Tyler Randall and his new Mapex kit
Tyler Randall of London Ontario’s very own Rose Cora Perry & The Truth Untold, has joined the family of Mapex drums Canada and has spent some time with Planet Drum to answer some of our questions.
Marco Mammoliti: It all started 13 years ago, when your mother entered you into a hometown radio contest. Can you tell us about how that all went?
Tyler Randall: The story began in the deep slumber of a sleeping teenager…that teenager being me. My mother walked into my room – phone in hand – instructing me to play drums into the receiver.
I think it was around 7 or 8 am on a weekday and so I commented that I didn’t feel our neighbours would appreciate hearing a drum solo. But my mom insisted it was necessary for me to play, despite the early hour.
I took to my drum throne – while rubbing the sleep from my eyes – and began to play “Southbound 280” by Mike Park.
Enthralled in the moment, my mom had to tell me to stop playing so that she could hear the feedback from the radio hosts.
When she finished speaking with them, my mom told me I was selected among a small group of drummers to play alongside Shania Twain at her upcoming concert in London, Ontario. She indicated the hosts were impressed by my abilities.
When the day of the concert came, my mother and I made our way to the venue early to get situated with what would transpire later that evening. We were greeted by Shania’s drummer – who was very personable and nice – along with the coordinators in charge of the show.
The other selected drummers and I were given an overview of what was to happen when the time came for us to go up on stage. I was pretty nervous already; when I actually got on stage, my nervousness multiplied greatly.
It was pretty surreal to play alongside a “celebrity” and such a talented musician in front of thousands of spectators. I was admittedly awkward.
Even though the selected drummers, including myself, only played a few small parts of a song (right before it went into the chorus, to be exact), it was a monumental experience for me and I won’t forget it. My mom was also happy she was able to go to the concert for free 🙂
MM: Let’s start from the beginning. Can you tell us how you got involved in drumming?
TL: My desire to drum started when I was quite young. My parents however – not wanting to deal with the “noise” – bought me an acoustic guitar instead when I originally requested my first kit. At the time, I wasn’t pleased with this decision but I can now see their point of view and reasoning.
And so, I began my drumming journey by practising “air drums” on the side of my bed, playing along to my favourite bands and songs. I didn’t actually acquire my first drum set until I was in my teens when I had finally saved enough money to buy one.
Upon purchasing the kit, I practiced frequently and enjoyed “jam time” with friends.
In my last couple of years of highschool, I joined my first rock band as their drummer. Funnily enough I was originally supposed to be the bassist, but they couldn’t find someone else to play drums so I ended up being the drummer instead.
MM: In those early days, who were your biggest musical influences – talking about styles and drummers?
TL: I picked up most of my early skills from the bands I listened to at the time, which was a lot of punk, ska and rock.
Andrew Verdecchio of Five Iron Frenzy was a big influence for me as was Carter Beauford, another drummer I looked up to.
I also enjoyed watching videos of Buddy Rich for inspiration as he was such an amazing drummer.
MM: Not many fans know that you are a multi-instrumentalist. You have previously lent your bass and lead guitar skills to other projects. Tell us about that and how does this help you in composing your drum parts?
TL: The band I was previously involved with before I joined Rose Cora Perry was called Swerve. We were a five piece hard/alternative rock group based out of London, Ontario. For that project, I lent my skills as a bass player for around a year.
I have also been playing guitar for about 15 years now and my playing style is influenced by instrumental/metal acts like Intervals.
I don’t typically think about instruments individually but rather the song as a whole when composing my drum parts. There may be times when the bass, guitar or vocals warrant a special fill or beat but I typically go by what sounds best in terms of “feel” as well as fitting the dynamic/progression of the song.
MM: What is your approach to constructing your parts for songs?
TL: I usually come up with several variations for each section of a song (which can totally change the emphasis and feel) and run through them with Rose until we find what fits best and “feels” best.
After listening to songs, sometimes I get ideas that become impressed in my head right away as rhythms I want to use, but typically I have a hard time settling on just one idea.
MM: You co-founded rock band “The Truth Untold” alongside Singer/Guitarist Rose Cora Perry. How did you meet Rose and how did it all begin?
TL: I initially came into contact with Rose when she posted an ad on a local Facebook musicians wanted page. We began talking about expectations and what was required of the members before jamming for the first time.
I knew from checking out her pages that there was a lot of potential and that there was a very good chance of “making it” in this project.
Shortly after, we met up for our first rehearsal to do a run through of two of her songs. We clicked musically right away and she indicated immediately after she wanted me to join the project.
MM: You have been racking up many musical accolades: the newest one being a Mapex Canada endorsement. You already played Mapex Drums didn’t you?
TL: I was a longtime Mapex Drums lover and player, before I received my new sponsorship with them.
My love for Mapex started around 2007-ish when I asked a drum instructor for advice on a good brand to buy and he suggested Mapex.
I looked into them, fell in love with their sound/look and set my sights on acquiring a Mapex Saturn kit (what I currently play). I have also been using their hardware for some time.
It’s pretty awesome to now be able to represent their brand “officially”.
MM: Can you describe your typical drum kit/set up?
TL: My current drum set up is modelled after Travis Orbin’s kit. It’s a symmetrical set with a rack tom attached via a clamp to a boomstand on the left, and a floor tom on the right. There are also two hi hats, with one being attached via a clamp to the bass drum.
My cymbal set up from left to right is a ride, crash, hi hat, splash or other effects cymbal in the middle, hi hat (the one attached to the bass drum,) crash and china.
I play open handed with a symmetrical American grip.
I encourage everyone to check out Travis Orbin on Youtube to see his musical prowess, along with the set up I currently use.
Due to the nature of my band’s touring (ie: we often play the festival circuit with a shared backline), often times I’m not able to use this set up. However, I’m comfortable with a “typical” set up of one up, one down tom with the ride in between the two.
MM: Within a mere year of coming together, The Truth Untold have played in front of thousands of fans. Your life has changed hasn’t it? Can you describe your feelings and emotions?
TL: My life has definitely changed.
I just got back from California where I attended NAMM and played “Ultimate Jam night” at the legendary Whisky a Go-Go. I picked up an endorsement with Mapex and have played a lot of great shows including opening for Smashmouth.
It’s been quite a ride and I’m proud of what I/we have accomplished as a band. It’s been an exciting, happy time for me and I look forward to even more.
MM: Thanks for your time. It’s been great chatting with you.
TL: Thank you for the chance to be interviewed. I really appreciate being able to talk “drums” with you.
To find out what my band, The Truth Untold, is up to this year, be sure to connect with us on social media: