About Drummer Niklas J. Blixt

Bio

Niklas is an artist and a musician. He also drums!

I’ve worked with Niklas on two albums in the past couple of years, and it has been a fantastic experience. Firstly, he doesn’t take everyone on. He will only join a project that he feels passionate about and knows he can really make a difference to, so if you end up working with him you know you’re going to get his full attention!.

Niklas has a refreshing philosophy to drumming. He’s technically very good, but the thing you’ll soon hear (or not hear!) is that he doesn’t feel the need to keep proving it! For him, his contribution is all about supporting the song. Everything starts with the song. If it needs a complex fill he’ll gladly supply one, but on the whole you’ll notice that a lot of the drumming is remarkably simple and clean, designed to fit with the groove and bring the song to the forefront rather than show of his own talents.

Tracks come back on time, well mixed and ready to add to your project. In the rare cases that you need anything tweaking, changes are made quickly and with good humour. I don’t feel like I’m hiring a session drummer – Niklas is more like a band member fully involved in the project albeit many miles away!

Cheers,
Matt Steady – Musician and music maker based in Leicester, England

Cheers,
Matt Steady

Career Timeline

1986-1998:Born in a town called Avesta in the middle of Sweden. Spent most of my youth doing sports (mostly ice hockey). Fell in love with music early on, but wasn’t until 1998 that I got my first drum set after my mom got tired of me asking here to buy me a drumset. She only had one condition…I had to get proper drum lessons. So I did.

1998-2004: Dropped out of taking drum lessons since I thought the teacher was bad and didn’t teach me the stuff I wanted to learn. Continued playing and teaching myself by (trying) to imitate my favorite drummers. I also started to play in different local bands, most of them didn’t leave the rehearsal space. In 2003 or if it was 2004 (?) I decided to go after my dream and become a drummer. Sold my entry level drum kit and bought my first ‘pro’ drum kit (a Premier Artist Birch) for the money I made that summer on my summer job. Started to practice as much as I could. Ended up being the drummer in the band for the school cabaret in last semester in upper secondary school.

2004-2005: Continued practicing like a maniac and play in local bands while holding down some different day jobs. In 2006 I enrolled a 2-year music performance program at Bergslagens Folk High School.

2005-2008: Did most of my time at Bergslagens Folk High School, practicing 4-6 hours a day and played in every project and ensemble I could handle. Also picked up the love for music production, If I wasn’t in the room tracking drums for some project I was in the control room learning everything I could about digital recording. At this point I realized maybe playing in one band and one band only wants enough for me. I started to play with the thought of becoming freelance and doning session work. But didn’t think I was ready for that just yet…

2008-2013: After graduating from the 2-year program I moved to Eskilstuna, Sweden (where I’m currently based). Took every class I could manage that had something to do with music at different Universities (mostly through online courses and such). Studied everything from ‘The history of western music’ to ‘Music Production’ and everything in-between. At the same time practicing drums as much as I could, and playing with different local bands.

2013-present: Finally started to do some session and freelance work on the side. Also made it possible to record drums at my rehearsal space so I could work remotely with people all over the world on recordings. This is where we’re at now. 8 out of 10 sessions I do are done remotely for producers, songwriters, artists and what not from all around the globe. Besides that I’m also a permanent member in Dusky Fileds and I’ve also got my own side project [ T R A M S ]. Who knows what all this will lead me next? 

Gear

Drums

yamaha-logomark

Yamaha Rock Tour in Textured Green Sunburst finish. 9-ply shells of Big Leaf Mahogany (Textured Ash are 6-ply mahogany, 2-ply ash). The mahogany for Rock Tour is a South American species that is grown in a reforested, managed forest as a renewable resource. Rock Tour shells have a low fundamental, and a warm musical tone while maintaining a strong attack and great projection.

Sizes are as follows:

22″x18″ Kick Drum
16″x15″ Floor Tom
12″x8″ Rack tom

Snare Drums

I use a Gretsch Renown 14″x6,5″ snare drum with flanged hoops as my main snare. I also use a Tama Superstar 14″x5,5″ snare drum with Die Cast hoops as a side snare or when I need a main snare with a shorter and high pitched sound. The Tama snare is also equipped with PureSound Percussion EQ snare wires.

Cymbals

13″ Meinl Byzance Traditional Medium Hi-hat

17″ Zildjian Avedis Medium Crash

18″ Zildjian Avedis Medium Crash

20″ Meinl Sand Ride

Hardware and stands

I use a variety of stands and hardware from different brands such as Yamaha, Premier, Tama and Pearl. Mostly from the Premier 2000 series. I use a Tama Iron Cobra Power Glide singel kick pedal.

Sticks etc.

promark_logo

I have a selection of different types of sticks to use for all my playing situations such as stick, rods, brushes and mallets. Most of them are made by Pro Mark. My go to stick is the Pro Mark Forward 5A .550″ Hickory Tear Drop Wood Tip.

Drumheads
evans-logo

What drumheads I use depends on what situation I’m in. I usually prefer Evans Drumheads and currently use:

G1 coated on the resonant side of all toms and the batter side of my Gretsch snare.

G2 coated on the batter side of all toms.

Evans 300 on the snare side of all my snares.

G14 coated on the batter side of my Tama snare.

Emad Coated on the batter side of the kick and the Yamaha stock head on the resonant side with a 5″ sound hole for easier placement of microphones.

Microphones and recording equipment 

MacBook Pro 15″ Early 2011 with 2Ghz Intel Core i7 processor and 8GB of RAM. I’m using Logic Pro X for recording and editing work.

I use a Presonus Firestudio interface connected to my MacBook Pro with firewire. This gives me up to 8 different channels of drums and can be expanded with more channels if needed.

For monitoring I use Tannoy Reveal studio speakers and Shure se215 In-Ear monitors both for tracking and live situations. I also use a pair of Sennheiser HD-201, mostly used for editing when I’m not able to use my studio speakers for some reason.

I use a selection of microphones from different brands while tracking, I can also bring my own microphones for live use. A selection of the microphones I use are:

AKG D112

Shure SM57

Samson C01

JoeMeek JM27S

Apart from those I’ve also got a selection of no-name microphones and a DIY sub kick mic (basically a backwards wired speaker) to pick up some really low end from the kick drum.

Precussion

I own a selection of shakers, tambourines and other hand played percussion (Cajon and different afro cuban percussion played with your hands), to use when the situation calls for it.