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Drumeo Gab Podcast

Are ya tired of hearing, "so, like, uhh talk to me about how you started playing drums" in drumming podcasts? I'm gonna say, probably not as much as the guests are. I dunno, I think it's better to cut to the chase and explore pinpoint moments in their lives by forming curiosities around my research :0 IF YOU ARE DOWN FOR THAT; WELCOME! (Side Note: I strongly believe that the best part of the podcasting experience for listeners is the ability to connect with the host. So, don't be shy :)
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Apr 1, 2020

VIP is created in part by YOU, the audience. Submit your media to Seamus@drumeo.com.

 

Ned's Facebook Live interview that I talked about.

https://umatter.ca/2020/03/28/embracing-kindness/

 

Rich Stitzel's DrumMantra podcast where I was interviewed live.

https://player.fm/series/the-drummantra-podcast

Mar 29, 2020

“Technique is just legwork. It’s not a paradigm shift for the most part.”

This interview with Jojo was the last interview that I recorded during the Drumeo Festival in 2020. The night prior to this interview was when NERVE closed the festival with a tremendous performance that blew the minds of the audience in attendance. I have been listening to NERVE since early on, in fact, it was the Prohibited Beats album where I discovered them with the incredible tune “Far”. 

Prohibited Beats was the first NERVE album release but there were also major parties that Jojo hosted in NYC that he called “Prohibited Beatz”. At the Drumeo VIP dinner he shared that entire story of how he was no longer allowed to host these parties, as people well into the thousands would attend. Look up what the “Cabaret Law” is for some nice casual reading. It was that among other contributing factors that forced Jojo to stop the Prohibited Beatz parties. 

Jojo Mayer is a very creative and ingenuitive musician. It has been commented on many times before that Jojo possesses very high technical abilities both in his hands and feet. He broke all of this technique down in his two highly acclaimed instructional Hudson Music DVD’s “Secret Weapons for the Modern Drummer”. The first release was dedicated to hand technique and the second release was for feet. Combined, these DVD’s covered everything you’d ever need to know about technique.

There is no question that Jojo Mayer is among the greatest drummers of all time and has been incredibly influential in music and the arts.

 

You Will Hear About….

  • The message, “you can’t do that” and how Jojo basically ignored that.
  • How New York isn’t matching the creative output it used to produce.
  • Whether a musician who hasn’t struggled as much is missing something musically?
  • Jojo on “Rock n’ Roll”.
  • Jojo on technique.
  • Jojo is concerned about the safety and prosperity of mankind.

 

Why Should You Listen?

Jojo is obviously an expert musician and I love his music but his interviews are always interesting too. His thoughts about society, art, culture and beyond always have an enlightening edge to them. Speaking for myself, I find the words he speaks to be almost as enjoyable as the music he performs. Much like Frank Zappa in that regard. I am very happy to have had the opportunity to have one on one time with a hero of mine and to have captured something of value for listeners.

 

Jojo’s Socials

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Mar 25, 2020

VIP is created in part by YOU, the audience. Submit your media to Seamus@drumeo.com.

 

This episode was a massive collaborative effort by listeners, past guests/friends. This was created to bring more strength, hope, and perspective to people. It is not just for drummers. It is instead, from drummers FOR people. I am very proud to present this MEGA episode to you all. Many thanks for your support and PLEASE SHARE THIS CONTENT WITH YOUR FRIENDS AND LOVED ONES!!

 

Contributors were

Colin Boyd

Tommy Igoe

Ray Carega

Greyson Nekrutman

Curt “KIRKEE-B” Bisquera

David Frank

Shawn Lafferty

Raghav Mehrotra

Mark Tuure Pederson

Estepario Siberiano

Sugar Percussion

Sharon Ransom

David Cola

Ash Soan

Greg Hersey

Ned Burwell - UMatter Website

Earl Talbot

Ryan Van Poederooyen

Chris Smith

Scott Pellegrom

Ian Maciak

Mike Michalkow

Tim Baltes

Mar 22, 2020

“Try to think ahead of what you really want. The end goal. Where you really wanna be.”

Nick D’Virgilio is a name that if you are tuning into YouTube and other social media platforms likely recognize due to his presence at Sweetwater. That is certainly Nick’s main gig these days but he has had a very rich musical career leading up to Sweetwater. He has worked with Genesis, Tears for Fears, Cirque Du Soleil, Spock’s Beard, Big Big Train and more.

Can you imagine actually recording on the final Genesis album? In that studio that produced some of the most important prog-rock in history? Or touring with Tears for Fears? But leading up to the time where he met Kevin Gilbert randomly at a ski resort was a long grind of sameness, very little momentum and in Nick’s words, “what am I doing with my life kinda stuff.”

Nick’s story is one of perseverance. He just wouldn’t accept an alternative even though he wasn’t going where he wanted to be for years. He found his break with Kevin and had the desire and abilities to make his mark and the rest is history. A truly amazing life of music and a story that will resonate with so many people.

 

You Will Hear About….

  • Whether Nick thinks that social skills have changed over the last fifteen years.
  • How Nick felt about interviewing people in the beginning.
  • Kevin Gilbert and what that did for Nick’s early career.
  • Recording for Genesis
  • The days at the Jolly Roger and when Nick was at odds with his music career.
  • Trusting your instincts.
  • The cost involved with a career in music.
  • Nick’s new concept album.
  • Nick’s take on brand loyalty
  • A bit about Sweetwater
  • How Nick likes his lifestyle now compared to before when he toured a lot.

 

Why Should You Listen?

I think that this episode will be particularly beneficial for listeners who are grinding at the bars, playing small festivals, tracking for low budget artists, and essentially sticking with it in hopes that they will get their big break. With Nick, he couldn’t have imagined what was in store for him. It is good that he stuck with it and worked hard on his craft. His story will likely strongly resonate with working drummers who listen.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d1rYSLqWqoM

 

Nick’s Socials

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Mar 18, 2020

VIP is created in part by YOU, the audience. Submit your media to Seamus@drumeo.com

 

In this episode you'll hear:

- A word of encouragement, concerns about social distancing and coronavirus.

