Drummer Insider: Steve Sidelnyk




UK-based drummer, composer and programmer Steve Sidelnyk, who has toured and recorded with numerous talents such as Madonna, Seal, The Soup Dragons, Primal Scream and Moby, chats with Big Blend Radio about his music career, diving, traveling and touring, and more!

It all started in the early 1980’s when UK-based drummer, composer and programmer Steve Sidelnyk answered a local ad for a drummer needed for an act for Paul Weller’s Respond Record Label. Since then, he has toured the world and recorded with numerous talents including Madonna, Seal, The Soup Dragons, Primal Scream, Moby, and The Verve.

You may have seen him play the drums for The Style Council at the seminal Live Aid concert at Wembley Stadium, for Madonna at the 2001 and 2016 Grammy awards and Al Gore’s ‘Live Earth’ event, for Seal on ‘The Oprah Winfrey Show’, or for The Soup Dragons on the David Letterman and Arsenio Hall TV shows. He has also mixed, programmed and composed the music and soundtracks for films such as ‘The Bourne Legacy’, ‘Unbreakable’ and ‘The Beach

So what does it take to be a successful drummer, composer and programmer? Listen to our Big Blend Radio conversation with Steve Sidelnyk, and read his answers to our 10 Questions about his career, including the challenges he faces, as well as his inspirations.

1. What led you to a career in the music industry?

Well my brother was in a band and I just gravitated towards the drums, even though he was primarily a guitar player. I never thought I would’ve had such a long career since 1981, and also the way everything has changed means you have to constantly add more arrows to your bow and have to be a lot more flexible across various musical situations. I played in bands at school, moved to London at 16, and just went to auditions.

2. What attributes do you have that make you a good fit for being a successful drummer, composer and programmer?
Well, I will be the first to admit I’m not the greatest at anything, but I am a team player and always on time, and try and treat everyone as I expect to be treated. I think also just being in the right place at the right time, and luck have a hand in that too.

3. Who or what inspires you?
Dedication and honesty really inspire me and there are many people I respect, but I just love the fact that Dave Grohl has built this amazing empire and is constantly working on projects and helping other acts….a true legend.

4. Describe your ideal audience.
I think anyone who pays to go to a show……and as long as they listen and enjoy it, then it’s a job well done!

5. What is your pet peeve in regards to the music industry? 
Short changing people. Many do much more than their job description as they love what they do and are lucky enough to make a living from it, BUT exploitation of that is common.

6. What personal changes have you had to make in order to build your career?
Well relationships, country to live in ……..I always thought it would get easier but life just constantly throws new challenges and you have to roll with the punches to carry on working in this business.

7. What do you consider your biggest challenge?
I think it’s always trying to move forward and evolve as a human being and as a person and friend…….another one that just carries on throwing up surprises.

8. If you could invite any three people (alive or passed on) for a dinner party who would they be?
John Lennon, George Harrison and Adam Yauch………that would be some band!

9. If you could switch careers for a day, what would you choose?
I always wanted to be an architect! I love mid-century and modern architecture.

10. What is the most important tip you would pass on to another person just getting started in the world of music?
This is the easiest to answer. Only get into music because you love it and have another job/career that helps you finance and liberates you to be able to do what you love. If music takes off then great……but it’s the non-dependence on that as your primary income that frees you as a musician. It’s the same as football or any sport – you only hear of the success stories……multi-task!

Along with being a world traveler, Steve’s also an avid scuba diver. Enjoy his video (and music) from his diving trip at Cocos Island, Costa Rica.


Song Game -Spontuneous Norfolk Tours in England


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