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THE MAGAZINE FOR DRUMMERS MARCH

2019 | 291

WIN!
A TOUR TECH
TT-22M E-KIT

“People say ‘You can’t do WORTH


£399!

MIKE
that!’ Yes, I can, watch me!”

MANGINI
The Dream Theater drummer on
gear choice, navigating his parts
JP GASTER
Studio talk with Clutch’s
groove-rock monster

& playing under a microscope HOW TO...


BUILD A SUB-BASS
MIC FOR UNDER £50!
PLAY WITH
STACK CYMBALS
LEARN TO PLAY…

SIMPLE SAMBAS
A CLASSIC TRAIN BEAT
SWISS ARMY TRIPLETS
REVIEWED

DS DRUMS REBEL
Italian-made custom kit!
WELCOME!
Going the distance…
Thisissue, we catch up with Dream Theater’sM MikeMangini.Itmight
only seem like a few years since Mike – alongw withahostof
heavyweights – auditioned to join the band,buttithas,infact,been just
short of a decade. Of course, Mike was a season nedprowithan
extremely varied career pre-DT, spanning hugeesessions,worldrecords
and top-level education. In this candid interview
w,Miketalksopenlyto
Rhythm about the challenges of replacing MikeePortnoy,oneofthe
most influential drummers of the last 30 years (and driving forces
behind the operation), and how nearly a decadeinhe’sputtinghis
stamp on both old and new material with the prog giants.
Elsewhere this month we speak to Clutch’s JP Gaster, take a look
at how you can start incorporating stack and effects cymbals into
your grooves and we show you how to make an affordable sub-bass
Stuart Williams, Editor microphone using a speaker, mic cable and an inexpensive drum shell.
stuart.williams@futurenet.com Our cover DVD features lessons and playalongs for the Nirvana
classic ‘Heart-Shaped Box’ and Thin Lizzy’s deceptively tricky shuffle on
‘The Boys Are Back In Town’, and in our gear section we check out the
latest gear from DS Drums, Impression Cymbals, Pearl and more. We’ll
see you next month!

Twitter Facebook
@RhythmMagazine /RhythmMagazine

THIS MONTH’S EXPERTS


PETE RILEY CHRIS BARNES PAT GARVEY
As well as tackling two rock classics Chris got his hands dirty with the Remember that Cadbury’s advert
and his Technical Difficulties and latest gear releases from NAMM with the gorilla expertly playing
Rudiment Of The Month lessons, Pete got before whittling the insane amount of gear along to ‘In The Air Tonight’? Well, that was
stacked up this month exploring ways to down to our hottest picks for the year. From in fact regular Rhythm contrib Pat! This
incorporate effects cymbals. If you don’t micro kits to hybrid innovations and month, Pat takes us on a pad workout in his
have a stack, try orchestrating these accessories, you can check out eight pages ‘Get Creative With…’ column. Fuelling with
patterns around the kit instead! of sumptuous new gear from page 40. Dairy Milk is advised but not essential.

WWW.MUSICRADAR.COM/RHYTHM MARCH 2019 | 3


Contents Issue 291 March 2019

THE

2019
40
GEAR HOT LIST
Our drum and percussion highlights
from this year’s huge NAMM Show

Regulars
06 BEAT
All the latest news from the drum world,
hot gear, classic sounds and more
16 INTRODUCING
The bands and drummers you need
to have on your radar this month 50
20 REVIEWS JEAN-PAUL GASTER
While She Sleeps, Skunk Anansie, On the making of epic new Clutch
James Morrison and more album Book Of Bad Decisions

DRUM LESSONS

GET CREATIVE WITH

EXPRESSION
& GROOVE
Nailing articulation and feel

T
his month we’re looking at how we can
make a groove feel different by
articulating the right hand differently
To demonstrate this I’ve chosen to
use a typical stepper type beat, firstly
YOUR TUTOR because it’s a very useful groove in
demonstrating this concept, but also
PAT GARVEY
pat@patgarvey net because it’s a really good groove to have
as part of your vocabulary consistent ‘rolling along’ kind of feel Slowly does it; once you’re happy with an
You might notice that in the notation Whereas n Example 2, when we play the exercise try recording yourself so you can
below the hi hats all look the same and hi hat accenting the quarter note, it gives it hear what it sounds like.
VIDEO ON
YOUR DISC that’s because they are n so much as the much more of a ha f time feel However, in
rhythm doesn’t change However, the
articulation does and that’s what makes
Example 3 when we play it accenting the
offbeat eighth note, it gives it a much more HEADS UP!
them so completely different up tempo feel ARTICULATION
Along with dynamics, timbre, and phrasing,
In Example 1, when we play the hi hat An accent is an ARTICULATION; it’s articulation is one of the elements that allow
rhythm ‘flat’ eg no accents it has a nice often mistakenly referred to as a ‘dynamic’ us to bring music to ife through expression.

01 Our basic groove exercise. Note the hi-hat has no articulation and should sound ‘flat’.

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œ
¿ ¿
œ
¿
L¿œœ ¿ ¿
œ L¿œ ¿
œ L¿œ ¿
œ
¿
Lœœ¿ ¿ ¿
œ L¿œ
02 The same basic groove exercise except that this time I’m placing an accent on the quarter notes.

> > > > > > > >


¿
œ
¿ ¿
œ
¿ L¿œœ ¿ ¿
œ L¿œ ¿
œ L¿œ ¿
œ
¿
Lœœ¿ ¿ ¿
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03 The same basic groove exercise again except this time I’m placing an accent on the offbeat eighth notes, which gives it a more up-tempo feel.

> > > > > > > >


¿
œ
¿ ¿
œ
¿
L¿œœ ¿ ¿
œ
L¿œ ¿
œ
L¿œ ¿
œ
¿
L¿œœ ¿ ¿
œ L¿œ
04 I’ve only notated the right hand here purely so you can read it as it changes (play the same cross stick/bass drum pattern). Watch the video to
see and listen to it being played. Look to get the changes smooth and without anticipation.
> > > > > > > >

WANT TO SUBSCRIBE TO RHYTHM? 48


¿ ¿ ¿ ¿ ¿ ¿ ¿ ¿ ¿ ¿ ¿ ¿ ¿ ¿ ¿ ¿ ¿ ¿ ¿ ¿ ¿ ¿ ¿ ¿
.’ ’ ’ ’ ’ ’ ’ ’ ’ ’ ’ ’ .

70 | FEBRUARY 2019 WWW MUSICRADAR COM/RHYTHM


BEHIND THE DRUMS
Become a Rhythm subscriber! Save Tone, gear and drum hero nerd
big by heading to page 26 right now! LESSONS Essential tutorials
www.myfavouritemagazines.co.uk 66 to improve your playing
out with Halestorm’s Arejay Hale

4 | MARCH 2019 WWW.MUSICRADAR.COM/RHYTHM


28
MIKE
MANGINI
The Dream Theater drummer
on his gear, drum partss and
playing under the micrroscope

56
STACKS ENTERTAINMENT!
The full lowdown on getting the
most out of cymbal stacks

83
GEAR REVIEWS
Our experts get hands
on with the latest gear

WWW.MUSICRADAR.COM/RHYTHM MARCH 2019 | 5


HIGHLIGHTS

8Stewart
NEWSCopeland on tour; 16 INTRODUCING
PEOPLE | MUSIC | GEAR Steve Smith clinics...
Lala Frischknecht and
Olof Axegärd

“The show will feature a drum


solo from each drummer and in
the end a fabulous finale with
all the musicians involved”

6 | MARCH 2019 WWW.MUSICRADAR.COM/RHYTHM


The Scorpions’ Herman
Rarebell will be rocking
Brighton like a hurricane

20 REVIEWS
Skunk Anansie, While She
Sleeps, Chris Potter & more

POWER TRIO
Three really is the magic number
QThe word legend is with and ‘against’ each other,” he said.
bandied about willy “After that, I will continue to play some
MEETTHE
ALL STARS
of the Scorpions’ songs that I wrote or
nilly these days, but co-wrote, such as ‘Rock You Like A
when it comes to the Hurricane’, ‘Another Piece Of Meat’ and The trio will be
backed by an
‘Blackout,’ to name just a few.
Drum Legends show “Ginger Baker and Pete York will also
all-star band
that is coming to Brighton come out and play some of the classic rock
throughout the
night, with players
this spring, it is a well- hits from their past such as ‘Sunshine Of such as Bernie
Your Love’ and ‘White Room,’ and Pete will,
earned moniker. of course, play ‘Keep On Running’ and
Marsden, Abass
Dodoo and Alec
That’s because three men befitting of that ‘Gimme Some Loving.’ The show will also Dankworth
confirmed to
oft-overused term are teaming up. And feature a drum solo from each drummer and
be appearing.
even better than that, it’s three players who in the end a fabulous finale with all the Head over to
will not only bring stellar CVs but also wildly musicians involved.” brightondome.org
different experiences, styles and approaches Drummers of this pedigree need little for more details.
to drumming. introduction, but just in case you’ve spent Tickets for this
The one-and-only Ginger Baker, the vast majority of your life under a rock… one-off UK show
are available now,
Scorpions’ rock hero Herman Rarebell and Ginger Baker has in recent years attracted
priced £35, £45
Spencer Davis Group’s pioneering sticksman plenty of attention for his ever-so-slightly- and £55.
Pete York are teaming up for this special surly media appearances (the incredible
one-off UK performance. Beware Of Mr Baker and his MusicRadar
The three will be playing some of the video interview with Chad Smith spring
many hits from their careers at the Brighton instantly to mind), but such thoughts do
Dome on 12 April. his groundbreaking work with the
The show will be the first that the trio likes of Cream, Blind Faith and Fela Kuti
have performed together, but in an a wild disservice.
interview with Digital Journal, Rarebell Pete York, meanwhile, is best known for
suggested that it might not be their last. his time at the kit with The Spencer Davis
Discussing his plans for the year ahead, he Group thanks to hits like ‘Keep On Running’,
commented that he hopes to take Drum ‘Somebody Help Me’, ‘When I Come Home’,
Legends all over the world. ‘Gimme Some Lovin’’ and ‘I’m A Man’.
Explaining what can be expected at the Finally, Herman Rarebell was the man at
shows, the Scorpions man revealed that fans the kit for German classic rockers The
will hear classic cuts from down the years, Scorpions from 1977 until 1995. In that time
but it will kick off with a good old ding-dong he co-wrote several hits, including the
of a drum battle. “The show will start with a aforementioned ‘Another Piece Of Meat’,
great drum battle where the three of us play ‘Blackout’ and ‘Arizona’.

WWW.MUSICRADAR.COM/RHYTHM MARCH 2019 | 7


BEAT! PEOPLE | MUSIC | GEAR

STEVE SMITH SET


FOR UK TOUR
The incredible MrSmith
is heading backto the UK
fora run of clinics
Q The drum icon is set
for a jaunt that includes five
clinics and two masterclasses.
The latter are exclusively for
BIMM students.
Steve Smith will kick things off on 17 February at the
Drum Depot in Cardiff. From there, the Journey man
will move on to Absolute Music in Bournemouth (18
Feb), Glasgow’s Drummers Only (20 Feb) and Drum
One in Manchester (21 Feb) before travelling to the
Midlands for a clinic at Nexus ICA in Coventry (23
Feb). The two BIMM masterclasses will be held in
London on 19 February and Brighton on 22 February.
The tour is backed by Sonor, Zildjian, Vic Firth, Remo
and DW Drums.
There has also been a special London masterclass
added on 24 February, with those interested in that
particular date advised to contact tour organiser
Mike Dolbear for more details. He can be reached
on mike@mikedolbear.com.
Mike revealed the work that has gone into getting
this tour off the ground. “We have been planning this
for over two years but Steve has had an extra busy
touring schedule since he has been on the road with
Journey,” he said. “But finally we have found a gap in
his schedule to get Steve over to the UK and do, what I
am sure is going to be, a sell-out tour.”
Steve Smith is out and about in
Smith is on his third stint with soft rock titans the UK this winter with his
Journey, having occupied their drum stool between drumming masterclasses
1978 and 1985, 1995 and 1998 and since 2015.

WHITEY GEARS UP FOR BUSY 2019


New albums and a one-off clinic for Steve White
Q British drumming institution Steve White has plenty released. Eleventh Hour by his Hague & White project
of activity in the diary for this year. dropped on 10 January via Monks Road Records. The
For starters White, who recently received rave trio is completed by Joel White and Chris Hague and the
reviews for his The Art of Drumming Sky TV series, will album is already receiving glowing reviews.
be imparting wisdom galore at a clinic performance at That is just one of a slew of records featuring Whitey
the Swan Theatre in Yeovil. slated for a 2019 release. Forthcoming releases include
The clinic takes place on Monday 18 March from Doubtless Dauntless by Matt Deighton (with whom
7pm. Tickets are priced at just £10, plus booking Whitey performs in The Family Silver), Argh Kid by
fee and are available from Waterloo Music via Frank and the debut effort from Steve’s excellent Monks
http://bit.ly/stevewhiteclinic. Road Social Club project.
It’s not just clinics and TV fame that has kept Steve For more information on the performances, new
busy over the last 12 months. Already this year, an music and all things Whitey-related, point your mouse
album featuring his masterful playing has been at www.whiteydrums.com.

8 | MARCH 2019 WWW.MUSICRADAR.COM/RHYTHM


A fully orchestrated
Copeland will be touring
the UK in February

TED MCKENNA
RIP
Rhythm is saddened to report the
death of British rock and session ace
Q The drummer, whose credits include the
likes of Rory Gallagher, The Sensational Alex
Harvey Band, Ian Gillan and Michael Schenker,
was 68 years old.
News of his passing was confirmed on social
media by a friend, who posted: “For everyone
COPELAND READY TO LIGHT UP THE UK who loved him, Ted died this morning from a
haemorrhage during elective surgery. Freak
Orchestra dates to celebrate Copeland’s career occurrence and a huge surgical team fought for
10 hours to save him.”
Q Recent Rhythm cover star, and all-round drum legend, performance can expect to hear an array of tracks from The His former bandmates were quick to pay
Stewart Copeland has announced a batch of UK tour dates Police, including ‘Darkness’, ‘Don’t Stand So Close To Me’, tribute, including guitar star Michael Schenker,
with his latest project. ‘Miss Gradenko’ and ‘Does Everyone Stare.’ It’s not just The who commented: “We are totally heartbroken
Copeland will take to the stage with the Lights Up The Police’s back catalogue that will be trawled for gems; to hear about Ted McKenna, our amazing
Orchestra show for a run of UK dates in March. Copeland and Copeland’s work from a treasure trove of projects will be drummer and dearest friend, passing away this
co will start the jaunt at Symphony Hall in Birmingham on 26 represented, including compositions from The Rhythmatist, morning. It’s a massive shock and a huge loss
March. From there, the group will move on to The computer game Spyro The Dragon, Oliver Stone movie Wall to lose Ted so suddenly.
Bridgewater Hall in Manchester on 29 March. The final show Street, Francis Ford Coppola’s Rumble Fish as well as Tyrant’s “He always had a smile on his face and was
will come the following night at London’s Royal Festival Hall. Crush and The Equaliser. one of the most sincerely genuine people you
The performances will also feature conductor Troy Miller Running time for the performances are slated at around could ever have the pleasure of meeting. One
(who himself is no slouch behind the kit thanks to credits 100 minutes. Tickets for the London show range from £19.50 of the great rock drummers, he always played
with the likes of Jamie Cullum, Laura Mvula and Gregory up to £54.50 plus booking fees. Tickets for the Birmingham from the heart and his heart was music.”
Porter) and will be joined by the London Concert Orchestra performance range from £27 to £50, while the Manchester
for the London and Birmingham dates. Meanwhile, Copeland show will set you back between £20 and £50.
and Miller will be alongside the Manchester Concert For further information on the shows head over to SPENCER
Orchestra for the Manchester performance.
The shows have been billed as a celebration of Copeland’s
www.raymondgubbay.co.uk and www.stewartcopeland.net.
Additional ticketing details can be ascertained by calling the BOWS OUT
lengthy and ridiculously successful career. Fans attending a National Ticket Hotline on 0844 847 2319.
Livewire drummer leaves 5FDP
Q Jeremy Spencer has officially announced his
MCCLAIN REJOINS SACRED REICH departure from Five Finger Death Punch.
The drummer began a break from the US
Former Machine Head man looks to the past metallers back last autumn due to back
surgery. Charlie Engen filled in, but Spencer
Q Dave McClain has announced his return to former make and play music with one of my favourite metal has now called time on his position in the band,
band, Sacred Reich. bands was always something I hoped could happen. I saying the surgeries had taken their toll.
The drummer, who revealed his departure from can’t wait for everyone to hear the new album that we’re “As with professional athletes, when the
Machine Head in September, has rejoined the thrash recording in February and to come see us out on the road body and mental state don’t achieve the
band with whom he had previously played between in 2019-2020.” standard required to meet the rigorous
1991 and 1995. Regarding the decision, McClain Dave McClain’s decision to leave Machine Head came demands necessary to perform at a high level,
revealed that he is rejoining one of his favourite after 23 years with the California metal band. His the choice is clear,” he said. “I feel fortunate
metal bands. He also commented that a new record replacement is yet to be announced. that my body has provided me with several
is in the works and that there are plans for plenty of McClain’s previous stint with Sacred Reich included decades of doing what I love: playing double
time on the road during this year. the recording and release of the A Question EP and a pair bass and shredding the drums. But I feel I
“I’m so excited about rejoining my brothers in of albums – Independent (1993) and Heal, which followed can no longer deliver a performance you great
Sacred Reich,” he said. “To have the opportunity to in 1996. fans deserve.”

WWW.MUSICRADAR.COM/RHYTHM MARCH 2019 | 9


BEAT! PEOPLE | MUSIC | GEAR

Chrissy Piper
MICHAEL ‘MOOSE’ THOMAS
KILL THE LIGHTS
Smile! BFMV man is happy to return... who go to John Bonham in Led Zeppelin. For
me, it’s got to be Painkiller by Judas Priest… I
couldn’t believe my ears when I heard Scott
Travis on that before Rob Halford comes in! If
What have you been up to since the given to me by Pearl for what would be my an alien came down from space asking what
split from Bullet For My Valentine last BFMV album [2015’s Venom].” heavy metal was, I’d hand them Priest. There
in 2016? are loads that come to mind. Obviously, The
“I parted company with the old band and Tell us more… Black Album needs to be in there somewhere
ended up sitting around, doing nothing really. “My snare is a 14"x8". It’s pretty deep and as well as White Pony by Deftones, along with
I was still playing every day – I think once I’ve cranked it as much as it will go. Then I Vulgar Display Of Power and The Great
you’re a musician, you become a musician for
life. I knew I didn’t want to join another
have 10" and 12" rack toms, an 18"x16" floor
tom and a gong drum that’s 20". Both kick
OUTNOW Southern Trendkill by Pantera. What I don’t
like is when bands over-trigger their drums
‘The Faceless’
established band and play other people’s drums are 24"x18". With the Reference series, and it just sounds like a machine… I really
Kill the Lights
music. I’d rather take more time off to find the they started mixing woods the bigger and can’t stand that. Which is why I made
right way to be creative… it took a while! I deeper the drums got, from maple and sure none of it was like that for this Kill The
ended up texting Jordan Whelan, the guitarist mahogany. I don’t like my drums being Lights album!”
from Still Remains, and we began writing the wrapped like how some companies do, it
music that would become our debut as Kill can choke the drum almost a bit like muting If you could go back in time, what
The Lights.” a guitar string. I want my drums to resonate gear advice would you give the
as much as possible and Pearl are great for teenage Moose starting out?
You’re looking pretty chuffed in that that. There’s a custom snakeskin sprayjob on “Not a huge amount has changed in terms of
picture of you back where you belong, there and I’ve always liked a black and white setup between now and the early Bullet stuff,
behind your Pearl kit… finish, it’s the Lars Ulrich colours from back to be honest. But midway, around Scream
“Yes I am! That was taken on the video shoot in the day!” Aim Fire and Fever, my kit started to expand
for our first single The Faceless. When they and there were loads of drums. So I’d go back
took the picture, all I could do was smile. What album do you think has the to tell myself, ‘What are you doing you f**kin’
Metal drummers usually look really angry, but greatest drum sound ever recorded? pillock? You don’t need all this stuff… you’re
I was there thinking, ‘Do you know what? F**k “Whenever I talk about this with my friends, not an octopus, it’s too much!’ All I need is the
it man, I’m back and happy to be here!’ That because there are different generation gaps classic setup so I can just shut the f**k up and
Reference kit with a custom paint job was between some of us, there’s always the guys play the drums!”

10 | MARCH 2019 WWW.MUSICRADAR.COM/RHYTHM


BEAT! PEOPLE | MUSIC | GEAR

We get our hands on the hottest new drum gear

FIRST LOOK
ROGERS DYNO-MATIC OGER
R NS! S
BASS DRUM PEDAL RETUR
£295 www.rogersdrums.co.uk
Storied American drum manufacturer Rogers was founded way
back in 1849 – initially making drum heads – and its drums and
hardware quickly became the gear of choice for jazz greats,
big band icons and classic rock legends. The company is best
known for innovations including the Dyna-Sonic snare drum
with its unique floating snare rail system, and the celebrated
Swiv-O-Matic bass drum pedal.
Since Rogers’ 50s and 60s golden era the brand has changed
hands many times – to varying degrees of success – but, judging
by the latest haul of Rogers-branded gear, the company is clearly
in very good hands.
Take this new bass drum pedal, for example. Taking cues
from the original – and legendary – Swiv-O-Matic, the
Dyno-Matic is a fantastic tribute, while boasting the reliability
of modern manufacturing, a more robust design and some great
new features.
Notably, the height-adjustable main axle assembly can be
raised and lowered to suit varying sizes of bass drum, from
18"-30", without impacting beater response. The beater itself is
also reversible for achieving different tones, while the smooth
chain drive ensures a satisfying action.
Other features include anchor spurs to keep the pedal pinned
down, a handy adjustable toe stop, easy-access tension control
for quick adjustments and a lustrous chrome finish. Tune in next
month for a full review.

HARDWARE STORE
Each Dyno-Matic pedal comes
complete with a tough carry case so you
can keep your pride and joy in top shape

12 | MARCH 2019 WWW.MUSICRADAR.COM/RHYTHM


ANY WAY YOU WANT IT
Features such as the reversible beater
and easy tension adjustment give
drummers plenty of options to dial
in their desired sound a feel

HISTORY REPEATING
The height adjustable main axle assembly is
reminiscent of the original Swiv-O-Matic
mechanism, but with a sturdier and smoother action

OFFICIAL MERCHANDISE
The Rogers Dyno-Matic bass
drum pedal is only available
from authorised UK dealers

WWW.MUSICRADAR.COM/RHYTHM MARCH 2019 | 13


BEAT! PEOPLE | MUSIC | GEAR

LOS CABOS BLACK


WIDOW DRUMSTICKS
£15 loscabosdrumsticks.com
Q The responsibly-sourced North American red hickory that makes
up Los Cabos’ newest sticks is harder wearing and more elastic than

DRUM KIT
standard white hickory, so they should be able to handle plenty of
abuse. Black Widows are dipped in midnight black paint to give them
that mean, stealthy look; this process is followed by the application of
a glossy top coat designed to prevent colour transfer and aid grip.
Each pair of Los Cabos sticks is weight and pitch matched before
leaving the factory so consistency is guaranteed. Black Widow sticks
are currently available in 5A and 5B sizes.
Hot new gear on the Rhythm radar…

ZOOM Q2N-4K
£229 zoom-uk.com
Q We loved Zoom’s Q2n when it launched back in
2017 – an affordable, no frills, high-performance
tool for capturing quality video and audio during
rehearsals and gigs. Our only gripe was the lack
of 4K resolution. This new model boasts all the
great features of the original – 150-degree lens,
X/Y stereo microphones and a range of preset
‘scenes’ to easily capture performances in any
environment – but with the almighty addition of
4K Ultra HD resolution and High Dynamic Range
(HDR) technology for improved low-light
performance. If you feel like sharing your playing
with the world you can stream straight to
Facebook, YouTube and Twitch, too.

