#humpdaygiveaway | Week 8 Q: What are the two major opportunities that were offered to Stan earlier this year? (Prizes provided by @canadiandrumgear
There are podcasts in the DrumGAB library that are resourceful, others are purely conversational entertainment and somehow Episode 29 with Stan Bicknell lies somewhere in the middle. I don’t really think that it was intended to become an episode where people could learn anything, besides the life of Stan Bicknell of course, but it unfolded in such a way that reveals a strong underlying message. You see, I draw a strong parallel between myself and Stan. We are both family men that are self-employed and drumming is a big part of us but it is no longer the forefront of our existence. While life presents new responsibilities and obligations, it begins to determine what is most important to us as people and how some things in life may take on a significant value that we couldn’t possibly understand in our younger years.
It is widely understood on the Instagram medium that Stan is easily one of the most popular drumming figures on social media currently. What he holds is something that many of us would, for lack of better words, give a testicle or two as a trade for the kind of success Stan’s Instagram profile bears. However, even given the tremendous growth and rise of popularity, Stan does not ignore the life he lives in the flesh for this digital circus of likes, comments, and shares that he so regularly receives. Instead, he sets time aside when his family is sleeping to produce his content and share his thoughts with his followers through blogging in his captions. He very responsibly restricts his use of Instagram to be present in the moment with his family, friends and business partners. In short, he consumes the Instagram drug with a great deal of caution and regulates his intake.
So what was the reason for Stan creating an Instagram account you may ask? Well, he had stopped touring with a band named Kimbra due to this little thing called, your self-consciousness, and felt that it was only going to get deeper and deeper and so he passed off the sticks to another player and quit the band. He continued playing drum set in his coffee warehouse, Rumble Coffee Roasters, but it just wasn’t satisfying enough playing to no audience. So he began using Instagram and all he was trying to do was keep a low profile but it obviously hasn’t worked out to plan as his acquisition rate for followers has been well over 1,000 per week over a course of over 52 weeks.
So, what do 112 thousand followers in 15 months do to a person? Well, that all depends on the person. I would imagine for most people it would improve a persons’ self-esteem, and depending on your ego, it could turn someone into a complete arsehole. For Stan, it seems that what he enjoys most about having so much rapid growth is that it opens up a very wide audience to make a positive impact upon. For example, Stan receives many messages from fans all over the world who thank him for being the reason they are getting back into drumming. These kinds of comments are a highlight for Stan and is definitely a contributing factor to his continuation on social media.
However, he is clear about his love/hate relationship with social media. It would be tiresome to keep up appearances and respond to every single message, in fact, you wouldn’t even have a life to speak of when you have that many followers. So Stan had made a reference to “Good Will Hunting” where he exclaims, “What if I deleted my account one day and didn’t tell anyone about it?” And it’s not that Stan is unappreciative, I think he’s just accessing, hypothetically, how much he really needs social media.
In the interview, we discuss the fact that Stan will never leave his family and business partners to become a star and seek fame and fortune. He takes great pleasure in his day to day life and at the end of it all….he still gets to play his drums. And simply, that is what's important. Not the where or the who or for how much. He just wants to hear the crack of his snare.
This puts a great deal of perspective in this conversation. A person who is at the forefront of popularity on Instagram and the drumming community at large is a simple man who knows what he needs and why he is needed. It is truly amazing someone who holds this in his hands has complete control over what his destiny is and that it hasn’t corrupted him with temptation. That is exemplary and it is the reason why this is such an interesting listen. A conversation captured at the apex of where a healthy perspective is absolutely paramount. I believe Stan could become an A-list drummer for a very major act and it could all have been seeded in Instafame. I wouldn’t put it past Stan, that if this all becomes too much and he has to decide what to do, he may do as Matt Damon did, and just not be there one day.
Photography courtesy of @jessbicknellphotography
Music Credits | Band: The New Caledonia
a.) Breathing Space (coffee montage)
b.) Solar Parade
c.) Celestial Satellites
Stan's Social Media
Rumble Coffee Roasters Media
#humpdaygiveaway | Week 7 Q: What is the name of the studio in Cambridge, MA that Jon frequents?
Since I have been diving into the drum industry, I have thought that session work was extremely hard to come by and I often hear is dead and a thing of the past. I have also heard that “the hang” is almost as important as your level of skill when talking about getting hired. But I never thought so much about an effective way to approach the session game and how one may put it all together. This episode, with Jonathon Ulman, turned out to be so valuable in terms of information. He goes into splendid detail about basically how he makes a living and openly shares, what would seem like common sense after his explanation, his approach to it ALL!
For starters, Jonathan has an incredible attention to detail. He is strictly organized and professional and makes sure he has a solid plan when approaching his gigs, content, schedule, and performance. He is very THOROUGH. Secondly, Jonathan is very self-aware and incredibly conscientious, in regards to how he reads a situation and the people it involves. He basically takes the form of a chameleon and blends himself into whatever situation he falls into. He is quite ADAPTIVE we’ll say.
During this process of booking the interview, exchanging content and material to make this show possible and general keeping tabs on approaching the release of this episode….Jonathan has been so nice to work with. He is incredibly PROFESSIONAL with his work and when this spreads around, it won’t be long and even more people will want to work with him.
You always hear wise people saying the phrase, “I just treat people the way I want to be treated”, and it seems SO SIMPLE! Yet, not everyone does this. I really do appreciate it when people go the extra mile to make sure someone’s needs are met and exceeded upon, and Jonathan makes sure to assume this task with his clients. He is ATTENTIVE.
