The story told in this podcast with Devin Sumner is one that so many drummers, musicians, and entrepreneurs can relate to. Maybe you have just begun your quest with little to no feedback on whether your idea will work, or you have already cleared your first major milestone and by receiving those affirmations you become even more dedicated to your brand and vision. Where ever you are in your journey, this podcast will probably spark a reminder of where you are heading and where you have already been.
So Devin had never been interviewed for a drumming podcast before, which I still cannot believe because he is an amazing drummer and he has a pretty steady following on Instagram. But regardless of that, I gotta say that I am so glad that I set this one up. The reason is that he has an incredible story and he was so forthcoming with the honest truths of his journey and I am certain that a lot of people can likely relate to this story and understand it. As a side note, I always enjoy when people are transparent about their life because how are we to believe that anyone succeeds in their first attempt at anything? It is not realistic to think that, nor should anyone assume that people get to where they are without some bumps along the way. With that being said, Devin explains how he moved in with Mike Johnston for a year in Sacramento and in the beginning stages of his first attempt moving out to establish himself life was grand. He had left home for the first time ever and he was living with his hero. So what could go wrong, right!? To the outsiders looking in at Devin, it must have seemed larger than life. Devin explains that it was in fact quite the opposite for him. He felt a lot of pressure to "keep up" with Mike, not by comparing himself to Mike necessarily, but by having such a strong influence around him revealed many insecurities about himself. Overall, Devin got hit pretty hard with the first move to Sacramento and ended up moving back to Orlando and began living, what Devin would describe as being "a normal life."
What would follow for Devin was ultimately needed for him to understand the contrast of living as a pedestrian citizen, versus what he knew he was truly capable of achieving for himself. The truth is, Devin fell down and stayed there for a little while. He met a girl, they moved in together, prepared their lives for marriage, he went back to school, he quit drums for almost two years, and as he explains in the interview, he was very unhappy with his life.
So what do you do when life seems to have you in a checkmate? Do you assume defeat and say, "Well, I guess this just wasn't meant for me", or do you realize that there is something missing within you that you need to reobtain and pursue with more vigor than ever before? I hope you chose the latter.
Even though a person's journey is uncertain, we need to realize that by actively including our passions in our lifestyle brings a healthy state of mind and a purpose to us all. There is nothing worse than ignoring what will bring us success, and I don't mean financial, but rather the success of knowing that we are doing what is right for ourselves. If we as people recognize what we are meant to do and we work hard towards our goals we, in turn, become better people for our spouses, family, colleagues, and friends. We also become a beacon for other people to recognize what good can come from being aware of our interests and living through them.
With all of the people who admire Devin for his ability to play drums and teach drums to his students, what we ought to do is look at ourselves and relate to the reality of his progress in his career. Simply put, it didn't just "happen". He struggled. He gave up. He tried again, and eventually, he recognized his purpose with the instrument and he is now working harder than ever before to make sure that he stays the on the course.
Overall, I really enjoyed speaking with Devin. He is as humble and genuine as they come and his story is quite inspiring to say the least. This dude has seen a lot of shit in his life and I think he has used it to his advantage to build his character and to appreciate himself for how far he has come along in his journey with this instrument. I hope you all get a tingly feeling and that each of you relate to his story with your own.
Modern Drummer magazine is something that most drummers grow up with. I remember watching the 2000 Modern Drummer Festival DVD over and over when I was a teen. I learned and tried to mimic so much of what I saw in that video, always trying to aspire to produce anything remotely similar to Billy Ward’s sound….and failing miserably of course. But, regardless of how it came out, the most important thing was that a lot of my inspiration that came from that video.
So speaking with Mike Dawson, who is the managing editor at Modern Drummer, I found that there was an association of nostalgia that came along with this interview. Like many of us, Mike grew up with the magazine as well and fortunately through hard work, a chain of fortunate events, and perhaps even a bit of luck, Mike found himself a seat at the Modern Drummer table.
In this conversation, which is important to note that this is much more of a conversation than an interview, we sprawl over so many different topics. Our chat ranges from how Mike found himself at Modern Drummer, the truth about how Mike felt initially about the Mike and Mike podcast, the fleeting muse of a musician, and parallel universes…yes you read that correctly.
During the conversation there are many moments where Mike and I discover we are so similar in ways and this lead to many improvised moments of true conversation and I feel that is the magic of podcasting. When you find a kindred spirit on your line and you just spend most of the time relating and deliberating about whatever comes to mind. This one is full of that.
I hope you enjoy this one and have some takeaways from it. I’ll catch you all next week!
This interview session with Dom Famularo is one that I hold in high regard. As many of you know, Dom is Drumming's Global Ambassador. Dom has earned that title because for so many years he has traveled the globe sharing his wisdom, educating drummers and using his communication skills to motivate and inspire drummers to reach their full potential.
So, with this interview I really wanted to capitalize on the unique qualities that Dom holds. Through him I wanted to provide a message to listeners and that message is to find your passion and persevere. None of us who embark on following our passions have any real idea where it can take us but we all have to believe in what we do and why we do it. We have to understand that regardless of how long the journey takes to reach a destination, that we appreciate and enjoy our journey. By believing in ourselves and the unique gift that we hold, we can all succeed in what we are passionate about. Through hard work and genuine love for what we do, opportunities will cross our path eventually.
