One-on-one with CURTIS SUMMERS [Stress Level Red]
We had the opportunity to interview CURTIS SUMMERS of STRESS LEVEL RED.
Originally from Houston, Texas, Curtis began taking piano lessons at the age of 6, then picked up the sticks at age 10. His earliest influences included John Bonham, Alex Van Halen, and Michael Derosier of Heart. As a teen, he began studying under Bobby Brock (aka) Bobby Rock (Vinnie Vincent Invasion / Lita Ford Drummer) and Craig Lemay before relocating to Los Angeles in 1987. The Musicians Institute (MI) was a dream he wished to pursue and by 1990, he was studying under some of the best, such as Pat Torpey, Gerry Brown, and Steve Gadd.
After finishing school at Musicians Institute he left his day job as a baggage handler at Continental Airlines and joined the Los Angeles County Local 47 Musicians Union and began a career as a session player for hire and worked for many artists around the Los Angeles area, including Patty Labelle. From 1992-96 he played drums for Wicked Jester and Gangway. He also supported and toured with Danzig and Faith No More. In 1997, Curtis relocated to Dallas, Texas shortly, and took a break from the music business. He has since returned to his hometown of Houston, Texas, and is now the current drummer for STRESS LEVEL RED.
Curtis currently endorses Scorpion Percussion sticks, and uses DW Drums, Sabina Cymbals, Gator hard cases, Latin Percussion products and has the great support of Bentley’s Drum Shop in Fresno, California.
When did you first get into music and when did that turn into playing drums?
Piano was my first outlet for music and I gravitated towards the drums thanks to KISS Peter Criss.
What Scorpion model do you play and why?
5B is my stick of choice for the snap and action that it delivers.
How did music change you as a person?
It’s a very unique balance of life and it grounds me.
What were some of your early influences?
John Bonham and Alex Van Halen.
What's your favorite way to listen to music?
Loud and so I can feel it.
When was your first show?
My first gig was when I was 16 years old, and it was in Houston at Fitzgeralds.
What's your favorite thing about your local scene? Least favorite?
Most importantly to market your own music product and push your own music, Latest industry trends and the changes that have been made in the industry are all not that great.
What could bands in the scene or at shows do better?
Promote, promote And promote.
Metronome? Favorite metronome tone?
If you could play in any band who would you choose?
What have you been working on musically?
New material for the SLR EP.
What is your favorite part about being a musician?
To express creativity.
Favorite Road Memory?
Bungee jumping in New Zealand at Skippers Gorge.
Do you write music?
Yes, I write music on bass, actually.