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Drumeo Gab Podcast

Are ya tired of hearing, "so, like, uhh talk to me about how you started playing drums" in drumming podcasts? I'm gonna say, probably not as much as the guests are. I dunno, I think it's better to cut to the chase and explore pinpoint moments in their lives by forming curiosities around my research :0 IF YOU ARE DOWN FOR THAT; WELCOME! (Side Note: I strongly believe that the best part of the podcasting experience for listeners is the ability to connect with the host. So, don't be shy :)
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Now displaying: August, 2019
Aug 25, 2019

“For every ten good comments I get one hater. And by hater, I mean like HATER”

Kristina Schiano is easily one of the world’s biggest YouTubers in the drum industry. Currently, as I write this, she has amassed a subscriber count of 856,352!! That is incredible, isn’t it? As she explains in the interview, she feels that her audience has watched her grow up on the internet. Her channel has received over 80 million views and over the last five years, her channel has exploded gaining over one thousand new subscribers daily.

Kristina has been open and true to her audience by expressing her bouts of panic attacks, anxiety, and depression. She has become a beacon of hope for anyone else who may be experiencing the deliberating effects of mental health issues. She is living proof that your dreams can still be obtained and realized regardless of what is happening internally.

With her YouTube channel, she mainly focuses on drum covers of popular music and has managed to hit view counts well into the millions more than once. However, she doesn’t earn income from these cover videos due to copyright protection, so she has become crafty in converting some of her audience into Patreon members, she runs a music school, and has many relationships in the industry including companies like SJC Drums, Vater Drumsticks, Zildjian Cymbals, and Remo Percussion.

 

You Will Hear About….

  • Kristina’s new SJC limited edition signature drum.
  • How producing content in a studio is different than producing content at home.
  • What it is actually like to be a YouTuber.
  • How to deal with haters in YouTube comments.
  • Social media perfection.
  • Whether you should you start a YouTube channel.
  • How creating content has helped Kristina with her anxiety and depression.

 

Why Should You Listen?

There are many reasons why this episode is worth listening to. For example, have you ever thought about what it is like to be a YouTube celebrity? Would you expect it to be a simple matter of making a video, posting it, receiving tons of views, make tons of money, and repeat? What if I told you that she spends most of her time on a computer sending emails, patrolling the comments section of her YouTube channel and editing her videos? The truth is, she has very little time at all to play the drums. Whenever she films a new video is the only time she plays.

A big topic that needs more awareness is cyberbullying. With a big channel like Kristina's, you can only imagine what she has to read so that you don't have to. Given her battles with panic attacks, anxiety and depression, I had to ask how those comments affect her. I think that there is a lot for people to relate to in the latter part of the episode. We both talk about our experiences with depression. If this means something to you, I think there is the inspiration in our conversation that can help convince a person that things can change.

Kristina’s Socials

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Aug 18, 2019

“Being in the hospital for a twelve-year-old kid day in day out. It was kinda like a nightmare.”

Ray Levier’s story behind how he became a drummer is among the most inspirational that you will ever hear. Based out of Nyack, New York, Ray’s career is divided up between being a sideman, teacher, clinician, public speaker and composer for TV and his musical projects. When you listen to Ray play, you wouldn’t know that he was involved in a serious accident that almost claimed his life. When he was twelve years old, he and his friends were hanging out in the chicken coop at night (which was a common activity). But on one particular night, a candle fell over and the chicken coop caught fire with Ray inside sleeping. Ray’s brother went back to rescue him from the blazing inferno and from there Ray would spend six grueling months in a burn unit fighting for his life.

His mother told Ray to “think happy thoughts” and for Ray, those happy thoughts were drums and one day being able to play. Through many years of hard work, ingenuity, and practice Ray realized those dreams and has had a long, successful career in music. In this podcast, you will hear his story and many incredible points of view on how to live a fulfilling life and how to face adversity.

 

Episode Outline

  • Ray talks about how his mother told him to “think healing thoughts” when he was a young boy in the burn unit fighting for his life. Ray thought about a chrome Slingerland kit that he saw someone play once and wanted to do that one day too.
  • We hear Ray’s story about how he began taking up the drums after the accident and the incredible mindset he has.
  • Ray shares his perspective on how other people assume that Ray has limitations because of his physical appearance.
  • Hard work followed by honest intentions produces success over time.
  • We discuss the importance of the emulation stage in a drummers life.
  • What powers do we gain as people from enduring trauma?
  • How being present and grateful enhances your drumming and day to day life.

 

Why Should You Listen?

This episode contains a great deal of simplified and pragmatic knowledge on how to live a good life. Yes, we hear about Ray’s story and it paints a picture of what he went through as a child. It is horribly tragic and I can’t imagine what that must have been like for him. Ray acknowledges that it was “basically torture” in the burn unit. I’m sure that the years that followed rehabilitating would be challenging to everyone involved in his recovery. Ray doesn’t feel like a victim at all though. He has such a strong sense of what matters in life because he almost lost his. He is also living proof that limitations are in the mind. He wanted to prove that regardless of what happened to him, he could become a highly capable musician.

During the conversation, Ray kept saying things that resonated so strongly with my own set of values and beliefs. It was like having someone tell me everything that I already think about. The fact that we established this feeling of unity lead us to some incredibly deep subject matter.  

I can assure you that the stuff that we talk about in this episode really works. Listen closely to Ray’s personal story and then the actions he took to grow and heal. It is so simple and obvious. Nothing groundbreaking at all. But sometimes what is obvious is the actual answer you are looking for. This episode has the chance to give you such a massive set of tools to take your state of happiness to a more stable place that can be counted on. I hope you all find tremendous value in this episode and I want to thank Ray for sharing his story and thoughts with us on this one.

