Concertfy Interview: Buffalo Sabres’ Drew Stafford Talks Tool, Dave Grohl & Parise Brothers
Over the weekend I had the incredible opportunity to engage in a conversation with Buffalo Sabres forward Drew Stafford. While Buffalo are in their offseason, the former thirty goal scorer spoke to me about the team’s direction, performing in a band with both Parise brothers – Jordan and Zach as well as discussing wanting to jam with Dave Grohl and Tool and his thoughts on this year’s Stanley Cup Playoffs. Stafford also told a funny story about performing with former Buffalo defenseman Steve Montador during a charity event.
The Buffalo Sabres are in the midst of one of the biggest rebuilds in team history. What are your thoughts on the team’s direction at this time?
-I definitely believe we are headed in the right direction with all the changes that have been made. As frustrating as it is to lose as much as we did, the silver lining is that we have a lot of talent and character coming up in the organization. From a player’s perspective, we just appreciate all of our fan’s support and patience during this, and we’re all going to do our best to turn this around next year.
What are you looking to accomplish in your contract year season, 2014-2015?
-This next season is huge for everyone in the organization. We’re all looking to have healthy and productive summers in order to come back fresh and energized. We have a lot of work to do, because last season was unacceptable, but I know we’re all up for the challenge.
In college you formed a band with former AHLer – Jordan Parise called Red Seal Peach. How would you describe the band’s sound and have you ever considered coming out with your own EP or album?
– Jord and I attempted to start a band with some other college buddies, but some internal issues caused a pretty nasty break up. The sound had kind of an earthy tech-pop feel to it.
For those aware hockey fans Jordan is the brother of former All Star and current assistant captain on the Minnesota Wild – Zach Parise. Has he ever jammed with you guys?
-Zach was our main sound engineer and he also helped out with some secondary percussion when we needed it. He was obsessed with us using more marimba than we wanted so eventually we had to let him go.
Has there ever been a time in your life where you ever considered a life of music over hockey?
-Music is a huge part of my life and its always a great release when I need it, but I always dreamed of playing in the NHL since I started playing. I am extremely lucky and grateful to be able to do what I love for a living.
What do you think of the music on the arena PAs during games across the league and which barns (arenas) have the best tunes?
-Montreal, MSG, and Philadelphia usually have pretty good presentations, but honestly most of the time I don’t even hear the music.
A few years back you got to hang out with “Every Time I Die” over at Warped Tour. Any good stories from that and any plans to see them when they perform at this year’s Warped Tour?
-Those guys are awesome, I was lucky enough to see how it all goes down behind the scenes and that environment is pretty similar to sports. Their touring schedule and putting on a show for the fans is a lot like our schedule. I definitely plan on seeing a couple shows this summer if I have time.
Who has the worst taste in music on the team and what does that particular player like that you just aren’t into? Who controls the iPod in the Buffalo locker room?
-I’m not going to single out a certain guy, but there’s quite a few who enjoy EDM, which after awhile gets pretty annoying. No one really controls the iPod in the room, but every now and then i’ll throw on Beneath the Massacre or something just to scare people.
What is on Drew Stafford’s playlist right now?
-Lately I’ve been listening to Intervals and also After the Burial’s latest since they’re from my hometown so I’ve been a fan of them for awhile. Gojira and Mastodon have been making appearances as well since I’m going to be seeing them live in a couple weeks. I’m looking forward to Every Time I Die’s new album coming out this summer. There’s always room for Meshuggah.
Do you still workout to N’SYNC while doing “Flash pushups”?
-Why wouldn’t I?
What is the rock/metal scene like over in Buffalo? Heard any local acts that you are a fan of?
-The music scene in Buffalo is pretty eclectic, but as far as metal or hardcore I do know there are quite a few big names with ties to the city like Scott Vogel and Chris Barnes.
What are some of your favorite venues and bars in Buffalo?
-The old Mohawk was pretty belligerent. I saw some great shows there. The Pink has the best steak sandwich in town.
There are actually quite a few NHL’ers who are very talented musically – yourself, Ryan Miller, Henrik Lundquist. If you could form your own “supergroup” with NHLers who would be in it?
-Ryan Miller is very talented musically?
Speaking of Ryan Miller, back when he was a member of the Sabres you two would frequently perform together during Miller’s charity shows. Any cool memories and stories from that?
-Ryan’s charity events were absolutely amazing. It was such a fun event every year, but my favorite memory was when I was playing drums with Steve Montador on guitar. It was just us two on stage and Steve’s guitar wasn’t even plugged in and he was wailing away while the main band’s guitarist was playing off stage through the PA. The fans ate it up.
I believe during one of those events I saw you two perform with a song with The Mavericks. If you could perform with any artist – from any genre who would it be?
-Meshuggah or Tool. Tool puts on one of the best live shows I’ve ever seen. Dave Grohl is one of my favorite musicians, so to jam with him or pick his brain would be amazing as well.
Who do you expect to wear the C next season?
-I’m not sure, once we get through the summer and training camp and we see what kind of group we have, everything else will take care of itself when it comes to leadership. All of the guys are just focused on getting better as a group and we’re looking forward to turning this thing around for the city and the fans.
Who is your pick to win the Stanley Cup Final?
-It’s so tight and competitive every game so its a hard pick. I’m going to stay away from that one.