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The Trap Set with Joe Wong

Every Wednesday, Joe Wong talks to a different drummer about life as a drummer.
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The Trap Set with Joe Wong
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May 22, 2019

A consistently adventurous artist, Mary Timony inhabits the intersection of virtuosity and experimental abandon. Her diverse, decades-spanning body of work firmly establishes her as one of her generation’s preeminent songwriters and instrumentalists. She is also one of Joe’s closest friends.

Mary tells Joe about: growing up in DC; becoming a musician in spite of her traditional upbringing; battling depression; playing with Autoclave, Helium, Wild Flag, and Ex Hex; developing an acumen for the music business late in the game; and “big fat mamas”.

 

Today's episode is brought to you by SONOS.

May 15, 2019

Craig Wedren is a Midwest native whose father owned a fast food chain. He spent some time in DC, fronting the influential band Shudder to Think, while developing a career as a film composer, eventually moving to LA. In many ways, Craig’s life has the most parallels to Joe’s of any Trap Set guest.

Craig and joy discuss: divorce; Little Tavern; DC; Shudder to think; Musical Ecstasy; becoming “muted”; emerging the “muted” state via life coaching; vulnerability; and film composing.

May 8, 2019

Over the past forty years, Jay Bellerose has earned a reputation for musical excellence and rarified artistic integrity. He tells Joe about: growing up in large family in Maine; losing his father at a young age; working as a baker; the importance of being musically selective; and why he likes living at a deliberate pace.

May 1, 2019

Over the course of three excellent albums, Aldous Harding has distinguished herself as an incredibly compelling songwriter with a singular voice. Aldous and Joe discuss: impermanence, inner voices, the significance of standing up, and achieving exceptional feats as an ordinary person.

Apr 24, 2019

This week, we're hard at work recording new episodes, so we're sharing one of our all time favorite Trap Set conversations featuring the singular genius, Brian Blade.

Apr 18, 2019

Best known as the lead singer for LA band, Chicano Batman, Bardo Martinez has recently embarked on a solo career. Joe spoke to Bardo last year in front of a live audience at Ace Hotel, Palm Springs.

Apr 10, 2019

This week, we revisit one of our favorite episodes, featuring the great Mimi Parker of Low.

Apr 3, 2019

For 20 years, Tucker Rule's crisp, authoritative drumming has laid the foundation for the band Thursday. Tucker discusses: his childhood obsession with baseball; recording and touring shortly after learning to play; working with a boy band after Thursday went on hiatus; and why planking is an essential part of his daily workout routine.

Mar 27, 2019

The Zombies are, simply put, the greatest rock band in the world. This week, the band's co-founders Rod Argent and Colin Blunstone discuss: the formation of the band; why the group's initial tenure was so brief; why Colin was never jealous that Rod made more money as a songwriter; a day job with Mr. Smelly; the production of their classic Odessey and Oracle album; collaborating on Colin's revered One Year album; and why they are glad they evaded massive popularity in their youth. This episode was recorded in front of a live audience at Ace Hotel, Palm Springs.

Mar 20, 2019

This Week: Part Two of our conversation with Ian MacKaye.

Four years ago, we began The Trap Set with Fugazi drummer Brendan Canty. As we expand the show from drummers-only to all musicians, it only makes sense to begin with Brendan’s bandmate, Ian.

Mar 13, 2019

As a member of bands such as The Teen Idles, Minor Threat, Embrace, Fugazi, and The Evens—as well as co-founder of Dischord Records—Ian MacKaye has been involved in the creation and dissemination of an extraordinary amount of classic recordings. Ian met with Joe at The Dischord House in Virginia for a wide-ranging conversation that lasted nearly three hours. In this week’s installment, Ian discusses: his childhood in the Glover Park neighborhood of Washington DC; his grandmother’s advice column; his love of Ted Nugent and The Beatles; how skateboarding informed his view of the world; discovering punk rock; his lifelong entrepreneurial spirit; co-founding Dischord Records; and how he often doesn’t listen to music for the lyrics.

Four years ago, we began The Trap Set with Fugazi drummer Brendan Canty. As we expand the show from drummers-only to all musicians, it only makes sense to begin with Brendan’s bandmate, Ian. Tune in next week for Part Two!

Mar 6, 2019

Brooks Headley fell in love with music while listening to Dr. Demento on his grandmother’s radio. He’s also had a lifetime obsession with food, leading to a career working in--and eventually owning-- restaurants.

He talks to Joe about: having pragmatic dreams; being raised by an incredible, single mom; drumming for bands such as Universal Order of Armageddon, Born Against, Skull Kontrol, and (Young) Pioneers; cooking for the 1% at high-end restaurants; and how his love of fine food and punk rock converged to inform the creation of Superiority Burger, his vegan restaurant on Manhattan's Lower East Side.

Feb 6, 2019

To celebrate our 200th episode, past guest and friend of the show Patty Schemel returns, this time to interview Joe. They discuss how creating The Trap Set has affected the trajectory of Joe's life, and Joe talks about changes in store for the future of the show. Then, he answers listener questions. Thanks to all of you for listening!

