We had the good fortune of connecting with Greg Collister and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Greg, any advice for those thinking about whether to keep going or to give up?
First of all, I would like to talk about why I chose this question as it is one of my most frequently asked. I hope that all of you out there reading this find your inspiration in this life and know in your heart that it is always too soon to give up. I tell everyone that asks me this that I have been on the brink of giving up & back again more than a thousand times. As I sit quietly and look back on my life I realize more each day just how much I have been through. When you realize your dream comes from the depths of your soul & from a place so far above & beyond yourself, you will let nothing stand in your way…NOTHING. No matter how painful life can be it is always worth moving forward pursuing that which is in your heart. I’ve had to dig so deep to keep going on so many days where I just didn’t think I was going to make it through. I’ve met many people on my journey that asked me to promise them I would never give up. I have received inspiration from some I look up to the most. The truth is the struggle is my greatest success because it has taught me endurance and that will in turn lead me further into greatness. Always follow your heart, your dreams, go do what you love, and Do not EVER give up. If you spend enough time in silence you will feel the internal pull therefore you will know exactly which direction to go. Every time I circle back on it I remind myself that I have a gift to share. I need the entire world to feel, to hear, to see! For me its Drumming. Now it is your turn to promise me that you will NOT ever give up.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
The first thing I want the World to know is how passionate I am about what I do. How much I strive each day to not only be a better drummer but a better person. How much I really want the entire world to hear and see me drum. Why? Because I want you all to know you can do what you love, and how important that is to being happy in your individual lives. When I am gone I want to leave behind what I’ve worked so hard to gain in my life, knowledge, discipline, inspiration, happiness, love, and positivity. I want you to be so inspired by me that you will never stop. One look at the course of my life will be enough for anyone to say look! He never gave up. You see, my story is more about enduring the struggle that is the journey to finding a greater life. With each day that passes I begin to realize more and more that nothing sets me apart. I am the same as you which makes it easier to relate right? What I do is work really hard to bring a level of excellence beyond excellence to my drumming and my life. In order to understand I will need to take you all back to somewhere around the 1990’s. I started drumming at age 10 but, I had an epiphany while in a drum lesson with my first drum teacher around age 13. I knew hands down drumming is what I wanted to do with my life and that is a blessing. What I didn’t know then was just how hard it was going to be. From the golden fields of the heartland where I grew up to the celebrity filled streets of Hollywood I’ve got quite a story. However, that may be best left for a personal chat over coffee at Starbucks or something and I’d be happy to sit down with each and every one of you interested. What I will tell you is I have met some of the greatest people, artists, musicians, and have so much fun playing the drums live, in the studio-recording, and teaching. So, if you’re looking for a drummer or drum teacher for any of these situations HERE I AM! Currently located but not limited to LA. I’ve been extremely excited about one of my latest bands, HUMAN DRAMA, which has an amazing following of fans primarily in Mexico. To cross international borders and play for all of those people is a real dream come true. We are currently finishing an album to be released soon. So please go buy the record when it comes out. I’ve also done some more recent touring & recording with SUPERFIX which features vocalist Kalen Chase formerly of Korn and Vimic. Another recent Artist I’ve been playing for is SHAH XO. Shah is an incredibly talented singer/songwriter with music that carries a positive message. I love performing with her and the band. I also really enjoy performing worship music at a couple of local churches. My excitement for the opportunity to work with some other talented artists I’ve more recently connected with is unbearable but too early to announce, and of course I’m very excited for what the future will bring with situations I’m not even aware of yet. It’s taken all of almost 26 years to get to where I am today. My advice is learn to laugh, relax, have a great attitude and confidence that you’ll make it through anything. When things get tough you will need to endure whatever it is you’re faced with. You are not alone. I wish you all luck in finding what it is that you love to do and most importantly NEVER EVER GIVE UP.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I’m assuming we’re limited to LA on this but I really like hiking and a lot of places outside of the city too. California is the land of dreams after all. I’m gonna start with the sunset strip you know the Whiskey a go go, Viper room etc. especially for night life and live shows. Lucky strike is cool. A hike to the Hollywood sign would be nice and a good hike in Runyon Canyon and Fryman Canyon is a must. Definitely got to hit Hollywood Blvd and the Walk of Fame. I would drop by Musicians Institute because I studied there and I love that place! Melrose is awesome. The Grove. Downtown LA. Might as well stop by one of the thousand tattoo shops and get some ink! Maybe Kat Von D’s place if we’re lucky, right? The Hollywood Pro Drum Shop is a personal favorite. The Chinese theater and mall on the corner of Hollywood and Highland. There’s a lot of cool shops up and down Hollywood Blvd. The Rainbow Bar & Grill. There’s a great place to eat on every corner so that’s pretty easily covered. Griffith park is fun. Tour of the Stars is cool too. There’s so much to do but that pretty much covers it. Any trip to California should also come complete with a trip to the beach as well Venice, Santa Monica, Malibu, Ventura, further north or south it’s honestly all amazing…California Love!
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
This feels a little like a speech given at the Grammys or something like that lol. But ok here we go! There are so many to thank: God. My parents Robert & Jennifer. All of my amazing family. My first band teacher Jay Hagaman. My first drum teacher and career mentor Al Nache. Paul DePauw. All my incredible friends growing up through my life’s journey you know who you are! The whole crew at West Music. All of my students over all of the years. Every band, musician, artist, and jam I’ve ever been a part of. My dear friends, Aaron Nordstrom, Kyle Mayer, Brian Wolff, & Shannon Bizzy. All of the incredible teachers, influencers, and sources of education I’ve had. The entire staff at Musicians Institute in Hollywood, CA. Rob Carson, Sammy J. Watson, Jeff Bowders, Tim Pedersen. L.A.M.A., Ralph Humphrey & Joe Porcaro. Thomas Lang, Modern Drummer & Drum Magazine, Drumeo. Internal arts instructor Ken Gullette. Bands & Artists: Corporate Rock, Clandestine, Big Mike & the Reckonin’, Kalen Chase & Superfix, Wired, Kings Revenge, Human Drama, SHAH XO, Sarah Lynn & the Discovery worship team, Stonebridge worship, Lee Krabbe, Pitstop & its affiliates. All of the wonderful fans from here to Mexico. Every relationship I’ve ever had, even the bad ones. Every lesson learned. Every one who has ever believed in & supported me. Every piece of inspiration I’ve gathered from every living breathing thing around me. Anyone I may have missed. Thank you all from the bottom of my heart. I love you so much. And thank you Voyage LA for this shoutout!
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