Danny Schreiber of QUOR
By Mark Griffith - MODERN DRUMMER - August, 2023
The prog-metal band QUOR has been together since 2013, and their newest member is drummer Danny Schreiber. The band just got back from a Japanese tour which found them playing at the Osaka club called Hokage’, as well as Babel Rock Tower and Zirco in Tokyo. Hokage’ is owned by trash-percussionist Isariyo Atsushi also known as “Sano San,” who also played on QUOR’s new single “Sam Meets Sara,” which can be streamed on Spotify. Chris Baseford (Methods of Mayhem and Nickelback) is producing the band, and QUOR’s full length record will be released soon. Schreiber, from Olympia WA, is also a visual and a tattoo artist operating out of his studio called The Copper Wolf.
MD: How long have you been playing?
DS: I’ve been playing 30 years, since I was 12. I started out playing in the school band and I got into playing percussion. Then I picked it up the drums pretty naturally. I was obsessed with the drums early on, I was playing nonstop, and I started gigging when I was 13. I ended up getting a Roland endorsement when I was 17 because I was playing and creating tracks with a hip hop group.
Around that time, I did some tracks for Chaz Hayes Management (Spice 1, E-40). In the early 2000s I was in a band called Pome that got signed to Atlantic Records under Velvet Hammer music management, we thought that things were going to explode until they didn’t. That knocked me back a bit and I got involved in Visual Art and Tattoos.
I played in lots of bands and had started losing faith in the whole music industry when Brian (the singer from QUOR) called. They were in the middle of recording an album and they had lost their drummer. They asked if I could record some tracks and I did, and they loved what I did on that track. A couple months later they were shooting the video and asked if I wanted to be in the video. That was for the song “Twiddle in the Middle” which did pretty well online and streaming. After that, I joined the band and we’ve been going for it ever since.
MD: What and who are your influences? Where are you coming from drum-wise?
DS: I think I have a pretty eclectic musical background. I play guitar and I sang in a band after Pome broke down. Dave Buckner (the drummer from Papa Roach) played with me for a bit in that band, so my rhythmic sense comes from a lot of different places. As far as drummers go Matt Garstka is at the top of the heap, Anika Niles drumming is fantastic. On the other hand, I love Matt Cameron, Abe Cunningham, and Danny Carey. Those guys are the heavyweights!
MD: Did the visual arts start before or after music?
DS: After. I didn’t even know I could do anything in the visual arts, I was always a musician. For a while the music business was certain, and then it became a lot less certain. I was always interested and appreciative of the visual arts, but I didn’t think I could do it. Then I tried it and found that I love creating visual art as well as drumming. It obviously goes with the culture of the music, I went back to school for visual arts, I started practicing, and in 2015 I opened up the tattoo studio and fine art gallery. It’s really taken off.
MD: Who are some of your art influences?
DS: I love Caravaggio, Van Gogh, as far as like more modern painters, I love Lavely Miller and Nicolas Uribe. Roberto Ferri is a modern master. There is a really cool tattoo artist out of France whose name is Thomas Carli Jarlier, he is just fantastic. One of the cool things about the Internet is that now you’re exposed to so many awesome people doing awesome stuff.
MD: What kind of a what kind of gear are you playing?
DS: I play Tama Starclassic Maple drums, Meinl Cymbals, and I have a Black Panther Copper snare that I love, it sounds great.
MD: You have really fast feet, what kind of pedals are you using?
DS: That’s an interesting question. I have always played Iron Cobra’s; they are my go to. But I just got the DW Direct Drive pedals, and I really want to love them. Direct Drive is a specific feel, and it takes a while to get used to that. With QUOR, I do a lot of fast double bass stuff, but there’s also a lot of slower grooves that needs to happen. I’m finding that the direct drives are great if I just want to burn through some double bass tunes, but I’m finding it a little hard to find that balance between having the speed and the balance for the groove stuff. I’m gonna keep working with the direct drive for a bit and see what happens.
MD: What kind of sticks are you using?
DS: I’ve been using Scorpion Percussion sticks for a while, they are a fantastic company, and the sticks are great. They are the longest lasting sticks I’ve used in 30 years.
MD: What ones are you using?
DS: I use the natural and I was playing the 7A’s, but their sticks are just a little weightier than normal Pro Mark or Vic Firth. I felt like I could use the 7A because it had the weight of a 5A, and then I moved up to a 5A. I’ve used the same pair of sticks for two weeks and they don’t even start to fray. I used a pair of 5A’s for a bunch of stuff and I developed a love for the 5A’s. I’m a rimshot player and typically Pro Mark sticks will last a couple practice sessions before they’re gone, but the Scorpion’s last 10 times longer.
MD: Do you use their grip?
DS: No, I haven’t tried it yet.
MD: I have to say, when you mentioned 5A sticks I was going to say that based on your music, 5A sounded a little small. But 7A? Wow that’s thin!
DS: They’re a medium taper stick. I used to play a long more pronounced tapered 5A stick from Pro Mark. But the feel of the Scorpion 7A’s felt more solid. When I first tried the Scorpion 5A’s they felt a little heavy for me, but now I love them. The ball tip gives you a really pronounced ping and bell sound too.
MD: Your band is a unique combination of faster metal and groove stuff, how would you describe QUOR’s music?
DS: QUOR is a big sounding three-piece band that is very drum and rhythm-driven. Sonically and melodically our songs are similar to what you would hear from Mastodon. There’s definitely melody, our singer’s vocal lines have a great sense of phrasing. I think we’re much more accessible than a lot of stuff out today though. We’re excited to watch it grow and see where it goes.