- An update from a friend of the show, Heather Thomas.

- Ray Byrne from Byrne Cymbals on endorsements.

- Comment reads. The question was "Do you want an endorsement and why? Commenters who I read in this episode were @Karlgrohmanndrums, @freddycharles, @thefitdrummer, @mattcordier, and @davidraouf.

- Instagram clip shoutouts. I asked IG who their favorite Up and Coming Drummer was. The drummers were randomly selected after being voted in the comments. They were @vinnywrk, @joelturcotte, @nathshinglerdrums, @lioncamp, @7tomi8, @dimitrifantini, @zackaustindrums and @oliverlab.

- A small clip from Nick D'Virgilio's episode about endorsements and whether we invest in gear that is brand-specific as a potential investment for down the road.

- A small clip from the upcoming Chris Coleman episode.

- I share a story about when I first met Larry Davidson and thought I was going to get an endorsement.

Mar 15, 2020

“Everybody says, “Yeah, you gotta practice your rudiments.” Normally I am always putting a question mark behind that sentence.”

German drummer Jost Nickel is affiliated with a golden generation of German drummers including Anika Nilles, Marco Minnemann, and Benny Greb. In fact, he is Anika’s teacher and even provided Benny Greb with some private lessons. This past year in 2019 was a really big year for Jost with the introduction of his new X 9 signature snare from Sonor and his brand new ‘Snare Book’ that was recently published through Alfred Music. 

Jost has performed with many great artists including Randy Brecker, Jeff Lorber, Bob Mintzer, Jimmy Haslip, Barry Finnerty, Mitch Forman, Brandon Fields to name but a few but he is maybe even more well recognized in the drumming community as a premier educator. With three books now to his name (The Groove Book, The Fill Book and The Snare Book) and his nomination as “Best Clinician” by Modern Drummer Magazine in 2016 and being featured on MusicRadar’s list of “the 10 best drum clinicians in the world” in 2016 & 2017, it is no question that Jost is one of the finest educators in the world. To add to his list of credentials in education, he is also a tutor at the prestigious University of Pop in Mannheim, Germany. 

Jost endorses Sonor Drums, Meinl Cymbals & Percussion, Vic Firth, Remo, Ahead Armor Cases and Beyerdynamic Microphones

 

You Will Hear About….

  • Our thoughts about electric drums vs acoustic drums.
  • His new X 9 signature snare drum with Sonor.
  • The process of creating the X 9 drum video with Sonor.
  • Jost’s game changing moment.
  • Jost’s opinion on rudiments and if we need them.
  • Perfection and how it doesn’t exist.
  • How Jost prepares for clinics.
  • Details for what Jost is doing in 2020 including his new record.

 

Why Should You Listen?

Jost is someone who when speaking, should be listened to. Jost’s thoughts on perfection, whether rudiments are really the answer to playing music on the drums, taking chances and removing yourself from a comfortable place in life to start something new, is all amazing insight. To have an hour to listen to our chat, in person, about all of this and more will hopefully provide listeners with some invaluable knowledge right here in this podcast. Just imagine if you had an hour with Jost and he offered his time to you for free. Would you take it?

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dh0mAk8DSM4

 

Jost’s Socials

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Twitter

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Mar 11, 2020

VIP is created in part by YOU, the audience. Submit your media to Seamus@drumeo.com.

 

In this episode you'll hear:

- Shoutouts to Sugar Percussion and Fork's Drum Closet regarding Nashville tornado relief work.

- Listener story from Frank Ferraro III

- Comment reads (The question was "Why do you love drumming?)

- Two Instagram clips - @elestepariosiberiano and @maxbeatwerk

- Anika Nilles episode teaser

- a thought about thinking

Mar 8, 2020

“For me, when I hear something I see a colour.”

Kaz Rodriguez is an English drummer whose hard work over the years has resulted in a lot of mega opportunities these last couple of years. He is touring with Josh Groban, performing clinics worldwide, and he writes his own music. His drumless tracks have been a huge hit in the international scene with drummers like Sput, Chris Coleman, Aaron Spears, Tony Royster, Ricky Lewis and the list goes on. His philosophy regarding the drumless music is to share it with the drumming community so that drummers can put their sound to his music.

So, there is one thing I should point out in particular about Kaz that is incredibly unique. He has a condition called synesthesia. Basically, in layman's terms, he hears colours. He doesn’t read music but instead memorizes music with the colours he hears. 

Kaz endorses Tama, Zildjian, Remo, LP Percussion and Roland.

 

You Will Hear About….

  • How Josh Groban saw Kaz on Drumeo and hired him.
  • Kaz’s experience so far touring with Josh Groban.
  • How Kaz came to realize that pop session gigs weren’t enough for him.
  • Kaz’s friendship with Aaron Spears and how grateful he is for that.
  • The importance of giving back and how Kaz’s music was meant for that.
  • Synesthesia.
  • The aftermath after Kaz was stabbed.
  • Kaz’s decision to discontinue studying architecture for music.

 

Why Should You Listen?

Kaz projects so much positivity. His spirit for music and giving back to the drumming community is quite exceptional and his take on gratitude is a great reminder for every drummer out there. Getting a chance to hear his process with how he understands music is also incredibly interesting. 

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d1rYSLqWqoM

 

Kaz’s Socials

Instagram

Facebook

Twitter

Website

 

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Mar 4, 2020

VIP is created in part by YOU, the audience. Submit your media to Seamus@drumeo.com

 

In this episode you'll hear:

 

- What is DrumeoGab VIP?

- A word from Gary Husband

- Listener stories from Joeyboom and Myles Philpott

- IG post this week from Maison Guidry suggested by Jonas Kocnik

- Adam Morford IG post

- Comment reads: Mike McLaren and Gregory Soham Meredith

- Episode leak of a future episode that the audience voted for

- Final thought...

