Since coming to the United States to study at the Berklee College of Music, Victor Singer has played across the country, touring with bands like the grammy-winning rock act Blues Traveler, and giving solo performances for world-famous musicians like John 5 and Thomas Lang. I caught up with Victor, to chat about his music, and his experiences across the world.
Can you remember the first song you ever mastered on the drums?
Probably “Killing In The Name Of”, by Rage Against The Machine. It was not perfect, of course, but I remember that was one of the first I played with a band. I was a big fan of Rage Against The Machine back in High School!
It seems like, earlier in your life, you travelled all over Europe, playing in London, Belgium, and your native France. Do you think that constantly playing for, and with, people from neighboring countries gave you an international perspective on music?
Yes absolutely. All countries have their own cultures, and even different ways to teach and approach music, I loved being surrounded by all of that at an early stage in my musical education. It definitely made me see music more internationally, and made me want to travel in order to preform and collaborate with people all over the globe.
What kind of new musical experiences did Berklee offer?
I had the chance to be around thousands of incredible musicians, coming from all around the world. Playing in a lot of projects when I was studying there helped me become more familiar with other kinds of music.
How would you compare Boston’s music scene to LA’s, and what first motivated you to make the switch?
To be honest, I can’t tell you much about Boston’s music scene. I turned 21 after my first semester, but most of my friends were not 21 at that time, so we didn’t go out too much. LA is definitely a lot busier than Boston, but what I really love about this city is the diversity; you can see any type of music every night. Los Angeles is known to be one of the most important cities in the world for its musical culture. This is basically what first motivated me to move: having the chance to meet more people in the music industry, and having more opportunities to go to auditions and preform with new people.
Can you explain the process of being selected to audition for an individual drummer, such as metal legend John 5? Is it sort of like auditioning to serve as a back-up, or an understudy of sorts?
John 5 contacted me last November to audition for his solo project John 5 & The Creatures. He was about to release an album and needed a new drummer for his Spring Tour, before going on tour with Rob Zombie. So, he contacted me through social media and asked me to learn a few songs and come to his studio in LA a few days later.
You’ve played in front of some truly impressive drummers, such as Thomas Lang and Gregg Bissonette. What are some lessons you’ve gained from performing for these masters?
It was such an honor to be able to be around incredible musicians like them. Thomas really helped me improve on the double bass drums and extend my vision of it as an instrument. It’s hard, because you need to be able to play with both your feet, and your hands, independently of one another. Gregg helped me work on my sound, and master many different styles of music. He also gave some tips about how to actually work and make a living as a musician in LA.
Your most recent gig was to tour alongside the artist Gene Evaro Jr. opening for the Grammy-winning Blues Traveler. What has that been like?
I joined the band two just two weeks before he left on a national tour opening for Blues Traveler. It was a lot of work, because his music is not always easy; each song functions on a very different, incredibly complex structure. Having to learn his 90 minute sets in such short amount of time was a challenge, but we made it happen. In the end, the tour was great, and we had the chance to play in beautiful theaters all across the country. I also had some really great times with the guys from Blues Traveler and their crew, who were super nice guys.
What are some of your long-term musical goals?
I would love to keep playing with Gene Evaro Jr, and have the chance to travel the world with his whole group. I’d like to have more time to work on writing some original music and/or put together my own band, with a progressive rock kind of vibe. I’m currently endorsed by TRX Cymbals, and I would also like to collaborate with more brands from the drums industry, possibly even working on them with videos and drum clinics.