Alumni Spotlight: Chris Allan (Drums)

Drummer Chris Allan completed our BA(Hons) Creative Music Performance degree in Drums in August of 2018, and has been keeping busy and doing some awesome things in the music industry!

Here's an update from Chris himself:

"Since graduating from DIME ONLINE I have continued to promote myself as a brand and musician and grow my 'business' as a session player. It can be a harder road doing this in the Rock scene as opposed to the Pop scene, as it's not always the most common thing, to have a session guy play for a Rock band. During my final year with DIME ONLINE I was out on the road with Nashville based singer/songwriter Sarah Darling. Not my normal kind of gig, but I knew the Music Director, who wanted me to do the tour, so I was very disciplined and got to know the style of music well. It was hard to balance studying while in and out of hotels and gigs, but I kept my head down and got it done."

Here's a video of Chris playing with Sarah Darling:

"I've just started working for Stewart Mac, who is a UK-based Pop/Rock artist. I got this gig as Stewart uses the same guitarist as the Sarah Darling band. We met while I was working for Canadian Rock band Cherry Suede. We got along right away and became friends, and these two jobs have come around from that. So as well as being on top of your playing, it's really important to be a nice person and someone that others will want to be around. We're just about to head out on the 'Runaway to Paradise' cruise with Jon Bon Jovi, which I'm very excited about. "

Here's a promo teaser for the cruise featuring Jon Bon Jovi and Stewart Mac:

"I've also recently spent a small amount of time with drummer Roger Taylor from Queen. It was an audition for a national theatre tour of their 'We Will Rock You' production. I'm definitely not a theatre kind of drummer, but Queen has always been my favorite band (I'm an absolute Queen NERD!) and are the reason I started playing in the first place, so when I got asked to audition, I went for it. It was truly an honour to spend some one on one time with Roger and play drums for him. It was definitely strange to play HIS drum parts for him, while he sat only a few feet away. A true gentleman!"

"Aside from all of this I'm offering remote recording. I'm currently setting up a new studio in Brighton, where I'm just about to move to. I LOVE working this way as I can connect and work with musicians all over the world. I've recently sent tracks to the USA, Canada, New Zealand and various parts of the UK. I still go to studios if people want me to travel. Its all nice and varied!

Growing up I was heavily influenced by 70's and 80's classic rock. Queen, Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, Deep Purple...all who have very notable drummers. Cozy Powell was the first 'Session' drummer I was aware of. Seeing the list of bands and albums he had worked on made me want the same. Its a bit of a different world now, but I'm trying!

Nowadays, I'm influenced by some other great players, mainly in Rock such as Glen Sobel, Brian Tichy & Taylor Hawkins. But also enjoy more progressive and jazzy drummers such as Benny Greb & Gavin Harrison.

At this point, I have no plans to study any further. I'm enjoying my work too much. But it's always in the back of my mind and I will 100% use DIME online again if and when I decide to undertake post graduate study. The DIMEO team is amazing and the course pushed me in directions I would never have thought to take, which opened up my playing significantly. It gave me the confidence to try new things and listen to all kinds of different music to influence me in my playing!"

You can find more info about Chris Allan at the following links: