Gianluca Palmier is a professional drummer and educator, born and raised in Naples, Italy, and based in Los Angeles. With over 25+ years of experience in his musical journey, he has had the chance to collaborate with artists of every culture and genres, like Kanye West, Googoosh, Shayna Steele, Greg Howe, Kamasi Washington, Maragold, David Garfield and many more.
Gianluca divides his career between the performing and the educational side. His love for teaching led to him joining the drum faculty at the Musicians Institute in Hollywood California. We sit down with Gianluca as he tells us how he kept his skills sharp during the pandemic and much more.
What got you into music? How did you become a musician/drummer?
I come from a pretty musical family, with my father being a guitarist / pianist and my sister singing, so it was pretty natural. I started with singing first with my father at friends' parties when I was 10, then piano for one year until I fell in love with drums watching my father playing with a drummer live at a NYE's party in Naples in 1994.
My father was also hosting a Jazz radio show when he was younger, so our vinyl collection was a great way to start digging deep into so many styles and artists. I have to be honest though: the 90's dance era was pretty freaking cool, and drumming along with those songs was the best groove practice that I could do, it was so fun!
What do you feel is the best song you’ve ever released or played on and why?
It's really hard to say the best song, but definitely one that I'm really attached to was "SIDE NOTE" by Greg Howe in the SOUND PROOF album. That album was my first big thing I did in the States in 2007, and I had to follow the steps of drum hero Dennis Chambers; who recorded the previous Howe's album.
Everything happened so fast from the audition process to recording that album, and it changed so many things in my career. Plus that song became very popular among musicians, and I played it for a while in my first drum clinics around the world.
Special mention also to "GONE" by GENR8R feat Amber Navran of Moonchild, definitely one of my favorite more recent projects.
“I think that as musicians we tend to reach a level of saturation at some point in our practice, but discovering new music/artists is definitely my way to turn on that spark.”
Do you think you could get any better as a musician/drummer? And if so, how would you achieve that?
There is always space to improve and get better, and teaching students from different countries and backgrounds gives me a lot of joy and ideas for new concepts. I think that as musicians we tend to reach a level of saturation at some point in our practice, but discovering new music/artists is definitely my way to turn on that spark that makes me want to go to my studio and practice again to get better.
The industry is forever changing and moving forward. Are there any trends you stay on the cutting edge of?
During this pandemic I improved a lot in my recording studio and expanded my knowledge in recording techniques, plus I keep working on my mixing skills, which is an endless rabbit hole basically. Since I was very young I loved working with loops and samples, and today we have so much more on that side and it is very inspiring for composing and the whole creating process.
If there’s an artist out there that has all of the resources to hire a professional musician and drummer why should they hire you? How can they contact you?
Every artist can reach me on my official website www.gianlucapalmieri.com, where I have a contact form and the most updated info about me for live, recording and teaching. You can also reach me on Instagram at my profile @PALMITOSWAY.
After 25 years of experience, I consider myself a chameleon because I can comfortably navigate through many different genres and sounds. I love to serve the song at the best of my abilities, trying to add a personal touch at the same time.