02.24.2005 // Dynasty USA's new interview with Kidsgrove Scouts percussion caption head Phil Brown!

Here is Dynasty USA's newest interview with Phil Brown of the Kidsgrove Scouts in the United Kingdom. Phil is the percussion caption head of the Kidsgrove Scouts and a former member of the Madison Scouts! Enjoy his perspective from across the POND!

1. First of all please tell us a little bit about yourself.

My name is Phil Brown and am currently Drumline Caption Head form Kidsgrove Scouts Drum & Bugle Corps based in Staffordshire, UK. When I’m not doing that I live a pretty normal life working as an Investment Manager for a private client stockbrokers in the north of England. This contrast of activities suits me very well, although I do spend most of my working week planning the weekends rehearsal.

2. How did drumming become a part of your life?

At the tender age of 9 I was a mellophone player in a small marching band in the UK. I did that for a couple of years but eventually got hacked off with playing horn…….. decided it was far cooler to be a drummer, and so I made the move when I was 13 and had a go at snare. Two years later the Madison Scouts came to the UK and that was it for me, that’s what I wanted to do……. that’s when all the hard work started!

3. Where did you play?

Leek Commodore Cadets, Staffordshire, England (84, 85, 86)

Sunrisers Drum & Bugle Corps, Birmingham, England (87, 88, 89, 90, 91)

Madison Scouts Drum & Bugle Corps, Madison WI, USA (92, 93, 94)

4. Did you go to school for percussion or how did you become the teacher/clinician that you are?

After I aged out of Madison in 1994 I was asked if would teach the Madison Junior Scouts which during 1995 merged into what is now known as the Capital Sound Drum & Bugle corps. I taught their drumline for two years whilst teaching at a few High Schools in Wisconsin trying my best to pass on as much of the knowledge and experience I had picked up from my time with Madison. I was also arranging for several other corps in the UK and Japan at that time, so very busy days indeed.

5. What are you doing now and what is involved?

As Percussion Caption Head at Kidsgrove Scouts D&B Corps I’m lucky enough to have a very talented staff working with me. I overlook everything that we do in terms of the winter program (warm up book, technique, music/show selection, sorting out the equipment) but we are all from pretty much the same background and work very well as a team. I’ve been here for nearly 10 years and have seen the organization get better and better each year which is very important to me. I hope one day when I’m old and grey to go to a drum corps show and see instructors out there that I’ve taught and hopefully doing a great job.

6. Other than Dynasty USA what other instruments and accessories are you using?

We are currently using Innovative Percussion sticks and mallets, Paiste cymbals and Evans drum heads, all off which I am very happy with.

7. What are your loves outside of drumming?

Cooking! I can cook a pretty mean chicken curry.

8. Are you married?

No. There’s not a woman on this planet that will put up with me tapping all the time……… so I’m told!

9. What is your best experience in life so far?

Probably my years marching with the Madison Scouts. I learnt so much about working with people and how to push yourself to the max. I will remember the staff there all my life I think, especially the ways that they applied different methods of teaching. Jeff Moore was my instructor whilst in the corps and, apart from being a very funny man, he never ceased to amaze me with his approach of teaching at all levels. He could get the very best out of everyone.

10. Please answer this question. "if I could change anything in the world today I would..............."

Make it the law that everyone should be given a pair of drum sticks at birth.

11. What advice do you have for young people today that want to become drummers?

Basics…. basics ….basics….. and more basics! I know its boring but if you break every rudiment down, no matter how flash it is if you work on what each hand is doing and break this down you will be able to play clean and fast when you bring both hands together. I would sooner have a guy in my line that can flay a perfect accent-to-tap pattern than a load of inverted cheese flams at a million beats per minute.

12. What is your favorite color? Food? Drink? Movie? Drum Line? Country? and finally what is your favorite way to travel?

Indian food, Gin & Tonic, Shawshank Redemption, Santa Clara Vanguard 1992…. they were awesome! Love the UKR30; apart from the rain! And finally……. Elephant….. very scary but fun!