“I want you to do it because you love it and because you want to create something cool and see what happens.”
Casey Cooper is a very well known YouTuber who has established his online presence by providing content that encourages beginner to intermediate drummers to have fun playing drums. He has created content for YouTube officially since 2011 and has since then become the largest YouTube drumming account in the world.
However, these claims of major success online through views and subscribers appeal very little to Casey. His major focus is communication between his audience and creating a strong positive message to drummers who need encouragement and reminding them that having fun needs to exist within drumming.
In this episode, we go over his humble beginnings, the purpose of his content, and the realities of being a YouTuber.
You Will Hear About….
Why Should You Listen?
Casey falls into a bit of a unique presence online. He keeps his drumming content approachable and doesn’t focus on displaying highly advanced drumming. Yet, he managed to create a large brand. This is rare and very difficult to pull off and so Casey gets backlash for that here and there. I think there is a fairly small but fierce sub-community of drummers that is very focused on the art of drumming. These drummers take this stuff very seriously and we all know that it is incredibly tough to break through the noise. And then there is Casey who has a huge following and is perceived to be quite successful. And he very much is, but not the way you might think.
No one needs to be barraged by wanna-be pro drummers and I think this episode clearly informs listeners that Casey doesn’t make a ton of money, at all, from YouTube. He is providing entertainment, his kind, and approachable spirit to engage younger drummers to stick with it and hopefully find themselves playing for years. Eventually, they may venture off into more “artsy” stuff and no longer watch Casey. It happens to him. That is why he considers himself a “bridge”.
Casey’s content, to the more experienced musician, still has value though. He reminds you of why you play. He somehow has a legit sense of “beginner’s joy” or “honeymoon phase” when he plays. What is special is how that hasn’t seemed to wear off. A lot of drummers probably lose that as they develop. It becomes something else or it simply evolves as we go through our seasons.
Casey’s content is about some fun gimmicks, inspiration, and overall positivity. He has something that is very good for the industry, so it makes more sense to just appreciate what he’s doing. I can’t see him breaking down Tony Williams parts from Eric Dolphy’s “Out To Lunch” anytime soon but there is a person for that I am sure.
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Rob Wallis is a co-founder, along with Paul Seigel, of DCI Music Video, later to be Hudson Music. Rob being a longtime provider of content to the drumming community; Rob is the OG of video content. DCI Music Video was responsible for many legendary drum education videos that were great in their day and today holds a wonderful nostalgia. Titles such as “Bernard Purdie on studio drumming”, Steve Gadd’s “Up Close”, Dennis Chambers & John Scofield’s “Serious Moves”, Carter Beauford’s “Under the Table and Drumming” and mentioned in the podcast, “Modern Drummer Festival 2000”. These videos have been embedded for many years in my drumming life and I think back on them like you would your childhood. So huge thanks to Rob, Paul and the team with Hudson Music for making that content possible and delivering value to the drumming community for all these years.
A New Way
Whenever you are learning some style of music, a lot of drummers will suggest learning the history of players within that genre. It is always recommended to learn the roots and the history behind it. With so many drummers creating video content these days, is it important I wonder to study the history of video content? If it is, well...DCI is where you’d have to start. Rob talks about the truckloads of tape from recording festivals and the storage areas where they would keep it. We are talkin’ thousands of pounds of the shit. Tapes everywhere! Imagine where in order to create your live content, you have to hire catering services! The level of expense that went into this stuff was intense, man. Massive risk, and yet...a range of rewards. On one hand, no one else was doing it. On the other, you could lose your shirt if it flopped. But no matter how you sliced it, there was a huge gap in the industry and these guys forged the way. What they came up with would become the beginning of a new era for music education.
I want to focus on something for a minute…..
This “gap” is what everyone should be looking at. What makes that difficult is the fact that everyone has everything already. The delivery of information has improved immensely by looking better, sounding better, being more user friendly, and well you get the point, right? That all requires budget, experience, a facility, a network - and probably a bunch more stuff that I have no clue about to make it work really well….potentially. But back when Rob and Paul were getting into this, no one had ever seen anything like it before! It made a big impression and the ceiling was high to scale it. But again, the costs were MASSIVE back in those days, as Rob says in the interview. Renting 100k camera equipment for $1500 a day (in the early 80’s remember) is what’s on the menu. The cost of a mistake is on a whole other scale. “ It’s a different ballgame,” was the term we used in the conversation and it is all true.
A Slippery Slope
So, Hudson Music has produced a lot of the VHS tapes, DVD’s, and education books over the years. And by VHS and DVD was how you were going to receive that content for some twenty years…..until YouTube came along. It was a time for some people to strike while the iron was hot. Once again, there would have been huge costs involved, massive technical hurdles, less accessibility, and huge costs (yes I realize I repeated that).
