Joe Cocuzzo

Talking Drums With Joe Cocuzzo

by Cheech Iero

CI: What made you gravitate towards the drums rather than piano, or trumpet?JC: My older brother Danny was a drummer. He’d play something and I could repeat it, I could hear it. He gave me a pair of sticks, and since I was 6, that was it. All I knew was I wanted to play the drums. I never wanted to be a fireman or anything else. He had all these records, and I listened to all of them. I was hooked at eight.CI: Did your brother teach you to play?

JC: He wasn’t a professional drummer, but he knew that I could be. So, he made sure I practiced, he made sure I was listening to Chick Webb, Gene Krupa, Lionel Hampton, Shelly Manne and Louie Bellson. By the time I was 12 we were going to hear all these bands. I played my first gig when I was 11. I made 6 bucks.

CI: Where was that?

JC: In Boston. It was with a great bass player named Johnny Neves. He was so good I thought everybody played like him. And Johnny Rae the vibe player who used to be with Cal Tjader. He’s out on the coast now.

CI: Who did you study with?

JC: Well, my first teacher outside of my public school training, was George Stone. That’s when I was about 13. I studied with him until I was about 16. Also during that period I had the pleasure of studying with Carl E. Gardner in the Boston school system. I was between Carl and George Stone all through junior high and high school. Then I studied with Stanley Spector in Boston, who is very underrated. Stanley was the first guy who got me to use my brain as well as my hands. He had a way of explaining what your hands were doing and why they were doing it. He knew I could play, but he got me thinking. I was doing it, but not thinking about it. He made me realize what I was doing.

CI: What was George Stone like?

JC:Let me tell you how thorough he was. He would ask me to play a four stroke ruff, and he’d put a piece of paper over the drumhead with a piece of carbon over it. After I played it, he’d lift the carbon, and if he didn’t see three light dots and one heavy one, he knew you did something wrong. That was his way of checking out my hands. But he didn’t do it just to check out the four stroke ruff, he did it to check out the dynamics. One day he put two glasses of water in front of me, and told me to put one hand in each glass. I’m sitting there like an idiot, not knowing what the hell I’m doing, and he says, ‘Okay, get rid of the water without a towel.’ So I started flicking my hands and wrists. ‘That’s how you are supposed to play the drums, like you’re throwing water away.’ Marvelous ways of showing you things. He would sometimes get a piece of music, and we’d sit side by side. I’d take a stick in my left hand and put my arm around his back with my right hand, without a stick. He’d put a stick in his right hand and put his left arm around my back without a stick. Then we’d play the same part using my left hand and his right hand. Then we’d switch. We’d sound like one drummer. I could watch if my right or left was doing the right thing. We could play a piece together, rolling and everything. He was a master. Carl Gardner was the same way. He was the first man to ask questions I never heard in my life. For instance, what is the significance of a single stroke roll versus a flam, in the musical sense? Well, the answer is the single stroke roll gives you the staccato and the flam gives you the legato, because it’s a wider phrase. Carl Gardner would say when you play a single stroke, it should only be to accentuate the staccato in the music. If you play a flam, it should be to show the legato feel of the piece. Don’t just think of it as a flam or a single stroke, relate it to the music.

CI: Who were some of the drummers you were into when you were studying with these teachers?

JC: The first drummers I listened to were Lionel Hampton, Gene Krupa, Chick Webb, Jo Jones, Louis Bellson, Shelly Manne and Buddy, of course, for what he does. Then I started getting into guys like Davey Tough and Kenny Clarke, for time conception. I think they all had something to say, but basically I always liked the guys who had a bottom to their playing. That’s why I went back to those older players. Without that bottom you really can’t generate any excitement, which is really the only reason you’re there.

CI: Especially with a big band.

JC: Of course, but it could also fall apart with three men. You could have a trio that stands still too. But more so with a big band because of the added weight. Without that bottom, without your feet, it doesn’t hold up. I hear a lot of guys play with just their hands and they can’t hold anything together. It’s a question of what you know underneath your drums and the confidence you have.

CI: With that approach in mind, did you work on anything in particular to develop a strong bottom to your playing?

