Well, this was bound to get us all hot and bothered: Kevin Paradis, drummer for Mithridatic and Melechesh (among others), has gone and broken the world record for fastest double-kick drumming. It’s unofficial, as he didn’t have all the correct procedures in place for it to be documented and recorded as an official world record, but by all acounts, he did it (see the video proof below). For those keeping score: Paradis played 1037 kick strokes at 260 bpm in one minute, and 4797 kick strokes at 240 bpm in five minutes. Decibel caught up with Paradis to find out if he can do this again, if he plans on making it official, and how this insane talent comes in handy during his day-to-day life (presuming he has one outside of practicing drums, of course).
So, what the fuck? How do you possibly train your feet to do THAT?
Well, in fact, I have never worked in order to play any number of strokes in any period of time. I just work in order to play drum beats that guitar riffs inspire me to. It has been a couple of years now—six, to be precise—that I’ve worked on my feet technique. And, believe me, I do my best to work as little as possible on that! So I guess I just have found a good way to practice. Currently, I’ve got about six different exercises that I do one time per week for 30 minutes to 45 minutes. It’s all about practicing daily, or almost; about being focused; and about finding the good exercises. Then, you just have to be a bit patient. Again, I would never have succeeded to this technical level without music to drive me—while practicing and struggling, I was singing in my head all the guitar riffs which need this fast playing; it was really giving me the will to fight. I guess I’m just going to continue in that way.
When you sat down to try to break this record, did you feel that you could do it, or were you surprised that you pulled it off?
I was not very surprised. For Mithridatic, but also for Svart Crown and Melechesh, I’ve worked on being able to play at 260 bpm for long period of time. Then it is just math—260 times four equals 1040, so if you don’t miss too many strokes, you play more strokes in one minute than the world record. I was working on a video about Trick Drums USA double pedals, I thought a demonstration was necessary, and I recorded some playing at different speeds, from 180 bpm to 280 bpm; this unofficial record is just an extract from the complete demo, which, by the way, includes playing without triggers. The complete video is going to be online soon. But, funny fact—some drummers are complaining about double triggering; do you know how many double triggering I’ve found in my five minute single strokes at 240 bpm? Or in my one minute at 260 bpm? Zero!
This is unofficial: are you going to do it again under more official conditions so you can actually hold the record?
I don’t know. For sure, If I succeed in the official condition, that would be some exposure. But, first of all, I do believe in the quality of Trick Drums USA double pedals and trigger, and the WFD [World’s Fastest Drummer extreme sports drumming competition, which is, amazingly, a thing] don’t allow you to play on your own double pedals. As an endorser who believes in the instrument I endorse, I don’t want to give exposure to another one. I mean, it’s a little bit like if at the Olympic games, competitors were allowed to wear sportswear or shoes from only a particular brand… To my mind, that makes no sense. Maybe one day I will play another drum pedal, which is the one WFD use, but currently, I just don’t want to, so even for a record, I’m not going to play another pedal. But also, for someone who lives in France, it is not that easy to join an official WFD competition! I’ve just taken a look at the WFD website, none of the recent events were in Europe… and, seriously, I don’t have enough money to travel even in Europe; I’m already struggling to pay for my cymbals and drumsticks! And, probably, if one day I go back to the US—I went there for a tour with Svart Crown—it would not be just to enter a contest, but to enjoy the whole country, which I totally love!
I don’t pretend to be the fastest drummer, and the whole point of this video is to make some noise around me and Trick Drums USA. A lot of brands don’t even answer my endorsement requests, even if I did five tours, videos on the web… So, self-criticizing myself, I thought that maybe it was because my work with Trick was not good enough. So, well, here is proof that I’m ready to move my ass to deserve an endorsement.
I guess the question is: CAN you do it again?
Yes, sure, this morning I did it. When I’m warmed up correctly, I can. I shot this record video on the first try; it was not a lucky try. And just after the one minute single stroke roll, I played one minute right foot blast beat, and then one minute left foot blast beat, as you can see in the video. So, yes, I can do it again, maybe two or three time in a row. Also, as I’ve said, this record is just an extract from something like 45 minutes of very intense playing to have demonstration footage for Trick. Just before this one minute at 260 bpm, I played one minute at 250-plus various blast beats, one minute at 256-plus various blast beats, and after I played 270—included a pretty long right footed blast beat—and 280. About the five minutes at 240 bpm, I’m pretty sure I can [do it] without any warm up; I feel very easy at this speed. I’m pretty sure I can play longer than five minutes at 240 bpm also, but, well, it’s a bit boring then, right ?
In fact, the hardest thing is more when you have to play at 220 bpm, then 280, then 240, then 260, then 180… when I play live with Mithridatic, it’s always harder than to break this world record!
Does this freaky talent come in handy in your day-to-day life? Like, when you have to dart out to the store late at night to grab milk do you turn into the Flash and get to the store and back within seconds?
Well, no, but the legend says that I’m also the fastest tap-dancer ever. I have to admit that extreme metal drumming can be good for your health. I eat tons of chocolate but I’m not so fat, I’m not easily physically tired, and every time a doctor listens to my heart, she or he believes that I do a lot of sports. Thanks to extreme metal drumming, I also break cymbals and drumsticks, so I’ve got no money for alcohol or cigarettes, and this is, again, good for health!
Give us a band update: what’s happening with Mithridatic?
Mithridatic is just back from its European tour with Nile and Melechesh. I was playing with Melechesh, so this tour was a lot of fun for me! But it was also a very good tour for Mithridatic; the audience was reacting pretty good at our music. Man, I’ve got to say thank you Bratislava! It was total war in the audience! One of my best live experiences. Now we are looking for some gigs in Europe and beyond. We have a couple of festivals coming soon, including Sylak Open Air and Mfest in France. I play the Mfest with my band Svart Crown, too; it’s going to be sick! Then we are going to compose our next album. I can’t wait to hear some new riffs from those guys and to dig into some new drumming.
Order Mithridatic’s latest album, Miserable Miracle, here.