Lastly, and seemingly, least importantly, you need to be able to do the job. Can you play? Can you do the song justice by playing some solid time and getting in and out of the studio quick so that people’s time and money aren’t being wasted on your ego to chop out? This is important stuff when you plan to work in a studio. It may be at the bottom of the list for a good reason. The other stuff at the end of the day is what gets you called back, you are not just being called for your SKILL.
So what does that spell when you put THOROUGH, ADAPTIVE, PROFESSIONAL, ATTENTIVE and SKILL?
Normally Tapas is a gathering of small Spanish savory dishes but Jonathan uses this as a metaphor to explain the framework of what makes him successful as a session musician. All of these components are important and the way Jonathon explains this is brilliant. Overall, this philosophy he has adopted is a brilliant recipe for success and every drummer who hears this will totally get it.
www.jonathanulman.com | Instagram | Facebook
The musical sounds featured in GAG REEL are taken from Frank Zappa’s Uncle Meat - Track titled ProjectX
Song Credits: Holly Miranda - Midnight Oil
#humpdaygiveaway | Week 6 Q: What does the acronym PAP stand for?
Our health is something that many young people take for granted and older people wish to have back. Most of my listeners range from the ages of 18-40 and obviously play drums. Even though symptoms of joint pain and other issues with our body may not appear obvious at the present moment, it may rear it’s ugly head later in life and by that point it will be much more difficult to remedy.
Brandon Green is a health and fitness expert that has been studying biomechanics for about 11 years and owns his own facility called Strata Internal Performance. Brandon and his team commit themselves to improving the lives of people who live with daily pain in their body and with tremendous success, manage to help educate and in the process relieve major discomfort that prevents his clients from living an active and pain free lifestyle.
Brandon’s goal is to help educate drummers across the world about how our bodies operate while playing the drums and how we can prevent injuries and keep on doing what we all love to do. Brandon’s suggestions to improving posture, warm up routines and many other facets of our physical relationship to the drum set are all reinforced with a firm scientific arm and his concepts are all explained with tremendous clarity and undeniable proof.
In this podcast we explore the fundamentals to ensure that our listeners can easily apply these important facts to their setup and help with creating a more comfortable and suiting environment for drummers to play within. We discuss the importance of proper throne height, a warm up routine to trigger PAP and increase our endurance and performance, the basic physics of the human body and how they apply to technique on the drum set and how to manage injuries. They are simple, yet effective and universal concepts that will help you in your daily grind on the kit.
Instagram | @drummechanics
Instagram | @stratainternalperformance
#humpdaygiveaway | Week 5 Q: What are the names of the two students that I spontaneously interview towards the end of the show?
Episode 26 has been in the works for a bit of time now. A couple of months ago I saw a video of Omari’s father, Cyril, playing drums, on his IG account. I understood from Episode 37 on DrummersILike’s podcast that Omari had watched his father, Cyril, play drums a lot during his childhood. It was clear in the tone of Omari’s voice on the podcast that he was truly inspired by his father and strongly looked up to him. I was inspired by that episode and I really enjoyed Omari’s personality on the show and I kinda decided that I needed him on DrumGAB after that.
But after seeing Cyril playing, the thought hit me like a wall, I HAD to have them both on the show together. So, literally within minutes of having this idea, I messaged Omari to ask whether or not we could have Cyril on the show as well.
Omari’s response to my request was unanimous. My wish had come true. A father and son podcast was going to happen on my show!! I had not ever seen something like this before on a drumming podcast before and that made it even more reason to do it.
The main goal with this podcast for me was to capture an honest reaction from both of them once we became more involved in the conversation. There was such a great opportunity to create some magic on this one.
A LITTLE BIT ABOUT OMARI
Omari is a coveted drum instructor from Trinidad and Tobago. He has multiple endorsements including Promark Drumsticks, Evans Drum Heads, D’Addario, Serenity Drums, Tru Tuner, LowBoy Custom Beaters, Drumlite and Drumtacs. He is also a certified Drumeo Teacher, a drum tutor at Angelic Sounds Music Centre, a drum coach at CJ’s Coaching Institute, and he performs with many musicians including Curtis Jordan, GIEL, Helen Baylor, Koen Duncan, Shiselon, Tiko Angelos, and Wave. That is quite a pedigree!
Oh right, I almost forgot…..Omari is an absolute beast!! Best not forget to mention that.
A LITTLE BIT ABOUT CYRIL
Cyril is a self taught player and it was his Uncle, who also played, that introduced Cyril to the drums at age 11. Cyril’s Uncle showed him enough theory and different rhythms to begin a lifelong passion for drums. Cyril had played with many bands in the area and there was a time when Cyril was unable to attend a performance and so he recommended Omari to fill his spot for the night. The bands response the following week….? “Well Cyril, we didn’t miss you that much”, said Cyril’s bandmates.
For years, Omari and Cyril had never jammed together. Each of them worked at their craft without crossing paths musically. Until one day they performed a duet….at Omari’s wedding. Both gentlemen sporting their finest tux and both of them are shredding it up! To think their maiden jam would be at Omari’s wedding is very special indeed.
Overall, this is a heartwarming episode with lots of character and it highlights the beauty of family and people coming together to reach a common goal through music. It is a very inspiring episode to say the least.
Music featured on this episode
a) Learie Joseph standup / End credits, Eraserhead
b) Cyril and Omari Augustine duet at Omari’s wedding
#humpdaygiveaway | Week 4
Q: Who are Adam’s two favorite Zappa drummers?
The Marvin. It is an instrument that provokes curiosity and produces sounds that literally scare the shit out of me. It’s voice is haunting, eerie and yet somehow beautiful. There is no other instrument on the planet that does what the Marvin does.
