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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: 2020
Feb 16, 2020

“It’s not about the drums. It’s about the song.”

Ash Soan is a British drummer from Norfolk, GB. Both he and his Windmill Studio have caught everyone’s attention. I know that Ash’s commanding and slippery groove caught mine. For those of you out there who grew up listening to anything with Bernard Purdie, Steve Gadd or Manu Katche’s fingerprints on it, chances are high that you will instantly love Ash’s sound. 

In over twenty years experience, Ash has recorded 56 top ten records. He was also, until recently, the drummer for the UK television show “The Voice” for a tenure of seven years. Some of the artists that he has worked with are Cher, Robbie Williams, Adele, Snow Patrol, Billy Idol, James Morrison, Trevor Horn, Rod Stewart, Seal and the list goes on and on. 

His career is one where hard work and luck met at the right time and things took off from there. In this interview you will get to hear that story, his thoughts on modern drumming, second-hand weed, first take and; just listen to it already!

Ash endorses Gretsch Drums, Remo, Vic Firth, Zildjian

 

You Will Hear About….

  • Ash’s famous musician neighbour in London back in 91’ and how that changed the course of his career.
  • A conversation about how we as drummers are kinda sounding the same.
  • Certain drummers we are both digging…JD Beck, Daru Jones, Chris Dave, Yussef Dayes.
  • Ash’s take on ‘Dilla Beats’.
  • Ash’s reading and why he left The Voice.
  • How intense performing film scores are.
  • Comfort levels and the Windmill Studio.

 

Why Should You Listen?

Ash is one of the most popular drummers on the planet right now and there aren’t many appearances of Ash on podcasts currently. To get a little deeper, however, this interview has some controversy in it that is really interesting. Did I mention that this was recorded first thing in the morning in the LA sun on an eleventh storey hotel balcony too? That certainly didn’t hurt. Overall, we had a lot of laughs, it was laid back and it was real. Are you listening to it yet?

 

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Feb 9, 2020

“I believed in myself and I knew I could fight past it. I knew I could find a way.”

Mike Sleath is one of Canada’s most in-demand drummers who is performing all over the world with Shawn Mendes. Originally from Toronto, Canada, Mike, like most of us, spent his first few years playing for $200 per night. And yes, he had to share that $200 with the band. After being rejected from Humber College three times he had a heart to heart with his mom one day and the conversation was along the lines of, “well you can keep music in your life but maybe it is time to find a job.” 

Even considering the constant rejection he continued to apply himself the best he could and he wasn’t going to back down. Mike is a determined musician who is pushing himself with practice, bringing hybrid drum sets to the next level, touring non-stop, and keeping himself in good health and a healthy state of mind. Mike Sleath is proof that when the universe is signaling you to give up, respond with a good strategy and try again, harder.

Mike endorses DW Drums, Remo, Los Cabos, Sabian, Drum Dots, LP, Big Fat Snare Drum, Roland, Stone Thrones Drum Seat Covers.

 

You Will Hear About….

  • Details about the recent Shawn Mendes tour.
  • Mike’s earliest days with the drums and his Uncle’s Ludwig drums.
  • Mike’s crazy hybrid kit for Mendes gigs and the steep learning curve to learn that setup.
  • Some tips for playing big stadiums and large rooms.
  • How much Mike is playing below his technical abilities for a pop gig.
  • How Mike finds a routine for drum practice during his tour life.
  • We hear Mike’s story of how he worked past being rejected three times from Humber College.
  • Are your social skills more important than your drumming skills?
  • How we can get bored with “our sound” but to continue working toward your strengths as a musician.

 

Why Should You Listen?

For starters, this episode is FUN! Mike is a total bro and we had the best time hanging out and discussing his career and thoughts. A lot of interesting points came up that I think will inspire drummers to work hard and not beat themselves up over rejection. Mike could have easily thrown in the towel and said to himself that drumming professionally wasn’t meant for him to do as a career. A saying that I really love is, “nothing good is easy, and nothing easy is good.” I think this applies directly to Mike’s career and I really respect him for sticking with it and making something great happen.

