When Bentley music arranged my interview with Aaron Spears, I was excited, he is one of my favorites as he hails from a gospel background. I was interested in getting to know his mind in serving in the contemporary music arena without compromise to his faith. He played for Usher and was featured in many events that made him famous.
I took one of my students with me which I do in all my interviews , with Dave Weckl, Simon Philips, Gavin Harrison and Mike Mangini and others.
Aaron was chirpy, we started off with talking about coffee, we both love coffee and he recommended a brand for me to try, not the premium kopi luak, Indonesian beans that is defecated by squirrels, yuck!
AWDS: You are playing for Usher now and then you’ll soon be playing for Lady Gaga, what is the feedback from your church?
Aaron: Well yeh, you know, they saw no way you can’t play for them and now Lady Gaga, a certain no no. but I have learned to keep my faith and serve the music, I don’t need to compromise on the lifestyle.
AWDS: How did you rise to be a great star?
Aaron: Pure luck and God’s grace, I spend a lot of time in practice, experimenting. I started off playing in the church first, soon, word got out of my style of playing and soon enough great stars like Usher wanted to see me.
AWSD: What advice would you give to budding young drummers.
Aaron: Keep practicing, don’t be too hasty to get to your goal, spend time refining your skills, be open to learning new things from others, be humble and have lots and lots of fun.
Our interview was interrupted by the staff of Bentley who just gave me about 10 minutes as there were others who were to interview him before the clinic.
Aaron started with an explosive solo in the clinic that was filled to the brim. He opened the floor for questions and then played to some songs that everyone was familiar with, like Yeah from usher with an input of explosive fills. He was powerful and dynamic and fast.
The clinic ended with the crowd wanting him to jump on them from the stage. They all moved close to the stage. Aaron said,” Hey, I’m quite big and heavy you know, you sure about this?: The crowd shouted, “ yes!!!” He took a slow mo video of him jumping but he didn’t really jump, just leaned over and the crowd held him up. It was fun.
Everyone had a great time, unfortunately someone stole Aarons camera that he had left on a tripod to take the whole event in the middle of the hall. He was sad as the video camera had all the shots of his clinics in Asia, Indonesia, Thailand and so forth, how inconsiderate of the thief, leaving a bad reputation for Malaysians.
Aaron is still going strong, He is featured on the July 2020 Modern Drummer magazine front cover and now plays for Ariana Grande. Keep it up Aaron.
At the end of the performance, I was on stage with Bentley staff and I saw Aarons drum sticks used in the performance. One of the sticks was chipped of, worn out well in the middle where he hit the snare rim. I asked the staff if I can have it, they said yes.