Drummers who have spent their entire careers in studios or on stages delivering the backbone to songs that aren’t their own often have a unique adaptability. They are the chameleons who can tackle any challenge thrown at them and come out on the other side unscathed. Rarely it’s about virtuosity of any kind – what it comes down to is playing consistently and whatever’s right for the song. Having played professionally since before even graduating high school, German session powerhouse Felix Lehrmann is a prime example of just that. Be it for a busy fusion-type track or a bread-and-butter kind of rock song, he’s one of those drummers who just waits for the go-ahead and then gets a groove going that simply sits right from the first hit in measure one.
In this MIDI pack, Felix has taken all the experience he’s gathered over the years in the studio or on the road and distilled that down to a highly versatile collection of MIDI. If you’re looking for a one-take kind of drummer delivering a broad collection of grooves and fills for your general songwriting needs, this will be an essential addition to your library of MIDI packs.
Photo credit: Mandy Mellenthin
Photo credit: Mandy Mellenthin
Name: Felix Lehrmann
Location: Charlottenburg, Berlin
Occupation: Studio and live drummer
You’re from a musical family. For you, was it always a given that you’d end up a musician?
My father Michael Lehrmann is a professional guitar player. I had the chance to choose an instrument when I was three years old. Being a musician has always been a respected profession in our family. But at age three I did not plan on being a musician yet.
Being from a musical family, you could have ended up playing any instrument…but you found your calling behind the drums. How come?
I was fascinated by the drummers my father played with, so naturally for me I chose the loudest instrument there is. It was love at first sight. My first impressions hanging backstage with my father, the drummers have always been the funniest guys of them all. I was deeply impressed!
Starting out and through to where you are now as a drummer, how would you sum up your inspirations?
My main inspiration to this day and the reason why I do what I do is because of my father Michael. He’s the coolest and most relaxed guy in the world – he’s my role model of how to age gracefully. When I was very young, he took me to see Joe Zawinul, Mike Stern, Allan Holdsworth, Tribal Tech etc. These concerts made a huge difference for me. Also I am a huge fan of rock music e.g. Van Halen and Red Hot Chili Peppers.
Name your top-five list of albums in which you think the drums stand out in a spectacular way…and why!
You have been touring and doing session work since the age of 17. What was it like to get thrown in to the business at that age?
I had my first band when I was ten and my first recording session when I was twelve years old. It came really naturally to me working more and more over the years and getting to know professional musicians. It was fantastic back then playing and working with older musicians only. I absorbed every moment, every gig!
Walk us through a regular day “in the life of Felix” – on and off tour!
When you’re on tour there is no regular day, every day is different. First of all, I travel a lot. I try to use the time I have on the road as productively as possible – practicing rudiments in the car/train or working on my laptop. Every day no matter on or off tour starts with 45min of yoga to get my whole body stretched. I normally do not have breakfast – I only drink water until the middle of the day. When at home, I really enjoy spending time with my wife, cooking and cycling! I sleep a lot.
What drums do you play live and in the studio?
I always play DW drums. These are the drums of my dreams and I am more than happy to have a close relationship with the company. When it comes to studio work, my setup is always changing depending on the style of music. For touring I prefer a setup with two snare drums and four toms. My Paiste cymbal setup is constantly changing as well (sometimes depending on the cymbal bag I find in the trunk of my car).
What is your relationship to drum software and e-drums?
I’ve been working with different DAWs for years producing, programming and recording myself – my favorite being Logic. E-drums are great tool in the studio but when it comes to touring I prefer an acoustic drum set with electronic drums as an add on. I never toured with a fully electronic setup. I like the GEWA G9 e-drums a lot! Maybe you’ll see me using them more in the future.
What was your aim behind this MIDI pack and what do you hope the users take away from using it?
I hope to give the users an overview of what I think are the essential grooves for today’s music production. It’s a great package and I am very proud to give you an inside on how I approach grooves and timing within my playing. Primarily I hope that everybody is gonna have fun with the pack!
Our very own Rikk Currence gives you three reasons why your songs will thank you for using Toontrack drum MIDI.
This product is optimized for use with EZdrummer and Superior Drummer.