George Kollias Australian Drum Clinic Tour
w/ Dave Haley (Psycroptic)
Having developed a strong fan base across the world with Nile, Kollias decided to take his passion for drumming a step further and commenced his first steps as a clinician drummer by joining the Modern Music School in Athens as a drum instructor in the extreme drumming department.
It was his passion for education that brought him to the small and intimate bar at The Basement in Sydney. As fans and avid drummers packed the tiny room, an announcement was made that Kollias would be supported by his best friend Dave Haley from the Tasmanian death metal band Psycroptic.
Recognised by Kollias as his ‘best friend’ rather than a colleague, Haley was superb on only his second ever drum clinic experience. An evident talent and with a huge future ahead of him Haley powered through the most technically demanding songs in the Aussie band’s discography to the delight of a strongly supportive crowd. Providing a few tips and facts about his professional development, Haley is a profound talent in the current Australian metal scene.
Commenting on his addition to the clinic tour, Haley simply said “it’s awesome. It’s killer. This is not work for me, this clinic is just two friends on the road sharing what we love and I am proud to be a part of it.”
As the crowd stocked up on the cheap (but free) ear plugs, Kollias was preparing for his turn on an oversized replica kit courtesy of Billy Hyde and Allen’s Music. Kicking things off with a few tracks of his never-to-be-released ‘solo project’, Kollias was phenomenally energetic and – to put it simply – mind-blowing. While Haley in an undeniable talent, Kollias is arguably one of the most technically proficient drummers performing in the heavy metal scene today – far ahead of his many compatriots.
Stopping to chat after two back-to-back drum performances, Kollias opened the clinic to questions and comments from a dumb-struck crowd. From ‘blast beating’ to ‘gravity blasts’ (and even some humorous banter in between) it was a wonderfully educative experience led by an evident lover of the drumming craft.
“Clinics are a part of what I always wanted to do and I’m really into education and really into showing what I have and what I love,” he explains.
“Drumming for me is a passion and I’m not a drummer that keeps secrets. I just love the drum clinics and drum talks. It’s very fitting because I love talking about drums and I talk about them every day, so these clinics are just a formal way of sharing knowledge and helping to mould drummers of the future.”
As the session drew to a close Kollias kindly invited his fans to stay back for a signing and photo opportunity. An evidently popular choice (as the line wandered outside), both Kolliasand Haley greeted their onlookers and shared more anecdotal experiences all whilst saluting the cameras with angry looks and devil-horn hand gestures.
And while Kollias was signing his last batch of posters and CDs he made sure to share one more very important thing. “If there’s one thing I want my fans to know and take home with them tonight, [it] is to love what you do and to do it a lot. For me, drumming is passion and it’s a wonderful feeling that I want all drummers to feel.”