Back in January of 2017, I wrote an article on Morfbeats. It didn’t take me long, after seeing the Marvin, to send an email to Adam and inquire about writing a piece on his creation. That article only scratched the mere surface of what I wanted to talk to him about and thus spawned a discussion about a podcast episode. Which brings us to now….
Let me begin by saying that this podcast is my personal favourite. I have never spent this much time and put this much thought into an episode and I believe it is my best work to date and in many ways this podcast is a tribute to Frank. It was an after thought but as I pondered over this episode more and more, it became clear that the common theme in our discussion was Frank. He just kept on coming up in the podcast and I couldn’t be happier about that. I have wanted to make some kind of project about Zappa for over a decade and this was a perfect opportunity.
MOVING RIGHT ALONG....
In this episode we begin by discussing his flagship instrument, The Marvin in detail. We learn about the night when the first drawings took place and the process in designing this incredible instrument. Before I knew how it received it's name, I was so curious about its name "The Marvin." It kind of looks like a Marvin somehow, although I can't express in words why, it just does. Without spoiling anything, all I will say is that it is very sentimental and has a lot to do with why Morfbeats exist in the first place.
From there we talk about the revered player, and Adam’s favourite drummer, Billy Martin. Adam had the chance to perform and form a friendship with Billy recently and you can easily tell that Adam is still in disbelief about how far Morfbeats has taken him. It is amazing to see that a unique instrument has given him the opportunity to meet with the artists he admires.
Then I decided to ask Adam an adverse question, based on what I know of Adam up until this point. That question was this, “What is your opinion on the current state of pop music?” Adam provides a very reasonable response to my question and it isn’t too far from simply saying, “It sucks, more or less, but some people need that quick fix.” Anyways, it is definitely a highlight to the episode.
So where can you find Morfbeats instruments, you may be asking yourself. Well, you can visit Morfbeats online at www.morfbeats.com or you can check out Revival Drum Shop or Philadelphia Drum Shop. Be sure to look up Morfbeats on Instagram and Facebook also.
In closing, Adam is an artist that is doing what he wants. He is not restricted by much and he can make whatever the hell he wants and that is super rad. There is nothing conventional about this stuff and it is totally open ended in regards to design and ideas. He has created himself a playground of steel, welding equipment and springs.
ONE MORE THING…..
The conclusion of this episode is set to Adam’s original music, the track is titled “Catatonic”. There is an interview on YouTube where Zappa is interviewed during his illness and ultimately not too long before his death. In most Zappa interviews, he is sarcastic, witty and very forward in the direction of his message, but in this interview he is calm, relaxed and pacified. The questions that are asked are most definitely highly reflective and the tone of Adam’s music to the interview is heart wrenching at times. I felt it was a nice way to send off this podcast.
Music featured on this episode (in order)
A few weeks ago I had a late night epiphany and decided to capture my thoughts while they were still fresh in my mind. I had no intention of releasing this as content but after listening back to it, I felt that perhaps there is some value to this recording. I sent it to my dude Matt Dudley to check out and get his perspective on it and he agreed that it has value to you, the listeners.
So here we go, the first installment of Midnight Thoughts. Me just rambling about what is floating around up in my cranium. This was done a week after my episode with Carson Gant and just before I interviewed Scott Pellegrom, so it is slightly out of date but the concepts are very relevant to how I produce the show. I hope this gives you guys some insight to how I produce my show and how I approach my interviews...errr I mean conversations.
The tracks in the background are a mashup of some J Dilla beats to set the mood. Hope you dig.
#humpdaygiveaway Week 3 - What cymbal is Scott ranting and raving about?
Last summer I was writing a weekly piece that I released on Sunday mornings that I called "Weekly Warrior". The "Weekly Warrior" were articles about drummers that I really liked. I would just randomly pick a drummer from my head and then I would write an article on drummer I had chose. One of the reasons that I was writing the weekly piece was to practice my writing. I also had to create a routine around DrumGAB, or it would have died early on. Projects like this require constant effort or else they don't work. So in the very beginning, I had to create content from my inspirations and Scott Pellegrom was one of those first 6 articles.
Once the article was all done, I tweeted it to Scott and thought nothing of it after that. Until a couple days rolled by and I received a message from him that he had read it and he said thanks for the thought. So, thinking back, you could say that Scott was actually the first confirmation for DrumGAB directly from the artist. Fast forward about 10 months later and we got in touch to hang on my podcast. This is kind of a special episode to me because it is a full circle moment and how it all played out and how it all turned out, is so rad and I am so thankful.
So what is this episode about? Well, it is really hard to answer that OR break it down into any kind of formula. It is simply a great conversation with a down to earth guy that seemed to enjoy the "no pressure" zero "agenda" that my show can offer someone. It is really a place to just be yourself and hang out and this episode captures a fine energy.
Also, Scott hooked us up with a trio of SP3 (Scott Pellegrom Trio) tunes that are wild. If you dig the vibes you can check out the entire album SuperNaturalBang right here!
i) Bees Knees
Enjoy the show!
#humpdaygiveaway Week 2 - What is Daniel's favorite band?
In this episode, I spoke with Daniel Potts, an armless drummer. I recall the first time that I saw Daniel on Instagram, was from a share account and you can't ignore the first impression of seeing Daniel play drums. I actually could not believe what I was seeing. He doesn't just play either, he plays really well. He is very clean in his execution, his ghost note consistency is advanced, his accuracy is incredible and he does it all from a vantage point that makes me question if he can even really see what is going on. It is a sight to behold.
Naturally, I am curious about how this all came to be. People are naturally drawn towards things that are out of the ordinary, for the majority. You somehow need to know how details like how you approach something new, how to deal with everyday life or how you learned to play the drums!? And his answer is simple. "Can I?"
