Hey, MD. I just touched down in Newark, NJ, after five crazy-hectic months of nonstop touring. Honor Society just completed the first leg of our tour in support of our debut album, Fashionably Late, which came out in September on Hollywood Records. It has been an incredible couple of months. I’ve waited my whole life to put out an album, and to have it drop and go to number eighteen on the Billboard charts in its first week was bananas! We have incredible fans—the best, for real!
I’m pumped for some downtime because I’m headed back to the basement to stretch out on new licks I picked up on the road. I had the chance to tour with some awesome drummers in the past five months, including Jack Lawless (Jonas Brothers), Michael Bedard (Jordin Sparks), and Mike B (Esmee Denters). They have different styles, but all of them are super-filthy players. I would spend most nights on the side of the stage just taking notes!
The second leg of the Fashionably Late tour starts in mid-January, and I’m stoked to get back out there. I’m really going back to the lab and getting back to basics. I’m working on my rudiments…stuff I haven’t even thought about since high school. The music in Honor Society demands both straight-ahead arena-rock power and smooth R&B grooves—and it’s definitely a balancing act to make sure that they’re both done convincingly. To help me change gears like that, I’m going to try to meet up with Michael Bedard out in L.A. He’s one of the best out there, playing straight pop but still able to shift into this deep Aaron Spears–esque gospel style.
All right, MD, I have to go lock myself in the basement and start shedding. I’m digging in and working on some new stuff for the second leg of the tour—trying to incorporate some inverted paradiddles and triplet-feel ruffs. I’m also going to check out that Chip Ritter DVD and see if we can put some extra-visual hot sauce into the show.
Thanks to all my sponsors and artist reps: Kevin Packard at Ludwig, Wayne Wilburn at Paiste, Ben Davies with Vic Firth, and everyone over at Evans—best people, best gear! Can’t wait to kill it in 2010 for all those guys. A special thanks to Modern Drummer as well; thank you so much for your support.