Welcome back to another episode of the DrumGAB podcast! This week I had the pleasure of speaking with Philip Guay from Los Cabos Drumsticks in this mini podcast episode.
A little bit about Los Cabos
Los Cabos is a family run operation from New Brunswick, Canada. They have been in operation since 2005, however, it was a wood working business that had been around for years before it became Los Cabos operating as Lawrence Wood Products. Originally the shop produced spindles and business was very good. But eventually the clients took their business to China and things fell apart pretty quickly forcing the company to find another way.
They had all the tools they needed to start making drumsticks and so they did. Phil's parents hustled those drumsticks wherever they could making road trips out of it. It's a pretty cool little story and I always like hearing about the ma and pa small business stories.
The company also makes a conscious effort to reduce waste by using their wood scraps to heat the shop with their wood stove in the cold winter months, selling their “wood nubbins” to a company that makes fire starters and lastly by donating their sawdust to a local farmer to provide bedding to the farmer’s horses.
Los Cabos is also the only drum stick manufacturer that offers a Red Hickory line that is available in most models in their regular Hickory line. Red Hickory offers an advantage over the regular Hickory in that the wood molecules are denser and thus a little bit heavier and offer more durability over the regular Hickory and Maple lines. I currently use these Red Hickory sticks and so far I am loving them.
Who is Phil?
Phil Guay is the Resource Manager and Artist Relations Representative for Los Cabos. A Canadian Armed Forces Vet, Phil served our country for ten years before working for his family business.
It is no secret that I am a very proud Canadian. With that bias aside, these are great drumsticks. I am the kind of person that just likes shit that works and doesn’t have gimmicks attached to it. That goes for anything, just to be clear. I am just kind of a simple no frills type of person.
These sticks feel incredibly natural and “real” in my hand. They are well balanced and their drumstick line has everything I would personally want. I have been using these sticks for a short while and I have made up my mind that I will only buy Los Cabos sticks going forward.
Another point I will make is that my wife and I run a ma and pa flower shop in a small Canadian community, I have empathy for family run businesses and I want to support that. It is fantastic that the sticks are great and that I like how they perform, but the fact that they are Canadian, offer a no frills product, retail for a fair price and finally because it is a family run business.
Check out their full line of products at www.loscabosdrumsticks.com
Beats performed by: Cameron Fleury // Los Cabos Artist
Los Cabos’ Socials
Welcome back to another episode of the DrumGAB podcast! Today’s episode should be listened to with headphones or at the very least…not in an environment where expletives aren’t welcome.
So I had the pleasure of meeting Randy at the Yamaha 50th anniversary party in Toronto late last year. My first impressions of Randy were really special…lemme explain. Randy had absolutely no judgements when he first met me and when I told him that I would love to have him on the show (I had already heard his session with Dave from I’d Hit That Podcast…which was great) Randy didn’t even think about it. He just smiled and said “f*** yeah! Anyways, Randy is a champ and this session went fantastically.
Who is Randy?
Randy flies under the radar for most drummers. However, Randy is a rock solid player who can blend into many musical situations and through that ability has had a successful 30 plus year career as a session/live musician. Some of the artists you may recognize that Randy has performed with include Kim Mitchell, Ringo Starr, Smash Mouth, Lee Aaron, Edwin and the list literally goes on and on with over 200 recordings to his credit.
Originally from Toronto, ON, Randy was one of the most in demand session players in the city for over a decade. Then in 2004 he moved to L.A. to expand his opportunities and likely to flee from the freezing cold winters. Overall, Randy is a great example of someone with cumulative experience working as a musician and preserving the love for playing drums in any situation.
When I first heard Randy on I’d Hit That, I knew that our personalities would gel well for a podcast, so months ago I knew eventually I would invite him for a session. Then I met him and was like “Yup, this is going down for sure.”
This episode is basically a recording of a couple of dudes becoming friends while we reflect on Randy’s career. There is a lot of great story telling with some major highlights that you could only imagine and plenty of great advice that’s coming from 30 years experience as a pro drummer.
Music clip featured: Max Webster: Battle Scar
Welcome back to another episode of the DrumGAB podcast! This week we go international with Siros Vaziri from Sweden. In this episode we cover the story of Siros' month long clinic tour and how it impacted him. We discuss the journey of creating his Instagram page and how he is converting that into a business for himself to relieve many aspects of his drumming career that he feels isn’t as important as forming his brand. I believe that many listeners, especially who inhabit the Instagram community, will find this episode particularly inspiring and helpful.
Who is Siros?