Mar 1, 2020

"If you have something that someone hates or loves, you have something right?"

Curt “KIRKEE B.” Bisquera has been highly active in the music industry for over thirty-years. He has recorded and/or toured with the likes of Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins, Sir Elton John, Mick Jagger, Morris Day and the Time, Pharrell Williams, and Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers and that is literally just scratching the surface. Curt is known as a “groove master” and in many ways it has become expected of him to deliver the groovy goods.

Beyond simply drumming, Curt has been branching out recently with West Co. Pedals to create the “Grease Juicer”. Yes, a drummer is working together with a guitar pedal company. It goes to show that even the most top level drummers with an equally impressive resume still need to diversify in other areas to ensure a more comfortable career in music.

In this conversation Curt opens up a lot about the changing music industry and what Curt likes and also doesn’t like about it. This episode focuses heavily on Curt’s observations of the industry over the last thirty years.

Curt endorses DW Drums, Paiste, Vater, Remo, SKB, LP, Audio-Technica, Canopus, Jerry Harvey Audio, Big Fat Snare Drum, Tuner Fish Lug Locks, Big Bang Distribution, Slug Percussion, Randall May, Dauz, CRS.

 

You Will Hear About ...

  • Why Curt released his own guitar pedal “Grease Juicer” and why he went in that direction instead of a drum product.
  • Curt’s take on the drumming community vs the guitar community.
  • Curt’s early days and beliefs on natural talent.
  • Some first hand stories and thoughts about Jeff Porcaro.
  • Our thoughts on the current state of social skills.
  • Metronomic music and why we don’t like it very much.
  • One of Curt’s mantras
  • Personal advice and messages from Carl Perkins, Johnny Cash and Elton John.
  • Curt’s thoughts on the music industry today compared to twenty years ago.

 

Why Should You Listen?

Curt had asked me if he could listen to this episode prior to release to give it the seal of approval. The next day he responded with, “It’s good. It’s my truth.” I think that really sums this one up. Curt has had over thirty years of experience in this industry and has seen a lot of change. He isn’t entirely happy with the changes but he still loves music. You will hear his emotive explanation about how he has been under the microscope and beat detected in the studio for years. He is tired of that. He just wants to be free. To play music without a click. To have a recording truthfully represent what happened in the moment. To hear this from Curt was incredibly powerful.

This episode is filled with truth. Curt’s truth. Whether you agree with it or not, this was a wonderfully unfiltered and organic conversation between two people who have a deep love for music.

 

Curt’s Socials

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Feb 26, 2020

An introduction to VIP:

 

When I traveled to Vancouver to Drumeo Festival 2020, I had one thing on my mind only. Interviews. I learned a lot about that too but the biggest lesson was how I saw Drumeo's culture. Everyone was so relaxed with each other and happy. How we involve those people who choose to spend their time and energy with us is everything.

 

Drumeo does things right. Personally, every time I have been hosted by Drumeo, it is handled with such care and generosity. You are made to feel great and accepted. This is what they as a company did for hundreds of drummers all in one place at one time. The power of the festival is what will keep our industry moving forward. In the meantime, when there aren't huge drum festivals happening, you feel like you want to watch more live music. It is all great.

 

So, back to the interviews. That is why I thought I was there. And it was by and large in fact the case. But there was an extra thing that I honestly wasn't expecting. People in real life, in abundance, knowing about the show and glowing about how much they enjoy it. Like I have never had before and it was truly inspiring. I want to thank everyone for coming to talk to me at the festival. I would have liked to be more available but of course, I had to get you some great interviews. Ten of them!!

 

What I learned from having these exchanges with everyone, is how much more you deserve and be more involved with. I have trouble including that kind of thing on the interview episodes. They are their own thing IMO. These episodes are more like the "B-sides" vs the main releases.

 

I always enjoyed the cut and paste element of my old show and I want something kinda scrappy again but polished. Audio only. Just a donation to everyone who loves this show as much as I do. Shoutouts, community stuff, suggestions, your story told by you. Whatever we want it to be. But I want to make it with everyone. I'll kick it off but eventually, this could be something cool.

 

I love knowing that people care about this podcast. So, how cool is it to have something of you in it too? Sharing is caring. Rad.

Feb 23, 2020

“I think there’s more drum sets and pianos collecting dust than are being sold each year.”

Jared Falk is the CEO and co-founder of Drumeo. Jared was a private drum instructor earlier in his life but eventually he began to integrate his drum lessons with media after a student of his, Rick Kettner posted a heel-toe instructional video on a Pearldrummers forum. It was the response of this video that got Jared’s gears turning. Unfortunately, Rick had to take down the post because of the incredibly high cost for bandwidth due to the excessive number of people downloading the video. In response to the video’s success, Jared proposed to Rick that they should create a video which would become, “One-Handed Drum Roll” which was filmed in Jared’s shed at the time. This video was produced in 2005. Fast-forward fifteen-years later and we have Drumeo what it is today. 

Jared often says that if he didn’t go in the direction he did with Drumeo, he would have likely worked on his parents’ duck farm “Fraser Valley Duck & Goose”. While working for his parents’ farm Jared would drive to Chinatown, Vancouver selling ducks to different barbeque shops. His goal was to drive there with a full load of product and return home empty. Repeating that process over and over must have been instrumental in teaching Jared the skills of communication and business.

So, when you combine strong business acumen and a love for drumming you end up with a businessman whose business is selling drumming. Recently, Jared has been standing up strongly towards some of the issues he sees within the industry. Partly out of self-preservation he has chosen to find ways to not just create more drummers but also to keep active drummers engaged with their instrument. Drumeo is constantly innovating within the tech space to create enticing methods of gauging a drummer’s growth with their educational materials, inspire the community and support those who need to regain their passion for drumming.

Jared endorses Paiste and Evans.

 

You Will Hear About….

  • The story of how Drumeo got off the ground.
  • What is the Drumeo Method is.
  • Jared’s thoughts on making your strengths stronger as a drummer.
  • The stagnation that exists in the drum industry.
  • How Jared balances his personal life amongst Drumeo.
  • Some reasons why we think drumming is great for youth.
  • The process of creating the Drumeo Festival.

