I left California after the holidays this January and visited a talented drummer friend of mine in Brooklyn. He invited me to join him for some West African drumming. It’s a kind of drumming you can only be taught by listening and experiencing with people that have learned the same dialect. We sat down in this loft that overlooked Manhattan and forgot about everything else that wasn’t rhythmic. After centering my mind on playing hand drums for 3 hours straight, my thoughts wondered to what I’ve been missing out on. This time being an awakening thing. Like starring at the back of a cereal box until you’re eyes finally adjust to the real image.
Drums have been my thing for awhile, but I hadn’t really done anything quite like that. Something you can’t emulate on the street corner with a cajun. I’ve been fighting years of feeling stale in a life rhythm and pattern you could say. I’ve heard many times (so many times that it’s like the annoyance of a #1 hit single, that if you hear it one more time you’re going to loose it) that insanity (ironically) has been defined by doing the same thing over and over and expecting new results.. I guess this short lived drum moment broke the seal and poured some water onto my cracking, dry desert..
When this happens, you ok yourself to explore again.. and you start looking through the telescope from the other end (Theodore Geisel) then find yourself being that kid in the back yard lighting fireworks again, so to speak.
I’ve had an amazing winter and spring. Getting back in touch with some roots in rock and soul music, two of my first music loves. It’s been like cutting all the carbs and sugars out of my musical diet, until I’m able to introduce better, healthier, more palatable foods again. I had another great moment recording a session that was live in the studio. (You know, like they use to do before protools) No click track, no editing, just a full band getting the best take. Again…Refreshing.
Recently I was invited to play with a great band called Golden Youth. New friends of mine. We got out of our distracting and usual patterns of Nashville living and took the songs to a Cabin in the smokey mountains of Tennessee. Cleared the living room of the bear lamp and the dining room table, set up gear and recorded the first part to a 3-parter album. Waking up each morning to a pour over cup of coffee while looking out into the woods wasn’t a bad way to get the day started. Thus far one of my most exciting endeavors..
I usually don’t emote on this blog, but for what it’s worth, to those of you who may be like me and have been stuck in a slump.. wondering what’s next.. unslump yourself. Do any idea that comes to you. It might not be a string of the “biggest” things you’ve ever done. who knows. who cares. But it will lead you to the next best thing.. jump and the net will appear (Julia Cameron).
Had an opportunity to record with my good friend Shane Tutmarc to track this song for a Australian Kid’s show. We had two days to get it in. Recorded everything at my place and I was really pleased on the way the sounds turned out.
Shane is a great writer and I think the song really blossomed. We had a lot of fun with it. From an engineers perspective, it’s amazing what can come of a great song with good sounds going into Protools, even with the small perimeters I have to work with right now. We had our friend Stephen Keech mix it. It’s a fun little diddly..
It has begun. I’ve got some new gear at my place and its allowed me to start getting some good drum tracks. It’s a steady build, but I’m stoked to have what I need to get the ball rolling.
Thanks to a Digi002, some Shure 57′s and an Audio Technica condenser mic, I’m on to building my “Beat Laboratory”.
Tracked a friend’s demo this last week. I’m pleased with the way the drums turned out this early in the game. 3 Mic’s. That’s it.
I’ve been TRYING to make my time worth while out here in NYC (not hard). Unfortunately, Travis, frontman of Gym Class Heroes, has been extremely ill due to a stomach infection. A few shows have been cancelled, but its no big casualty. As much as we crew guys are willing to get back to the gig, we hope Travis will get the recovery he needs to be back rocking 100% again.
For the past week we’ve been checking out the city. I had the chance to see the Museum of Natural History and the Museum of Modern Art, eat some great food, see some friends, and acquire the iPad 2. Not complaining about that.
Our road companion, Stitch, has been good company. He’s a French bulldog. Typically, small dogs have the syndrome tolerable intolerable, but Stitch insists on being a cool dude.
That’s the update. We should be back soon to finish out this tour.
Bloody hell. I’m in the UK tuning up drums for Matt McGinely of Gym Class Heroes. Long plane flight, short fix on Great Britain. I like it out here, so I’m going to enjoy what I can get out of it. As I swing back and forth from behind the kit and then to the side, it helps me have a fresh perspective on things. I dig hearing good players like Matt having a good time doing what they do best, playing drums I had a hand in tuning.
We’ll be back in the states in no time and who knows, when the tour ends in California I may stick around to see the fam for Thanksgiving.
Well that’s not entirely true. Actually, on my own conscience choice, I have agreed to come out to Chico, Ca and play this online show with old touring friends Jeff and Trevor (of Number One Gun), and new friend Sarah.
They are ‘The Make’, an up and coming band that has gained a lot of online presence. Their EP This Box has just been released on iTunes. We will be performing a live streamed show you can watch at TheMakeMusic.com/Ustream.
Right now, we’re having a good time working on all the songs and getting ready to do this live thing in front of you and you’re computer screens this Friday night, July 22nd at 6pm PST. So Please tune in.
I’ve never seen so many people packed on a public beach. This was my second time at Bro-Am in Encinitas, CA. If you have never heard about the event, the band helps homeless through StandUp kids. Great to see a touring rock band really give back to it’s community. The vary nature of rock’nroll seems so vain and self involved but not for Switchfoot. Good stuff. If you haven’t attended. You should next year.
Didn’t think I was going to be on the road for awhile, but I’ve found my way back to the nomadic life style through guitars. I’m in Canada for the next two weeks shaping up gear for Switchfoot. Good guys. I remember being 16 on the road and watching the original trio play songs like “New Way to Be Human”. They’ve come quite a ways. I’m stoked to reconnect and work with them now!
It’s winter and I’ve missed being out on my vespa. Dave came to town to visit and shoot a wedding last August in Jackson, TN. Being brothers we own the same exact suit. (Yes that’s slightly weird) We road down in our suits to my favorite coffee place, Crema, in downtown Nashville to meet up with the other photographer and send Dave off to a wedding. I had found this footage of Dave holding the camera the entire ride. You might describe one of Dave’s first vespa rides as.. gitty.