Studio opening & the adapting musician in 2020

It’s been a while since I have written on here, and what a strange year 2020 has been so far. Apart from the obvious pandemic being the main source of focus this year for most, for me personally finally a life long goal of having my own drum studio has been achieved!

Over the past 2 years I have been building a soundproofed drum studio where I can practise, record and teach drums from. It’s been a long road but one I finally completed in March this year. Just in time for lockdown to hit properly, so during this I have been extremely lucky in that I have been able to carry on playing drums.

Another goal was to make the studio into a fully operation live drum tracking studio where I could provide remote drum recording for anyone all over the world. The Pandemic kind of fast tracked this idea as I had time to be able to get my drum recording setup up and firing, and I began to get recording work in almost immediately, which has been incredible!

Over the past months I have been working with a wide range of artists and bands, and already have a number of tracks recorded in the studio that have already been finalised & released, you can check out those tracks here:

As like many others I have been forced into adapting to this new landscape and becoming an online session drummer & providing remote drum recordings seemed like the obvious choice for me. Recording has always been my favourite part of music creation so it was an exciting step. For more info on this, the process and getting in touch regarding your project visit my remote drum recording page for more info.

My drum lessons have also adapted and gone online, via Zoom, Skype or FaceTime I have been able to continue on existing drum students and take on some new students from around the world. This has been a lifeline to me and also helped a lot of people through lockdown to still be able to up keep their own practise and learning on the drums. If you would like more info on my drum lessons or how to book something in with my please have a look at my drum lessons page for more info.

As I say I have been keeping busy myself with a lot of new learning whether it be learning from prestigious drum books like Charles Wilcoxon’s “Modern Rudimental Swing Solos“, Gary Chester’s “The New Breed” or the classic George Lawerence Stone’s “Stick Control” or up keeping my brand new YouTube channel Thom Mills Drums.

My YouTube channel has been an exciting area that I have been avidly updating each week with a case study of a particular song play through on the drums and accompanying drum lesson. I have been getting great feedback from viewers on these and this has underlined my aim with doing these weekly videos, which is to try and offer a complete and easy to understand method of how to learn and play along to the tracks. I release a video every Sunday at midday so be sure to check out my channel and get subscribed to keep up to date with the latest videos.

For many people in the creative arts industry it has been a tough time and will continue to be for the foreseeable future. The live music sector is an area that for me take up the main chuck of my income and is the same for a great deal of musicians and crew working in the music industry. I don’t know when the live music sector will be able to start up and although the government has shown a little support for the arts, it really is not enough and not enough care is being given to the future and nuture of an extremely important part of everyday culture in the UK. I hope and pray that more importance is given to music and the arts so that in the future we can once again boost a thriving music and artistic output.

Introducing: The Thom Mills Drums YouTube channel!

I have launched myself into the world of YouTube, and it’s a wonderful and mystery place! Full of so much great advice and information, I wanted to add my spin on all things drums, as even though its a treasure trove of info, sometimes just sometimes it ISN”T!

My drumming channel is full of great content, I focus on the complete beginner drummer, I have a whole course of beginner drum lessons to take you from never having picked up a pair of sticks, to playing a sweet groove and drum fills with no problems!

I also feature behind the scenes stuff from on tour with my band Skinny Lister, live footage of the shows, and individual songs, so you can learn how to play along.

There is tonnes of other stuff, drum covers of your favourite songs and their accompanying drum lessons, cool licks from my heroes on the drums, weird grooves I like and loads more stuff, so go check it out now, and remember please subscribe, comment, like, share, it all helps me out massively, and I will be uploading new videos weekly, so helps you stay tuned in and up to date!


To whet your whistle here are a selection of my best videos to date! enjoy!


Happy new year all!

The start of yet another year, and there is plenty of exciting news and updates for the year to come.

Firstly, YouTube… This year I am aiming to put out at least a video a week on youtube, comprising of free drum lessons for complete beginners, loads of drum covers & play throughs of awesome songs, and how to play them, and also loads of behind the scenes stuff on tour!

That brings me neatly onto touring, the 4th, yes 4th! Skinny Lister record is released on my birthday 1st March, (“The Story Is…”) and we are heading off on a world tour to celebrate it. Beginning in Brighton at one of my favourite venues, the Concorde 2, we hit up the whole of the UK, and across Europe, lets hope they let us in, and then onto the USA (top secret, not announced yet) and then straight into festival season. So it’s going to be a super busy year, you can check out all the dates and buy tickets here:

Lastly but not leastly, I am still and always offering and conducting drum lessons in Brighton & Hove and the surrounding areas. In between touring and other bits a pieces I am always teaching the drums, so if you are interested in learning please do let me know.


Learn to play the drums: the perfect Christmas gift!

