Richard Jones - Drums
I have been interested in rock and heavy metal since the late 1970s. Saxon, Judas Priest, Led Zepplin, Meatloaf, Black Sabbath, Queen to name just a few. I would raid my brother's record collection, yes proper vinyl - round, black and the dull thud of the stylus as it hits the run-in grooves, fantastic… In the 1980s I was listening to popular music too, the likes of Go West and Mr Mister would whir out of my cassette player. It was a friend of mine that got me into Iron Maiden, he brought his copy of "Piece of Mind" to school. We would stand outside the science lab in our lunch break listening to Maiden and trying to get out of litter duty - fun times!!
It was 1988 when I bought my first drum kit. It was a small battered Premier kit, the cymbals would bend and contort if hit too hard, but it got me started and I still have the kit today. I started a band with the same friend that got me into Maiden, we played covers by Free, UFO and Ozzy, we rocked!!. Yes, we rocked in my bedroom at my Mum's house, the neighbours liked it, well I think they did they would just bang on the walls but not always in time to the beat! The band never had a name. We then found a guitarist and bass player so we had to think of a name for ourselves as we had been offered a gig. We decided to call ourselves Preacher and then went through various line up changes. We recorded 3 albums, had interest from record labels and promoters, but sadly we disbanded in 1999. It was 11 years of my life which I loved. When I was in Preacher I was also in a band which was called Dead Feet. We never intended to gig so it didn't matter how bad the name was, but we did write some songs together. I also write my own music which is very different to the music I played with Preacher and now play with Nightblade. I play guitar, drums and bass being self taught on guitar and drums, although I did have drums lessons for a short time. After Preacher disbanded I did not play drums until I got the phone call from Mark Crosby about the vacant drum stool in Nightblade.
Instruments - My Premier drum kit consists of 10", 12", 14" rack toms, 16" floor tom, 22" kick drum and a 7 ½" snare, a Pearl twin pedal and Shaw and ProMark sticks and, The cymbals, which consist of an "AJAX" ride, very old and now cracked, various crash cymbals and a "SABIEN" effect cymbal.
Musical Influences - Steve Vai, Neil Peart, James Hetfield, Mike Portnoy, Steve Harris, Pat Metheny, Simon Phillips, Robert Plant, Martin Axenrot, Mikael Akerfeldt, Ricky Warwick, Ozzy (no need for a surname!), Tom Araya, Gary Moore (RIP), Dimebag (RIP), Lemmy, John Bonham (you live in our hearts forever my friend), Charlie Benante, Jimmy Barnes, David Baernwald, Jon Bon Jovi, David Gilmore, Alison Krauss. The list is endless and will be added to as time goes by.
My influences have been anyone who has inspired me and not just in music. People influence who you are over time, which makes you your own person. To take out what you want from life and put aside the things you don't, but never discard them, as you may ant to look at it again later on…
Likes - Walking the band mascot, my hairy four-legged and loyal friend Reuben, spending time with good friends and being in my garden and vegetable plot (very Rock 'n' Roll eh!)