Emon Hassan

Interview: Cal Stamp of The D.R.A.M.A. Kings

Emon Hassan

Name: Cal Stamp (guitars)    Band: The D.R.A.M.A. Kings

G: Do you come from a musical family? Who were your early musical influences?

D.R.A.M.A. KingsCS: I was surrounded by music growing up. Both parents play, as does most of my extended family.  My musical memories from early childhood are mostly of classical and blues. Lots of B.B. King, Robert Cray, Pavarotti interspersed with some Beatles, Bob Marley, Paul Simon. Pretty eclectic.

G: Do you remember the album that had the biggest impact on you?

CS: I remember my elementary school friends and I sitting around the basement listening to Dookie (Green Day) and Smash (The Offspring) over and over again. We loved those records. I think that might have been when I decided that this whole rock band thing was for me.

Either that or The Eagles' Hotel California. That blew my 9-year-old mind.

G: What is your primary guitar now? What effects/pedals do you use?

CS: Right now I mainly play a '52 Tele reissue. It's a hotrod so it's got a little more body. On my board I've got a Crybaby wah, an Ernie Ball volume, a Diamond J-Drive distortion, a Line6 DL-4 delay, and a Boss flanger.

G: What one tip, each, would you give to beginners on a) practice b) songwriting c) recording and d) performing live.

a) Do it. Often. b) The only way to find out if what you've written is any good is to road test it. If it doesn't work live, then it just doesn't work. c) Know exactly what you want to play and how you're going to play it before you even step foot in the studio. d) Be entertaining, but not at the expense of your musical performance. You have to find that perfect balance that's unique to you.

G: Pick one song from the current album and tell us your story behind it.

CS: The D.R.A.M.A. Kings self-titled debut EP won't actually be released until October, but every song on it was actually written while Raf (vox) and I were still in our old band, The Speaks. We just felt that the material was too strong to leave behind, and different enough to fit into our vision for this new project. We're both really excited to finally get these tunes out there.

G: Recommend 3 essential albums all guitar players should listen to.

CS: That's tough. I'll go with the three that I've been listening to the most recently...

1) Sonny Landreth - From The Reach 2) Wes Montgomery - Boss Guitar 3) Brad Paisley - Play