100. I have thought about what I would do with my 100th since the time I started DrumGAB. It's the episode that I have looked forward to the most. I always knew it was going to be long, quirky, wandering, nostalgic, and challenging and not just for me to make, but for you to listen to as well.
I see it as a symbol of devotion and commitment to something. Not to say that this thing is important in any way at all, but it was tough to make and it meant something to me to assemble something purely from my own personal warm fuzzy places. And I don't consider myself a content creator, but rather a content assembler. In fact, I am really trying to get out of the way more and more often as time goes on. I am less concerned with creating a character; I am the character. I am also less interested in forcing the conversation to suit my prep. I dunno, this is all just shit that you learn when you do something that you know nothing about and decide that you will give it a try. Nearly two years later and I have assumed the role and position and that is a weird realization to me still. Little transformations and adjustments have been happening on a subconscious level. It is all slow and consistent, so you never notice the spikes of progress and change. You just realize one day that you do it now, and you are comfortable doing it.
So what is DrumGAB to me? Is it anything similar to what it means to you? I do receive a lot of detailed feedback from listeners and it is usually a few months after someone discovers the show. The things that are said to me is just fucking awesome. It really is. I don't take this shit lightly because I have now developed a show that I felt didn't exist in the drum industry and threw myself directly into it without noticing, and for reasons beyond my control people feel it's their show too.
And that is what I want!
I have ALWAYS been the odd duck who would show other people and friends things I have made or something that I really like and most of the time it isn't accepted. I used to be really self-conscious about shit that I liked or how I wanted to go about making something. Acceptance is a big issue with me that I struggle with, but at the same time I have always been an anti-pop weirdo who can't seem to fit into an easy place, so I really work against myself in that way. But here we are with DrumGAB, and I have always just made what seemed like the right thing to make at the time and it seems like there are a group of individuals who are kinda like me too. I found a lot of my people through this show. So connectivity is maybe the biggest components to the success of this show.
But back to the 100th. This episode features fifteen interviews (technically speaking) from both good friends of mine or fans of the show. In a couple of cases, I think it was just something seen as an opportunity to be on the podcast, which is fine too. We also have six original compositions from my friend Matt Davis who accepted the challenge to create the music to some drum tracks that I sent him. We have numerous studio recordings featuring my beautiful Sugar Percussion drum set played by yours truly and tracked by the talented recording engineer and drummer Michael Marucchi. We have VIKING!!! Fucking Viking man. He made this so special both with his VO impersonations and the interview that we had that was based on some fan-generated points on what annoys a drummer. It was absolutely wonderful to have him involved with the project, as he is a dear friend of mine. There are four different flashback chunks of some of the funniest moments in the show's history. I recorded three separate narrations to guide you along this incredibly long episode and also to offer some perspectives on my experience with creating DrumGAB. Fuck what else is there.....? Oh right, there are tons of audio snippets that I yanked off the internet. All of it is stuff that I have loved for years, whether it be Monty Python, Beavis and Butthead, Norman McLaren, The Big Snit, or the Twilight Zone, it's all in there. I use these clips to bookend the interviews and sporadically throughout the actual interviews.
There is a lot of stuff....thirty mp3 sessions were created and then all assembled into one session to create 100. A LOT of time and effort went into making this thing. I am not sure if I have ever put something together of this scale ever before and I am so happy with the results. It is a winding road of many different perspectives, stories, messages, music, culture, and it all stems from the keen interests that I have and how I used DrumGAB to explore and share them with you. Thank you all again for taking time from your life to get inside of mine a bit.
Here are the running order and times for 100
Viking Intro (0:00 - 2:13)
Old Jingle (2:13 - 3:23)
Narration One (3:23 - 22:02)
New Jingle (22:02 - 23:02)
Flashback One (23:02 - 35:02)
Hunter Krasa (35:02 - 50:00)
Adam MacEachran (50:00 - 1hr32:40)
Viking 1 (1hr32:40 - 1hr40:17)
Steve Nadler (1hr40:17 - 2hr21:50)
Flashback 2 (2hr21:50 - 2hr30:48)
Viking 2 (2hr30:48 - 2hr46:01)
Kevin Nordeste (2hr46:01 - 3hr21:09)
Brandon Green (3hr21:09 - 4hr20:57)
Charlelie Fusillier (4hr20:57 - 4hr52:53)
Viking 3 (4hr52:53 - 5hr04:06)
Narration 2 (5hr04:06 - 5hr12:25)
The Big Snit (5hr12:25 - 5hr22:16)
Anthony Lafrate (5hr22:16 - 5hr42:32)
Ryan Claxton (5hr42:32 - 6hr06:17)
Alex Kaufman (6hr06:17 - 7hr03:24)
Flashback 3 (7hr03:24 - 7hr12:59)
Viking 4 (7hr12:59 - 7hr26:07)
Joe Mintz (7hr26:07 - 7hr49:24)
Boyd Little (7hr49:24 - 8hr05:16)
TJ Hartmann (8hr05:16 - 8hr59:09)
Flashback 4 (8hr59:09 - 9hr12:23)
Travis McGowan (9hr12:23 - 9hr49:58)
Rob Maybee & the flower shop family (9hr49:58 - 9hr53:47)
Vinny Werneck (9hr49:58 - 10hr42:55)
Viking 5 (10hr42:55 - 10hr57:16)
Narration 3 (10hr57:16 - 11hr10:07)
Vikings’ Outro (11hr10:07 - 11hr11:42)
I hope you enjoy this piece and thank you again for listening to DrumGAB, it was my pleasure creating it.