 

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Feb 2, 2020

“If you want something, you can make it. You don’t have to wait to have someone else do it for you.”

Heather Thomas is a straight-up badass. She is a great drummer, singer, educator and most importantly, person. We met up at NAMM to shoot an interview and where this one went was incredible. She has been performing and teaching out of Seattle for many years but for 2020 she has decided to take on a big adventure. She plans to visit a major music city each month until she returns to Seattle in December.

Heather has big dreams. She told me off-air that her dream is to play drums on the moon and to be the first to do it. Her personality is simply wonderful. She is a fearless woman in pursuit of a life filled with adventure, experiences and growth.

 

You Will Hear About….

  • Why Heather decided to sell all her stuff and begin her 2020 with a year long adventure to evolve.
  • How she created her own version of Patreon for herself.
  • Heather’s incredible insight to what holds people back from pursuing the best life possible.
  • Our thoughts on the void inside of us and how filling the void with “stuff” just doesn’t fix that.
  • How Heather uses fear as a signal to move towards her personal growth.
  • Having realistic expectations when you first begin learning something new.
  • The impact negative inner commentary has on your growth.

 

Why Should You Listen?

We all have moments in our lives where we become fearful and uncertain of how to proceed. In these situations, we can have a strong pull towards the easiest solution or one that has the least resistance. But what is the best decision to make? A lot of the time, I feel that the harder decision is the best one to make.

With so many conversations with friends, acquaintances and of course the many artists I have interviewed, I get the sense that those who push the hardest for growth yield a better life. It saddens me to think that people aren’t believing in themselves enough. Or that people are cluttering their lives with a mess of stuff that conceals their fullest life. We can all benefit from looking deep within ourselves to find the thing that excites us to work hard and desire something truly fulfilling.

In this episode, we take a deep dive into this subject matter. It comes across in a confident and empowering way that has clarity. It sounds so simple but it isn’t. The concept in and of itself isn’t complicated but taking the time to explore the unknown, face our fears, and realize that we all should be accepting of great things for ourselves is a lifetime of work. We should all consider putting our negative commentary in time out and search for our best life.



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Jan 26, 2020

“With us it’s more like family. It’s like, “This is what I got. I’m with you guys through thick and thin”

Christopher Guanlao is the drummer for the American alternative band, Silversun Pickups (SSPU). Chris began playing with the band nearly four years before they released their first album titled ‘Carnavas’. That places Chris’ tenure at eighteen years at the time of this recording. The band rose to popularity when their song “Lazy Eye’ became featured on both Rock Band 2 and Rock Band World Tour. Since the release of Carnavas, Silversun Pickups have released four studio records over the next fourteen years including their 2019 release, Widow’s Weeds

What makes Chris incredibly unique is his self-taught, bombastic, open-handed play style. He also has a head turning drum kit setup that would make you wonder if he was one of the first members of the “high cymbal gang”. He plays a beautiful purple C&C acrylic kit, with a ride, crash and hats down low on his left. And then one impossibly high standing crash cymbal on his right. This asymmetrical setup has grown into his style and it is something instantly memorable.

 

You Will Hear About….

  • How Silversun Pickups has lasted for roughly two decades and is still going strong.
  • Rupture and repair.
  • Chris’ thoughts on the common “band” template these days.
  • How we can create great moments during performances when things go wrong.
  • Chris’ thoughts on why musicians crave to play regardless of the risks or costs involved.
  • The recording process on Widow’s Weeds, SSPU’s newest record.
  • A fan email read and discussed at the end of the episode.

 

Why Should You Listen?

A great deal of these interviews feature guests who are “drummer’s drummers” who have reached some kind of profound ability and understanding of their instrument and therefore end up working with many different artists and mediums. Far less of them are with drummers who play for a popular rock band only. So, with that being said this interview gives off a very relatable message to drummers who are dedicated to one group. 

