Who is Otto Hansenfütz?
I’m a drummer, and like most of you, drumming is my dream. I’m also a businessman and a family man, so making the time to practice is not always easy. I fill my weeks by jamming with friends or doing local studio sessions, and I’m currently working on a new band project.
My style is based on energy flow; having each limb active while playing is more satisfying for me. If I stop a limb, it seems to disrupt my natural flow of energy. The ‘flow’ idea took root early on. As a kid, I saw a live music concert on TV and the drummer was playing a pattern on the high hat with his foot while playing a beat with the kick, snare and ride cymbal. Yes, jazz guys do that all the time; but this guy was playing rock!
In 1986, Al Foster floored me by playing the jazz ride rhythm with his left foot while played everything else! At the ‘97 Modern Drummer festival, Horacio ‘El Negro’ Hernandez played clave with his left foot while he soloed. Throw in Virgil Donati doing doubles with his feet, and the Worlds Fastest Drummer extreme sport drumming.... all this motivated me. Foot control, articulation, speed and four limb independence was what I wanted!
Thomas Lang and Marco Minneman topped it off with their insane brand of playing which clearly says anything is possible! It became my personal goal to get better with my feet. So during the slower season at my day job, I would carry my double pedal to and from work with a practice bass drum pad. It was noisy, bulky and inconvenient. All I needed was some resistance to push against - the ideas started popping and soon a prototype was born.
What’s in a name? Twenty years ago, a band mate introduced me as Otto Hansenfutz. With a nod to my German heritage, he explained that since my ‘hans und futz’ are always flailing away, this stage name suited my playing style. When the time came to name my company and practice pedal, destiny had already spoken.