Richard Danielson of Vintage Trouble

Richard Danielson of Vintage TroubleHello, MD readers. My name is Richard Danielson, and I’m the drummer for Vintage Trouble. Our music has been described as many things. I like to call it “primitive soul.” We have stripped it down to just guitar, bass, drums, and vocals. We keep it raw and a little dangerous-feeling at times, which I love, especially in the studio, where we record everything live and without a click. The feel of humans (musicians) interacting with one another, live and in the moment, is a huge turn on for me. I’m in constant chase of that magic, and I suppose it’s why many of us play music.

Vintage Trouble is currently opening for the Who throughout North America, so I’ve been watching both live Who performances as well as old Who documentaries. Keith Moon was such a huge part of the Who’s musical personality. I’ve been recently re-invigorated by rediscovering how much I love this band and, more particularly, Moon’s style and contribution.

In 500 words or less, let’s take a moment to muse about personality and drumming, or what I like to refer to as attitude. My favorite drummers seem to be tapped into an emotional or personal place when they drum, which not only resonates in their style but also tends to inspire and influence the music around them. Whatever that place “Moon The Loon” was tapped into worked great for him. He had a spirit that perhaps cannot be taught, and that lent so much to the music he inspired. But we can all tap into what makes us tick and bring this to our music. Drummers that play with attitude tend to embody the music they play, no matter what style. Buddy Rich played with so much fire that it was borderline-ferocious at times. Sheila E plays with tremendous attitude when she plays percussion. She’s feeling it, and it’s infectious.

Let us not be afraid to express more of our own personalities through our instrument. This tapping into the emotion of what we are playing/hearing/feeling can elevate our game. I see and feel this so often. I consider myself to be an emotional player. Get me emotionally involved in the music, and I am at my best. It may come out in the way that I take a stab at a cymbal based on what I just heard or felt, or in the way I drive a groove or square it up to give it some extra character, or even in the way I might lay at the backside of a beat to widen the entire playing field. Emotion can manifest itself in so many ways. It can manifest in our playing as attitude, and attitude is character, and character is sexy.

I never want to forget what turned me on about music in the first place. I lost that for a number of years, and it feels really great to be back. I challenge myself and all who read this to stay true to your emotions to the point that it affects your instincts behind the kit. Bring yourself to your playing. Cop an attitude!


For more on Vintage Trouble, visit



  1. Michelle McMichael

    Love your article Richard. As usual, you expressed your emotions brilliantly!! Your way with words is equal with your fabulous drumming. I am so so proud and happy for you and VINTAGE TROUBLE, the best band mates ever! Hope to see my boys soon. Love Mom Michelle.

  2. Mike Messer

    Great to hear you muse Richard! I adore your drumming, man. All that worn out shoe leather left on the floors of the VT tours’ venues, that’s all YOU my man.

  3. Joe Schober

    My wife and I caught you guys at the Who show in Phila. Pa. and were completely blown away. As a long time Who fanatic I can say that VintageTrouble captures the spirit and energy of vintage Who and were the perfect opening compliment to the Who concert. As to your thoughts about Keith Moon I’d like to say that of all the great drummers that I admire(and there are many) , no ones drumming has ever affected me on an emotional level the way that Keith Moons does. His drumming was completely inate and purely from the heart. Forget about technique or rudiments or anything conventional when talking about Keith Moon, he made up for it in spades with attitude. I like to think he was the Jackson Pollack of drumming, throwing his sticks at the drums the way Pollack hurled paint at a canvas. Keep up the energy, I cant wait for your next recording. Joe Schober

  4. Pingback: Richard Danielson of Vintage Trouble | Drummer

Leave a Reply