An Editor’s Overview
It’s hard to believe that we’ve already turned the corner toward another year, and Modern Drummer is celebrating forty-two years of publishing in 2018. While that pales in comparison to the 4.54 billion times this rock we live on has circled the sun, we’re enormously proud and honored to continue to be your top drum publication of choice…especially when there are so many other options available today to satisfy your percussive needs.
An experienced pursuer of the unfamiliar, and a compassionate leader who’s unafraid to unleash, the eternally curious drummer carves a unique way along his journey of musical discovery—all the while bringing as many of us along as he can.
He barely knew what to do with a reggae groove when he started his climb to the top of the pops with Steel Pulse.
Vintage drum expert Luca Luciano’s book is a fascinating introduction to some of the most unusual drums you’ll likely never see.
Sonny Emory chimes in with his thoughts on some big topics.
Pearl Jam/Soundgarden Drummer Matt Cameron Enlists David Bowie’s Blackstar Drummer, Mark Guiliana, for His Latest Solo Album
Matt Cameron may be widely known as the drummer with two iconic bands, Pearl Jam and Soundgarden, but those who’ve followed his career closely know he’s also a multi-instrumentalist who occasionally releases music as a leader. For his latest album, Cavedweller, Matt took the unusual step of hiring Mark Guiliana to provide the drumming. Modern Drummer’s Ken Micallef spoke to him to find out why.
Few acts get to take over a venue for multiple consecutive gigs during the annual music conference, but there was a line going around the block each night for the Austin institution Spoon, which was commemorating the release of its ninth album, Hot Thoughts, and a return to Matador Records, the label that had released its first LP, Telephono, back in 1996.
Jason Smay was destined to hold it down for throwbacks like the roots rocker JD McPherson and the Mexican-wrestling-mask-wearing, surf-rock instrumentalists Los Straitjackets. Growing up just outside Rochester, New York, Smay leaned heavily retro in his tastes. He loved vintage hot rods and motorcycles (he remains an avid collector and tinkerer) and old-school jazz, R&B, and rock.
The drummer, who grew up in a household steeped in top-level twentieth-century classical music performance, has built up an impressive résumé featuring some of the most compelling experimental pop and rock groups of the past decade. He’s also released an adventurous percussion-oriented electroacoustic album and developed an evolving solo show that reveals unique methods.
Inspired by the rebellious sounds of pioneering rock ’n’ rollers such as Bill Haley and Little Richard, the barnstorming British drummer Tony Newman developed a slashing, swinging, hard-driving style that met the considerable demands of the breakneck creative pace set by standard-bearers of the U.K. rock music scene during the 1960s and 1970s.
“Drummers like to collect instruments and naturally explore different percussive sounds,” says John Bryant, director and producer of the recently released documentary Dare to Drum. “This film is literally about going around the world, finding different sounds and percussive music, and bringing them back to incorporate into our group sound.” The group Bryant is referring to is the Dallas-based percussion ensemble D’Drum, which also features Ron Snider, Doug Howard, and Ed Smith.