Welcome back to another episode of the DrumGAB podcast. If you are a Canadian drummer from Ontario, and you take drumming even mildly seriously…you probably know about Mark Kelso. For me, I have known about Mark for years and have wanted to speak to him since starting this podcast. You just don’t start with Mark, ya know what I mean?
I invited Mark to the podcast when I got a chance to meet with him at a Yamaha party in Toronto. Ask my friend/past guest/past student of Mark’s, Aaron Spink….he calls me the buffet bandit. A little backstory is in order. At the Yamaha party there was a buffet table for the performing artists. I was near the front of the stage and next to the buffet table and I spotted Mark eating some fried calamari and decided I would join him and introduce myself. I indulged in some buffet, against my better judgement and Aaron spotted me chowin’ down and dubs me, BB.
Who is Mark?
Mark Kelso has been playing drums for over 40 years, has been featured on over 400 recordings, currently plays in 40 bands (that’s a lot of fours). He is the leader of his own band, Mark Kelso and the Jazz Exiles, he is the head of the drum department at Humber College and he is a husband and father of two children. In other words, a really busy guy that I can’t believe even had time to be on my podcast.
He is an enormous fan of Bruce Lee. Mark finds the famous martial artist as his main influence for his approach to drumming, which may seem odd at first, but he provides an very clear and understandable reason for this as he discusses the parallels between martial arts and drumming in this episode.
Overall, Mark is a Canadian legend that is highly skilled, educated and has a prolific career with music, drumming and education.
I have said this numerous times before, whenever I hit a new height with podcasting and that is this episode simply better than anything else I have recorded up until now. There are some gems in the DrumGAB library for sure, but this episode was incredible. That is largely because Mark was a great guest to be interviewed by me. I have known about him for so long and have done extensive research on him, I just knew that the questions I like to ask were ones that he would like to answer. Sometimes you just know.
Many times I found myself in the zone with this conversation and it lead to more interesting spur of the moment questions than some of the other episodes I have made. Mark is DEEP and I like deep people.
Starting the podcast with his poem that he wrote the night before his Drumeo appearance was a touch that I am glad makes contextual sense to our episode and how we discussed it in our chat. I want people to hear what Mark had to say because it is worth listening to…and to whoever made the YouTube comment “shut the fuck up and play” can suck my arse. It’s all the more reason to put it upfront in this episode because I felt empathetic to Mark on that one. He’s a thoughtful guy and I really enjoy what he has to say.
Overall, this is an interview that I am extremely proud of. I am glad that Mark and I had this chat and that it is now stamped in time as a thing we all can listen to whenever we want. Please enjoy the show, this one is special.