Among New Jersey’s legendary drummers, there’s Bernard Purdie, Mighty Max Weinberg, Tico Torres and a few others, but one of the state’s current top talents has got to be Van Romaine. He’s been on a roll since making a name for himself with Blood, Sweat and Tears back in 1989. He currently plays for Enrique Iglesias, Nena (99luftballoons), Steve Morse Band and many other acts. Van has also played shows or recorded with acts like Joan Osborne, Dixie Dregs, Kansas, Bernie Worrell, Naughty by Nature and Billy Joel (subbing once for Liberty) among others.
Below is a bit of Q&A with Van and farther below is a link to his website, performances and a recent Modern Drummer interview.
1) how and when did you decide you were a drummer?
My father was a huge music and big band fan. I watched the marching band practice on my street in Glen Ridge, NJ which had a lot to do with it. At age 6 Drums and music chose me which is the way I still see it.
2) do you ever get homesick on the road and if so what’s the best remedy?
Depends on how long, where, and the conditions of the tour I’m on. When I started touring in my early 20’s I only got home sick when it was for a long period of time. Now I get home sick instantly because I miss my kids who are 11 and 16, but it helps me to spend time doing things I don’t get to do much at home like sports, exercise and some sight seeing when I have the time. In the end the music is the real pay off for me so if I’m playing a lot with less down time that also helps.
3) what’s your favorite country/city to visit?
Melbourne, Amsterdam, Capetown, London, Malta and Berlin are in my top ten.
4) who is your favorite musician/band?
I’m a huge fan of so many – Miles Davis would top that list though.
5) were either of your parents or siblings musicians and if so did they influence you?
neither professionally but both of them are and were incredibly musical.
6) if you had a dinner party and could invite anyone (living) who would it be.
Obama, Neil Young, “Keef” Richards, Sting, Peter Gabriel
7) name a place you still haven’t visited that you’d like to
Brazil and China
8) if you couldn’t be a musician what would you have become?
9) where did you grow up?
I haven’t yet…..but was born and raised in Glen Ridge, NJ