To play with one group and essentially not work with other musicians on the side is almost unheard of, as many know. And with that fact in mind, SSPU is reaching two decades of playing together. Consider this -- Fifty percent of marriages fail. I wonder what that number jumps to for bands with no member changes over five years? 

Really the big takeaway here is this. Bands can get really messy sometimes and sometimes great bands are not meant to last. I think it is a different dynamic altogether than the lone ranger who only represents themself. Just do a great job consistently with the smallest negative footprint possible during the process. If you can do that there is a chance that things will work out. But what about a band? You can end up with a great performer, great songwriter and wonderful social butterfly who is a total wild card professionally. How do you deal with that person if the band is doing well on the front stage and poorly on the back stage? It is an interesting topic that I want to explore more with drummers in the future. 

 

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Jan 19, 2020

“I should actually have a bed down here. That’s how much time I spend down here.”

Raghav Mehrotra is a fifteen year old drummer, bassist and guitarist. He even provided vocals in addition to drums for the Broadway Musical, “School of Rock” for roughly four years. Did I mention he was fifteen? Raghav has been making waves for the past few years due to his incredible talent. As Raghav mentions in this interview, it didn’t come naturally though. It was a product of as much hard work. Yes folks, that’s right. You can’t get around it and neither could Raghav. Hard work is the only answer to get to the levels of performance Raghav demonstrates. 

The future is bright for Raghav. Even if he were to decide that a professional career in music isn’t for him, I would argue that his hard work ethic will follow him in any field as long as he is passionate about it. He has accomplished so much already and yet there is so much time to continue pushing forward. It will be exciting to witness his success in years to come.

 

You Will Hear About….

  • Whether Raghav ever feels the pressure of expectation from fans due to his growth and abilities currently.
  • Raghav’s overview of how he discovered music as his passion in life including the story of how he landed a role in the Broadway Musical, “School of Rock”.
  • How Raghav dealt with the uncomfortable experience of singing in a Broadway Musical.
  • Our thoughts concerning social media “elevator pitches” within drumming videos.
  • Where the “seed” and perhaps innate interest in music comes from for Raghav and whether we need to pace ourselves within our passions to not risk burning them out.
  • The importance of investing time and energy into things that present delayed rewards.
  • Why we as artists need to adapt with technology but balance our usage at the same time.
  • Whether Raghav believes natural talent exists.
  • Is technology interfering with the prospect of kids becoming interested in music and learning an instrument?
  • Raghav’s perspective on how much drumming and music provide him with a healthy sense of self.
  • Whether or not “Sex, Drugs, and Rock & Roll” still part of the image of a musician?

 

Why Should You Listen?

Raghav is simply an incredibly impressive young man. At fifteen years old, it is almost impossible to assume that Raghav wouldn’t be a successful person. To hear the wise advice from such a young person makes us older folks feel pretty happy. We tackle a lot of important topics in this interview. Some of it applies to all ages and other stuff is very much concerning our youth. I believe Raghav is an exemplary individual who can potentially inspire thousands of people to become the best they can be and this interview highlights that wonderfully.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VTKvUwDAXmc

 

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Jan 12, 2020

“From that point on there was reason behind every note I played.” - Brandon reflecting on his first drum lesson with Jared Falk. 

Brandon Toews is the product director at Drumeo, author of two drumming books (The Best Beginner Drum Book and The Drummer’s Toolbox), drummer, and educator. At 22, he has managed to achieve quite an impressive resume within the industry. Recently Brandon has also become an endorsed artist with Evans Drumheads, Istanbul Agop Cymbals and Vic Firth Drumsticks. In this interview we explore playing with intention, balancing heavy work loads, and a first lesson with Jared that always stuck with Brandon.

 

You Will Hear About….