 

Why Should You Listen?

Jared is a very unique individual within the industry. He has knowledge and perspectives that are specialized because of what he does. This insight can only really come from a handful of people in the drum industry and perhaps even less within the tech/media space. Jared loves data and studying the market and uses that data to make better decisions within Drumeo. In this interview you will hear about his thoughts on the current state of the industry, how he and Drumeo are making efforts to keep drummers drumming and how he balances this all within his personal life.

 

Jared’s Socials

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Drumeo Website

 

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Feb 16, 2020

“It’s not about the drums. It’s about the song.”

Ash Soan is a British drummer from Norfolk, GB. Both he and his Windmill Studio have caught everyone’s attention. I know that Ash’s commanding and slippery groove caught mine. For those of you out there who grew up listening to anything with Bernard Purdie, Steve Gadd or Manu Katche’s fingerprints on it, chances are high that you will instantly love Ash’s sound. 

In over twenty years experience, Ash has recorded 56 top ten records. He was also, until recently, the drummer for the UK television show “The Voice” for a tenure of seven years. Some of the artists that he has worked with are Cher, Robbie Williams, Adele, Snow Patrol, Billy Idol, James Morrison, Trevor Horn, Rod Stewart, Seal and the list goes on and on. 

His career is one where hard work and luck met at the right time and things took off from there. In this interview you will get to hear that story, his thoughts on modern drumming, second-hand weed, first take and; just listen to it already!

Ash endorses Gretsch Drums, Remo, Vic Firth, Zildjian

 

You Will Hear About….

  • Ash’s famous musician neighbour in London back in 91’ and how that changed the course of his career.
  • A conversation about how we as drummers are kinda sounding the same.
  • Certain drummers we are both digging…JD Beck, Daru Jones, Chris Dave, Yussef Dayes.
  • Ash’s take on ‘Dilla Beats’.
  • Ash’s reading and why he left The Voice.
  • How intense performing film scores are.
  • Comfort levels and the Windmill Studio.

 

Why Should You Listen?

Ash is one of the most popular drummers on the planet right now and there aren’t many appearances of Ash on podcasts currently. To get a little deeper, however, this interview has some controversy in it that is really interesting. Did I mention that this was recorded first thing in the morning in the LA sun on an eleventh storey hotel balcony too? That certainly didn’t hurt. Overall, we had a lot of laughs, it was laid back and it was real. Are you listening to it yet?

 

Ash’s Socials

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Feb 9, 2020

“I believed in myself and I knew I could fight past it. I knew I could find a way.”

Mike Sleath is one of Canada’s most in-demand drummers who is performing all over the world with Shawn Mendes. Originally from Toronto, Canada, Mike, like most of us, spent his first few years playing for $200 per night. And yes, he had to share that $200 with the band. After being rejected from Humber College three times he had a heart to heart with his mom one day and the conversation was along the lines of, “well you can keep music in your life but maybe it is time to find a job.” 

Even considering the constant rejection he continued to apply himself the best he could and he wasn’t going to back down. Mike is a determined musician who is pushing himself with practice, bringing hybrid drum sets to the next level, touring non-stop, and keeping himself in good health and a healthy state of mind. Mike Sleath is proof that when the universe is signaling you to give up, respond with a good strategy and try again, harder.

Mike endorses DW Drums, Remo, Los Cabos, Sabian, Drum Dots, LP, Big Fat Snare Drum, Roland, Stone Thrones Drum Seat Covers.

 

You Will Hear About….

  • Details about the recent Shawn Mendes tour.
  • Mike’s earliest days with the drums and his Uncle’s Ludwig drums.
  • Mike’s crazy hybrid kit for Mendes gigs and the steep learning curve to learn that setup.
  • Some tips for playing big stadiums and large rooms.
  • How much Mike is playing below his technical abilities for a pop gig.
  • How Mike finds a routine for drum practice during his tour life.
  • We hear Mike’s story of how he worked past being rejected three times from Humber College.
  • Are your social skills more important than your drumming skills?
  • How we can get bored with “our sound” but to continue working toward your strengths as a musician.

 

Why Should You Listen?

For starters, this episode is FUN! Mike is a total bro and we had the best time hanging out and discussing his career and thoughts. A lot of interesting points came up that I think will inspire drummers to work hard and not beat themselves up over rejection. Mike could have easily thrown in the towel and said to himself that drumming professionally wasn’t meant for him to do as a career. A saying that I really love is, “nothing good is easy, and nothing easy is good.” I think this applies directly to Mike’s career and I really respect him for sticking with it and making something great happen.

 

Mike’s Socials

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Facebook

Website

 

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Feb 2, 2020

“If you want something, you can make it. You don’t have to wait to have someone else do it for you.”

Heather Thomas is a straight-up badass. She is a great drummer, singer, educator and most importantly, person. We met up at NAMM to shoot an interview and where this one went was incredible. She has been performing and teaching out of Seattle for many years but for 2020 she has decided to take on a big adventure. She plans to visit a major music city each month until she returns to Seattle in December.

Heather has big dreams. She told me off-air that her dream is to play drums on the moon and to be the first to do it. Her personality is simply wonderful. She is a fearless woman in pursuit of a life filled with adventure, experiences and growth.

 

You Will Hear About….

  • Why Heather decided to sell all her stuff and begin her 2020 with a year long adventure to evolve.
  • How she created her own version of Patreon for herself.
  • Heather’s incredible insight to what holds people back from pursuing the best life possible.
  • Our thoughts on the void inside of us and how filling the void with “stuff” just doesn’t fix that.
  • How Heather uses fear as a signal to move towards her personal growth.
  • Having realistic expectations when you first begin learning something new.
  • The impact negative inner commentary has on your growth.

 

Why Should You Listen?

