Today marks my 25th year working for the leader in drums and percussion, Pearl Corporation. A LOT has happened during that time and I couldn't begin to cover it all in a single post (it would make a great book though) but here are a few thoughts. Growing up in TX, I would listen to albums while pouring over drum catalogs and listing out my massive imaginary kit. It was a thrill to see the latest models, finishes, configurations, hardware, technology, and which artists would be featured. Because of my affiliation with Pearl, I'm part of the team that brings the latest and greatest gear to drummers all over the world and I've had the privilege of working closely with some of the drummers I grew up listening to... and meeting a ton of new incredible players along the way. Thanks to the long list of people who are and have been a part of the Pearl crew over the years... you guys are the best!
In celebration, I got a wrap job on one of my kits in preparation for when live performances are a regular thing again. It's a 2012 prototype kit so there are no badges but it is essentially the current MCT thin 6-ply maple shell spec but now in Blue Abalone wrap.
24x18 / 22x18 / 10x8 / 12x9 / 13x10 / 14x14 / 16x16 / and I'm working on a very special component to go with it.
This was stitched together from 3 separate Polariod pics in order to show the entire drumline. I believe this is from a '86 or '87 lot rehearsal for our out of town performance for State Football Championships. Because drumlines are mostly made up of right handers, I had to lead with my right (or find double stroke cheats) so that we have the same sticking visuals... a good lesson to learn early on.
I'm always looking for new 'soundcheck beats' or intro ideas so I made a list on Spotify and it's over 900 songs now. It covers a lot genres and types of intros from a one bar of toms Phil Collins-style to a Questlove flam that has a ton of attitude.
I recommend listening on Shuffle mode to not only get inspired but also discover some new music... or relove some once familiar ones.
Send me a message if I forgot that one song you need to have on there...
One drummer who definitely deserves more recognition is Budgie from the ever evolving Siouxsie and the Banshees. His drumming was always a bit left of center by staying away from by-the-numbers rock beats and creating actual parts for songs. He wasn't incredibly technical but he played drums like a producer... never worrying about licks and tricks... just enhancing the melodies and creating a bed for it all to lay in.
I've been 'the internet voice of Pearl Drums US' since starting our MySpace in the late 90's and eventually progressing to our current social media platforms. If you've ever received a Comment, Like, Follow, Reshare, or Message from Pearl US, then that was (and continues to be) me. It's a complete joy to interact daily with the worldwide drum community. There's always something new to learn and it's a huge plus when I can assist someone in furthering their passion and knowledge for drumming.
We recently hit the 500K mark on Pearl's instagram and I'm thankful that we have such a loyal group of followers who love our product... we certainly think it's the best!
If you were expecting demonstrations of exercises that allow you to play different rhythms, without having to individually focus on each limb.. then you're very unfamiliar with my playing.😁
I'm talking about last weekend's gig with the fellas in Independence, KY to a little-under-10k-crowd...! It was a complete blast and everyone there was so incredibly nice... this won't be my last gig of the summer but most likely the biggest.
Thanks to the companies I use (and prefer)... Pearl Drums / Vater Sugar Maple Fusion Signature Drumsticks (the stick the saved my elbows from disintegrating) / Zildjian Cymbals / Evans Drumheads / Shure Microphones / Woodshed Stage Art / Reunion Blues Cymbal Bags / Big Fat Snare Drum / Ultimate Ears / and Roc-N-Soc (this gig was the introduction of the Red Throne). And of course, big sloppy X's an O's to Shawn, Sean, Joseph, Joe, Billy, and TK.
Being able to be completely comfortable on any type or size kit has served me well through the years. Sometimes you have to play an odd house kit or use a certain type of kit because of the visual aspect... but when you can dictate your own gear, ask yourself if the music really needs all of the voices you're bringing. This would also be a good opportunity to fill a space with an 'x-factor' voice that you usually don't use like a crasher, cymbal stack, cowbell, small tom/snare, etc. I promise you that your gig won't implode if you don't play that same 'falling down the stairs' fill every other song.😁
Will Hunt always has interesting kits but this one is a total work of art. It was tough keeping my reflection out of a Mirror Chrome kit with Chrome hardware AND Mirror Chrome reso heads😬😁a killer kit for a way killer drummer🥁🥁
Music City Custom
Reference Pure shell specs
Mirror Chrome finish
22x18 bass drum x2
16x16 floor tom
18x16 floor tom
14x6.5 VectorCast snare drum
10x8 tom w/ Tru-Trac drumhead x5
ICON Rack System 2019-spec
P3000C Demon Chain pedal x2
H2000 hi-hat stand
S930D snare stand
We just debuted a new video featuring Mike Wengren of Disturbed... these guys are living proof that hard work & dedication = success. He and the entire DISTURBED crew have been in our "inner circle" since the 90's... nothing but big respect for them!
Mike and I go back to the late 90's/00's and I knew the he and the band were something different from the start. They did all of the stuff you'd expect from an emerging metal band but they had serious focus when it came to the music.
I visited Mike and DISTURBED in Chicago during their recording of the follow-up the crazy successful 'Down With The Sickness' CD, Believe. Although I got to interview Mike and producer Johnny K, one of my favorite memories of that trip is riding downtown with Mike in his truck blasting System Of A Down's Toxicity with the windows down. He was showing me some important local spots, went to see a band (maybe Rob Zombie?), and just hung out afterwards... just low key. There are some other highlights that I can't get into details (Memphis, Ozzfest 2000/01/03, House Of Blues for NAMM 2000-and something) BUT it's funny how it has changed to us now talking about our kids and families.
Some artists transcend the roster to become people you connect with and care about... Mike is definitely one of those and I couldn't be more happier about it.