Dennis Drummond talks 'The Voice' and personal relationship with Season 10 runner-up Adam Wakefield
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 10/16/2017
Dennis Drummond is currently a contestant on The Voice's thirteenth season on NBC.
Dennis is a 27-year-old 6'8" tall man from Nashville, TN, who comes from a family of steel workers.
Dennis plays guitar for Adam Wakefield, a former runner-up on The Voice from Blake Shelton's team. Dennis initially wanted to choose Adam Levine as his coach, but after singing "She Talks To Angels," he joined Blake's team because of his impact on country music and great stories.
Dennis will now be competing in The Voice's famous "The Battle Round," which kicks off Monday, October 16 at 8PM ET/PT.
After Dennis' Blind Audition aired on television, he talked to reporters during a conference call about his experience on The Voice so far. Below is what he had to say.
I was wondering, did Adam Wakefield figure into your decision to choose Blake? And what kind of advice did Adam Wakefield give you?
Dennis Drummond: I would say Adam Levine gave a really good argument and I was really torn. It was a tough decision to pick Blake, but just seeing my genre of music that I've always been drawn to has been '70s rock and late '60s, the southern rock, and blues, and I've always -- I appreciate old country music. And although I don't sing it, I thought that maybe my taste in songs might fare better on his team.
But seeing the songs Adam Wakefield was able to choose and how he was able to show his skills as a guitar player and as a piano player, and as a singer, really -- the advice he gave me was, he said, "Don't suck." He's one of my good buddies.
We just got done playing video games together. We're hang out. So he was just like, "Go out there and sing the song, tell the story. Don't go out and try those crazy vocal acrobatics, because that ain't you. Just be true to what it is that you do and nobody can be a better Dennis." I was like, "Right on." So that's kind of what I went out there doing.
Judging from your introductory package on the show, you haven't done a whole lot as a solo artist. If that's the case, could you talk about what type of music you envision yourself making and who your inspirations are?
Dennis Drummond: Well, my relationship with music has always been from the standpoint of just working. I started playing out in clubs and bars up in Warren, OH, my hometown, when I was 12-years-old, which was when I first received compensation for music.
So from that point on, I got more gigs. I never really had a "real job." My real job was I'd play four hours, 10 to 2 on the weekend. I'd see my teachers out on the weekends. That's always been my thing.
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And I never really -- I've always just done the songs that I wanted to do always the way that I like to do them. That's always been my thing. They could be from different genres, a woman could have sung it, it could have been whatever, and I've always liked to try to filter it through whatever it is that I do and be able to play it.
But it's kind of become a thing from the necessity of having to fill, like, four-hour nights. And I'm used to trying to get as much out of a song as you can get musically so that you can make it through. Four hours is a long time, so flash forward to now and my adult life.
I moved down to Nashville with the idea just to work, and I moved down with just the idea to play guitar for artists. So my genre has always just been whatever the gig has needed me to be. And so it hasn't really been until recently that I got my gig at Hotel Indigo. I played there every Tuesday for three years.
That was where I hit the woodshed as a singer and really was singing more because I was normally just taking road gigs. I played with artists around town and I sing harmonies and that's what it was. So my genre has always been -- I've always leaned more toward power trio, blues.
I'm a humongous Hendrix fan. I've always really respected him. My bands have always just been trios with doing Joe Cocker songs, doing songs like old Beatles tunes. We do Cyndi Lauper tunes. We just kind of have fun and we entertain the crowd, but I've never really taken a step out before as an artist before this.
So it was quite the push out of the nest. That being said, moving forward, I'm a big fan of Marcus King Band and Jerry Carr, Jr., people who are that vein. Obviously you hear John Mayer and stuff. It's in that vein of this guitar-heavy music. I've always expected a solo.
How did you wind up performing with Adam Wakefield, and are there any other Nashville artists that you've backed that we might have heard of?
Dennis Drummond: Well, I knew Adam before he was The Adam Wakefield. We used to do little weird gigs together. We were both like weird little kids, like getting weird and playing this obscure song but we don't ever get a chance to do it.
I met Adam because he called me up to do an organ trio gig at this club here in Nashville. We had a residency and it was just organ, me -- him on keys and me on guitar -- and a drummer. And so, I know him as a killer keys player, a killer guitar player that can sing.
So we were friends before he went on this show and then we were always looking for ways just to play together. But the natural thing is you've just got to work. So everybody has a million gigs going on and whenever we'd play together, we'd have a lot of fun.
But when he got off the show, he called me. He was like, "Hey man, I have the momentum going on and I'd love you to come on the road with me." We rehearsed and it's been that ever since. We're going out in a couple weeks to go out again.
I'm playing guitar with him on the road, doing harmonies and stuff like that. That's my job. That's what I do in town. But I've got other Nashville artists I've played for.
Last week, I played with Barrett Baber. That was a couple seasons ago. I play with my buddy, Noland, in a band called Walker McGuire. I have a lot of gigs on my calendar, just like a lot of working musicians in Nashville. You have a lot of things that you juggle just to try to make things work and it's been great.
I love being on the road with Adam. Adam, he was my most recent gigs steady. When I was with him it was pretty much only Adam because he was playing every weekend and it's been fun. Like I said, I'm going back out with him in a couple weeks to do it again.
To read more interviews with The Voice's Season 13 contestants who survived their Blind Auditions, click here for Reality TV World's show page.