We all have moments in our lives where we become fearful and uncertain of how to proceed. In these situations, we can have a strong pull towards the easiest solution or one that has the least resistance. But what is the best decision to make? A lot of the time, I feel that the harder decision is the best one to make.

With so many conversations with friends, acquaintances and of course the many artists I have interviewed, I get the sense that those who push the hardest for growth yield a better life. It saddens me to think that people aren’t believing in themselves enough. Or that people are cluttering their lives with a mess of stuff that conceals their fullest life. We can all benefit from looking deep within ourselves to find the thing that excites us to work hard and desire something truly fulfilling.

In this episode, we take a deep dive into this subject matter. It comes across in a confident and empowering way that has clarity. It sounds so simple but it isn’t. The concept in and of itself isn’t complicated but taking the time to explore the unknown, face our fears, and realize that we all should be accepting of great things for ourselves is a lifetime of work. We should all consider putting our negative commentary in time out and search for our best life.



Heather’s Socials

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Jan 26, 2020

“With us it’s more like family. It’s like, “This is what I got. I’m with you guys through thick and thin”

Christopher Guanlao is the drummer for the American alternative band, Silversun Pickups (SSPU). Chris began playing with the band nearly four years before they released their first album titled ‘Carnavas’. That places Chris’ tenure at eighteen years at the time of this recording. The band rose to popularity when their song “Lazy Eye’ became featured on both Rock Band 2 and Rock Band World Tour. Since the release of Carnavas, Silversun Pickups have released four studio records over the next fourteen years including their 2019 release, Widow’s Weeds

What makes Chris incredibly unique is his self-taught, bombastic, open-handed play style. He also has a head turning drum kit setup that would make you wonder if he was one of the first members of the “high cymbal gang”. He plays a beautiful purple C&C acrylic kit, with a ride, crash and hats down low on his left. And then one impossibly high standing crash cymbal on his right. This asymmetrical setup has grown into his style and it is something instantly memorable.

 

You Will Hear About….

  • How Silversun Pickups has lasted for roughly two decades and is still going strong.
  • Rupture and repair.
  • Chris’ thoughts on the common “band” template these days.
  • How we can create great moments during performances when things go wrong.
  • Chris’ thoughts on why musicians crave to play regardless of the risks or costs involved.
  • The recording process on Widow’s Weeds, SSPU’s newest record.
  • A fan email read and discussed at the end of the episode.

 

Why Should You Listen?

A great deal of these interviews feature guests who are “drummer’s drummers” who have reached some kind of profound ability and understanding of their instrument and therefore end up working with many different artists and mediums. Far less of them are with drummers who play for a popular rock band only. So, with that being said this interview gives off a very relatable message to drummers who are dedicated to one group. 

To play with one group and essentially not work with other musicians on the side is almost unheard of, as many know. And with that fact in mind, SSPU is reaching two decades of playing together. Consider this -- Fifty percent of marriages fail. I wonder what that number jumps to for bands with no member changes over five years? 

Really the big takeaway here is this. Bands can get really messy sometimes and sometimes great bands are not meant to last. I think it is a different dynamic altogether than the lone ranger who only represents themself. Just do a great job consistently with the smallest negative footprint possible during the process. If you can do that there is a chance that things will work out. But what about a band? You can end up with a great performer, great songwriter and wonderful social butterfly who is a total wild card professionally. How do you deal with that person if the band is doing well on the front stage and poorly on the back stage? It is an interesting topic that I want to explore more with drummers in the future. 

 

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Jan 19, 2020

“I should actually have a bed down here. That’s how much time I spend down here.”

Raghav Mehrotra is a fifteen year old drummer, bassist and guitarist. He even provided vocals in addition to drums for the Broadway Musical, “School of Rock” for roughly four years. Did I mention he was fifteen? Raghav has been making waves for the past few years due to his incredible talent. As Raghav mentions in this interview, it didn’t come naturally though. It was a product of as much hard work. Yes folks, that’s right. You can’t get around it and neither could Raghav. Hard work is the only answer to get to the levels of performance Raghav demonstrates. 

The future is bright for Raghav. Even if he were to decide that a professional career in music isn’t for him, I would argue that his hard work ethic will follow him in any field as long as he is passionate about it. He has accomplished so much already and yet there is so much time to continue pushing forward. It will be exciting to witness his success in years to come.

 

You Will Hear About….

  • Whether Raghav ever feels the pressure of expectation from fans due to his growth and abilities currently.
  • Raghav’s overview of how he discovered music as his passion in life including the story of how he landed a role in the Broadway Musical, “School of Rock”.
  • How Raghav dealt with the uncomfortable experience of singing in a Broadway Musical.
  • Our thoughts concerning social media “elevator pitches” within drumming videos.
  • Where the “seed” and perhaps innate interest in music comes from for Raghav and whether we need to pace ourselves within our passions to not risk burning them out.
  • The importance of investing time and energy into things that present delayed rewards.
  • Why we as artists need to adapt with technology but balance our usage at the same time.
  • Whether Raghav believes natural talent exists.
  • Is technology interfering with the prospect of kids becoming interested in music and learning an instrument?
  • Raghav’s perspective on how much drumming and music provide him with a healthy sense of self.
  • Whether or not “Sex, Drugs, and Rock & Roll” still part of the image of a musician?

 

Why Should You Listen?

Raghav is simply an incredibly impressive young man. At fifteen years old, it is almost impossible to assume that Raghav wouldn’t be a successful person. To hear the wise advice from such a young person makes us older folks feel pretty happy. We tackle a lot of important topics in this interview. Some of it applies to all ages and other stuff is very much concerning our youth. I believe Raghav is an exemplary individual who can potentially inspire thousands of people to become the best they can be and this interview highlights that wonderfully.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VTKvUwDAXmc

 

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Jan 12, 2020

“From that point on there was reason behind every note I played.” - Brandon reflecting on his first drum lesson with Jared Falk. 

