Eva Cubillos is a drummer from Bogotá, Colombia. She started playing when she was 15 years old, inspired by bands like Dream Theater, Tool, and Gojira. At first she was self-taught, and started playing percussion in a church in Bogotá. Now she’s currently studying Latin rhythms at online drum school called, creatively, Drum School.
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What kind of gear do you use? What’s your setup?
I use an electronic drum kit, because I live in an apartment and it allows me to have longer practice times. I practice in the mornings very early or at night. I don’t change the sound of the acoustic drums, and for that reason, I make splices in a rehearsal room that has the drum sound that I feel fits my needs and my tastes.
What bands/groups do you perform with, if any?
For now I’m not in any band. I have been in the past, and have also made some proposals recently to play drums in some bands, but have not identified with those projects. I prefer to continue working on my own until I find a project that I like.
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What led you to your instrument? What’s your origin story?
It all started when I was 15 years old. I loved rock, specifically metal and the progressive music that I shared with my brother. When I listened to bands like Dream Theater, Tool, or Gojira, I understood that my passion for music was drums, so I bought a drum kit. I started studying and practicing with music books, then I took drum classes for one year. I played minor percussion in an important church in Bogotá.
Unfortunately during my studies in psychology, I moved away from all this, but I always felt that I was losing something that really filled me, so I went back to my instrument without leaving aside the psychologist in me.
Something I would like to highlight is that I started posting on Instagram as something unimportant, putting up some videos and such, but with time, it has been such a relevant strength that has opened doors I didn’t expect.
I am currently studying Latin rhythms at an amazing online drum school called @drum.school, because I want to grow in my knowledge as a drummer.
Playing drums for me is one of the best gifts that God has given me and I am very grateful for that beautiful gift. My dream is to play drums in the church in which I congregate.
Who is your favorite drummer and why?
Mike Portnoy because he is an integral drummer. He is creative and versatile. I like his sound, his style, and also he is very virtuous.
How do you practice? Do you have a routine?
My routine is to practice rudiments first on the pad and then play them on the drums, and to always use the metronome. I try to do this in the morning hours before going to my work, because I am also a psychologist and I have a schedule from 8 AM to 5 PM. On weekends I spend more time on my drums.
Are there any specific playing tips or techniques, or advice, exercises, or discoveries you’d like to share with Drum! readers?
It is important to use always the metronome.
What’s something you believe about drumming or music that other people think is crazy?
It’s not crazy for other people, but I think and believe that playing drums is one of the best way to experience catharsis.
As artists, the goal post for “success” is always moving. There’s not one “I made it!” point. How do you think about and define success?
I think success is learning from bad experiences and turning them into opportunities. And also for me success is doing what I really like.
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Do you have any quotes or sayings that you live by?
There is a phrase from a psychologist that I have always liked by Carl Jung, with which I identify:
“What you deny submits to you. What you accept transforms you.”
This phrase applies to everything and especially music. For instance if you deny the importance of being a constant musician, deny the importance of daily practice, deny that you are in a learning process, deny that you should study more and grow in your knowledge as a drummer, then that will not allow you to advance.
What you accept, transforms you. Accept that each drummer is unique, accept that you don’t have to compare yourself with others, accept that you have to work with the resources you have, and so on.
How important is failure in making music/performing?
Failure in music, as in life, is a teacher. Failure can lead us to understand things we would never understand if we did not fail. After a failure, we learn how to get up from a fall, and we get bigger and stronger, so it’s an important part of the process and success.
Any advice for girls contemplating getting started and making it in this arena?
First understand that each person has their process. Anther important thing is not to be affected by criticism. For example on Instagram I have received many disparaging comments from men, such as “You have followers only because you are a woman,” etc. So it’s important not to listen to people who have not built anything, and remember that criticism can only hurt someone at the level that their insecurities allow it.
If you had to put together a school or resources for would-be drummers, what would the training include?
It would include music therapy and classes about neuropsychology and music.
Where else to find Eva