Dave Whittaker
Dave Whittaker

The Beginning

Hi, I'm Dave and I'm always tapping on something or other, much to everyone's annoyance. First a little bit about my background.

I started drumming when I was about 18. Up until then I had been playing guitar. The band I was in needed a drummer and it seemed that everyone we had down for audition couldn't play the parts we needed; I found myself behind the kit, showing them what we wanted. This made my mind up for me. I sold my guitar equipment and started learning to play the drums. I listened and played along to my favourite bands at the time - Rush, Pink Floyd, Van Halen, and The Beatles; I soon realized the drums really were for me.


Over the last 20 years playing drums I have been influenced by lots of different bands and drummers. Here are a few of my favourites: Neil Peart, Keith Moon, Terry Bozzio, Dave Weckle, Mike Portnoy, Nick D'Virgilio, Phil Collins, Vinnie Colaiuta, Mike Mangini, Chad Wackerman, Steve Gadd, Rod Morgenstein, Simon Phillips, Gregg Bissonette, Alex Van Halen, Carmin and Vinny Appice, Alan White, Andy Newmark and Morgan Argen.


I joined Strangefish in 1991. The first time I played with these guys I covered for their existing drummer who was double booked performing with another band. I had to learn the set in breakneck time and performed pretty well considering. After that, the guys decided I should join them and I was very happy to do so. Initially I was blown away with the vocal melodies and catchiness of the material. Over the next couple of years the music took a few different turns and headed down the progressive path we are on now.

When we are writing we usually jam ideas around with Steve joining in with vocal melody and off the cuff lyrics. Some of his jammed words will stay in the song. We seem to have a unique chemistry together and bounce off each other during rehearsals and in social situations.

We are constantly writing new music and even ideas that have been shelved in the past can make an entrance if we think they will fit in.




My first kit was a second hand Premier Olympic; it served me well for about a year. Then I decided I needed something a little better so I bought the kit I'm still playing today. This is a Pearl Export Series andas far as I know, it's one of the first ones made. It comprises 22" bass drum 8", 10", 12", 13" rack toms and a 16" floor tom. I have two snare drums, my main snare is a 14" Mapex maple pro series and my second is a 14" Dixon Piccolo.

My cymbals comprise 8" Sabian splash, 10" Paiste splash, 14" Zildjian K Hi-Hats, a 14" and a 15" Sabian crash, 16" Zildjian thin crash, a 22" Zildjian ride and a 20" Zildjian low china. I also use a vibraslap, cowbell, tambourine and a cocktail shaker. All my tom heads are Remo pinstripe on top and Remo ambassadors on the bottom except for the 8" tom where I use an ambassador on both sides. My piccolo snare has a clear ambassador on the bottom and a coated ambassador on the batter. For the main snare I use an Evans coated on the batter. The bass drum has Remo Powerstroke 3s on both sides. Most of the hardware I use came with the Export kit but as things have failed I have replaced them with similar stands.

I still love to practice drums regularly. I probably play about 2/3 times per week for an hour or so at a time. I can only play my drum kit at the rehearsal studios because of the lack of space at home and the volume levels involved. At home I have a Roland TD9 electronic kit. This is a fantastic practice tool and also comes in very handy for recording ideas and demos for our latest song ideas.

If you have any questions you would like to ask, feel free to email me.

Thanks for your time.