How does it feel to be getting recognition of your drumming skills?
I’ve busted my tail my entire life, praying for the day that I would be “endorsing” major companies. Now I’ve signed quite a few endorsement contracts!! It’s just one of those things you want! You want a bus, a drum tech, your song on the radio, your picture on the front page of Modern Drummer…and you want ENDORSEMENTS! LOL
The funny thing is, once you ARE endorsed, you begin to realize that getting free gear really isn’t the rewarding part. The rewarding part (at least for me) is the relationships you build from being affiliated with the greatest drum companies on earth! Ludwig, Sabian, Evans, and Pro-Mark, just to name a few. I have the support of the best artist reps in the world! Someone like Kevin Packard (Ludwig), or Chris Stankee (Sabian) isn’t just a person taking my order over the phone.
These companies are like families, and I’m privileged enough to be a part of that. I never take that for granted!
Do you have any advice for kids learning to play the drums?
This is something I still struggle with myself! I tend to overanalyze things and think too much. The best advice I’ve heard, came from my good friend Freddie Nelson. He said “go with what inspires you.” Sound’s simple, but it’s great advice.
When things aren’t working, or you find yourself in a rut, always go “back to the basics.” You should be able to pick up any pair of sticks and produces a clean double stroke roll. PERIOD! If you can’t do that, then you need to work on your double stroke roll. LOL
I’m very fortunate to have the support of the best companies in the world. However, Buddy Rich could pick up two wooden spoons and blow me off the bandstand. That’s because he was a great player…not because he had great sticks.
Practice Practice Practice… PERIOD! PERIOD!! PERIOD!!!
Have you ever thought about doing your own instructional drumming DVD?
I’ve actually been approached by several “name” artists, as well as some very large companies. The issue for me is I don’t want to toss out another boring instructional DVD. If I decide to release something, I want it to be special and have musical merit… not just “stick spins.”
I know the “tricks” put me on the map, but the market is slammed with garbage DVD’s. I’m working on a few new ideas at the moment for a new release. However, it won’t just be an instructional DVD… there’ll be more to it than that.
If I just made it an instructional video, then you would have to be a “drummer” to want to watch it more than once. Don’t get me wrong, there’ll be PLENTY of drumming on it. And I’m sure I’ll break some of those moves down, so drummers can process them and apply them. But I don’t want to do 90 minutes of “stick spins.” That’s boring to me, and doesn’t inspire me in the least! However, if I can “entertain” people for 90 minutes, I would love to do it…
Who are your top 5 drummers living or dead?
Alive: Marco Minnemann, Johnny Rabb, Mike Portnoy, Shannon Larkin, and Dave Lombardo. Dead: Gene Krupa, Buddy Rich, John Bonham, Keith Moon, and Ginger Baker. I know that’s actually 10, but I wanted to get more in there. LOL
My list of favorites goes on and on… But I’m always drawn to drummers that THROW themselves into their playing. I’m not referring to “volume,” I’m referring to emotion and INTENT.
Finally, do you know any good drummer jokes?
NO… Thank God! LOL
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