I do not own drum cases. I rarely change my drumheads, mainly due to economics then my laziness. I don’t know the measurements of any of my drums. It took me at least twelve years to actually own a drum stool, and that was only because the band Polvo bought one for me when I played with them. I throw my drums around whenever I play out and seem to have little (if any) regard for their well being. I have lost cymbal stands and even ice bells due to just forgetting after a show.
So you know..I am not the most professional drummer around. But I still love to play the drums and since 1983 I have been into it. Even if I suck at the mechanics involved.
So how long is that..well, it is over twenty five years. Every band I have ever been in, I figure that it will be the last one but it still goes on and on. Playing drums is one of those things that grounds me a little bit. After a good show or even a good practice there is nothing like it, a sense of accomplishment where everything seems to be alright in my universe for that instant. It is sort of like an orgasm but it lasts a little bit longer. No wonder I am still interested in playing drums.
A lot of people have had a profound influence on me and I want to give them props in this thing. There are players and people and attitudes that have kept me going for a long time. Not fame, not money, not that fantasy cover of MODERN DRUMMER , just you know..playing drums. And being in bands that play music. That is all.
Besides all of the early influences any kid who likes rock music should have and go through, it wasn’t until punk rock where I was able to actually see these guys playing drums up close. That was really a big deal. To actually see these people getting to work, and to get excited and inspired from it…well, it was a really big deal to me. People always said that punk rock was just a bunch of noise. They could be right, but anybody can tell you that most of these drummers were in fact really good and really skilled at what they did. People like Bill Stevenson of the Descendents and Black Flag or like George Hurley of the Minutemen..those two were just great drummers. They are two of my favorite drummers of all time and maybe my two biggest influences. They both didn’t just support the song, they composed their drum parts as separate entities to the songs themselves. So I took a lot from those guys and still do.
Shiny Beast - Honky
Then there was Reed Mullin of Corrosion Of Conformity, a old pal and a absolute monster behind the kit. A huge kit back then, actually. Huge red Tama drums and gigantic tree trunk drumsticks. He was one of the next guys after Stevenson, Hurley and Chuck Biscuits. A big influence on me that I still rip off. Michel “Away” Langevin is another great drummer, from the band Voi Vod. He is somehow criminally undervalued but he had a unique style all of his own and did some really great stuff. You can’t forget Earl Hudson of the Bad Brains, who is a machine behind the kit, and has influenced thousands of people. Erik Tunison from Die Kreuzen had this amazing choppy fluid drumming style, not just on the hardcore records but beyond. The best part about all of these guys was that they didn’t disappear up their own ass in terms of technical ability. Feeling wins out every time, which is cool since like I have said above, I am not by any means a “pro drummer”. All of the guys I have mentioned have had a big influence on me and my so called career as a drummer. There are plenty more but those guys come to my mind first.
PATTY DUKE SYNDROME with Ryan Adams and Jere Mcilwean.
I am not the kind of person that never listens to their own music. I do. Maybe it is because when I was a kid all I ever wanted to do was play music in a band. I was fascinated by that and even if I am older and certainly more jaded I feel lucky and very fortunate to be able to still play drums. Even my first ever recording experience with Scared Straight back in thee “old days” (of 1985! Ha ha!) where we banged out nine minute long thrasholas, I can’t put that down too much, or say how much better I am now (although I am) because it was great. And that feeling has kept me going all of this time. After Scared Straight, I was able to play more complicated and slower beats in bands like Wwax and Willard and Shiny Beast. I was able to play with Mike Dean and Woodroe Weatherman in the COC side project Snake Nation..playing with those guys really forced me to get better, as you could imagine. I was able to join Polvo and play a lot of interesting live shows with them and learned about space and linking free form parts together. And currently in the band Double Negative, I am able to somehow play even faster then I was able to in my early twenties as well as sneak in some creativity in the tiny artistic window that is fast thrashy hardcore punk rock, which is no mean feat in itself.
DOUBLE NEGATIVE at No Way Fest last year.
My basic philosophy behind music and drums is that I always want to do something different then what I have done before. It doesn’t have to be some big deal, just trying to be able to stick something in that fucks things up in a good way, and to also know how to not do that. Bill Stevenson said one time that if you are going to just do what you did today yesterday, then you are pretty much done. I totally agree with that. That is always something I want to strive for. i hope this doesn't come off too pretentious but if it does then that is okay.