JC: Yes, definitely. Both George Stone and Carl Gardner always stressed that you only played something well when it was completely under control. If you’re not in control, you’re not playing well. The only way you’re going to do that is to slow down if that’s what you have to do. Incorporate your feet so that you’re all one. You don’t want it to be first floor-second floor, but rather all one building. George Stone used to have a little sign that read, “Don’t bother to explain your mistake, I heard it. Just play it slower.” You know that saved a lot of time. Carl Gardner would simply say, “Joe, when you pick up your sticks and start to play, the minute you feel that you’re forcing your muscles — stop.” Don’t even think about it, stop. Start over at a slower tempo.

CI: There may be some people who would disagree, claiming you have to push it a little.

JC: Of course, your muscles are involved, you can’t get away from it. I think what I’m trying to say is to use the minimum amount of muscle to get the maximum effect. Using as little amount of muscle as possible for what has to be done. Most people go with muscle completely and I don’t agree with that. I think you’re going to hurt yourself, physically hurt yourself. And it sounds that way. You can only hit a drum so hard, after that it chokes. You could be the strongest guy in the world. A one hundred pound man who knows how to hit a drum, can get a bigger sound than a man who weighs 500 pounds. It’s knowledge that brings the sound out of the drum. It’s how you hit the drum. George Stone always told me after you hit the drum to get away from it. Don’t put the stick down on the drum head and leave it there. Hit the drum and pull away from it, that allows the sound to come out. So it’s really a question of knowing how to strike a drum to get the biggest sound, or whatever sound you desire. That’s how I approach the drum, and that’s how I practice the drums. That’s really how I want to hear them played. I not only love to listen to a drummer, I love to watch him, because you can tell just by the way he prepares his stroke, whether he knows how to hit a drum or not. There’s a record called “Harlem Congo” with Chick Webb and it’s one of the few recordings where he plays a drum solo. It’s magnificent what he does. He plays the tune with authority. You could take that solo out of that record and put it into anything today, right in the middle of it, and it would sound like today. Chick knew how to get that sound, and he had that solid bottom, but never loud. Just solid. If you can’t play in a big band with a pair of brushes, you’re doing something wrong. Its the intensity rather than the volume. Volume doesn’t rule anything.

CI: How does one create intensity?

JC: Through the time, the feeling of time. It starts with the feet and comes up to the upper part of your body. It’s like a person walking. If you watch someone walking, they walk in rhythm. People tap their feet when they like music, they don’t even know why. It’s the bottom part of your body which feels the time first. I used to listen to Elvin Jones at Birdland backing singers and horn players with brushes and he sounded marvelous. He didn’t play like he plays today, concept wise. Guys think that all of a sudden Elvin came out playing that way. It all developed from the bottom, from what he knows to be true, the feel of time. Otherwise, he couldn’t set himself free to get so outside. You can only go outside if the store is there. There are a lot of ways to generate excitement. You can do it with time, you can do it with anything. But I think in order to generate excitement it has to come from the bottom up. I’m sure Jack DeJohnette plays with that concept in mind, otherwise he couldn’t possibly go so far away from everything and yet sound as though he never left. He knows that without that time, there’s no freedom to play. If somebody in the band is dragging or rushing, you end up just straightening that out, and you have no time to play because you’re too busy taking care of everyone else.

CI: It’s impossible for a drummer to even entertain the thought of attempting to go outside when he’s playing with musicians who have fast or slow inner clocks.

JC: It’s harder for a rhythm section player than a horn player. Louis Armstrong made some of his older records with some of the most mediocre players. He used to say he heard his own rhythm section. But a drummer can’t do that. A drummer is part of the rhythm section. So I think the rhythm section is only set free by the people they’re playing with. If the people they’re playing with are not that together, then the rhythm section is confined to the basics. And the basics mean keeping the time straight. He’s the pulse of the band, but everybody in the band should have the same thing in mind.

CI: But doesn’t the rest of the band listen to the drummer for the time?

