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.