Stanton Moore of Galactic on the instructional videos and live streams he has been releasing - "I've come to realize that yes, there is an abundance of drumming information out there. There's an abundance of online teachers and videos and websites. What I want to do is make myself available to the people who decide that I'm their guy. That they want to learn what I have to offer. If they want to learn from a guy who has studied brushes with Jeff Hamilton, but has also played double drums with Zigaboo Modeliste, but who also has learned from Shannon Powell, Herlin Riley, Johnny Vidacovich, and has actually spent 25 years on the road touring, then I'm your guy. It's not a competition thing. I love doing it. I love when I can present something to somebody in a way that makes the light bulb go off and I know that I've helped them to maybe be a better musician. I also love when they tell me, 'Man, that thing that you wrote… I worked on it for months and months and months. And then my band noticed that I had become a better drummer. And then that made me happier, made me more pleasant to be around.' That's why I get into this."
Huey Lewis: Once you have the song, how it's handled, how it wants to be recorded and produced, is an interesting thing. Because it's very easy to hear a great song in your head and then lose it while you're trying to record it. The key is to try to stay true to that song. Let the song kind of dictate how it wants to be produced and how it wants to sound.
My Michael McDermott drum key arrived today. This thing has some serious weight to it.
Check out my interview with Michael
Cris Cohen: What's the key to learning how to play well with others on an album? To play well with the percussionist? To play well with the programmed drums?
Chris Fryar, drummer, the Zac Brown Band: The most helpful thing you can keep in mind is to listen, to be aware. For example, when Daniel (de los Reyes) is playing, sometimes he'll play a part, and that part will just catch the ear of whoever's in the booth and he will go, "Oh yeah, why don't we make that into a loop?" In that kind of context, you want to just listen and give space to those ideas as they come up in a live context. And so from my perspective, my job is to hit the high points, the strong beats, embellish where I can, but pretty much be aware and be open to what's happening musically with the electronic end of things. And what's happening with Daniel's end of things. So if he picks up a shaker and starts playing an intricate pattern, then I am more than likely going to lessen what I do on the hi-hat, since they are similar sounds. I defer to him. It's out of love for the music and out of love for him, because he's an incredible player and masterful musician in his own. I don't want to detract from what he's doing.
Cris Cohen: I read in another interview you did where you said, “I have a philosophy that every single note I play matters.” Does that ever get in the way of seeing the big picture? Because it sounds like, if you go down that road, you could get really hyper-focused and miss some of the grand scheme of things.
Mark Schulman, drummer for P!nk: That's a fantastic question. But remember what I said earlier: First and foremost, I'm there to be of service. It's funny, because people describe what it is like when you are playing on stage. It's this sort of hyper-awareness where you are totally present and foreshadowing the future, paying attention to everything you do, as well as really paying attention to what everybody else does. I am so acutely aware of everybody else. That's one of the reasons why I get the gigs that I've gotten is because of my awareness of others. So it's this hybrid of me paying attention to the nuances of what I play and paying attention to every little nuance so I can play off of everybody else and respond or change or shift or whatever needs to happen. Because I'm there to be of service first.
Daniel Glass: Your groove has power! It really does! A successful groove will MOVE your audience from Point A to Point B. It’s just too bad that most drummers don’t take advantage of this power. Instead, they put in the minimum time to develop a decent groove that’s “good enough.“ Then they focus most of their energy on complex patterns, chops, and other “sexy” stuff that’s intended to impress other drummers. And they wonder why they don’t sound like Steve Gadd...
Sign up for Daniel's upcoming class "Finding Your Golden Groove".
From the archives. Recorded November 1998.
Cris Cohen interviews Roger McGuinn. They discuss:
- His album "Live From Mars"
- "King of the Hill," the duet he recorded with Tom Petty
- His love of folk music
- Learning to perform as a solo artist
- And more
When The Rolling Stones album “Voodoo Lounge” was released in the 90s, it received a number of much deserved compliments from fans, critics, and other musicians. (Seriously, check it out. There are great songs on that record.) I remember one writer asked Eric Clapton why he thought it was so good and he said, because Charlie was really into it.
Although somewhat subtle in both his demeanor and playing, Charlie Watts profoundly influenced his bandmates, the sound of The Rolling Stones, and drummers everywhere. I think what made him special was his cool confidence behind the kit. It is probably a challenge to play with larger-than-life figures like Mick Jagger and Keith Richards. But Charlie’s playing never clashed with what they were doing, nor did it get buried in the background. It just made their music that much better.
Cris Cohen: You talked about how, if you know her, if you're in her circle, Patty will eventually write something about you and be brutally honest about it. Were you cool with that from moment one? Or was it odd the first time it happened to you?
Dwight Baker of The Wind and The Wave: I will say that it doesn't happen to me as much, but to be a friend of hers or her husband, who is a hell of a man, because he, his name, or his personage are in those songs a lot. I think he's had to be a pretty strong person. I think they've done some couples therapy about lyrics that she's written before. I don't know if I said that in the interview you saw, but I've said after she's presented a lyric, "Are you sure you want to sing that? You are going to have to have a real conversation with at least two people after singing that."
And she's just like, "I can't do it any other way. This is the way I do it."
Speak your truth.
Rich Redmond, drummer for Jason Aldean: We are all running businesses. And businesses thrive on repeat business. A lot of the people I have worked with in my life I have been able to count on for continued business because they know that I am going to be the first one there, I am going to be the last one to leave, I'm going to have a smile on my face, I am going to be able to take direction, and hopefully we are going to have a great experience together. And that has worked out for me.