Brian Joseph Cummings, sometimes referred to as B.J., is 26, the oldest member of ShadowsForge. He is single, fun loving and pounds out a hammering back beat, complimenting the low rolling thunder of Ty Synclair's bass. Brian enjoys the occasional practical joke but is serious when it comes to his drum kit. He has collar length blond hair and honey brown eyes. He is 5'11 and stocky, the teddy bear type. He likes to fling ten to twenty sticks into the audience without missing a beat during his spotlight performance at each concert, thrilling the fans and irritating the accountant who has to justify the multitude of lost equipment. Brian likes to spend time after a show in the nearest pub, checking out the local talent in drummers and ladies. His gentlemanly ways always find him with plenty of company. "Keeping the girls off of Ty for Alexis is getting to be a full time job for me and the boys," Brian remarked with a friendly grin. "But I always liked running interference in any game."
For a percussionist, Brian is the quiet one of the group ShadowsForge. In ShadowsForge 2: Trials on Tour, Valerie Leonard, journalist, conducted an interview with Brian. I hope you enjoy it.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~"Brian Cummings was the last member to find his way to ShadowsForge. He was born in Leicester but relocated to London in his teen years. Brian is the oldest of the members at twenty-six." Valerie recorded the lead in to the interview. "So, Brian, what made you take up drums?"
Brian grimaced as he settled himself on the sofa. "Don't know if this is what your readers will want to hear, but when I was a lad, I liked to hit. Furniture, walls, cats – people. Anything that made an interesting sound when I hit it was fair game. Didn't matter. I was a hitter. So Mum and Dad decided to channel some of that energy in a more positive direction. Percussion."
"Interesting," Valerie said.
"Yeah, my parents were very wise. Look where it's gotten me. I'm nursemaid to a bunch of skirt-chasing loonies, running around the country – the world. Not to mention making a grand amount of money."
"The other four were together for a month or two before you joined. What did they do for practice before they found you?"
"Click track. It's an electronic device that a lot of drummers use to keep time. Also, it allows the band to practice on their own when we can't or don't want to be together. No matter how close the band is we need time away now and again. I never use it live but we used it when we recorded Shades Of Fire and on Ethereal Edge last year."
"I haven’t seen ShadowsForge away from each other very often. When was the last time you all had a separate holiday?"
"Oh – let me think." Brian puzzled for a moment, rubbing the stubble on his chin. "All of us? Would you believe never?"
"You mean that you have all been together for six years?" Valerie found that astonishing.
"Yeah, pretty much. One of us may take a day or two leave here and there but we've been together since I joined. Like when Ty decided to take that unplanned holiday in California last year. Look at the souvenir he brought back. A wife."
"Ty and Alexis seem to be extremely happy together," Valerie observed.
"That's right." Brian nodded. "Ty is a lucky man but he had to work hard for his happiness."
"His first wife was horrible to him. That was some years ago. He was young – nineteen, I think, and she made him miserable." Brian shook his head, sympathetically. "It's great he met Alexis. She's good for him and good to him. Babies him. He's a blessed man."
"You sound as if you're a touch envious," Valerie stated.
"You bet. I think Richards is jealous of their relationship. If you can believe Geoff being that serious about any one lady," he said with a sly smile.
"I can almost imagine," Valerie commented, flatly. "How did you find your way to ShadowsForge?"
"It was really by accident. I was supposed to be doing some backing work for another up and coming group. I wandered into the studio, made myself comfy at the wrong drum kit and found myself a member of ShadowsForge before the session was over. I thought I was with the other band. Geoff and Ty thought I was on loan from the studio. We really hit it off, so to speak and I never left. Don't know what happened to the other group I was supposed to help."
"Do you have any regrets?"
"None at all. Only that I didn't hear about them needing a drummer sooner. I was wasting my time hanging about the studio, hoping to fill in for anyone who needed my services. The pay was non-existent and the better-known groups always gave an empty promise to keep me in mind. I was going nowhere until I got into the wrong sound room. Best mistake I ever made."
Brian is the member of ShadowsForge that I've spent the most time with. It took us two years of late nights and tears writing his story in ShadowsForge 4: The Long Way Home. He had a rough start in life but is now overcoming the issues developed from it. If you want to know more about Brian Cummings, SF4 is the place to find out. His story might surprise you.
Brian Cummings has come a long way from Leicestershire, England. Miles of hard road lay between then and now--hard road he's kept hidden--until the nightmares begin again.
Diane Starling loves Brian. If she were not carrying his child, she'd still do anything to make him happy--even letting him go to someone else. Who is the woman in his nightly dreams? Why does she make him scream?
Valerie Leonard, journalist, dredges up history that should remain buried; history that could ruin Brian and hurt the people he loves most. Should Val keep his dangerous past to herself? Doesn't Diane have the right to know the truth about the father of her child?
Brian and Diane fight to overcome the past, embrace the present, and build a future as they travel with ShadowsForge on THE LONG WAY HOME.
Whiskey Creek Press, Barnes and Noble, or Amazon.
Thank you for allowing me to share Brian with you. He's really a wonderful man, once you get to know him.