A Shane Ramsay Article
Giving Back To PDX
Kevin Rankin Drummer and Superhero!
Kevin has called PDX home since 1994. Giving back to PDX in a big way with Horns For The Homeless. He has worked with greats like Animotion, Jennifer Batten, Eddie Martinez, Missing Persons, Nu Shooz, Tommy Tutone, Mike Skill, Dilana and now the drummer for A Flock Of Seagulls. Let's talk about it.
Shane: You stay extremely busy, does it ever get overwhelming or are you living the dream?
Kevin: I am absolutely blessed, and don’t take one day for granted. The overwhelming part is just the juggle of “real” life and how it aligns with my musical journey.
Shane: It is very cool you share your experiences on social media, the tour in Europe, Sky Deck Willis Tower and Stonehenge just to name a few. Thank you. Where is your next big show?
Kevin: I’m in Nevada January 20 for a couple of Casino shows, but we have two arena shows that are sold out at the end of January that I’m excited about. Honda Center and Microsoft Theater in the Los Angeles area, where we will play with Boy George, Adam Ant, The Bangles, Salt & Pepa and a bunch of other acts. People can check out my web site at Kevin Rankin – Official site of Spaun Drum artist Kevin Rankin if they’re interested in upcoming shows!
Shane: You give back to PDX in a big way. Horns For The Homeless is an amazing event. You and team provide meals, clothing, basic needs, resources and great music from local artists and bands in Portland that want to help too. How can people help?
Kevin: Thanks for noticing. We share the challenges along with the rest of the nation of finding compassionate solutions for people unable to sustain a home. We are trying to get able-bodied folks opportunities for work, while providing resources for those with mental illness and other challenges, all under the focus of using music as a bridge of compassion.
Music saved my life as a teen, and it’s all that many living on the streets have to keep their sanity. We have bi-annual outreach events and are planning community cleanup activities to engage those on the street with incentives to keep areas picked up.
The next one is April 7, at O’Bryant Square in Portland.
Volunteers and those wanting more info can find us at Horns for the Homeless – Helping those in need…
Shane: How long should someone practice for?
Kevin: How long can you feasible play in a day? I’d play for 4-5 hours a day in high school and college. These days, I don’t get as much time, but am glad to have practiced as much as I did. Learning to read and write music is really important if you’re at all interested in having a professional career.
Shane: Any cool stories you care to share?
Kevin: That question alone is one that could fill a book. I seek out adventure, experiences and “bucket list” items. I’ve fulfilled a lot. The coolest music stories to me are ones involving friends that I’ve made in the business. Some dear friends that I cherish have inspired me in incredible ways. Dan Pred (Dan Reed Network), Nate Morton (The Voice) and Glen Sobel (Alice Cooper) are good friends that I’ve drawn both musical and life influences that one could never put a price on. One of my best friends, local drummer Merrill Hale, is someone that I admire so much - he tossed his successful drafting career aside to pursue music in all forms, and is thriving and living life the right way. I admire those risks.
Shane: Any advice you could give that you had to learn the hard way?
Kevin: Absolutely. When you’re first starting to play music, no matter what instrument, and your aspirations of musical stardom take hold... acquire marketing and business skills at the same time. So many artists are masters of their craft, with no concept of how to turn their passion into a living.
Money isn’t everything, but having an understanding of how you can turn what you love to do into something that helps sustain you is the Golden Ticket.
Shane: How many drum sticks do you go through?
Kevin: Depending on the length of the show, anywhere from a pair to two per gig. I often sign and give away a couple sticks if there are kids at the show that ask for them. I need a stick endorsement something fierce!
Shane: Congratulations on everything.
I can not thank you enough for allowing some time to talk with me.
Kevin: Thank YOU, Shane!