Mo “Mucker” Earle
I joined The Rooters around 2001 after I had dropped my contact details off to the (then) bass player Dave Hubbard a year or so before. I had heard them play what amounted to much of my record collection from the 70’s and 80’s, and come the audition, could fairly well play the selected songs thrown at me from memory.
I realised early on that this tight knit band were also the best of friends and they welcomed me as a true peer.
I was delighted to be able to play with a band that gigged regularly and at a high standard, playing songs I wanted to play. Until this band, I played where and with whom I could and this was mainly pop and blues bands. I am not decrying this as it gave me the platform to learn many different musical styles and give me flexibility in playing outside of straight rock songs.
I started playing with a school band (Petroleum Spirit) in the late 1960’s in and around my home town of Guildford in Surrey. Together we grew up learning our instruments by playing along to records. We were a young mid-teens band playing local Social Clubs and British Legions. We were too young to play pubs! Our songs varied from pop songs of the day to songs from the 1950’s which went down with the older audience played to at the British Legions.
My next band was with my younger brother and cousin where we spent 3 to 4 years playing rock music of the day to Surrey and Hampshire pubs. The band was called La Grange and coincidently this was one of the first songs I played with The Rooters. As a side project I also played a few times with a popular Rock and Roll band “Rock Island Line” who appeared on the David Essex film That’ll Be The Day.
I gave up drumming when I got married and moved away from Guildford in 1985 up to Leamington with my work, which was as a Design Engineer at Dennis Eagle designing refuse trucks.
Around 1993 I had the time and inclination to pick up the drums again. This lead to joining a group of local blues enthusiasts (Slide on This). We gigged occasionally but were not destined to make waves but at least I was playing drums again. It was from “Slide on This” that I left to join The Rooters
Being a child of the 60’s and limited in the main to listening to music played on the radio, my early likes were bands such as The Beatles and Creedence Clearwater Revival but thanks to my peers at school (and a record player in the Common room), I got in to Deep Purple, Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin and the wonderfully named Blodwyn Pig!
The next band to secure a place in my heart was Status Quo (Piledriver/Hello years) where I discovered my liking for 12 bar. As I grew older I embraced bands like Wishbone Ash, Camel, early AC/DC, Iron Maiden and developed a more eclectic taste. Indeed much of my I-Pod today contains music from the albums I owned back in the 1970’s and 80’s.
If I consider the newer breed of bands I would say that Avenged Sevenfold made the biggest impact and a lot of this was the expertise of their drummer Jimmy Sullivan (The Rev) and his use of the double kick drum pedal. This lead to me endeavouring to include the double kick pedal in my armoury and it is fair to say I still have some way to go!! Todays breed of young rock drummers are very familiar and comfortable with the skill and having looked at many YouTube videos, the high standards set by them is pretty awesome and sets me levels to aspire to.
Personal style :
I have not had a single formal drum lesson and am totally self-taught. Like Johnny, I have no theoretical music training, but can pick up drum riffs and feels fairly easily. Riding on the shoulders of so many giants has enabled me to develop my own thing and given me the ability to adapt to a variety of music styles and rhythms.
I am very much a team player believing all band members contribute equally to create an overall sound which portrays the band as a single entity and not just four skilled individuals looking to outplay each other ultimately to the detriment of the song. My own style is very much in laying down a beat at a tempo and volume which suits the song and dovetails with the other instruments and vocals. A lot of subtler nuances can be missed (aurally) due to the volumes played at during a live gig but a slight change of rhythm on a ride or hi-hat cymbal or an accent on the crash cymbal, to me, adds colours and highlights to the overall song and should be persevered with. There is a time for thrash and volume but I am a firm advocate of less is more in many instances and where the song dictates. I have to confess that drum soloing is best left in the 1970’s as even I get bored fairly quickly once the drummer has been around the kit a few time (there are always exceptions mind!)
One of the main joys with playing with The Rooters is the amount of attention to detail which goes into crafting each song we learn. Musically we are all fairly adept, but in recent years one major shift in our skill set has been the introduction of vocal harmonies and it is this area which takes us the longest to nail. We all believe it is this attention to detail which sets us apart from many other bands on the same circuit. No song is played live unless we all 100% happy with the entire song. “That’ll do” is not in our vocabulary.
The greatest joy in being a member of The Rooters is the friendship and comradeship shared by the band members and close family/friends. I think if we were not playing in this wonderful band, we would all still be “besties”.
Pearl Session Custom (maple shells) in Green/Black fade colouring.
22”x18” Bass drum
10”x10”/12”x10”/13”x11” rack toms
16”x16” Floor tom
Pearl 14”x 5.5” Sensitone snare (bronze coated shell)
Sabian AAX 18” V-Crash cymbals x2
Sabian AAX 20” Stage Ride cymbal
Paiste PSTS 10” Splash cymbal
AAXtreme 17” China cymbal
Sabian 14” Stage Hi-Hats
Meinl HCS 14” X-Hats
Drum and cymbal hardware Pearl
Peace drum rack
PDP drum throne
DW 5000 series double kick drum pedal
Sticks 5A Metal Maniac (Peace)
Toms-Remo clear Pin Stripe Tom batter heads and Pearl resonant heads
Snare – Remo Coated Ambassador batter head and clear snare head
Bass drum – Aquarian Super Kick batter head and Pearl resonant head.
Amplification Samson S2 Snare Mic
Beyer Dynamic Opus 65 bass drum mic
Shure PG56 clip-on tom mics.