JC: Yes they do, but they shouldn’t rely on him. Everybody should rely on themselves. Like Basie’s band, with Jo Jones. Everyone in that band had a great time feel. That’s why the band swung the way it did. Jo Jones once told me, “If somebody sat in when I was with Basie, we took care of him,” meaning, he just had to go along for the ride. Everybody’s time was so good individually, that as a band, it was incredible. Jo, Basie, Freddie Green, and Walter Page. They just took that beautiful time and made it go as far as they wanted it to go. I think a band can only really swing when everybody swings, and most importantly, the rhythm section. But not just the rhythm section, that’s the difference. I don’t believe the rhythm section should have that responsibility, everybody hanging on their shoulders. That doesn’t make great music. Great music comes from everybody playing great, and everybody’s time being great. The rhythm section’s job is to generate as much excitement as possible. I think that everybody has to listen to everybody else. If everybody’s listening, then you’re going to have the right cohesiveness. But that’s because everybody’s listening, not because everyone’s listening to one person. It’s definitely a question of listening to what’s going on, and reacting to it. I think the best way to play is to react to the total picture. Sometimes you’re the one who’s making them react. Sometimes you’ve got the ball and as long as everyone’s listening, that inter-change keeps going back and forth. That’s really what jazz playing is. The drummer has a lot to do with the time, but he’s not the only person responsible for the time. Everybody’s responsible for the time.

CI: How much in charge is the leader, once the tune has been established?

JC: When the leader kicks off the band, he looks to me to get the band to play at the tempo he kicked off. Once he kicks the band off, it’s my band. I should say, our band, the rhythm section’s band. As a rhythm section, we take the tempo to the band. Now his conducting has nothing to do with it. Unless it’s something that’s not in tempo. In that case, it’s all his. But as far as the tune with a constant tempo, he relys on the rhythm section. Any bandleader does. But in big band playing there are a lot of things involved. There’s different kinds of time. Different lead trumpet players have different conceptions of the same phrase. You have to know how to open up the time without changing the tempo. It’s a matter of playing the time figure a little wider, to grab everybody. If you make the time figure too thin and narrow, nobody can get in. The band feels it, and that’s when the band gets tight and they don’t know what to do. A great drummer knows how close or how wide the time should be, depending upon the chart, the tempo, and the situation. There are all kinds of time within the tempo. That’s an art in itself.

CI: How would you make the time wider within the tempo?

JC: If you were to take the traditional jazz timekeeping figure and play it like a dotted eighth and sixteenth note versus playing the time figure with a 12/8 feel omitting the second note of the triplet, well that’s the same tempo, but look how much wider the triplet sound is than the dotted eighth interpretation. Both ways can be correct, but the music dictates the use of either feel. It comes back to the art of listening rather than a preconception. A lead trumpet player may take liberty with a phrase. If it’s a musical liberty, I’ll allow him the room to do that. If I don’t think it’s musical, I won’t agree with it. Then we have a confliction of a phrase. In big band drumming, you have to realize that every lead trumpet player is going to have a different conception. If you agree with his conception it’s going to be easy. If you don’t, well it’s going to be hard. Some lead trumpet players prefer more room than others. Being aware of both conceptions makes for a more musical situation. Stanley Spector told me once, and it’s a quote from Stravinsky, “Art is a conscious effort, not unconscious.” It’s no accident. If you take a glob of paint and throw it against the wall and it happens to be beautiful, it’s still beautiful, but it’s not art. Art doesn’t just happen. If a man plays great, it’s because he knows what he’s doing. But it’s never an accident.

CI: Some players say that once you get behind the set, you shouldn’t think about it any more, it should just flow.

JC: Yes, providing everything around you is just as right as that. You can only play that relaxed if everyone around you is just as relaxed at what they are doing. If one man rushes, and another is dragging, now you are limited to “timekeeping” only, consequently, your creativity is stifled. Now you have to keep everybody in line. As Jo Jones said, “I’m a musician who happens to play the drums.” That’s why I don’t like
drums that look like . . . a distasteful polka dot tie. That belittles the instrument. It’s as much of an instrument as any instrument in the world. I have a thing about that. I think drums should look as beautiful and dignified as any other instrument. They would never paint a trumpet or violin that way.

CI: How did you get hooked up with Tony Bennett?

JC: I was working the Rainbow Grill with Marty Napolean, and Marilyn Maye was playing opposite us. She had hired Bobby Rosengarden, who was then Dick Cavett’s conductor. One night Bobby asked me if I would play for Marilyn, because he had another commitment. But he told me he couldn’t give me a rehearsal. I agreed to do it and I had to sight read the show. It worked out fine. A few days later, Tony was looking for a drummer, and I got a call. You know, musicians get other musicians work. Wherever you are and whatever job you’re playing, you shouldn’t treat them any differently. If you’re playing as good as you can. it always means something. I think that’s a good thing for younger drummers to know. The pros know that. You can’t limit the importance of any job.

CI: When you back a singer, do you listen to the lyrics to color the tune?

