Alan Emslie is a Scottish percussionist who has lent his drumming to a number of rock endeavors and albums. He has made quite a name for himself as a drummer and not just a drummer from Scotland.
Music is in his blood. His parents were a BBC producer and a piano teacher. They gave birth to him in 1969.
Growing up, he was influenced by Canadian rock band Rush and also by several classical composers. Music like this is what awakened his love for music and it is the reason he became a professional musician later in life.
He first trained classically as a percussionist, but he did not like it. He says the main thing he learned was that the music industry can be horrible. It did not kill his passion for music, but it did kill his passion for doing it as a profession.
It is perhaps this that led them to be a freelance musician for most of his life. He has worked for orchestras all over Europe and has toured worldwide performing in countries like the US, Canada, Japan, Scandinavian countries, China, France, and of course, Scotland.
He has done hundreds of classical recordings, but is also played drums on some pop and rock albums. Even recorded three solo albums that were called ‘Emotive Bay’, ‘Driven Heavy’ and ‘Dark Matter.’
He continues to work as a drummer for a lot of different bands and artists. But these days, he is also taking up the electric guitar. A large part of the reason for that was his early love for Rush. He is now mainly a composer, who composes both modern works and classical music concerts. He records them as well.
He lives today in Scotland with his wife and his daughter and he also has a dog. He still spends most of his free time making music and he still does it as a freelancer. That is one of the great things about him.
He did not like what he saw in the music industry, so he decided to work outside of it. Well, not really outside of it, but more to the side of it. He dips in and out of the music industry as he pleases, all the while maintaining his freedom. And isn’t this what most people in any job would like to do?
The best thing you can do is listen to some of his albums. The three solo albums he made are a great start. After that, listen to some of the bands, like the John Irvine band, to whom he lent his drumming. Apart from that, there so many more that you can’t even name them all, but some of my favorites are Portishead and Goldfrapp. These are the bands I like a lot and he has worked with them.
Alan Emslie is a great musician. He is not well known and he doesn’t seek the spotlight, but he continues to turn out great music. These are the kind of musicians I like. They’re not popular because some TV program or radio show says they are, which is usually a result of a lot of money being paid to them, but he is popular in his own way. And every bit of popularity has is a direct result of his talent and his hard work and not any kind of industry manipulation. That is how it should be and that is why I am a huge Alan Emslie fan.