EAR-Q ACOUSTIC
FILTERS
£10.50 ear-q.com/brdistribution.co.uk
Q We bang on enough about the importance of hearing
protection in Rhythm that you’re probably sorted for
decent ear plugs by now. If, however, you’re yet to take the
plunge or you’ve only just started drumming, Ear-Q’s
Acoustic Filters are an ideal first step. They use patented
membrane technology to keep the ear ventilated for
optimum comfort and breathability, and the filters enable
the wearer to hear speech and music clearly, whilst
protecting ears against damaging frequencies and piercing
volumes. What’s more, Ear-Q Acoustic Filters don’t cost the
earth so they can be replaced with little drama.

14 | MARCH 2019 WWW.MUSICRADAR.COM/RHYTHM


CAD AUDIO
TOURING7 DRUM
MICROPHONES
£399 cadaudio.com/jhs.co.uk
Q CAD Audio, originally known as the Astatic
Corporation, was founded in 1931 by two ham radio
operators who required static-free microphones for
their transmitters. Eighty eight years later and the
company now manufactures everything from
conferencing and presenting mics, to an array of
microphones for musicians. The seven-piece
Touring7 drum mic set hits the sweet spot between
performance and value, combining four TSM411
dynamic tom/snare mics with one D12 dynamic kick
drum mic and two GXL1200BP overhead condensers.
The pack also includes clips for all mics, four DMC1
drum mounting clips for your toms and snare and a
protective carrying case. Look out for a review soon.

CODE DRUM HEADS


POCKET PAD
£22.21 codedrumheads.co.uk
Q Why no-one
no one has come up with this name before is beyond us! Having
disrupted the drum head market with their excellent skins, British brand Code
is now branching out into essential accessories for drummers. The UK-made
Pocket Pad features a 3½" real-feel playing surface and is designed specifically
to be slipped into your stick bag, tour case or pocket. Whenever you find a free
moment and wherever you are, the Pocket Pad is on-hand to help you work on
your chops. What’s more, the pad body includes a heavy steel plate to keep it
planted on any solid playing surface.

DREAM ENERGY
CYMBALS
From £179 dreamcymbals.com
Q China’s handcrafted Dream cymbals have always
impressed us with their premium craftsmanship,
attention to detail and reasonable prices. The hand
hammered Energy Series is unashamedly modern
sounding. Each heavyweight cymbal delivers a
bright, explosive and penetrating sound, ideal for
playing hard in amplified settings. Coupled with a
great stick response, long decays and raw,
unfinished bells, these cymbals are definitely made
to rock. Pictured are the 19" crash (£179), 21" ride
(£239) and 21" crash/ride (£229), but this only
scratches the surface of the full range, which
includes 16"-19" crashes, 13"-16" hi-hats, 20"-22"
rides, 20"-22" crash/rides and 8" and 10" splashes.

WWW.MUSICRADAR.COM/RHYTHM MARCH 2019 | 15


BEAT! PEOPLE | MUSIC | GEAR

LALA
introduced me to Istanbul cymbals. I don’t want to
use anything else now. I still don’t have an
endorsement but I’m hoping to get one because

FRISCHKNECHT
we’re touring a lot and it would really help in case
of emergencies.”

What have been the highlights of playing

BURNING WITCHES
with Burning Witches?
“It’s always exciting to be with the girls because our
relationship is just like sisters and we understand
each other. Some people say it’s difficult to have an
Swiss metal queens conjure up the spirit of classic metal all-female band but, actually, it’s totally the opposite
because we enjoy each other’s company. Our
highlights are when we go to a big festival like Bang

I
Your Head. It’s a great experience to play alongside
nspired by Dave Lombardo, John How did the band arrive at that classic metal your idols. We’re a new band and after just a few
Bonham and Exodus’ Tom Hunting, Lala sound? years we’re playing big stages, it’s unbelievable. It’s a
Frischknecht had almost turned her “We don’t want to be trendy. Many bands want to do dream come true.”
back on drumming when she the growling thing or play something technical or
auditioned to join Swiss metalheads Burning brutal. Before any of those styles even started, there How do you deal with the pressures of
Witches in 2015. Since then, Frischknecht and was heavy metal and we thought about keeping touring with the band?
the Witches have taken the metal world by the tradition alive. All the elements are there, “I’m always listening to music, listening to jazz, then
storm, releasing two albums showcasing their harmonious guitar riffs, double bass drumming. It’s before sleeping I use my lavender oil. I drink coffee,
classic metal sound that recalls the attack of not brutal or technical, but heavy metal is just espresso, I take some supplements and I go to the
Warlock and Judas Priest. beautiful and it’s really nice to play.” gym to stay fit. I know a drummer in Japan who plays
brutal technical death metal; he also runs
Have you been surprised by the speed of How did you get your drum sound on the self- marathons. I can’t do marathons, but the gym will
Burning Witches’ rise? titled debut and new album Hexenhammer? do. I always make sure that I have enough sleep,
“You don’t see many all-female bands playing heavy “I like my toms to have depth and sustain. I cracked a because once you don’t have enough sleep it affects
metal. The first album got some attention in lot of Vic Firths because I love snare rimshots. The whatever you do. Also, don’t drink too much alcohol
Switzerland, Germany and Spain. After a few years we drums I used are Premier. It’s not my kit, but I love before playing. That’s the key, because I remember
were signed to Nuclear Blast. Burning Witches are only the sound of Premier drums, so I borrowed them when I drank three beers and my sticks flew away
three-and-a-half-years old, it’s like riding a fast train.” from my friend who’s a drummer in Switzerland. He from me!”

16 | MARCH 2019 WWW.MUSICRADAR.COM/RHYTHM


BEAT! PEOPLE | MUSIC | GEAR

© Kristian Moller Munar


OLOF AXEGÄRD
THE RIVEN
All roads lead to rock for Stockholm’s vintage groove revivalists

T
hey call Stockholm home, but The Riven me and Max [Ternebring, bassist]. Sometimes we overthink a lot. In the beginning Ola thought I was
formed in London when drummer Olof rehearse, just him and I, and we figure out where the doing too much. ‘You should bring it back a bit here.’
Axegärd met Arnua Diaz at university. pocket is. Arnau on the guitar is the man who keeps I was quite happy, me and Max finished in two days
“We were playing jazz and the guitarist the melody and the harmony moving forward whilst and I started to brag, like, ‘Finished in two days! Now
said I was playing jazz quite loud, so that’s how I was we are the thing that makes people dance. I see it as I have a week of vacation here in Madrid.’ Ola turned
invited to join the band,” says Axegärd. Blending we lay the bricks for the road and everyone drives around and said, ‘You know that I produced you the
stoner rock, psychedelia, heavy blues and classic upon that.” most, right?’ That brought me back down to earth.”
metal, the quartet groove hard on their self-titled
debut album. How did you come to work with producer Ola What’s your must-have piece of kit?
Ersfjord? “One of the tools of the trade I always have is
Who are your drumming heroes? “In this case, we wanted to go for more low-end. We Octobans. I love the sound of Octobans. They give
“For me, it started with Nicko McBrain when I was actually took off the resonant heads from all the you such a punch, I can’t go anywhere without them.
little. The way he approaches drums, he never plays toms. It made it sound more retro and it really suited I guess it comes from watching Simon Phillips a lot.”
straight, it’s always swung. He did a lot of single bass the music. I’d never played drums without a resonant
drum stuff that I thought was intriguing. Tony skin, the dynamic is harder to get but it was really What have been the highlights of playing
Williams is a great one, because he plays jazz very interesting to do. We practised a lot with a click with The Riven?
loud and when he moved from jazz into fusion that before going in the studio, but we recorded without “I would say the camaraderie. We’re a little family
was even cooler.” the click to get more of a live feeling and a sense of and it’s always amazing to play and to do what we
humans playing in the moment. The tricky bit is do. We’re firing on all cylinders and I’m grateful to
How do you approach creating your grooves? finding a really good feel for the songs, because have met these people because we connect on a
“I love accenting vocal parts. The ground is set with when you’re recording, it’s always a bit tense. You higher level than just writing and playing.”

18 | MARCH 2019 WWW.MUSICRADAR.COM/RHYTHM


BEAT! PEOPLE | MUSIC | GEAR

WHILE SHE SLEEPS


SO WHAT?
CD

Metalcore muthas are


making their mark
The south Yorkshire
metalcore outfit have
perhaps never quite got
the plaudits they
deserve, as part of a
thriving UK metal scene that includes the
better-known Architects, Asking
Alexandria and Parkway Drive. These
Sheffield lads are now on their fourth
album of hardcore punk-influenced metal,
with the furiously good Adam Savage
once again driving the tunes with some
super-fast but precise drumming. His
double kick work is tasteful on
‘Anti-Social’, while he also delivers the ‘big
beat’ to back the metal riffs and melodic
choruses on ‘I’ve Seen It All’ and
‘Elephant’. The title track’s verses are
about as un-metalcore as they come; an
indication they have their sights set on a
broader audience who could certainly
embrace their sound. [CBu]

Download: ‘Haunt Me’


Go to: whileshesleeps.com

SKUNK ANANSIE JAMES MORRISON


YOU’RE STRONGER
THAN YOU KNOW

25LIVE@25 CD

Drum star helps pop star


CD find his soul

Mark Richardson at his live best


If you’re a pop
singer-songwriter with
aspirations to tap into
something deeper,
You have to give it up for a band that the band are on top form – not least Mark, whose thunderous classic soul is a
have plugged away for a quarter fills and skilled beat placement, crashing cymbals and sheer well-trodden path. Name Stax as an
century and managed to retain power all but bring down the house. Or rather houses. It’s a inspiration, though, and you’re going to
integrity, individuality, a loyal fanbase shame that this isn’t just one gig – because the band are more have to find authenticity. Enter British
and a unique place in Brit rock. Skunk than capable of delivering great sets night after night. This Grove Studios, London’s answer to Muscle
Anansie are celebrating 25 years with writer can testify to their live brilliance in the smallest venue all Shoals – synonymous with superb
a fantastic live album that serves as the way back in early ’95, and it was their live presence that musicians recording there. Top of that list
both a reminder of their output and breathtaking live shows. quickly got them a record deal. But this album is actually made has to be drummer Ash Soan. Ash lends
Behind the fiercely beautiful voice of frontwoman Skin, Cass’ up of different performances, all different kinds and sizes of his faultless groove and effortless feel to
thunderous bass and guitar skills of Ace, is Mark Richardson. venue, even festivals, and that gives the whole thing a little Morrison’s slightly strangulated soul.
Mark is what you might call a beast of a drummer – he hits inconsistency. A ‘best of live’, if you like. Still, there’s no denying There are some decent songs here, like
hard, yet not without finesse, a solid backbone to Skunk’s more the band’s continued appeal, and in particular Mark’s vital ‘My Love Goes On’ and ‘Ruins’, which is
anthemic pop and a rhythmic force on their harder tracks. contribution from behind the kit. [CBu] given a skyward lift by Soan’s intricate
From the earlier brash, politically-charged ‘Selling Jesus’, beats, and the moving ‘Glorious’. [CBu]
‘Little Baby Swastikka’ and ‘Intellectualise My Blackness’ Download: ‘Charlie Big Potato’
through monumental Britpop-era anthems ‘Charity’ and ‘Weak’, Go to: skunkanansie.com Download: ‘Ruins’
Go to: jamesmorrisonmusic.com

20 | MARCH 2019 WWW.MUSICRADAR.COM/RHYTHM


CHRIS POTTER
CLASSIC ALBUMS FEATURING… CIRCUITS
Igor Cavalera CD

1 CHAOSAD (1993) 2 ROOTS (1996) 3 INFLIKTED (2008) Harland and Potter blow all the fuses
SEPULTURA SEPULTURA CAVALERA CONSPIRACY
For their fifth album Roots still sounds After a 12-year gap Eric Harland is behind the kit for this
the Brazilian thrashers every bit as vital as it between studio energetic outing from saxophonist
recorded at Rockfield did in ’96. Igor albums together, Igor Chris Potter, alongside hotshot
in south Wales. Songs plunges deeper into and Max reunited for
like ‘Refuse/Resist’
pianist James Francies, who’s
the tribal influences, this debut from
showcased the grooviest side of Igor’s culminating with an appearance Cavalera Conspiracy. Igor opts to strip worked with Chris Dave and The
tribal-infused playing that we had then from the Xavante tribe on ‘Itsari’. The his playing right back, and it sounds all Roots. While Potter falls under the post-bop banner,
been exposed to. title track is a bona fide metal classic. the more brutal for it. the compositions flow freely from muscular modern
Key Track: ‘Refuse/Resist’ Key Track: ‘Roots Bloody Roots’ Key Track: ‘Terrorize’
jazz to funk, electronica and Afro-beat. They’re joined
by bassist Linley Marthe on four cuts and the
rapid-fire interplay between the musicians is
TAL WILKENFELD Harvey and Liz Phair. The redoubtable Jeremy Stacey dazzlingly nimble. ‘Hold It’ sees Harland lock tight to
LOVE REMAINS handles the drumming, which is light on flash but full of Potter’s phrasing, playing off the melody. The title
groove. ‘Hard To Be Alone’ is a highlight, starting as a track, ‘Circuits’, boasts a featured drum solo as
CD stomping rocker and opening up into a fuzzy, distortion- Harland stretches and bends the time, and the main
heavy jam with a great solo from guitarist Blake Mills. lick is all staccato syncopated accents. ‘Koutomé’,
Bags of feel from Jeremy Stacey ‘Fistful Of Glass’ is a catchy power-pop tune – think 90s originally recorded by the TP Orchestre Poly-Rhythmo,
Matthew Sweet – but Wilkenfeld can be delicate and brings in some African grooves, while ‘Exclamation’ is
Best known for her stints with Jeff understated, building the ballad ‘Haunted Love’ around a brisk fusion workout in a Brecker Brothers vein.
Beck and Chick Corea, bassist Tal just her voice and bass to great effect. With material this ‘Pressed For Time’ has a bustling drive from Harland
Wilkenfeld turns singer-songwriter on strong, Wilkenfeld won’t be regarded as just a with Potter blowing hard over the top for a rousing,
Love Remains with impressive precociously gifted bassist for very much longer. [DW] raucous finish. [DW]
results. Wilkenfeld may possess
prodigious chops as a player, but the album is all about Key Track: ‘Hard To Be Alone’ Key Track: ‘Circuits’
songs and she taps into a 90s alternative vibe akin to PJ Go to: talwilkenfeld.com Go to: chrispottermusic.com



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24 | MARCH 2019 WWW.MUSICRADAR.COM/RHYTHM


WWW.MUSICRADAR.COM/RHYTHM MARCH 2019 | 25
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WWW.MUSICRADAR.COM/RHYTHM MARCH 2019 | 27


INTERVIEW
MIKE MANGINI

28 | MARCH 2019 WWW.MUSICRADAR.COM/RHYTHM


THE DREAM
NE
e so s
s anc v m .

,
, ’

WORDS: DAVID WEST PHOTOS: ROBERT DOWNS

WWW.MUSICRADAR.COM/RHYTHM MARCH 2019 | 29


F
ew drummers have had to endure the sort is testament to the rewards of dedication to when you’re going towards something. Kind of like if
of scrutiny that Mike Mangini has faced mastering a craft. Yet, as he tells Rhythm in a you’re 22: ‘I’m going to move and I’ll just get a job
ever since he beat out a squad of top candid interview, he feels he’s in a no-win situation when I get there. I’ll figure it out.’ That’s not as good
contenders to fill the vacant drum throne in in which some fans will never be happy that he as, ‘Let’s take a minute here. I don’t like where I am, I
progressive metal’s torchbearers Dream replaced Mike Portnoy in Dream Theater no matter need to go somewhere else.’ Yes, we’re getting away
Theater back in 2010. But Mangini has risen what he does. But that’s their loss. Mangini’s from plenty of things, but we’re going to be hanging
to the challenge and on Distance Over Time, drumming on Distance Over Time is inventive, out together because we are a bunch of guys that get
his fourth studio album with the band, both the challenging and always tied to the music he’s along well.”
drummer and Dream Theater sound fired up. “It’s playing. His intimidating chops and imposing drum
four albums in, so I’m excited,” says Mangini. setup are just the icing on the cake... Watching the video for ‘Untethered Angels’, your
Before the Dream Theater gig came along, cymbals are placed so high above you!
Mangini had played thrash metal with Annihilator, The band sounds ferocious on the new album! “Here we go! The cymbals! I went to an extreme to
funky hard rock with Extreme, and all manner of “Thank you. For me, personally, showing up there was make it so the cymbals would be louder and more
mind-bending music with Steve Vai. He’s toured electricity coming off of me. For all of us. I was a lot clear in the final mix. That stuff is out of my hands, it’s
with Dream Theater guitarist John Petrucci as part more involved, so it was much more exciting.” always been out of my hands, so I was trying to do
of the G3 tour, has held several records with the everything possible to make it so that they were as
World’s Fastest Drummer organisation, taught at You sequestered yourselves away in the clean as could be because there is so much leakage
the prestigious Berklee College Of Music in Boston, Yonderbarn in the Catskills to make the album? from my kit. I hit harder than people think. I don’t look
and possesses a formidable level of technical “The interesting thing is I’ve been through a lot of life like I hit hard, but I’m scientifically measured, I’m
ability. His 2013 DVD, The Grid, laid out his experiences and found that sometimes when you hitting as hard at 20 beats a second as at four beats a
approach to creative improvisation and his career want to get away from something, it’s not as good as second. It doesn’t look like it, I look like a robot, but

30 | MARCH 2019 WWW.MUSICRADAR.COM/RHYTHM


INTERVIEW
MIKE MANGINI
that’s because I play like a Bruce Lee punch. My snare
The Mangini touch:
drum has been so cracking and so loud that it has “I play like a Bruce
distorted the overheads, yet on a record it comes out Lee punch”
sounding different because engineers have to deal
with it differently. So I’m like, ‘Okay, let me get the
overheads out of the way, way up. In fact, there were
no overheads, the mics were underneath, aiming up
to get away from how hard I hit the snare. It doesn’t
look like it, I know that. With Dream Theater, I’m in the
band, but I’ve been down on the totem pole as far as
direction. I don’t have anything to do with the final
things that get done. This one, I was like, ‘Okay, I’m
going to put these cymbals way up high.’ It’s different
than if I record on my own. I’ve been songwriting on
my own and engineering and producing my own stuff,
so that’s different. I’m a drummer hearing the drums
from behind the stool. It’s totally different than
anybody else. It’s not any better, it’s just different, it’s
how I hear it. If someone else is on the other side of
the glass or out in front of the drums, it just sounds
different so it’s going to be treated differently. That’s
how things are, so I tried to do everything possible to
get those cymbals way, way up.”

In the same video, you’re playing a single bass


drum in the studio, rather than two bass drums
like you use live?
“Again, I’m just making changes out of necessity. I just
wanted a slightly bigger sound that was completely
natural in the room. I know the sound of the drum is

“A DRUMMER’S FEEL IS WITH THE NOTES THAT ARE


going to leak in that setting. It’s really how the drums
sound right in the room. Having a single kick, it’s more
about the stereo effect. I switch my feet. Sometimes,
I’m leading with my left foot, sometimes with my right. IN-BETWEEN, NOT THESE BIG KICK AND SNARE
I’m playing bass drums patterns, for example, in
‘Untethered Angels’. It may sound very simple but DRUMS THAT GO ‘BOOM!’ AND ‘BANG!’”
when that song cuts into the verse and I’m playing
along with the guitar, you can play that part entering your butt, your back and your legs. There are certain like this? What do you think?’ A lot of stuff you hear on
with the right foot, going R, R, R, and throwing the left speeds no human is going to hit doing that. I’m the Dream Theater records, I’m winging on the spot.
in [as the skip note], R, R, L, R, but I played it L, R, L, R. smacking it and it doesn’t look like it because I’m I’m just playing. He’s like, ‘Okay, fine,’ or ‘No, try
Having the single kick puts the sound in the centre. hitting from my hamstring and from my back. I’m not something else.’ He helped me a lot.”
Jimmy T [engineer] and me talked about part of the going to get those wicked speeds, I have to do
soundscape for the drums on this album as being to different things to do that and then it doesn’t sound You went to Pearl to build a new rack for this
use more of the room sound. If there are two separate right if it’s real. There are editors that are hired to go in album. Your kit seems to evolve constantly?
bass drums, you’re going to hear one slightly to the and clean up every single hit, they re-trigger the “The latest development is a clearing of space and
left and one slightly to the right. It’s more about the sound on the top. It can be done, it’s just the final a lessening of stuff. I’m setting up as little as I
stereo sound being in the middle and a little bigger stage. This whole thing about sounding powerful has
with the 24" kick but I’ve got to hit it way harder.” got zero to do with me. I have all my raw drum tracks
to a lot of records, you can hear I’m smacking the
What’s the secret to getting a big, powerful drum
sound? Do you have to hit hard while being careful
not to choke the drums?
drums and the snare is cracking, the snare is so loud it
becomes a problem. On LaBrie’s second Mullmuzzler
record I did, not only that but on one of the Annihilator
UNLOCKING ROOM 137
MIKE MAKES HIS LYRICAL DEBUT
“It’s got nothing to do with me anymore, it hasn’t for records, All For You, I distorted the overheads, not the
well over a decade. Players play really light and end up snare mic, with the snare so I know what the real deal The track ‘Room 137’ marks Mangini’s first
sounding very powerful on records, depending on how is. This is final production stuff these days.” contribution as a lyricist with Dream Theater. “I
was not asked to contribute in any way, shape
it’s treated in the final stages. It’s about the final stage or form like that with Dream Theater, I did it
treatment that changes everything. This is according You said in the past that when you first joined anyway,” he says. “When that song was
to taste. Look at the speed in death metal, if those Dream Theater on A Dramatic Turn Of Events, you written, the BPM was 137 so it reminded me of
drums are cranked, it’s not possible. You hit a lot were thinking, ‘What do they want me to sound a story in physics about Wolfgang Pauli. I just
lighter past a certain threshold and a lot of death like?’ Presumably that’s no longer still the case? said it and John thought it was cool, ‘Okay let’s
metal players are using their fingers. It’s not being “That is correct. I would love for the plain drum tracks call it ‘Room 137’ because that’s the room he
died in and he knew he was going to die there.’
played loudly. It’s very light. I know plenty of players to be released. No instrument sounds the same once If you look up the number 137, it will keep you
can hit the drums and there are a few who can really you put 100 tracks over it. Tons of tracks. It just never busy for a few weeks. Wolfgang Pauli was
whack it and the beaters are coming back, the beater sounds the same once you put the guitar on top of it. obsessed by it. I wasn’t asked to do anything
can come back far but the sound is still not transient. It just doesn’t. My soul is in a lot of that but then I’m because John was doing the lyrics. I said, ‘The
Engineers know what I’m talking about there. To make produced the whole way. I relied on John. I don’t want heck with it, I know how to do that. Let me do it
the bass drum really have transience, you’ve got to to change the band’s sound, these fans are used to and if it doesn’t work, it doesn’t work.’”
bury the beater into the skin and hit it with force from something: ‘What do you need me to do here? Do you

WWW.MUSICRADAR.COM/RHYTHM MARCH 2019 | 31


INTERVIEW
MIKE MANGINI
possibly can. If anyone looks at my kit and doesn’t
understand what I mean when I say I set-up as little
as possible: to follow 88 notes on a keyboard, I don’t
have 88 drums to play it exactly, but I do need at least
something that represents an octave. Mike [Portnoy]’s
done that on a few songs. [Terry] Bozzio follows it
more exactly. I lessened my setup and cleared up
space. The cymbals are up higher, I’m playing them
live like that in the video, I’m bringing it to the stage.
It’s a challenge, my shoulders are killing me, I’m going
to try to do it, we’ll see what happens. I’ve removed
the two smallest drums. I’ve had to relearn some
parts, I’ve switched things around. I have to play
things in reverse because my 12" tom is going to be on
the right side instead of the left, and my 14" tom is
going to be on the left side instead of the right. My 16"
tom is going be on the right instead of the left and my
18" tom is going to be on the left instead of the right,
so I’m relearning parts. My body is like, ‘Oh no!’ I’ve
also invented something called a gong floor tom. I’m
moving my 14" tom and turning it into a gong. My 14",
16", 18" and 20" are all going to be the same kind of
drum. They’re all going to be gong drums. I still have
to set it up for the first time and try it, so we’ll see if it
makes it to the live stage. I think it will.”

