Brandon Zackey of Enterprise Earth shares details on new music, touring, and becoming a drummer

Brandon+Zackey+playing+drums+for+Whitechapel+opening+for+Trivium+on+the+Deadmen+and+Dragons+tour+on+November+9th+in+Phoenix+Arizona.

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Brandon Zackey playing drums for Whitechapel opening for Trivium on the Deadmen and Dragons tour on November 9th in Phoenix Arizona.

Brandon Zackey is a drummer and member of the American deathcore band Enterprise Earth. Brandon has also played three tours with Whitechapel and is about to embark on a European tour with Enterprise Earth playing with Shadow of Intent, Angelmaker, and To The Grave.

Joaquin: When did you first start playing and getting involved in music?

Brandon: I started playing drums when I was about 9 years old. I used to just like run around the house banging on pots and pans and pencils and stuff like that so my parents were like, “Alright, we gotta get this guy drum lessons.” So I started taking drum lessons when I was maybe like 9 or 10, and I think I got my first drum set when I was 11 or 12 and I have just been playing since then.

Joaquin: When did you first start playing with bands, shows, and touring?

Brandon: Well I first started playing with bands when I was in middle school or early high school, I was in 8th or 9th grade I think. I played with bands throughout most of high school. I was in some metal, rock, and punk bands. I actually stopped playing the drum set for a little bit and I got into marching stuff. So my first tours I did were actually with marching groups, I did DCI and drum corp and that kind of stuff. I started doing those tours in 2008, 2009, and 2010 but I didn’t really start touring with metal bands until about 2017 and I’ve been touring pretty regularly since then.

Joaquin: How did you start touring with metal bands?

Brandon: Well it was kind of a friend of a friend type of thing. There was a band looking for a drummer, they asked my friend and my friend put me in contact with them and since then it’s been the same things, word of mouth or a band will say, “We need a drummer” or they see your profile on Instagram and think, “Maybe he can do the tour.”

Joaquin: At what point down the road did you join Enterprise Earth?

Brandon: I joined Enterprise Earth in 2018 or 2019, it’s been about 4 years so around 2018.

Joaquin: What was your reaction to joining Enterprise Earth?

Brandon: They had asked me to do a tour and I did it and it was a lot of fun so when they asked me to join full time I was like, “Of course I’ll do it!” I love working with Gabe especially, him and I get along very well, yeah it’s been a lot of fun.

Joaquin: On top of playing with Enterprise Earth, you just played three tours with Whitechapel, what is it like filling in with bands that you’re not a member of?

Brandon: Whitechapel has so much history, they have about 8 albums and have had quite a few drummers throughout the years. Let’s say for a certain set we play songs from three different album that could also be songs from three different drummers that recorded those albums, it can be hard to mimic the drummers because everyone has their own sound, and I’m doing my best job to sounding like them while also retaining my own sound at the same time. It’s a little tricky, you know, some drummers have a different vocabulary than I do, so it’s like something’s make me think, “Oh I’ve never thought about playing something like this.” It’s kind of cool actually to dig in and see the way they think and the ideas they have and I start to assimilate into my own playing too.

Joaquin: What was your favorite Whitechapel song to play on tour?

Brandon: I like “This Is Exile,” and “Forgiveness Is Weakness” is also pretty fun, those two are probably my favorite.

Joaquin: My favorite Whitechapel song is “Hickory Creek” because I love the emotion and expression through the instruments. Would you say drums are a form of expression for you?

Brandon: Oh, of course, that’s something that I’m working on to gain more freedom on the instrument, to be able to express myself more freely. Maybe that’s something that every musician goes through but drums are totally a form of expression. I can’t think of a better way if you are having a bad day or you’re frustrated to let some aggression out at least.

Joaquin: Is there anything we can expect from Enterprise Earth in the future?

Brandon: We have 2 new songs that we are actually in the process of recording right now. I just finished the drums for one of them yesterday and I’ll do the next one tomorrow, so we should have them out hopefully in January and then we will have a full-length album hopefully out next fall. The two new songs are both seven minutes long so we have 14-15 minutes of music coming soon and 10 songs coming next year. We are going to be doing a lot of stuff.

Joaquin: Do you have any advice for drummers just starting?

Brandon: Play with a metronome! Especially for drummers, it’s something we can tend to shy away from, I didn’t regularly play with a metronome until I was in high school but man it makes a huge difference. You become so much more aware of time. That’s the best advice for a drummer and for as far as creative stuff for bands goes you have to realize you are a part of a bigger picture, sometimes if you’re writing a song and have any idea for a groove such as an upbeat china cymbal groove but it ends up not working for that song but you put it in anyways, you are serving yourself and not the music. The song is more important than your own ego or your own individual idea, that’s the biggest advice for bands. I try not to get too attached to a specific idea I have in my head, instead, I let the song do the writing for itself if that makes sense. If you are in a band you have to realize you gotta be cool and that you are working with other people, it’s like a job but it’s also like a relationship, there’s gotta be some give and take, you can’t just join a band and steamroll everybody and boss everybody around. A huge part of touring is hanging with your band and being a nice person because you basically end up living with 4 or 5 people so if you’re not cool it gets pretty old pretty fast, my best advice for touring is to be chill and roll with the punches as much as you can.

Joaquin: Do you have any last thing to say to fans of Enterprise Earth or Whitechapel or of you that could be reading this right now?

Brandon: Thank you for the support! Especially with fans of Enterprise Earth and Whitechapel even though Whitechapel has built their own legacy but I still appreciate everybody who messages me and it’s super cool. When I was in high school I didn’t imagine that I’m doing what I’m doing now so I appreciate the support because it allows me to keep doing what I’m doing.

Brandon Zackey playing drums for Whitechapel opening for Trivium on the Deadmen and Dragons tour on November 9th in Phoenix Arizona. (AZAEvents)
Brandon Zackey playing drums for Whitechapel opening for Trivium on the Deadmen and Dragons tour on November 9th in Phoenix Arizona. (AZAEvents)
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