  • A brief conversation about drum kit setups.
  • A quick overview of Brandon’s career going back six years to the present.
  • A valuable lesson learned during Brandon’s first drum lesson with Jared.
  • Whether or not drummers are disciplined enough to stick with focused practice.
  • Our thoughts about gigs that excite us vs the ones that don’t as much but still need to exist for us to pay our bills.
  • How Brandon managed to write two drum books in a year and a half while attending school.

 

Why Should You Listen?

There is general drum nerdery in this episode that will be fun for listeners but our conversation also explores some topics that hold a great deal of relevance for all drummers. For any drummers who solely earn their livelihood through drumming may get a kick out of our conversation about the gigs that we may sometimes feel take up too much of our gigging schedule. Imagine this; The audience is eating dinner, having conversations and your job is to provide a gentle and appropriate ambience for their dinner. The sound guy says, “you are too loud. Please play quieter”. This kind of remark can easily diminish the fun factor of what we might be fantasizing about. And that fantasy might be going all out with no volume or creative restrictions in sight with a totally engaged audience and whistling and some positive outbursts. We all love that scenario don’t we?

We also talk about the importance of playing with intention. Really considering the notes and grooves that we choose to provide something appropriate and tasteful to a band setting. It is easy to get caught up with the flashy “drummy” stuff and while there is a time and place for that, we need to keep that to a minimum when we know it doesn’t belong.

These points mentioned are definitely the big takeaways from this episode and it is interesting to hear Brandon’s perspective on this.

 

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Jan 5, 2020

Out of 12 to 14 students each year; I don’t know if there was one real committed drummer.

Dorothea Taylor has been drumming for 55 years. That is longer than most of you reading this have been alive. She got her start in a local drum and bugle corps in the small northern Michigan town she grew up in. Her stories of practicing with her friends from the corps out in fields is somewhat cinematic and romantic. She has very positive associations with drumming in her life.

Since her time in the corps, Dorothea became a drum instructor and has performed as well. She has a deep knowledge of rudiments and patterns and showcases tremendous technical skills. The first time I watched Dorothea on Instagram I was honestly surprised, and then a couple seconds later once that wore off, I was quite impressed with what I was seeing. Apparently Drumeo was as well because they invited her to the studio to record some lessons very recently. You can watch her play-along video to Disturbed “Down With The Sickness” which had gained over 1 million views in TWO DAYS!!

Dorothea Taylor has a great deal of experience in education and her own personal time with learning all she can about drumming. Her insights towards the future of drumming and how challenging it is becoming to gain the attention of young students is a spot of trouble for Dorothea. We took a deep dive into that….

 

You Will Hear About….

  • Dorothea’s early years in the drum and bugle corps.
  • Whether Dorothea ever experienced any social issues at that time for being a female drummer.
  • Her deep concerns towards screens and distractions with developing youths. 
  • What were kids like to teach twenty years ago compared to today.
  • An old story about Tony Royster Jr.
  • Dorthea’s visit at Drumeo and the egg challenge.

 

Why Should You Listen?

Most people who listen to this podcast know that I am very passionate about the prospect of raising a healthy minded child. I think and read a lot about child psychology and what is healthy for kids’ development and what is not healthy. Screens and technology is a concern for so many people but at the same time we can’t get enough of them.

I think screen time isn’t all bad. It just needs to be monitored and taken in small doses very few times per day. Dorothea might agree with that too. Distractions make it difficult to fully commit and immerse yourself into an activity. Kids are more impressionable than adults and we as adults need to assume a responsible role with screen time. 

How this comes back around to drumming is this. Too many distractions and not enough balanced structure is going to hurt the future of young up and coming drummers, I think. In this conversation both through opinion and experience, we discuss how technology may be preventing a fuller experience for young drummers or kids just beginning. I guess we could actually just say EVERYBODY can’t we? I think the stuff we bring up will cause many listeners to think about the fusion of technology and drumming and how to leverage the strengths and manage ourselves with the negative side.

 

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