Stan Bicknell. A lot of you know Stan, he came up in conversation a shit load of times in the different interviews for the 100th episode. His original show has been downloaded nearly 5000 times since it aired and continues to get about 50 new listens each month. It is just insane to me how much influence Stan gained on Instagram. It is one of those rare little gem cases where influence actually happened within a social platform.
This explosion online caught the attention of Jared Falk and that resulted in an invite to Drumeo. Holy fuck, right!? One minute Stan is buying fish and chips with his family and the next he's being invited to fucking Drumeo!! Well, the last time we spoke over Skype, he was going and then at some point he wasn't gonna go. He started to really feel the effects of some blowback regarding his foot technique, which was a major factor to Stan attending Drumeo, so you might imagine he felt a tad deflated. Well, one day Stan came to his senses during a run and said to himself, "Why in the fuck did I sleep on the Drumeo gig?" and the next thing you know Stan is getting in touch with Jared to accept the offer provided if it was still available.
It has been an exciting time for Stan since our last chat and it was great to catch up and see what he had to say for the 99th episode!
POI in this episode
- After our catchup small chat, Stan begins explaining Drumeo in vivid detail. For any drummer appearing on Drumeo to film lessons is a considerable honor. To think that the Internet largely had nearly everything to do with Stan being noticed and being asked to film content for Drumeo is kind of mind boggling isn't it? Stan thinks so too. He understands parts of why he thinks he got so much attention online, but he doesn't understand why it went to the degree of popularity that it did. But in any case, once the commitment was made Stan didn't waste any time when it came to practice. He went above and beyond to ensure that no stone was left unturned.
- There was a point in the sixteen months since our last proper chat that Stan had to deal with some serious imposter syndrome issues. He was challenged about his foot technique and essentially being told that he will be injuring people, this person's students all wanted to learn Stan's technique which also pissed this person off. They even talked about it over Skype but it remained a difference of opinion. But how can Stan teach something if he himself is being affected by another person's strong opinion on his technique and claiming that it isn't good? It messed Stan up a bit and he shares that with us.
- So your ego can be crushed pretty quickly sometimes if we are vulnerable to particular feedback. But I had to ask Stan that even though this wasn't a positive experience, does the positive stuff affect him too but in a different way? It was kind of a neat perspective to see if false confidence is in anyway involved with Stan and how he takes in the compliments. Also, does he ever numb out to the positive messages that he receives?
- So we talked about how he felt before and during the Drumeo experience, but he did he feel after? What comes next?
Local Canadian drummer, Rob 'Beatdown' Brown, known widely for his YouTube channel where he has grown to nearly 70K subs makes him one of the bigger drum related channels hands down. He also works a lot, staying busy as a full-time musician, Rob shares a lot of fundamentally useful knowledge that has been said before but Rob and I somehow put it all together in one place with a nice punch to the delivery. It is all stuff that will shift your mindset, or chances if you are busy, you can just nod your head and say "fuck yeah, he's right about that" about 400 times from start to finish. It's that episode.
POI in the episode
- Rob and I kind of just shoot the shit for the first little while until I ask him to wind back the clock a bit and explain how he got started with all this. It luckily doesn't fall into the pots and pans thing, it is actually a lot cooler than that.
- A big topic that we explore is teaching and one of the best things Rob says here is how we don't need to be college profs to teach a person something on drums. Rob specifically mentions that if you have played for six months and another has played for two months, you can likely teach at least one thing to the younger player. He also goes through some benefits of teaching, and we both contemplate whether people dig into teaching for a better chance to get endorsements and make music their livelihood, even if they hate teaching for example.
- So how much has YouTube helped Rob? Well, a lot actually. More than I was expecting to be honest. He does a very good job of promoting products and his content has a down to earth, trustworthy, and overall not douchey vibe. So I am not too surprised that he does well with it. We chat a bit about the advantages of the internet in today's music industry.....And then we talk about how fucking weird social media is.
- Next up...endorsements. This is such a funny thing to me. I for one am relationship rich, and endorsement poor. But maybe what I have is even better than an "endorsement". Peers, friends, family, and the ignorant all congratulate the endorsement deal. I am not sure if any achievement endures my social media groveling than an endorsement. Well, I suppose winning stuff gets a lot of praise too. Anyways, what Rob says here is just winning.
- Rob takes it up a notch when I ask him to share any wisdom that he feels needed some airtime to clear up and/or inform fellow drummers/musicians. He goes into encouraging people that if they want to get into music....JUST DO IT! Think Nike and that's it. Don't wait around, and don't be an entitled shit about not getting paid what you think you are worth in the beginning. If you wanna play so bad, you should want to and look forward to the experience. Especially when you are young. This part is chalked full of good stuff.
- Lastly, we talk about the Law of Attraction. Now, for the record, I completely believe that what you put out into the universe is heard if it is sent with intent. This is in conjunction with JUST DO IT. It boils down to exactly what the phrase suggests and also to have intent while doing it. The right people will enter your world and will align with your cause if you seem like someone worth investing in.
Make sure to check out Rob's (YouTube channel) to watch and subscribe to his content.