So there will be no bottom heads on those drums?


“That’s right. Those drive engineers insane. We’ll see
what happens. I’m a flexible person. When I did A
Dramatic Turn Of Events I was flexible with what was
needed in the band. When I’ve joined any band, I’ve
been flexible. I’ve answered to a greater calling, I’m
not all about what I want to do, me, and how I play.
When I did the G3 tour I asked the engineers, ‘Do you
want me to raise the cymbals? Do you want me to
change anything? What do you want me to do?’ Every
Ambidextrous Mike
new engineer I work with says, ‘Wow, you actually ask has switched his toms
me what I think?’ I was asked to tune down the snare so he plays in reverse
drum on the Dream Theater self-titled album. I
couldn’t even play it, I didn’t like it at all, but I did it. I
was lambasted for it too. Lambasted, hated, called And you’re mic’ing the cymbals from below? that are in-between, not these big kick and snare
out, ridiculed, unfairly called unbelievable names. I “I have the microphones underneath, so I’m getting drums that go ‘boom!’ and ‘bang!’ That’s not where
never once went online and said, ‘Stop calling me more clarity, but I have recorded drums at home with the feel is. Those are on the grid hits, it’s the stuff
those names.’ I found it to be a challenge, that’s all I that kind of mic’ing and patched them on records that in-between that gives a drummer their feel and if you
ever said about it. I enjoyed that I was challenged, I nobody has heard, but if someone else gets hold of it, can’t hear it, how the heck are you going to know what
don’t diss it in any way. I have nothing negative to say it comes back and I can barely hear my cymbals. the real drummer’s feel is? That’s only going to
about it. Yes, I said I didn’t like it on a personal level, When I mix it, the cymbals are as loud as they are for happen if the ghost notes or the in-between notes on
but what I mean is I didn’t necessarily like having to real. The cymbals are louder than the kick drums in the other instruments are loud. If they’re not loud
re-do how I played because the drum head was looser. reality. If you sit behind a drum-set, you know it’s true. you’re not going to hear them and if you can’t hear
I didn’t necessarily gravitate to the sound so much Cymbals are louder than bass drums when you’re them you’re not going to know they’re there. That’s
because I like the snare drum tuned higher and all sitting on the stool. If the bass drum is muffled a little just the way it is.”
that, but I understood that it was just a different idea. I bit it goes ‘dook’, but those hi-hats make you deaf.
went with the flow and what was really cool about it Most drummers are probably deaf in the 3K range, People get obsessed about the drumset you
was learning something from it. Let me say like me. Legitimately considered deaf in that range use with Dream Theater, but you used a much
something, all those comments dissing it were because the decibel loss is so great. I’m mic’ing smaller setup with John Petrucci on the G3 tour,
extremely hypocritical because Images And Words is accordingly and my cymbals are up high to make it for instance?
totally resampled with a lower-sounding, thicker easier for other people to deal with it so I can get “That was a four-piece kit and I loved it. I’m really
drum. Completely. Many records have a real more clarity and really be heard with what I’m actually carrying my true self into these environments. At
low-sounding snare that sounds similar to that record, playing. If those cymbals aren’t really loud, you’re not least I’m bringing it, it doesn’t mean it’s always
so it’s not a bad sound. I just went with the flow. I’m going to really hear what I’m doing, you’re not going communicated because I’ll never make my own sound
just speaking the truth about that.” to hear my feel. A drummer’s feel is with the notes live or on record unless I do it. I’m never going to be
able to do that live because I can’t run out front, but I

“IF ANYBODY JUMPED INTO DREAM THEATER AND


do take myself into it. What I mean by that is I feel like
I’m the same guy as when I’m home by myself but

CHANGED EVERY SINGLE FILL, WHEN PEOPLE WERE


when I’m out in a studio recording a record, I feel like
people are coming into my home saying, ‘Stop having

AIR-DRUMMING IT’D TAKE AWAY A LOT OF THE FUN FOR FANS…”


fun. Whoa, what are you doing? Why do you need
that?’ My response is, ‘Why is it your business what I

32 | MARCH 2019 WWW.MUSICRADAR.COM/RHYTHM


THE UK'S NUMBER 1

ON SALE
NOW

All about the bass, every four weeks


Also available to order online at www.myfavouritemagazines.co.uk
INTERVIEW
MIKE MANGINI
hi-hat on your right side. It’s completely and utterly,
Sitting strong: “Gee, I’m
sorry your favourite guy left...
totally reversing it in your brain and the reason I do it
but how can you give me crap” is to play music in the way that I do. I don’t always have
to have it. For G3, I didn’t even want it. I chose not to. I
wanted a nice little four-piece kit that was easy for
setup so I could see and I could take drum parts in my
mind where I was hearing things and convert it to a
small kit as a challenge. It was fun.”

You replaced a revered member of Dream Theater.


Do you still feel like you’re under a microscope??
“I’m in a no-win situation in Dream Theater on some
level and that’s okay with me. Apparently, I can’t get
away with going along with many fans that don’t like
that it’s not the original line-up. Maybe I wouldn’t like
that either if I was a fan. For me to publicly say, ‘I feel
bad for you guys,’ and apologise, ‘Gee, I’m sorry, your
favourite guy left, I’m really sorry about that,’ but to
then hear crap because I’m nice about it? How can you
give me crap? It’s just the truth and I’m not being
humble, I’m just telling the truth. Yeah, I’m under a
microscope. I’m adjusting to that but I’m not going to
let it dictate so that I change my set-up again. I’m not
going to let it dictate so I don’t choose to play all of
Mike’s original parts. I made a couple of changes last
tour and I got wind that a bunch of people hated what
I was doing in some of the songs. But if I match him
exactly, people hate that too, they call me creepy.
That’s why I say a no-win situation. If I match the part
exactly, let’s just say that even the live tempos were
time-coded out perfectly to exactly how he played the
records, every one of them, I matched every drum and
I set up my drums like him, I mean I’m in a no-win
situation there – that’s creepy. And if I change it
completely, then I know what the response to that is – I
can’t play his parts. I can’t win. All I can do is just do
what I think is right and tell the truth, and what I think

“I FEEL LIKE I’VE ALWAYS BEEN TAPPED ON THE SHOULDER,


is right is that his parts are very correct and musical
and I like them a lot. I don’t think that’s a sin that I

‘HEY, YOU CAN’T DO THAT!’ YES, I CAN, AND WATCH ME”


really like a lot of Mike’s parts. I have the right to not
like everything, to change some fills or some main
beats. I just want to change them and that’s just the
need? Or, ‘Well, you need ‘x’ amount of drums to way it is. I have that right and I’m not going to let
do this’. Actually, no, I don’t. I choose to span the anybody dictate it to me because I’m under the

CREATING IN range of the keyboard or guitar instruments on the


drums so I can match it. I choose to orchestrate in that
microscope. I think that it’s proper to play the parts the
way they are recorded, I like them, I’m going to be

THE MOMENT fashion. I don’t need to, I like to and there’s a


difference. I feel like I’ve always been tapped on the
shoulder, ‘Hey, you can’t do that!’ Yes, I can, and watch
different by default. That microscope is the truth and
I’m handling it in the right way, I think. I’m trying to do
the right thing and when I say the right thing, people
MIKE MANGINI’S MINI-GUIDE
me. For example, the Trashformer cymbal. ‘You can’t change the definition of what they think is right or
TO IMPROVISATION
bend a cymbal like that!’ Oh yeah? Armand Zildjian wrong, but I think it is correct to play the songs the
“The ability to be able to respond almost on the said it was his favourite effects cymbal and then it got way that people know them. I think it is correct to do
spot to what happens, I can tell you how I do made because Armand Zildjian got my prototype. He’s as good as I can, to play as much of it as I can in a
that. My level of preparation has been decades like, ‘This is great, this works, it sounds insane, let’s mimic kind of way and I think it is correct to change
in the making, meaning pattern recognition. I bend a bunch of cymbals.’ The cable hi-hat – ‘You can’t some things that I feel would be appropriate, like drum
recognise patterns and then I respond
do that, you can’t criss-cross them like that.’ Watch me fills that aren’t the standard ones. For example, if
immediately by looking at my drums. If you’re
curious as to how that actually happens, a lot do it. ‘Why do you have four hi-hats? You don’t need anybody jumped into Dream Theater and changed
of that comes from looking at the drums and four hi-hats!’ Actually, in order for me to switch sides every single fill, when people are air-drumming that’d
having years and years of patterns in my head and have one closed while my left foot is busy I need take away a lot of the fun for fans, so I’ve got to play
that somehow come out in what is called one on the right side that’s closed, I need it because I some of them. Some of them I like, some of them I
improvisation. Nothing is random. That stuff can’t close both sides at the same time and keep my don’t. Some of them, I’m like, ‘I’m changing it,’ or I’ll
comes from things I put in my head, it doesn’t
feet on the kick drums too, I’d need four feet. So I’m play it leftie just to keep myself occupied, just to do
come from space that I know of. If it does, it
comes from the other side and I’m just a going to do it anyway. What about setting up the something that puts my heart into it. If I play
blessed person, I’m a very lucky person that I drums the way I do, perfectly symmetrical? This is not everything, I’m a creep, if I don’t, I can’t do it, and that
get ideas that come to me. In essence, it comes partially symmetrical. It’s the only one you have to be makes me bad for some reason. I’m just being me the
from looking at the drums and thinking about able to play fully lefty as efficiently as you do righty to way I want to be me, hate it, love it, not care, care,
the patterns.” do it. Not hit something with your left hand, it’s not whatever. That is what it is, but when I join bands,
sticking a floor tom on the left, it’s not putting a step I’ve got to respect the music first.”

34 | MARCH 2019 WWW.MUSICRADAR.COM/RHYTHM


Hang ’em high: Mangini
has elevated his cymbals
to new heights!

WWW.MUSICRADAR.COM/RHYTHM MARCH 2019 | 35


Do you miss the academic world from your
time at Berklee where you could explore your
art free from commercial considerations?
“The answer to the question is: it depends. I miss what
you’re talking about. I do like sharing, I like being an
influence on people one-on-one. I miss that aspect, I
miss absorbing myself like I did with Latin rhythms
learning from my colleagues and peers where I had a
chance to actually understand what I wasn’t playing
right about the Latin swing. I learned it from Horacio
[Hernandez] doing drum clinics, so if I wasn’t in those
environments, I never would have learned it. I needed
to be out there with the best guys doing it, but I also
needed to be in the school environment going back
and forth with students and having books for
reference and time to sit and study and talk about this.
Yes, I miss it in that way. It’s not the same salary and
the unfortunate thing about it is when people teach at
a college, they should be equally out there in the real
work environment, like a lawyer who has a law
practice and then teaches on the side. You can’t be in a
full-time band and be in a college at the same time, so
some balance has to happen there. There isn’t a
system of substitutes. Oftentimes, what will be said

MIKE’S GEAR
DRUMS
Pearl Masterworks series – 24"x18" 8-ply
mahogany bass drum, 10"x8" and 12”x10”
6-ply maple tom-toms, 14"x12", 16”x14”,
18"x14" and 20"x14" 6-ply maple floor tom
gong drums, 6"x12" rocket tom acrylic shell,
6"x15" rocket tom acrylic shell, 6"x18" rocket
tom acrylic shell, 6"x21" rocket tom acrylic
shell, 14"x6½" Reference spec 20-ply snare
(outer 12-ply maple, inner 6-ply birch),
10"x6½" 6-ply maple snare

CYMBALS
Zildjian 20" Z3 ride, 20" A-Custom Ping ride, 14"
A Custom hi-hats, 13" K/Z hi-hats, 13" New Beat
hi-hats, 13" ZBT hi-hats, 18" A Custom Medium
crash (x3), 19" A Custom Medium crash, 8" ZHT
splash, 9" Oriental splash, 12" Z Custom splash,
19" Z3 china, 21" Z3 china, 12" Oriental china
stacked on Splashformer, 13" Oriental China
stacked on Splashformer, 14" Oriental China
stacked on Trashformer, 18" Oriental China
stacked on Trashformer, 22" Oriental China
stacked on Trashformer

PLUS
Pearl hardware: ICON rack, Custom
Modified Demon Drive centre pedal;
RH2050 remote cable hi-hat stands; Vater
Wicked Piston Mike Mangini artist model
sticks; Remo heads: Clear Powerstroke3 with
Falam Slam Pad on bass drum, Coated P77 on
snare, Clear Emperors on toms; Roland BT-10
pads, KT-10 pedals, 2x TM-2 Modules; Shure
microphones: Beta52s, Beta 98s, KSM137s,
KSM32s, Beta57s; Vater stick and drink
holders, Slicknut cymbal fasteners, White
Poly BD beaters; Zildjian drum gloves;
iPad w/TEMPO Metronome app; JH Audio
inner ear monitors; Pearl stool thumpers;
Samson mixer; Ultraphones; Futz practice
foot pedals; Wincent Mike Mangini artist
drum head muffles

36 | MARCH 2019 WWW.MUSICRADAR.COM/RHYTHM


INTERVIEW
MIKE MANGINI

WWW.MUSICRADAR.COM/RHYTHM MARCH 2019 | 37


INTERVIEW
MIKE MANGINI
to have more power and be better at the drums could
“There is no World’s
Fastest Drummer, I never
use that as an example to say that can really be done.
thought that I was...” Those speeds can really be played with a bare hand as
single individual hits without bouncing or anything.
That’s all I was trying to do with that. I think Jotan
Afanador has the fastest single strokes in a minute.
He’s the guy that finished at 1199, but he actually
broke 1200 before me, it’s just that at one point,
videos weren’t allowed. Jotan was there before me
and Jotan is much cleaner than me. I don’t even like
my hand records. My hand records are all-out
muscular, they’re not even clean drumming. It’s all
muscle. Tom [Grosset], the new kid, his hits are much
cleaner than mine too. I think that with the WFD, it was
bad timing for Jotan, but I’m going on record here that
if I have any say, Jotan is the number one because he
did significantly into the 1200s and he did it clean.
“So, no, it’s not part of my thing. What’s part of my
thing and always will be is what went into the bare
hands record. Look at what George Kollias and other
people are doing. George is playing flat out completely
100 percent faster than me in every way. Would he be
faster playing bare hands and hitting at full volume?
Probably not. But that’s different. All-out endurance,
speed, my god, I wouldn’t even pretend to try to want
to play anything he does. I can’t even carry his
underwear, so I don’t even want to be put in the same
thing as those guys. If you count my muscle spasms,
then I can play 300bpm pretty strong at times.
Musicianship is a different thing, but I give credit
where credit is due.”

How do you want to develop your technique


moving forwards?
“My path going forward is that I’m evolving in many
ways at will. I don’t evolve by any kind of randomness
to a teacher is, ‘The student signed up with you.’ and the curriculum. To say, ‘You can’t leave, you’re or accident. Every bit of it comes from will; will is the
No, the student signed up for the material. Making supposed to be here for ‘x’ amount of weeks, you can’t source. It’s something very real, probably more real
things personal is not the way to do it. Being personal go out and be missing for five of them because the than the flesh and bones. With my will, I’m evolving on
means trying to say the student signed up to the student complains.’ I can’t exist like that given that I a path as a drummer and as a songwriter. I’m evolving
teacher who is distinctly different from the material need to be out there in the real world to get Horacio’s to be much more comfortable being under a
take on Latin and then take it back to the school. I microscope and I want to help people and share my
need to be on a magazine cover so students recognise path. I am honest. I just want other people to be
me and go to the school because the teachers are honest too. I want people to know the truth. My path is

SCENES FROM A more famous, but they can’t be more famous if they’re
locked into the school completely. And they’re more
to communicate what I’m really playing and doing,
that I’m trying to grow with how I deal with working so

MEMORY RE-BOOTED and more locked to the school. And then there’s the
burden of pay. How is a teacher to be paid enough to
do this full-time when they can’t even supplement
that other people who want to work as a musician
know that they have to succumb to greater goods. If
you play in someone else’s band, learn the music.
GETTING READY TO REVIVE A
DREAM THEATER CLASSIC their income unless they’re out there gigging, which “I’m evolving as a drummer. I’ve been improvising
kills them because their schedules get weird? This is a so much more in the last decade, I’m playing with
To mark the album’s 20th anniversary, 2019 really tough balance. I would not want to be running a more confidence with that improvisation. I’m also
will see Dream Theater playing all of Metropolis college trying to manage this. It’s a difficult call, but playing a little differently now with the Dream Theater
Part 2: Scenes From A Memory live. “I’m there is a balance to it.” stuff. Yes, I’m adhering to the parts but I’m not going
strapped into what people know, so I am
to worry about what I change or what I don’t change.
honouring what’s on the record to a point. I am
absolutely making changes,” says Mangini. “I You were closely associated with the World’s My drumset is always evolving, I’m trying to reduce
have to somehow weave in the power that I’m Fastest Drummer for some time. Is that still part some things, but there are things I need and I’m
playing with and the feel and the different of your practice now? evolving where I don’t really care what anyone says or
creative things I’m going to bring to it. I also “No, it is not. I need to say, there is no World’s Fastest thinks. Don’t like it? I’ve got a job and I’m the one in a
have to be ready in rehearsals for what the Drummer, I never thought that I was, and I definitely magazine, so if you don’t like it, go ahead and be that
band may ask. When I hear from a music
know that I am not with many different aspects. There guy in the magazine and say what you think. You can
composer in Dream Theater, ‘When I composed
that, I was hearing this kind of thing out of the are so many different mechanical things to be done call me out if I’m speaking anything that’s not true, or
drums, can you try this?’ ‘Okay, sure.’ With on a drumset in so many different ways. I will only you can call me out if you don’t like it, that’s fine, but
Scenes…, there are things I’m going to try. I’m claim one thing about my whole involvement with it at least offer something that’s positive because people
going to amp up some things. I’m going to do and something I really do like and I’m most proud of read these words and we have to try to help each
some crazy things here and there, I’m going to and that’s the bare hands World Record because that other out and get through a lot of trials in life. We
embellish a little bit.”
says a lot. I was trying to say something with that, I have to help each other out. I think that’s really the
was trying to communicate that people who wanted bottom line here.”

38 | MARCH 2019 WWW.MUSICRADAR.COM/RHYTHM


ON
SALE
NOW
GE T T HE NE W I S SUE F ROM M Y FAV OU
R I T E M A G A Z I N E S .C O .U K
THE

2019
40
HOT LIST
From stave snares and punchy percussion, to hybrid technology and cymbals
for every breed of drummer, Rhythm rounds-up the hottest new drum and
percussion gear from this year’s NAMM show in California

| MARCH 2019 WWW.MUSICRADAR.COM/RHYTHM


01

9
02

03
GRETSCH BROOKLYN MICRO KIT
01 Paying homage to Gretsch Drums’ New York
birthplace, the USA-made Brooklyn kit hit the sweet
spot between warm vintage tones and modern design
flourishes when it launched in 2012. The new Gretsch
Brooklyn Micro is the same great kit, but with a much
smaller footprint ideal for compact venues or practice
spots where space is at a premium. Each Brooklyn
Micro is built at Gretsch’s Ridgeland, South Carolina
facility, and features 6-ply poplar/maple shells topped
with 302 hoops. The kit is currently limited to one
configuration comprising a 16"x12" bass drum (with
riser), 10"x7" rack tom, 13"x12" floor tom and 13"x4½"
snare drum, and one finish – Satin Gray lacquer,
accented with Satin Natural bass drum hoops and
snare drum.

ALESIS STRIKE MULTIPAD


02 The design and pad layout might look familiar,
but there are plenty of features to set the Strike
Multipad apart from other percussion pads. Most
notable is the built-in sampler, which enables you to
record from USB, smartphone, microphone or other two inner plies of walnut. The resulting sound is
audio device. With your samples in the bag, it’s easy to low-to-mid frequency warmth courtesy of the walnut,
edit them using five built-in effects processors – three mixed with the clear attack and punchy highs of birch.
kit effects, one master effect, plus compressor and A Starcast mounting system, die-cast hoops, quick lock
equaliser. On-board you’ll find 32GB of storage, tom brackets, Starclassic lugs and Evans heads
including over 6GB of loops, drums, percussion and complete the package.
melodic sounds. Nine velocity-sensitive pads come
complete with customisable lights – ideal for MEINL PICKUP SUB CAJON
performances on dark stages. The Alesis Strike 04 On the surface, Meinl’s Pickup Sub Cajon is a
Multipad will set you back £599. regular box drum with a tasty Baltic birch faceplate
and eco-friendly medium density fiberboard body, but
TAMA STARCLASSIC delve deeper and you’ll discover a fantastic
03 WALNUT/BIRCH KITS performance tool for live acoustic situations. Inside is a
For 2019 Tama has unveiled the newest generation of Piezo pickup, which amplifies your playing when
its popular Starclassic range, featuring hybrid walnut/ connected to an amp or PA via the quarter inch port.
birch shells and seven dazzling new finishes. Toms and Tone and volume can be adjusted using discrete
snares are 6mm thick with 4-plies of European birch side-mounted controls. On the front are two large
and two inner plies of American black walnut, while
bass drums are 8mm, comprising 5-plies of birch and
sound ports to enhance and project bass notes,
whether you’re amplified or not.
04
WWW.MUSICRADAR.COM/RHYTHM MARCH 2019 | 41
FEATURE
GEAR SPECIAL

05
ZILDJIAN FX STACKS and flattened lip, plus a cold-rolled steel bottom.
05 Zildjian has led the stack pack for some time Experimenting with cymbal orientation and Cymbolt
now and with the re-launch of their FX line, heralded tension delivers a range of sounds, from bright, fast
by the introduction of a new range of Stacks, their and cutting, to trashy and raw. FX Stacks will start from
reign is set to continue amongst drummers looking for £99 for the 8" model (including mount).
modern, trashy accent sounds. FX Stacks come in 8",
10", 12", 14" or 16" pairs and can be stacked or used as DW COLLECTOR’S PURE ALMOND
hi-hats – switching between the two is a breeze 06 Drum Workshop has added a new wood choice
courtesy of Zildjian’s Cymbolt mount. Each pair to its celebrated Collector’s Series drum line. If you’re
comprises a rounded top with distinctive hole pattern on the lookout for a bright tone similar to DW’s existing
Pure Oak and Pure Purpleheart drums, look no further
than Pure Almond. Almond is the hardest wood in
DW’s California Custom Shop offering and features a
new Staggered Tandem Core shell design that places
less tension on the shell and balances the attack and
brightness of the wood. Timbre-matched shells are
finished in a distinctive Toasted Almond to Natural
Burst Lacquer Speciality finish, with your choice
of chrome, satin chrome, nickel, black nickel or
gold hardware.

BRITISH DRUM COMPANY AVIATOR


07 SNARE DRUM
As with all BDC gear, no design and style choices are
arbitrary; so here we have the new aluminium Aviator
snare, influenced by the sleek lines and gleaming
metal profiles of classic aircraft. The drum, available in
14”x5½" and 14"x6½" sizes, is crafted from a seamless
1.2mm solid aluminium shell – complete with central
bead – before being anodised and dressed with
gleaming Palladium hardware. The sound is described
as “dry and controlled with a sensitive response over a

06
wide dynamic range, inspiring you to articulate your
sticking from graceful ghost notes to a full-throated
roaring backbeat”. Sound aside, what sets BDC gear
apart is the attention to detail, and we love the
discrete cherry veneer integrated into the badge.