So this was, yet again, a potential for a new era of education. And so the internet naturally became the focus for distribution. Since very early on, trusted providers such as Drumeo, Mike Johnston, Stephen Taylor, and Adam Tuminaro have all been chipping away and evolving in order to perfect online drum education. And to me it doesn’t look like there is a whole lot of room left to make this stuff exclusively. You could do it part-time, but likely you will be doing a lot of other stuff too to make ends meet. Music related or not.
It goes without saying that because it is easy to create a quick and easy lesson for Instagram or Facebook, anyone can do it. The internet is an amazing space to build a voice and brand. Hell, that’s what I am trying to do. It is all in how you handle that though. Is what you make any good? Is there really any value in it? Has it been said 10,000 times before and there any need to hear it some more? Are you doing it just to build a “brand”? Are you thoughtful with how you approach projects or content? Do you really love to do it, or do you feel pressure to do it? These are the things I would ask myself.
In any case, with lesser cost, lesser risks, better fidelity, and more access comes saturation. Inevitably.
Right, so tons of drummers are doing this. Some content looks great, some don’t. Some stuff sounds great, some don’t. Some lessons simply contain better information than others. But you know what it all has in common? I’ve seen it all thousands of times and I am bored now. I’m not suggesting that it needs to go away either. The great content, is great content! Keep that going for as long as possible. It needs to exist for drummers, of course, but when you combine all of what is out there….like I mean ALL of it! I am sorry folks but is it really needed?
The information coming into our phones and other devices are cruising along at overdose levels. I am not sure it is a good thing. Another angle to approach this is due to the fact that most of this content exists through social media and its design. So the question is whether or not we are attracted to our addictions or sharing great information? It is a blurry line if we really get real with ourselves. Likes, comments, more followers. All of it feeds the part of us that we associate with progress and esteem. And humans are drawn to progress and esteem...just look at the huge leaps forward as a species. That is a whole other kettle of fish that I may tackle another day but for now, let us all agree that we have come along way since we were banging rocks together and pounding our chests.
Point is, Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, and whatever else is out there, is meant to draw us in and keep us living there. It is up to our own discretion and discipline to monitor ourselves and maintain a healthy level of usage. This awareness ties in with my own abuse of social media, all with the notion that because I was growing a podcast, more metrics meant more growth. I felt that investing in the platform is a wise decision in order to scale my show. But ya know what? This show doesn’t actually grow much from social media. “But how is that Seamus!?”, you might be asking. Well, it is because people are on social media to be on social media. Not to find podcasts. That’s what Google’s for.
Side note: shares from super powerful and influential people/organizations on social media does help...a lot. But I am talking about, in my own experience, how the level of input vs output is disproportionate. However, with continued, regular investment, you will be on the minds of drummers/potential listeners and perhaps one day they may feel inclined to listen to a drumming podcast, and yours may be the one they choose. Also, you can easily create good relationships with people. This may have to be another blog at some point because there is something big to that. A subject that I find fascinating where people become currency to you….
SO! I know I am digressing here but there is a point to this, trust me.
I want this podcast to be what connects me to you.
E-mails FTW! (hit me up at Seamus@drumeo.com if you want to share your drum story or anything you want to be heard by someone). That is what I would like with listeners over any like, any share, or any comment on socials. I like one on one interaction and preferably off social media. So I encourage everyone to reach me by email, please.
The Glue That Holds It All Together
Rob possesses what I admire in people. Honest to goodness passion and love for something. Anyone who has that superpower is my friend, even if we haven’t met yet. But it is the love for what he does that keeps him fired up about working on Hudson Music all these years after having started it. This kind of testimony is what makes me excited because what I feel is a total obsession and interest in what I do. I just want to make the next thing, after the next thing. And that is exactly what Rob has done over the years.
He expresses his connection to the instrument, and how the connection occurs off the kit as well. Drumming is a community. It is music and art as well, obviously, but on the grander scale, it is and should always be about community. One person’s success is a victory for the community and so we should encourage each other, not compete. We should share ideas and philosophies to help each other grow and become stronger. That has become a larger purpose for this podcast as time has gone on and the show’s level of reach and impact have evolved. So as a sidebar, thank you, everyone, who comes here for their dose of a realistic, honest, well-intentioned, open forum.
Something that I want to drive home….
I believe that when you have integrity, like Rob, you produce the results required for something to survive and hopefully thrive. Ups and downs will always come and go, but long term success is really about devotion.