Lou Santiago Jr. is a name that some will know and others will not. What’s in a name though? Is a name that important? Maybe it is, and maybe it isn’t. Lou Santiago Jr. was a name with a lot of buzz around it back in 2003 and beyond after he won the Modern Drummer Undiscovered Drummer Contest. The stories that we are told in this episode are a product of his success with that contest and also a Guitar Centre contest that went pretty far until he was beat out by none other than Chris Coleman. So with everything that is said and done in Lou’s career, it is kind of insane why we haven’t heard of him lately.
But here’s the thing. Lou left the music scene and the drum industry almost seven years ago when he enrolled in medical school to pursue a career as a professional healthcare provider. A massive departure at the peak of his career as a pro drummer and some may wonder why he made that move. According to Lou, it was for his children and family. He wanted to provide his family with a stable and bountiful income and he felt tired of the hustle that he experienced in the music industry. He also wanted to be a present father and not on tour for weeks on end away from his family. These are very good reasons in my opinion, depending on what you value of course. I side with Lou on this one though.
So Lou is only three months from graduating and he also has some big plans to launch a new online business on Black Friday or Cyber Monday. Lou leaked that it is an educational website and apparently you get a lot for very little money. Lou claims that his website will be an instant success, which is a lofty claim in my opinion. In my eyes, it would be difficult to break out on the internet with an education platform/business plan without some serious marketing horsepower and a very well developed plan to launch it. I mean look at who exists in that space. Drumeo, Orlando Drummer, Mikeslessons.com and ummmm that is kind of the big three, isn’t it? It’s kind of like Ford, Dodge, and Chev if we are comparing online drum education brands to domestic vehicle brands. All of these brands have been building their businesses for years, they have enormous exposure on all social networks, and they all have been chipping away and working hard to create products and services that drummers want. So in other words, even if the idea is amazing, there is still some stiff competition to deal with to make it an instant success. I will say this though, good quality content that you get to keep at a low price is a winning formula in theory.
So this is a very long episode with quite a lot of details about the life and drumming career of Lou Santiago Jr. Everything from his roots growing up in New York, his scholarship to prep school, his time spent in the Navy, his divorce, the product he developed with Meinl, his DVD called “Three Days” that didn’t come together, some great advice given by the great Billy Ward….the storied career of Lou Santiago Jr. is almost larger than life with twists and turns of success and defeat. Considering the rather short length of time that Lou has played drums it is absolutely incredible what he managed to achieve and what skills he managed to develop. There is almost too much stuff to list in this write up that is worthwhile mentioning because most of it is. It is difficult not to agree with some of the statements that Lou presents in this episode and it is also not difficult to avoid taking a close listen to the advice of what not to do as well. I believe that Lou has a lot of great principles on life and how he chooses to live. He is a person who strongly believes in his values and does not fall, victim, at least based on what knowledge I have come to understand, to temptation from offers and opportunities that many people would snap up in a heartbeat and assume their net worth based on the profile of the artist they are associated with.
So the first half of this episode is mostly biographical and the second half of this interview features the juicy stuff. Lou really comes through with strong and powerful statements that will rattle your cage. It makes you think. It’s not to say that I agree with everything he says, but the fact that he believes it so strongly is all that matters in my opinion. There are some points mentioned regarding success, visibility, taking the high road, sticking with your faith, and being used, that I can’t help but agree with and quite strongly in fact. Other things said are simply Lou’s life experience and it is his truth. That is what makes us all unique and what makes for great interviews. At the end of the day, Lou is #sorrynotsorry.
Paulo Stagnaro is the percussionist for Puerto Rican pop star Ricky Martin and has also performed with many tremendous artists such as Sting, Paul Simon, James Taylor, Paquito D'Rivera, and Angelique Kidjo. Paulo is certainly one of the leading voices in Latin percussion today. Paulo was kind enough to spend a considerable amount of his time speaking with me about all kinds of great topics that I personally felt would serve the drumming community in a valuable way. If you are either a percussionist, drummer, aspiring to be either, or you perform in a band that features both drum set player and percussionist you will want to listen closely to this episode.
What you will learn in this episode:
- a brief overview on Paulo's website and membership service Conga Chops and everything that went into making that website and what you can expect from it if you are looking for a solid percussion based curriculum.
- Paulo's story about how he found his passion for percussion while attending Berklee's 5-week summer camp. He also shares his point of view on being the worst musician on the bandstand at all times in order to grow as a musician and why we must walk through our fears.
- Paulo attended Berklee for a total of four years and then he visited Cuba for about four months. In this portion of the interview, Paulo tells us the story of how he managed to stay in Cuba, or even enter for that matter as a USA citizen and the incredible life experience he gained by staying in Cuba and how that affected him musically.
- Following some terrific storytelling and providing a solid foundation as to why Paulo is a voice of authority on the subject of percussion, we now dive into the role of a percussionist. Paulo explains this in so much fantastic detail and I can't imagine anyone not learning a great deal whether you play drum set or percussion. This is some really great stuff in this section.
- Finally, we conclude our conversation with some motivationally driven dialogue. The anchor for this portion of the podcast is how Paulo, and his bandmates, bring the heat to each and every Ricky Martin performance even if he/they are exhausted both mentally and physically. The question that kicked off this part of the interview happened some 45 minutes before our chat ended. It gets deep and a bit heavy as it evolved into Paulo and I discussing pursuing anything with intent. We both feel that intent is what makes our goals become reality. Nothing can truly manifest into reality without intent. It is a terrific way to end this amazing conversation.