Brandon Toews is the product director at Drumeo, author of two drumming books (The Best Beginner Drum Book and The Drummer’s Toolbox), drummer, and educator. At 22, he has managed to achieve quite an impressive resume within the industry. Recently Brandon has also become an endorsed artist with Evans Drumheads, Istanbul Agop Cymbals and Vic Firth Drumsticks. In this interview we explore playing with intention, balancing heavy work loads, and a first lesson with Jared that always stuck with Brandon.

 

You Will Hear About….

  • A brief conversation about drum kit setups.
  • A quick overview of Brandon’s career going back six years to the present.
  • A valuable lesson learned during Brandon’s first drum lesson with Jared.
  • Whether or not drummers are disciplined enough to stick with focused practice.
  • Our thoughts about gigs that excite us vs the ones that don’t as much but still need to exist for us to pay our bills.
  • How Brandon managed to write two drum books in a year and a half while attending school.

 

Why Should You Listen?

There is general drum nerdery in this episode that will be fun for listeners but our conversation also explores some topics that hold a great deal of relevance for all drummers. For any drummers who solely earn their livelihood through drumming may get a kick out of our conversation about the gigs that we may sometimes feel take up too much of our gigging schedule. Imagine this; The audience is eating dinner, having conversations and your job is to provide a gentle and appropriate ambience for their dinner. The sound guy says, “you are too loud. Please play quieter”. This kind of remark can easily diminish the fun factor of what we might be fantasizing about. And that fantasy might be going all out with no volume or creative restrictions in sight with a totally engaged audience and whistling and some positive outbursts. We all love that scenario don’t we?

We also talk about the importance of playing with intention. Really considering the notes and grooves that we choose to provide something appropriate and tasteful to a band setting. It is easy to get caught up with the flashy “drummy” stuff and while there is a time and place for that, we need to keep that to a minimum when we know it doesn’t belong.

These points mentioned are definitely the big takeaways from this episode and it is interesting to hear Brandon’s perspective on this.

 

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Jan 5, 2020

Out of 12 to 14 students each year; I don’t know if there was one real committed drummer.

Dorothea Taylor has been drumming for 55 years. That is longer than most of you reading this have been alive. She got her start in a local drum and bugle corps in the small northern Michigan town she grew up in. Her stories of practicing with her friends from the corps out in fields is somewhat cinematic and romantic. She has very positive associations with drumming in her life.

Since her time in the corps, Dorothea became a drum instructor and has performed as well. She has a deep knowledge of rudiments and patterns and showcases tremendous technical skills. The first time I watched Dorothea on Instagram I was honestly surprised, and then a couple seconds later once that wore off, I was quite impressed with what I was seeing. Apparently Drumeo was as well because they invited her to the studio to record some lessons very recently. You can watch her play-along video to Disturbed “Down With The Sickness” which had gained over 1 million views in TWO DAYS!!

Dorothea Taylor has a great deal of experience in education and her own personal time with learning all she can about drumming. Her insights towards the future of drumming and how challenging it is becoming to gain the attention of young students is a spot of trouble for Dorothea. We took a deep dive into that….

 

You Will Hear About….

  • Dorothea’s early years in the drum and bugle corps.
  • Whether Dorothea ever experienced any social issues at that time for being a female drummer.
  • Her deep concerns towards screens and distractions with developing youths. 
  • What were kids like to teach twenty years ago compared to today.
  • An old story about Tony Royster Jr.
  • Dorthea’s visit at Drumeo and the egg challenge.

 

Why Should You Listen?

Most people who listen to this podcast know that I am very passionate about the prospect of raising a healthy minded child. I think and read a lot about child psychology and what is healthy for kids’ development and what is not healthy. Screens and technology is a concern for so many people but at the same time we can’t get enough of them.

I think screen time isn’t all bad. It just needs to be monitored and taken in small doses very few times per day. Dorothea might agree with that too. Distractions make it difficult to fully commit and immerse yourself into an activity. Kids are more impressionable than adults and we as adults need to assume a responsible role with screen time. 

How this comes back around to drumming is this. Too many distractions and not enough balanced structure is going to hurt the future of young up and coming drummers, I think. In this conversation both through opinion and experience, we discuss how technology may be preventing a fuller experience for young drummers or kids just beginning. I guess we could actually just say EVERYBODY can’t we? I think the stuff we bring up will cause many listeners to think about the fusion of technology and drumming and how to leverage the strengths and manage ourselves with the negative side.

 

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Dec 29, 2019

“I’m doing it because I want to and it’s right for me to do.”

David Raouf, AKA RDavidR, is a drummer and YouTube content creator who explores the possibilities of repurposing drum equipment of all kinds to create new items for your drum set. David has also made a lot of collaboration videos with such drummers as Stephen Taylor, David Cola, Juan Carlito Mendoza, 80/20 Drummer and Drum Beats Online. I highly recommend that you check out
David’s YouTube channel here for drum hacks, repurposing, experiments and other fun creative projects that you may want to try.

David was recently filming lessons at Drumeo and also collaborated with them to create a series of videos on easy DIY projects that almost anyone can do with some simple tools and a bit of know how that David shares. To expand on his Drumeo content, David and I had a chat about his journey creating his channel, the realities of creating a YouTube channel and whether or not he has received any outraged emails from drum product companies regarding his DIY approach.

 

You Will Hear About….

  • How David began his YouTube channel and how it evolved.
  • David and I discussing our thoughts on rushing into post-secondary school.
  • Whether earning money from content creating is the reason to start doing it. 
  • What David has learned and benefited from by creating content for YouTube.
  • Why being creative only works well when you feel inspired to create.
  • David’s feedback from companies who make products that can be created by David’s methods.
  • David’s experience at Drumeo.

 

Why Should You Listen?

There are a lot of people who have the desire to create content online. I have personally received a lot of messages over the last three years from people who see this podcast and then decide that they also want to create some kind of media for the internet. More often than not though it seems like people look at it as a potential source of income. It isn’t to say that it wouldn’t potentially be that but it will take a long time before content creating adds any income to your bank account. This is really about spending your time doing something different. Substitute less productive activities for creative activities. 

