Foo little beauty. Chris’ dream gig

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A Burnley drummer has been busy helping out some of music’s biggest names.

Chris Lewis, owner of Groove Studios in Burnley, was called in at the last minute to help record part of a new track by Foo Fighters’ Taylor Hawkins for one of his side projects – Birds Of Satan.

The track features some of Taylor’s favourite drummers each taking a 16 bar solo at the end of the song. Guest spots come from Dave Grohl, Zak Starkey, Stewart Copeland and The Cult’s Mark Brzezecki – the latter being recorded in Chris’ studio in Sutcliffe Street.

“Being a professional drummer myself, I was abroad working with a band, when I received a text off a friend of mine informing me of a predicament Mark Brzezicki was in. He had been booked in another studio to record his solo for Taylor’s track, but due to unforeseen circumstances, the studio couldn’t fulfil the booking. Mark had one day available to record the part before he had to go to USA. Luckily, I was due home a few hours before the recording needed to be done. So Mark came to Burnley with his drum tech, and spent a few hours recording to the track that Hawkin’s producer in LA had emailed to me.

“The track has now been released, and it’s called ‘Be The Bird’ by Birds of Satan. With it being a track full of amazing drummers, the magazine ‘Rhythm’ did an interview with Taylor about the track, and it was in this last month’s edition of the magazine, along with the track on the accompanying CD.”

Born in Burnley, Chris (44) has been drumming since the age of 14. He played with top Beatles tribute act The Cheatles for 12 years and now divides his time between performing on cruise ships with the huge Beatles Celebration shows and giving lessons in his studio.

“I had been giving lessons at my home in Brunshaw,” said Chris, talking about his new studio, which opened a year ago. “My neighbours had been really good but I just felt the time had come to give them a break. It’s been great so far. I have a few bands coming down to rehearse now and they all seem to really like it. There aren’t a lot of rehearsal rooms in Burnley and I’ve been to a lot throughout the North-West where the acoustics are not very good. Being a drummer especially that is one of the most important aspects and so getting the sound right here is what I’ve worked on the most.”

The former St Theodore’s pupil has travelled the world working on some of its most luxurious cruise ships but now wants to spend the next few months concentrating on things a bit closer to home.

“I never wanted to be famous, I just wanted to make a living out of drumming. And for the last 20 years I’ve been lucky enough to do that. The cruise work is fantastic. Generally I’ll be on one of the ships five days a week performing in 1,000-seat theatres. It’s a massive production. Sometimes they’ll fly me out to Italy where I’ll jump on the ship and then they’ll fly me back from wherever we dock. It is amazing work but I’ve been turning a few down lately just so I can focus a bit more on the lessons I’m giving here and getting more bands down to rehearse.

“I also rent out one of the room down here to one of my old friends, bassist Scott Whitely who has just started giving lessons there, so we’ve got a decent setup now. Monsters as Humans and Furious Styles have been coming down and rehearsing regularly and we’re looking a filming a few videos with bands that come down. We want to try and offer something a bit different.”

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