VATER CLASSIC SERIES STICKS


08 As the name suggests, Vater’s Classic Series is a
celebration of the company’s early manufacturing
history. Each stick profile is reminiscent of the models
hand-turned by Alan and Ron Vater’s grandfather Jack
Adams at his Boston drum shop in the 50s. These new
models – offered with wood or nylon tips – are lathe
turned to produce their classic specs and profiles and
are available in 7A, 5A, 5B, 2B, 8D Jazz, as well as Big
Band models.

07

09
 

08
42 | MARCH 2019 WWW.MUSICRADAR.COM/RHYTHM
LUDWIG ANNIVERSARY LEGACY
12
10 MAHOGANY
This year Ludwig is marking 110 years of pioneering
drum building. To celebrate this monumental
milestone there will be a number of anniversary
launches, including a pair of Legacy kits featuring 3-ply
mahogany shells and distinctive finishes. The first
boasts a Flash Pearl inlay finish that first appeared on
drums back in the 1930s. Utilising dyed Tupelo and
Koto veneers, precision-cut diamond figures are inlaid
into arctic white birds-eye maple veneer to awesome
effect. Slightly more understated, the Van Buren kit
showcases a vintage mahogany stain with inlaid maple
hoops. Style for miles.

PROMARK SHIRA KASHI OAK AND


13 MAPLE SELECT BALANCE STICKS
Promark has expanded its premium Shira Kashi Oak
drumstick line to include the Select Balance acorn tip
model. Additionally, softer, lighter maple drumsticks
are also now part of the Select Balance line. Promark
developed Select Balance so players could fine tune
the balance of their favourite stick models. Forward
models feature a short 2¼" taper, which shifts the
weight and momentum towards the front of the stick
REMO PINK AND PURPLE foundation of lower undertones. The Foundry for improved power and speed. Rebound models offer
09 COLORTONE HEADS Reserve range is limited to just seven cymbals: a longer 3" taper, enhancing bounce and adding
For the original run of dazzling Colortone heads, Remo 14" and 15" warm and fat hi-hats; a dark and explosive finesse and agility.
adapted its clever Skyndeep imaging technology so 18" crash with short decay; plus 20" and 21" standard
ink is printed within the plastic rather than layered on and light rides, the latter ideal for when you need a EVANS SOUNDOFF DRUMHEADS
top. As a result, some of your favourite head series’ cymbal with clear stick definition when ridden, and 14 Playing acoustic drums at home is not a viable
– Powerstroke 77, Emperor and Powerstroke – were everything from a light wash to a musical explosion option for most drummers, particularly if you have
made available in striking translucent Red, Blue, when crashed. neighbours who don’t see the merits of 2am
Green, Yellow, Orange and Smoke colours. Due to paradiddle practice. Thankfully, Evans has unveiled a
popular demand, Remo has added pink and purple to RHYTHM TECH PALMA SERIES new quiet practice solution. SoundOff drumheads –
that list. Now your drums be as colourful as your 11 Rhythm Tech might be best known for its available in sizes from 8" to 24" – feature a single-ply
playing (or your singer’s language). excellent and now legendary Pro tambourine, but the of black mesh material and fit between the shell and
story doesn’t end there when it comes to quality hoop like a standard head. The mesh dramatically
MEINL BYZANCE FOUNDRY RESERVE percussion. The company launched the Palma reduces the volume of everyday drumming and,
10 Turkish-made Foundry Reserves hark back to a Series cajon last year. For 2019 the series, which is
time when cymbals were manufactured by hand. Each characterised by a lush grained dark-wood finish, has
cymbal is hammered for an extended period of time been expanded to include a portable Laptop Cajon,
to work a more complex voice into the metal – they
look fantastic, too. A fully-lathed top and bottom helps
plus bongos and a djembe.
12
produce a clear, dry stick-attack note, which sits over a

11
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FEATURE
GEAR SPECIAL

13

14

15
because the heads can be tensioned, drummers can
dial in their desired feel too. Add triggers and a
module/interface into the mix and the SoundOff heads black shell hardware, including 1.6mm triple-flanged Band and medium-heavy Marching Band models
can also act as silent drumheads within a DIY hoops. Aside from the spec, the most appealing speak quickly and provide shimmering sustain,
electronic drum setup. element of Tama’s Black Steel snares is the price. The increased articulation and warm spread. In other AAX
10"x5½" will set you back just £99, followed closely by news, across the board the cymbal line has been
TAMA METALWORKS BLACK the 14"x5½" at £109 and the 14"x6½" at £119. At those transformed with new thin, medium and heavy
15 STEEL SNARES prices you’d be forgiven for buying one of each. models. All AAX cymbals are also now treated to
If you’re on the lookout for a metal shelled snare drum additional hammering with a larger, rounder peen
on a budget in 2019, Tama’s trio of affordable new SABIAN AAX REVAMP hammer, helping produce a wider and more complex
Metalworks Black Steel snares could be right up your 16 There’s been a whole lot of activity on the AAX range of tones, from dark to bright.
street. At the core of the three size options – 10"x5½", front in readiness for 2019. For starters, Sabian has
14"x5½" and 14"x6½" – is a 1.2mm matte black steel pushed the boundaries by creating all-new Concert
shell, crafted with a central ridge for reinforcement. and Marching Band models within the famously
The stealthy drums come complete with matching rock-friendly series. Both the medium weight Concert

18
16

17 19
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20
TRX ICE CYMBALS
17 While not so common on this side of the pond,
each year Turkish brand TRX impresses with
refreshing new models and innovations. This year’s Ice
series is no different, bucking the current trend of
dark, dry pies. The cymbals feature a micro-lathed
surface, medium-heavy weights and a highly-polished
‘Diamond’ finish, which results in a supremely bright,
clean tone. Ice cymbals are available as rides, hats,
crashes, splashes, Chinas and Lightning effect models.

DW 5000 SINGLE CHAIN BASS 21


18 DRUM PEDAL
Drum Workshop’s 5000 Series pedal is still a popular four stunning finishes to choose from too – Vintage
choice for weekend warriors and stadium pros alike. LUDWIG JAZZ FEST SERIES SNARES Black Oyster, Vintage Blue Oyster, Mod Orange and
For 2019, it has introduced a single-chain option. The 19 Ludwig begins its 110th year with a doe-eyed Black Galaxy.
new model brings the distinctive feel and playability of look back at some of the most iconic products in its
classic single chain pedals, alongside a retro 5000 history. The Jazz Fest was always a major staple of AQUARIAN ICE WHITE
footboard shape that harks back to the original 5000. Ludwig’s extensive snare line-up. The drum first 20 REFLECTOR HEADS
The pedal, available in single and double appeared in the 50s, then known as the Buddy Rich Aquarian’s Eric Moore-inspired Reflector Series heads
configurations, is loaded with plenty of modern model. By the early 60s the 14"x5½" snare was were designed to give hard-hitting drummers like Eric
features too, including the Tri-Pivot Toe Clamp, rebadged as the Jazz Fest. The drum is back for 2019, enhanced attack when playing at higher volumes,
lightweight aluminium bass plate with new rubber grip complete with a 3-ply Legacy Mahogany shell, vintage courtesy of a hybrid construction that comprises a
surface, a Dual-Bearing Spring Rocker, Accelerator ’64 snare bed, eight twin lugs, 3-step baseball bat heavy-duty, smooth white 10-mil drumhead film,
cam, two-way beater and more. tone-control and a white Reso-Coat interior. There are topped with a layer of Aquarian Classic Nu-Brite 7-mil
film. The heads produce a warm, resonant sound at
low volume, with bright tones when played harder and
a cleaner sound when played at speed. The original
Reflectors were finished in a lustrous black; now
they’re available in a cool reflective Ice White variation
for drum sizes ranging between 6" and 26".

LATIN PERCUSSION E-CLASS


21 SIGNATURE SERIES
Sheila E might be best known for her seminal work
with Prince, but the drum and percussion queen,
along with the entire Escovedo family, have created a

22 23
WWW.MUSICRADAR.COM/RHYTHM MARCH 2019 | 45
FEATURE
GEAR SPECIAL
your electronic or hybrid setup. The module’s sound

24 library comes loaded with quality, multi-layered


sounds (including options recorded by Marco
Minnemann and Simon Phillips), so you can enjoy the
best in dynamics and expression. If that’s not enough,
2Box’s Editor software enables you to create your own
sounds and loops and store them on the module’s
built in 32GB memory. Universal Trigger Interface
technology gives drummers the power to connect
practically any kind of trigger or pad (including
cymbals and hats) to the module, too – ideal if
you’re looking to upgrade the performance of
your e-kit without forking out a fortune for a whole
new set-up.

HENDRIX DRUMS PLAYER’S


24 STAVE SERIES SNARE DRUMS
Hendrix Drums established their name in the
percussion world as a result of their stunning,
thin-walled Archetype custom stave snare series. But
huge legacy of music within Latin Jazz and beyond. particularly where the current trend of dry, dark these drums don’t come cheap, hence the introduction
The E-Class Signature Series from LP aims to bottle cymbals is concerned. Istanbul Mehmet has thrown its of the more affordable Player’s Stave series. These
that magical sound. Timbales feature 6½" deep hat into the ring with the Legend Dry Series. Offering US-built drums consist of 100 percent American Rock
chrome-plated steel shells in 14" and 15" diameters, the same profile and weight as their established Maple. Instead of the ¼" thick shells with re-rings
with striking black nickel plated hardware and LP’s Legend line, the shallow lathing and hammered bell of found on the Archetype, Player’s shells are ½" thick all
patented Top Tuning system. Bongos are crafted from the Drys helps produce a darker, dryer and more the way through, making them less intensive to build.
Siam Oak and topped with 7¼" and 85/8" handpicked complex sound. Mainstays of the range include 15" There are just two finish options to choose from – silky
rawhide heads. The quinto, conga and tumba trio have hi-hats, an 18" crash and 20" crash/ride. An additional black lacquer or a classic natural satin lacquer – and
stunning 3-ply, 30" tall siam oak shells with a striped 22" Dry ride features distinctly deep hammer marks 14x5½", 14"x6½", and 14"x8" sizes. Reduced labour
natural/walnut stain finish, along with handpicked for those seeking an even dryer sound. hours means a significant drop in cost, but the drums
rawhide heads and Top Tuning Comfort Curve II rims. remain beautifully sensitive and powerful.
2BOX DRUMIT 5 II
ISTANBUL MEHMET LEGEND 23 The second generation of the popular Drumit 5 YAMAHA LIVE CUSTOM HYBRID OAK
22 DRY CYMBALS module has been upgraded to include Open Sound 25 We were big fans of the controlled, punchy
Drummers have never had so much cymbal choice Architecture for added versatility and flexibility for tones and easy tuning of Yamaha’s original Live

NEW NOISE
OUR PICK OF THE BEST NEW
MEINL CAJON TAPS
Cajon Taps are designed to be played with the
fingers and hands, making them ideal for
designed to work hand-in-hand with their
drum heads. Tone Adapter rings come in pairs (for
£9.99) and can be used in varying combinations to
INNOVATIONS AND ACCESSORIES spontaneous acoustic jams and busking sessions. control the tone of your drums. Port Holes are
FOR DRUMMERS There are three styles of Cajon Tap, all made from designed to reinforce your bass drum mic hole.
Siam Oak. The Cajon Snare Tap, Cajon Jingle Tap, Available in 2"-6" sizes, prices range from £3.80
CYMPAD SHARK DRUM DAMPER and the Cajon Tom Tap each have their own and £5.30.
If you don’t get on with Moon Gel or other adhesive distinctive voice for enhancing your music with
dampening products, here’s an alternative accents and percussive colour. REMO SUB MUFFL BASS DRUM SYSTEM
solution. The Shark from Cympad is made from The Sub Muffl features a free-floating external
premium-grade cellular foam, with a hinged VIC FIRTH PRO STICK BAG design for bass drum heads ranging from 18”-24”.
muffling system that mounts in the inside of your If you’re the type of drummer who likes to keep An external plastic profile tray works alongside a
hoop. The Shark floats gently on the surface of multiple sticks, rods, brushes and accessories at removable and slip-resistant dampening foam
the head producing a more subtle, reactive hand, this new bag from Vic Firth has your name insert to help control overtones, without impacting
dampening effect. on it. Made from a hard-wearing waxed canvas the original character of the drum head.
material and with padded shoulder straps, inside
ZILDJIAN IN-EAR MONITORS you’ll find space to keep up to 24 pairs of sticks DIXON TMS TRACK MOUNT SYSTEM
These Zildjian-branded monitors feature a Dual organised, plus an outer pocket for a 9.57" tablet. As the name suggests, Dixon’s cool new TMS mount
Dynamic Driver designed to deliver a smooth features an additional track designed to host a
frequency response for all listening applications. BRITISH DRUM COMPANY KICKFIX series of mounts for your GoPro, tablet,
For comfort and optimum noise isolation, each set Bass drum creep is a very real affliction universally smartphone, drum mics and more. Capture
is supplied with medium and large premium soft suffered by drummers. BDC’s innovative solution intimate performance footage, keep your notation
silicone Sp
SpinFit e r ttips.
p Aqqu rter-inch d ptepter p a
places ap
subst nti l -shaped nchor in front of close at hand and avoid the clutter of unnecessary
and cleaning tool are also bundled in the supplied each bass drum spur. Use the Velcro strips on the stands in the studio. Job done.
carrying case. A pair will set you back £139. base to attach each KickFix to your flo
oor or drum
rug a
and keep your bass PROTECTION RACKET ORIGAMI DRUM MAT
drum
m where you want it. Drum mats are a necessary evil for drummers, but
They look stylish, too. they can be unwieldy and look ugly if they start
developing creases. Coming straight outta
CO
ODE DR RUMHEADS Cornwall, Protection Racket’s new Origami mat has
ACCESSO
AC ORIES been stitched to avoid creases and it packs away
Code’s n
C newest neatly in a zip-free nylon drawstring carry case.
accessories are Launch sizes are 6'x4' and 8'x4'.

46 | MARCH 2019 WWW.MUSICRADAR.COM/RHYTHM


25
Custom oak shells. The new Hybrid Oak takes its cues
from the hybrid shell construction of Yamaha’s
top-end PHX series; 7-ply shells are sandwiched with a
phenolic ply between the oak plies, to extract more
tone, sustain and dynamic range from each drum. The
bass drum has been internally weighted to boost
lower frequencies, too. The Live Custom Hybrid will
come in five classy Uzukuri finishes: UZU Ice Sunburst,
UZU Magma Sunburst, UZU Natural, UZU Earth
Sunburst and UZU Charcoal Sunburst. Uzukuri comes
from a traditional Japanese finishing process that
creates a textured surface by carving only the softer
grain of the wood with a unique brushing technique.
Suggested pricing at launch is £2,929 for a
22"/10"/12"/16" configuration and £532 for a
matching snare.

PAISTE SIGNATURE ADDITIONS


26 Unbelievably, it’s been 30 years since Paiste
first graced us with its stunning Signature alloy. In
celebration, the Swiss company is adding new models 26
to the line. For starters, 19" and 20" Fast crashes are
designed to be medium-bright, warm and silvery with
responsive attack and a fast fade; 16", 17" and 18"
Mellow crashes are re-launches of old favourites
which, as the name suggests, are deliciously warm
and soft. The 20" Mellow ride benefits from a rich,
medium dark sound with a mellow stick sound and
soft wash, while 15" Dark Energy hi-hats are full, rich
and robust.

PEARL MASTERS MAPLE/GUM SERIES


27 Pearl first unveiled its Sonic Select Recipe
series in 2017. It was part of the boutique Masterworks
series, but focused purely on performance rather than
bells and whistles customisation options. For 2019, a
limited run of Masters Maple/Gum drums will be
available as part of Pearl’s Studio Recipe. Each kit will
be available in a pre-selected offering of hand- ROLAND TM-1 sounds, or alternatively, you can add your own using
lacquered and wrapped finishes – Hand-Rubbed Satin 28 The TM-1 is the newest addition to Roland’s Roland’s Wave Editor software for PC, Mac, iOS and
Natural Maple, Black Diamond Pearl, Matte White vast hybrid drumming arsenal and it is squarely aimed Android. Sounds can then be enhanced further using
Marine and Platinum Gold Oyster – and each drum will at drummers who have yet to dabble in the hybrid Pitch, Decay and Sensitivity controls on the module
comprise a vault-cured EvenPly-Six layered premium world. The small trigger module features a pair of itself. Control of the floor-friendly unit comes via a pair
North American Maple and Gum wood shell with mono inputs (which can also be used for one stereo of footswitches that enable you to select or mute your
60-degree edges, Mastercast Die-Cast hoops, and pad) making it easy to expand your acoustic kit with sounds with ease. With a suggested retail price of $159
Pearl’s CL bridge lugs. pads or triggers. The TM-1 also comes pre-loaded with (around £123), the TM-1 represents an affordable route
into the hybrid drumming world.

28
27
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BEHIND THE DRUMS
AREJAY HALE
Sergione Infuso/Corbis via Getty Images

HALESTORM’S LARGER-THAN-LIFE STICKSMAN NERDS OUT


OVER GEAR, TONE AND ROCK ROYALTY
WORDS: RICH CHAMBERLIN PHOTOS: PRESS

48 | MARCH 2019 WWW.MUSICRADAR.COM/RHYTHM


FEATURE
BEHIND THE DRUMS

“I
never get to nerd out over drums so
this is extra special to me,” beams Arejay
Hale a few minutes into his interview
with Rhythm.
Arejay’s enthusiasm during our 30-minute
chat is matched only by his larger-than-life
persona displayed onstage with his band, Halestorm.
Now firmly established as one of the most exciting
rock bands of the last decade, Halestorm have built a
solid reputation as an unmissable live act, and much of
that comes down to Arejay’s electrifying turns behind
the kit. So, when we were granted an audience with
him, we wanted to explore the roots of his eye-popping
style, his gear choices and drumming heroes.

What was the first kit that you ever owned?


“The first actual, real drum kit that I owned was this little
Sunlite kit. It was like a ‘my first drumset’ kind of brand
and my parents got me that kit from a flea market. I
had a little toy drum kit that I stole from my sister before
that when I was two years old. I’ve been playing since
then and luckily my parents were very supportive and
saw that it was a good way for me to get all of my
energy out.”

Did you have a dream drum kit in mind in


those early days?
“Not really in those early days. I just always loved
rhythm and music and making music. I just thought
music was fun. A lot of people do that when they’re
young and then they grew out of it – I never grew out
of it, I’m still that crazy kid. As I got older I became
more serious about it and I started jamming and writing

Sergione Infuso/Corbis via Getty Images


songs with my sister. My parents showed me videos of
The Who, The Beatles and Led Zeppelin. They really
wanted me to watch clips of Keith Moon and I loved
that. I saw a lot of the old drum kits and I loved Ludwigs.
For a while I played Ludwig but as the touring We are family: Arejay Hale sits
progressed I started leaning more towards Pearl. I like behind sister, lead guitarist
drum kits that have a classic, soulful feel. I don’t want and vocalist Lzzy Hale
drum kits that just look like they were made for the sake
of being sold. I gravitate to the kits that were used by the drum head on, finger tighten it, give it a quarter What is the piece of gear that you can’t live
the drummers that I grew up watching.” turn, finger tighten again, quarter turn again and that’s without?
it. I like the toms to be deep and thuddy. My drum sizes “A cowbell! I always have a cowbell on my left side
Has it been a constant evolution with you in are now smaller than they used to be, I used to have a above my hi-hat. I honestly don’t know what it is about
terms of kits and set-ups? 26" bass drum, 13" rack, 16" floor tom and now I’m using it. Maybe it comes back to my love of Bonham. I’ve
“Yeah! I often look at videos of the set-ups that I’ve had a 20" bass drum, 12" rack, 14" and 16" floors and 13" played LP cowbells for a long time and they are
down the years and I have done a lot of experimenting. snare. Having the layers of mahogany in there help the amazing. We take a cowbell with us everywhere we
If I have the same set-up for too long then I get bored. I drums sound bigger than they actually are. I’ve played go in the world.”
want to experiment with different sounds. When I was the toms as concert toms as well and they sound
really young, around 10 years old when I started this massive and so punchy that way.” What is your biggest strength as a drummer?
band, our music was a little more experimental so I “Wow, I’ve never been asked that. That’s a tough
wanted a lot of sounds and I evolved as an artist and I Who were the biggest influences on your playing question. I guess my biggest strength is that I put my
wanted to try different approaches. For a while I wanted style when you started out? heart into my playing. No matter what it is, whether it’s
a very basic set-up and then I’ve gone back and forth “Growing up I always wanted to be a power player. The drumming, singing, songwriting, I have to love it and put
between a lot and a little. Today, I feel like my set-up guys that I loved as a kid, they hit hard. I wanted to hit my heart into it otherwise it feels like I’m doing my
has a nice balance of simplicity so it doesn’t feel hard as well. That could have been a pride thing. If taxes. That’s a personality trait and some people might
overwhelming but it has enough to be interesting. I you’re a drummer that hits hard, you get more respect. see it as a weakness, but if you come to a Halestorm
still have a nice amount of weird sounds to grab the If you’re a feather tapper, other drummers are like, ‘Ah, show you can expect a lot of spontaneity. I can’t play a
listener by the ear.” he’s feather tappin’!’ I wanted to be a power player like song straight like it is on the record from front to back, I
John Bonham and even Dave Grohl with Nirvana; seeing always want to add something to keep it lively. We play
Do you have a tuning routine? Grohl with Nirvana was a ‘Woah’ moment, I had never a lot of shows and we’re on the road 10 months out of
“I love the Reference series kits with the maple shells seen a drummer hit that hard. Those guys encouraged the year, so I do that to help keep my sanity. People look
and the inner plies of birch and mahogany. I like them me and made me want to be a hard hitter. It’s amazing out for drum moments when they come to our shows.
because I’m not very technical but I have tech’ed for that guys like Bonham were such hard hitters with the Doing that saves you a lot of money on production – we
myself for years and did the best I could. When I signed gear they had back then. You watch videos of those have those musical moments so we don’t need all of the
with Pearl I tried the Reference kits and I loved how guys and you can see the gear moving all over the stage pyro! We definitely don’t rely on backing tracks, we don’t
easy they were to tune. My method of tuning is to throw and they don’t care!” even use a click track live.”

WWW.MUSICRADAR.COM/RHYTHM MARCH 2019 | 49


INTERVIEW
JEAN-PAUL GASTER

50 | MARCH 2019 WWW.MUSICRADAR.COM/RHYTHM


JEAN
Thirty years into his career, Jean-Paul Gaster knows a thing or

PAUL
two about the business of making music. But, as he recalls

recording drums for new album Book Of Bad Decisions

it’s clear that every day is still a school day...


WORDS: CHRIS BARNES PHOTOS: JOBY SESSIONS

USICRADAR.COM/RHYTHM MARCH 2019 | 51


INTERVIEW
JEAN-PAUL GASTER

R
eaching 30 years in any career is step in their career Clutch have been committed to different. Vance Powell’s name kept popping up. My
a major milestone, but doing it the evolution of the band. brother-in-law is a big fan of Chris Stapleton and he
in the challenging music world is Take their latest album Book Of Bad Decisions, for played his record The Traveller quite a bit. I was very
about as rare as a bass player example. Instead of returning to the familiar territory impressed because it didn’t sound like other country
who owns a car. Maryland blues of producers Machine or J Robbins, with whom records that I had heard before. Right away my ears
rock groovers Clutch started out they’ve created fantastic music in the past, Clutch perked up to Vance Powell. There was another song
with the sole intention of took another bold leap forward, entering the studio that came up one evening on Spotify by The Dead
“recording some cool songs and playing some cool with renowned country producer Vance Powell for Weather. We found out that Vance had recorded and
shows”. The cult status and success they’ve the first time. Everything from the recording process produced that as well.
forged through the decades between ’93’s to Powell’s miking approach was new to JP and the “Being the drummer in the band, I’m also the
Transnational Speedway League and 2018’s gang, but the resulting album was an instant classic default recording engineer when it comes to making
phenomenal Book Of Bad Decisions has been an that perfectly captured the band’s potent live energy. demos, so I find myself checking out videos on
unexpected, gratifying bonus. Here, JP tells Rhythm about the fascinating YouTube of different producers and engineers, just
Chatting to founder drummer Jean-Paul Gaster on process of recording his famous groove on Book Of to get a feel for how they might mic the kit or how
a rainy December night during the band’s UK tour, it’s Bad Decisions, the positive impact of working with they might record a band. I stumbled across a few
clear that he and Clutch – completed by guitarist Tim musicians outside of Clutch and why it’s about the videos that Vance Powell had done and I was very
Sult, bass player Dan Maines and frontman Neil journey rather than the destination. impressed; not only with the way he worked with the
Fallon – are uncomfortable sitting still. From pushing band but the way he recorded.
their playing forward (JP learned mandolin to help For Book Of Bad Decisions you recorded with “It was really a pretty simple process once we
write the new album) to taking band business Vance Powell for the first time. What inspired decided that would be a cool option to explore. I
into their own hands (the quartet set up their you to work with him? emailed him and he emailed right back. We started a
Weathermaker Music label in 2008), with each “We were looking to do something new, something line of communication between the two of us and he
actually came out on the road for a few days and
hung with the band which, actually, I thought was
very important.”