Because Rob treated his career more like an adventure, he managed to gain many fantastic personal life experiences that he can call his own. He made something out of nothing and nearly 40 years later he is still evolving by means of autobiographical book publishing; And he is super proud of it, as he describes “the spine facing out and everything”. He crossed paths with the amazing ****SPOILER ALERT****...(clears throat) Mr. Marlon Brando by happenstance at a red light in Harlem! The story goes that Rob had randomly stumbled across Paul Siegel driving some 20 minutes after they had separated at a red light. Paul’s passenger yells to Rob, “Hey, the phone is for you!”....and it was the Godfather!! Yeah, just unreal shit.
It was a big topic in the episode towards the end and I have some more thoughts about it. Listen to the episode before you continue reading.
Do you think it is better to be an entrepreneur than not? If so, why? What is an entrepreneur today? Is a loose term these days? I mean….you can’t actually be one without risking money, right? And #sorrynotsorry, social media accounts with nice content isn’t a business.
But here is the thing, I feel like too many people are telling us to be an entrepreneur. Are people becoming guilty because they work for someone? Is life nothing more than a series of daydreams about becoming something you aren’t yet? Do we focus too much on trying to become something greater than we feel we really are online? Are we becoming numb to motivation and inspiration because we hear it all the fucking time? Rehashed messages with similar lingo, that I attempt to avoid but sometimes step on those landmines, that mean almost nothing anymore? What do you really want? Yeah, you!
There are countless messages of motivation, inspiration, dedication...it is basically the fucking “ation” nation hahaha. Like c’ mon man, do I really need to be motivated on social media? Chances are I am not going to do what the content was intended to “inspire” me to do in the first place. I get it though, that type of shit pings off of you and you get a little jolt of something. But then you probably swipe to the next thing. At the end of the day, it is just you staring at your phone. Imagine a third person version of you looking at you, looking at your phone while you read a motivating thing on Instagram. Is that scenario all that motivating? Personally, I love the idea that you are reading this on your laptop or iPad with a whiskey, alone, at night, uninterrupted, in a peaceful environment listening to Brian Eno “Music for Airports” 1/1. But you might just be on the shitter at work on your lunch break and you were done pooping five minutes ago. I dunno, a man can dream, right?
What I am getting at is that if you watch a particular video on YouTube every morning at 4 AM before you “rise and grind” and it actually helps you “crush” the day; then I guess that’s fuckin “lit” bruh. But if you are just reading that shit and not doing anything about it, then be WOKE!
Man, I keep getting off topic. I apologize for that...
Anyways, the reason I asked Rob what he thinks about the projection of what is out there is because he is of a generation that largely lived without this technology and was a proper entrepreneur. And so what does he think is good for people? It is simple. It is the non-digital, human stuff that makes life interesting and fun. He figures if you make money at something, you should appreciate that. If you don’t dig it, quit and move onto something else. Inject your passions into your life. Find out what they are. It is important to have things in your life for you, and you only. That is the essence of honoring yourself. And even though Rob claimed that parts of the interview were challenging, I think our conversation brought out a moment for him that he won’t soon forget, and that is what it is all about folks.
Make An Impact!
That is my advice to you. Make impactful things. Do what really matters to you. It becomes honest that way, and when it is honest work that you produce, it succeeds over time. But you have to have passion and vision to see the long term destination. It is having a vision that keeps your momentum on a high note.
And the beauty of it all is that wherever you stop along the way is either, not up to you, or you managed to put yourself in the right place at the right time with intent. But your effort will, at some point, lead you to those places that your heart wants. You also don’t need to go searching for it every time. Sometimes things intersect your path instead. This notion that you can “take what you want” is too forceful and fiercely focused on what you think you desire, in my opinion. Why not let go some? Let your focus be on your passion and work ethic. Your devotion to your craft. Maybe there is fortune along that path as well. I am willing to bet that there is.
I hope that you enjoyed the podcast episode and took a moment to read this blog. Give this article a share on any of the social media channels (buttons to share are on this page) to spread this message if you believe in it.
I have included a variety of DCI Music Video clips for this podcast.
Drumeo Gab’s Socials
Hudson Music Socials
Welcome back to another episode of the DrumGAB podcast. Our guest this week is probably best known as the drummer for the Jason Aldean country artist but he is much more than just that. He is a motivational speaker, an author, actor and producer as well. In this episode we explore the concept of finding your “calling” and journeying that path until success is reached. This is an incredible discussion that will speak to two different categories of people. Those who know their calling and are working diligently to find career success or those who didn’t heed the calling and may have remorse about their decisions.
Who is Rich Redmond
Rich has been a drummer for 40 years and has been a working drummer in the Nashville scene for nearly 21 years. He and his friends Kurt Allison and Tully Kennedy, AKA “The Kings” have been working together for nearly two decades as a professional rhythm section that fuelled one another with work in the Nashville scene and make up the Jason Aldean rhythm section. The idea behind “The Kings” is that power is in numbers when working as professional musicians. Besides being a drummer, Rich has recently created a second life in Hollywood to pursue acting. He views this as the next season of his life that he feels he is supposed to focus on for the next 20 years of his professional life.
