A Different Drummer
by Jaclyn Killins
When the bell rings for lunch, most elementary school kids gobble down their food and head to the playground. Not Nathaniel Lamoureux. Lunchtime was his chance to hit up the music room and have the drum kit all to himself. When Christmas holidays came, the teachers let Nat take the kit home.
At 16 he saved up and bought his own kit. On Friday nights he couldn’t get his parents out of the house fast enough so he could play for hours and hours. Years of reluctant piano lessons gave him an ear for music, and he was able to teach himself drums.
In high school band at École François Buote, “the teachers would give me the music and I would just do my own thing,” Nat said. He was bored with the material and thought the toms are all different voices and the cymbals have so many spots, why not utilize this. “I really like to make every part of the drum kit part of the song,” he said. The teachers humored him.
Nat’s skill on drums was his ticket to the adult world of the Carrefour Theatre pub. His parents signed the forms to let him play during the big open jams. When school let out he’d start setting up, wanting everything perfect. “As soon as I started playing I was playing with great players,” he said. The jams helped him develop into the solid drummer he is today.
As a member of four bands, Nat is possibly the busiest drummer on the Island with 3–4 gigs a week. “I don’t take it for granted,” he said. His wife Jill supports him in his music 100 percent, despite the times they don’t get to see each other as much as they would like.
Nat is the drummer for Tim Chaisson and Morning Fold, and also plays drums for the John Connolly Band, for cover warriors Big City (headed by Joey Kitson) and Vintage 4.0.
“It’s an amazing way to keep on top of your game,” Nat says of playing in cover bands. His versatility on the drums comes from being open to play anything, even stuff he isn’t familiar with. “I’ve whipped out some Def Leppard songs I’ve never heard of,” he said.
When an encore at John Connolly’s CD release demanded they play a song called “Wonderdrug” Nat smiled, nodded and picked up the beat, despite not knowing the song. The crowd was none the wiser, and the encore rocked the night to a satisfying close.
His past bands include Midnight Auto Supply, Stride and Wax Poetics.
Nat’s great play and professionalism gets noticed and gets him fill in gigs with the Charlottetown Festival every summer.
He knows when to stick to the “meat and potatoes,” he knows when to give and when to take. Of the drummer’s relationship with the music he says, “It’s in the palm of your hand but it’s not yours.”