That’s a cool approach. Has a producer ever


done that with Clutch before?
“It was a pretty leftfield approach. I think other
producers we’ve worked with prior to that, whether
that’s J Robbins or Machine, they had a feel for what
the band was about live. Vance was coming in sort of
fresh. I’m not sure how much Clutch music he had
heard prior to me reaching out. He’d certainly heard
of the band, but he didn’t know much about our
catalogue or what we do live, and obviously that’s
really crucial.
“I think more than anything we were trying to
capture that energy that we have live. That’s
definitely where we feel the most comfortable. I think
Vance’s time on the road gave him some insight as to
how he might record the band and bring some of
that energy to the recording.”

BIG BANG THEORY


JP SHEDS LIGHT ON HIS APPROACH
TO PLAYING A 26" BASS DRUM

“Playing a large drum like that tuned wide


open definitely requires you to play the drum.
You have to be aware of how hard you want to
hit it and when you want that note to really
resonate. It’s something you have to put a lot of
muscle into, to get a 26" bass drum to do what
it’s intended to do. You also have to be aware of
where the beater is. You can play beats where
you bury the beater into the head and that’s
going to make one kind of a sound. And, of
course, you can also let the beater bounce off
and let both heads resonate equally. But I think
it’s important to be aware of what it is you’re
trying to do. Sometimes, if you end up in a sort
of middle place between those two options,
that’s when stuff starts to sound not so great.
You have to be very aware that a 26" bass drum
can get away from you.”

52 | MARCH 2019 WWW.MUSICRADAR.COM/RHYTHM


Book Of Bad Decisions is definitely a live
sounding record. How did you and Vance go
about capturing that?
“The most obvious thing is that we played in the
room together. We had done that to varying degrees
“THE WHOLE PROCESS IS QUITE FLUID ALL THE WAY UP UNTIL WE
on past records, but it was refreshing because we
were looking for takes of the band, rather than trying
RECORD. NOTHING’S TOTALLY SET IN STONE”
to just zero in on drum takes. We would play the song
maybe two or three times and eventually we would
pick our favourite. It was amazing how quickly we
were able to put down the basic tracks for 15 songs. I great about that part, kinda go away. I think a lot of feel comfortable with on that particular night. It’s
imagined us being in there slugging it out for several that has to do with tempo. very much a proving ground for us. A song comes to
weeks. It was really a very natural experience. “As soon as these guys come up with a riff I try to life when you get in front of a crowd. We make notes
[Vance] was good at being able to judge when the identify what tempo that is and work from there. If about that. We consider how the song felt live, how
band had hit the high-water mark as far as that we decide at some point that the tempo could be the vocal felt, we’re aware of that and a lot of times
performance or that song.” faster or slower then it’s a real conversation and we we do change arrangements. The beauty of it is that
take it from there. This way there’s a real concrete the whole process is quite fluid all the way up until
A lot of what you play in Clutch is feel-led. Do idea. The tempo is something that’s very important we record. Nothing’s totally set in stone. We certainly
you labour over tempos to get the feel right? to us and we think about that all the way through to have an idea of what we’re trying to accomplish but
“We’re very aware of the tempo from the very the recording process.” we really try to keep an open mind because, at this
beginning. As soon as a new riff gets introduced to point, it’s important for us to feel comfortable with
the room I immediately try to work out what that Clutch has a great live reputation. How much trying new things.
tempo is. I’m sure we’ve all experienced a situation opportunity do you get to try out new songs live “Once the song gets recorded and we go back out
where we get together with our friends and start before committing them to the record, and how on the road and start playing it, the song evolves as
jamming this new idea and it just sounds incredible. much do songs evolve once they’ve been well. I tend to play stuff differently from night to
Everybody’s very excited about it, then maybe you go recorded and played live for a while? night. Sometimes, I’ll swing a song more, sometimes
and record that idea and for whatever reason some “In the period of time leading up to going into the I’ll play it a little more straight depending on what
of the original intent or the things you thought were studio we definitely play as many new songs as we I was listening to that day or the evening before.

WWW.MUSICRADAR.COM/RHYTHM MARCH 2019 | 53


JEAN-PAUL’S GEAR
DRUMS
Gretsch Brooklyn – 26"x14" bass drum, 14"x10"
tom, 16"x16" and 18"x18" floor toms, 14"x6½"
Brooklyn Chrome over Brass snare. “I’ve
Or maybe I was listening to a drummer that I was “I recently picked up a set of vibraphones and I’ve swapped out the stock Brooklyn 302 hoops for
particularly excited about. To be honest, I think been enjoying playing those as well. I love the drums, die-cast hoops. The drums punch a little more
and I think it’s more appropriate for Clutch. I
about things in a different way. The drum parts that I I love this instrument and I think it’s important to
get more volume out of the drum and more
record are such that you can interpret these things a expose yourself to as many things as you can and focus from the tone.”
little differently each night, and that keeps it exciting continue this process. This whole thing is a process
for me for sure.” and you never really arrive to where you think CYMBALS
you’re supposed to be. There’s stuff along that Meinl – 15" Byzance Extra Dry hi-hats,
You learned the mandolin before the process for way that I think is more important than the actual 20" Byzance Medium crash, 26" Byzance
custom ride, 22" Byzance Extra Dry ride, Meinl
this record started and you contributed riff end result.”
chrome cowbell
ideas for the album. Was it a challenging
instrument to learn? Your drum sound is superb on Book Of Bad PLUS
“It certainly was challenging to learn and I’m still not Decisions. How did you and Vance go about DW 6000 flat-based stands, 9000 hi-hat stand
very good at it at all! But I really enjoy it. It definitely capturing that? and bass drum pedal. Evans heads: Coated G2
gives me some insight as to how these riffs come “There’s a lot of ribbon mics on this recording. The tom and snare batters, Resonant Glass
resonant heads; Calftone EQ4 bass drum
together and, more than anything, about song form. main overhead mic was a stereo ribbon mic. We also
batter, Coated EQ3 resonant side (with a
It’s been great. Actually, there are a few riffs that put ribbon mics on the tom toms, which is something microphone hole). Vater West Side sticks
ended up on the record that began their life as a we hadn’t done before. That lends itself to the grit
mandolin riff.” and the nastiness of the drum sound that we were
able to make.
Did the perspective of the mandolin have “The bass drum tuning this time was super low, to Does having a certain drum sound in your cans
any impact on how you approached your the point where I was surprised that something like make you play a different way in the studio, for
drum beats? that could work. Vance was very specific as to how he example, a more aggressive sound making you
“Yeah, definitely. Even if it’s a song that wanted the bass drum to sound. We worked probably play harder?
wasn’t necessarily a mandolin song to begin the most on the bass drum. That continued to evolve “I think it does. Another cool thing along the same
with, just having an understanding of the form, as the recording went on as well. Tunings were lines is that Vance would often put delays on the
definitely influences the way I play drums. super-low to the point where the tension rods were drums, just in the headphones, so you kinda have a
Understanding when we’re going from one part to almost rattling and coming off the drum. Vance feeling of this extra rhythm going on. He might put a
another, changing keys, that kind of thing. I found it recorded it in such a way that really there’s a lot of triplet delay on a groove or one of those shuffle 16th
to be very helpful. Honestly, though, I’m still learning low and sub in the bass drum that sets it apart from delays. It’s not necessarily something that would be
about that. other records we’ve done.” recorded, but really just something for the band to

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INTERVIEW
JEAN-PAUL GASTER
vibe on. That was very helpful, especially when we to play what’s in your brain and then have that come “I’m also a huge fan of YouTube. I love going
did down tempo tunes.” out onto the drums.” on there and just picking a drum video. It’s pretty
incredible that there’s such a wealth of information
What were some of your gear highlights in Where do you get your inspiration for ideas? out there. In every little drum video there’s
the studio? “It happens all different ways. I might be listening to something going on. I’ll watch a Steve Gadd or
“I brought some of my Gretsch and Slingerland snare a record one evening and something will just pop into Johnny Vidacovich video, then I’ll stumble across
drums that I like. Vance had a 1946 Leedy 14"x5" my head, a little lick or something. I’ll make a note of some kid who might just be learning the drums, but
drum that was really cool. We used that on ‘Hot it and the next day I’ll spend time trying to figure out there’s something there that’s interesting and sparks
Bottom Feeder’. For ‘Book Of Bad Decisions’ I used a what it is I heard and I’ll try and incorporate that into something. Inspiration can come from all around you,
1939 14"x8" Ludwig & Ludwig snare drum. That’s a a practice routine. you just have to be open to it.”
drum I picked up on eBay many years ago. I’m kinda
blown away by how smoothly the drum still operates
– the throw-off is beautiful. It’s a steam bent, solid
shell snare drum, and that really delivered on the
title track.”
“INSPIRATION CAN COME FROM ALL AROUND YOU, YOU JUST HAVE
It’s approaching 30 years since Clutch formed.
The industry has changed dramatically in that TO BE OPEN TO IT”
time. Has your role in the band changed as a
result?
“Not necessarily. The roles we took on early in the
band we still do. I am a very hands-on kinda guy, I
enjoy that part of it. Sometimes that can be
frustrating, dealing with the business end of things.
But that’s what’s required of a band these days. I
think it’s very important for a band to be hands on
and be very aware of what’s going on. If you’re
signed to a label, know about the label, know what’s
going on over there, talk to them. These days it’s
tough for rock bands. The more the band does for
themselves the better off you’re gonna be.”

You’ve played with artists outside Clutch, such


as Mark Stanley, Jay Turner and Mark Morton.
What challenges did those sessions bring?
“Each one of those projects is unique. I take them on
because they are different from Clutch. I had the
opportunity to study with a guy named Walter Saab.
He was an amazing teacher and probably the biggest
takeaway that I had from him is that he wanted all his
drummers to be prepared to play anything. I try and
put myself in situations where I am uncomfortable,
where I’m playing music that I’m not familiar with, or
a style that I’m not necessarily well versed in. I think
all the good stuff comes from that.
“I got the opportunity to play with Jay Turner
who’s an amazingly creative bass player, a
super-talented guy. He puts faith in me to play this
music that he writes. For me it’s an honour to do
something like that. I just take each one of these
experiences as another step in this process. For me
it’s all music, it’s all drums, it’s all time.”

Do these sessions subsequently influence


your approach when you get back in the room
with Clutch?
“Absolutely. It goes even further than that. I always
try to spend a little bit of time practising on the road.
On this run I have a practice pad and I make it a point
to practise something different every day. For me it’s
a meditation. It allows me to get in a frame of mind
where I feel creative. It gets my brain working in a
way where I’m thinking about music. Oftentimes, I’ll
be practising a particular style or concept and I find
that it really affects the way that I play that very
night. You want to be able to practise things, not
necessarily because you want to be able to play
everything, but rather because you want to be able

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STACK
STACK
ATTACK!
ATTACK! WORDS: STUART WILLIAMS & PETE RILEY

One of the biggest trends in cymbals right now is the use of stacks
VIDEO ON
YOUR DISC to create new and interesting sounds. Here, we show you how to
make them work, and what to play to get more from your metal!

A
ccent cymbals – stacks, bells, splashes, Chinas etc are
the perfect way to add interest and texture to your
parts, and the most popular way to add these sounds
to your kit at the moment is by using a stack. By
combining two or more cymbals placed on top of each
other, it’s possible to create new and interesting
sounds from standard cymbals. Ranging from
aggressive crashes, electro-emulating bursts of white noise, to the soft
percussive sound of a shaker, stacks can be applied to any genre. With every
major cymbal brand now offering a comprehensive range of stack models,
we’re taking a look at how you can put together stack sounds, and how to
incorporate them into your grooves. No stack? No worries! All of these ideas
can be applied around the kit.

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FEATURE
FEATURE
STACKS
STACKS

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Aaron Spears uses stacks to
enhance his sound from clinics
to arena pop gigs

GET FI cymbals don’t want to sit together nicely. If so, the bottom’, we’re looking for fast sounds that will allow
The first consideration when putting two cymbals failsafe way is to mount them like hi-hats. your accents to cut through or create the desired
together is the physical fit. Different cymbals use texture if you’re using them as a time-keeper/X-hat.
different profiles and this can sometimes cause them THERE IS NO ‘RIGHT’ WAY The placement of two cymbals can also change
to sit unevenly when mounted in the same orientation. Try inverting one of the cymbals, and switching the the sound, so remember to try a few different
It’s trial and error, but with a bit of experimentation placement of each to eliminate clanging or sustained configurations of the same pair to explore maximum
you’ll find the best fit. You might find that a given-two rattling. It doesn’t have to be ‘biggest-cymbal-on-the- noise options!

TENSION
Manufacturers have been Using your cymbal stand’s wingnut is a great way to
quick to pick up on the
trend of stacking cymbals
alter the sound of your stack. Just as with hi-hats, you
can go from sustained and sloshy to tight and crisp by
tightening or loosening the tension on the stand. Don’t
over-do it, you still want some movement to avoid
damaging your cymbals, and remember that the
sustain won’t be as apparent to your audience once
the rest of the band joins in.

GO FOR BROKE
That pile of cracked crashes and the China you tore a
ribbon out of? They’re all perfect stack material. When
you put a crack in a cymbal you’ll notice it becomes
duller, with a decreased sustain and volume. But for
these purposes, that’s not a problem. Before you
consign those cracked pies to the bin, try them out
with some other cymbals and see how they perform.
You might just give your metal a second life!

GET TRASHY
The recent trend of vented cymbals gives you a head
start when it comes to noisenik creativity. These
pre-drilled cymbals already offer the added bite we’re
looking for, so by pairing them with other cymbals you
can create unique hi-hat, China, crash or splash
sounds. The best part is that affordable cymbals can

58 | MARCH 2019 WWW.MUSICRADAR.COM/RHYTHM


FEATURE
FEATURE
STACKS
STACKS

Using old, cracked cymbals Session drummer and solo star


is a perfect way to start Kaz Rodriquez experiments with
creating with stacks stacking to create unique sounds

take on a whole new character when combined with


another cymbal, so don’t discount anything.

COMPARE AND CONTRAST


The beauty of playing with stacks is you never quite
know what the resulting sound is going to be until
you try it. Rather than stacking two similar cymbals
together, push things a little by selecting deliberately
different cymbals. A traditional crash with a
mini-China? A heavy hi-hat bottom with a lightweight
splash? The outcome could sound awful, but it could
also be the most interesting in your arsenal. Check out
Ash Soan’s stacked ride cymbal for an example of a
homemade signature sound.

STAND (AND DELIVER)


There are a couple of ways of attaching your cymbal to
your stand, the simplest being just to place it on the
tilter as usual. You could also consider using an X-Hat
tilter if you’re looking for more tension. Try adding
additional felts, or muting the cymbals with gel or
Meinl’s Cymbal Tuners to alter the sustain.

TWO IS THE MINIMUM


You don’t have to stop at two cymbals – Benny Greb’s
Crasher Hats combine four pieces of metal to achieve
their sound. You don’t even have to use cymbals!
Tambourines, cymbal chains, even homemade O-rings
cut out of drumheads will change the overall tone of
your stack.

TECHNIQUE making use of a broken cymbal or two. One of the Well, there appears to be two main approaches
The muted white noise sound created by stacking one main factors in whether a combination works is how currently used. One involves the stack maintaining a
cymbal on top of another has become a familiar much contact the two cymbals make when one is steady, usually quarter-note, pulse, the same way you
sound since pioneers such as Bill Bruford and Terry placed on top of the other and sometimes just a might ride a crash cymbal for example. While the other
Bozzio began exploring alternative ride sounds during slightly different size can make all the difference being uses the stack in a cross-rhythmic fashion, almost
the mid 70s. Terry actually pursued this approach to a dull clang and the desired lively resonance. working as a counter-rhythm to the main kick and snare
the point where he decided he could no longer hear a So with a stack sound chosen and placed on the kit pattern. Let’s look at some grooves aimed at developing
place for a traditional ride cymbal on his kit, instead how do we begin incorporating it into our playing? these different approaches.
favouring different combinations of stacked cymbals
to create a variety of timbres of white noise. More
recently genres such as metal and djent have
embraced the sound that offers a more controlled 01 Here the stack plays a 4 over 3 rhythm over the kick and snare groove.

version of the traditional China cymbal sound, with its


shorter duration making it ideal as an alternative ride >
surface to a traditional crash or ride cymbal. Cymbal . .
manufacturers have been quick to pick up on the

popularity of stack sounds and now offer a variety of ÷ . .
combinations or individual cymbals for this purpose,
however, you can easily create your own sounds with a ‰ ‰
little experimentation; in fact, it can be an ideal way of

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02 Next, it plays the second and fourth 16th-note of each beat.

> > > >


. . . . .)
 
. ‰. .
. ‰ . ‰ . ‰ ‰

03 The right hand outlines a five-note grouping. In Exs 4-6 the right hand maintains quarter-notes while the kick and snare play syncopated
patterns underneath. Exs 4 and 5 do this in a 16th-note context; Ex 6 is an eighth-note triplet rate with a two-bar half-note triplet based groove.

>
L ‰
L
. ‰ . ‰

04 The stack is now playing quarter-notes while kick and snare play a syncopated 16th-note based pattern.

> >
. L .
‰ . ‰

05 This groove features a little more movement between the kick and snare.

> > > >


.
. . .
. ‰  . ‰.
In
06 In this two-bar example we switch to an eighth-note triplet rate where the bass drum and snare outline the half-note triplet. The next
examples show how these different approaches might be used in context. Our first three maintain steady quarter-notes on the stack.

>
3 3 >
‰ ‰
÷
Œ ‰ ‰ ‰ ‰ Œ ‰ ‰ Œ ‰ ‰
3 3 3 3

07 These two-bar examples feature quarter-notes in the right hand while the kick and snare convey syncopated half-time feels.

÷
> > > >>
÷
60 | MARCH 2019 WWW.MUSICRADAR.COM/RHYTHM
FEATURE
FEATURE
STACKS
STACKS

08 This 12/8 example sees the stack maintaining dotted quarter-notes.

>
> ¿
1
. . . . . .
÷ . .
. Œ. ‰ Œ. . ‰ ‰ ‰ Œ Œ. ‰ Œ.
>
> >>
L. > L ..
2
. .
.
.
‰ > >
÷ . . ‰
‰ ‰ ‰ Œ Œ. ‰ Œ. ‰ ‰

09 Some demanding bass drum movement in this two-bar example.

÷
‰ ‰ ‰ ‰ Œ
3 3 3

10 The stack is playing a 3 over 4 polyrhythm against the kick and snare.
THE STACK PACK
>
L
3 3 Many of these examples are based on real-life tracks

‰ ‰ ‰ > by heavyweight stack players. Example 7 is similar to


the groove that Matt Garstka plays on Animals As

÷ Leaders’ ‘Physical Education’ from The Joy Of Motion


album. Example 8 is in 12/8 and is based on the
‰ Œ ‰ ‰ Œ groove that Jay Postones plays on Tesseract’s
‘Luminary’, while Example 9 is a two-bar pattern like
Baard Kolstad plays on Leprous’ ‘Illuminate’ (from
3 3
Malina). In the final three examples the stack sound
moves within the phrase. Example 10 is like the

11 This groove is based around a paradiddle between the stack/bass drum and snare. groove that Steve Judd plays on Karnivool’s ‘We Are’.
Notice how the stack is playing a 3 over 4 polyrhythm
> > >> against the quarter-note. Example 11 is similar to the
paradiddle groove that Thomas Pridgen plays on
The Mars Volta track ‘Ilyena’. The final example is
another Tesseract groove that’s similar to Postones’

÷ playing on the intro of ‘Nocturne’.

12 In this example the stack sound is displaced in bars 6 to 10.

. > . > . > . >


÷ . Œ ‰ ‰ Œ ‰ ‰ Œ ‰ ‰ Œ
> > > >
÷ . Œ ‰ ‰ Œ ‰ ‰ Œ ‰ ‰ Œ Œ

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HOW TO BUILD YOUR OWN
SUB-FREQUENCY MIC Recreate a studio and live classic on a budget
WORDS: STUART WILLIAMS PHOTOS: OLLY CURTIS

LET’S FACE IT, few things are as satisfying from our capturing that extreme low-end isn’t always easy: if sadly-discontinued Subkick (designed in
kits as the feeling of the bass drum during those first your mic won’t pick it up, no amount of EQ is going to collaboration with session ace Russ Miller) offered us
few notes of soundcheck. The power and clarity from boost what isn’t there. There’s a trick that has been a convenient off-the-shelf option, and various
not only hearing, but feeling our kicks bursting from employed on our favourite albums and used in live companies produce similar products, but this month
a sub-loaded PA makes it easier to respond with our settings by pros for decades: using a speaker wired we’re going to show you how to make a sub-bass mic
playing in a live situation. The same goes for when as a microphone to capture the lowest notes that of your own using some inexpensive items – some of
our kits are mic’d up in a studio setting. However, your bass drum is pushing out. Yamaha’s now which you might have lying around already!

62 | MARCH 2019 WWW.MUSICRADAR.COM/RHYTHM


FEATURE
HOW TO...
WHAT YOU’LL NEED
At our most basic, we’re going to need three
things: a speaker, a microphone cable and a way of
mounting it in front of our bass drum. We’ve opted to
do things nicely, though, and we’ve got our hands on
the following parts to make our budget bass mic...

THE SPEAKER
Yamaha’s Subkick employed the distinctive (and now
expensive) white driver from an NS10 studio monitor.
However, while we don’t doubt the credentials of the
NS10 as monitors, their main purpose in studios was
to replicate playback on an average consumer hi-fi
speaker, rather than offering a truly transparent
performance. So, with that in mind, we’re working to
the rule that an average hi-fi speaker will do the trick
here. The NS10 was 6.5" diameter, but to keep our
mounting options simple, we’ve gone for an 8"
speaker. Despite common logic, the size of the
speaker isn’t everything, rather it is the speaker’s
resonant frequency that will help us pick up the
thump. Ours has come from a long-since widowed
Wharfdale hi-fi setup.