Rich is also a motivational speaker, using his CRASH course for success to bring good message to the public about how to develop the tools to be the person you want to be in life. I find this particular aspect of his career incredibly interesting and Rich shares some good wisdom with me and ultimately listeners of this show. Rich also ran a production company called New Voice Entertainment which he and the Kings helped produce demos for up and coming musical acts but has since dissolved about one year ago. All in all, Rich is a super eclectic artist who merges entertainment and education to help bring positive influence into peoples lives and is quite possibly the most diversified guest I have ever had on the show.
Key Moments in this Episode
- We briefly discuss how Rich is now diving into acting and how he feels this is the next step in evolving as an entertainer.
- Is being a dreamer unhealthy? Rich goes into incredible detail about how dreams are what fuels our curiosities to attempt being someone other than simply average. Following our dreams will have its ups and downs but believing that you know the path is what is important. One day it may all work itself out.
- I then ask a question that opposes Rich’s discussion about not quitting and following your path. I ask him how long must a person wait until they need to reassess their path and possibly create a plan B for themselves. Again, we have an unreal conversation about this.
- After all of this it becomes apparent that we had discussed everything that encompasses his CRASH course for success philosophy - Commitments, Relationships, Attitude, Skill and Hunger - We then discuss how this message affects his clinic audience.
- At this point of the interview we go full circle. I ask Rich how we know we are on the right path and how to find it. Rich then goes into detail about his thoughts on people who never heed the calling because of life’s circumstances and certain barriers that our journey in life can create that keep us from selfishly pursuing our own goals and dreams. To be selfish is not necessarily a bad thing as long as you allow to balance it out with selflessness. We can be better to people if we pursue our dreams and this includes our loved ones as well as society as a whole.
- We close things out by talking about his now dissolved company, New Voice Entertainment. This includes discussion of The Kings and how they worked together as a team for years to help create the success they now have in their careers.
So….this podcast is one I will always enjoy listening back to. Yes I listen to my own show but it is because I pick it apart for things I wish I did better or new approaches to interviewing people. It would be like making drum videos and never watching them to see how you played and how you can improve. This is the first episode i have made where I feel I executed the interview to my likings. I am so proud of this one and it is something I would like to reflect on years down the road. Capturing a conversation like this one is something that gives me relief. It is relieving because I know I couldn’t have done it better with the equipment and knowledge I have at this stage of my journey as a podcast host. Rich and I managed to create something that I feel is quite worthwhile listening to and I hope it gets some people thinking about their own lives and how we can alter our course and pursue the things that bring us real joy in life. This is a motivational episode.
Music by Rockett Queen
Rich Redmond’s Social Media
DrumGAB Social Media
Welcome back to another episode of DrumGAB podcast. This episode is very special. It is the first of three episodes under the "Royal Podcast Series." TODAY is DrumGAB's first birthday and we are also approaching A&F Drum Co. first birthday on May 1st. To mark this special occasion, I really wanted to do something unique.
For one year I have learned so much about producing a podcast and also finding my vision within it. It is now a lifestyle and a duty to some degree. It is taking on a life of its own and I can sense many great things in DrumGAB's future. The same can be said for A&F and I feel very connected to their company and I am becoming familiar with some of their artists too. The day I get to play an A&F kit will be a very special day and may involve tears, if I'm honest.
Our first guest of this mega series is Daniel Dufour. A supremely talented player from Austin, TX. He showed up on my radar several months ago. I guess I had some questions then too, but I am glad I waited. We get into a lot of good stuff here. We discuss his new musical project and record coming soon.....Side note (the opening track in this podcast is from Daniel's upcoming album. The song is titled "Push Back.") We talk in depth about the recording process and how the band formed and so on.
Next, we dive into some of the artists Daniel has performed with. A couple of names are pretty serious and I couldn't believe it....and then Pete Rodriguez. Daniel played for a few years with Pete and cut the record Caminando con Papi (Walking with my Dad). We feature the track "Shut Up & Play Your Horn" at the very end of the podcast for an added bonus. The story of how Daniel gets involved with Pete was a true test of his abilities.
I then ask Daniel a series of deep cut questions. Dealing with subjects such as Daniel's mental game when recording and how it compares to a live situation. I ask him what his dream gig is and his answer is so humbling.....you gotta hear it.
We then break open the story about how Daniel came to join the A&F Family. He explains just what makes them so special to play, what he enjoys most about them, and how Ramy left the door unlocked and he had his first moments alone with them. It is no surprise that Daniel is overjoyed with what he has found in this drum set. Overall, this is a great chat, recorded from top to bottom.
I hope that you enjoy this session.
Daniels' Website - www.danieldufour.com