Raine Palladino is a drummer, songwriter, and musical director, who has been mentored by notable producers such as Tim Gilles (Taking Back Sunday, Thursday) and Tim Armstrong (Rancid, Transplants). Palladino joined Shiragirl in 2006, and has since rocked venues from Vans Warped Tour to American Airlines Arena, and has shared the stage with major artists including Rancid and NOFX.
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What kind of gear do you use?
I have a Pearl Crystal Beat 3-piece acrylic drum set. I use Vic Firth RockN sticks.
What’s your setup?
My setup consists of one rack, one floor, two crash cymbals (L, R), a ride and a hi-hat. I also use a double kick pedal and have a laptop connected to interface with 1/4″ output for backing tracks.
What bands/groups do you perform with, if any?
I’m part of the band, Shiragirl. Our new EP, Andi Underground, is out now.
What led you to your instrument? What’s your origin story?
I was raised by a single mother who has two daughters. She never told us we can’t do something because it’s “not for girls.” She was the most loving, encouraging mother a girl could ask for. I was very blessed. Back in the ’90s—I don’t know if they still do this—kids would get these catalogs that we’d take door-to-door attempting to sell things like wrapping paper and stationary. Depending on how much we sold, we were awarded a selection of prizes. I chose a crappy little electronic drum pad. I loved that drum pad so much that I told my mom I wanted to play drums. My mom wasted no time signing me up for drum lessons at a music school in Mt. Kisco, NY. I was the only girl who played percussion in the school band. I was ten years old. She bought me my first drum set for Christmas when I was 13 and would let my all-girl band come over on Friday’s to practice. I owe it all to my mother, Linda.
How do you practice? Do you have a routine?
I practice to a metronome.
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?
True success, to me, feeds one’s soul, not one’s bank account or ego. This is a unique turning point for each individual. Mine came when I sat in the recording studio with Tim Armstrong, one of my biggest musical influences, to write and record not one, but two EPs for Shiragirl. That’s when I felt, at a deep personal level, that I have succeeded as a musician.
Do you have any quotes or sayings that you live by?
“The only 4 letter c-word I find morally repugnant is can’t.“—Raine Palladino
When you sit down to make music and are starting with a blank canvas, what’s your process like?
There is music in my head constantly. I wake up in the morning with songs in my head that I’ve never heard before. All I have to do is listen and I will hear the music. It’s absolutely effortless.
How important is failure in making music/performing?
My first producer, Tim Gilles from Big Blue Meanie Studio, once told me, “If you’re not failing, you’re not trying hard enough.” That has always stuck with me. And after reading many books on personal success, I’ve learned never to accept temporary defeat as permanent failure. The “Three Feet From Gold” story is also something that has left an impression on me in every area of life, music and otherwise.
Women are underrepresented in drumming. Any advice for girls contemplating getting started and making it in this arena?
Women are just underrepresented period. We need to fight the good fight and support the hell out of each other. Believe in yourself. Your belief = your truth. Practice to a metronome. Don’t be afraid to HIT HARD (but don’t break your cymbals).
If you had to put together a school or resources for would-be drummers, what would the training include?
Practicing to a metronome. Start SLOW. Speed is the easy part. Slow a song down to half-time and execute each stroke with machine-line precision. Then gradually speed it up.