JC: Oh sure, and of course, the arrangements. I studied keyboard harmony, the vibes. I play a little flute, and I know a little bit about chord changes. I think it’s very important for a drummer to be versed in the harmonic structure of things. There’s a built in liberty in playing drums. You’re free to paint, you’re free to generate excitement, you’re free to lay back, you’re even free not to play. And the things that you have to play are so different from what everybody else has to play. It’s a drum and you can do anything you want with it. But I think the drummer should think of colors, shapes, density and textures. It all comes back to listening. I think a musician starts out listening, then he learns, and then he goes right back to listening. It’s a cycle. He ends up with what he started out with, with all the knowledge he could acquire in between. Basically, he ends up with what he hears, because that’s how he started out. So all the knowledge is going to do is allow him to hear more of what’s available. But it’s still up to him to put it together, to make music out of it. The biggest statement I think should be made about drums is that it is an instrument.

CI: Sight reading that gig well with Marilyn Maye was a break for your career. Do you have any helpful hints to pass on?

JC: Yes, a lot of reading, repetition, and recognition. I can look at a chart and rather than read a phrase, I recognize it. I hear it as a phrase. And reading ahead. Drummers have to read ahead to set up the band. It’s a question of doing so much of it, that when you see a chart, even before the band plays it, you can almost hear what’s going to happen. Certainly after you play it you’re going to hear it better. A lot of writers unfortunately are very negligent in the sense that they don’t tell the drummer who is doing what. Dynamics are usually left out. Now if you get with a good writer you’ll find all those things present. It makes it very easy, crescendos, diminuendos, saxes, tutti, fill, not writing the fill-ins, just stating fill and leaving it to your discretion. All those things help a guy sightread a chart.

When I auditioned for Woody Herman back in 1960, the first thing he did after I sight read a few charts was walk by and close my book. Well I was frightened to death. But he saw I could read, and now he wanted to hear my time, he wanted to hear how I could handle the band. He wanted to see where I was at as far as holding the band together.

CI: Do you hear a phrase in your head and try to visualize how it would appear in black and white?

JC: Yes. If I were listening to the radio, no matter how square or how hip, I would try to rhythmically visualize what I was listening to. Once you see it, you’ve already heard it because you’ve done it in your head. You can sing a rhythm to yourself and try to visualize that rhythm without writing it down. It’s not easy, but once you start to do it, it becomes easier. The thing with sight reading isn’t just reading, it’s interpretation. That’s when your musicianship takes over.

CI: Do you still practice?

JC: Everyday, if possible. It’s necessary for me because it’s my assurance that I’ll be on the same level tomorrow as I am today. I don’t believe in shocking your muscles into playing. It’s so obvious. When you go to a baseball or football game, the players never just run out and play. They’re out there an hour before, and they’re warming up. They’re letting their muscles know they’re going to use them. Drums are a very physical instrument and you should let the arms and legs know that they are going to be used. When I say practice I don’t mean just for my hands either. I mean creative practicing, working on an idea. One idea for like two hours. Just to see what I can do with it, how I can develop it. You can also practice just by listening. Cerebral practicing verses physical practicing. George Stone told me a long time ago, “I give you a lesson, I see you every week. If I said to you I want you to practice a minimum of an hour a day, that doesn’t mean that if your lesson is on a Saturday, on Friday you practice for 6 hours.” You don’t make up those days. If you were to practice one hour every day up to Saturday you’d get far more done than if you practiced 6 hours the day before. It’s just like losing sleep, you don’t make it up. That’s why I try to practice every day. I never give myself 10 foot walls to jump. I would rather it be something I can just step over. The daily practice is what gives you stamina, control, and confidence. If you did it today, how could you forget it tonight. If you haven’t done it for a week, you might be a little uptight, and as a result it may affect your playing. Now I know some guys who never practice. Buddy says he never practices, but his exceptional talent allows him that luxury. I think the word practice comes in many boxes. You could play every day and be working out. You’re playing, you’re thinking, you’re moving. What I’m really trying to say is you must play every day. Whether it’s sitting down by yourself or with a group of guys and playing. I don’t necessarily mean you have to do it alone. I think the word practice can be a misnomer sometimes. Let’s say I think a man should play every day. I think it’s vital that it’s on a daily basis or as close to it as possible. Because then the hurdles are so much easier. You’re minimizing the hurdles. They don’t look so gigantic. A lot of guys get so frightened by what they have to do, that they say the hell with it, I’ll never get that. But if they worked at it, a little every day it wouldn’t look so heavy. Before you know it you’re doing it. Psychologically it’s better, because it’s not a defeatist attitude, it gives you the incentive that you can better yourself. Some drummers have more natural ability than others. Some drummers need a half hour, others need four hours. It’s an individual thing, but the concept is daily practice, or playing. The muscles also need rest just as much as they need practice. You can’t run a race horse every week, his legs will go. They run him after he’s completely rested. When I ‘m working two shows a night in Vegas, my practicing is lighter, because I’d have nothing left for the show. I can’t go to the gig all played out. If I’m not working I add more time to my daily practice to make up for that. But the secret word is daily. You know how much you need, and what you need, no one can tell you that. There’s no such thing as you must practice 6 hours a day. You practice until it happens. Until whatever you want to happen, happens. I don’t care what it is.

