The Hittmen: Banging on the bucket drum

Thursday 26 August 2021

With more than one thousand followers on Facebook and YouTube respectively, the Hittmen group are taking over the Bay of Plenty and the online world with their performances. 

Hittmen are a group of selected students from several schools in Tauranga, with an ambition to create both an auditory and visual display of rhythm. 

We got to chat to tutor and manager of the group Carl Homersham and found about more about bucket drumming and how it all got started.

How did Hittmen get started and what is the main focus of the group?
Carl Homersham: We were running Fuse Bucket Drumming classes through several schools, and then there was a need to establish an advanced team for the top students of each school. We started this almost 6 years ago. 

Does the group take inspiration from any other percussion artists? And are there any goals you are hoping to achieve? 
CH: Fuse Drumming was initially inspired by Stomp who tour internationally, and Gordo the bucket drummer from Sydney. One of our goals is to create our own stage show, and eventually tour through NZ cities, before taking it overseas for an international tour. Our main goal is to share how anyone can be creative by using what you have around you, as well as demonstrating what it means to work as a team. 

Watching the videos of some of the performances, everyone seems calm and really into each performance. Is there any nerves or anything that they’ve had to deal with before performing in front of an audience? 
CH: We have to deal with nerves sometimes, yes. We are working on developing our showmanship so we can engage with crowds of all sizes. Festival One is our favourite festival to perform at as our audience love to interact and mosh as we perform. 

How much practice time goes into learning each song? Are some faster to learn than others?
CH: Some songs take a few days and some take a couple of months depending on how technical they are. 

The Hittmen have performed at council meetings, and on TV. How did each of those opportunities come about and how did each performance go? 
CH: Getting gigs is a combination of who you know, but also knocking on doors and sharing links of pervious performances. 

What would you say is one of your highlights while being with the Hittmen?
CH: There’s been a lot, but having our crowd form a mosh pit for our Festival One performance this year in January was overwhelming for us all. It took us by surprise.

What big things can we expect from the Hittmen in the future, and what are you most looking forward to?
CH: Definitely our upcoming stage show, hopefully in the Auckland Town Hall (and possibly here in Tauranga), but our big dream is to find a way to perform at Spark Arena in the next few years. 

The Hittmen group are seeking sponsorship to go on the road on a small tour around NZ schools. Carl says they want to use the bucket drumming as a vehicle to perform, and to talk about the social issue of how bullying affects us all, as well as ways of how to deal with it.

You can find the Hittmen, on Instagram and Facebook.

Byline: Caitlin Houghton 
Images: Supplied.