What I have been up to

It’s been all about music in my life, lately. I haven’t really had time nor heart to spend a bunch of time fulminating about politics, which is one of the reasons that this space has been sorta dull lately… BUT allow me to bring everyone up to speed, if you’re interested.

First some news about my band:
Music Hates You’s record “Send More Paramedics” is now available from the iTunes Music Store…. how about them apples? (ahem)

I have been really concentrating on getting the best tone possible out of my drums this week. This is due, in part, to having spent all of Tuesday afternoon and most of Tuesday night working on local drum-maker Henry Parker’s computer. Much of the work involved brief interactions with the machine, followed by long periods of waiting while files were copied or software was installed. While the machine was just chewing on data and being boring, I would run into the drum room and bang on stuff.

Henry makes really nice drums in very limited runs. You can pre-order kits from him and he will make it to your specs, but he’s way too expensive for me! However, while we were waiting for stuff to happen it was fun to go bash on stuff. He has a one-of-a-kind aluminum custom snare that I played for five minutes and then had to own. Of course, that one’s not for sale. bastard. He also has a kit made from the wood of a pecan tree that was struck by lightning in his front yard. He had it cut down and milled on the spot, then he sent the wood to a shell-maker. It’s long been alleged by some custom drum makers that lightning struck wood has a unique resonance and tone. I wouldn’t argue against that after hearing the snare drum from that kit. Something else, I tell ya.

So, in my quest for better tone and chops, I have been spending a lot of time studying the Rock Drum Archetype, John Henry Bonham of Led Zeppelin.

(If you’re a musician or just have a love of great drumming, you should click that link. There’s a ton of good information there.)

Here is a cool repository of drum outtakes from ‘In Through the Out Door’. As I have been scouring You Tube and other sources for video of Bonham playing, I have been struck by an inescapable conclusion- Robert Plant and Jimmy Page are kinda bozos. In ALL of the footage I have been watching, Plant and Page are way downstage from the rest of the band, Plant prissing around like Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, and Page staggering back and forth, junked out his mind and missing notes left and right. In the meantime, the greatest rhythm section in rock and roll history is behind them holding it down, Charlie Brown.

Plant and Page clearly think that THEY are the show. Here’s newsflash, girls… Bonham and Jones are the show.

OK, that’s conclusion number one.

Conclusion number two: Need to get one of these. Ludwig Supraphonic 402 6.5″x14″.

Nothing sounds like those drums. They’re not cheap, however. Layaway, here I come.

You might find this interesting, if you’re at all intrigued about how to make drums sound a certain way- here is an interview with one of John Bonham’s drum techs. Interestingly, I was doing most of this stuff already- head types and tensions and cymbal types and sizes. This just confirmed it for me.

I am thinking of chasing down a Ludwig sponsorship, to see if I can get one of their new lucite kits.

and…. is it time to get a gong? Help me out here, folks….

6 Comments

  1. Speaking of drums, after listening to “Send More Paramedics”, I think you should get paid about twice what any of the other band members gets. Your drumming is, shall we say, prevalent. Good, too.

  2. Ever hear Jawbreaker’s song making fun of hipsters, “Bad Scene, Everyone’s Fault”? It has the lines:

    So we went into the living room.
    Someone was blasting Zeppelin.
    It sounded good.
    I felt ashamed.
    I knew every drum fill.

    Captures the hipster dilemma of having to be ironic about things you like pretty perfectly…

  3. i completely agree with you about the supraphonic. best snare i’ve ever heard. i want some vistalites as well. but, i hear bonham never used the vistas in the studio. they apperantly sound like poo poo on record. keith moon of all drummers wouldnt even reord with em, and he doesnt strike me as the kinda guy that really worried too much about tone and shit like that,ya know?

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