MICROPHONE CABLE Collate all the ingredients


Any common or garden mic cable will work for our before making your
sub-frequency mic
build. These will be soldered to the speaker’s output
connectors, so if you’re following our guide and
housing the sub mic, you’ll be keeping it short. every time we plug and unplug it from a preamp. MESH HEAD
Ours is a female Neutrik plug, which cost about £4. We could use the thin clear heads that came with
IN-LINE MIC ATTENUATOR our drum as a way of protecting the innards of our
Sounds nerdy, we know, but that speaker is going to DRUM SHELL mic, but we’ve chosen to fit a mesh head to the
kick out a lot of signal, so we need to tame it to avoid We want our mic to be secure, but we also want it to bottom to hide the mess of cables. We ordered ours
constantly overloading our mic preamps, even with look good too, so as a homage to Yamaha’s iconic at the same time as our drum shell from Thomann
the gain turned down. Many mic inputs on mixers Subkick, we’re going to build our mic into a drum (Millenium Quiheads), and they’re available in black
and audio interfaces have a pad circuit to lower the shell. Your local drum shop, eBay and Facebook or white. We paid £6.50 for ours.
sensitivity, but by including this in our project, we’re marketplace are all great places to look for cheap
ensuring that our mic can be used on any live/ – even broken – drums for this purpose. We bought THE BUILD
recording setup we need. You can pay a lot of money our drum new from Thomann for a laughably low With our shopping list complete and the parts
for these, but we bought ours from eBay for £5. £20, and while it might not be the greatest tom we’ve gathered together, it’s time to get busy making
ever struck, it is more than fine for our purposes. It our sub-frequency mic. This project will probably
XLR CONNECTOR includes a tom mount that fits our surplus Pearl tom take you about an hour to complete, using the
As we’re building our mic into a drum shell, we can holder, meaning that mounting is going to be simple, following tools: drum key, screwdriver, soldering
easily mount an XLR socket. Not only does this look plus it ensures that no vintage drums were harmed iron (and solder), wire cutters, drill and hole
neater, but it will avoid stressing our connections during the making of this feature. saw (23mm).

1 CONNECTIONS
First up, we need to connect the microphone cable to
the speaker. Your speaker will most likely have three
connections – positive, negative and earth. The two
signal wires (positive and negative) are the stubby
terminals, while the earth connector on ours is wired
to the speaker’s metal chassis. Likewise, a balanced
XLR mic cable will have the same, so we just need to
match them up.

2 PREPARING THE MIC CABLE


Take your mic cable and remove the little screw
on the female end’s casing. This will allow you to
get to the soldered terminals, which we need to
desolder or chop off with wire cutters (we won’t
need the plug again).

3 STRIP THE WIRES Remove the


XLR plug from
With the three internal wires free from their your mic cable
connections, we’re going to give ourselves a little

WWW.MUSICRADAR.COM/RHYTHM MARCH 2019 | 63


more cable to play with. Snip the outer rubber
shielding of your mic cable vertically (careful not
to go through the wires) and remove a cm or so.
Strip some of the shielding from each wire, again
careful not to cut through the copper. If your cable
has strands of fabric, trim them with wire cutters.

4 TIN THE WIRES


Twist each wire so that it is rigid without loose
strands. Then, with your soldering iron nicely
heated up, take some solder and lightly ‘tin’ each of
the three wires. You don’t need lots, just enough to
coat the copper in a silver finish without drips or
blobs of solder. Next, do the same on each of the
speaker terminals, taking care not to create any
connections between them.
Strip the shielding Tin the mic cable
5 SOLDER THE CONNECTIONS from the cable using wires and speaker
With our wires and terminals tinned, we’re ready to pliers/wire cutters terminals with solder
solder the cable to our speaker. Our speaker’s
terminals aren’t marked, but most usually are. Other
clues as to which terminal is which are the size
(negative is often smaller), and the positive terminal
is usually placed on the left with the speaker facing
correctly. Take a look at your mic cable connector,
and you’ll see that the pins are numbered. The
standard wiring for a balanced mic cable is as
follows: Pin 1: earth (shield); Pin 2: positive (hot); Pin
3: negative (cold). Simply add each connector to the
terminals on the speaker, heat them up with your
soldering iron and once the solder has melted, move
the iron away. Done!

6 FITTING THE XLR


We’re soldering an XLR socket to the other end of
our microphone cable, and we’ll mount the socket
into the drum shell. This will relieve any risk of
After tinning the mic cable wires
pressure on the connections each time we plug/ and speaker terminals with solder
unplug the mic. To start, we’ll drill a 23mm hole in attach the positive, negative and
the shell. We’ve taped off the area with masking tape earth wires to the speaker
to stop the drill from skidding on the wrap.

Our speaker is held in We used a 23mm spade bit to create a


place by the drum’s hole for the XLR socket, masking the
rim and tension rods shell with tape to minimise damage

64 | MARCH 2019 WWW.MUSICRADAR.COM/RHYTHM


FEATURE
HOW TO...

Adding an XLR socket to the When fully installed the


drum shell will keep the socket should sit flush
connections secure against the drum shell

7 CONNECT XLR
With the hole for the XLR socket drilled, we’ve sat the
speaker in place, and locked it down like a head
using the drum’s hoop. We’ll pass the cable through
the hole and solder it to the XLR outside of the shell
so that we have more space. Follow the same
connections for the pins as the other end to avoid
reversing the polarity. Our socket fits tightly in its
new home, but you can also attach it to the shell
using some M3 screws.

8 REPLACE THE BOTTOM HEAD


The final step is to replace the clear bottom head
with our mesh one. Take the bottom head off, fit
everything inside and seal it up with the mesh head.
This offers protection and hides our shabby wiring.

9 PLUG IN, BABY!


We now have a functioning, mounted sub-kick mic.
Using a mesh head on the
resonant side of the drum
Plug your attenuator into the end of the mic cable,
conceals our wiring then plug it into your mixer/audio interface. Set your
gain levels and you’re done!

We’ve mounted our speaker


sub-mic using a snare stand
base and Pearl tom holder

MOUNTING RESCUE
We’ve gone for a more finished look with our
mic build, using a drum to house the speaker
and wiring. However, if you aren’t bothered
about the visual/protection element, you can
try this with any hi-fi speaker without mounting
it to a drum. By re-purposing a snare stand and
cable tying the speaker to the claws, you’ll have
a rough and ready – but more affordable -
version.

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EXCLUSIVE VIDEO & AUDIO DRUM LESSONS

THIS MONTH’S GUEST TUTOR

DANNY
MULLOWNEY
Danny Mullowney has toured to over 120 countries
while performing with artists such as The Definitive
Rat Pack, Michael Fienstien, and Wayne Newton.
Danny has been published by Alfred and teaches at
the Academy of Contemporary Music (ACM).
In his ACM Pro Corner column this month, Danny
looks at the train beat – a versatile groove that’s
used in everything from country and bluegrass to
pop and rock.

YOUR TUTORS

PETE RILEY JASON BOWLD ERIK STAMS KYLE CULLEN COLIN WOOLWAY PAT GARVEY
Rhythm’s CD editor also has Rockschool contributor Erik built up an impressive Kyle is a Bristol-based drum A professional drummer for As a busy freelance
a number of instructional Jason is also the full-time résumé studying and teacher, session drummer 30 years, long-standing drummer, Pat has played on
books and a DVD entitled drummer for Welsh heavy recording in New York. and the author of tuition Rhythm contributor Colin is hundreds of recordings and
Technical Difficulties under metal giants Bullet For He is currently Head of books Paradiddle Creativity originator of the Drumsense on TV. He is now Head of
his tutorial belt. My Valentine. Drums at BIMM London. and How To Practise Drums. teaching system. Drums at BIMM in Brighton.

66 | MARCH 2019 WWW.MUSICRADAR.COM/RHYTHM


ESSENTIALS
EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW P68
TECHNICAL DIFFICULTIES…
SHUFFLE INDEPENDENCE FIGURE P69
GET CREATIVE WITH…
PAD CRUNCHING: FLAM ACCENTS P70
RHYTHM CONCEPTS
LI’L LICKS PART V P71
ACM PRO CORNER
ONE RELIABLE TRAIN BEAT PATTERN P72
JAZZ CONCEPTS
SOME SAMBAS P73
RUDIMENT OF THE MONTH
SWISS ARMY TRIPLET P74
FOUNDATIONS OF DRUMMING
CREATING BROKEN 16TH NOTE FILLS P75
URBAN ROCK
TRIBAL SHUFFLERS P77

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DRUM LESSONS

GET STARTED

DRUMMING ESSENTIALS
Everything you need to know before you start playing the drums

01 MATCHED GRIP
Both hands hold the sticks in the
same manner: thumbs on the side of the
sticks; forefinger opposite the thumb;
middle, ring and little fingers curled under
the sticks; palms held down, facing
the floor.

02 TRADITIONAL GRIP
The right hand is as matched grip,
but the left-hand stick is held differently (vice
versa for left-handed players). The stick is
lodged in the fleshy bit between the thumb
and forefinger and the fore and middle
fingers curl over the stick, while the ring and
little fingers curl under to support the stick.

03 QUARTER NOTES ‘whole’ and four evenly-spaced notes within


07 16TH NOTES
Also known as ‘crotchets’. If a that bar are regarded as ‘quarters’, then Also known as ‘semi-quavers’. If a
standard bar of music is regarded as a eight evenly-spaced notes within that bar standard bar of music is regarded as a
‘whole’, then four evenly-spaced notes are regarded as ‘eighths’, hence the term ‘whole’, then 16 evenly spaced notes within
within that bar are regarded as ‘quarters’, ‘eighth note’ (in other words, eight beats in a that bar are regarded as ‘16ths’, hence
hence the term ‘quarter note’ (in other standard bar). ‘16th note’.
words, four beats in a standard bar).
05 EIGHTH NOTE TRIPLETS 08 CROSS-STICK
04 EIGHTH NOTES The musical definition of a triplet is Played on the snare by holding the
Classically referred to as ‘quavers’. If ‘three evenly spaced notes occupying the stick at the tip end, laying it across the drum
a standard bar of music is regarded as a same space as two evenly spaced notes’. and striking the rim with the ‘butt’ end,
With eighth note triplets, three eighth notes keeping the tip in contact with the head.
would be played in the same amount of time
as you’d usually play two eighth notes.
09 RIM SHOT
Played by striking the head and the
06 OSTINATO rim of the drum at the same time. It makes a
An ostinato is a repeated pattern. loud, sonorous sound, good for accents in a
This is usually not very long, and is often snare pattern or heavy rock backbeat.
made up of three or four notes played over
and over again in the same pitch. One of the
10 HEAD TYPES
most famous classical drum ostinatos is the The ‘batter’ head is the drum head
snare drum pattern in Ravel’s ‘Bolero’, but you strike and the ‘resonant’ head is the
contemporary drummers often refer to ‘bass head on the underside of the drum that
and hi-hat’ ostinatos. gives it a full and resonating sound.

GETTING STARTED

S
itting behind a drum kit for the first Q Take your first steps into reading music
time can be a daunting thing. However, with our guide to drum notation:
once you get to grips with the basics http://bit.ly/notationguide
you’ll be playing in no time. And if Q Find your way around the kit with our
you’ve never picked up the sticks before we anatomy of a drum kit guide:
can help you. Each month on Rhythm’s http://bit.ly/kitanatomy
Drum Lessons CD (print) and in the Q Five video drum lessons covering basic
interactive pages of our digital edition rock, funk jazz and the shuffle:
(iPad and iPhone only) you will find the http://bit.ly/firstdrumlessons
following content just for beginners. This Q Video guides to accompany the
content can also be accessed from the drumming essentials above:
links provided here. http://bit.ly/drumessentials

68 | MARCH 2019 WWW.MUSICRADAR.COM/RHYTHM


DRUM LESSONS

TECHNICAL DIFFICULTIES

SHUFFLE
INDEPENDENCE
FIGURE
Layered three-note
independence figure

T
his issue’s Rudiment Of The Month looks
at the Swiss Army Triplet a three-note
flam figure where each hand plays
01 Example 1 shows the basic figure where the right hand plays a shuffle
and the left hand plays the second and third partials of the triplet.
two notes that overlap on the first
flammed note.
> 3 > 3 > 3 > 3
YOUR TUTOR
÷
The figure in this lesson is similar in so
much as the hands are again playing two
notes in each, only this time they coincide on
> PETE RILEY
p.riley@mac.com

the third note. The value in developing this


comes when played with the right hand on

02
the ride cymbal and left hand on the snare
as in Example 1. This creates a very useful
Here’s the same figure played through a 16th-note rate.

> > > >


piece of the triplet independence where the
left hand plays the second and third partial
of a triplet while the right plays a shuffle. It’s
also worth noting here that the left hand
should ideally emphasise the second of the
÷
two notes. In Example 2 this figure is moved
to a 16th-note rate so the right hand accents
convey a 4 over 3 rhythm.
Having the ability to play this figure means 03 Once developed, this independence can be used to play syncopated
backbeats in a ghosted half-note triplet setting.
that when playing a half-time shuffle and
filling on the missing triplets with the left 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3
hand as ghost notes, the left hand can also
be used to play more SYNCOPATED
÷ >Œ > ‰‰ >‰ ‰ ‰ ‰
BACKBEAT placement, but whilst also
continuing to maintain the ghost notes. You’ll Œ
find two examples in Examples 3 and 4. 3 3 3
Finally, Example 5 moves back to a
16th-note rate to use this figure to play a
groove, which is similar to that played by
David Garibaldi on Tower Of Power’s ‘Soul
04 This second half-time shuffle example features two consecutive beats
between bars one and two.
Vaccination’. You’ll notice that the first three 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3
beats are essentially the same as Example 2
though with slightly different accents on the
left hand. ÷ > Œ >‰‰ Œ
Œ Œ ‰‰
3 3

HEADS UP! 05 This final example is a groove similar to that played by David Garibaldi on
‘Soul Vaccination’.
SYNCOPATED BACKBEAT
Most of the time backbeats land on beats Ex 5 > o + o +
> > > >
2 and 4 (or beat 3 if in half time). However,
pioneering tracks and artists such as

÷
‘Chameleon’ by Herbie Hancock and ‘Cold
Sweat’ by James Brown paved the way for
more unusual placements to be explored. > > >
WWW.MUSICRADAR.COM/RHYTHM MARCH 2019 | 69
DRUM LESSONS

GET CREATIVE WITH

PAD CRUNCHING
Flam that accent!

T
his month we’re delving into part one
of a bit of pad crunching work. Doing
work on a pad is important in order to
help develop our technique, our
repertoire, our vocabulary and our
YOUR TUTOR creativity; all of which we then take to the
drum kit to play music with other
PAT GARVEY
pat@patgarvey.net musicians. Not to mention it’s a lot quieter
than a snare drum, which for a lot of
drummers is sometimes the difference
between being able to practise or not.
In this issue I’m breaking down a
rudiment called the flam accent. This is an
incredibly popular sticking for developing the basics of the exercise and then look at technical, musical and creative standpoint
fills, chops, licks, groove embellishments Example 4, which takes the flam and the – it’s a win-win!
and solo ideas, either in its own right or accent and moves it through the triplet
by using various versions and
INVERSIONS of the pattern.
giving us a three-bar pattern with a nice
double flam when it repeats. There are
HEADS UP!
If this is new to you then take care to get numerous ways of interpreting and INVERSION
Can refer to changing a set sticking pattern
the individual components right. If it’s not, re-interpreting this rudiment but this is an so it is the opposite of what it was before, or
then use this as an opportunity to refresh exercise that is immediately useful from a that it is turned upside down/inside out.

01 Slowly does it. Follow the exercises, paying attention to the detail. Here’s the accented eighth note triplet. Play using alternating strokes.

©»¢º + > 3 > 3 > 3 > 3

÷ .. ..
R L R L R L R L R L R L

02 The flam. Take care to control the grace note; you don’t want two ‘loud’ notes.

÷ .. ..
R L R L

03 The flam accent: putting Examples 1 and 2 together.

> 3 > 3 > 3 > 3

÷ .. œ ..
R L R L R L R L R L R L

04 Moving the flam and the accent through the triplet. This is a fun exercise once you get it going around.

> 3 > 3 > 3 > 3 >


3 3
> >
3
>
3
3 > 3 > 3 > 3 >
÷ .. œ œ ..
R L R L R L R L R L R L R L R L R L R L R L R L R L R L R L R L R L R L

70 | MARCH 2019 WWW.MUSICRADAR.COM/RHYTHM


DRUM LESSONS

RHYTHM CONCEPTS

LI’L LICKS, V
signature does not tell us what to play – it only Ex 4 illustrates the phrase in context with a
tells us how to count). Ex 1a illustrates a simple groove. To increase the dynamic
10-note sticking pattern in 5/8. Count out loud intensity, exaggerate the dynamic contrast in
to internalise the eighth-note pulse. Exs 1b and the phrase by playing the unaccented notes
1c illustrate accent variations. The different ghosted and exaggerate accented notes.
A tasty 10 note sticking accent placements will lead to variations in In Ex 5 the pattern is played over two bars, YOUR TUTOR

T
orchestration around the drum kit. Ex 2 shows creating a phrase that travels over-the-bar line. ERIK STAMS
his month we will be exploring a 10-note the sticking pattern in 5/4 over a quarter-note The sticking pattern does not re-set or resolve www.erikstams.com

linear sticking pattern, creating over-the-bar pulse, creating groupings of 10 16th notes. at the start of the second bar but keeps cycling
phrasing and syncopation. Notice how the phrase cycles around twice over the two bars. Ex 6 shows the initial 5/8
First, I like to practise odd groupings of within the bar. Count the quarter note out loud. pattern orchestrated with the right hand on the
notes in the relevant odd time signature, Ex 3 illustrates the sticking pattern in 4/4 hi-hat and the left hand ghosted on the snare
allowing the sequence to resolve on beat 1 of with a slightly different accent pattern. The drum a la Steve Gadd. Ex 7 shows the new
the bar. Here we are in 5/8 (note: a time stepped hi-hat is included for reference only. hi-hat orchestration in context with a groove.

01a A 10-note linear sticking. 01b Accent and orchestrate the


first two single strokes. 01c Accent and orchestrate the
first three single strokes.
> > >> > >>> >
.. .. .. .. .. ..
R L R L L F R L L F R L R L L F R L L F R L R L L F R L L F

02 Now try it in 5/4 (stepped hi-hat for reference only). 03 Edit the phrase to fit a bar of 4/4
(all accent patterns).

>1 2
> 3
> 4
>5 >1 > 2
> 3
> >4
.. .. .. ..
R L R L L F R L L F R L R L L F R L L F R L R L L F R L L F R L R L L F

04 In context with a simple groove (add orchestrations).

>1 > 2
> 3
> >4
.. ..
R L R L L F R L L F R L R L L F

05 Now play it as a two-bar, over-the-barline phrase with orchestrated accents.

>1 > 2
> 3
> >4 >1 >2 > 3
> 4
>
.. ..
R L R L L F R L L F R L R L L F R L L F R L R L L F R L L F R L

06 Right hand on hi-hat, left hand ghosted on snare drum.


> > >
.. ..
R L R L L F R L L F

07 As a two-bar phrase in context with a groove. Explore backbeat placements.

..

>1 > 2
>
3
> >4 >
1
>2 > 3
>
4
>
..
R L R L L F R L L F R L R L L F R L L F R L R L L F R L L F R L

WWW.MUSICRADAR.COM/RHYTHM MARCH 2019 | 71


DRUM LESSONS

ACM PRO CORNER

ONE RELIABLE
YOUR TUTOR
TRAIN BEAT
PATTERN
DANNY MULLOWNEY
Danny Mullowney has
visited over 120 countries
while touring and
performing with artists
such as The Definitive Rat
Pack, Michael Fienstien,
and Wayne Newton.
Danny has an
award-winning styles book
Swung or straight, with
published by Alfred Music
and he lectures at ACM. sticks or brushes – let’s
look at a versatile groove

M
any of you will be familiar with
TRAIN BEATS as they are often
played for country and bluegrass
songs, but variations are also found
in rock and pop genres. A train beat can be single strokes. For a greater challenge, try and extensive industry connections, ACM offers music programmes
that develop students to their maximum potential and instantly
played straight or swung, or with a feel the same notation while using double immerses them in the music industry. Visit www.acm.ac.uk
anywhere in between. It can also be played strokes or single paradiddles, and pay
with sticks, brushes or bundle sticks and
through a wide range of tempos, but these
attention to how the sticking affects the
overall sound, feel and level of difficulty. HEADS UP!
grooves really start cooking above 130bpm.
The Academy of Contemporary Music (ACM) is a leading music
TRAIN BEATS
To start, the following pattern should be industry education provider. Having trained musicians, producers, A country-style groove that resembles
played with straight 16th notes while using songwriters and entrepreneurs for careers in the music industry the sound of a steam engine train.
for over 20 years, with state-of-the-art facilities, world-class faculty

01 Start with 16th notes played on the snare drum.

1 e & a 2 e & a 3 e & a 4 e & a


R L R L R L R L R L R L R L R L

÷ .. ..

02 Add a ‘four-on-the-floor’ bass drum pattern.

÷ .. ..

03 Add the hi-hat foot (stepped hi-hat) on all of the ‘&s’.

÷ .. ..

04 Finally, add the accents on all of the ‘&s’.

> > > >


÷ .. ..

72 | MARCH 2019 WWW.MUSICRADAR.COM/RHYTHM


DRUM LESSONS

JAZZ CONCEPTS

SOME
SAMBAS
A little bit of Latin jazz!

P
laying drums with a Latin feel is
something that occurs in jazz quite
frequently and usually involves some
kind of Bossa Nova or Samba. Here are
a few ideas for playing Samba using a couple
of techniques. Example 1 is a fairly standard
Samba using CROSS-STICK in a Bossa Nova
style. Keep the bass drum light and try and
play the right stick on the hi-hat as a shaker.
Example 2 is a little more lively, playing a
broken eighth-note rhythm on the ride cymbal,
samba on the snare, and the bass drum and
stepped hi-hat matching the cymbal rhythm,
what I call the ‘samba feet’ pattern.
with sticks, giving us a more gentle feel with
access to different sounds on the drums.
HEADS UP!
Example 3 changes the feel a bit, using The Practice Challenge involves using a stick CROSS-STICK
The technique of laying the stick across the
brushes playing eighth notes, alternate strokes, and a brush, with the brush in the right hand
drum, striking the rim with the butt of the
accenting the Samba rhythm. This is a making a sweeping motion in an eighth-note stick to replicate the sound of claves
particularly nice alternative to playing Samba pulse. Apply the ‘samba feet’ underneath. (not a rimshot!). YOUR TUTOR
COLIN WOOLWAY

01
colin@drumsense.com
Samba beat using cross-stick and hi-hat, bass drum playing a repetitive figure underneath (ostinato).

÷ ‰ ‰ ‰

02 The ride cymbal plays a broken eighth rhythm and Samba rhythm on the snare drum; note the ‘samba feet’ pattern
underneath.

03 This time using brushes, alternating strokes...

Brushes
> > > > > > >
÷

04 Practice Challenge: use a brush in the right hand to imitate a shaker, play Samba rhythm with cross-stick.

Brush
on
Snare
Z
÷
Z Z Z Z Z Z Z Z Z Z Z Z Z Z Z

WWW.MUSICRADAR.COM/RHYTHM MARCH 2019 | 73


DRUM LESSONS

RUDIMENT OF THE MONTH

SWISSARMYTRIPLET
In Example 4 we change the rate to
16th-notes and play the Swiss Triplet with a
4 OVER 3 pulse and the flam falling every
three 16th-notes, or on the dotted eighth
note. Once again the right hand can be
YOUR TUTOR A three-note flam rudiment moved down the kit but also, as opposed to
cycling it in 3/4, another beat can be added

T
PETE RILEY to play it as a one-bar fill in 4/4. This process
p.riley@mac.com
he Swiss Army Triplet, or Swiss Triplet With this in mind it should also be is repeated leading with the opposite hand
as it’s more commonly known, is a practised leading with either hand. Example in Example 5.
three-note flam rudiment consisting of 1 shows the Swiss Triplet leading with either One of the most impressive exponents of
a right-hand flam followed by a right hand while Example 2 shows it played four utilising the Swiss Triplet around the kit is
and a left stroke. In essence the sticking times through a bar of eighth-note triplets. Steve Smith who regularly uses it within his
consists of each hand playing two notes, On the accompanying video you’ll also see fill and solo ideas. It’s really worth checking
which overlap on the first flammed note. that the right hand can be moved down the out how Steve both adapts the sticking and
If played on a pad or snare it should sound kit. In Example 3 we reverse the sticking to uses orchestration to create a sound that
the same as the flam accent, only unlike play it with the flam falling in the left hand, appears far removed from our original
the flam accent, which switches hands, this is then played with the hand remaining three-note flam rudiment.
the Swiss Triplet will remain in the hand on the ride cymbal while the left hand
in which it starts. moves down the toms.
HEADS UP!
4 OVER 3
01 Example 1 shows the basic Swiss Triplet played leading with the right
and left hand.
A polyrhythm where four notes are

> >
played evenly across three beats. This
3 3 can be achieved by playing three
j j beats of 16th-notes whilst stepping
œ œ quarter-notes with the bass drum. If
the hands now accent every three
notes the accents will create the ‘4’
L R R L R L L R over the ‘3’ of the bass drum.

