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I recently had the pleasure of interviewing Rick Allen and Lauren Monroe for the release of their album, The Freedom Sessions. The disc marks Lauren's debut, as well as Rick's long awaited return to acoustic drums. I also got to chat with Rick (the drummer for Def Leppard since the age of 15) about the making of Hysteria and his work with famed producer, Robert John "Mutt" Lange. When asked if he took any tricks from Mutt to help with Lauren's CD, he revealed that Lange's biggest gift to him was "the art of listening." Def Leppard's Hysteria is a major feat on many levels - and not only for Allen's courageous return to the drums after a life-altering accident. It's amazing to note that the lushly layered, multi-platinum release was created long before the audio manipulations afforded by the Pro Tools recording platform! Audiophiles and gear neophytes alike can recognize that as a huge accomplishment. Allen says, "I believe Pro Tools was created for Mutt!"
Lauren met Rick when he became a client of hers via his interest in the healing arts. Monroe is a noted practitioner in the field of energy healing, with a vast breadth of cross-cultural experience. It was Lauren who finally helped Rick remove most of the remaining trauma from his body - energy that had been trapped in his cellular memory since his vehicular calamity in 1984. The infamous car accident was born out a moment of anger, though he's ultimately grateful for the experience now. It irrevocably changed his life, but he says it's something that has brought him many gifts, including Lauren. Rick's battle turned into triumph and has lead him to a lifetime of listening to his heart. The couple is as generous as they are genuine. They're active in charity work, including the Raven Drum Foundation, which they co-founded. They also support the Wounded Warrior Project. Both organizations focus on empowering veterans and people experiencing crisis through the healing power of playing drums. You can read more about these amazing people - excerpts from our phone conversation appear below. Enjoy!
[Photo Credit: Courtesy of Anderson Group Public Relations]