Greetings! I haven’t checked in for some time so I thought this was a good moment to say hello. Since my last post Pinback has been very busy. We finally finished our touring for the Autumn Of The Seraphs album. Besides zigzagging all over the U.S. we had traveled over to Japan, Canada, and Europe several times in the past couple years. We are now about halfway done with the new CD/LP and are looking forward to getting busy again with touring this coming year. Things have slowed down lately, allowing for us to catch our breath and reflect on the past few years.
We’ve had some life-changing experiences, some good and some very bad. Our keyboard player and dear friend Terrin Durfey passed away in 2008 after a ten-year battle with skin cancer. He was such a great musician and positive force in the band that losing him left a huge hole in each of our lives. Terrin was my best friend and closest musical compatriot. He is missed dearly.
Amid all the chaos of touring and Terrin’s passing, some really positive things transpired as well. Several of us are new dads. We have even toured a great deal with the kids along with us, which has been amazing. Being away from home for long periods is always tough, but leaving young children behind is especially difficult. Things change fast, and it’s hard to not feel that we are missing some important experiences. Luckily we’ve had long breaks between tours and are able to soak up the warmth of family life until the crazy schedule begins again next year.
In the past year the extra time off also gave me a chance to catch up on some unfinished projects. Most notably, I was able to complete my first instructional book, Creative Construction Drum Play-Along Method. It’s been a really fun project to put together. I have been teaching drums for twenty years and have always used the usual suspects in my lessons (Stick Control, Funky Primer, Syncopation, etc.). Although my students often will work through these books during their lessons, more than anything I found myself writing ideas out on notebook paper. The lessons tended to get a little freestyle as I developed my own ideas about teaching over the years. It was incredibly rewarding to finally replace the messy pages of scrawled notes that students’ binders would ultimately contain with a professional and easy-to-read printed book. Hooray!
The Creative Construction book has helped my students learn to hear music and interpret an integrated drum part that works closely with other musicians. For an experienced player the concept is simple, but I found it was an invaluable lesson to the student who is just beginning to play in bands. The book comes with a play-along CD that contains songs that are dissected and worked through in the book. The ultimate goal is for the student to create their own drum parts and then follow along with the accompanying simplified form charts. It’s a fun way to practice composition concepts from a drumming perspective.
For a free sample of the book/audio or to get more information, check out www.ccdrumbooks.com. I can be contacted through this website as well. I’d love to hear any feedback or ideas about further editions! Also, I’ll be checking in soon about the progress with the new Pinback CD. We are looking towards a summer release on the New York–based label Temporary Residence. This will be our first release with them, and we’re excited by their enthusiasm.
Hope to see some of you out at the shows next spring!