With Christmas right around the corner, it’s that time to be thinking about gifts for your loved ones. You might want to learn the drums yourself, or your partner or friend has been banging on about it for ages! If this is the case look no further, and have a watch of a sample lesson below aimed at the complete beginner:

I provide drum lesson in Brighton & Hove and all the surrounding areas in Sussex. You can come to my drum studio in Portslade or if you have a drum setup at home I can come to you. Get in touch for special xmas drum vouchers, and lets get you booked in to learn the drums in 2019, or even sooner!

‘The Story Is’ Album Release

1st March 2019 sees the release of the 4th Skinny Lister album ‘The Story Is…” on Xtra Mile Recordings. It’s my 2nd album recording with the band and was recorded at Blue Bell Hill Studios with Barny Barnicott (Arctic Monkeys, Kasabian, The Enemy).

We will also be embarking on a World Tour in March, beginning in the UK and taking in Europe and the USA. The first single from the record is out now and can be listened here:

Also for those looking to enquire about drum lessons, I am currently taking on new students, so please do get in touch. Thanks! Thom.

Drum Lessons in Portslade, Brighton & Hove and Sussex

Every drum lesson I teach is tailored around the individual student’s musical taste, needs, ability and personal targets. This way the student is motivated and focused throughout the lesson, and always working towards a goal. I cater for all ages, genders and abilities, from absolute beginners to advanced drummers wanting to improve their technique.

My experience enables me to break drum teaching into 4 key areas:

  • Sight Reading / Aural Perception – From basic notation and note values to advanced chart reading, transcription, studying genres of music, time signatures, drum grooves, rudiments, pieces and performance, & Trinity Guildhall Grades 1-8.
  • Technical Development – To strive and work towards a perfect technique, the study of a wide range of techniques for the hands and feet, sticking, posture, breathing and all aspects of drumming technique.
  • Drum Grooves & Fills – Study of specific grooves, feels & drum fills relating to individual genres, these include; Rock, Pop, Funk, Metal, Country, Afro-Cuban, Drum & Bass plus many more. Also study these genres to get inside the music and help to form an understanding of how to write musical drum parts, as well as understand how the music works.
  • Session Drummers & Live Performance – Studying a vast selection of drummers and genres. Learning key performance techniques and songs to be performed live and along to tracks.

Additional Subjects:

  • Drum Tuning – How to make you sound great behind a kit, as you can learn all the greatest techniques, but if your drum kit doesn’t sound good this will have less impact. Also cover drum-kit care how to look after your gear and the internal workings of your drums, and getting drums to sound great in the studio.
  • Music Industry – Learn the basics of how the industry works and how to get the best out of your career as a musician and own musical project.

My lessons are taught from my own written syllabus with aspects of other workbooks, exercises and patterns to improve your drumming skill and achieve great technique and a musical brain.

I have my own drum studio based in Portslade, Brighton & Hove where I teach drum lessons from, I also provide mobile drum lessons in the Sussex area where I travel to the student and teach on their own kit.  I also offer interactive Skype drum lessons for students based further a field.

Thom Mills Drums – Portslade, Brighton & Hove, Drum Lessons:

  • Musicians Union Member.
  • Public Liability Insured.

Rates – £30 per hour / £15 per half hour.
Consultation / introductory lessons available.

To enquire about drum lessons in Portslade, Brighton & Hove and across Sussex please feel free to contact me here:

Mobile: 07812 750205

Free Drum Recording Sessions

For a limited / foreseeable future, I am offering my services of recording drums for your project, band or solo act, single, album, ep…etc…

If you are a musician, band leader, producer, management or whatever you maybe, and have current project in need of live drums, no matter the genre I can help you out and I am not asking for any payment (although I would ask for my expenses to be covered, but thats not much to ask right? Hopefully!).

I have plenty of studio and session experience having recorded on over 30 records in my 20 year span as a professional drummer, for a wide range of musical styles, time constraints and studio situations. The reason for this offer is to purely widen my session portfolio to date and to increase my experience even further. You can check out my work here:

So if you are interested please don’t hesitate to get in touch for a chat. You can  catch me on:

Mobile: 07812750205 (UK) or


Following seas..

Currently I am mid way through a mini tour of East coast America. We have just completed the Salty Dog Cruise, a festival on a cruise ship set-up by friends and fellow band Flogging Molly. It was a crazy time, sailing from Miami to the Bahamas over 3 days, and I got to see at close quarters one of my biggest drumming influences Josh Freese play with the incredible Vandals.
Now we are off on a 5 date tour of the east coast before returning home, to start recording and writing the fourth Skinny Lister album, due for pencilled release in 2019, so watch this space!
I will also be in the UK and available for lessons, gigs and other projects in the mean time so don’t hesitate to get in touch. Thom.x

What’s happening 2018?

Happy new year! Here’s to a brand new year with loads of exciting projects and music in the pipe line.

