When we last spoke with the drummer, in 2009, he’d recently proven his skills by filling in for his father on tour with Bruce Springsteen, slaying it night after night. Today Max’s kid is very much his own man, and here he describes his two-year (and counting) tour of duty replacing one of metal’s most revered practitioners in a band that courts danger on a nightly basis.
The jazz great has spent the year in constant motion, spearheading multiple ensembles, including one holding special interest for drummers.
Fifty years ago he and guitarist Jeff Hanna founded a jug band to avoid the straight life. Today the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band’s beautifully twisted tale continues unabated.
During his rise to the top of today’s prog scene, the ever-adaptable electroacoustic drummer handily dealt with every physical and technological challenge thrown at him. The only real roadblock, it turns out, came from within.
Phoning in on a day off between dates in Japan, the drummer opens up about his journey to success, what it takes to stay there, and the pressures of holding down the throne in one of the most popular acts of the day.
Musicians have played an important role on the battlefield for centuries. Fifes, bagpipes, and trumpets have been used to instruct friends and intimidate foes. And since at least as long ago as the days of ancient Babylon, the beating of animal skins has rallied the troops on the field, sent signals between the masses, and scared enemies half to death.
The Lovin’ Spoonful burned brighter than most bands in the ’60s—perhaps too bright for its own good. But the singing drummer who made a habit of beating the odds, in an era when studio cats regularly ghost-drummed on major productions, continues to keep the candle lit.
When the leader of the lauded French post-punk trio Underground Railroad joined the rising neo-psych band Purson, he honed his drumming approach by leaning on indie-rock influences and investigating prog pioneers.