02 Here the Swiss Triplet is played four times through eighth-note triplets to create a one-bar fill. The right hand can also
be moved down the kit.
3 > 3 3 > 3
> > > >
‰ ‰ ‰
3 3 3 3
j
œ œ œ œ ..
Œ ‰ ‰ ‰
3 L R R L L R R L L R R L L R R L
3

03 Example 3 shows another one-bar fill this time played using a left hand Swiss triplet so the left hand moves down the kit.

3 3 3 3 > 3 > 3 > 3 > 3

‰ ‰ ‰ ‰ ..
Œ ‰ ‰ ‰ ‰ ‰ ‰ ‰ ‰ ‰ ‰ ‰
3 3 3 3 3 3

04 Example 4 changes the rate to 16th-notes, so playing four Swiss triplets through one bar of 3/4 with the flam falling every
three 16th-notes or every dotted eighth-note.
> > > >
j
œ

L R R L B R L B R L B R L

05 Finally, Example 5 follows a similar process only this time using left hand Swiss triplets and left hand moving down the
kit.

> > > >

74 | MARCH 2019 WWW.MUSICRADAR.COM/RHYTHM


THE FOUNDATIONS OF DRUMMING

CREATING HEADS UP!

BROKEN 16TH
SINGLE STROKES
Or the single stroke roll is one of the
standard rudiments normally notated YOUR TUTOR
in 32nd notes. This lesson we play it in
16ths R-L-R-L. KYLE CULLEN

NOTE FILLS
kyle@kylecullen.com

Adding rests to
your single strokes

T
he whole point of this lesson is to get you
creating. Feel free to learn what I’ve notated,
but the real lesson is doing the exercises for
yourself and learning to be more creative.
The concept starts by playing constant SINGLE
STROKES as 16th notes and deciding to leave a
rest on ‘random’ notes. Try not to think too much
about which would sound best as the whole point is
to just play and let ideas flow out of you.
In this lesson I leave the underlying sticking the
same. This means if you would have played a right
hand where the rest falls then you’ll end up playing
two lefts in a row. Likewise, if you should have
played a left hand you’ll play two rights in a row. I
find this is the best way to first learn a rhythm and
start exploring the kit, but you can change up
the sticking pattern at a later date to give yourself
more options and freedom. Try playing with a
metronome set to 16ths to help get the rhythm
locked in.

01 This is the rhythm I created by leaving out the ‘a’ of one, ‘&’ of two and ‘a’ of four.

÷ ..    ..

02 Once familiar with the rhythm start moving around the kit. Beat 1 on the snare, beat 2
on the tom, beat 3 on the snare and beat 4 on the floor tom.

÷ .. ..

03 Improvise different fills with the rhythm. If that doesn’t work out at first, plan a few
out. Then try and mix and match them until you feel free.

÷ .. ..

WWW.MUSICRADAR.COM/RHYTHM MARCH 2019 | 75


PINK FLOYD
50TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION

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NEW INTERVIEWS STORIES FROM STUDIO & STAGE


ALBUM ART EXPLAINED 50 YEARS OF MUSIC
FROM THE MAKERS OF
DRUM LESSONS

URBAN ROCK

TRIBAL
SHUFFLERS
Weighty shuffles
with creative tom
placements

T
he shuffle is one of the most difficult
grooves to execute convincingly
because of the TECHNIQUE AND
CONTROL required to help it ‘breathe’
organically, rather than stutter mechanically.

HEADS UP!
These examples show how to employ the the ride and floor tom and you’ll see there
shuffle into something more tribal and are two fills played in between three bars
modern that can be used in a rock- of this groove. The first fill features fast TECHNIQUE AND CONTROL
orientated sequence. 16th-note triplets played with the feet with The most efficient way of playing the
Example 1 uses the floor tom as the overlaying crashes, whilst the second is shuffle is using a half stroke for the down
riding surface for the shuffle. The twist in more solid and flam based. Example 3 has beat and an upstroke for the ‘let’ beat (‘1 YOUR TUTOR
– trip – let’ being the sub-divisions). Then
this groove is the backbeats that are played a more mellow feel with the shuffle played it’s the matter of controlling dynamics JASON BOWLD
on the ‘2 &’ and ‘4’. Example 2 develops the on the hats. This example makes a great jase@jasonbowld.com
and trying to blend the snare ghosting
previous ‘verse’ section into something interim groove between Ex 2 when played into the sound of the hi-hat to create a
more driving with regular backbeats. This in a sequence – the order of which is: Ex 1 smooth sound. Challenging but
rewarding in the long run.
time, though, the shuffle is shared between (twice), Ex 2, Ex 3, Ex 2 – a total of 32 bars!

01 When you’ve adjusted to playing the shuffle on the floor tom with the accompanying snare ghosting, try adding the hi-hat pedal with the left
foot. This quarter note pulse is important to keeping the sense of groove present – especially when playing irregular backbeats.

> >>
All examples to be played at + 110 bpm
>
1
> >> > o 2
> >> >
> > >
3
3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3
3 3 3

÷ .. ‰ ‰ ‰ .. ‰ ..

02 The hi-hat pedal is still present here to anchor the groove down that is further reinforced by the backbeats being played on the ‘2’ and ‘4’. The
twist is the double tom accent played on the ‘let’ of beat ‘4’ and the arm movement from floor tom to ride to create the shared shuffle.

> 3
> 3 > 3 > >
3
3 o 6 6 2
3 3
2
3 3 3
3

÷ ‰ ‰ œ œ .. œ œ ..

03 A more mellow version of Example 1 as the backbeat placements are the same. It is technically challenging due to the layered snare ghosting
played under the hat shuffle. When playing slowly, try to employ the correct Moeller strokes to ensure efficiency when speeding up.

> 3 > 3 >> 3


>o
3
> 3 > 3 > 3 >o 3
2
÷ ..

> 3 > 3 > > 3


>o L
3 >
R L
>
R
3
L
>
R L
3
R L
>
R L
3
R L
>
R L
3
R L

÷ ..

WWW.MUSICRADAR.COM/RHYTHM MARCH 2019 | 77


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88

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STAR RATINGS EXPLAINED
Durin
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Lo
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Build quality Is it consistent? Are
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WWW.RHYTHMMAGAZINE.CO.UK MARCH 2019 | 83
GEAR REVIEW

DS DRUMS REBEL
BIRCH/MAHOGANY
CUSTOM KIT
£3,999 Making its debut on these
shores, it’s a Yes for DS!
WORDS: STUART WILLIAMS

W
hile US, UK and Japanese material. DS offers seven different wood
brands have dominated shell combinations for the Rebel series:
the market for high-end staple tonewoods mahogany, maple and
acoustic kits, Italy isn’t birch, plus mixtures of the three. All of the
without its cult contenders. Vintage names drums in our review kit comprise a blend
such as the Art Blakey-approved of birch and mahogany, plus an outer
Hollywood and the originally iron-shelled veneer of Mapa Burl which has been
Davoli all found favour outside of Europe, finished in a fade from its natural,
while in more recent times, Tamburo lacquered appearance to Exotic Green.
remains a brand held in high regard by The full kit comes to us in a classic
those in the know. Joining the list of fusion-esque six-piece setup of 10"x7",
brands who are looking to prove that 12"x8" and 13"x8" rack toms (featuring
Italy’s musical export is about more than suspension mounts), a 16"x14" floor tom,
just opera comes DS Drums. It might be a 22"x16" bass drum (undrilled) and
new name here in the UK, but it has matching 14"x6½" snare.
actually been in business for almost 25 Let’s first talk about that finish. DS
years, having been founded in 1995 by offers many finish options, from satins,
builder Luca Deorsola. sparkles, gloss and more. Fades have
DS (which stands for Drum Sound) become popular again as of late, with this
offers a staggering number of shell, year’s NAMM Show floor featuring plenty
size and finishing options in its Rebel of graduated colours, and DS really knows
custom kit series – so much so that how to deliver a stunning first impression.
the company’s website features an Our kit comes under DS’ Exotic category
interactive configurator for speccing up thanks to that Mapa Burl, however they do
your custom build. UK store Drumazon advise that the Exotic range is subject to
introduced the brand to these shores in availability of the wood when ordering.
2018, supplying our review kit The actual colour of our fade might not be
preconfigured from the list of options. It to everyone’s taste, but it certainly raised
comes in at £3,999: a hefty investment, eyebrows around Rhythm HQ, mostly of
but that word is key here. These are the positive variety.
handmade, hand-finished drums with
bespoke hardware and design points,
made to the specification of the customer.
So, if you’ve got the Di Niro waiting, let’s
start talking Italian…

Build
When it comes to truly custom drums,
options can open up a world of flexibility, NO NEWCOMER
or they can boggle the mind. Indeed, in While DS aren’t very well known in
order to make decisions about a one-off the UK, the company is approaching
kit, you first need to have courage in your the quarter-century mark and
convictions, starting with the shell finally found its way here in 2018

84 | MARCH 2019 WWW.MUSICRADAR.COM/RHYTHM


BURLS, BURLS, BURLS! LUG LIFE Essential spec
The green to natural fade on the There are obvious comparisons to be
Mapa Burl looks stunning, and while drawn with these lugs because of
it might be too heavily styled for their round shape, but these chrome
some, it’s certainly a talking point domes have a look of their own

PRICE
£3,999
COUNTRY OF
ORIGIN
Italy
SHELL MATERIAL
Birch/mahogany
NUMBER OF
PLIES
5
BEARING EDGES
60/45-degrees
HOOPS
2.3mm triple-flanged
hoops
SHELL
AVAILABILITY
Review kit: 22"x16"
(undrilled) bass drum,
10"x7", 12"x8" and 13"x8"
toms (with suspension
mounts), 16"x14" floor
tom, 14"x6½" snare
drum. A range of custom
sizes also available
SUPPLIED HEADS
Toms: Remo
Ambassador Coated (top
and bottom)
Bass drum: Remo P3
clear batter and P3
Ebony DS logo head
FINISHES
AVAILABLE
Review kit: Mapa Burl
Exotic Green to Natural
Fade lacquer finish.
A multitude of solid
satin, solid satin fade
lacquer, lacquer fade,
sparkle, urban, exotic
and wrap finishes
available
TOM MOUNT
Suspension mount
CONTACT
DS Drums
dsdrum.com
drumazon.com

WWW.MUSICRADAR.COM/RHYTHM MARCH 2019 | 85


GEAR REVIEW

DEPTH CHARGE
Our kit comes to us with
slightly shallower toms, which
makes for easy placement,
arguably easier tuning of the
toms and a punchy sound

WOODY WOODPICKER
There are options-a-plenty with the
Rebel, starting with the shell. You can
choose from pure maple, birch and
mahogany or create combinations as
with our birch/mahogany review kit

Hands On sleek-looking hardware, complete we start to play. It’s more than just a
The toms are mounted using supplied with tasteful memory locks, and each Also try… matter of pitch, though: they ring into
Sonor tom holders, and as we get to tom features dual badges. The tom each other beautifully, full of life with just
setting the kit up, there are multiple depths mean that they sit snugly atop the the right amount of sustain and overtones
appointments that catch our eye. The lugs bass drum, allowing us to get them nice without clashing. It’s a full sound, and if
are beautiful – at first glance they’re sure and low without risking hitting the top you’ve ever questioned the ability of
to draw comparisons to another company of the drum. single-ply heads to offer a controlled and
with D in its initials, however when you As our kit came from Drumazon, the full tom sound, experiencing them in this
look a little closer it’s a smoothed-out toms arrived out of the box tuned to some 1 configuration delivers a strong case to
thing of curved beauty that would double
nicely as a hefty ornament. The floor tom
sympathetic intervals, and after some
minimal tweaking the Rebel gives us our DW COLLECTOR'S change your mind. Perhaps it’s a
combination of the birch/mahogany shell,
legs are held in place with chunky, yet first confirmation of its quality, as soon as CHERRY/ or that shortened depth, plus the coated
MAHOGANY Ambassadors on the top and bottom of
"THE DS TOMS RING INTO EACH
We say: “DW continues the toms, but it adds up to a pleasing and
to refine its already
easy tuning. 2.3mm triple-flanged hoops
OTHER BEAUTIFULLY, FULL OF LIFE
awesome Collector's
Series, with this new are featured throughout the kit, and DS

WITH JUST THE RIGHT AMOUNT OF


attractive hybrid of has opted for a design with a comfortable
cherry and mahogany rounded edge. It’s nowhere near as
SUSTAIN AND OVERTONES WITHOUT
offering a subtle
pronounced as an S-Hoop, but it does
variation of warm,
strike a balance between those and
CLASHING. IT'S A FULL SOUND"
sensitive and concise
tones.” standard hoops, adding a slight

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TALKING HEADS
Remo is the name of the game
here, with coated Ambassadors
top and bottom on the toms.
The bass drum plays very
nicely with the included clear/
ebony Powerstroke P3s too

FINISHING MOVES
In true Italian style, DS wants your
kit to look amazing, and as such
offers sparkle lacquers, satin, gloss
and fade finishes, along with many
others to choose from

forgiveness to our rimshots. The ‘naked’ often the case, our drum wasn’t ported without having to kill what makes them
sound is open and leans towards a more Also try… which can often lead to fairly flabby, yet great in the first place. You can always
classic tom sound, but with the addition of big sounding bass drums with minimal take ringing away from a kit, but you can’t
one piece of gel the toms take on an muffling – in this case a pillow. With very add breath that isn’t there. In UK terms,
immediately fatter quality that we found little effort, the kick sounds low and it’s an overnight success, just one that
behaved perfectly when we tested it under punchy at the same time. There’s sustain took 25 years to realise itself here.
close mics. to go with the thump, but the 16-inch
Likewise, the snare is a versatile drum. depth keeps things under control without VERDICT: We look forward to seeing
Ours arrived at a medium tuning, and we much trouble. We didn’t feel the need to more from this brand, whose online
experimented with different pitches in
2 add anything else to control the sound. configurator take some of the pain out
quarter-turn increments both above and PEARL The bass drum will project nicely in a live of the custom design decision-making.
below our original tuning. As well as REFERENCE PURE environment without losing its immediacy. As mentioned, a custom kit is an
investment of both money and
plenty of sensitivity across the tuning We say: “Expressly If we had to describe this iteration of
tailored for the studio
personality, so we'd advise
range of the drum (again sticking with the the Rebel in one word, it would be ‘clarity’. experiencing the sounds and finishes
with its dark and
Ambassador batter and reso combo, with focused sound, the The birch plies in the supplied sizes ensure for yourself. Get it right, and you might
22-strand Puresound wires), there was a Reference Pure is a top plenty of cut, which is further bolstered by well find your dream kit!
pronounced yet neat overtone which quality instrument, the deeper weight of the mahogany. The
featuring hybrid shell BUILD QUALITY
remained throughout the range. overriding impression we get is that these
layups.” PLAYABILITY
The bass drum came fitted with a pair are capable of delivering a pleasing blend
VALUE FOR MONEY
of Remo P3 heads: clear for the batter and of open tone and punch. The overtones
RATING
branded ebony on the resonant side. As is are pure, and they can be dialled back

WWW.MUSICRADAR.COM/RHYTHM MARCH 2019 | 87


GEAR REVIEW

ROGERS
DYNA-SONIC
SNARE DRUMS
£1,295 The new Rogers Collective mounts a comeback
for the illustrious vintage company with this
faithful re-working of a classic design
WORDS: GEOFF NICHOLLS

D
uring the 1960s Rogers was
regarded by many as the best
designed American drums of
all, garnering the accolade
‘Cadillac of drums’. Swiv-O-Matic hardware
Also try…
led the way, while the Dyna-Sonic snare
was radical if less universally popular. Now
a new Rogers Collective of industry
experts is poised to revive the Rogers
name and reputation.
Original chrome-on-brass Dyna-Sonics
are still relatively easy to find. But wood
shelled Dyna-Sonics (like Ringo’s wood 1
Ludwig Jazz Festivals) are rare and sell for SONOR
thousands. Where else to start the STEVE SMITH
comeback, then, than with this accurate SIGNATURE
copy of Rogers’ most revered drum?
SNARE DRUM
We say: “Based on
Build Sonor’s vintage beech
Digging around the internet you discover snare drum with

DYNA-SONIC FLOATING RAIL


the Rogers name now belongs to Reliance rounded edges and
eight lugs for a darker,
Musical, the company behind Gibraltar open sound.”
hardware and the underrated Dixon The unique Dyna-Sonic snare rail
drums. The Rogers Collective is run holds the wires in place and under
independently and, unlike some instances tension, just kissing the bottom
of shamelessly appropriating venerated head without compressing it
names in order to make a quick buck, this
new Dyna-Sonic is obviously conceived by wraps, distinctive ‘clockface’ strainer, than most vintage shells. Interiors have a
a team who know their onions. They interior muffler and correct script and oval hand-varnished vibe with fruitwood stain.
include top US drum guru Steve Maxwell badges. The shells are five-ply American The tricky part is recreating the snare
and Bill Detamore of Pork Pie drums. 2 maple-poplar with reinforcing rings. mechanism – the notorious frame/rail that
These gents understand the Dyna-Sonic MAPEX BLACK Bearing edges are 45 degrees with a supports the snare wires. Again, this has
and extraordinary efforts have been made PANTHER DESIGN smooth round-over, rather better finished been faithfully copied and cast in steel.
to reproduce the original design, working
LAB SERIES
from a real 1962 drum as the blueprint.
Reliance makes the component parts in
SNARE DRUMS "EXTRAORDINARY EFFORTS HAVE
We say: “The Black

BEEN MADE TO REPRODUCE THE


Taiwan then ships them to Pork Pie in the Panther series is
USA where Detamore’s team hand finishes Mapex’s flagship snare
and assembles them.
For review we have the 14"x5" and
drum line, offering up a
host of individual and ORIGINAL DESIGN, WORKING FROM A
14"x6½" versions with 10 lugs, period
characterful drums.”
REAL 1962 DRUM AS THE BLUEPRINT"
88 | MARCH 2019 WWW.MUSICRADAR.COM/RHYTHM
CLOCK FACE STRAINER common – the idea being that the
snares remain at tension and are just Essential spec
The snare mechanism has VINTAGE WRAPS lifted to touch the bottom head. This
an on-off lever while the wire
Finishes include Red Onyx is unlike conventional snare strainers
tension is adjusted via the
and White Pearl (both that pull the wires up, compressing the
lower finger-operated screw
pictured), Silver Sparkle and bottom head.
Black Diamond Pearl But parallels were often fiddly. Once
Ludwig’s super-simple SupraPhonic took
off, drum companies (and drummers) lost PRICES
14"x5" or 14"x6½"
the appetite for expensive, elaborately
snare: £1,295
engineered parallels. The Dyna’s solution
is a half-way house. It keeps the snares SHELL MATERIAL
American maple and
tensioned and separate from the bottom
poplar
head via the rail-frame, which is simply
strung from the strainer and does not CONSTRUCTION
METHOD
require a complex internal mechanism. Cross ply wood
Clever stuff.
To allay the adjustment grumbles, the NUMBER OF
PLIES
new Dyna includes comprehensive set-up 5-ply with reinforcing
instructions for the rail and snares, and rings
even for head tensioning. And they BEARING EDGES
work. Admittedly approaching with a little 45 degrees with small
apprehension I’m rather chuffed to find round over, no snare
that both drums respond quickly and beds
quite easily. FINISHES
Snare tension is adjusted by a screw AVAILABLE
knob, which you turn with your fingers Red Onyx and White
Pearl (both pictured),
(as on a normal snare strainer). This screw
Silver Sparkle and Black
knob is small but you soon get the feel Diamond Pearl.
and adjustment is swift and positive. As Fruitwood inside stain
with other parallel actions (eg Premier’s HOOPS
1960s Royal Ace), just the tiniest turn is 1.6mm triple-flanged
sufficient to change the response steel with Dyna-Sonic
dramatically. Because the snare wires snare gates
are already under tension and just SHELL
‘kissing’ the bottom head, it’s more of a AVAILABILITY
fine-tuning operation. 14"x5" and 14"x6½"
The result is actually a bit of a shock SUPPLIED HEADS
because if anything the response is too Remo Ambassador
snappy! As the blurb always bragged, the Coated batter and
Ambassador Hazy
Dyna response is sharper and clearer than
snare side
with a normal snare. Well, they’re not
wrong. You can see why Buddy Rich (who LUGS
10 cast Beavertail
played Dynas in the 1960s), with his razor
(pictured) or Bread and
CAST BEAVERTAIL LUGS sharp technical command, appreciated
this. It reminds you of the ‘tearing tracing
Butter lugs

Each drum has 10 double-ended SNARE STRAINER


paper’ sort of minute control Buddy got at
‘beavertail’ lugs, internal tone AUTHENTIC COPY all dynamics, from ppp to fff.
Rogers Swiv-O-Matic
‘clockface’ strainer and
control and oval Dyna-Sonic If you didn’t know better Without the familiar sound/feel of the Dyna-Sonic cast steel
and script Rogers badges you could mistake the new snare wires compressing the bottom head floating snare rail frame
Dyna-Sonics for mint the drums sound rather cleaner and CONTACT
originals in classic finishes considerable more airy. It’s an acquired rogersdrums.co.uk
taste, but addictive. I love these two
drums, if simply because they are different Thanks to Drum Shop
UK for supplying the
There was a design flaw with 1950s replacement parts is available individually. in a world where so many drums are drums (drumshop.co.uk)
Rogers, which had so-called ‘bread and Lugs, strainer and butt, rail, snare gates, competent but pallidly indistinguishable.
butter’ lugs made from drawn brass and tone control, etc. So you can mothball
were prone to cracking. The problem was your original bits whilst also updating
VERDICT: The Rogers Collective hits
largely resolved by the mid-1960s your vintage kit, making it gig-worthy
the ground running with this true
introduction of cast ‘beavertail’ lugs. For once more. realisation of a rare-as-hen’s-teeth
your new Dyna-Sonic you can choose B&B classic, offering Rogers fans the
or beavertail, both now cast. Our drums Hands On chance to own an authentic replica
have beavers. Unlike Ludwig’s SupraPhonic the wood Dyna-Sonic.
The clever thing here is that, for those Dyna-Sonic was always Marmite –
BUILD QUALITY
who have struggled with vintage B&B drummers absolutely loved it or couldn’t
PLAYABILITY
Rogers kits, replacement lugs are now abide it. Many complained of trouble
VALUE FOR MONEY
available for your whole set, not just the adjusting the snare rail. Back in the
RATING
snares. In fact, a complete set of 1940s/50s parallel mechanisms were

WWW.MUSICRADAR.COM/RHYTHM MARCH 2019 | 89


GEAR REVIEW

DREAM RE-FX SCOTT


PELLEGROM CROP CIRCLE
£39 A unique effect made completely from recycled cymbals
and designed with percussive innovator Scott Pellegrom
WORDS: TOM BRADLEY

DREAM ON
The Re-FX line has been developed
with Dream artist and experimental
drummer Scott Pellegrom

JINGLE ALL THE WAY


The Crop Circle features
eight paired jingles spread RECYCLED
evenly around the hoop
The entire Re-FX range is
produced from recycled
Dream cymbals