As Daniel explains, he has had to approach everything with an open mind and figure a way to do the things that most of us take for granted. This constant challenge is obviously the driving force behind Daniel's motivation for life. With drums, it took a long time to find a setup that would be comfortable for him and much trial and error in his technique, just like anyone learning drums. In the long run, all that I can say is that it is hard to believe that someone can operate the lower half of their with that much accuracy and dexterity. To me, that is absolutely incredible. Just how a person can adapt to their surroundings, physical conditions, and situations. The human body is a fascinating thing.
Daniel and I get into some pretty personal detail about his life. The podcast is filled with honest conversation and there are many bright shining moments. It is a podcast to reflect on your own personal challenges and how we can negotiate them with the idea of "Can I?" rather than "How do I?" One sounds much more optimistic in tone, wouldn't ya say?
#humpdaygiveaway Week 1 - What brand of drumsticks did Aaron receive on his birthday?
This episode features a new interactive weekly contest. #humpdaygiveaway is a brand new weekly giveaway that is being brought to you by Nick at Canadian Drum Gear and DrumGAB. Every week I will open up the podcast with a question pertaining to the podcast. Here are three ways you can win....
1. Repost the podcast art on your Instagram page and tag @drumgab1 and @canadiandrumgear you will immediately receive 1 ballot.
2. If you are really bringing your eh! game, DM me on my Instagram page @drumgab1 with the correct answer between noon-3pm EST and you'll be entered into the draw with 2 ballots.
3. Combine 1&2 and you will have 3 ballots!! Yeah, math! Everybody has a chance to win but if you listen to the show your odds just got a whole lot better. The window for the contest is each Wednesday 7am-7pm EST.
So what do you win? Well, you get to choose your own pair of drumsticks and your choice of Aquarian Drumhead. We are also kicking in a #DrumGAB coupon code that will save you 15% on all purchases at www.canadiandrumgear.com for the week of the contest (Thursday - Thursday).
On with the program...Aaron is a true working drummer. He is a master educator at the Yamaha Music School in Toronto and has been teaching there for a decade. He has studied under guys like Mark Kelso and Paul DeLong and because of this Aaron has some ridiculous facility. Aaron is what I would refer to as a "true drum nerd". Aaron will gladly spend a Friday evening studying something music related over a loud night at the club. So that is why this podcast is so filled with good stuff. He has so much info crammed into his dome and he just spills it in this podcast.
This is also an episode that is heavily diverted from an "Interview". Both Aaron and I appreciate a good conversation and so we had one. I am not going to get into detail about every little thing we talked about...cause I would miss a bunch. You will just have to listen to it and hear it for yourself.
Artist: Exes for Eyes
Songs: Remember Savannah \ Shot in the Dark
Aaron's Social Media
Welcome back to another episode of DrumGAB podcast. One-Up Drum Vids is a very interesting project to me and in a lot of ways speaks to me in terms of how to create content. I enjoy seeing people that are creative and have a high attention to detail. Carson’s videos are consistently great and I when he posts something, I never skip over it. I always want to see what it is that he is up to and the music he is creating. In many cases, I prefer what he comes up with for drum sounds, compositions, and execution over the originals. You can’t replace human interpretation and performance with a drum machine or computer.
So with the rad content, he puts out, I felt like he and I were going to have many common interests that we would discover and talk about throughout the podcast. Sometimes you just know the guest suits the show. I had prepared an outline for the interview, fail-safe shit, and I pretty much botched my own interview. Within a few minutes, I glossed over about half of the points that I wrote down and so as a result, most of this is ACTUALLY just a conversation.
Carson, on the day of the interview, hit 10K subs on YouTube, so we open things up talking about his content on YouTube and the challenges that were involved. Carson logged 60hrs on the Matt Garstka Challenge video….and I believe that video just shy of 8 minutes. That is seriously crazy. Here is the link to that video.
Back a few months ago, Carson got a chance to do some work with a band names Paper Route. It came out of nowhere for him and it involved processes that he has not really had much experience with. Carson played some gigs that were out of his comfort zone. Low volume situations playing in highly resonant rooms were a particular challenge. We talk about playing with intensity at low volumes and reference a particular musician that does this with considerable conviction.
Both Carson and I both feel that “chops” videos are overdone and we have a mutual love for groove and feel. It is refreshing to see videos that focus on the importance of knowing how a beat really sits. The devil is in the details with the stuff Carson does. He creates a new level of pocket that I don’t hear much and it is so addictive to listen to.
One of the biggest factors as to why I had Carson on the show, was because I knew we both loved instrumental hip hop….and we are talking about the good stuff. I enjoy talking about records and music and so there is some time in the podcast dedicated to some good tune GAB.
Overall, this is a really fun hang. It’ll go down as a classic in the library of DrumGAB podcast. Check it.
Welcome back to another episode of DrumGAB podcast. Episode 19 is with none other than Ramy Antoun, CEO of A&F Drum Co. and it is a trip. It is hard to recall every moment in this podcast, but it is so stacked with greatness....and let that be known, Ramy is a person that has a lot of unique life experiences. Ramy is truly blessed.
So the official interview begins with Ramy giving us an overview of his experiences as a musician. Whether it was some of the people he made records with or toured with, Ramy has had some incredible moments as a musician. As an example, there was no audition for the Seal gig that lasted four years, you won't believe that story. Beyond that, Ramy talks about Buckethead for a bit. I don't want to spoil anything there. In general, Ramy's experiences as a musician are on the cusp of fable nature.
