Aaron Mclaughlin


Aaron Mclaughlin

From as far as I can remember as a young child, I was always musical. Tapping and thumping, humming and singing, using my chest, arms, and legs or on any type of furniture as a drum kit.

My grandfather was a guitarist his whole life and his father was a drummer. My Grandfather introduced me to instruments and made a bit of sense of it all for me by teaching me guitar and explaining notes on the piano in his living room.

I always loved different types of music. From Rock, Rap, Film Music, Classical and Electronic, you name it. I found something to love in any genre. Although, I loved bands. I constantly listened to Queen, ACDC, Def Leppard and Foo Fighters. My favourite band was Kings Of Leon growing up, and listening to Nathan Followill, the drummer was the first time I remember thinking this could be something I could do. Then I watched videos on YouTube of Tony Royster JR soloing and then went down the wormhole of watching drummers like Thomas Lang, Benny Grebb, Steve Jordan and Dennis Chambers playing, and that's what made me realise this was my passion.

I started drum lessons when I was 14 years old at my secondary school, and I began drumming every opportunity I got. Staying behind after school when I did not have my own kit, then going home to sit on the edge of my bed playing on the sofa, practising any sheet music I was given and discovering new technique myself. It did not seem like practise. It was just fun. My Granda then bought me a small drum kit and I remember all I done for a year was put on earphones after school and learn every song I could by ear. I got my first experience as a drummer in my school musical, after this my confidence grew and I began to play with as many different local bands as I could. I loved the experience of improvising with other musicians and creating music.

After school in 2015 I went to Northwest Regional College, Derry to study Music Performance/Production. These were very important years for me as it was where I got to play different styles of music like pop, rock blues, jazz and funk and got to meet and network with a lot of musicians. I ended up being put in different bands with a lot of notable artists in the industry today like 'Roe' and 'Delta Fuse' and I also went on to win the 'Northern Ireland: Music Skills - Best Original Band 2018' with my band 'Seeds Of The Oak Tree'. I also got the chance be the drummer in the college house band for the colleges live productions they would host every year. I developed my musicianship the most in these years when I look back.

My final year of study in 2019 was in 'Leeds Conservatoire'. This was a very beneficial year for me as it was my first time exploring the UK Music scene where I got to collaborate with so many top quality musicians, through performance and improvisation workshops to jam nights at the local venue where we would play Jazz on a Tuesday and then reggae on a Wednesday, it was fun, but an important stage of my developing musicianship. It was also my introduction of marketing in the music industry and how much depth the industry has on the business side alone. As my time in college/university progressed gained qualifications in Music Performance, Music Production and completed BA Hons in Music (Popular and Jazz).

After university, my band 'Seeds Of The Oak Tree' played in venues such as 'Whelans', Dublin, on the same stage numerous international artists have played in including Ed Sheeran, Jeff Buckley, Arctic Monkeys, Bloc Party, Kate Nash, Townes Van Zandt and Damien Rice. We also performed in The Balor Arts Centre, Donegal and the home of Derry's original music scene 'Bennigan's and 'Sandino's. This band was a passion project for me as I was a founding member, helping in the writing process and the general management of the band. We had a unique Folk/Rock sound that appealed to most audiences. 'Seeds Of The Oak Tree' also recorded a few singles with Billy Robinson. I was also starting to get my own session/studio work with local musicians, recording drum tracks and helping out with singles but unfortunately during all of this covid came and put a stop to the music scene as we knew it. This is what made me decide that I needed a back up so I moved to England to start my teaching career.

On 2023, I completed my PGCE in Manchester and was living back in Ireland as a substitute music teacher. I then got to know a guy called 'Dom Martin'. Once I started to play with Dom I knew this was the opportunity I was always looking for. There was not much time to settle in and before I knew it I was off to play in a UK and Ireland run of gigs in London and Dublin. Then on August, we travelled to Athens, Greece to perform on the Keeping The Blues Alive At Sea 3 - Mediterranean. It was the most incredible experience getting to meet and play on the same line up of acts such as Joe Bonamassa, Blackberry Smoke, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Christine "Kingfish" Ingram and Ruthie Foster.

Not long after we then played at the Pendle Hippodrome Theatre, Cole for the British Blues Festival. We then toured Europe for the month of September, playing in beautiful countries such as Belgium, Germany, Netherlands and Austria. After Europe, we then got ready for another month on the road, but this time in the UK and Ireland for the 'Buried In The Hail' album tour, consisting of 27 shows. This was an incredible experience getting to play in venues such as The Eel Pie Club, London, Chester Live Rooms and The Caves, Edinburgh. Another notable gig from the tour has too be the homecoming show to 'The Empire Music Hall' Belfast were we tore the house down in front of 400 die hard fans. To finish off our year touring we also performed at the Jesien Z Bluesem Festival in Bialystok, Poland. This was an amazing gig where we got to meet so many amazing musicians.

With over 50 shows done since July 23 and 9 different countries visited to say it was a dream of a year would be an understatement. I feel fully immersed in the up and coming blues scene, and I am excited to see where we will go in it. I also cant wait to see where my future takes me, Im a versatile drummer that is ready to jump on any type of project. 2024 looks like an even busier year and I can't wait!