: Ddrum
Pedals: Gibraltar
Sticks: Vic Firth
Drumheads: Evans

Soon after God Forbid’s inception in 1996, the Out Of Misery EP and debut full-length Reject The Sickness were released on the small indie label 9 Volt Records, helping the band develop a strong regional following. This buzz attracted the attention of Century Media Records, and the label quickly signed the band, whose undying road dog mentality enabled them to expand their devoted fan base in the ensuing years. Last February, Century Media released the band's sixth album, Earthsblood, produced by Eric Rachel (Atreyu) with Christian Olde Wolbers (Fear Factory, Threat Signal) handling all vocal production and Jens Bogren (Opeth) on mixing duties.

What is your favorite drum part on Earthsblood?
I can't say I have a favorite drum part, but one of the parts I am digging the most is in the track "Gaia." The chorus has a very simple, laidback, greasy, grief-stricken and heavy drum lick. It's just so much fun to lay back in the pocket and crush s--t.

Did you change your drum parts much throughout the recording process?
Not much, actually. I changed a couple things at the request of my bandmates and Eric Rachel, our engineer/producer friend. There were also some parts where I played a bunch of different fills for this section or that section, so everyone could listen and tell me which they thought were the best -- which is actually pretty fun for me. You get to try and go crazy and not really worry if it comes out right the first time or whatever. You get to just be free and let your body fly.

How prepared were you before going into the studio?
I felt very prepared going into this record, having a lot of time to practice and getting to do a full-on preproduction extravaganza. Our friend Steve Lagudi brought in all his Pro Tools gear and outboard rig into the house. We had cables running through the kitchen to the basement. We put more effort into that preproduction than some people put into real recordings.

How long did it take to track your drum parts?
It took a few weeks to do everything. I really took my time this go around. I wasn't really trying to rush through things for any reason. Usually you feel a certain compulsion to try and just bang it out so you can give everyone else enough time to get all their parts done.

Did you record to a click track?
I did. We have done the last three records to a click so I felt pretty comfortable overall. You always have a couple sections that are harder to get down than others, but no one is perfect.

Did you record your tracks with the entire band or alone?
Well, I recorded primarily to the click and a scratch track. So technically, yes, I was alone, but I was still playing with someone. Some parts I actually did with just the click and no scratch track or anything. Sometimes it just makes it easier to focus on the click when there isn't any other sound going on but you and it.

Describe the worst gig you've ever played.
Oh god! I think one of the worst was on a tour with Trivium in the UK. I was like so sick and I kind of phased out and train wrecked a song in front of like 2,000 people. Yeah, that was pretty bad. Then Byron says to the crowd: "Everyone say, ‘Corey f--ked up!" And I stood up and they said it and we just started from where we dropped out of the song.

Do you play your drum parts onstage exactly the same way that you recorded them?
Yes I do, for the most part. I take some liberties here and there to keep it fun. Sometimes, after you've been playing the same add every day for months, as much as you love them, you've got to have some spice to your recipe.

How do you stay healthy while you're on the road?
I wouldn't say I'm exactly healthy on the road. But you do try to balance the good with the bad. Like I will try to eat better on the road as far as eating less crap food like Burger King and McDonalds. Maybe try and do some crunches here and there so you don't turn into a mess.

Describe the worst injury you've sustained from drumming.
That's really hard to say. I did injure my shoulder at the start of a seven-week Death Angel tour. I hurt it to the point of having to keep a heating pad on it every day for like six weeks and painkillers for two weeks. But I came home and it healed and I feel tip-top now.

Do you mute your drums or tune them wide open?
I mute my snare out a bit and my kick drums the toms are wide open.

How often do you change heads?
I change snare heads about every three or four days. Tom heads range based on usage -- obviously certain toms get used more than others. I keep my kick drumhead changing to a minimum. I use felt beaters and I like the heads to get a bit old so you can feel it when you lean into them. I also think you do actually get a punchier tone from an older kick head.

Do you use the same setup on stage and in the studio?
Yes -- no doubt. Of course, a lot of playing is muscle memory and you need consistency if you want to play things perfect or close.

Do you use matched or traditional grip?
I use match grip for the band and generally, but I am quite capable of playing traditional and do when I'm doing pad work or rudiments.

Do you feel perfect time is mandatory in creating a groove?
Yes and no. I think that perfect time and perfect groove aren't always synonymous. Sometimes the perfect groove has just a hint of being sloppy or just a bit behind the strict idea of "in time," like a New Orleans shuffle or a heavy ass Crowbar part.

Do you practice when you're off the road?
Yes I do. I usually take a couple weeks off before I start playing again so I can come at the kit with a fresh view and a new excitement.

Do you practice to a metronome?
Sometimes I practice to a metronome because, simply put, you have to!

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