If you want to learn more about Paulo and his membership website please visit www.congachops.com.
Thank you for tuning in and I will catch you next week!
Today's guest is Paul Hermann, who is a drummer and also a sales rep for Roland Canada in British Columbia. We began talking a little while ago about the Electronic vs Acoustic drums debate that seems to be very popularly responded to on social media. It just seems to me that drummers have a lot of interest in this subject, so I thought that Paul would be a good person to share some of his opinions on the matter.
By the end of the interview we both agreed that electronic drum sets are different instruments than acoustic drums. In the same sense of any electric instrument compared to it's acoustic counterpart, we use our knowledge and facility to play the instrument but the applications are a bit different. If we go into an electronic kit wanting to recreate the sound and feel of acoustic, and that's all that matters to you, it may be a somewhat diminished experience. Rather, what applications really cater to electronic drums? Or how can we incorporate electronics into our acoustic setups and how does that alter the experience of playing?
The big takeaway is really about removing the context of "vs" when talking about how electronic and acoustic kits are different from one another. Kind of taking a line of equality and suggesting that they both have a place, whether it suits your goals, preferences, or just the ethos of them in general is all that really matters. For me, I'll always need/prefer acoustic shells but sprinkling in electronics is even better than straight acoustic. It's just more options to utilize musically and I am totally cool with that.
Today's show is with not one but TWO builders. Yes, that's right, we have a two-part episode this week with two incredibly skilled builders in the industry. First up is John from Cherry Hill Custom Drums and the second interview is with David from CaseBass Drum Co. Both of these gentlemen are building incredibly high-end custom products that have been taking the industry by storm with their unique style, attention to detail, innovations, and overall quality. No corners are cut with the work that they do and everything is handmade.
Sounds interesting, doesn't it? Well, it turns out that the people behind the companies are interesting as well and we get right into it with both John and David. They share the humble beginnings, the trial, and errors in developing their ideas into reality, and how they are growing so fast to the point where they need to problem solve to evolve their companies into the next stages. Both John and David are becoming in demand for the quality products they produce and have found a market for clientele who want the best product possible. It is great to see that there is still room for new companies and that there is, in fact, a market for boutique equipment.
Follow CaseBass Drum Co. on Instagram
Dylan Elise, native to New Zealand, is probably (and to a point, unfortunately) best known for his viral busking videos on YouTube from when he was a teenager, as well as his hi-hat trick performances. Here's the thing though...if that is all you know Dylan as you are missing out. Dylan is an extraordinary talent who plays for Blood, Sweat, and Tears and has done so for nearly four years. Bobby Colomby (the original drummer and co-founder of BS&T) actually noticed and auditioned Dylan because of those busking videos, which is kind of hard to believe considering the busking videos were an old representation of Dylan's playing and they were not musical. It was quite an opportunity, and it may not have happened if it weren't for technology.
In this interview, Dylan talks a lot about New Zealand culture, the process of landing the BS&T gig, his work visa struggles and just how difficult it is for a foreigner to stay in the United States, his experiences while busking, the fire in Chicago, and how he feels about his own playing.
As Stan Bicknell said to me, Dylan was considered as the child prodigy of NZ drummers. Dylan is a true player and was even homeschooled so it is safe to say that Dylan spent most of his life playing drums and that is simply the reason why he is so good. I also feel that Dylan flies under the radar amongst the company of other high-level players for some reason. I am not sure if it is because of his busking videos took precedence over his "real" stuff or what, but Dylan is so much more than what those busking videos illustrated to fans. He has developed into an incredibly musical, fast, powerful, and groovy player. His work with BS&T is a testament to what he is truly capable of and hence why he has been with them for almost four years, even despite the fact that Dylan would be an expensive option due to the fact that the band covers all of his immigration expenses. I really hope that the industry begins to take more notice of Dylan as an extraordinary talent.
Music and samples featured in this episode.
Dylan Elise drum solo LIVE with BS&T 2016
Dylan Elise with the Hipstamatics (fun fact...the bass player is Dylan's Sister) Recorded LIVE in Auckland, NZ
BS&T - Surreptitious
Episode 92 of the podcast is a special one. For starters, this interview took place in the same place (and the same table) as my very first interview for DrumGAB and one of the three guests featured in this episode was Archie, who was the first person I ever interviewed for the podcast. So that is a lot of firsts that are being revisited for this episode. I guess I could go one step further by stating that this was my first "true" roundtable interview. So, now that's out of the way, I will now introduce the guests.
John Huff, Nicholas Elie, and Archie Gamble were the gentlemen who joined me at the table at The Scots Corner bar for this session. Each of them has a history of playing in London, ON, including myself. They all have their own unique perspectives and experiences with gigging, the scene, and forging a career with music.
John has been playing professionally for about six years, while he has played drums for much longer than that he had decided six years ago to pursue drumming as more of a vocational activity than simply a hobby. He is about to head out on a European tour with Sarah Smith and he is also responsible for writing a blog as well. The blog is the reason why I invited John to the table, as some of his thoughts that he writes were fodder for a good chunk of this interview. You can check at the bottom of these notes to read up on his blog.
