Here’s a chat with legendary Wellington drummer Ant Donaldson. I met Ant a few years back – having been an admirer of his playing across so many bands. The Razorblade, The Mantarays, The Six Volts/Front Lawn, The Labcoats, The Village of The Idiots, and then there were the ones I’d heard about but not seen – his brief time in the Spines, and as a formative member of Primitive Art Group, plenty of others besides…
From Dixieland and swing to deep improvisation and now he’s a rock drummer too. At 60 years old Ant Donaldson is in his first rock band – the mighty TEETH (for more on that band, and we do talk about it quite a bit here in this chat, check also my conversations with fellow TEETHers, Luke Buda and David Long).
Ant and I had planned to talk a bit earlier – late last year I guess. But we finally got together to make this happen and I’m very glad we did.
I knew a lot about his playing and his love of drums but here we got to talk about record collecting and some of the first formative LPs in his collection. We talked drums and drummers and jazz. And we talked too about his time away from music – farming, manual labour, connecting with something other than music. And how, in actual fact, it’s all linked, his approach – aiming for Yin/Yang – is similar whether tending the land or with drumsticks in hand.
I hope you enjoy this one. I certainly did.
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