Then enters A&F Drum Co. We touch on the beginnings, the current affairs, and Ramy's future plan to preserve this ever growing company. We talk about how the A&F Family were found and came together as a collective unit, harnessing each persons' strengths as they contribute their skills to this amazing company. It is a very organic process that took place and it explains why it seems like they have all known each other for ages. Ramy also discusses his philosophy behind how he designs and creates these instruments.
I then ask Ramy what his chief motivation is in life. His answer is short and mine is long. For a time, I became the guest. Ramy is a very empathetic person and I believe it was hard for him not to ask more questions, but it was beautiful how he took the wheel and challenged me. Very rare to hear something like this in my podcast, or others podcasts that I have heard. It was a great moment in the conversation.
That leads us to perhaps the most compelling part of our conversation. A couple of weeks ago Ramy sent me a text and the message contained a story about how Ramy dreamt about a Syrian immigration agency named CRIS. No word of a lie, he sent me the link to the website and there is an agency that focuses on helping Syrian refugees reach and sustain self-sufficiency by integrating these people into communities throughout Mid-Ohio. So, Ramy wanted to know if we could discuss this stuff in the podcast and send a message to the drumming community. I, of course, said yes to that and so we discuss some ideas in this podcast and we urge you folks to consider thought to our idea.
In conclusion, this podcast is very intimate, thoughtful and funny. Of course, there must be some good laughs in there too. I hope you enjoy this raw podcast session and hopefully enjoy the in-depth look at why A&F is a thriving company and family.
Welcome back to another episode of DrumGAB podcast. With each passing interview, I feel more and more able to connect with my guests and it translates to better podcasts. It was some time ago that I booked a date with Dan Mayo and I had thoughts of what I would want to ask him. Dan is a drummer that I am personally a huge fan of and as a podcast host, I wanted to capitalize on that opportunity by producing a memorable podcast. My focus is ensuring that I am steadily improving my ability to communicate with people. I do this so that down the road, I will have some profound experiences and memories with my drumming brothers and sisters. Dan Mayo's interview is a personal turning point in how I perceived my podcast.
We don't discuss Dan's history for much, although we do briefly touch on this. Basically, Dan has played drums since before he can accurately recall. The heart of this podcast, besides some discussion on his amazing band TATRAN, is about how Dan approaches drumming. When a player shows so much physical and mental freedom, I have to know the liberties that are included with that. How does he become so engaged so quickly in these one-minute clips on Instagram from a cold start? How Dan answered some of my questions were unlike what I was expecting. I won't spoil anything else, you will just need to hear it for yourself.
Welcome to another episode of DrumGAB podcast. I am going to keep this short and simple. This is a special bonus episode for all the people who listen to my show, graciously support and encourage me to continue this project. Without the support of my listeners and the participation of my guests, it wouldn't be possible. So thank you all.
Robb Ryan is a familiar name to DrumGAB. Besides my wife Amanda, Robb was literally the first person to know about DrumGAB and he was the guy who literally said, "Get off your ass and write a blog." That blog turned into an actual total of 20 articles if you count my original series "Weekly Warrior" and my three review articles.
Then the podcast came along and I recorded 6 trial interviews that are no longer online. I put DrumGAB down for a bit when my son Harrison was born but after a while, I realized it had to continue and my wife and friends agreed. I then rebuilt my website and relaunched the podcast in January. The podcast is an absolute blast and I take a great deal of pride in it. I try to treat it like an art form and I want to create memorable experiences. So to commemorate this anniversary, I wanted to do something special for you, the listeners and my friend Robb who is only days away from going to Drumeo to film some lessons.
It is an amazing opportunity for Robb and I wanted to have a chat with him before he goes. I wanted to know how he felt about things and if it was a matter of confidence. Robb is solid on this. He is so well practiced and this material is second nature to Robb. We just have a good conversation and it is reflective. So grab a glass of wine, bourbon or cold beer and sit back and listen to what might be history in the making.
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
Welcome back to another episode of DrumGAB podcast. Custom builders are coming up everywhere you look. Many different people are putting their woodworking skills to use and creating some really nice instruments. With common woodworkers, stave builds seem to be a favorable choice of build. While many are doing this type of construction, one brand, in particular, is receiving quite a lot of recognition lately. Meet Mike Martin. He and his partner, Steve Tepee, are tearing up a storm on Instagram lately with their stave drums.
I wrote an article a few months ago about Predator Percussion but wanted to revisit thier company because of all the updates since I spoke to Mike last. He is really trying to find a way to make Predator Percussion his full time job. By streamlining certain aspects of his business and creating entry points for new customers on a more restrictive budget. It is clear that Mike has been strategizing and I think his ideas are sound.
Take a trip with us while we explore these topics and many more on this podcast episode. You can find Predator Percussion at the following social media.
Allow me to present a brand new quarterly series "GearGAB". In this series, I am joined by Chris Gura from Drummers Guide 2 Gear @officialdg2g.
First product - Galaxy Drum Lights
Second product - Sweet Spot Clutches
Third Product - 78 Custom Drums
Welcome back to another episode of DrumGAB podcast. So in this episode, we wrap up the Sweet Spot Invasion Trilogy with Robert Michl, owner, and operator of Sweet Spot Clutches. This is actually not the first time that I have interviewed Rob. In fact, it is not even my second time. I have spoken to Rob on three separate occasions, including this interview. So, how is it that I have spoken to Rob so many times? Well, even though this marks episode thirteen, back last summer I tried to do a podcast and Rob was a guest. I did a total of six episodes in the summer of 2016 but I had them taken down this past fall and decided to reboot the podcast. So, that still doesn’t explain three times….it explains two of em’, but not three.