Given the fact that David’s YouTube channel has been around for years and is performing quite well and he still holds a day job should be enough proof that it is something he enjoys doing but doesn’t expect it to pay his bills.

 

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Dec 22, 2019

“If he can start over, I can start over” 

William F. Ludwig III is the last living Ludwig making drums in the industry. Ludwig is a name that drummers will certainly recognize and some non-drummers may have an understanding of it too. The Ludwig name is made up of rich history, innovation, and passion with many twists and turns along the way. 

When Bill was 59 he decided that he should get back into the drum industry and follow the footsteps of his grandfather. Bill’s grandfather had started WFL drums after leaving Ludwig drum company, which was bought by Conn. He had decided that he wanted to create, for the second time, a company that focused on quality products and great customer service to match. A company that wasn’t as focused on the corporate mentality. He very cleverly indicated below the WFL badge that these were, in fact, a Ludwig product and this helped gain the trust of new customers. Bill’s grandfather would eventually buy back the Ludwig name after a very successful run under the WFL name.

It was Bill’s grandfather’s decision to start over by creating WFL that inspired Bill Ludwig III to create WFLIII drum company. Bill had a strong urge to get back into the drumming industry after a long hiatus. As evidence would suggest, Bill made a great decision starting WFLIII because everything is falling into place perfectly as if it was meant to happen. 

 

You Will Hear About….

  • The humble beginnings of Ludwig which includes information about the silent film era instruments.
  • The start of WFL drums leading to the buyback of the Ludwig name.
  • Ringo Starr and the Beatles’ influence on drum sales for Ludwig.
  • Bill Ludwig III beginnings and future roles at Ludwig.
  • Why Bill Ludwig III created WFLIII drum company.
  • WFLIII drum company’s growth, strengths as a company, and future.

 

Why Should You Listen?

You will understand the entire history of Ludwig drum company by listening to this episode and it is told by an actual Ludwig! The history told by Bill sets up the second half nicely to bring context as to why the WFLIII drums may be appealing to drummers. Not only is it an actual Ludwig heavily involved but I also felt a sense of family and warmth to this company. For example; when you call WFLIII, you get Bill. Also, the drums are based on old shell recipes developed by Bill’s grandfather many years ago that are tried and true. Nothing flashy. Just stuff that works.

One of Bill’s biggest obstacles is to educate drummers on what WFLIII is and what the Ludwig story is really about. This is such an important feature of these drums. For drummers who have a strong liking to the history and spirit of Ludwig, you may feel a pull towards WFLIII once you realize the degree of passion and love that Bill has for this company and the William Ludwigs before him. You may feel like the spirit of Ludwig lives in WFLIII.

 

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Dec 15, 2019

“It was a moment of achievement that I have never felt before.” 

Jeremy Schulz is a repeat guest on this podcast. He is an instructor for his own virtual teaching practice called Beats From The Core. His main focus with this is to empower people through the power of drumming and music. Jeremy has battled Tourette’s Syndrome through learning the instrument many years ago when he was a teen. He noticed that by learning how to communicate through the drums it calmed his stuttering. We discussed all of this in our first interview over a year ago.

However, today we are talking about his walk across America to raise awareness against bullying. Jeremy decided to align with the “Fight for the Forgotten” foundation that was created by MMA Heavyweight fighter, Justin Wren. Jeremy decided to walk from the Brooklyn Bridge to the Sundial Bridge in Redding, CA. His walk would be just over 3000 miles and would take nearly six months to complete. His walk was completely unassisted and in this interview we hear about the difficulties he faced, his experience with people along the way, and how this walk helped define himself and his purpose.

This episode consists of three interviews. The first interview is a short ten minute chat on the day that he left the Brooklyn Bridge. The second interview took place in Arkansas and finally the third part was recorded roughly one month after he completed his walk in California.

 

You Will Hear About….

  • Why Jeremy decided to walk across America.
  • Our inner commentary and how to grow through difficult situations.
  • The dichotomy between people’s behaviour towards others online versus in person.
  • Stories about Jeremy’s mishaps and close encounters with possibly life-threatening situations.
  • What Jeremy learned from his walk.
  • How Jeremy is adjusting to regular life again after the walk.
  • The feelings Jeremy had when he walked upon the Sundial Bridge.

 

Why Should You Listen?

This episode really focuses on Jeremy’s journey and the inner growth experienced by taking on such a massive challenge. It is very conversational with respect to Jeremy’s observations about the people he met and how people do in fact come together and unite when they witness someone with a strong will to do good. I would also say that this episode proves that by taking a leap of faith we grow as a result. 

 

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Dec 8, 2019

“I had a laser focus in what I wanted to pursue in terms of being a professional musician.”

Jim Riley has been in Nashville, TN for quite some time now and has enjoyed a very balanced and successful career in music. He is the drummer and musical director for the very famous pop country act, Rascal Flatts, a drum teacher for his home studio called “The Drum Dojo”, a clinician and has appeared on Drumeo more than once as well. During the years between 2011 - 2015 and 2017 Jim had been voted “Best Country Drummer” by the readers of Modern Drummer Magazine and he also won the distinction of “Best Drum Clinician” in 2009. Jim has also authored two drum education books, “Survival Guide for the Modern Drummer” and “Song Charting Made Easy”. A third book is expected to be released very soon.

Jim has enjoyed a very full career and seems to have found a firm seat at the table of Nashville drummers. He moved to Nashville in 1997 and for the first couple of years Jim’s experiences were touch and go. Early on, he had worked in a drum shop and in fact slept there during the nights on soft drum cases. After that business closed its doors, Jim found himself sleeping in his truck with his dog for a couple of weeks. (Click this link to read more about this story at Drumeo “The Beat”) However, Jim never doubted that the path he had chosen was indeed the best decision for him in the long-run. Jim’s luck began to turn around when he would eventually become roommates with Rich Redmond.

