Metalcore pioneer Converge is dropping the multi-format audio/video release Thousands of Miles Between Us, the centerpiece of which is a full twenty-song show filmed in HD on the All We Love We Leave Behind tour at Union Transfer in Philadelphia. A three-disc Blu-ray version includes more than fifteen hours of additional footage, while a box set includes a double-LP vinyl release, a turntable slip mat, and more. Multiple camera angles and a 5.1 surround sound mix bring fans up close with timekeeper Ben Koller, who says he’s stoked for the well-produced video document. “On our first DVD [2003’s The Long Road Home] there was a ton of material,” Koller tells Modern Drummer, “but it was pretty rough, and there was no taking it to the studio to mix. So it’s cool to have a couple of full shows with really good video and audio—we’ve never had that before.”
by Stephen Bidwell
Next to None, a Pennsylvania-based progressive metal band made up of an unusually talented group of teenagers, has released its debut album, A Light in the Dark. At the kit is Max Portnoy, son of Winery Dogs drummer Mike Portnoy, who produced the album. “It was a great feeling of pride to see Max and the rest of the band take to the studio so well,” Mike says, describing the record as Slipknot meets Dream Theater. “It was really nostalgic, bringing me back to the days of doing my first album, twenty-five years earlier.” The younger Portnoy takes a logical yet advanced approach when it comes to his drumming. “We’ll work on a riff,” Max explains, “and I’ll do my best to match the drums to the guitar and bass, because I think it sounds more full if I have the kick and snare synchronized. The rest comes naturally.”
by Ilya Stemkovsky
Stephen Chopek, whose drumming has graced the music of John Mayer, Charlie Hunter, and Nora Jones, among others, plays all the instruments on his new solo album. Melodic bursts of punky guitar and controlled vocals color the disc, as does the tight, supportive drumming. “Being a drummer is a big part of how I approach guitar playing, really as a rhythm instrument,” Chopek says. “So the drummer and songwriter are both scratching each other’s back.” And delving deep into constructing his music has given Chopek an appreciation for his role behind the kit. “Focusing on writing songs has given me insight into being a drummer for other songwriters, and serving the songs as a drummer,” he says. Things Moving on Their Own Together is available at tephenchopek.bandcamp.com.
by Ilya Stemkovsky
More New Releases
The Velvet Underground The Complete Matrix Tapes (Maureen Tucker) /// the Katie Bull Group Project All Hot Bodies Radiate (George Schuller) /// Robin Eubanks Mass Line Big Band More Than Meets the Ear (Nate Smith, David Silliman) /// Fourplay Silver (Harvey Mason) /// Baroness Purple (Sebastian Thomson) /// Billy Gibbons and the BFG’s Perfectamundo (Greg Morrow, Billy Gibbons) /// Gilad Hekselman Homes (Marcus Gilmore, Jeff Ballard) /// Michael Cain Sola (Billy Hart, Renaldo Elliott) /// Fiction Plane Mondo Lumina (Pete Wilhoit) /// Deerhoof Fever 121614 (Greg Saunier) /// Love Reel to Real reissue (Joe Blocker) /// Fuzz II (Ty Segall) /// the Flaming Lips Heady Nuggs 20 Years After Clouds Taste Metallic 1994-1997 (Steven Drozd) /// the Family Silver Electric Blend (Steve White)
Meinl has announced that the total proceeds from the ticket sales of the company’s 2015 Drum Festival, plus voluntary contributions, is 20,000 euros. The money will be donated to two charitable organizations. Percussion instruments will go to the Danilo Pérez Foundation in Panama, which offers free scholarships to children and young people who have a talent for music but are at social risk, and to the Károly Istvàn Orphanage near Budapest, Hungary, where music therapy plays a big role in the educational program, including work with physically and mentally handicapped children.
Shure associates, friends, family, and vendors came together recently to raise money for the Merit School of Music at the Second Annual Shure Invitational Golf Outing. Held at White Pines Golf Club in Bensenville, Illinois, the event included a round of golf followed by a dinner banquet, a raffle, and a live auction for a framed poster signed by Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend of the Who. The mission of the Merit School, which was founded in 1979, is to provide high-quality music education to children all over Chicago, with a focus on underserved communities. By offering low-cost lessons and the chance to be a member of the 350-person, tuition-free Alice S. Pfaelzer Conservatory, the school inspires Chicago youth to achieve their musical and personal potential.
Who’s Playing What
Gábor Dörnyei (tHUNder Duo) is playing Pearl Masters Premium Legend drums.
Anika Nilles (Nevell) is using Evans drumheads.
Nick Wilkerson has been out with White Reaper.
Also on the Road
Justin Brown with Thundercat /// Steven Buttery with the World Is a Beautiful Place & I Am No Longer Afraid to Die /// Tim Keiper with Matisyahu /// Moses Archuleta with Deerhunter