Next is Nicholas who is currently drumming for the group Nimway. I have been buddies with Nicholas for several years (even in the audio clips featured in this episode you can hear Nick's voice several times). Just to indicate something to listeners, those musical snippets were recorded on my iPhone (yes just a phone) a few years ago in an attic where both myself and many other local bands used to rehearse in (oh the many times I have been up there over the years). In any case, those were improvised jams that we recorded one night for fun and I held onto them over the years and decided to insert them into this episode. Anyways, back to Nick. So Nick is a drummer's drummer. He is a passionate player who simply loves to play. He has been involved in many projects over the years and while he is often found performing around London, he does not consider it his vocation. He is a lot like me that way where he just wants to create musical projects and gig here and there and have fun, while of course being compensated for his time. But he has a day job and is content with just having music as part of his life but not his sole source of income.
Finally, we have Archie. So Archie has been gigging professionally since 1984. That is 34 years....and he has been playing drums for 41 years. In London, Archie is one of the most respected and admired players around and gigging has been Archie's primary source of income since he began his career in music. He has no education, no savings, no retirement plan, and now he is beginning to experience the trials and hardships of being a musician primarily. He recently turned 50 years old and he acknowledges that this was a big deal for him as he looked around at his life and what it consists of at this very moment. Looking to diversify and find a way to survive on music alone is at the forefront of his mind when considering his professional life. It is in some ways, bitter sweet. Archie has been through many incredible experiences that drumming and music provided to him, but on the other side of the coin it has left him with very little to sustain himself unless he gets a normal day job and he damn near refuses to do that. Think about it, he has never worked a normal day job in his life. Why would he ever want to start at 50!?
So having these three at the table provides an incredibly broad point of view that is rooted in considerable amounts of experience. Between all four of us at the table there is a century worth of experience with drumming. We discuss the industry, the scene locally in London, self-doubt, taking chances, our futures, and some realities to this life we choose to live. All in all, this is an episode that I felt I had to make. I was once very much a part of this music scene in London and then one day decided that I would try to make something on my own and look outside of this city for the results I was wanting. To create something for myself that involved something I knew I really connected with and I decided to call it DrumGAB. Two years later it feels good to reconnect with some folks in a place I know all too well to discuss some topics that I know are on people's minds. Big thanks again to John, Nicholas, and Archie for their time and honest input towards this interview. There are loads of takeaways from this one and it is presented in a way that is totally different from other episodes in the podcast's catalog.
Rich Stitzel is native to Texas but currently lives in Chicago and has been gigging professionally for in and around 25 years. He lives a fast-paced life in the world of music and is the definition of a musician on the grind.
Rich has played just about every type of gig imaginable and has seen a lot in his career which makes him such an incredible person to interview. He reminds us that even though we can become familiar with the hustle and different gigging situations, we also have no idea what each day may bring and how we have to respond.
He is responsible for creating the DrumMantra series and has recently developed his DrumMantra 3030 (30 minutes/day for 30 days) curriculum. He is specialized in polymeter rhythms and is completely enamored with rhythmic concepts.
NOTICE: Jeremy is putting together a fundraiser called "Beats for a Cause. Check out the link below to learn more about this fundraiser. He is trying to raise money to help fire victims in the Carr fires that are happening in Northern California.
Jeremy "Walrus" Schulz is a teaching coach, professional drummer, and educator based out of Brooklyn, NY. He has performed and toured with bands such as Barbie Car and Mother Crone.
Jeremy shares some very compelling stories about how he started playing drums (this is maybe the most fascinating thing ever said in the show's history) and how music education, drumming, and working with his instructor Steve Smith (no not the Journey one) at Seattle Drum School of Music played a major role in his massive change of direction in life.
We hear about a lot of concepts that Jeremy uses in his day to day life that help him live a more purposeful life. I am certain that this episode will inspire anyone who listens to it.
Jeremy also wanted to offer the DrumGAB podcast community a 30% discount on his program. Listen at the very end of the episode to check out what he has been generous enough to offer listeners.
Reuben Spyker is a drummer from Abbotsford, BC who is an employee at Drumeo and also just released his own album titled "Forward" as the Reuben Spyker Quartet.
This episode of the podcast focuses on Reuben's creative process with improvisation, and why he needs to be in "the zone" with his music. We talk about how this album came to be and the process in recording the album, which was totally improvised with a group of musicians that had never played as a complete group together before and was captured live off the floor in a continuous five-hour recording session. Reuben then chopped it up and made it into an album and the results are fantastic. It is highly textural, organic, and executed with a strong command from each of the four musicians on their respective instruments. The conversation we had regarding the creative process was fun and interesting, as improv is Reuben's preferred method of performance.
Reuben is also an employee of Drumeo. His title is "community manager" so he handles emails, communicating with the members, helping Dave with his workload, making the guest instructors feel comfortable as they stay at the facility, and quite a few other tasks including developing lessons and so on. How he got involved with Drumeo was over the course of many years, in fact, because Reuben and Jared both live in Abbotsford and have for several years, they have been associated for quite a long time. But over the course of several run-ins and Reuben's interest in the company, eventually Reuben found his opportunity with the company and this has made him very happy with his situation career-wise. But there was a big question surrounding this. Whether it is a cop-out to serve another's dream. Whether it is better for all of us to become entrepreneurs and be our own boss, rather than working for someone else. Both Reuben and I have our thoughts about this and the dialogue surrounding this may help others feel more at peace with themselves if being an entrepreneur isn't in your wheelhouse. It takes the focus away from the noise we all see online where it seems like a trend to be an entrepreneur and that we shouldn't fuel the dreams of others, but rather our own.
