Matt Walker

Matt Walker : Modern Drummer

Mid flight from Chicago to L.A….

I’m returning to Conway Studios to record one more track for Morrissey’s new album, the rest of which I recorded between last Thanksgiving and Christmas. It is now almost April.

Leaving home today was even harder than usual. We have a new son, Shane, who is only six weeks old, and as hard as it is having a newborn, it is one of the most amazing experiences I’ve had in this short life, and I cherish it. And I think my other two kids were also just getting used to me being around again, after having spent the majority of the last two years either touring or recording out of town. They are both very understanding and adaptable and have taken my insane work schedule in great stride. It can be a tough thing to live out your dreams and simultaneously be a responsible father and husband–especially when your dreams include touring the world for months (years?) at a time.

One could argue that once you have children, you should put your ambitions to rest, and I don’t know that I completely disagree with that. However, for better or for worse, I have selfishly continued to pursue a musical career that is still both challenging and fulfilling, and in doing so I hope I am teaching my kids that anything is possible, and that you have to be true to yourself.

I suppose that by having the good fortune of finding work that keeps the mortgage paid (thus far), I feel entitled to press on. And having my wife’s blessing doesn’t hurt either.

Now, with that esoteric rambling out of my system, it’s time to log in some new musical information.

Drums: I have some kick-ass new drums. I’ve signed on with Gretsch and am really excited and inspired to be sitting behind such an amazing instrument. I’m using the new Classic and USA Custom kits. I’m still sorting through various combinations of sizes to see what setup I’ll use. I’ve been favoring bigger drums lately, such as a 24″ kick, a 14″ rack, and an 18″ floor. It just takes a bit more muscle to make these drums work, so we’ll see. Advertisement

While on baby break at home, I was very busy with sessions around town as well as rehearsals with my band TheMDR (The Most Dangerous Race) TheMDR has been my musical baby for the last few years, and I feel like we’re just now truly hitting our stride. In rehearsal we’re sounding massive, without too much effort really, and I think that’s due to figuring out which MDR material to perform live. We have so many songs at this point, we could very easily push the band in a number of different directions–which, I think, can be a blessing and a curse. Being relatively unknown at this point, the band’s identity needs to be clearly distinguished, so as-yet unmade fans can find us in the ever-deepening sea of alternative music.

We’ll be landing soon—it’s going to be a long day. I’ll go from LAX to my hotel, take a quick shower, and head straight to the studio to track. It’s a new song, one the band has never played before, so I expect it will be a pretty intense session, especially because as far as I know I’m heading back to Chicago tomorrow morning. However, I do have a sinking feeling that my flight home will be pushed back. We’ll see.

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