An Editor’s Overview
Every once in a while when I’m trying to sound important in an editorial meeting, I’ll pull out this line: “We can never forget that even though we’re all drummers around this table, it’s just as crucial that we’re journalists as well.” It’s not a phrase you often hear, drum journalist. But at Modern Drummer we’ve always believed that it’s imperative to think of our work in those terms.
Call them metal, call them hard rock, call them prog…. One thing’s for sure, none of those labels do the Atlanta-based band Mastodon justice. Mastodon are welcome interlopers who, after nearly twenty years, have morphed and blossomed into makers of a sound that is truly their own.
The drummer, composer, and director of jazz studies and ethnomusicology at DePaul University is all about seeking out true sources.
Last month we interviewed drummer Marian Li-Pino of the SoCal indie-surf rock band La Luz, who recently toured Australia alongside that country’s progressive psych ensemble King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard. Marian, the good sport that she is, agreed to put on her journalist cap and report back on what drives this unlikely double-drummer-powered group.
The jazz and hip-hop drumming ace adds a new book and live DVD to an ever-growing list of recording, touring, and publishing credits. Here we get a glimpse into his surprising journey.
In 2009, Jamison Ross participated in the prestigious Betty Carter Jazz Ahead program, an educational residency for promising young jazz artists. Among the notable artists serving as auditioners/panelists was vocalist Carmen Lundy, who approached the nineteen-year-old drummer. But rather than offering educational guidance, Lundy extended her hand and asked, “Do you have a card?”
Long before he conquered film and TV in things like The X-Files, Supernatural, and In the Name of the Father, he witnessed the birth of London punk and participated in its fascinating aftermath. Now he’s come full circle, playing drums with his old boss Robyn Hitchcock. It’s been one wild ride.
When choosing the ideal heads for your particular needs, you should consider the following: How much sensitivity do you require? (For example, do you play a lot of quick, soft patterns and rolls, or are you mainly hammering backbeats?) How much overtone control do you prefer? And is durability a significant concern? We’ll begin our discussion with the ubiquitous single-ply coated and then work our way through the various pre-muffled, double-ply, and specialty models.