Overall, this is among the stronger episodes in the DrumGAB library, if you ask me. It is refreshing, thoughtful, funny, and certainly entertaining. Below are links to listen to Reuben's new album "Forward".
Eddy Thrower is the drummer for popular UK rock group Lower Than Atlantis. In this chat we discuss band morale, touring situations, Eddy's clinic experiences, aliens, conspiracies, ghosts, and Travis Barker.
Eddy is an incredible player, whos singles alone are worthy of mention. He cannot read, or write music, and barely understands theoretically what it is he plays, but it goes to show that with a lot of heart and dedication to the instrument anything is possible.
When Tama approached him about doing a masterclass, he was a bit fearful of that because it is so far outside of his comfort zone. Once it was revealed that he didn't really understand theory, it all kinda makes sense why he was fearful. We go into this subject matter in quite a lot of depth.
He then shares an epic story of when LTA was touring North America and how they were robbed after a gig in a shady part of Montreal, Canada. Damn, even I thought Canada was better than this, but the story is one of tragic misfortune and an outcome that was better than what it could have been I suppose.
I learned that Eddy was fascinated with ancient history, aliens, and the unknown at large. We ended up swapping conspiracy, ghost, and other stories about the unknown and had a blast doing so. Never before has a guest got so excited about a subject on the show.
Then lastly we talk about a few run-ins Eddy has had with Travis Barker. This stuff is just legendary and a great way to conclude the episode.
Charlie Engen is a monstrous prog/metal drummer from the Twin Cities who plays for Scale The Summit and Ideology.
In this episode we discuss the mishap with his thumb and how time off to renew our sense of interest is good, but that it has to on our own terms and in this situation, Charlie did not want to be off the instrument but had to be in order for his thumb to heal. We talk about how we can get bored of our own playing, social media returns, the importance of being ourselves and not allowing outside feedback that is negetive to influence our own ideas about our art, practicing with a metronome, and a crazy story at the St. Paul's Cathedral.
This conversation will hopefully help drummers get a better sense of their path with the instrument and realize that by being ourselves and honouring our own creativity is ultimately the most important rule of thumb when we develop ourselves around this instrument.
Forrest Rice is the drummer for bands Covet and The Illustrative Violet. We recorded this interview via Skype while Forrest was driving to San Jose in his Toyota. He was also enjoying a Vanilla Latte on ice from Starbucks, although it was made for Alex. We still don't know who Alex is.
So Forrest is a well known and revered drummer on the gram, but I wouldn't say that he is an "Instagram Drummer" necessarily. He spends a lot of time in real life situations performing, practicing and filming videos beyond his jam room. He had never been on a podcast before, which I still cannot believe, and he hasn't had a published article on him since his 2014 GC Drumoff success. With all of that being said we definitely take a deep dive into his past and how he came to be with the instrument. Most people know that I generally don't take this route with interviews, but considering he has never shared that stuff in an interview and he has lots of fans who would likely want to hear about that, I decided we ought to take that road.
Some takeaways in this episode are regarding his approach to playing, his practice routine, his past with "shedding", how he approaches the band setting, finances, and how to get flowing around the kit. This is actually a very "drummy" episode, which is also rare on this podcast. Forrest is a legit geek with the drums and we straight up nerd out for almost two hours and have lots of laughs along the way as I accompanied him on his drive. There were A LOT of technical difficulties and this was very time consuming to edit, (I think calls dropped around six times during our interview and took over three hours to record) but I am happy with the results and it turned out just fine.
Steve Lyman is a jazz musician from Salt Lake, Utah who has studied under jazz giants Ari Hoenig, and John Riley. Steve is a professor, clinician, and artist who manages to keep a very full schedule with little time off it would seem.
In this episode, we explore some deep musical concepts, the importance of being a student whilst remaining as a teacher, how our society limits us due to the projection of shame and guilt for anyone who focuses on their own wellness, and many other deep subjects. Steve also had a close encounter with death recently and so we reflect on that as well and how that may have changed his perspective.
Steve has an online series that he calls "Drumset Mastery" that he launched back in February of this year that may be of interest to you. The link to check that out is HERE.
Cameron Carbone is a drummer from Austin, TX who performs with CYTERA and also a brand new project called Alter Mind. Along with performing, Cameron also teaches upwards of thirty students and is also a content creator.
I spoke to Cameron a couple of months ago over Skype and got to know him and his situation over the course of our chat. Because of our talk, I thought that a conversation on the podcast would be a good way to indicate to people what he had been going through and what he was doing about it. Most of us realize that sometimes life throws us curveballs and Cameron had some thrown at him. As Cameron explains in the interview, his life at the moment isn't at all what he was expecting. He mentions that he is thinking a lot about his future and what he wants that to look like, however, sometimes things are out of our control and even when we try our best to create the desired outcome it doesn't always work out that way.
So in this episode, we discuss the concept of self-awareness quite a lot. We both relate to the subject matter to help provide some real perspectives and some real solutions as well.