CI: What would a typical practice routine consist of?

JC: First I exercise, then go at the drums very slowly and comfortably just to warm up my body and let it know it’s going to play. Then I’ll think about what I want to work on. I might want to work on some coordinating things to do with my hands and feet. I may want to work on just stroking the drums or find ways to play the same thing with the least amount of effort. That’s very important. You can kick a band right out of the room, and still sound like you’re not killing yourself. Basie’s band is a perfect example of that. They can play very soft and then all of a sudden explode, and then go right back down. That’s not only very effective, it’s right. It mean levels of soft and loud. Something can be soft, but in the wrong situation, it can be loud. So in itself it’s not soft, it’s only soft when related to what’s being played.

CI: Who are some of the drummers you enjoy listening to?

JC: I’ll always listen to Chick Webb and Jo Jones. These people will always be in my literature. As far as today, I don’t think I’d be saying anything too earth shattering if I said Steve Gadd, Billy Cobham, Jack DeJohnette, Elvin for his daringness. I admire Elvin for what he dares to do. I love to listen to Louie for his clarity of execution. I like some of the things Harvey Mason does. One of my very favorite drummers is Al Foster. I watched him play at the Playboy Club one night and he’s just a natural drummer. I heard Frank Butler sitting in, at a jazz club in Vegas. Talk about a musical drummer, he was just magnificent. I learn from everybody. I also believe a lot depends on what’s being asked of the drummer. If you have your own band, then you have the perfect vehicle to show your wares. If you’re playing for somebody else, you’re not showing all your wares, you’re showing how you approach that particular situation. I think that Roy Haynes is very creative and the same for Tony Williams. Miles would never have had the freedom to play the way he did unless he had Paul Chambers, Red Garland, Philly Joe, Ron Carter, Herbie Hancock and Tony Williams. It’s no accident. He knew he needed that kind of musicianship to go where he wanted to go. A drummer has to have the right vehicle to show all that he is. I don’t think there’s anybody who can show all that they are in one musical situation, or all that they can do. Unless it’s their own group and very few people have that freedom. I don’t like to play for people, I like to play with people. Whether it’s Tony Bennett, Don Ellis, or Gary McFarland. I never wanted to play for them, I wanted to play with them. I think the phrase ‘playing for’ is also a misnomer. You are playing for him, but you should in fact, be playing with him.

CI: What type of sound do you prefer from your drums?

JC: I like a dark sound. When I hit a tom tom, I like it to sound like a tom tom. I go by the length of the note. I don’t like a short sound. I like to know that after I hit the drum, it has a resonance. If they’re tuned with some resonance, there’s something going on. And I always use two heads. They sound better to me. The reason for the bottom head, is to carry the resonance from the stroke up top. With out that bottom head, all you’re getting is the benefit of that one stroke and it dies as soon as it goes through. Although at times the music may dictate that very sound to be valid. But with two heads on all the drums, you’re getting a more resonant sound. I don’t like very tight , highly pitched drums. I tend to go with a dark sound myself. Tuning your drums is very im portant, because the head must be in tune with itself. Just as the piano’s oc taves should be in tune with themselves.

CI: Do you try to get close to a definite pitch for a particular drum?

JC: No. I try to stay away from notes. I don’t go for a tonal thing because that could conflict with the key we’re playing in. That’s why I say go for length, a par ticular sound, not definite notes. If the bass player’s playing a C, and your bass drum is tuned to a B flat, now something’s wrong. When you hit the drum as long as there is enough length and it has conformity with the rest of the drums, that’s it. And I tune them to every room. I don’t just tune the drums and leave them, because every room is acoustically different. I’ve found taking all the mufflers out of my drums and muffling them from the top instead of the inside is much better, more musical.

