Drummer Brad Hargreaves of Third Eye BlindHey there! A quick update on things in my world. I’m currently working on Third Eye Blind’s fifth record, cutting drums in London; we started on my mom’s birthday, March 11. Happy birthday, Mom!

Over the last five years I recorded a couple of albums with side project Year Long Disaster on indie label Volcom Entertainment and toured all over the world with both bands. Two years ago I started a solo DJ drumming project called…um…Just Brad.

Here are some random thoughts I’ve had of late. Of course the following takes for granted that any drumming without the right feel for the particular song or situation is of no use at all. And I believe that anything you see, hear, do, experience, feel, read, etc. has some effect on the music you make.

I love watching the gospel chops drummers and admire the feel, creativity, speed, and technique behind what they are doing. But I also just read Steve Jobs’ bio and got to thinking about how his design philosophy of sophistication through simplicity relates to drumming. Obviously there is tremendous power in a simple drum part. I think the sophistication of a drum part comes in its relation to the rest of the instruments’ parts. If Jobs played drums, he might sound like Phil Rudd (AC/DC) or Clyde Stubblefield (James Brown)—simple but divine.

I just started reading Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers. A study of musicians determined that 10,000 hours of practice was what separated the masters from the rest. Interestingly, talent was in no case a shortcut to becoming a master. Not everybody can or cares to be a master musician. But if you do, apparently you have to put the time in. I guarantee that the Thomas Pridgens and Tony Roysters of the world have logged their 10,000 hours.

Finally, as a pretty big hoops fan, the evolution of players like Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant over the course of their careers is of interest to me. They never stopped adding to, tweaking, and refining their game during the off-season. And how many times has Tiger Woods revamped his golf swing? The common denominator among them is they keep working at their craft. I have certainly taken inspiration from them to expand and add to my playing when I have downtime. Lately I think the DJ stuff has crept into my live drum solo, where I trigger samples with Maschine groove production studio. This fan video captures it.

 

Those are my thoughts of late. Love to hear yours.

 

To connect with Brad Hargreaves, follow him on Twitter at @justbrad23.