Ronn Dunnett is a colorful character who I had the great pleasure to finally meet at Victoria Drum Festival this year. He is a one-man show who is responsible for some of the finest instruments crafted in our industry today. Both with his Dunnett Classic Drums line and his continuation of the George Way legacy, Ronn pours love and care into each creation. He has high standards and does not sway off the path of excellence, as he has been known to be quite outspoken about certain aspects of the drum industry on social media and is misunderstood sometimes in the tone of his message. As we said (off-air) in our pre-chat, he is the guy who kicks the ball when others stand around waiting for someone else to take action.
The bulk of our conversation is focused on his revival of George Way Drum Company. In 2006, Ronn decided to restore the old company and honor its roots and tradition. Ronn is very interested in the history of the man, the story of the company and George Way, and the brand both in its innovation and focus on quality and sincerity of the products. Ronn realizes just how much responsibility he is faced with and he holds a high standard to honor what George might have wanted in regards to what the company would eventually evolve into if George were still alive. Listening to Ronn speak on this is very interesting and it says a lot about his character and what he values.
Beyond that we talk some shop, have some good laughs, discuss his lifetime acheivement, and contemplate the future of Ronn's companies and when he may decide that it is time to live out the rest of his days outside of his "factory".
Audio is taken from Carter McLean's Drumeo lesson and a demonstration of the George Way birthday kit, played by Carter McLean.
Rob Mount is the drummer for the rock legend Lou Gramm, who is most famously recognized as the vocalist for Foreigner. Rob has been an active drummer for a great deal of time, although his big breakthrough gig with Lou did not happen for him until his 40's, which is rather late for a musician. Even though Rob didn't get his major gig until much later in life, it did not stop him from believing that it was possible. He always kept that part of his life hopeful and miraculously his big opportunity came along.
In this interview, Rob and I discuss the process of getting that gig, but in a much more conceptual way than the actual literal side of the story. We hypothesize about whether he could continue working his day job and gigging smaller gigs on the weekend forever. This is particularly interesting because Rob did sub in for Lou once when Lou's brother, Ben, was sick. After that, however, Rob had to wait a long time before another opportunity came along. It was a bit painful for him.
Further along the episode, we get into some very unlikely topics including propaganda, media, mental health, and some fundamental basics for human beings.
Tommy Igoe is an iconic figure in the drumming world with his long and fascinating career spanning from instructional DVD's (Groove Essentials), Broadway performances (Lion King), and a wide range of sideman and bandleader roles throughout the years. Son of Sonny Igoe, who was a well-known drummer from the bop era (Benny Goodman) Tommy found his calling for music very early in life. In fact, Sonny had wished Tommy not to follow in his footsteps, insisting that Tommy become a dentist or something more sustainable for his career. The rest is history as they say.
In this conversation, we discuss everything from the current state of affairs with our youth, parenting, passion, greatness, online education, what it takes to be a bandleader, and how Tommy feels about his career thus far and what he wishes to achieve in his future. It was recorded at the Marriot Inner Harbour Hotel restaurant in Victoria, British Columbia during the Victoria Drum Fest event. Recorded simply with a Zoom H6 recorder, we captured some interesting thoughts and points of view that is unfiltered, raw, and honest.
Performance audio courtesy of Drumeo
Dali Mraz is a composer and drummer from the Czech Republic. He recently released his own record, titled Level 25, which features his own compositions that marries orchestral music and fusion to create a hugely unique sound. This record has taken Dali over two years to create and as he describes is a product of his journey these last two years. Dali is a fiercely passionate musician who does not compromise at all when it comes to his original compositions. But like everyone, he has to make a living somehow, so he does this by composing music for film scores and other contracted work that has nothing to do with drumming at all. He saves the drumming for his own projects, like Level 25. Dali also hosts clinic based camps with some of the worlds most well-recognized drummers in the world such as Todd Sucherman, Benny Greb, and Chris Coleman.
Dali is a true composer. He has been composing music since he was six years old and has won several awards for his work over the years. He is incredibly prolific and reminds me of people such as Frank Zappa. Just simply because of his daily routine of composing music and his level of passion for it. Like Zappa, who was an amazing guitarist, Dali is an absolute beast drummer. He possesses world-class abilities and an incredibly unique sound that I haven't heard anywhere else. I would easily be able to point out if it was Dali playing if I only heard a measure of music.
This interview gets quite deep into Dali's outlook on his work, why he is unable to compromise, and the names of his sheep.
An interview with Ben O'Brien Smith and Cody Rahn who host the new drum based YouTube channel, Sounds Like A Drum. Full article, and socials are below.
Sounds Like A Drum Socials
Cadence Independant Media Socials
Ben O’Brien Smith and Cody Rahn are the hosts and developers of a new content channel called Sounds Like A Drum. Both of these dudes have extensive experience in the music industry. Ben is a former employee of D’Addario for 6.5 years and during his time at D’Addario, Ben was in charge of the social networks of both Evans drum heads and Promark drumsticks. He also was involved with product development, which includes many of the innovations that we are all familiar with today from Evans including the UV1, Black Chrome, and Level 360 technology. It is also important to note that besides the multimedia end of the industry, Ben is also a drummer with over twenty years experience and also studied classical percussion at Crane School of Music. However, in the role of Sounds Like A Drum, Ben is primarily assuming the role of content creator, brand developer, and social media strategist through his company Cadence Independent Media. Due to Ben’s extensive knowledge of drumhead technology he also hosts some of the content that is focused on these subjects.