So back when DrumGAB first started, I was using a service called Spreaker (I explain this little story in the gag reel) and it sucked. I had to pay for it, I had to save every 30 minutes and if I forgot to save….I would lose it. So, I would imagine you are beginning to realize where that third interview comes into play. I still remember the moment when I realized that I would have to call Rob and tell him that I needed to redo part of the interview. Anyways, long story short, we did an interview last summer. But lemme tell you something, that interview would not hold a candle to this one. It is a much more developed company now, even in short time things have changed considerably and DrumGAB is beginning to turn into a much more developed podcast as well. The results of this interview are fantastic.
We begin by talking about the humble beginnings of Sweet Spot and how Rob was finding it tiresome dealing with the industry norm for hi-hat clutches and decided to make a difference about it and make his own. He had a lathe and knew what to do with it and the rest they say is history. One person tells another person and next thing you know Rob can’t keep up with making them himself and turns to a more serious manufacturing process.
Even though Rob is always thinking about what will be next in his line up of goodies, he also has some people that chip in too. We get to hear the story about how his lightsaber clutch came to be, how sometimes mistakes are are a good thing (the story behind the rat rod finish) and Rob even leaks his most diverse project yet!! The big picture with Rob is to diversify without straying too far from what he originally set out to do. He wants to be at the top of the food chain for the style of hardware he produces and I think that he has done just that.
Before I saw Sweet Spot, clutches and cymbal toppers were kind of all the same more or less. Some are definitely worse than others, but from a 50/50 shot, you can’t really tell much difference. What Rob has done is create something completely new and he has innovated more than once on these rather simple concepts. Between his wear sleeve that he provides with each clutch or the Fuzion clutch that can be altered with an adapter to put a splash or effects cymbal on top of your hi hats, there are many new ways to implement cymbal hardware into your existing setup. Plus, Sweet Spot really blings up your drums, which helps you stand apart from other people. All in all, I really like Rob and what he makes for the drumming community. He is a solid dude that is willing to help wherever he can and it is very much appreciated by all of us.
Instagram | @sweet_spot_clutches
Facebook | @SweetSpotClutches
Welcome back to another episode of DrumGAB podcast. This episode marks the second edition to our Sweet Spot Invasion series that we are doing on the show. SO…how did this one go? Well, put simply, I really like bro down episodes. I mean, they are as natural as can be and the experience simply flies by. This episode is that, in spades and it will definitely go down as one of those memorable episodes/nights for me.
So right off the top, no pun intended, we get into his Pimp Fang/Clutch series with Sweet Spot Clutches. Aaron and Rob have worked together to create some very distinguishable hardware. After we get the lowdown on how the Fangs and Pimp Fangs came about, we get into how Gavin Harrison and Gary Chaffee pretty much blew Aaron’s mind and changed his course with drums forever. Aaron can’t keep away from the weird stuff.
So Aaron has been running a YouTube account for six years and he is one of the grand daddy’s of online drum videos. So we talk about the process of building Aaron Edgar Drum and what made him decide to do that. Then Drumeo enters the picture. Aaron was the FIRST satellite instructor for Drumeo and to this day he still works with Drumeo on a weekly basis. Drumeo’s production edge taught Aaron how to make high-quality drum videos and perform live video sessions while interacting with the audience in real time. Hearing the story of how this all began with Drumeo is a great story.
So Aaron is known for his biblical Sonor collection. It is godly. I normally don’t discuss gear on this show, unless it is in fact about gear, but in this case we HAD to gab about gear. So Aaron tells us the story about how he found the Sonor sound and how he never looked back once he heard it firsthand. We learn about the “Jet Set” and how it was the most expensive wooden drum set ever created.
We then get into the Drum Fam Questionnaire. The questions for this week were…………..
Cameron Fleury - How long have you been making videos for and what is the most difficult part about gathering a fan base, especially considering how saturated the market is.
Robb Ryan - How has studying Gary Chaffee’s material changed your outlook on drumming and what do you do to make that material your own. Also….when in the hell is Third Ion coming to Hamilton or Toronto?
Mason Grant - What is your favourite practice routine to develop alternative foot/double kicks? Here is the link to the Modern Drummer article Aaron was talking about.
This is an epic podcast episode. I am very happy with how natural and comical this episode is. It does feature language that some may find unsuitable but regardless I feel that it was just on auto pilot the whole time. Aaron is a fantastic dude to talk to and he is a pure monster on the drums. Until next week, stay happy and stay drumming.
Instagram - @aaronedgardrum
Facebook - @AaronEdgarDrum
Youtube - Aaron Edgar Drum
Welcome back to another episode of DrumGAB podcast. Well, we made it over the ten episode hump with many lessons learned and lots of support from my friends and advocates of DrumGAB. I can begin to see the journey that is laying before me and it is up to me to fulfill it. Thank you all for your support with this project.
My guest this week is a fellow Ontarian and while we have some mutual friends….but we have never met or spoke until this interview. Well, all I can say is that Ryan is a really great human. I feel that he is at the apex of a major moment in his life. He is about to call it a day with his current HVAC career and turn drumming into a full-time gig. Not completely cold turkey, he did get his smart serve to have a little bit of insurance while he makes the brave transition. There is no doubt, he is definitely taking the plunge and I am so stoked for him. It takes guts to follow your passion. He has a good plan though and he is driven, so I believe he will succeed.
