While a few bass players have come and gone, Charlie has been playing off and on with my band ever since then. From small club dates, 10 years ago, with 10 people in the audience, to a west coast tour in 2008, and now more recent gigs in front of a thousand, Charlie has been rock-solid, reliable, and a joy to work with. I recently interviewed Charlie to discuss a bit of our history, as well as to get a deeper understanding of his musical background.
AG: Did you take lessons and were your parents supportive?
CW: I grew up in a small town so there weren't a lot of options for teachers but I did have instruction pretty much from the beginning. I had a pretty cool teacher named Dave Ludwick. My parents were pretty supportive but I don't think they thought I would do it for a living. When I started to get serious about drumming and started dropping sports to play music I definitely met some resistance. It wasn't until after I moved to Minnesota to go to music school that I got a call from my mom and she told me that she final understood why I was so into music. She had seen a concert (can't remember what concert) that had an impact on her and she finally understood. Since then she's been a big supporter.
AG: When did you know that you wanted to pursue music professionally?
CW: Oddly enough I think I knew music would be my life with that first drum fill on "Shout At The Devil". As far as actually pursuing a career professionally I think that happened in high school. I was getting tired of playing sports and really wanted to focus on playing drums. I started looking at music schools my senior year of hight school and moved to Minneapolis to attend Music Tech (now McNally Smith College of Music) a year after I graduated.
CW: My current set up is a Pearl Session Custom Kit. I've had this kit for almost 10 years and it just sounds amazing. I use it more than any other kit and I top it off with a variety of Evans heads. Drum wise I'm toned it down over past couple of years using 1 rack tom and two floor toms, kick, snare and sometimes a satellite snare on the side. My cymbals of choice are Paiste. I've never played anything that sounds better. I've been using the Dark Energy and Twenty series a lot lately but I have quite a collection so I can swap out as the music dictates. This is all well and good but it's no good without something to hit it all with and for that I choose Pro-Mark 5A's. Yes I said 5A's. You don't need big sticks to get a big sound. Well at least I don't.