We Spoke To The Aussie Drummer Who Set A Non-Stop Drumming World Record
Written by Nastassia Baroni on 26th March, 2015
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Adelaide drummer Moni Lashes, member of hard rock act The Babes, set a new world record this week, becoming the first female to drum non-stop for 24 hours straight. Not only that, the 27 year old beat queen took on the task for a very good cause, to raise funds for her dad’s medical treatment.
Armed with her drum kit, some cameras, sticks and her unwavering determination, Moni Lashes (real name Monica Majcen) set herself up in Adelaide’s Rundle Mall this past weekend for the epic drum-a-thon, making it though the gruelling 24 hours without even a single bathroom break.
We caught up with the champion stickswoman to talk about her epic feat, the motivation behind it, the other records she may have broken along the way and how her fundraising efforts for her dad’s medical treatment are going.
To get up to speed, watch excerpts from the record setting drum-a-thon below, then help her out by donating to the worthy cause here.
Watch: Moni Lashes 24 hour Drum Female World Record NO BREAKS NO STOPS
How are you feeling?
Moni Lashes: I’m good. It’s been a long day at work, probably compounded by the weekend. But I’m alright!
So where did the idea for the 24-hour drumming marathon come from?
ML: The whole family’s been coming up with fundraising ideas for dad’s cause and I was trying to think of an event where I could help. I was kind of stuck for ideas, because drumming’s the only thing I can do. So I was thinking of ways to raise awareness and if someone else was doing a 24-hour [drumming] marathon I’d support them. So I figured, “Why not give it a go?”
What exactly is the record you set or broke?
ML: I was trying to set a first for a female, to see if a female could play for 24 hours straight. Then I looked into it a little bit more and there’s possibly a couple more records I may have set and broken, official ones from Guinness.
Now it’s all being verified, which takes a while, but my main aim was to be the first girl in the world to play the drums for 24 hours without a single break, and I did that.
What are Guinness looking into?
ML: It’s all about video verification so it takes a while. Apparently I may have also broken a new record for outdoor drumming, because most of the attempts have been inside studios or retail outlets, but mine was out in the elements. So someone suggested it might be another record.
But I’m keen on the first girl thing, that was my aim in terms if marketing my dad’s cause – the girl that did the 24 hours non-stop.
Did you do any preparation before heading into this?
ML: I did play drums for a few hours here and there, just along to the radio. But I didn’t really do much else. I got some hand weights and played some air drums every now and then while I was doing things around the house, but apart from that I just knew I could do it because I’m pretty stubborn.
So what were the rules you had to follow to make sure the record was legitimate?
ML: You have to be continually playing more than one instrument [on the drum kit], so I was playing solid beats the whole time to avoid any confusion. You also have to have multiple cameras filming it from start to finish as well as two versions of time keeping. So I had both a digital and analogue clock visible near all the cameras.
Also the other person, the man, who did the record last over 24 hours, he was actually allowed to have breaks. So for each hour he accumulated a five minute break, but I didn’t want to do that so I just didn’t have any breaks.
That was Andrew W.K.?
ML: Yeah. When I first thought of the idea I started looking to see if it had been done and he popped up. I knew of him from his band, so I watch all of the videos form his marathon and got some pointers from him. I got in contact with his management and stuff.
He did a different record as well. He did 24 hours of drumming in a shop, a certain type of shop – there’s lots of different sub-categories. So I’m submitting it with a couple of ideas in mind and hopefully one of them makes it. At the end of the day, all I wanted was to be the first girl to do it.
I don’t even care of someone does 25 hours, because I’m never doing it again! They can have that record, I’ve done it now.
Watch: The Babes – Rock ‘N’ Roll Gang
How did you stay motivated throughout it?
ML: Yeah it was really cold in Adelaide, as always, and at nighttime there were hardly any people there. I mean the whole band stayed with me the whole time, so the kept me motivated and made me laugh. There were also a few characters in Adelaide city at that time, I saw some fights happen right in front of my drum kit, so that was interesting.
The hardest part was 9am until 2pm when I finished, that just dragged on. But the last hour flew by, so that was OK.
Were you drumming along to music?
ML: Yeah I was drumming along to an Adelaide radio station, which plays usually pretty good music. Then I’d play along to any ads and any breaks where I could keep playing beats. Then I started to get to know the ads pretty well so I started playing the songs that were in the ads.
Did you ever consider stopping?
ML: No. I’m too stubborn. My family were there as well and they kept begging me to take a break or have a drink or something. My family’s Italian so they’re naggers, but they’re just caring. I wasn’t going to stop, especially when I hit the 12 hour mark.
In my head I was aiming for eight hours and then to have a break, but then I got to 12 without a break and I thought, “I’m just gonna to keep going.” I was really just too lazy to get up.
Where are you now with your fundraising efforts?
ML: We’re only $11,000 off the total amount, and that’s a pretty big deal for us ‘cos it’s coming up really soon. Dad’s booked in for August 18th so the drum-a-thon really helped us with fundraising and we’re still receiving donations here and there. We’re getting close, it’s just a matter of chipping away still.
We’re also thinking about hosting a fundraising gig, closer to the date. We’re just trying to finalise that now and see if anyone’s interested in coming along to it. Now we’re a bit strapped for ideas! I thought my 24 hour thing was a bit of a long-shot and I’ve got nothing now.
How does your dad feel about all this?
ML: When I first told him the idea he didn’t like it. He didn’t want me to injure myself but then he knows how similar we both are and how stubborn I am, so he supported me with it. He was heaps proud at the end. He just couldn’t believe that I went the whole time without a break!
Is he a drummer too?
ML: He was. He can’t do it anymore. Dad was my first teacher when I was five years old and now I’m 27, so about 22 years I’ve been drumming. He taught me everything he knew and that’s probably the most important thing I’ve ever learnt.
If you’re impressed, help out Moni and her family by donating here.