Jordan Plosky, drummer for pop band Big Time Rush has had his share of major gigs from Ryan Cabrera to Jason Derulo, and from Miley Cyrus to Everclear. Between sold out crowds, dozens of tours, and countless appearances on late night talk shows & award shows, it’s safe to say that there’s no point in time where Jordan’s career so far could be considered mediocre. We sat down with drummer, Jordan Plosky to get the scoop on the busy life of a freelance drummer:
Entertwine: How long have you been drumming, and how did you get your start?
I started playing when I was 7 years old. My parents wanted me to play a musical instrument, and my older brother was already playing guitar, so I wanted to choose something else. The only other instrument I knew at 7 years old was drums, so there it was.
ET: You’ve played for a variety of artists, from Miley Cyrus to Jason Derulo, and Ryan Cabrera to Everclear. Would you say Pop is your favorite genre to play? If not, which is it? & if you could play for any artist right now, who would it be?
I’m a rocker at heart. When I’m alone just jamming, or playing along to music, it’s always some type of rock. Pop has been great to me on a professional level, but my favorite is punk. It’s always been a dream to play in Green Day, and some other bands I wouldn’t mind being the drummer for are Muse, Foo Fighters and My Chemical Romance (before they broke up).
ET: Right now, you’re on the road with Big Time Rush. How is this experience different than other tours or bands you’ve been a part of?
Well, every artist is different to work with. With the Big Time Rush guys, I can honestly say I’ve never had such a good time with the artists. I’ve had some wonderful experiences in the past, but really just had some amazing moments with those guys.
ET: What is your most memorable touring/performing moment to date?
Well, there are a couple that are definitely in my top. Playing Madison Square Garden with my family in attendance, or playing the New Years Eve in Times Square when the ball dropped, which was in front of 1 million people live! And I got to kiss my wife when the ball dropped, on stage in the middle of Times Square.
ET: Do you get nervous before large performances, especially those that are taped like Leno, Kimmel, Ellen, etc? Probably more surreal than nerve-racking!
It’s interesting. My first ever t.v. performance was after a red eye with no sleep, and I was exhausted. I was so tired until the lights came on, and then it was just pure adrenaline. But yes, I do get nervous for the first time I do something new, whether it’s playing with a new artist, or new tv show, or anything like that. After a while though, the nervousness wears off, as you tend to fall into autopilot and muscle memory.
ET: Do you have any on-stage, drumming, horror moments?
I was playing drums for Perry Farrell’s Satellite Party. Perry is the lead singer of Jane’s Addiction, and the founder of Lollapalooza. Very influential person in the rock world. We were playing a KROQ festival, and watching from side stage were Dave Grohl, and Taylor Hawkins from the Foo Fighters. They respect and admire Perry, but I had a feeling as drummers, they were checking me out as well. It was a show that I wasn’t using my own kit, and I really felt like it was one of my worst shows ever. In front of two of my drumming heroes! The silver lining was they were both very complimentary after the show (even though I knew they were just being nice).
ET: You have a beautiful family, and I know you’re quite the busy guy! How do you balance work and family time being on the road so often?
It’s not easy. Lately, I’ve been finding more local work, studio stuff, and gigs around town. But, this is what I do for a living. I have a very supportive wife, and I rarely ever missed a day of Skyping with my daughter on days that I’m away. And if it wasn’t Skype, it was always at least a phone call. It’s hard work, because you’re always travelling, in different time zones, different countries, with different schedules, and all that. But, I always made it a priority.
ET: What would be your most valuable piece of information for up and coming drummers breaking out into the music scene?
Network. You can be the greatest player in the world, but if you don’t get out of your garage, no one will ever know. Play gigs, be seen. Stay in touch with people, so if they ever get asked for a drummer, they think of the last one they were in contact with, which should be YOU!
ET: You run a podcast, called The Hired Gun, where you interview most of your friends (who conveniently happen to be musicians). What was your motivation to starting this?
Nowadays, you can’t just be a drummer. You need to be a drummer, and know pro-tools, know how to program, play other percussion instruments, etc. There is a lot of competition, and you have to stay ahead of the curve. My intention of doing this was two fold. One intention was to “diversify my portfolio”. I say this a lot on the podcast. It simply means, make yourself good at more than just one thing, and something even outside of playing that sets you apart from others. The second was just from having so much free time on the road, and being inspired by other podcasts.
ET: What’s next for Jordan Plosky?
That’s the problem with being a freelance drummer. You never know!
Brooks Holt (@BrooksHolt) “What lead you to land your first major touring gig?”
Long story, short: I was working a 9-5 marketing job, and recording drums at night for a local studio. The owner got a call one day asking if he knew of any drummers for an artist that needed a drummer in 2 days. So, he referred me. I learned 5 songs, flew cross country, and played a show in front of 8,000 people with no rehearsal. That was my first pro gig, with Ryan Cabrera.
Alicia Torres (@AlicixTorres) “What do you like doing in your spare time?”
I spend almost all my free time with my family, doing playdates, going to parks, basically life revolves around my kid. If you follow me on twitter, you know I’m a huge geek. I’m a big comic book fan, so I read a lot of comics after my child is asleep!
Emily (@Imapenyginger) “What do you think of Disney buying out Lucasfilm and Starwars?”
I’m glad that the reigns of the Star Wars franchise have been turned over to someone other than George Lucas. I think J.J. Abrams is the right man for the job, and knows what made the original trilogy so great, and the second trilogy so awful. I believe he will restore balance to the force J
Rusher24/7 (@MamaRusher365) “What’s the largest drum kit you’ve played on?”
The largest kit I’ve ever taken on tour with me was on the Jason Derulo tour. I had two rack toms, 10, 12”, and two floor toms, 14, 16”. I had my main snare, and a side snare, with a Roland SPDS (drum machine) for claps, snaps, and other miscellaneous sounds. Also, had my hi-hats, ride, splash, 3 crashes, and a china cymbal. That was my largest touring kit by far.
Stick of choice: my signature stick of course! A Pro-Mark 5AX
Cymbals of choice: MEINL Byzance series
Most prized possession: a music box from my grandmother
Pet peeves: lateness, drivers on phones
Favorite superhero: that’s too hard a question for a comic book geek! Probably someone most people have never heard of!