Cris: There are a lot of electronic elements that come into play with this show, that you control from your kit. I saw a computer there, I saw the Roland V-drums placed around. What's the key to dealing with all of that electronic stuff, but still giving the music a good, natural feel?
Chris Kimmerer (drummer for Thomas Rhett): Before I joined this band, I did a tour with an artist that had made an electronic record. A completely electronic record. It was amazing. Early on in that tour, we figured out ways for me to reproduce that stuff live. Half just so that I was not sitting there doing nothing. Also there's something cool about watching and... I'm not sure that it connects with everybody on their first glance, but the idea of people realizing, "Oh yeah, he's performing that part that I'm hearing, and those are not normal sounding drums." There's a cowbell thing here, or a hand clap thing there, or a super 808 kind of vibe thing in the kick drum world, and then the switch from that to the acoustic drums.
Part of the trick is it needs to feel real as far as its performance. You also want to keep track of the dynamic range of some of that stuff. It's been an absolute challenge. But we have found ways for me as a drummer to be behind the kit and perform naturally on electronic instruments, to try to recreate a true experience. Drummer Chris Kimmerer