Tanner Wayne is a 25 year old drummer from San Diego best known for his work with Underminded (replacing Mike Fuentes of Pierce the Veil fame), Scary Kids Scaring Kids (Wayne also filled in for Underoath drummer Aaron Gillespie during the 2009 Warped Tour after Gillespie fell seriously ill), and Chiodos (writing and recording the drum parts for the band’s 2010 release “Illuminaudio”). We sat down with Tanner Wayne last month to discuss his musical background, his day-to-day life & his experience recording for Chiodos.
Entertwine: Can you tell us about your musical background? You grew up in San Diego, correct?
Tanner Wayne: Yeah, I grew up in beautiful San Diego. According to my Dad, I jumped on the kit when I was 9 years old and he claims I had it off the bat. So he pushed me to become a better musician with years of lessons.
ET: What does a day in the life of Tanner Wayne look like when you’re not touring or recording?
TW: My days are ridiculously mellow. I usually wake up, ingest something healthy, go on a run and then chill for the rest of the day. Meditation, reading, writing music, etc.
ET: Who are some of your favorite drummers? Has this list changed or mostly remained the same over the years?
TW: I love drummers that play unlike anyone else. Travis Barker is obviously at the top of my list, since he was a huge idol for me growing up as a drummer. I also love Daniel Davison’s playing in Norma Jean/Underoath. But I like to listen to every style so I also really enjoy drummers like Will Champion from Coldplay and Darren King from MUTEMATH.
ET: What was it like playing on Warped Tour in 2009 with Scary Kids Scaring Kids and then with Underoath on select dates?
TW: Warped Tour is probably the most fun I’ve ever had on a tour. Scary Kids were good friends before that so it was a lot of fun to play with those dudes everyday in front of huge crowds. Filling in for Underoath is definitely one of my favorite things to look back on. They heard I knew all the songs so they came straight to me when Aaron went to the hospital. I had to learn 9 songs in less than 24 hours but thankfully I already knew them. I think it was more nerve-racking that all of Paramore, Anti-Flag and other bands were on stage watching me fill in, but overall it was an amazing time.
(Tanner Wayne in the studio with Chiodos)
ET: How did you joining Chiodos come about? What was the writing and recording process for “Illuminaudio” like?
TW: I knew the Chiodos dudes for years. During Warped Tour we would meet up and talk about me coming out to them to jam after tour was over. So I flew out after Warped and wrote the record with them. The writing process for “Illuminaudio” was pretty typical. We would get to the practice space and write for hours on end. We eventually made our way to New Jersey to record with the amazing Machine. He’s my favorite producer I’ve ever worked with. His energy is amazing. We ended up writing a couple more songs in the studio but overall the process was pretty typical.
ET: What was it like filming the video for ‘Caves’ with Chiodos?
TW: Filming the ‘Caves’ video was rough. We met up in the Salt Flats in the middle of California and planned on performing all day in the desert. I remember the first take I jumped off the kit and threw up. The combination of Subway and a 5 Hour Energy did not mesh well with intense drumming. By the end of the day my neck was dead and I was still performing. The first shot of the video is me barely being able to bang my head anymore.
ET: What can you tell us about your tattoos? Who are your favorite artists?
TW: My right arm is a Harry Potter-inspired sleeve, and my left arm is a trippy, Native American-inspired sleeve. Most of that was done by my main artist Mike Blackstone and some pieces by the amazing Dusty Neal. My right leg is all ocean/sea life that I based off a painting from a neighbor of mine who created a painting to represent my family. My good friend Chris Rubey from The Devil Wears Prada did all that. I have a big hawk/snake battle on my right thigh that a good friend named Lauren Gow did from the UK. When it comes to favorites I really love Nikko Hurtado’s work. I’m hoping I can get a session (with him) sometime in the near future.
ET: Who are some of your favorite artists or friends to tour or play with?
TW: Anytime I can tour with Letlive is a real treat. They’re definitely one of my favorite bands to watch. Other than that, if I have the opportunity to tour with friends that’s always a plus. This summer I’ll be on Mayhem Fest and I can’t wait to hang with my homies in Emmure and Miss May I.
ET: What has been the most important piece of advice or insight you’ve learned or obtained over the years?
TW: Stay Humble. That’s been #1 for me. My dad has always made sure I have a good head on my shoulders and to stray away from being cocky or having an ego. Other than that, I always say the main reason I’ve been able to do this for so long is to make friends with everyone. Simple stuff. Don’t be an idiot; make friends.
Kit? Truth Drums
Sticks? Pro Mark Sticks
Favorite: Piece of gear?
I love my brass snare from Truth. I use a Hybrid head that is threaded with Kevlar. Ridiculously loud.
Favorite: Activity outside music?
Running, skateboarding, watching UFC.
Favorite: Food? Drink?
Sushi or california burritos all day/; I’ve been on a juice kick lately. The healthier the better.