Guns for Hands: Self-taught drummer follows his own beat

Milo Simpson, a ninth-grader at Holmes, is a self-taught drummer, and one day he plans to hit a stage near you.

Simpson started his drumming at 13 years old. He used his brother’s drums when he first started, while his brother was in New York. He claimed to “beat the crap” out of his brother’s drums, so after that, he took a pair of his brothers sticks and went to his church and began teaching himself how to play.

Simpson also tried drums when he was in fifth-grade band, although he said it was too slow for him, so he quit. Simpson plays often on his drums, “I play live almost every Wednesday at my church in front of about 300 people. I practice every day on my drums,” he said.

Simpson plays all sorts of music, including making his own beats. “I play Twenty One Pilots and blink182, which is tougher, with some others in between. It’s pretty sick. I’ve made my own beats, but I haven’t made any of my own songs.”

Simpson’s self-directed path to drumming has not come without some conflicts, however. “I did get in trouble with my church one time because I took one of the mic stands with a mic on it, and I put up two stools. I put the mic stand on top of it, and my friend Caleb, we were playing “Heavydirtysoul” on a live performance, and he climbed up on a stand and used the mic while it was on the stools. We got in trouble, it wasn’t a whole lot, but we can’t do it anymore,” Simpson said.

Simpson’s percussive path has also taken a beating on his body, though he has turned some of the damage into his favor. “I have gotten wrist injuries from drumming, from that I’m able to pop my wrists. I can also make my limbs make noise,” he said.

Simpson said he would definitely like to start a band and go somewhere good with it. “I want to be a professional when I grow up, but I would want it to be meaningful music, like Josh Dun does,” he said.

“It’s a great outlet, you know. It’s really fun. It costs a lot of money. You have to be willing to use your equipment, even if it’s bad. My cymbals are all cracked up, but it’s cool.”

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