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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Local drummer ‘world’s most accurate’

    Erik Truelove has upstaged hundreds of professional drummers, earning himself the title of “”World’s Most Accurate Drummer”” Jan. 20, but he insists it’s no big deal.

    As the Old Pueblo prepared for its annual gem and mineral show, Truelove was in Los Angeles competing at the National Association Music Merchants Show – the largest music products tradeshow in the country. Somewhere between the bustle of business meetings and guest performances by the likes of Dave Navarro and Slash, the 37-year-old Tucson musician won the “”World’s Most Accurate Drummer”” contest for the fourth time in just over two years.

    Scoring 758 out of 800 possible points, Truelove set a new record for accuracy, as measured by a Beatnik rhythm analyzer drum pad. But for him, the title is merely a motivator for his array of professional endeavors, which include producing an instructional video to accompany the Beatnik metronome.

    Between practicing for competitions, performing with local folk-rock band Tryst, creating a video of his techniques and teaching about 30 private drum lessons a week, the self-described “”neat freak”” has refined multi-tasking to an art. And he handles his full plate of projects in the same way he practices the drums: one part at a time.

    Once the drummer of the now-defunct ’80s cover band The Mockingbirds, he regularly performs live with local acts like Ryanhood, Leila Lopez and Andy Hersey. He tends to keep his options open, preferring a variety of groups to a single venture. “”I would commit to the right project,”” he said. “”Right now I’m just waiting for one that seems to fit the best.””

    For Truelove, the perfect fit would be “”somewhere between Sade and Dave Matthews Band.””

    “”I get really bored just playing in a rock band,”” he said, explaining his contempt for genres. What excites him about Tryst is its fusion of influences from Latin, jazz and soul.

    This spring, Truelove will be filming for a DVD of his teaching curriculum, while planning his first student recital and working with manufacturer Silverfox on an “”Erik Truelove”” custom drumstick.

    Truelove has the thoughtful, relaxed demeanor of someone who has been independent from the beginning. Not content to play trumpet in his high school marching band, he bought a drum set at age 15 and learned by playing along to Motley Crüe recordings. He played in bands throughout his 20s, alongside operating a window-washing business in Seattle. Finally in 2001, having thoroughly tired of windows, Truelove sold the business, fled the Northwest and opened Tucson Drum Studio (near North Country Club Road and East 22nd Street), where he records and teaches.

    His students, ages 8 to 59, have sought him out for his patience and upbeat teaching style. “”He creates a comfortable environment,”” said parent Ann Cooper, noting the spacious studio where parents can enjoy a beverage while watching the lessons.

    Since her son Josiah, 13, began taking lessons with Truelove last year, Ann Cooper said his skills and confidence have improved tremendously. “”He looks a lot more at ease at the drum kit,”” she said, “”and I think he picks it up from Erik.””

    Josiah agreed: “”He makes hard things become easy.””

    In spite of his mellow attitude, Truelove considers himself a bit of a perfectionist. “”I own a label maker,”” he said, grinning.

    Naturally, winning the competition has made him even further disciplined – even self-critical. “”I definitely notice my mistakes more now,”” he said. “”Now I have a title to uphold.””

    He feels the “”Most Accurate Drummer”” title is somewhat misleading, however, as he holds creativity in equally high regard. “”It doesn’t really define me,”” he said. “”Some of the most beautiful art is inaccurate.””

    More than anything, he said, his achievement has helped with professional networking and self-promotion.

    “”I’m always on time for everything,”” he said.

    For a video of Erik conducting a drum clinic at Guitar Center, 4720 E. Broadway Blvd., visit

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