 

Music featured in this episode

Ray Levier - Ray’s Way

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Aug 12, 2019

“I’m trying to exist at the crossroads of making content, consuming content and being content.”

Jules Jenssen is an amazing example of a drummer who broadened his skill sets considerably to become incredibly versatile. He is a show-programmer, a playback engineer, incredibly knowledgeable in Ableton, a fantastic drummer and he even studied business education at Harvard University. His creations all take place in his home studio that he calls Shabby Road. The amount of skill sets that he has acquired is astounding and he is hungry to learn more and more.

Earlier this year, Jules decided to start his project called Mad MIDI after attending a workshop in LA to learn more about Ableton and playback stuff. Essentially, Mad MIDI is an incredibly robust Ableton session that Jules builds and then through many triggers and samplers, he articulates everything through the drum set to perform his music that is also accompanied by visuals that are also controlled through the drums. The most well-known person to do something like this is Zach Danziger. So far, Jules has been doing very well with growing this project and performing it live to an enthusiastic audience. You will hear all about the inner workings of Mad MIDI in this episode and I simply cannot do it justice as it is very technical.

I chose Jules to be on the show because he is such a hard worker, focuses heavily on being a craftsman and because I have seen his growth over the last year or so. Very few people that I follow online have learned as much as him and have taken their craft to these heights. Over time making this show, I have always featured “grassroots” musicians on this show that are doing amazing things. I try to focus on a little bit of everything in this community. Not just the famous players that we know and love but also the lesser-known players who deserve attention too. Jules is a shining example of that and I wanted to make more people aware of what he is doing in this industry.

 

Episode Outline

  • We discuss the redeeming qualities of modern pop music and why it is important to listen to music that is rooted in tradition as well.
  • Jules talks about what inspired his “Mad MIDI” project that he has been building and performing.
  • We discuss why it is so important for drummers to be innovative and diverse to build a larger set of skills that extend past the drum set. To only be a great drummer is simply not enough.
  • Jules talks about how he manages his content consumption and uses it to fuel his creativity rather than let it dwindle his motivation and self-esteem.
  • Jules spends up to 350 hours on his Mad MIDI projects to prepare them for presentation. Jules shares his point of view from being the creator and how the audience takes in this media that he spends so much time developing.
  • With Mad MIDI being a very complicated affair, Jules talks about the challenges he has been faced with so far.
  • Jules concludes with a message about how important it is to invest in knowledge and how affirming your path can be incredibly fruitful.

 

Why Should You Listen?

Jules is a very specialized artist that is taking his career in a very different direction than most. It is refreshing to hear the story of a drummer who went the route of programming shows, using Ableton at a very high level, and building this elaborate setup for his Mad MIDI projects. In the episode, Jules talks about this art exhibit where he is collaborating with a sculptor to place environmental sensors on the sculpture. The sensors detect all-weather and produce sounds based on a variety of parameters that Jules programs. Who would have ever thought that a drummer would branch out into the art world in this way?

I always talk about finding gaps and being innovative on this podcast. Jules is an exceptional example of someone finding their place in the music/art world with their unique skills that have taken years to develop. I hope that this episode opens up some minds to show that there are more options available for drummers to forge a career than you might think.

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Aug 4, 2019

“I’m just tryin’ to see the world and get better at drums.”

 

Joel Turcotte is one of two back to back episodes where I am highlighting some exceptional grassroots players. Joel plays for the bands Writing in the Skies and his new band Peak Fiction. He is also involved in a new jazz fusion type trio, which is nameless so far. If you are familiar with Joel’s playing you will know that he has an affinity for “shedding” sessions and odd subdivisions/time.

 

Joel’s day job is teaching and working with special needs people. This opportunity was all due to a Craigslist ad that Joel’s mom found some time ago online. This job provides Joel an outlet to find unique methods to present teaching material to his students. He and his students also perform at senior homes. He feels that life has a weird way in working out sometimes and he values this job because it allows him the chance to follow his passion for music and teaching. 

 

From time to time I like to shine a light on some players who I feel are deserving of an opportunity to be guests on this show. I don’t book them nearly as often these days but I will from time to time because these players are heavily involved in their process to reach their desired goals. Not only do they have interesting stories of how they got to where they are but you can hear it in their voices how immersed they are in their process.

 

Episode Outline

 

  • Do we play better when we aren’t being recorded?
  • How does pressure affect our ability to perform?
  • We share perspectives on how to value the opportunity to play music for a living.
  • Joel works with young adults with special needs during the week teaching them music and life skills. He talks about the challenges he has faced in his job.
  • Does a good teacher adapt to the student in the lessons or does a good teacher convince the student to rise to the teacher’s level?
  • Joel talks about how he has thought about whether or not he feels lucky that he was born into a musical household.
  • The pros and cons of using social media.

 

Why Should You Listen?

 

This episode isn’t meant to be taken as gospel. The point of this episode was to bring up some topics for a conversation to provide some different perspectives into consideration. A lot of times my questions and thoughts force the guest into really giving serious thought to something they may never have thought about before. In some cases, it is very specific to the guests’ specialties and so we get to hear an expert opinion that bears a great deal of wisdom.

 

With this episode though there is much left up in the air with no absolute conclusion to the thoughts and points mentioned. Instead, we look at them, share some ideas with you, and move on. I would encourage everyone who listens to give these points some thought of your own because there is a lot of openness that remains to interpret things in your way. Many of the points are deep and rather interesting.

 

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