I am a Dublin based session drummer. I have played on 3 Grammy nominated albums & many more platinum selling, award winning albums. My main goal is to always play for your song.. musically, lyrically, stylistically, eclectically & dynamically. I started playing drums at a very young age, as my father is a professional trad jazz drummer.
I've recorded with artists such as Glen Hansard, the Oscar-winning Swell Season,The Frames, Snow Patrol, Therapy?, Rosanne Cash, Tom Jones, Dolores O’Riordan and many popular Irish artists.
I've been fortunate to have worked with a plethora of award winning producers, who I've learned so much from over the years, including Joe Henry, Peter Katis, Steve Albini, Joe Barresi, Bill Price, Head, Jack Endino, Ruadhri Cushnan & many more.
I always like to play for and with the song.
Always a difficult question, but if I'm ever asked my favourite or most influential drummers, I usually say names like Levon Helm, Jim Keltner, Steve Ferrone, Jim Gordan, Jeff Porcaro, Jay Bellerose, John Bonham & several more.
Supporting the song and groove is my aim.
Drum Endorsements :
Vic Firth sticks
Studio Equipment :
Logic Pro X
Audient pre amps
Various mics... Shure, AKG, EV, Sennheiser, WAAM Audio mics, Scopelabs
Click the 'Contact' above to get in touch. Looking forward to hearing from you.
Click the 'Contact' above to get in touch. Looking forward to hearing from you.
- The Frames
- Glen Hansard
- Dolores O'Riordan
- The Cranberries
- Gemma Hayes
- Tom Jones
- Rosanne Cash
- david kitt
- Snow Patrol
- Joe Henry
- The Swell Season
- The Oscar Awards
- The Grammy Awards
- The Divine Comedy
- Boss Volenti
- david keenan
- The Cake Sale
- Oliver Cole
- Duckworth Lewis Method
- Richard Cocciante
- Square Pegs
- bronagh gallagher
- Marlon Williams
- Rhiannon Giddens
- Oh Pep!
- Colm Mac Con Iomaire
- Josh Ritter
- Sir Tom Jones
- Swell Season
- Mercury Rev) Joe Henry (Allen Toussaint
- Ruadhri Cushnan
- Stephen Fitzmaurice
- joe Barresi
- Peter Katis
- Jack Endino
- Steve Albini
- Chris Sheldon
- Bill Price
- vic firth
- aquarian drumheads
- dw hardware
- skb cases
- tackle instrument supply co.
- THE CRANBERRIES Ireland
ReviewsEndorse GRAHAM HOPKINS
Interview with GRAHAM HOPKINS
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: I am a musician first and foremost so it is a privilege to work with like minded artists who inspire me to always support the songwriter's vision and hopefully have fun along the way
Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?
A: I like to find out generally what the song is about and what has influenced it so I can support the song and the artist's vision.
Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A: Just send me on an email and we'll have a chat!
Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
A: I would take my 1957 blue sparkle WFL drumkit, a full set of vintage '60s Zildjian cymbals, my beloved orange shaker, my coffee machine and my record player. Oops, I think I've already gone over the limit :)
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A: I was raised to the sounds of trad jazz, as my dad Des Hopkins is a respected jazz drummer. I have been playing drums since my early childhood and music has always been my first love and all I've ever wanted to do is be a working musician. I left school to join Irish rock band My Little Funhouse in 1993. After releasing their debut album the band toured heavily supporting such bands as Guns N' Roses & The Ramones amongst others. I lived in Los Angeles for 2 years & recorded a second album for Geffen before the band imploded. I was then invited to join popular Northern Irish punk-rock band Therapy? in 1996. I recorded 3 albums & released a greatest hits album, & toured non-stop while in the band. Therapy? sold over 2 million albums worldwide. Feeling uninspired by the musical direction of Therapy?, I left the band in January 2002 and was immediately asked to tour with Irish singer/songwriter Gemma Hayes, supporting her Mercury Music Prize album Night On My Side. I played on the soundtrack to the popular Irish Oscar winning musical 'Once'. II then played with The Swell Season which featured Glen Hansard, Marketa Irglova & members of The Frames and toured non-stop from 2008, headlining all over the globe from Sydney Opera House, & Hollywood Bowl to the Royal Albert Hall. I then toured globally with Glen Hansard on his three very successful solo albums. I have been kept busy drumming on numerous albums, both Irish & internationally with artists such as Rosanne Cash, Tom Jones, Snow Patrol, Dolores O'Riordan & many more. Producers I've worked with : Bill Price (The Clash, Sex Pistols) Joe Barresi (Queens of the Stone Age, Weezer) Chris Sheldon (Foo Fighters, Radiohead) Head (PJ Harvey, Massive Attack) Jack Endino (Nirvana, Soundgarden) Steve Albini (Nirvana, Pixies) Peter Katis (The National, Mercury Rev) Joe Henry (Allen Toussaint, Elvis Costello) Jim Tullio ( John Martyn, Levon Helm) Patrick Dillett (David Byrne, The B-52's) Stephen Fitzmaurice (Sting, Depeche Mode) Ruadhri Cushnan (U2, Mumford & Sons )
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: As someone who grew up in a musical family, my first introduction to music was trad jazz and I began playing gigs at 13 years of age. My musical career has varied from playing heavy rock with Therapy? to touring and recording with Oscar winning duo the Swell Season, to playing on Dolores O'Riordan's solo album and many more. My style is versatile and evolving with every artist I have the pleasure of playing with. It is important to me as a drummer that I play for the song and am sympathetic to the lyrics and emotional language of the artist.
Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?
A: That's a very difficult question but the first answer that springs to mind is Peter Gabriel, because as a teenager 'So' was hugely inspirational and seeing him play the anniversary tour of the album really blew my mind. Manu Katche's playing on that album has greatly influenced my approach over many years. Of course, my ultimate dream gig would be to play with his royal highness Paul McCartney! Everything he has ever written and played on means the world to me.
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: I work with an eclectic mix of artists which is my favoured approach as I don't like to pigeon hole myself.
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: A commitment to supporting the artist and tailoring my approach to best suit the song.
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: My main goal is to play for the song, both musically and lyrically. I will respond to your request within 24 hours and deliver the song within 3 days. I am happy to provide 2 revisions if required to the MP3 recording sent to you. Once you are happy with the revision, I will then send you the final WAV files.
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: There are several drummers that inspire me ranging from Jim Keltner and Jeff Porcaro to Jay Bellerose, Brian Blade and Levon Helm amongst many more! I love drummers that play for the song first and foremost.
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: As a session drummer I play with an eclectic mix of artists. In recent years, over the Covid pandemic, I have set up my studio to focus on remote sessions which has been greatly exhilarating and has offered me many opportunities to play with independent artists of various styles around the world.
Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
A: I have been very fortunate throughout my career to play with a range of artists who have challenged me and helped me grow as an artist. A project that springs to mind that I am very proud to have played on is an album called The Wexford Carols produced by Joe Henry and featuring singers such as Roseanna Cash, Rhiannon Giddens, Tom Jones and Ireland's Caitriona O'Leary. The album brings centuries old Irish Christmas carols back to life. I played drums alongside legendary double bass player Greg Cohen (Tom Waits, Elvis Costello, Norah Jones) percussion and backing vocals. The album went onto reach number 1 in the Billboard World Albums chart.
Q: What are you working on at the moment?
A: I just finished recording Glen Hansard's new solo album 'All That Was East Is West Of Me Now' which will be released at the end of 2023. I'll be commencing work in Abbey Road Studios with Liverpool based Americana influenced band 'Seafoam Green' in the coming weeks.
Q: Is there anyone on SoundBetter you know and would recommend to your clients?
A: I recommend bass player Robbie Malone who is also on Soundbetter, and works with, amongst many others David Gray. Robbie is a consummate professional who brings colour and a great sense of musicality to all projects he works on.
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: I like to support the song, to bring something new, innovative and dynamic to the record and have a fun collaborative experience in everything I do.
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: The following describes my recording set up. I record 12 channels of drums through Logic Pro X, Audient ASP880, Audient id44, other outboard preamps. For mics, I use Shure sm91, EV re20, Shure sm57, AKG Audio c451e, Beyerdynamic mce 83, Shure pg56, Sennheiser MD421, Warmaudio WA 84, Scopelabs periscope. For room mics & various other bits and pieces I have a selection of Audiotechnics, PZMs, AKGs, Grundigs Shure, AKG, EV, Sennheiser, Warm Audio & other mics. I also use Roland re 201.