Sarah Thompson – aka Thomo – is a legend on the drums, most recently through huge accomplishments with the Melbourne-grown outfit Camp Cope.
CRAMP chats to Thomo about the joys of carting around equipment, drumming in garages and Nirvana.
So Thomo, you’re the drummer for Camp Cope. Could you tell us about the first time you picked up the sticks?
“If I remember correctly, I think it was around 1997 – when I was 13 or so. My stepdad had a shitty old kit in the garage, and I decided to start teaching myself.”
“I had a few friends at school that played guitar, and it seemed like the logical thing to do if I wanted to start a band.
“I feel sorry for my family… imagine listening to someone learning drums in the garage all day and night. What a nightmare.”
What was the first song you learned to play?
“I was a HUGE Nirvana fan at the time – wasn’t everybody? So I reckon it was probably ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit.’ Not for any reason other than that was track one on the album, and I used to put headphones on and try to drum along to every song over and over again.”
“Thinking back that would probably have influenced a huge part of how I still play.”
In terms of equipment, drummers have to carry around more shit than anyone. Does it ever make you wish you were a vocalist instead?
“Every single day of my life, yes. Haha. I actually stopped drumming for around six years before CC started – our first rehearsal all the memories of lugging around gear came flooding back. It was horrible!”
Word on the grapevine is we can expect Camp Cope’s second album soon. When is that happening, and can you tell us anything about it?
“Word on the street is correct. LP2 is done! It’ll be out in the world early next year… there’ll be details of that REAL soon.”
Finally Thomo, any words of advice to encourage people of every gender – particularly those in the minorities – to start drumming?
“I’m pretty lucky that I get to speak to a lot of young people at shows, in particular women/girls, trans, and non binary people, who are super keen to start bands.”
“It’s so nice to hear. I feel like it’s starting to become a lot more accessible for non-men folk to pick up an instrument and do whatever the hell they want.”
“When I first started playing it was pretty tricky to find people that weren’t dudes to play with.”
“I always tell [young people] – do whatever the hell they want and don’t let anyone tell them they can’t. There’s no wrong way to sound, so just give it a try. If you’re having fun, it’ll all come together from there.”
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