What Cody Rahn brings to the table is years of studio and live music performance experience where he has utilized his long-term obsession with tinkering with drums to find all of what they can offer him as a player. Cody presents incredibly informed methods in the Sounds Like A Drum YouTube series, and they tend to lean on more practical solutions, other than the whole "what you need to buy to get this to work" type of solution that finds its way into a lot of content usually. Together with Ben and Cody’s strengths, they have combined forces to create an incredibly insightful resource for the drumming community.
With podcasts, normally a host says that their episode is jammed packed with the good stuff. Almost every podcaster is really trying to convince you that you should listen to the show for a multitude of reasons. Whether it is because there is tons of information, or it is inspirational, or it was a natural conversation...you get the point. So it is difficult for me to write down exactly what this episode is without coming off as canned but believe me when I say this....actually let's back up just a second. If you listened to Episode 77 with Tim Buell you will have a good idea of how this episode with Ben & Cody went. It is again, kind of a textbook style episode. There are stories and it is fun and all that, but there are some things said in this episode that are basically giveaways to the audience and it is coming from Ben & Cody's long-term and professional experience. I was so happy with how easygoing, comfortable, professional, and value-packed this episode was.
You will learn about why the drum set's sound is so absolutely crucial. And it actually goes beyond just tuning methods, and drum head/drumstick, the drum kit, the cymbal selections, etc. Cody, in particular, gets into some detail about the sound of someone's playing. The sound is such an overall thing that is made up of many small components. The interpretations, the application of creativity, the execution of technique, the implication of time and feel, and of course every little piece of hardware, and of course the musical instruments that you selected to play. If a musician is thoughtful and caring about their sound and can also do everything else well that is required, you will be in good shape hopefully. So make sure you listen closely to this episode and take some mental notes.
Well, it's time for round two with my dude Scott Pellegrom. You may recall our chat back in Episode 23. That episode was a fun and memorable hang and funny enough, we kept running into each other at NAMM 2018 and every time we'd end up chatting for long periods of time. It turns out that we both had a mutual interest in chatting again on the podcast, so that's a bonus. It's always a pleasure having Scott on the show.
If you listened to our original episode and enjoyed it, this is probably not going to disappoint. In this session, we catch up and chat about what has happened in a year's time, including some cool events happening with Dream cymbals that Scott is heavily involved in developing. Scott also talks a bit about how he is finding himself as an artist and musician more and more as well.
This episode is actually quite "drummy" for this podcast. We discuss a lot about drumming and some creative approaches to playing. But of course, with Scott, it gets deep and conceptual. There is a very interesting way that he looks at drumming and music, it is a unique approach and it's worth giving consideration to adding to one's creativity. We also talk about destiny and where Scott falls on that one. Scott also talks about how he feels about society and what he would change if he could.
With Scott, it's all convo....no interview really. He just has a tendency to say a lot of really compelling shit and I kept having questions for him. There is so much of what I had prepped that I didn't touch and then a bunch of improvised questions that just came to me while we chatted. This is a great little episode and I highly recommend it. It's good for you.
Tim Buell is a drummer based out of Nashville, TN who studied at Belmont University and has worked with many artists over the years including Remedy Drive, Gloriana, The Grand Hotel, and Brinley Addington but over the last couple of years, Tim has focused on making his living from home using the internet. He is a great example of someone who has managed to creatively find a way to leverage his exceptional talents to make his living at home as an artist/musician.
In this episode we discuss whether or not music school is worthwhile, social media balance, the intent behind people's actions on social media, the positive effects of deep work, whether drummers are entrepreneurs, and the balance between money and the stress that is associated with making more of it. This episode is lengthy, deep, inspiring, and overall it is a healthy perspective on some subjects that are rarely tackled by anyone in the drumming podcast scene. Take notes on this episode.
Samples in the episode include:
Fallin' by Madlib
Simon Sinek on Millennials interview
Drumming performances by Tim Buell
Nick Baglio is an incredibly skilled drummer hailing from Raleigh, NC who is the owner and operator of The Fill Station studio. He also plays drums for a variety of artists including the jazz trio The Hot at Nights, The Foreign Exchange, Nicolay, Laura Reed, Boulevards, and Roosevelt Collier. He also teaches drums privately and through Skype.
In this interview, we explore the new release "Glaciers" by Nicolay and The Hot At Nights, which Nick had performed on. We discuss his childhood with music and his Father's studio "Power Tracks". We take a look at music schools and what value they provide and whether or not musicians are better off learning as cost-free as possible and instead investing in educational programs such as business, graphic/web design, etc. to fuse creatively to our music creating a more self-sufficient means for our careers as musicians.
I then go on to explain how I feel entrepreneurship is on the rise of popularity but whether it is nothing more than young people migrating their social media addictions over to business oriented pages and whether or not that is truly a business or not. This segment of the interview is rather harsh in its delivery but believe me when I say it is all out of passion on the subject. I have serious concerns about social media addiction. I feel that many people are being distracted and "deep work" is not happening as often as it should be because of social media distractions. Please read my essay on this subject on my website www.drumgab.com under this episode. You can read in detail about my feelings on this subject.
The last portion of the interview is in regards to The Fill Station, which is Nick's home studio that he provides drum tracks, lessons, and produces his content from. Nick is fairly new to engineering and before The Fill Station he had no experience with it, so I had to ask about how scared he was with investing in thousands of dollars in recording equipment and how the experience has been so far with learning the trade.
You can listen to Glaciers by Nicolay and The Hot At Nights here.