Name: Efraim Juntunen
Location: Umeå, Sweden
When and how did you realize you had a passion for music?
From quite a young age, music seemed to me like comic books or movies, as a way to experience new worlds. Having music on while doing something would just make me zone out completely, losing track of time. Of course I didn’t understand the English lyrics at the time, but that didn’t matter. Music alone was enough to intrigue me and has remained to do so ever since.
…and how come you ended up behind the drums?
At school I had a great teacher that saw that I had a natural talent for rhythm. So she pushed me to take up drumming, which I did through lessons and later on by joining a local orchestra as a percussionist.
What is your connection to the thrash metal metal genre, growing up and now?
Thrash came to me like a natural progression from the classic metal acts like Iron Maiden, Judas Priest etc. As a teen, I was curious about new things all the time, which led to searching out heavier and heavier music. The “big four” drew me in right away, all with their unique sounds. Slayer was then the gateway to the extreme, with the advent of death and black metal. Thrash-infused death metal is probably my favorite these days. You just can’t go wrong with fast beats, raw vocals and screaming guitars.
Comparing the overall technique and musicianship today with way back in the day when the scene was “new”, it seems drummers on a general level have come a long way. Why do you think that is?
Well, I believe there was just a huge lack of information back then. Old hand-me-down instructional VHS tapes and word of mouth were practically the only way outside the music itself to learn things, at least for me. Nowadays with the internet, and YouTube in particular, it’s all out there for young sponge-minds to soak up. As long as they have the interest, the time and the dedication to learn (and hopefully some friends to jam with), there’s no telling how far tomorrow’s musicians can go.
And for this collection of grooves, what bands and drummers would you say inspired you?
For the slower more groove-based stuff: Anthrax, Metallica and Pantera. For the mid-to-fast: Megadeth, Fear Factory and a bit of Defleshed. Vinnie Paul and Gene Hoglan are always at the back of my mind, more or less.
What was the general train of thought behind this collection of grooves?
To bring some of the classic thrash metal beats and fills for creative use, with a few twists and turns here and there to get you going in different directions. Whether you’re looking for fast and furious or slow and heavy, you should find something in this pack.
FIVE Q SHOOTOUT.
Double bass drums or double-pedal?
Definitely double bass drums for the feel and the sheer looks. Double-pedal can be convenient, but if I can avoid it, I will.
Click track or no click track in your headphones on stage?
It depends. Most bands I’ve played with have used backing tracks in some shape or form, so I’m used to the click. I don’t even register, it’s there most of the time. I wouldn’t use it just to keep the beat though.
CHECK OUT EFRIAM’S MIDI PACKS.Thrash Metal MIDI
Black Metal MIDI