div1.jpg (6017 bytes)

Drums and laughter

The Telegraph – Calcutta 2007

If he wasn’t making music for blockbuster James Bond movies, he would’ve been a stand-up comedian, says Pete Lockett

Pete Lockett (left) does his thing with
a Roland Handsonic at Hushh as
Bickram Ghosh is all smiles.

Bickram Ghosh
calls him “the only western percussionist who sounds like an Indian on the tabla”. When he’s not creating sensational soundtracks for James Bond films like Casino Royale, British percussionist / composer / producer Pete Lockett hangs out with his drumming pals in India, with tabla, ghatam and other Indian classical instruments for company.

In the city for the official music release of Bickram Ghosh’s “primarily drumming” album Drum Invasion, the hippie but sage-like Lockett spoke to t2 on everything from musical influences to heavy-duty tattooing.

What would you have been if you weren’t a musician?
A comedian (without missing a beat). Being an artiste on stage, I always feel that it’s really important to connect with your audience. The way I achieve that is by having fun; telling a joke, lightening up the listener.

Biggest musical inspiration/influence…
It’s really difficult to separate the inspirations in my life from the inspirations in my music. I started playing rather late in life, when I was 19.
When I was a kid, my biggest inspiration and influence was (The Who’s drummer) Keith Moon. Further on, it was Steve Gadd. When I started getting into Indian music, my inspirations were (tabla maestro) Zaakir Hussain, (ghatam legend) Vikku Vinayakram, Hari Shankar and Bickram. My initiation into Indian music didn’t happen via fusion music; it happened through listening to a lot of Hindustani classical music.  In the present scene, as far as drummers/percussionists go, I totally dig (German jazz/world music drummer) Benny Greb, Steve Smith and (sessions star and Steely Dan alumnus) Keith Carlock.

What’s your favourite live venue…
For purely emotional reasons, the Royal Festival Hall, London. It doesn’t boast the best acoustics or may not be the best live situation, but I have a lot of fond memories of that place.

Favourite James Bond movie…
Casino Royale, without a doubt.

Favourite music to drive to…
Anything trancey; it can be trance music per se, or a long classical piece that puts you in a trance. It depends on my mood, but the trance is a given.

Favourite tattoo…
(Rolls up trouser leg) The dragon.

Who has been the toughest band-leader you faced?
None; I don’t spend too much time with someone if we don’t get along (smiles).

Favourite instrument: in other words, the one to take away to that proverbial desolate island…
The tabla. (looks at Bickram). I think I’ll take his pair (laughs).

Biggest fear as a percussionist…
My pants falling down (laughs)! No, seriously… a recurrent nightmare I used to have as a kid was playing on a slippery floor, where every bit of your instrument moves away. In more recent times, since I work a lot with electronics, there’s this weird one: I usually have headphones on, wherein the volume can be set high, even when the audience is hearing nothing. My fear is that some day, I’d listen to that headphone, not realise that the PA is on mute by mistake and panic on stage, go crazy twigging buttons etc and totally confuse the audience.


Chennai 2007




Custom Search







div1.jpg (6017 bytes)