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.