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Thomas Lang

My name is Thomas Lang. I was born 05. 08. 1967 in Vienna, Austria
and I started playing the drums at the age of 5. I grew up in a little town called Stockerau in Lower Austria, about 25 miles outside of Vienna.
My parents Kurt and Helga were very supportive of my early ambition to become a drummer and allowed me to attend the local music school for drum and piano lessons. My first drum teacher was a gentleman named Johann Hengst who was a classical percussionist and played with Viennese orchestras.
He taught me to play traditional grip and to read music.
Although at the time it all seemed very boring and tedious, I really benefitted from his lessons in many ways.
I only had a snare drum for about a year when I started playing, but gradually, I increased the size of my kit over the years by requesting additional parts on every Christmas and birthday wish list.
I got into pop and rock music right away and Ringo Starr was a big influence in my early drumming days. I used to play along to 50's and 60's rock n' roll tapes and early Beatles songs for a few years before I was first introduced to heavy rock by some local musicians I used to jam with.

We played Deep Purple, Black Sabbath and Free covers and after about two years started trying to get local gigs. We never succeeded, so my first gig was playing the bongos with the local choir where my mother was a member. I was 10 or 11 years old and I got a pair of sticks for my performance...it was great fun and very exciting.
After a few more years of jamming and gigging with local bands and studying with various teachers, I began attending the conservatory in Vienna where I studied with Walter Grassmann.
There I was introduced to jazz and fusion and was trained to play in Big Band style and to read proper charts and lead sheets.
I was not able to really get into the style of music I had to study and play, so I left after about four years. During my time at the conservatory, I met a lot of other young, ambitious musicians and I started playing loads of regular club-gigs in and around Vienna.
At that time I spent all my modest income on trips to drum and music schools in America, private lessons and on equipment.
My parents were also still supporting my various trips and endeavours morally and financially. Apart from providing me with a very comfortable rehearsal-space in the cellar of their house until I moved out, they have always been supportive of my pursuit to become a musician. Without them, and their constant constuctive criticism, I would not have learned from my many mistakes.
I started working with bigger acts and touring around Austria and Germany and one thing led to another. I slowly worked my way through the European pop, rock and jazz scene and was booked to work on increasingly popular productions. During this phase, I worked with up to 15 different bands and artists at the same time, squeezing as much work as possible into my schedule. I always tried to stick to my strict practice plan and I religiously followed a constantly evolving daily practice routine. I try to stick to this method of discovering and developing new ideas to this day.
In addition to practising, the growing amount of gigging and touring gave me a pretty good idea of what to work on and how to apply my experiences creatively.
The recording work I was being hired for, formed a crucial part of my development and I learned a lot by listening to my own inefficient and clumsy playing.
I also came to realise that I needed international exposure, not just to get my name out there but to absorb international musicians' influence. Having travelled to England throughout my youth, I knew that London had more musicians per capita than any other capital city in the world so off to London I went.
When I first moved to the U.K., I taught drums at the Musician's Institute and the London school of Music from 1995 to 1996.
Now, my schedule does not allow me to pursue teaching anymore, but I still give private lessons occasionally because I believe there's a lot to be learned from my colleagues' and students' different and interesting approaches. Unfortunately, I hardly find time to practice myself these days, so I keep the teaching to a minimum, but I have increased the number of master classes, clinics, seminars I give and have participated in more and more video productions to share my ideas.
Over the last ten years, I have recorded hundreds of albums and toured extensively with a host of bands and artists worldwide.
I tried to always learn and grow as a man and musician and see opportunity and potential in everything I encounter along the way.
In 1995, I recorded my first solo-album entitled "Mediator", and that same year, I recorded a two-part instructional video series complete with a booklet ("Ultimatives Schlagzeug"). It was the first instructional German language drum video ever produced and after being made available via the Internet for a few years, it is now sold in drum shops across the world!
I'm now producing not only my own CDs and videos, but I'm also co
writing for and co-producing various artists around Europe.
I have been permanently based in London, England since 1995 and have a second home in Vienna, Austria.

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