DIME’s Night of Drums “BackBeat” is happening TODAY at the Underground at DIME, featuring faculty, alumni and student performances, and special guests. We sat down with Head of the Drum Department, Eric “Rain Man” Gaston to talk about what inspires him, his teaching at DIME and what’s made him proudest as an instructor.
Rain Man and DIME Drum Department (3D!), 2015
What inspired you to start a career in music?
My inspiration comes from growing up in the church. I had front row access and inspiration from some of the world’s best players living right here in Detroit. From church to Motown to funk to jazz, Detroit’s legacy of musicians kept me inspired and always aspiring to be better.
What inspired you to become a teacher?
My nephew Alex “Buddy” Brown was my inspiration to teach. Helping to babysit him meant I was around him a lot. When he wasn’t playing with his toys, he was trying to grab Uncle Eric’s drumsticks. When I noticed his genuine interest, I began to teach him everything I knew. He had a natural God Given talent. Seeing his progress inspired me to teach him more and more. He is now a professional drummer with a successful career.
Rain Man on tour!
What do you like about teaching at DIME?
DIME offers a unique and diverse environment that breeds creativity. From the amazing resumes of the staff to the cool, artistic decor and design, DIME is the place to be.
What kind of growth have you seen in your students here?
I’ve seen students turn their dreams into reality. I’ve seen high school graduates come and earn their bachelor’s degrees, drummers become songwriters, and guitarists become proper frontmen for their band. I’ve watched singers form bands, business students close deals and get internships, countless students go on tours, record in studios, and perform at local and national levels. Most importantly I’ve seen amateurs become professionals and co-workers.
What kind of things are you involved in outside of DIME that filter back into the classroom?
I have my own entertainment company (RME – Rain Man Entertainment) which provides stage and production management for various venues, artists, and organizations in Metro Detroit and across the country. I recently was honored to play drums for the official Aretha Franklin Tribute Concert in Detroit which was sold out and viewed by millions across the world. I also am a part of the last leg of the 24K Magic World Tour featuring Bruno Mars with special guest Charlie Wilson.
Rain Man with DIME Directors, Kevin Nixon and Sarah Clayman at the 2017 Graduation Ceremony
What’s one of your proudest moments thus far as a teacher here at DIME?
One of my proudest moments as a teacher has to be graduation. It’s priceless to see my students receive the degrees that they’ve worked hard for and earned.
Anything else you want to add about your experience at DIME?
DIME has continued to provide students with a first class education and access to the music industry’s best. I’m honored to be a part of the DIME Family.
Backbeat takes place TONIGHT at the Underground at DIME. Expect awesome faculty, alumni and student performances, and some VERY special guests!
DIME Detroit offers programs in Commercial Music Performance (Guitar, Bass, Drums, and Vocals), Commerical Songwriting, and Music Industry Studies. In partnership with Metropolitan State University of Denver, students at DIME Detroit can earn a Bachelor of Arts in Music on our innovative program. Our next semester starts on January 22, 2019! Find out more about all of our programs and how to apply by clicking below:
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