Firstly with Skinny Lister we will heading out to the US in Feb/March to finish off touring the “Devil, Heart & The Fight” album campaign. This is then quickly flanked by another week long trip a month later in April to play the Flogging Molly Salty dog cruise from Miami to Bahamas, and then finally a week long run in Germany. That will mark the end of the album campaign, and can mean only 1 thing, time to start writing and recording the next one, album 4! This will take place over the summer, with a view to be releasing it through Xtra Mile Recordings in early 2019.

I also have another project in the melting pot and in it’s infancy, called ‘Loose Teeth’ which will be writing and recording music throughout the year, for potential release sometime this year, so look out for that.

There will also be a bunch of summer festivals to play, in between recording including Download Festival France, and continuing work on our new festival themed function band ‘Dirty Weekend’, as well as offering and providing drum lessons to my current students, as well as anyone else interested in taking up the drums or continuing their learning of the instrument.

So it’s going to be another busy year of music for me, so here is to a great year and being blessed to be able to do what I love for a living! Thom.x

2017 – A Vintage Year

KOKO, what a loco show to end the year on & marks the biggest gig I have ever been responsible for in my musical life.

2017 has been big, long, and incredible; 5 tours, 17 festivals, 66 shows, 44 functions, 127 gigs in total.

Even though it’s hard work and I forget it sometimes, I feel blessed to be able to do what I love. Music.

Deluxe Album, Xmas Single, Touring

2017 has been a busy year, and to round it off we have released a deluxe version of “The Devil, The Heart & The Fight” which includes our Christmas single “Christmas Calls”. We have also been touring around Europe and the UK in support of the release on Xtra Mile Recordings.

You can watch the video for “Christmas Calls” here:

Currently I am on tour across the UK with Skinny Lister & Beans On Toast, on the “Double Trouble” co-headline tour, then 2018 sees us head back to the US for our last tour of the “Devil Heart Fight” album before we start work on the next album, album 4, watch this space for future updates..

Tours, Tours, Tours

2017 Is already shaping up to be a busy year of touring with Skinny Lister. January saw us supporting The Dropkick Murphys around Europe and now next month we are off to the US to support Flogging Molly for 2 weeks across the country, see the dates below.
We are then straight into our own headline UK tour in April, followed by the festival season and then another headline tour of our own across Europe and Scandinavia. All the dates are shown below.

Drum Lessons – 2017

As of Mid-February I will be once again offering my services for drum lessons. These take place at my home drum studio in Hove, or I can alternatively come to you, if you have a drum-kit setup at home.

My rates are £15 per half an hour or £30 per hour, and these lessons are open to students of all ages and stages of learning, from complete beginners who want to learn the basics, to advanced players wanting to fine tune their playing. I also offer Skype drum lessons for those living further afield than the UK!

Have a look at my drum lessons page for a little more detail, or feel free to contact me through here if you have any other questions. Hopefully speak to you very soon!

Dropkick Murphys EU Tour

Kicking off 2017 in style, with one of my biggest tours to date, supporting Dropkick Murphys across Europe in January. This tour includes a date at Brixton Academy in London, which I am super excited about as this has always been a dream to play on that stage!

Album Release: The Devil, The Heart & The Fight

Today sees the release of the brand new Skinny Lister album ‘The Devil, The Heart & The Fight’. Written whilst on tour with Frank Turner around the USA, UK and Europe last and this year, and recorded in between tours and the festival season, it is the 3rd album from the band and my first album recording with the band on drums.


Released worldwide on Xtra Mile Recordings today, you can purchase the record through any of  these links, and on all formats, CD / LP / DL.

Xtra Mile Recordings :

Banquet Records:



We are touring the record around UK, USA & Europe, starting with an almost sold out UK tour starting next week. Full list of tour dates available at


At Tempo Ambience

An experimental improvisational drum solo using ambient music as the inspiration. An idea I have had for a while now finally comes to life, many thanks to Wild Stag Studio for filming, George at Small Pond for recording and Jack for supply the wonderful ambient landscape.

Diddle-Paradiddle Rudiment

Been experimenting in my new drum studio-shed with a few favourite rudiments.
The Paradiddle-diddle is a great rudiment and here I have switched the 2nd diddle to the beginning of the rudiment, so the sticking is then led with the left hand. LLRLRR Instead of RLRRLL. Put between the hats and the snare drum its quite a tasty groove.
Also was an experiment with recording the drums through addictive drums and layering over the video, which I think works well!

North American Tour 2016

It’s that time again, going state side and this time we are out on our own with the brilliant Beans on Toast and Will Varley in tow. We’re starting in Florida and taking in Flogging Molly’s Salty dog cruise to the Bahamas, which sounds like a crazy drunken boat trip with Rancid, Frank Turner, Fishbone and many others! Also we are hitting up Toronto in Canada and some of the usual hot spots for us in Chicago, Pittsburgh & Cambridge on this 3 week tour.