MD goes deep inside the reinvention of a prog-rock institution, which stormed stages around the country last fall with a raging new three-drummer lineup. Retrofitting four decades of genre-defining music for the seven-piece band took a lot of careful planning, but once the parts were in place, vroom!
Your playing skills are the number-one asset in your drumming career. That’s a given. But your ability to “hang” is a not-too-distant number two. Maybe this is a good time to make sure you’re doing it right.
Last summer, drumming innovator Terry Bozzio celebrated the fiftieth anniversary of his first drum lesson by performing his unique solo compositions on tour in North America and Japan. The sixty-four-years-young Bozzio, still on top of his game, attributes much of his longevity and creativity to his early education.
“You can make up a lot of ground when you don’t know what you’re up against,” Steve Gorman says to Modern Drummer over brunch in downtown Nashville. Given the fact that the drummer didn’t start playing until he was twenty-one years old, joined the grungy roots-rock band the Black Crowes after owning a kit for merely a month, and appeared on the group’s multimillion-selling 1990 album, Shake Your Money Maker, just two years later, it seems that he is, in fact, at his best when the pressure is on.
In the mid-’70s, the San Francisco–based band the Tubes came roaring out of the gate with over-the-top live shows, blistering musicality, and an outrageously satirical take on modern culture. Toning down their outrageousness a bit helped them crack MTV and the charts in the early ’80s, with hits like “Talk to Ya Later” and “She’s a Beauty,” but label honchos, producers, and the public largely continued to scratch their head at the group’s unflagging weirdness.
Let’s get it straight from the start: There’s no dabbling when it comes to incorporating Indian musical influences into your playing. It’s all just too deep. But for decades, Western drummers who’ve fallen under Indian music’s spell have gladly dedicated the hours, weeks, and years required to truly absorb its wonders, because the journey can be life-changing, and the effects it can have on your playing are profound.
Every one of us has favorite players who have left a lasting impression on the way we play, record, and perform. I’ve been particularly influenced by many of the marquee Nashville studio drummers who came before me, and none more than the great Greg Morrow.
The R&B and fusion vet, who’s put in time with Macy Gray, Natasha Bedingfield, and Tal Wilkenfeld, says it’s all about making meaningful connections—between song sections, between fellow musicians, and between past and future generations of players.
The multitalented drummer with a penchant for science and technology brings us the affirmation we’ve been waiting for.
She’s spent the past few years touring with the R&B stars CeeLo Green and Kelis. Now the drummer says she’s more than ready for the next phase of her career.
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