Jan 30, 2019

Larry Herweg’s commanding drumming has helped shaped Pelican’s dense, longform compositions for nearly 20 years. He tells Joe about: growing up in Illinois; being a late (musical) bloomer; how a bad experience turned him off from lessons; the challenges and rewards of playing in a band with his brother; working at Whole Foods; and escaping retail to become a real estate agent.

Jan 23, 2019

In this bonus episode, Joe talks to John Good, vice president of Drum Workshop.

Jan 16, 2019

For 25 years, Zach Lind has carved a creative niche within the often rigid parameters of modern rock. He talks about: manufacturing pressure to force the creative process along; growing up with a professional baseball player for a father; being raised in a Conservative Baptist environment, and ultimately leaving the church; "musical monogamy" with the remarkably consistent Jimmy Eat World.

Jan 9, 2019

Mona Tavakoli is a modern polymath whose impressive versatility and fierce creativity have resulted in a 20 year tenure in Raining Jane, along with collaborations with artists such as Jason Mraz, Ebi, and Pat Benatar. She visited Trap Set HQ for a wide ranging conversation about: Strawberry Shortcake albums; a Tori Amos focus group; hanging out with Al Gore and Richard Branson in Antarctica; becoming Little Miss San Jose 1984; creating a signature cajon; and co-founding the non-profit Rock n’ Roll Camp for Girls.

Jan 2, 2019

Budgie has the rare ability to metabolize influences ranging from taiko to dub, from gamelan to punk to Indian classical, all into a singular, uniquely fiery artistic identity. His poetic sense of rhythm has graced recordings by a range of iconic artists, but he is perhaps known for his partnership with Siouxsie Sioux. Budgie tells Joe about: a strange sense of freedom after losing his mother at a young age; his youthful attempts at abstract expressionism; why he thinks of music in visual terms; making a secret wax effigy of Siouxsie Sioux; working with The Banshees, The Creatures, The Slits, The Indigo Girls, and John Grant; hiding from his feelings and eventually—through sobriety—coming to terms with himself; and falling in and out of love.

Dec 26, 2018

We're closing out the year by revisiting a pensive conversation with one of the greatest drummers of all time, Steve Gadd. (This episode was recorded in 2015 and originally released in early 2016.) Thanks to all of you for making Trap Set a big success in 2018; here's to 2019!

Dec 19, 2018

This week, a fascinating bonus episode with Bill Cardwell--drum builder and co-founder of C&C Drum Company. Dozens of our guests have played Bill's drums; get to know the deeply compelling person behind the instruments.

Dec 12, 2018

Illinois band Hum created an expansive sound world, and Bryan St. Pere’s drumming is the beacon that guides the listener through thick fields of distortion. Bryan tells Joe about: his fascination with Bugs; loving Neil Peart so much that he used Pert Plus shampoo as a child; coming from a “family of struggle”; having a tightly wound temperament; why recording Hum’s landmark albums was excruciatingly painful; and how the band dynamic has evolved, now that Hum is back in the studio.

Dec 5, 2018

Jason Gerken likes to party. He also has the unique ability to make unexpected musical choices sound natural and powerful. Jason tells Joe about: why his parents tried to prevent him from becoming a drummer; working with beloved KC bands Shiner and Molly McGuire; his day job managing a bar; a brush with death; learning to work through negative self talk; and an impending Shiner reunion.

Nov 28, 2018

Nabil Ayers was born into a deeply musical family and began playing drums as a toddler. Eventually, he toured and recorded with bands such as The Lemons and The Long Winters, his experiences as a drummer serving as the foundation for what has become an impressively multifaceted career in the music business. Nabil tells Joe about: being raised by a single mom; getting his first drum set from his uncle, free jazzer Alan Michael Braufman; the few interactions he’s had with his biological father, Roy Ayers; getting arrested and charged with a felony; co-founding Seattle record store, Sonic Boom; his career as a record executive; and his budding interest in writing.

Nov 21, 2018

Kevin Haskins's spare, hypnotic style laid the foundation for goth luminaries, Bauhaus. He tells Joe about: growing up in Northampton; seeing bands like The Who and Led Zeppelin; how the burgeoning punk scene gave him confidence to pursue music; playing the now-classic "Bela Lugosi's Dead" for the first time; the sense of devastation he experienced after the breakup of Bauhaus; working with subsequent bands such as Tones on Tail and Love and Rockets; and passing on his love of music to his children. Check out the new Bauhaus release "The Bela Session" out this Friday, 11/23.

Nov 14, 2018

Aaron Sterling's percussive prowess would have gotten him plenty of work during the golden age of the recording studio, but his attention to sonics and ability to self engineer make him a quintessential studio drummer for the modern paradigm. He discusses: overcoming social anxiety; working at California Pizza Kitchen; his largely unwavering musical confidence; how he built his career without compromising his values; and musical empathy.

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