CI: Do you ever feel it necessary to mike your drums?

JC: The only place we mike is in Las Vegas, and that’s to get a house sound. I prefer no mikes at all. Then I can judge my own volume.

CI: What exactly is miked in Vegas?

JC: The bass drum, an over all mike, and one in between the snare and the hi-hat. But that only happens on a TV show where they have to record, or Vegas where they mix into the house system.

CI: How do you personally adapt to playing someone else’s set? For instance on the Tonight Show, playing Ed’s setup.

JC: On the Tonight Show I only take my sticks, because either Ed Shaughnessy or Louie Bellson usually play the show. Again that’s where your experience comes in. Louie once said to me, “If you sit down and find yourself uncomfortable in some area of a drum set, that’s the first thing to put out of your mind. Just play straight ahead.” When I sit down at Louie’s or Ed’s set, naturally things are higher or lower, but you find if a drummer sits down and just plays, he’ll sound like himself anyway.

CI: Your touch and style will come through.

JC: Yes, I don’t think style is something you go after, I just think it develops. When you sit down at someone else’s drums, even though you may be uncomfortable, if you just play and disregard what is and what isn’t, you still come out sounding like yourself. It’s the total sound and feel that’s important. For example, with a guy like Tony Bennett, he has to know that he can rely on what’s behind him. Tony likes to stretch out a lot, it’s just the way he sings. He never does anything the same way. He has to know that you’re there behind him, to lay that blanket down. The main thing when you’re playing with a guy like Tony is not to be superfluous. In fact, sometimes it’s what you leave out that’s important. Just stay out of his way, and still find the freedom to express yourself. Put those two together and they usually spell a nice situation. There’s also a lot of maturity involved in playing for a guy like Tony Bennett. A drummer can’t just be a good drummer, he has to be a mature person. You are what you play, and you play what you are.

CI: The instrument is an extension of yourself.

JC: Sure. I don’t think just any drummer could sit down and play for somebody like Tony or Frank Sinatra. He has to be a mature person. People who play for someone like Tony and Frank, they’re not just good players, they are mature enough to understand the total picture. That’s what divides the men from the boys. A drummer has to develop himself as a person, as well as a drummer to be the kind of player he wants to be. They go hand in hand.

CI: How does a drummer develop that maturity?

JC: Well, you develop it in two ways. First, there’s no substitute for playing. You have to get out and play in all kinds of situations, with all kinds of people, and all kinds of music. You can’t lock yourself into one situation. It’s like getting up in the morning and driving your car and only seeing the car in front of you, not the car to your left or right or behind you. You can’t do that. You have to take in the total picture. You must realize when you sit down to play, you’re just a part of what’s going on, not all of what’s going on. That immediately puts your ego in the right place. You don’t have to worry about, “Am I being recognized? Am I contributing enough?” If you’re doing the right thing, then you’re contributing more than enough. Because the right thing is knowing how much you have to play to make it work. Don’t overplay. Second is the confidence to lay down a very strong time feel, but not a very loud one. There’s a difference between volume and control. Jo Jones laid a heavy one on me when he said “You swing from the ankles.” Now I know exactly what he meant. If your feet are locked in with the time, your hands are allowed to play very loose. So the band gets a nice solid feeling from the bottom and they have enough room at the top to phrase because they hear and feel the way you’re playing. A drummer who doesn’t incorporate the bottom part of his body, is going to try to do it all up top and it’s a tense situation. You may think it’s working, but to the guys in the band, it isn’t. You also have to develop yourself as a person. That’s where maturity comes in. There are great musicians who are also great people. Of course, a man can be a great musician and a good person all in one, but that will come out in his playing too. You’ll hear his character. I don’t believe the bandstand is the proper place for anger. Whatever you’re angry about, it should not hurt the music. The music should never be hurt for any reason, personal or otherwise. It takes a mature person to do that. You can’t take your problems to the job, because it’s going to show. There’s a personal maturity involved as well as a musical maturity. I think the only way you acquire it is with the right attitude, it’s knowing that you can’t just be a great drummer, but that you’ve got to stand for something when you start playing the drums. It’s not preaching, I just believe in it.