For Tosh Peterson, waking up and hearing the distant clatters, smashes and bangs of a drumset would most likely be music to his ears at 7am – in fact it’s exactly what he is used to. For the 14 year old, drumming is something he remembers being involved in from a very young age…and when I say young, I mean two years old. Yes, thats when Tosh received his first drum kit and the rest is history. I personally met Tosh back in January ’15 at the NAMM show in Anaheim, Ca and I could not help notice his upbeat (you’re welcome for the pun!), and enthusiastic attitude when he talked about drums. If anything drives Tosh to continue to pursue drums, it’s his ‘down-to-the-core’ passion for his instrument. Of course, it helps that Tosh has gotten the opportunity to take lessons from Thomas Pridgen (Ex Mars Volta), and learn directly from someone so versed and educated in his instrument. I am so excited we got to interview Tosh and get to know him a bit better, and of course right here only on ET! Enjoy!
Entertwine: Tosh! Thanks for taking the time to let us ask you a few questions. First, we will start with some basics, the obvious question – How did you get your start with the drums?
Well my dad is a rad drummer so drums have always been around me but when I was 2 I got my own kit. It was an awesome little PDP mini kit that was bright red and sparkly.
Thats awesome, I am pretty sure thats what I had too to start off, but it wasn’t sparkly! So, was it always an instrument you knew you wanted to play?
Yes totally! To be honest, I don’t ever remember not playing drums.
Do you play any other instruments?
I can play a little guitar, bass, piano, and ukulele but the drums are the only thing I’ve been really drawn to. I’ve just naturally been the annoying kid who taps on everything.
Who would you say are some of your drumming influences?
I have so many influences. I think of every drummer as an inspiration. To name a few: Thomas Pridgen, Daru Jones, Mike Mitchell, Keith McJimson Dennis Chambers, and my Dad.
Those are some real good cats right there – definitely awesome. Assuming you regularly practice them, what is your favorite rudiment, and why?
Currently I’ve been loving triplets. I love working them into fills between my hands and feet. I go to a lot of Gospel drum clinics and I just love the ferocious way they work them into fills.
Maybe you can teach me a few things, seriously! You (currently) take lessons from drummer, Thomas Pridgen. How long have you taken lessons from him?
I’ve been taking lessons with Thomas for about a year and a half. Whenever he’s in LA I get a lesson. Recently I had a lesson with him when I was in the Bay Area. He’s a busy dude so I get a lesson wherever and whenever he’s available.
How has his teaching impacted your playing?
It’s crazy how much I’ve learned from Thomas. He comes up with so many insane exercises that have really helped my limb independence grow, time signatures I never thought were possible to play in and applying rudiments everywhere. He really challenges me.
What is your favorite thing about lessons with Thomas?
Just the fact that I get to play drums with one of the greatest Grammy award-winning drummers alive is pretty amazing. Plus he’s a really cool dude.
What are your current goals with the drums? What do you see yourself doing in 5-10 years?
I just want to be able to make a living doing what I love. I would especially love to do session work and tour with major artists. I also plan on studying music in college.
If you could play any drum kit in the world with any cymbals, gear, hardware, etc..what would it be?
The companies I would love to endorse are DW drums/hardware, Zildjian cymbals, Vic Firth drum sticks, and Remo drum heads. My dream set up is 2 rack toms, 3 floor toms, 1 bass drum, and 2 snares with a lot of cymbals!
Here’s the hard question – if you could play with any band or artist, who would it be and why?
I love all genres of music so this is pretty hard but I’m going to say either Kendrick Lamar or Stanley Clarke. I have always loved hip hop and rap music but also think playing with a legend would be so much fun.
Lastly, what would you say to other drummers your age who are trying to get the hang of drums and start to play shows? What advice do you have for those drummers?
I would say network as much as possible, go to as many clinics and workshops as you can and talk to those drummers. If you can’t find clinics near you, watch videos online and figure out a way to contact the drummers. Us drummers want to hear what you think of us, good or bad. Also to start playing shows, jam with as many people as you can. You don’t necessarily have to be a set band to play a show, for example, on Fathers Day, I played a show with my brother Stone, my friend Jose, and my Dad. We played a mix of each of our songs and it was really fun. I play drums for my church , a musical theater company and with anybody I can. My biggest advice is play your drums until the cops shut you down. Then do it all over again. haha