Stu Pray’s sound advice 

  • Rob Latham/Lone Tree Films

Drummer Stu Pray has been playing and teaching along the Front Range for nearly 20 years. He is recognized as a dedicated, experienced and respected musician, having played with and been constantly in demand by musicians all over the U.S. Stu currently plays with Wrestle with Jimmy, STEREO TRAMPS and The McDeviants. He also teaches an average of 45 to 50 students a week at Graner Music here in Colorado Springs and is a sub-in drummer for many Front Range bands.

Essential Saturday night listening: Usually, my Saturday night consists of playing shows, so to get in the gig mindset, I’ll throw on something high-energy like Rise Against, Yellowcard, Saosin. When I get Friday or Saturday off, I tend to keep things mellow. Old-school jazz like the Dave Brubeck Quartet, John Coltrane, Chick Corea Akoustic Band (with Dave Weckl on drums) and, of course, Miles Davis. Nothing with vocals, though.

Essential Sunday morning listening: I have two boys, 4 and 3 years old, so my Sundays consist of Baby Shark and The Dinosaur Song on repeat. Haha! I try to sneak in some fun stuff like Foo Fighters, Dave Matthews Band, or maybe even some Me First and the Gimme Gimmes, who make crazy punked-up covers of a wide variety of tunes. Super fun stuff that we can all sing and bounce around to.

First record I bought with my own money: Two, actually. Nirvana’s Nevermind and Pearl Jam’s Ten. It was right in the beginning of the Grunge era, with “Smells Like Teen Spirit” and “Even Flow” all over the radio. These two bands really started the Grunge era.

“Wish I’d written that” song: “Everlong” by Foo Fighters. The drumming, vocals, lyrics... it’s just a great, powerful song. My first son was born seven weeks early, and spent some time in the NICU. I sang that song to him every night he was in there.

“Wish I could unhear that” song: Anything by Metallica. I know that’s going to get me some haters, but there it is. They haven’t put out anything decent since And Justice for All. The Black Album was aggressively mediocre at best, and everything since has just gotten progressively worse.

My latest online discovery: (DRUM NERD ALERT) Ramon Montagner. Look him up on YouTube. His concepts on using push-pull techniques (one-handed rolls) and multiple sticks in one hand to emulate Brazilian and Latin rhythms on drum set are absolutely CRAZY. Metalheads and speed freaks, you’ll do well to check this guy out if you ever wanted to play quality gravity blasts or silly fast rolls with one hand.

Artist more people should know about: Twin Atlantic, a band out of Glasgow, Scotland. SUPER powerful vocals and lyrics.


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