I recently had an opportunity to grab some shots with my friend Jon Scroggins. He's a drummer. Yeah, he's cool like that. It started as just a quick shoot to help him with some promo shots for Soultone Cymbals. However, it quickly became a regular session, and before I knew it I was climbing a ladder, lying on the ground, and whatever else I could do to capture some great shots of him and his kit...
My husband and I met Jon, his wife Shannon, and their kids when we were youth pastors in 2007. We were blessed to have them work alongside of us in ministry during that time. He is just this chill guy, who likes to laugh and tends to make everyone around him feel at ease. Did I mention he's a drummer? Ok, just making sure. :) He's also currently part of an up and coming country band called Shotgun & Lace, who if you haven't heard of yet, you can check out here.
Here's a little of his story...
When I asked him how he got started this is what he had to say...
"I can’t really say why I got into music, but for me, it all started when I was twelve years old. I had been eyeing a drum set in a Montgomery Wards catalog for months. When Christmas time came around, I put it on my list thinking, 'What the heck?' I never thought my parents would get it for, but they did.
I remember learning my first song, 'Eye of the Tiger' by Survivor. At the time, my Dad had one of those state of the art turntables that had a repeat feature (yes, I just dated myself). They would put that on repeat and head out for the night. I still remember the look on their face when I played it for them the first time. Ever since, I have been self-taught. I play mostly by ear, but I am learning how to write charts. I love what I do and am so blessed that God has given me this talent."
So how did you end up touring with Shotgun & Lace?
"Well, I was playing music with a friend of mine and felt that it just was not going where I wanted it to go. Shotgun & Lace’s manager at the time had been 'courting' me for months. It turned out that the band I was playing and Shotgun & Lace were going to be playing the same venue. They were in desperate need of a drummer, so I thought, 'Why not?' I mean, we were both there, my drums were there…seemed logical. So, I started practicing with them about a month out and knew the first practice that this was a group that had great potential. Next thing I know, I committed and was out on mini-tour to Nebraska within a week!"
And your favorite show so far?
"I have had the privilege to share the stage with some pretty well known acts, but one of the most impactful groups was Brothers Osborne. They are two brothers with an incredible band. We opened for them at The Grizzly Rose in Denver, CO. They are unbelievably humble and down to earth. I think that is why this was such a big moment for me. It made me realize that not everyone that is blessed with success forgets where their talent comes from."
So, what are your plans...where do you, as a drummer and as a band, go from here?
"Personally, two years ago, I set a few goals for myself. I wanted to secure a few endorsements, learn to write charts, play music full time, and sharpen my skills. Since then, I am blessed to endorse Soultone Cymbals and have reached “beginner” status in writing charts. I am still in pursuit of the final two.
As a band, Shotgun & Lace has always had one main goal in mind: to be in contention as a top 10 Country artist over the airways. A tall order in such a cut-throat industry. We have caught the eye of a few industry people and find out, almost daily, that there are people pulling for us all the time. It amazes me how God puts us in the path of so many influential people in the industry. I really believe it is only a matter of time before Shotgun & Lace goes National."
Ok, now for the dirt...what's your most embarrassing moment (I mean memorable) as a drummer?
"My most embarrassing experience was with the first band I ever played with. We packed up and drove over three hours to this gig. It was supposed to be an outside event, but it was just too cold, so they moved it inside. After all the changes, it was over an hour after arriving before we started to set up. That is when I noticed…I had left my hardware case at home! This meant no cymbal stands, drum mounting hardware, bass drum pedal; you name it! We ended up rigging my drums on the end of microphone boom stands and every time I would hit them, they would sway violently back and forth – definitely not my finest moment.
The other most memorable moment happened, literally, a few weeks ago. We were in Denver, CO at a venue. At this particular venue, we were hired to be the house band for a week. After the second night’s first set, the sound man comes back and shares with us that the owner is not happy with the music we are playing and wants to let us go – we were fired! Shock set in as some of us argued with the sound guy while others of us wanted more explanation. After about five minutes, the sound man yelled, 'April Fool’s!' The singers of the group had pranked us on April Fools and none of us caught it."
Any advice for those up and coming drummers?
"I would end with this (words of advice, if you will), don’t ever give up on your dreams. You never know when it is God’s perfect timing. I am blessed to travel this country (and, hopefully, world soon) playing music, and earning a degree in a field I am passionate about at the age of 41."