So in the beginning of the interview, Ryan discusses where he comes from as a drummer. It all started when Ryan’s father tried to teach drums to Ryan, however, he only wished to play with his toys and it wasn’t looking like Ryan was going to follow in his dad’s footsteps. Jump ahead a decade and Ryan begins to face some facts. Drums are cool. Ryan learned from his father until one day Ryan got a Jim Chapin DVD and changed their lives forever. It spawned the desire for them to get playing with better technique and ultimately Ryan discovered a whole new layer to drumming that opened his eyes wide open. Ryan has been receiving instruction with Aaron Edgar for about a year now and this has expanded Ryan’s vocabulary entirely.
Today, Ryan has a website www.claxtondrums.ca where he has drum cover videos, drum groove exercise videos and more. It is all executed with care and in particular, the exercise videos are explained incredibly well and are totally worth checking out! He is also playing in a metalcore band Lungless. In this podcast we have a special DrumGAB exclusive of Lungless’ brand new, never been heard track “The One and Only” and we also feature “To the Part of Me That’s Missing”, which they just released a video of. The link to that is at the bottom of the podcast notes.
We round out the podcast by talking about motivation and the way life ought to be. Ryan and I connected on a very deep level throughout this interview and we leave feeling very positive about both of our choices in life and where things are heading. It was a very cool interview that I won’t soon forget.
Welcome to another episode of DrumGAB podcast. Well over here at DrumGAB we have learned many lessons about troubleshooting technology, recording equipment and how to conduct an interview. I think it is fair to say that a lot of these major hiccups have since past us now that we are into our tenth episode. Of course there will always be plenty to learn and grow upon, however, the shaky beginnings of working on a new podcast project seem to be behind us now...and for that I am thankful.
So for our tenth episode, we are speaking with a very little known player from Atlanta, but if this guy starts to push himself into the right directions in the industry, he could be a giant. This is one of the most amazing things about Instagram and the drumming community. There is a ridiculous talent pool out there. It is incredible, to say the least. There are plenty of fantastic drummers out there that are simply waiting to be heard by the right people and Instagram can absolutely provide those opportunities.
So what do Justin and I discuss? Well, we start things off by discussing his background as a player. We go all the way back to the very beginning and then work our way all the way to the present. One notable thing about his growth as a player is his crazy work ethic through it all. He wanted to be the absolute best player that he could possibly be.
We also talk about some practice tips to increase efficiency, of practice time. He has a lot of good advice about how to maximize your retention levels and it actually pretty refreshing material that we discuss. He also talks about how to utilize rudiment patterns with different accents, note rates, and orchestration. This is also straight up up golden material, as far as I am concerned.
Towards the end of the interview, it becomes clear that Justin had not considered what he can do with this drumming thing, especially considering his talents. He wants to be a clinician, or bring his education to the online space and it could even go beyond that. The point to this section is that doing masterclass clinics around the world isn't just meant for drummers like Benny Greb and Ash Soan. Justin could also enter that world and you can tell that some light bulbs go off and that he felt very inspired towards the end of the interview.
Overall, this is a very in-depth interview that tackles a lot of valuable subject matter and it was an absolute pleasure having Justin on the show.
Welcome back to another episode of DrumGAB podcast. I think Hunter S. Thompson would enjoy Episode nine. I normally get to know my guests beforehand through private messages in order to find out what makes them tick. I did that with Ian and got to know him a little bit. After a while, he mentioned to me that he had some crazy stories to tell me if I wanted to go that route in the conversation. On this podcast, there aren't really limits to content I guess. What Ian told me was apparently watered down a bit, but that's kind of like watering down gasoline I think.
The first part of the interview is about Ian's time growing up in a highly musical family. His brother Eli can play pretty much anything and do it well and his mom and dad play several different instruments as well. We talk about our mutual interest in electronic music and we reflect on the lore of Aphex Twin.
The main part of this interview is the story of when Ian was in college. He and his girlfriend were heavily caught up with heavy drug use. Ian explains some of the things that happen to them during this time and how addictions lead to a lot of unfortunate situations. The things that he shares in this interview is pretty intense. I will leave out the details on the notes.
But Ian is clear of all of that now and the future is bright indeed. He and his band mate, Tony Grey, are releasing their new album. The music featured in this podcast is Ian and Tony's band Galactic Duo and the song is titled "Awaken". He has many great opportunities ahead of him I am certain as well, with his attitude and musical skill he will go very far. I wish him all the best.
In closing, Ian has many great opportunities ahead of him I am certain as well, with his attitude and musical skill he will go very far and I wish him all the best. It is remarkable that Ian is alive and well today, as you will soon discover. It is another testimonial regarding how drums bring good quality to life and that some of us truly live for the drums.
Welcome back to another episode of DrumGAB podcast. Episode eight is all about social media and personal networking. For anyone who is curious about how to properly grow an Instagram account, how to use Facebook to the fullest advantage, or what people are looking for with your content when you are being scouted, then this is definitely the episode for you.
Richy's story starts with a dream. A dream to perform in front of a sea of 20,000 people and actually make a living from it. He felt, even at seventeen, that it was important to avoid the 9-5 grind altogether. So how did he do it? He starts by moving out of Inland Empire and getting down to L.A. It was a make it or break it strategy. He received a scholarship for music and decided that he was going to take his drumming to the next level. After completing 2 years of a music program, he decided a third enrollment wasn't worth it for what he wanted to do in the music industry. He was learning plenty by asking questions and observing the pros and taking pages out of THEIR books.
Richy goes into great detail about creating YOUR brand. Whether that is a podcast, like DrumGAB, a drum manufacturing company or an artist page, there must be certain aspects of your content that have to be in check for it to benefit you. We talk about understanding Facebook boosting vs sponsored ads. Richy is a wealth of knowledge on how to utilize your social media.
