Mike Felumlee (The Bigger Empty)
SPB: Do you wear earplugs when you play? Why/why not?
Femumlee: Yes, I wear earplugs now, but have just started wearing them over the last couple of years.
This can be taken as a cautionary tale for the young rockers out there. I'm 42 years old and have been actively playing shows and touring since I was 17. For most of those years I did not wear ear plugs. I just couldn't get over how they seemed to kill the fun and had a hard time dealing with how my drums sounded when playing with them in. Fast forward 25 years and now I have significant hearing loss in my left ear, and very bad tinnitus in my right ear and wish I could go back and make my younger self wear the damn ear plugs! I would suggest that anyone playing live rock music frequently go see an Audiologist and get some custom plugs made. The filters on the custom plugs don't make things quite as muffled sounding as the foam earplugs you can buy at the drug store. You can also select how many db of reduction you want/need. The custom plugs are 100% worth the investment and I'll never play without them again!