However, the opportunities will not come to you unless you dedicate yourself to your passions and persevere. Many people check out when the success they are striving for doesn’t happen as quickly as they had hoped and that is really unfortunate. The truth is that you need to be consistent and go into it thinking that it will take a while and you have to be okay with that. We all possess the ability to influence and impact people with our creative passions but it can take a lot of time before anything becomes established and where you can feel like you are going somewhere.
If your dreams aren’t being realized right away, don’t give up on them. Keep pushing and keep believing. The reason for doing it in the first place shouldn’t be about the money, the public success or the influence you have. It should be about you honouring what you body and mind need in order to thrive. We all have this and it is a shame if it is discarded because you haven’t reached the destination right away or because you have talked yourself out of it before you ever began.
I hope you read this and reference it to the conversation that I had with Dom. What is incredible is that great moments are awaiting you if you discover the vehicle that will take you there. We have one chance in life to live and to make differences within our circle of friends, family, colleagues, acquaintances and even possibly a large group of people. The power of believing both in yourself and your passions and following that is incredibly important if we want to limit the amount of regret we may experience later in life once time has run out. I encourage everyone that if there is a burning desire somewhere deep inside you to pursue a dream, DO IT! Why wouldn’t you? Why would you prefer to walk through life admiring others and then telling yourself you can’t be admirable too? Or that you can’t do something because someone else’s success seems so untouchable.
It all takes time and dedication and if you really love it, you too can empower others and yourself by taking action in your life. Chances are that everyone who had succeeded also failed many times and had to rebuild or rethink their path. Challenge yourself, don’t settle on mediocrity, believe in yourself and understand that this could take years to become what you have always wanted to be.
I hope you all enjoy this podcast and even re-listen later on if you need a boost in your spirit. This podcast has that quality to it. I have now recorded 69 podcast episodes and while they all feature takeaways, knowledge and wisdom…this is the episode that stands among them as the most valuable episode to date. Dom’s ability to address his thoughts, using words that have impact and delivering everything with conviction, I believe you too will find the power in this episode. Maybe this interview is the thing you need to light the fire in your belly and take charge of your passions and persevere.
Much love to all.
If you know about drumming podcasts, even if only a little bit….it is almost impossible not to know about Drummer’s Resource. With over 360 episodes recorded, Nick Ruffini has never failed to release a podcast every single Monday since November 2013. Some of the guests that Nick has had on the show include Mike Portnoy, Thomas Lang, Ndugu Chancler, Steve Gadd, Chad Smith, Nate Smith and Lenny White. Any of the guests listed above gives you the impression that Nick has made some deep contact within the industry. It is not a small task to book those caliber of shows, as I can relate to the process myself.
So I have to share a small story to explain to you why this episode is pretty special to me as a podcaster. Over a year ago when I started DrumGAB podcast I had never listened to a podcast before. I knew what they were but that is all I knew. So when I decided to develop my own podcast I had no references initially which was a problem because I had no idea if I was doing it correctly and so it was time to start listening to them.
I didn’t know of any drumming podcasts so I went to Google to search and the first result that came up was Drummer’s Resource, so I clicked on it. I can’t remember the first episode I listened to but I do remember my first impressions of the show upon first listening. The host was comfortable, the audio is good, the episode list is stacked with legacy players and I had a lot to learn.
For about three months I listened heavily to the podcast picking up some nuances of flow, the delivery of questions, responding organically through careful listening to the guest and some production stuff. It wasn’t that Drummer’s Resource was a blueprint but I felt that I was gaining experience by listening.
Eventually I reduced my listening to Drummer’s Resource and other podcasts and began isolating myself to my own project so that I could be as original as possible and find my own way in podcasting. I think that was a wise move because I didn’t want other podcasts to be my source of creative inspiration.
It was November of last year when Nick reached out and in our first conversation had said that he was digging what I was doing with the show. I must say that because his show was the first podcast I had ever listened to and originally obsessed with when I started mine, receiving a compliment like that was pretty awesome.
Fast forward up to a couple of weeks ago….I recorded a solo show about social media engagement and influence building and sat on it for a week. The show is actually assembled and I could have published it by now, but I kept holding onto it. Then a lightbulb moment happened and just figured, why not talk to Nick about this stuff? I caught a couple of his live feeds on Instagram and he was talking about this stuff and I figured he would be a great guest to have on to discuss this stuff and besides that I wanted to talk some podcast shop too. That brings us up to the present.
I think listeners will recognize a few things relatable to themselves in this episode. One concept that I think people should take away from this episode is not to limit yourself by having a restricted way of thinking. You have to decide how badly you want something and then understand that it is not impossible at all but that it will be difficult and you will have to deal with personal tests that will challenge your passions.
Another strong message in this podcast is how too much information and not enough action can create an unhealthy cycle of over motivating your mind but underachieving as a result.
We also go over the importance of engagement on social media and that big numbers don’t always mean big engagement or meaningful connections. There are more examples of great points being addressed that are beneficial to the modern drummer, whether it is practical application or state of mind, this episode touches on a lot of quality subjects that lead to great conversation with a veteran in the podcast game.
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