It is clear that it means a lot to Richy to help his community. He throws down some hard facts about the state of musical education in L.A. It doesn't exist to children until they reach grade four. He shares a compelling story about this young girl that was living in a ghetto and he used to walk by her house and saw a drum set in the window. Eventually, he felt compelled to approach her mom about giving this girl lessons. Richy gave this 11-year-old girl lessons for almost nine months and it made a huge impact on her life. The outcome of these lessons inspired Richy to create Unik Education. It is a very positive initiative that Richy and his partner Marius create. The big picture is to get Unik Education in every school in L.A. I hope they reach their goal.
In closing, Richy explains that he wants to represent himself as a helpful and resourceful drummer. He wants to give back to people and let everyone know that you have a choice to pursue your dreams. You can play drums for the rest of your life if you want to and Richy wants to demonstrate how it is possible. Very inspiring conversation overall.
Welcome back to another episode of DrumGAB podcast. So episode seven turned out to be a very spontaneous episode. Every episode has a pretty clear path for how it will go but sometimes things go off in a totally different direction. When this happens and it is feeling good, it MAKES the episode. This is one of those interviews, I think. I had to figure out a different way to present the interview to include something that....just happened.
So the interview starts off discussing how Francois started playing the drums. Long story short, he bought a $50 drum set and with support from his parents and advice from his father, who also played drums, he began his journey. Eventually, he would become a student at Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA. In this segment, I ask him questions about his education background and certain benefits and deficits to attending such a prestigious music program.
In the second section of the interview, we get into some of the aspects of being a working drummer. How important is reading music? How does the scholastic advantage play into how employable and desirable you are for gigs. We get into a bit of detail on this. We also discuss his accolades. For example, in 2010 Francois won the PASIC International Drumset Competition for R&B/Funk/Gospel category. Quoted by David Garibaldi about Francois, "Solid timekeeper. Good facility and very ”loose” looking hands and feet. Really creative. He’s very good!" That's a pretty glorious statement. Nuff said.
The third phase deals with the loss of his father and how music and his family kept him on the right track, which in my opinion, highlights those achievements further. How this ties into how Francois was introduced to drums by his father and their relationship through the instrument is really touching stuff. It is very clear that he is a very focused person that carries his father's spirit with him. His dad always said, "Just go have fun".
Francois is also putting together a project, which I am stoked about. It is pretty clear that he is a fan of jazz/funk and likes to groove his ass off. Francois is a very smooth player. While going on a tangent about how I like the groove videos but that I am tired of chop videos. Then....we conclude the interview.
And then Francois asks me if I do the "Ketchup, Mustard thing", which alludes to the first interview that was wiped off my hard drive....I explain this in the intro. I tried doing this bit at the end called "Four off the Floor" and I decided to forgo this bit in the second interview. But then I try to say goodbye and see ya next week and then Francois says the nicest thing about DrumGAB and it got me going. I started getting introspective about why I do DrumGAB and my time developing it so far and how it adds a lot of value to my life. I become my own guest in a way and it is totally out of nowhere and it kind of turns into a confession about my time so far with this project and my thoughts about a clinic that I am trying to prepare for. Basically admitting that I have very little theoretical knowledge of the drums and how that presents a major challenge when performing a clinic. Then Francois suggests that it is important to let some of the theory go when it comes time to play music. I also suggest my thoughts on how I abstractly look at music and approach drums.
Then we conclude the episode.
Throughout this episode, I include "System" by Brotherly. Francois performs some incredibly tight and groovy drums on this track. There is some intense soloing towards the 3/4 mark in the interview.
Check out Francois' website
Welcome back to another episode of the DrumGAB podcast. It's only days away from Valentines' Day and ironically I interviewed Buddy Love from Love Custom Drums. Buddy and Steve make some beautiful kits and I don't think you can argue that. However, after speaking with Buddy, I am beginning to understand that this company is so much more than gorgeous drums. There is an overwhelming sense of...well....LOVE in this company.
In the beginning, Buddy modified his DW drum kits. He had multiple kits and did everything from reworking bearing edges and even wrapping a shell in skateboard grip tape. After a while, he wanted a kit with tube lugs and DW was not able to hook that up. So what did Buddy do? He took matters into his own hands and began building drums. There was a problem that was beginning to occur, though. Every time he built a kit, it would sell. He saw this as his opportunity to begin Love Custom Drums.
I ask Buddy a variety of questions regarding different wood shell construction. Ply vs Steam Bent vs Stave shells. It is interesting and educational what Buddy has to say about the different build techniques, which leads us into, my question as to why he feels the need to learn everything there is to learn about building drums. His response to this question is inspiring.
We discuss another prospect with Love Custom Drums..."Old Steel". What is "Old Steel"? Well, it is kind of a crazy story about the original idea and how it was turned into something so much greater than Buddy could have imagined. Buddy goes into explaining how he prefers metal drums over wood and how the gnarly patina is where it is at for Buddy.
Getting to the near end of the interview I thought it would be nice to talk about the late Johnny Craviotto and his fondness for him. This was Buddy's hero. He goes on to explain his encounters with Johnny and a special dinner invitation by Ronn Dunnett. A truly touching segment of the interview and it is just great to hear the level of respect that Buddy has for this true legend....plus we geek out about his 2002 DW Craviotto snare and my 2001 DW Craviotto snare...kinda cool that we both own this rare drum.
I then ask Buddy to reflect on the past two years and try to imagine where Love Custom Drums might be in two years. You cannot deny the huge amount of growth and level of interest in the brand and that they had a successful year. I wish the Love team all of the best and it was an absolute treat to speak with Buddy on this incredible little company.
Visit Love Custom Drums @ www.lcdcustomdrums.com