Creative Path Series IV: Karen Lum

This entry was posted Monday, 9 August, 2010 at 3:36 pm

After a brief hiatus, the Creative Path series continues with (you’ll excuse the pun) a drum roll…


Karen J. Lum, aka the Black Mamba, has been playing in a slough of different bands since the age of thirteen. Fifteen years later she still hasn’t left East Vancouver but has toured to such exotic destinations as Abbotsford. Currently, she melts faces in the bands the Stems, Disaster, and esteemed cover band, Crucial Taunt. “Tattoos, good tunes, and bad attitudes.”

1. How long have you been a drummer? How did you get started with it?

I’ve been playing the drums since I was thirteen. I used to set of large plastic buckets in my room in the form of a drum set and pretend to rip. Then my dad bought me a kit for my birthday because he needed the buckets to wash the car.

2. Is this your full time job? A career goal? A hobby?

Yes, yes, no. Music has taken over my life in more ways than one. I am its slave and it is mine. We have a give and take relationship. If I called it a hobby I’d be the fifty year-old fart with the Kiss shirt that laser drums in the jam space beside mine.

  2. If this is not your full time career, do you struggle to make time for this? Is there anything you do to ensure you make time?

Don’t work, ever.

3. If this is your full time job, how did you achieve this?

Don’t work, ever.

4. How do you deal with “naysayers”… you know, those voices/people who keep asking when the phase is going to pass? Or negative criticism about your work/creative endeavor?

I give them an open hand slap. Sometimes back hand, it depends on my mood.

5. What would your dream project be?

Playing percussion for David Bowie. Or if Disaster could just get big time then I could collaborate on some babies with the redhead from Mad Men.

6. Is there something you have worked on that you are especially proud of? Or received accolades for?

Two words: Christmas Band. We raise money for charities every holiday season. Come check us out at the Biltmore Cabaret this year.

7. What does creativity mean to you?

Doing something without thinking about what the end product will be because you don’t care what the fuck anyone thinks. That, and a bong and a Frank Zappa album.

8. What advice would you give to others trying to follow a similar path?

Make sure you practice, take good care of your gear, and never smile in pictures. But most importantly, never forget that chicks love drummers.

9. Any other comments or thoughts?

If you can’t play well, at least play sexy.

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