May 7, 2012
By Karyn Albano
The signature sounds that have defined The Hooters for over three decades would not be possible without the rhythm section laying down those ska and reggae beats. While there have been several bassists in the band over that time period, and even a percussionist for a short time in the early days, the constant through it all has been Dave Uosikkinen, who has been with the band since its inception in 1980.
Dave’s distinctive drumming is the backbone of The Hooters sound. To put it bluntly, he hits those drums hard and with an intensity that keeps the sound loud and right up front. His style was especially refreshing within the context of the 1980’s, when many popular bands were using more electronic or treated drum sounds to replicate an effect that only a true drummer can produce. While electronic drums can keep a steady beat, they are not a satisfying substitute for the nuances of the real thing.
I’m very been a Hooters fan since the beginning (even before the crayon-colored stage image) and I remember how I was drawn in to the sound of the band’s debut album Amore by Uosikkinen’s drumming, which provided a perfect canvas on which the unusual instrumentation of the other band members were given room to explore. From the reggae/ska of the original “All You Zombies” to the pure pop-beat of “Hanging On a Heartbeat”, the drummer did not miss a beat on the band’s impressive independent debut.
Aside from playing with The Hooters for years, Dave has been a teacher, entrepreneur, and session musician. His current project, In The Pocket: The Essential Songs of Philadelphia, pays homage to some of the great songs from Philadelphia bands by re-recording songs that were written or performed by Philadelphia artists of the past. The project includes live performances with a revolving lineup of Philly musicians. Proceeds from this project benefit the Settlement Music School.
When Dave is not teaching or touring with The Hooters, he has built a solid reputation as a session drummer. In fact, thanks to the digital age, you can have Dave add his drumming to your song, for a flat fee, through his web service DaveUDrums.com.
Despite the stellar drumming, he may be best remembered for being that guy in yellow pants walking on his hands in the “Day by Day” video, which is quite unfortunate because he should, in reality, be heralded as a solid and consistant drummer.