The drummer for Opus Rex is Karl Sloman, composer, clinician, teacher, published author and music coach, based in London, Ontario Canada.
Karl Began his music training in 1972 with piano lessons. In 1977 Karl began playing snare drum for the Strathroy Pipes and Drums. By 1981 he had moved on to guitar and tuba. By 1981 Karl was the lead tuba player for the award winning Symphonic Band and Senior Orchestra at Saunders Secondary School. He would eventually go on to study bass guitar, didgeridoo, vocals and harmonica, but would always return to his first love the drum set.
In 2002, Karl began to study with professional drummer Dom Famularo and Frank Bellucci in New York. He also began spending his summers at the Kosa international drum camp where he was quickly tasked with running their student concerts and conducting clinics. Through these connections Karl was able to establish himself a strong foothold in the industry meeting important men like Vic Firth who became an endorser for Karl.
In 2003, Karl started the Wizdom Music Academy as primary instructor teaching all instruments at the school. Karl noticed in 2010 that much of the instructional business was being done online and in response began offering Skype lessons to meet the demand.
In 2004, Karl played drums continuously for 60 hours to raise awareness and money for the disabled. This would eventually turn into the Adaptive Music Program, which Karl operates to this day. The program teaches students with disabilities, primarily cerebral palsy how to play music by triggering drum sounds through their wheelchairs. The program would eventually attract the attention of the band Rush who honoured Karl at their 2012 Clockwork Angels tour in Cleveland, Ohio. A documentary was also shot documenting the work Karl does and the concert. The program resulted in a band called Trainwreck that has gone on to critical acclaim for their musical talents. During this time Karl also formed the band Falling Into Infinity a Rush/Dream Theater cover band.
In 2010 Hudson Music highlighted Karl in a series of articles in their drum education program.
Tired of preforming covers Karl joined forces with Graehme Floyd and Tyse burrows to form the band Autocratic Oath which eventually evolved into Opus Rex. This was his first launch into the world of original music. At the same time he formed a second band called Bipolar Feedback a standard rock cover band. If that were not enough he then joined the critically acclaimed Plumbing Factory taking up the position of Bb tuba player. In the summer of 2015 Opus Rex went into the studio and tracked a 12 song CD of their music to be released in the fall of 2015.
He considers himself to be extremely lucky to have taught some incredible drummers including: Alfie Vinneau (Orchidectomy), Nicholas Ireland (Battlesoul), Joel Jacobs (Humber College), Justin Wiley (University of Western Ontario), Trevor Marchewka (accepted to Berklee under scholarship), Vincent Greeson local drumming sensation and winner of countless drum competitions nation wide, and Tyse Burrows (keyboardist for Opus Rex) percussionist at University of Western Ontario.
Although Karl’s band experiences have seen him performing everything from Jazz to country, punk to classical it is Metal that is his first love, particularly Power and Progressive Metal.
In 2012, Karl became published by Alfred music with his revolutionary work, The Coordination Code. The book takes a unique approach to coordination studies unlike anything before or since. The book allows students to play any drum patterns imaginable in less than 2 hours of study.
In 2014 Karl was honoured by the City of London (Ontario, Canada) for his work with personals of disabilities stating that he had made a significant different in improving the lives of local citizens.
Karl became a member of The National Association of Rudimental Drummers (NARD) in the spring of 2015.
Karl’s influences include: Neil Peart, Mike Portnoy, Danny Carey, Thomas Lang, Marco Minnemann, Johnny Rabb, Gregg Bissonette, Benny Greb, Virgil Donati and many others. His primary requirement for an influence is someone who is technically competent while presenting creativity and artistic ability.
Karl endorses Tama Drums, Dream Cymbals, Vic Firth Drum Sticks, Evans Drumheads, Pintech Drums and Polecat percussion.
Drums – Tama
Karl uses a wide variety of percussion instruments both electronic and acoustic. For drums Karl used Tama Artstar drums along with two superstar concert toms. Hardware includes Tama and DW including DW 5000 double pedals. The sizes of his drums are listed below.
Cymbals – Dream
After years of searching for the perfect cymbals Karl decided Dream had his sound (he has tried every major manufacturer in the industry but there is just something about Dream). Karl uses the Energy Series for his hihats and crash cymbals, the Bliss line for his splash cymbals, the Lion Line or Chinas and Contact for secondary crash and splash cymbals. He finishes off the line with a 22” heavy “Gorilla” ride.
For the snare it is the Genera Dry which gives enough ton wile minimizing overtones. On the double headed Toms he uses EC2s on the top and Generas on the bottoms. For the concert toms Karl employs Evans Hydraulics. Finally for the bass drum it is the Evans Emad system.
Drum Sticks – Vic Firth
Karl has used Vic Firth Drum sticks or the past 20 years preferring 5a as his main stick and 7a for faster more delicate work. He also uses the Dom Famularo Pad stick for practice. He has recently begun to experiment with 5b sticks as well.
Microphones – Audiotechnica
Karl has devised his own internal micing system utilizing the Audiotechnica microphones.
Hardware System –Polecat Percussion
Karl utilizes the Polecat Percussion drum stand holders. The system consists of modules that make hardware legs a thing of the past.