Jim had secured a good gig with Mark Chesnutt and everything was going well. On the side he was playing $40 gigs with the guys, who would eventually become Rascal Flatts, and also performed regularly with Hank Williams III. One day, Jay Demarcus said to Jim that if their new project, Rascal Flatts, ever got a record deal they would love to have him as their drummer. And well, we all know how that turned out. A big risk turned into a big reward. Jim never gave up on his dream and it turned into a reality.  

 

You Will Hear About….

  • Jim’s talks about a lecture that he gave at his old high school, Natick High School
  • Jim’s assured confidence that his future was in music
  • The story about Larrie Londin
  • What Nashville is actually like as a music city and advice on approaching it if you just moved there hoping to create a career for yourself
  • The Nashville number system
  • Jim’s story about when he first moved to Nashville and how he eventually got the gig with Rascal Flatts
  • Jim’s advice for musicians who haven’t yet hit their target and definition of success
  • Jim’s new book releasing soon “Improvisational Tools for the Modern Drummer”

 

Why Should You Listen?

Jim Riley is living proof that if you want something badly, you can achieve it through hard work and perseverance. Sometimes it is nice to be reminded that the success we desire is obtainable with enough effort put forward. That is a big message behind this episode.

You will also have a great explanation of the Nashville number system if you have ever been confused by other explanations or haven’t yet heard of what that is about. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HMIQG9heAXg

 

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Dec 1, 2019

“Well, I don’t wanna sound like that guy but I am the happiest I’ve ever been in my life!”

Gregg Bissonette has enjoyed an amazing career in music. The Detroit native has had the pleasure of playing with such artists as David Lee Roth, Ringo Starr, Maynard Ferguson, Carlos Santana, Don Henley, his brother Matt and many others. As you can probably tell based on those names alone, Gregg is incredibly versatile musically. Beyond that though, Gregg is also known for being down to earth, professional, comical, and friendly. All of these attributes have certainly helped him in sustaining his life in music.

Gregg proudly endorses Dixon Drums, Sabian Cymbals, Vic Firth drumsticks, Remo Drumheads, DW Drum pedals, Samson Audio, LP Percussion, Audix Mics, Gregg Bissonette signature stick bag by Kaces, XL Specialty road cases, Beato drum bags, LT lug locks.

 

You Will Hear About….

  • Gregg’s experience recording lessons at Drumeo
  • Some advice he received from his parents at a young age
  • Why we need to love and accept everybody
  • Gregg’s experiences with being a dad
  • Gregg and Matt’s first band together “Today’s People” and how beneficial and enjoyable it has been for them to perform music together over the years
  • Gregg talks about his state of happiness and the importance of being positive
  • Who is Skippy Skuffleton?
  • How Gregg got into voice over work
  • Gregg shares some priceless advice for working drummers

 

Why Should You Listen?

Gregg’s name has come up before in DrumeoGab interviews and it always seems to come back to the same overall message. Besides the fact that Gregg is a great guy, it boils down to his great experiential advice that he provides the pros with. When he speaks, you listen. So, with that being said we have an hour of that here. It’s great fundamental wisdom that you can’t go wrong with.

From the importance of being positive, grateful, professional, able, down to earth, helpful and versatile. It is all here. There is a particularly strong message in there where he talks about other people who can try to rob you of your happiness and why we should just stay in our lane and keep working on being the best version of ourselves. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yfabTGZjCEQ

 

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Nov 24, 2019

“You just keep working and you have short-term goals. For me, it was a very slow up-hill climb.”

Glen Sobel, an L.A. born and raised drummer, is a familiar name within the industry. He has held the gig with Alice Cooper for over eight years and has also been working with Hollywood Vampires, featuring Alice, Joe Perry, and Johnny Depp! That is quite a heavy list of names, isn’t it? Beyond that, he has also toured with Chris Impellitteri, Jennifer Batten (Michael Jackson's guitarist), Tony Macalpine, Gary Hoey, Warner Bros recording act Beautiful Creatures (Ozzfest tour), Cypress Hill and many others.

Glen has a reputation as being a quick study. He can learn a whole set of live material in a day or track an entire album worth of material on very short notice. He has a method of creating a cheat sheet that has helped him achieve such remarkable results and maintain his successful career over many years. Two examples of where he was thrown in the fire were when he subbed for Vasco Rossi’s Matt Laug and also Tommy Lee of Motley Crue. Both of these gigs were sudden and forced him to learn and execute material quickly.

I was excited to speak to Glen because of his pistol hot reputation as a hired gun. It is a fiercely competitive career and Glen has proven his worth over and over again. I thought that having Glen speak about his expertise on the podcast would bring a lot of value to anyone who either is already slugging it out in this role or those who are just beginning their journey. There is a lot of useful and promising advice in this episode for our community.

 

You Will Hear About….

  • Glen talks about his first band ever, Bourbon Street.
  • Us talking about how deep interest and passion in something can lead to success over time.
  • CBG’s (Character Building Gigs).
  • When is it time to move on or stay on board to see if what you envision becomes reality.
  • The advice and mentorship that Gregg Bissonette has provided Glen with.
  • How Glen prepared and executed some major sub in gigs. We’re talking about Matt Laug and Tommy Lee.
  • Glen’s neck injury several years ago and what he does now to preserve himself and also future proof his career.
  • If Glen couldn’t play drums anymore, what else would he do?
  • How real is the rock n’ roll image? Is it just an image?
  • Are there too many samples in modern rock music?
  • Are typical bar gigs for 50 people better or worse than playing sold out arenas with Alice Cooper?

 

Why Should You Listen?

To have a lengthy conversation with one of rock music’s finest hired guns in the business is a rare opportunity. I felt it was paramount to have him share his first-hand experiences being a hired gun. It is so that all of you can both have a better vantage point to the real side of this industry. You could get caught up with dreams and visions of a life better than your own and maybe something like what Glen does is the answer; in your mind.  

I wanted to both demystify this fantasy and also provide helpful tips for working drummers told through the vast experiences that Glen has had. I think that we managed to create a fine episode that will serve listeners on a very practical level.

 

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