Svend Lerche of The Daylights
By Phil Hood Published September 22, 2009
The Daylights are an alternative rock band featuring the brothers Ran Jackson (guitars/keyboards) and Ricky Jackson (bass/guitars), plus Denmark native Svend Lerche on drums. (Check out their great sound here.) They have previously released two EPs and are finishing new album they have recorded in London. We caught up with drummer Svend Lerche to talk about his approach on stage and in the studio and his current work touring behind Katy Perry.
Hometown: Born and Raised in Denmark moved to LA almost 10 years ago.
Previous Bands: OneThousand Pictures, Carina Round, Garrison Starr, Mandi Perkins.
Drums: DW and a bunch of old vintage drums.
Cymbals: Paiste: Dark Energy :15’ H.H, 17” & 18” Crash, 22” Ride. 20” Twenty Light Ride
Sticks: Vic Firth 5b
What's the greatest thing going on for the band right now?
We are doing the last mixes on the record recorded and produced by Youth in London. Mixed by Dave Sardy (Jet, Wolfmother) and Michael Brauer (Cold player … ) Can't wait to finish this up, have it out first thing next year and tour relentlessly to support it.
How have the webisodes been received your fans?
Webisodes have been great to make and everybody loves them. We should have been making many more and have so much footage from this year of touring so there should be some coming soon.
Right now you're heading out with Katy Perry. How did that come about?
I’ve known Katy for years and she actually asked me to play for her back in 2008 when she played on the Warped Tour. But I was busy with The Daylights doing dates with OneRepublic and was about to go in the studio to record our new CD. Adam Marcello was great for the job and also a good friend of mine. So it was kinda crazy and like one big happy family when she asked The Daylights to be direct support on the Hello Katy Tour in the beginning of 2009. We left two weeks later and have done all the US dates with her. The last one was at Santa Barbara Bowl a few weeks ago August 30. At that show she asked me if I would do the dates for the rest of the year with her. They are spread out all over the world, with a week or two in-between, so it is perfect for me to be able to handle both The Daylights and the Katy dates.
What size of crowds will be playing with her?
The venues will handle anything from 3,000 people and up. If the arena is too big you lose the connection with the audience very easily. A packed-to-the-max 2000-seater is actually my favorite type of hall.
What' s the biggest challenge on the gig?
The biggest challenge is by far to follow her and at the same time be locked down. She will improvise and do things out of the blue, or want to speed up or slow down. I have to lay down that deep pocket which I like and make her feel like she is getting her way anyway. About half the songs have tracks or samples that I trigger but that is stuff that I am very used to doing and incorporate all the time.
What do you like or hate most about touring?
There is not much that I hate about touring other than the lack of sleep sometimes. But I can’t get enough of playing live and we have been very very fortunate to be on some great tours where people have loved our music. Even when it has not been with my own band I get to travel and have a blast. We're going to Hong Kong, Philippines and France this month alone.
With the Daylights, how do you approach recording your drum parts?
I guess I’m a songwriting drummer. Sometimes I wish I were more of drum nerd. But I am part of the writing process and think very little about beats, fills or sticking. I listen mostly to the vocal and the song. I play to the song and after that make sure that the drums provide the right foundation as well. Simple is usually best! After taking lessons since I was nine years old and studying drums at both Musicians Institute and Berklee it took a couple of years to try and forget it all and just play music. It’s a must to get your technique down but you have to remember that it is music, not the Olympics!
Do you record to a click track?
I mostly record to a click. I love doing some songs without click, though.
Do you approach your drum parts onstage exactly the same way that you recorded them?
On stage is a little different than the recorded drums or songs for that matter. It is a “show” right so there is definitely more energy overall. I put in more dynamics, and more bashing on some of the parts. We do a lot of different things live like in one of the songs Ricky swings his guitars on his back and steps up to the drums and we both go off on the bridge.
How often do you change heads?
Heads stay fairly long on my drums – almost like Bonham, who wouldn’t change his snare until it cracked. I like a big, dead sounding snare for the most part so there is no need to change them every other day.
Do you use the same setup on stage and in the studio?
I usually just add a few cymbals when in the studio but other than that I have the same set up as live. Aside from the pad for triggering and the computer.
What's the best piece of advice you ever got, musical or otherwise?
Hmmm – Don’t do it for the money. In other words, do what you love to do and the money will come. Same guy said – Stay in school! Which by saying I run the risk of sounding like grandpa but its true!