Essential spec

A
s part of Dream’s cymbal is not completely flat and follows the slight lower tuned snare or with a little dampening
recycling program, customers curvature that one might expect around the applied underneath. PRICES
can trade in their broken metals outer portion of a cymbal. Placed on top of cymbals the effect is clear. £39
towards the value of shiny new As Dream recycles both its B20 and B8 Not only does it add a prominent jingle sound ALLOY USED
ones. The used cymbals are then melted cymbals it’s hard to say what exactly has ended but also greatly suppresses the tone of the B8/B20 Bronze
down and the alloy used to create brand up in the Re-FX range alloy. Dream’s cymbal, leaving a much drier and shorter SIZE
new instruments. Born from this eco-friendly cymbalsmiths state that as they are made from attack. Our 16" crash becomes a rapid-fire 14"
initiative is the Re-FX line. The resulting recycled materials, each one will be unique. stack while our 22" ride retained most of its
FINISH
collection of five effects cymbals includes natural resonance and worked wonderfully as Traditional
the Naughty Saucer, the Han FX cymbal, the Hands On a drum’n’bass style electronic ride.
Re-FX Bell and two models of the Re-FX Crop The 14" Crop Circle lends itself perfectly to MODELS
AVAILABLE
Circle, one of which we have for review. being placed on the snare drum batter head. 10" and 14"
VERDICT: An interesting effects
Once positioned in place each rimshot is
instrument, which opens up a unique COUNTRY OF
Build transformed into a sharp metallic explosion, palette of sounds. This instrument is MANUFACTURE
Designed in collaboration with Dream artist ideal for channelling those Jojo Mayer vibes. particularly well suited to electronic China
and boundary-pushing drummer Scott The metal disk is actually slightly smaller than style exploration, but can also add
some heft to a standard backbeat.
SUITABLE FOR
Pellegrom, the Crop Circle exists to transform the hoop of our drum, which allows for some Electronic and
any cymbal or drum into a wonderland of unexpected side to side motion during playing.
BUILD QUALITY modern styles
white noise. Available in 10" or 14" models It also bounces around a little on our
PLAYABILITY CONTACT
(we’ve received the latter for review) it features highly-tensioned head, which releases an
VALUE FOR MONEY dreamcymbals.com
four tambourine jingle pairs spaced evenly assortment of unwanted overtones. This
RATING gremlinmusic.co.uk
around the 2" wide metal band. The disk profile does not prove to be an issue, however, with a 01903 203044

90 | MARCH 2019 WWW.MUSICRADAR.COM/RHYTHM


TOONTRACK DRUMS
OF DESTRUCTION EZX
£52 Chris Adler, Josh Wilbur and Toontrack deliver the slam of God!
WORDS: STUART WILLIAMS

OTHER GEAR
InadditiontoAdler’sMapex,
Wilbur recorded a Pearl
Reference and a host of snares
through the studio’s mics and
high-endsignalchain

STUDIO SOUNDS
ChrisAdler’skit was sampled while
SIGNATURE SNARE setupforLamb Of God’s latest
Chris’distinctiveWarbird release.This isthe real deal from
snare isincluded inthis the studio the band recorded in
pack,anditsoundsgreat

Essential spec

W
e’re big fans of Toontrack through in the mix. In addition to his Mapex, fatiguing. The toms and kick in particular have
here at Rhythm. What LoG producer Josh Wilbur took the opportunity that nice balance of depth and attack – to our
started as a collaboration to add a Pearl Reference (2x 24", 10", 12", 14", ears perhaps slightly scooped in the midrange
with Meshuggah man 16") into the sessions, offering some sounds to provide clarity – without losing their
Tomas Haake 20 years ago with ‘Drum Kit away from Adler’s regular gear. power. Likewise, the range of snare sounds
From Hell’ has grown into a mind-blowing The cymbals are mostly Meinl, with a on offer have enough variation to stop you
range of sample packs with which we can range of Soundcaster, Byzance Pure/Traditional getting bored.
expand the sonic palette of our electronic and Generation X models offering everything We’ve reviewed many Toontrack packs here PRICES
£52
kits. It’s a simple formula, but one that from meat and potatoes crashes, rides and at Rhythm, both for EZ Drummer and Superior
delivers more often than not. This time hi-hats through to effects cymbals, such as Drummer, and we’ll reiterate for those who TYPE
they’re collaborating with Lamb Of God’s bells and filter chinas. Finally, there’s the snare haven’t already delved into the world of Sample expansion pack
Chris Adler, one of modern metal’s most locker, boasting samples of Chris’ small-but- triggering from their electronic kits: buy a COMPATIBILITY
influential drummers, who has also done mighty 12"x5½" Warbird snare, a 13"x6" Black copy of EZ Drummer 2. EZ Drummer 2,
stints with Megadeth, Testament and more. Panther Nomad Brass, 14"x6½" Black Panther Superior Drummer 3
Hammered Brass, 14"x8" Gretsch USA and the REQUIREMENTS
VERDICT: With so many great add-on
Build matching 14"x6" Pearl Reference.
packs available, it’s really a no-brainer.
3GB disc space,
For Drums Of Destruction, Adler’s monstrous 2GB RAM
Drums Of Destruction is a genre-
Mapex Versatus kit (2x 22", 10", 12", 16", 18") Hands On specific pack, but if you want heavy, SOUNDS
was recorded at Hybrid Studios in Santa Ana, With Toontrack’s output verging on prolific as we reckon it’s the best Toontrack has 41
California after Adler had tracked the drums for of late, now is a good time to remind ourselves offered yet.
PRESETS
LoG’s (recorded as Burn The Priest), Legion: XX of the price tag for this set of sounds. At two BUILD QUALITY 19
album in 2018. Chris’ drum sound is always pounds over £50, we’re getting some seriously PLAYABILITY CONTACT
clear and articulate, with his distinctive strong pedigree with this. The sounds are VALUE FOR MONEY Time and Space
high-pitched (by current standards) Warbird exactly what we’d hoped for: clear without RATING 01837 55200
snare sound allowing for fast playing to come being polite, aggressive without being toontrack.com

WWW.MUSICRADAR.COM/RHYTHM | MARCH 2019 91


GEAR REVIEW

PEARL SESSION
STUDIO SELECT
From £215 Pearl revives an old series, bringing in hybrid
shells and up to the minute sizing with impressive results
WORDS: ADAM JONES

T
hanks to the perennial success
of its Export kit – a category of Also try…
its own as much as a product
name – Pearl is a brand name
familiar to non-drummers (and even
non-musicians) across the world. Away
from the company’s dominance of the
entry-level, Pearl caters for every
conceivable price point, right up to its 1
bespoke Masterworks series. The Session MAPEX SATURN V
Studio Select kit on review here pitches
head first into the mid-range moshpit
TOUR EDITION
We say: “Stunning
with intent. finishes, sturdy build
First launched in 1992, the Session and bags of low-end;
the Tour Edition is a
Studio Select series went through various
welcome addition to the
incarnations before being discontinued in Mapex family.”
2000. Now, after two years of R&D,
including input from Pearl endorsees, the
series has been revived. Slotting between
the Masters Maple Complete and Crystal
Beat series in Pearl’s line-up, the
revamped range replaces the Session
Studio Classic line.
2
Build LUDWIG
Four shellpacks are available with bass
drum diameters ranging from the petite NEUSONIC
(18") through to the heavyweight (24") and SERIES KIT
We say: “An admirably
a wide selection of individual drums can
simple kit to own and
also be ordered. The review kit is a play; lightweight,
four-piece comprising an undrilled 20"x14" quick to respond
bass drum, 10"x7" and 12"x8" toms and with a fully open and
satisfying tone.”
a 14"x14" floor tom. The matching
14"x5½" snare also included is one of
three models offered.
The shells return to the original hybrid
of birch and mahogany found on the first
Session Studio Select kits (by the time of
its discontinuation the formula had been
dropped for alternative woods). They’re
thin – 5.4mm and 6-ply – and are made up
of five outer plies of Masters-grade birch
and a single inner ply of African
mahogany. The blend of woods is intended A HIGHER CALLING
to maximise the clarity of the birch and The revived Session Studio
bottom-end capabilities of the mahogany. Select series brings with it
Allied to this (and utilising Pearl’s features and details sourced
Masterworks knowledge and resources) from top-end Pearl ranges
the bearing edges are cut at 60 degrees

92 | MARCH 2019 WWW.MUSICRADAR.COM/RHYTHM


and gently rounded towards the outer Pearl); no prizes for guessing which triple-flanged 2.3mm SuperHoop II
edge in order to further boost mid and colour adorns the review kit. Deep, hoops are found on the snare and Essential spec
low frequencies. Pearl is one of the few glossy and very, erm, black, the finish toms whilst the bass drum comes with
drum companies still building shells using is excellent. The shell hardware is typically matching wood hoops. Pearl’s unique
scarf joints – a tapered overlap of the plies robust – chunky bass drum spurs and OptiMounts – solidly engineered but
as opposed to butting them together to heavy duty floor tom brackets and legs not the most graceful of solutions – are
create a straight joint – and peering down sourced from Pearl’s Masters range. utilised to suspend the toms (as the bass
into the shells to view the results gives an In contrast to the low mass doctrine drum has no mount, two pairs of clamps
immediate impression of craftsmanship. commonly ascribed to in modern drum and tom arms are supplied as well). The PRICES
Pearl Session Studio
Outside, the shells come in a choice manufacturing the RF flat lugs fitted to kit is shod with a full complement of Select four-piece
of two lacquer finishes – Gloss Barnwood the drums deliberately add weight to the Remo heads, including Pinstripes for shellpack (20"x14",
Brown and Piano Black – or a single shells as they, according to Pearl, increase the toms. 10"x7", 12"x8", 14"x14"):
Delmar wrap (Nicotine White Marine volume and control overtones. Pearl’s £1,139; Pearl Session
Hands On Studio Select 14"x5½"
snare drum: £215
While shorter tom depths have been
ITALLSTARTS WITH THE SHELLS recognised for their tonal qualities for SHELLS
5.4mm 6-ply birch/
some time, shorter bass drums are a
A thin blend of Masters grade birch and mahogany hybrid
relatively new trend. With a modest 20"
African mahogany echoes the shells of the BEARING EDGES
diameter, how does that 14" depth sound?
original Session Studio Select drums 60-degree outer bearing
Well, revelatory, actually. Stepping the
edge gently rounded,
bass drum for the first time – ie. before accurately cut
we’ve even tuned it – the sound it
FINISHES
produces is gorgeous. Wide open the AVAILABLE
drum gives a guttural blat of front note Lacquers: Gloss
that then resonates warmly into a natural Barnwood Brown, Piano
decay. It’s somewhere between John Black, Delmar;
Wrap: Nicotine White
Bonham and Keith Carlock in its tone and Marine Pearl
presence but does so without shaking dust
from the ceiling joists. Unlike a bigger HOOPS
Pearl triple-flanged
drum it will not deliver impenetrable
2.3mm SuperHoop II on
depth but what it does do is just so right snare and toms;
that we find ourselves re-evaluating Matching wooden hoops
exactly what a bass drum should bring to on bass drum
the table. SHELL
If the bass drum hits the spot then the AVAILABILITY
toms seem engaged in their own private Bass drums: 18"x14",
20"x14", 22"x16",
battle to prove which of them carries the 24”x14";
perfect balance of projection and Snares: 14"x5½",
saturation. It’s a tricky one to adjudicate 14"x6½", 14"x8";
because each of the toms gives such a fat, Rack toms: 8"x7",
10"x7", 12"x8", 13"x9",
rounded response that choosing between
14"x10";
them is impossible. Even with the fitted Floor toms: 14"x14",
Pinstripes they really punch through – 16"x16", 18"x16";
thanks to the birch – whilst the mahogany Gong bass drum:
20"x14"
adds irresistible mid and low-end grunt.
With eyes closed you’d be forgiven for SUPPLIED HEADS
thinking you were playing a larger set of Bass drum: Remo
sizes as, individually and collectively, they Powerstroke clear batter
and white ported front
sound bigger than their actual dimensions, head;
without resorting to loosening off the Snare: Remo white
tension rods. coated Ambassador and
Space permits me from covering the clear snareside;
Toms: Remo clear
snare in detail... in brief, it combines the Pinstripe batters and
best characteristics of the hybrid shells clear Ambassador
with a razor-sharp response. resonants
LUGS PER DRUM
VERDICT: There’s a lot to like about Bass drum: 16;
this kit. The birch/mahogany shells are Snare drum: 10;
cracking, the sizing is right up to the double-ended lugs;
minute and the fixtures and fittings Rack toms: 12;
are all high spec. With a good range of Floor tom: 16
alternative shellpacks and individual
drums to chose from it’s definitely a TOM MOUNTS
range to check out. Pearl OptiMount
Suspension System

SHORT AND SWEET BUILD QUALITY


PLAYABILITY
CONTACT
Pearl Europe
The 20"x14" bass drum VALUE FOR MONEY pearleurope.com
delivers a cavernous sound RATING 00800 8424 9328
at a reasonable volume

WWW.MUSICRADAR.COM/RHYTHM MARCH 2016 | 93


GEAR REVIEW

IMPRESSION DARK
SERIES CYMBALS
From £165 Turkish cymbalsmiths set
out to impress with new Dark Series
WORDS: TOM BRADLEY

E
stablished nine years ago in
Istanbul, Impression creates
genuine handmade Turkish
cymbals using traditional
methods. With an enormous 12 series’
already in the line-up, styles range across
the board from Traditional, Jazz and Dry
Jazz to Rock, Hard and Trash. This issue,
we get hands on with the new Dark Series.

Build
There are a whopping 35 different models Also try…
that make up the Dark Series across
hi-hats, rides, crashes, splashes, chinas
and bell types. For review we have a small
cross-section of this substantial line-up in
the shape of 14" hi-hats, 16" and 18"
crashes and 21" and 22" rides. Prices start
at £165 for the smaller 16" crash and climb 1
to £315 for the 22" ride – reasonable, but ZILDJIAN K
still very much in the high-end.
CUSTOM
Each cymbal is unlathed top and
bottom except for a small band around the SPECIAL DRY
We say: “Zildjian has
outside edge. With the exception of the delivered exactly what it
hi-hats this lathed section actually gets set out to do with this
thinner as the cymbal sizes increase. The re-vamped range of
22" ride for example has a 3mm band
while the 16" crash is 7mm.
Special Dry cymbals.
Catering for more CHOOSE YOUR WEAPON
This unlathed finish gives each cymbal
modern tastes, the The Dark Series boasts a huge
cymbals are actually
an individual earthy brown appearance. surprisingly versatile.” 35 cymbals in the range
Streaks of black and large sections of
darker browns make for interesting visuals review are relatively thin and delicate, so blanks to the chosen size and thickness,
and leaves no two cymbals quite the they’re probably not the best choice for they are shocked in boiling water (rather
same. This raw finish allows the Dark hard hitters. than cold), which Impression suggests
Series cymbals to live up to their name All Impression cymbals are results in better quality bronze with
aesthetically but should also impact the manufactured from B20 bronze using superior acoustic qualities. The trade-off is
overall tone in comparison to a traditional traditional casting, lathing and hammering that it makes the hammering process a
or brilliant finish. The baked-on patina is 2 techniques. After rolling the cast cymbal much longer one. This labour is reflected
surprisingly smooth to the touch, SABIAN BIG AND
particularly on the playing surfaces, which
have been sanded back. The undersides
UGLY RIDES "UNLIKE MANY MODERN DARK
We say: “Don’t be
are a little darker and more textured. In
fact, rubbing them actually leaves black
misled by the jokey
name and bizarre AND DRY STYLE CYMBALS, THE
residue on our fingertips. Each cymbal is finishes, Sabian has
produced a stunning IMPRESSION DARK SERIES
MANAGES TO MAINTAIN A
signed under the bell by the cymbalsmith and intriguing set of
and also marked with its weight in grams. high-end, provocative,
The 21" and 22" rides, for example, come
in at 2,220g and 2,390g respectively.
challenging, complex,
dark and great-to-play PLEASING LEVEL OF RESONANCE,
Overall, the cymbals we have here for
cymbals.”
PARTICULARLY IN THE RIDES"
94 | MARCH 2019 WWW.MUSICRADAR.COM/RHYTHM
SIGNATURE CYMBAL
Each cymbal is signed under
the bell by the cymbalsmith
and marked with its weight

AU NATUREL
Dark Series cymbals are
unlathed top and bottom except
for a thin band around the edge

Essential spec

The hi-hats are particularly thin with a


substantial degree of flexibility. The
bottom hat is only marginally heavier than PRICES
the top; this combination gives the hi-hats 14" hi-hat: £270;
a soft playing feel and makes them 16" crash: £165;
UNDER THE HAMMER particularly satisfying to dig into. Tonally, 18" crash: £200;
21" ride: £285;
Each cymbal goes through an they are quite brash, particularly when 22" ride: £315
intensive hand-hammering process playing into the edge. With this somewhat
ALLOY USED
harsh attack it could be considered a bold
Hand-hammered
move to use them as your main set. That B20 bronze
OLD-SCHOOL said, they can cut through a mix like
nobody’s business. It comes as a surprise,
FINISH
Impression cymbals are traditionally then, that the stepped hi-hat is extremely
Unlathed top and
bottom
handmade in Istanbul, Turkey quiet – barely audible within the mix of a
MODELS
full kit. Even in a jazz context they lack any AVAILABLE
real definition. Rides: 19", 20", 21", 22",
in the surface of each cymbal of which a wondrously low-pitched wash that isn’t Despite working well together as an 24";
every inch is absolutely peppered with at all overpowering. overall set, the rides operate in much Crashes: 14", 15", 16",
17", 18", 19", 20";
hammer marks. The 16" and 18" crashes are a trashier more versatile territory, while the hi-hats
Hi-hats: 12", 13", 14", 15",
pair that are more akin to the modern dry and crashes certainly feel more specialist 16";
Hands On cymbals mentioned earlier; think along in their nature. Splashes: 6", 8", 10", 12";
Unlike many modern dark and dry style the lines of K Custom Special Dry or Chinas: 8", 10", 12", 14",
VERDICT: The rides and 18" crash are 16", 17", 18", 19", 20",
cymbals, the Impression Dark Series Byzance Extra Dry. The 16" is super-short
near faultless, while the other crashes 22", 24";
manages to maintain a pleasing level of and lacks complexity. For our tastes it Bells: 6", 8", 10"
and hi-hats will be more a matter of
resonance, particularly when it comes to would work much better as part of a trash
personal taste. There’s plenty to like MANUFACTURING
the rides. Both the 21" and 22" have a crisp stack than as a standalone crash. The about the Impression Dark Series and METHOD
stick definition. The larger sibling is more 18", however, is absolutely superb. It you should find a sound for you, Cast and hand
delicate, while the smaller, thicker cymbal opens up rapidly, unleashing a spiky yet however, heavy hitters should hammered
is a little louder and produces more ping. musical note and disappears with a approach with caution. COUNTRY OF
Bells are surprisingly defined, particularly medium to short decay. Sharing MANUFACTURE
BUILD QUALITY
on the 22". The bell of the 21" elicits much similarities with an O-Zone or EFX style Turkey
PLAYABILITY
more of the overall cymbal tone, which cymbal it unleashes quickly without being CONTACT
VALUE FOR MONEY
imbues it with greater complexity. Both too harsh, and it feels at home in so many
RATING impressioncymbals.com
cymbals crash beautifully, exploding with musical styles. octavedistribution.com

WWW.MUSICRADAR.COM/RHYTHM MARCH 2019 | 95


GEAR REVIEW

VINTAGE GEAR

GRETSCH
ROUND BADGE KIT
This Gretsch kit and Eddie Ryan snare were
played by Henry Spinetti on the worldwide
Circa
1960s
hit song ‘Baker Street’ by Gerry Rafferty
WORDS: GEOFF NICHOLLS PHOTOS: JAMES CUMPSTY, SIMON JOHN VINTAGE DRUM SHOW

W
hen Beatle George Harrison stain finish and eventually I took it to Eddie The drum has a rare Canasonic
died Eric Clapton led a Ryan and asked him to do something similar.” batter head, about which Henry
heartfelt tribute show at the Henry then added two small matching recalls: “I was in Drum City and I
Royal Albert Hall – the single-headed toms – an 8" and 10", built by remember thinking, ‘That’s a funny
wonderful 2002 Concert For George. Clapton Eddie. The kit was further supplemented with colour skin.’ I ended up buying three
band members formed the house band, with Gretsch octagonal badge 13"x9" and 16"x16" – one was woven and yellow and
Henry Spinetti on drums. You can see him toms. “I took all the drums to Eddie and said extremely dry, with Studio written on
performing this pivotal job brilliantly, can you make them the same colour? The 8" it. Then there was the Medium (seen
sandwiched between Ringo and Jim Keltner, and 10" haven’t been out for years, but you here) and a thicker one.
steering the mega-star guest artists through had to have all those toms back then. You “We were in Chipping Norton
the entire evening. start out on a four-piece jazz kit and you end Studios doing the Gerry Rafferty album
By then Henry was playing Sonor, but up on one!” and they were not too sure about the
earlier in his session career – roughly between The original kit also included the pictured sound of that snare drum. It was a very
1976 and 1991 – this Gretsch kit was his go-to chrome-on-brass snare. As for the 14"x6" dead room, actually not that great to
studio set. Henry played it on dates with Eddie Ryan wood snare, Henry reveals: “Eddie play in, not much vibe. So I said to them,
an ‘A’ list of artists from Joan Armatrading said I have this shell that someone ordered ‘Okay’, and I put the Canasonic on and
and Roger Daltrey, to Bob Dylan and and now they don’t want, it’s gonna sound they really liked it. It’s been on ever
Paul McCartney. great. So I bought it and it ended up on City To since. So ‘Baker Street’ has the
The kit is a 1960s round badge Gretsch in City (Gerry Rafferty, 1978) and ‘Baker Street’.” Canasonic head.”
standard small sizes, 20"x14", 12"x8" and
14"x14", plus a 14"x5" eight lug model 4160
metal snare drum (with octagonal 1970s “I PUT THAT CANASONIC HEAD ON
badge). Henry bought the kit in 1976 from AND THEY LIKED IT. IT’S BEEN ON
EVER SINCE. SO ‘BAKER STREET’
Andrew Steele, the drummer he replaced in
The Herd.
“Andrew had stripped it to the natural
wood, and I played it like that for quite a
HAS THE CANASONIC HEAD”
while,” says Henry. “Gretsch had a nice walnut OWNER HENRY SPINETTI.

Q CHROME ON BRASS SNARE Q ROGERS SWIV-O-MATIC SPURS Q PREMIER DOUBLE 392 TOM MOUNT
Octagonal badge Model 4160 chrome-on-brass snare drum with The bass drum has been fitted with Rogers Swiv-O-Matic spurs, a Many sets from this period were retro-fitted with Premier’s
Lightning throw-off and 42 strand snare wires. common modification back in the 1960s. Lokfast hardware which was affordable and extra-sturdy.

96 | MARCH 2019 WWW.MUSICRADAR.COM/RHYTHM


CLASSIC KIT

Q LACQUER FINISH
Need to know
The kit was stripped and stained
by Eddie Ryan to approximate the
Walnut and Red Rosewood finishes
introduced by Gretsch around 1977

HENRY SPINETTI
Henry is the brother of
actor Victor Spinetti who
featured in Beatles films.
Henry played this kit on
Paul McCartney’s ‘Once
Upon A Long Ago’ (1987).
ROUND
BADGE ERA
Gretsch kits from the
1950s and 60s have been
a mainstay of studio
recording for numerous
top session players.
CANASONIC
Q SMALL TOM HEADS
Part of ‘That Great Gretsch Sound’ Canasonic fibreglass
is undoubtedly due to the unusual heads were popular in
five lug 12" tom and the famously the late 1970s and
hefty die-cast hoops feature on Steely Dan’s
‘Peg’ (Aja, 1977), played
by Rick Marotta, as well
as on ‘Baker Street’.

IN ASSOCIATION WITH…

Q BASS DRUM HOOPS


The front hoop was supplied by
Eddie Ryan, while the batter hoop Q EDDIE RYAN SNARE DRUM
was a non-specific on-the-spot This one-off 14”x6” Eddie Ryan
purchase from a drum shop custom built snare drum was played
by Henry on numerous sessions

WWW.MUSICRADAR.COM/RHYTHM MARCH 2019 | 97


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MONTH IN

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GEAR
ON SALE
12 MAR
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* contents subject to change


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