YEREVAN — If you like jazz and live in Yerevan then you have probably been present at Arman Mnatsakanyan’s gigs or simply know his name. Chances are that his energetic beats wake you up every morning on Armenian Public TV. Even if you live far away from Armenia, wait for him to reach the world’s top stages as this guy never settles for less.
Arman is a 24-year-old drummer from Yerevan. Due to his consistency, hard work, and dedication he managed to build a successful career in his hometown. Currently, Arman participates in more than 10 ensembles (State Jazz Orchestra of Armenia, Vahagn Hayrapetyan Trio, Dialog Project, New Quintet, Karen Grigoryan Quartet, Armenian Navy Band, Kind of Trio, etc.), without sticking to a particular genre and playing almost every known jazz style. He plans to further promote his career and reach new heights. We’ve talked to Arman about his perception of music, obstacles on his way, sources of inspiration, and future endeavors.
What comes to your mind when you hear the word “drums”?
If we talk about a band concept, drums are definitely the pulse and the foundation on which the music is built. Apart from this, there is an interesting connection between the bass and the drums, as they are pretty close musically. In general, good relationships between the bassist and the drummer are always beneficial for the music.
I never wanted or tried to associate the instrument with hitting. Many people ask me questions like “How long have you been hitting the drums?” or “Can you hit this rhythm?” It’s not about just hitting; it’s about playing. The stereotype about the minor role of drums is upsetting, and one of my missions is to break it. If we regard this prejudice from a theoretical point of view, when you tune the drums, you do it with notes, and a melody can be easily played with the instrument.
As a young musician you might have encountered problems and obstacles from the very beginning of your career path. Which are the issues you wish the next generation wouldn’t face?