Ian Longwell holds too many titles for a name badge to cover – Santigold’s drummer, Beck’s personal music technologist, and music director to a growing collection of rising stars, spanning all genres, from punk to pop. A talented artist in his own right, Longwell has worked alongside some of entertainment’s biggest acts, often in a forward-facing but behind the scenes role. “I’m a musician first and foremost,” Longwell told The 10,000 in an exclusive interview. “I grew up playing. I’ve been playing my entire life.”
A native New Yorker, Longwell grew up between Gotham and Philadelphia. “I was part of the first Paul Green School of Rock. That Jack Black movie was based off us. I’m the real Freddie Jones, the kid drummer in the movie,” he said nonchalantly, perhaps realizing how similar his life is to that of a Hollywood movie.
From these humble beginnings, to his role in a band featuring the artist Trouble Andrew in New York City, Longwell continued to hone his craft, focusing more and more on production and how it could apply to the stage, not just the studio. “I was always trying to be the producer in the band. At a young age I got into the basics, the usual digital, but quirky old school analog stuff too, drum machines and synthesizers – it was probably late 90’s. I was just a kid taking night classes in midi.” Soon, a hobby would turn into a full-time career.