Siros is popularly known as “The Fill Guy” which is something he didn’t fully recognize until he went to NAMM and was repeatedly approached with his famous hand gesture. He creates “Fill Packs” that contain 100 fills in each lesson pack as well as mini packs to get people started. Beyond that, Siros is a self taught drummer who has incorporated YouTube and Instagram for educational aid, which seems to be popular with drummers of his generation. By teaching himself he has managed to become a very capable player and before I understood that he was self taught, I would not have thought that.
Siros is also a very wise and tactical thinker when it comes to internet marketing and creating influence through social media. Along with many others, he has proven that it is more than possible to create a brand and market yourself to create your own career with drumming content. I believe that Siros will continue to develop his brand and he won’t be permanently known as “The Fill Guy” as he understands the importance to be in the moment and constantly evolve.
Siros has taught himself everything that he knows that pertains to his content. Filming, recording and the playing. He also lives in a small city of 16,000 people in Sweden that virtually has no music scene, yet he has an engaged following online that is five times that amount. I can relate to this myself. Hosting a podcast that is listened to worldwide and yet I live in a country neighbourhood in a town of just over 12,000 people and there is NO music scene whatsoever.
So what is interesting is that location has so little to do with what a musician can accomplish with hard work, quality content and a vision. It is a topic that a feel many of us are contemplating when things will break through or what is “my thing?” but remember….Siros has been doing this for 3.5 years and has worked very hard at developing his content and pays close attention to what people aren’t doing and fills those gaps (no pun intended).
Welcome back to another episode of the DrumGAB podcast. If you are a Canadian drummer from Ontario, and you take drumming even mildly seriously…you probably know about Mark Kelso. For me, I have known about Mark for years and have wanted to speak to him since starting this podcast. You just don’t start with Mark, ya know what I mean?
I invited Mark to the podcast when I got a chance to meet with him at a Yamaha party in Toronto. Ask my friend/past guest/past student of Mark’s, Aaron Spink….he calls me the buffet bandit. A little backstory is in order. At the Yamaha party there was a buffet table for the performing artists. I was near the front of the stage and next to the buffet table and I spotted Mark eating some fried calamari and decided I would join him and introduce myself. I indulged in some buffet, against my better judgement and Aaron spotted me chowin’ down and dubs me, BB.
Who is Mark?
Mark Kelso has been playing drums for over 40 years, has been featured on over 400 recordings, currently plays in 40 bands (that’s a lot of fours). He is the leader of his own band, Mark Kelso and the Jazz Exiles, he is the head of the drum department at Humber College and he is a husband and father of two children. In other words, a really busy guy that I can’t believe even had time to be on my podcast.
He is an enormous fan of Bruce Lee. Mark finds the famous martial artist as his main influence for his approach to drumming, which may seem odd at first, but he provides an very clear and understandable reason for this as he discusses the parallels between martial arts and drumming in this episode.
Overall, Mark is a Canadian legend that is highly skilled, educated and has a prolific career with music, drumming and education.
I have said this numerous times before, whenever I hit a new height with podcasting and that is this episode simply better than anything else I have recorded up until now. There are some gems in the DrumGAB library for sure, but this episode was incredible. That is largely because Mark was a great guest to be interviewed by me. I have known about him for so long and have done extensive research on him, I just knew that the questions I like to ask were ones that he would like to answer. Sometimes you just know.
Many times I found myself in the zone with this conversation and it lead to more interesting spur of the moment questions than some of the other episodes I have made. Mark is DEEP and I like deep people.
Starting the podcast with his poem that he wrote the night before his Drumeo appearance was a touch that I am glad makes contextual sense to our episode and how we discussed it in our chat. I want people to hear what Mark had to say because it is worth listening to…and to whoever made the YouTube comment “shut the fuck up and play” can suck my arse. It’s all the more reason to put it upfront in this episode because I felt empathetic to Mark on that one. He’s a thoughtful guy and I really enjoy what he has to say.
Overall, this is an interview that I am extremely proud of. I am glad that Mark and I had this chat and that it is now stamped in time as a thing we all can listen to whenever we want. Please enjoy the show, this one is special.
Welcome back to another episode of the DrumGAB podcast! This week I decided to bring you all a solo show with my thoughts and experiences on my first NAMM trip. To add some spice to the show I have included some dope Dan Mayo clips throughout.
Big S/O to the following people:
Austin Burcham, Gabe Helguera, TJ Hartmann, Adam Tuminaro, Dan Silver, Love Custom Drums, Legado Cymbals, Sugar Percussion, A&F Drum Co., Ramy Antoun, Dan Mayo, Evan Ryan, Earl Talbot, Ryan Claxton, Brandon Green, Dom Toso, Kelly Voelkel, Siros Vaziri, Cam Fleury, Joey Bones, Jared Falk and Drumeo