Don’t let anyone judge you, says Helly to fellow female drummers

Home | Blog | Don’t let anyone judge you, says Helly to fellow female drummers
Don’t let anyone judge you, says Helly to fellow female drummers
25. October 2021 / Jarda Sivák / Interviews

How did you get into the drumming?

I’ve started to fall in love with drums when I was 4 or 5 years old and I saw a group of percussionists playing in the square of my town. They were playing for celebrating an old tradition called “Batter Marzo” that it means “Hitting March”. It consist in a kind of ritual during the evening to celebrate the arrival of spring. I can still remember clearly the images and the sounds of that day.

Do you have anything to say to the young girls wanting to be drummers?

I remember that 10 years ago or even 5 years ago, seeing a female drummer was a rare thing and that was so common hearing comments like “Oh wow! It’s incredible that I girl can play drums!” or “You are good at playing drums! But for being a girl it’s incredible what you can do!”.  Nowadays  there much more female drummers; a lot of theme are really talented and amazing; but the kind of comments I said before still exist.

I think that a girl or a woman who wants to start playing this instrument should not care about this kind of comments and even being afraid of prejudice. So don’t waste your time and hold your sticks right now!

Did you play in any bands?

Yes I am member of Killin’ Baudelaire. We play alternative metal and we are all females. I invite you to check out our last music video “Lullaby”. Then I have a solo project called “HELLY” and it’s a mix between: electronic music, live drums and visuals. If you search and watch “A line of protection” you can have a perfect idea of what is this mix.

How did you learn about TRX cymbals?

I knew of TRX after I won Hit Like A Girl and went to LA. There I had the chance to test some TRX cymbals and the first thing I thought was “I want bring them at home!”. In that period I had an interesting offer by a famous brand, but I feel that TRX was the good choice for me. So finally I choose TRX!

What you enjoy about TRX cymbals?

TRX cymbals allow me to be creative and to express my ideas exactly in the way I want. The set I’ve chosen makes me feel 100% comfortable in any live or studio situation. They are great also because I can easily change the music style and feel comfortable with the same set of cymbals. So I can skip to rock or even into softer genres, to industrial rock/metal, to extreme metal.

Which TRX cymbals did you reach for and why?

I need a “rich” cymbals set, in order to have many options. So to build my cymbals set I need to start from 2 classic rock cymbals with a long/medium tail. I need a heavy ride, but not too much extreme and a particular hi hat, with a medium tone in order to let the frequencies’ space for my specials stacks cymbals, which have higher tones than my hi hat. This set is amazing for playing industrial grooves. But if I have to play extreme metal, also 2 splashes and 1 super bell are needed! So this is my great TRX set:

Hit hat 14” SFX; Ride MDM 20”; Crash 17”,18”BRT ; China 19” LTD ;

Stack N1: China ALT 14” on SFX 14”; Stack N2: Spash 12” MDM on China 12” MDM; 2x Splash 6” ALT; Flat Bell

How was winning the contest Hit Like A Girl?

This has been one of the most experience exiting ever. Once I get the call by HLAG staff and director I wasn’t able to sleep. Part of the prize was performing at Pasic in Indianapolis. Then I also had the chance to perform in LA at Musician Institute and at Drum Channel. These 3 gigs has been some of the greatest I ever did. HLAG has been one of the greatest opportunity I had.

Which song do you enjoy the most from behind the drums and why?

What a difficult question! I love studying, experimenting with new stuff and also playing fast and extreme metal. But probably the kind of song that I like the most, is the one that gives me the chance to “dancing” and just feeling the beat without thinking at all. So probably I like to play songs with heavy and slow rhythm, in order to feel free to head banging hard while playing!

Guitarist like to brag about effect pedals, what would you brag about from your gear?

In particular I’m in love with my flat bell, my stack n1 (China ALT 14” on Stacker SFX 14”) and my hi hat. I think are really special.

Do you have or did you have a drummer role model?

The drummer who influenced me more on the attitude that I have is Lars Ulrich. I was 13 when I wanted to start playing metal. The reason is because I saw the video of Saint Anger. I listened this heavy, fast sound and I saw the aggressive attitude of Lars. From that day I never left this way of feeling and living drums and music! Thank you Lars! But the drummer who changed my approach and passion on the drums, into a professional vision is my great master Sergio Pescara. Because of him I understood that I wanted to make playing drums my job. I spent 2 years of master class with him when I was 15 and 16 years old. One of the best period of my life.

Do you have any dream piece of equipment?

Actually I would like to have some TRX jazz cymbals, even if I don’t need them. I think they are amazing and I feel fascinated by this kind of cymbals because I never really played them, but I had the change to play them for a while…And I felt some magic! I wish I could have some of them soon… But also I would like to have_once again_ spectacular flame machines during concerts! The feeling is amazing. When I was 16 years old I was already playing in my first death metal band called Livyatan and I used to have 1 fire machine per side on the stage!

Dispute: do you play the small drum over the rim or directly on the membrane?

My way of feeling and playing the snare is: rim shot! But of course, I don’t always play it like this. It always depends by the intensity and the mood of the part of the song, or the song if self or the taste of the artist I’m working for. I think that learning how to play rim shot is essential for a great drummer.