Greg Saunier in 2006
|Born||May 18, 1969|
Saunier graduated from the Oberlin Conservatory of Music in 1991. The next year, he joined a four-piece band, Nitre Pit, in San Francisco as its drummer. When the band's two guitarists left, Saunier and Nitre Pit's bassist, Rob Fisk, reformed as an "elastic, hyper-expressive" band to fulfill Nitre Pit's extant scheduled shows, which later became Deerhoof when Slim Moon of Kill Rock Stars signed the group in 1995. Saunier moved to New York with two suitcases and has said that he does not own many possessions. As a drummer, he says, things he touches tend to break.
Outside of Deerhoof, Saunier's bands include Mystical Weapons (a duo with Sean Lennon) and a collaboration with Brian Chippendale, about which a documentary, Checking in at 20, was produced. He also formed Nervous Cop with drummer Zach Hill and harpist Joanna Newsom, and bands with members of Erase Errata and Rainer Maria, soundtracked a film by Martha Colburn, and collaborated with Yonatan Gat on a reinterpretation of Antonín Dvořák's American Quartet. Saunier is a member of the indie rock supergroup Big Walnuts Yonder alongside bassist Mike Watt (Minutemen, fIREHOSE), guitarist Nels Cline (Wilco) and guitarist/vocalist Nick Reinhart (Tera Melos).
He has produced albums including Xiu Xiu's The Air Force and Always, Marc Ribot's Ceramic Dog's Your Turn, Sholi's self-titled album and People Get Ready's Physiques, remixed tracks for Shy Hunters and WOOM, and appeared on albums including Zach Hill's Face Tat. In 2016, Saunier collaborated with American Brazilian composer Marcos Balter, in which they wrote songs for Deerhoof and Ensemble Dal Niente.
Kit and Technique
Saunier uses a minimal drum kit, consisting of a kick drum, snare and a cymbal, a set-up inspired in part by the kit and playing style of Questlove (The Roots). In 2008, Saunier said that he rarely practices, mainly for lack of time. When he writes songs, he usually considers the drum part last and is more concerned about the components of rest of the song and its technical elements. His interest and judgement in the latter came from his experience starting Deerhoof without producers, a record label, or much outside help.
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- "People Get Ready – "Physiques"". April 23, 2014.
- "Shy Hunters – "Idle Days (Greg Saunier Remix)" (Stereogum Premiere)". May 27, 2014.
- "WOOM – "The Hunt" Video (Stereogum Premiere)". November 19, 2010.
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|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Greg Saunier.|
- Checking in at 20 (Documentary), Pitchfork