Former MOTÖRHEAD and current SCORPIONS drummer Mikkey Dee has been working with art team and publisher SceneFour on an art collection, dubbed "Subliminal", that is described as "a pioneering effort in the new medium of crafting visual art through drum performance."
In a new trailer for the collection, which can be seen below, he discusses the qualities that define his rhythmic style and how those qualities apply to his artwork built from rhythm.
"I think I'm a hard-working drummer, but… I am a powerful drummer live; I kept that over the years," Mikkey says. "I really play harder today and I'm more energetic today than I was twenty-five, thirty years ago. So I would say a lot of energy.
"As the years go by here and people see me more live, that's probably the first question they ask: 'How can you do a full show like that?'" he continues. "A lot of drummers, they can stay like that maybe for twenty minutes… We're talking… It's a hundred and ten degrees onstage and it's a lot of circumstances around you. But, for me, it's very important. To me, drums is a hitting instrument — the more powerful you play, the better it is, in my book. And, of course, it has to be very dynamic at the same time. And that's not easy — it's not easy to be powerful and very dynamic at the same time. There's not a lot of drummers that play that way."
Dee adds: "I think these art pieces that I've been doing, you can actually see where I'm coming from with my drum sticks. It's like a tennis player that starts [his] hit way behind your back and moves through. And the same thing is with me with drums — I move through with my hits. And that is just me. There's a few drummers out there that I enjoy watching and listening to, because I can hear when they hit hard for real or not just faking it. A lot of guys, [when they play] it looks very bombastic, but it's really not that hard hitting. But that's what I'm doing — I'm hitting very, very hard and I go through, and I have to do that. And I think you can see that in these images — that there's a lot of power behind my playing."
Sign up at www.mikkeydeeart.com to learn more and see the collection before it is unveiled on September 14.
Dee has joined an extraordinary group of drummers working with art team SceneFour in the medium, including Bill Ward (BLACK SABBATH), Dave Lombardo (SLAYER), Rick Allen (DEF LEPPARD), Mike Mangini (DREAM THEATER), Chad Smith (RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS) and Nick Menza (MEGADETH).
Last September, Dee was named a permanent replacement for SCORPIONS' longtime drummer James Kottak, who was previously said to be on a break while he sought medical attention.
Regarding how playing with SCORPIONS is different from performing with MOTÖRHEAD, Mikkey said: "I played so long with MOTÖRHEAD, we were a three-piece, and that's a tremendous difference. For instance, when Phil [Campbell, MOTÖRHEAD guitarist] was doing his solo, I might have to be a little busier on the kick drum. Here [in the SCORPIONS], I've gotta think the opposite — I've gotta be easier on certain things and step into some other stuff. But it's a great challenge."