What was the first song you learnt? Kiss Me by Sixpence None the Richer, on both guitar and drums, and in the second class of Year 7 music. Our first music class was learning the school song (the principal made the music teacher do it), so the next class was a hundred times better. 

What’s your favourite memory of your early musical life? Being proud of myself for mastering the basic rock beat, and then being so chuffed when my music teacher, Ms. Oyston, invited me to join the school concert band. I thought I was the sickest drummer ever. Then in the first rehearsal, I had to ask the conductor what a 'drum fill' meant. 

What made you want to play music in the first place? I started off with playing the piano when I was young, and realised early on that I could be a big show off to visiting house guests. 

How old were you when you started playing? Piano at 6, drums at 11, and percussion at 16. 

Who were your music heroes/idols back then? Who are they now? Everyone has rad childhood music heroes, like the Beatles or Joni Mitchell. I'm not even trying to be ironic, but mine was Celine Dion. I got really upset over pop-news articles that made fun of My Heart Will Go On. Also, Avril Lavigne. My decision to play drums perfectly fitted in with my aspirations of being a rocker/skateboarder just like her.

Now, Lauryn Hill and the Fugees, St. Vincent, FKA twigs, the drummer from Grizzly Bear, this nuts Japanese all-woman band OOIOO, and a lot of Australian musicians who are listed on this gallery.

What was the name of your first band? Ah! Pandita. I joined the band after moving to Canberra from Sydney for uni. Jamming with Laura and Gemma eased the loneliness of being away from home. 


Yvonne Lam is a drummer and percussionist from Sydney.