Martin Chamber’s deft, propulsive drumming style helped The Pretenders break out of the British punk scene to become one of the world’s best-loved pop bands. Martin talks to Joe about how drums just made sense to him, working with Chrissie Hynde, destroying hotel rooms, parenthood, the gift of hindsight and the tragic death of The Pretenders co-founders Pete Farndon and James Honeyman-Scott.
In this bonus mini-episode, Martin Chambers--of The Pretenders--answers listeners' questions.
Jeremiah Green's brilliant style of drumming walks the fine line between chaos and control. He talks to Joe about challenging family situations; learning to manage depression; co-founding, leaving, and returning to Modest Mouse; and personal evolution.
Davey Brozowski's versatility has led to collaborations with Black Whales, The Catheters, Modest Mouse, Danger Mouse, and more. He tells Joe about how he joined Modest Mouse; teenage tours; creating an artisanal soap company; and working with legendary drum builder (and past guest) Gregg Keplinger.
Joey Waronker possesses a powerful groove and a gift for nuance and shading. These attributes--combined with a deep understanding of production and a knack for electronic percussion--are what distinguish him as one of the leading drummers of the modern paradigm. He tells Joe about growing up in a musical family; studying with the legendary Freddie Gruber; his love of the punk label, SST Records; overcoming his neuroses through therapy; and working with artists like Beck and REM. He also answers listener questions.
Coady Willis has been busy for the past two decades, powering some of the heaviest bands to emerge from Washington State. He tells Joe about a corrupt martial arts instructor; tour adventures with The Murder City Devils; achieving a balance between self confidence and self doubt; forming Big Business with Jared Warren; turning off "the passenger"; and joining forces with Melvins.
Throughout a career that has spanned over five decades, Airto Moreira has distinguished himself as an exceptionally innovative percussionist, singer, and composer. He tells Joe about his upbringing in rural Brazil, his early gigs on horseback, arriving in New York, recording the landmark Bitches Brew record with Miles Davis, collaborating with his wife--singer Flora Purim, and his sense of spirituality. A great conversation with one of the greatest musicians of our time.
Carla Azar answers listeners' questions about PJ Harvey, Jim Keltner, Elvis Costello, and...paradiddles.
Carla Azar has worked with everyone from PJ Harvey to Jack White, but her soulfully bionic style crystallized within Autolux, a trio she co-founded in 2001. She tells Joe about her childhood in Alabama, being mentored by T Bone Burnett, the inner workings of Autolux, acting in "Frank", and overcoming tragedy by aiming for the light.
Although they were only active for five years during their initial run, Drive Like Jehu was one of the most beloved and influential rock bands of the 90s. Mark Trombino's grooves, which achieved a crucial balance between cerebral cleverness and visceral power, were--in part--the product of his obsessive nature. He tells Joe about how, after the band broke up, he was able to channel his perfectionism into a successful career as a producer, and yet another career as a restaurateur.
Chris Wilson's exceptional drumming helped establish Ted Leo and the Pharmacists as one of the most compelling bands of their generation. Chris tells Joe about listening to "Rhiannon" on the eight track in his mom's Camaro, losing his father at a young age, learning to be less self-critical, and overcoming a guidance counselor's low expectations to realize his dreams.
While he was still a teenager, London May made his first recordings with Reptile House for legendary label Dischord. Soon, he joined forces with rock icon, Glenn Danzig, in the band Samhain. He talks to Joe about his childhood as a punk rocker in Baltimore; working with a young Dan Higgs in Reptile House; being the father to a business-minded son; and his multifaceted career as a drummer, actor, pediatric nurse.
It's Episode 100, and our first guest, Fugazi's Brendan Canty, returns as guest host to extract the origin story of Joe Wong and The Trap Set. Joe talks about his childhood in Milwaukee; meeting his composing partner in the experimental theater scene; scoring for film and tv; and his time with artists such as Parts & Labor, Mary Timony, Marnie Stern, and Akarso.
By the time Ernie Isley joined his family's band at age 15, The Isley Brothers had already made major contributions to popular music, penning "Shout" and "Twist and Shout". A dexterous multi-instrumentalist and prolific songwriter, Ernie helped usher the group to new creative and commercial heights. He tells Joe about the band's six-decade-long legacy, losing his father, living with Jimi Hendrix, overcoming creative blocks, and writing the ultimate baby-making music.
For the past four decades, Amy Knoles has pushed the boundaries of percussion and contemporary music in general. As the executive director of California E.A.R. unit, she has championed the work of living composers worldwide. She serves as a mentor to bright, young musicians at CalArts. As a composer, she stretches the limits of sound and light. She's also worked in the rock world, with everyone from Flea to Zappa. She and Joe talk about their native Milwaukee, empathy, embracing lack of control, and how much crying is healthy.
Matt Tong's inventively staggered grooves and unhinged energy helped launch Bloc party to critical acclaim and worldwide commercial success. He talks to Joe about how he developed his unique style, issues unique to half-Asian people, why he left Bloc Party abruptly, couples therapy, and overcoming creative fear.
As the drummer for The Locust, Gabe Serbian powered one of the most unique, frenetic, and influential bands to hail from the fertile San Diego rock scene of the 90s. Gabe talks to Joe about growing up in a suburban nightmare, discovering metal and punk, ditching school to play drums, trashing the house of an enemy, and how fatherhood changed his life.
Matt Cameron burst onto the Seattle rock scene in the early 80s. His singular style combines brute force, exceptional finesse, and a keen compositional sensibility. Matt tells Joe about his SoCal childhood; why--despite a lot of hard work--he considers himself lucky; his tenure with Soundgarden and Pearl Jam; his parenting style; and why he doesn’t think of himself as a rock star. This is a great talk with one of best drummers working today!
In this bonus mini-episode, Matt Cameron answers listeners’ questions. He discusses Elvin, Tony, Gadd, spirit animals, rim shots, artistic instincts, musical confidence, click tracks, and more!
As drummer for Sunny Day Real Estate, William Goldsmith was the emotional core of one of the most influential and enigmatic rock bands of his generation. He was invited to join Dave Grohl as the drummer for the first incarnation of Foo Fighters, but it wasn’t a good fit. William sits down with Joe for an emotional, raw, and honest telling of his remarkable story.
As the founding drummer of The Cure, Lol Tolhurst developed a unique style that is sometimes wild and tribal, sometimes precise and machine-like. He tells Joe about growing up in postwar UK; his lifelong friendship with The Cure frontman, Robert Smith; developing the band's sound through the process of elimination; overcoming addiction; and why he is now open to whatever possibilities the universe presents.
In this bonus, mini-episode, Carmine Appice remembers his relationship with the great Buddy Rich. You can hear Carmine's full episode by subscribing to The Trap Set for free.
While most drummers strive to "play for the song", Zach Barocas's unique, innovative drumming is an essential element of the song. He tells Joe about growing up in Rochester, NY; the unusual way he joined the legendary DC band Jawbox; and overcoming struggles with addiction.
Adam Wade's inventive, angular drumming first emerged in the early 1990s, as DC punk bands began experimenting with more complex, sophisticated song structures than their hardcore predecessors. Adam tells Joe about growing up in Greenwich Village; his time with two highly influential bands--Jawbox and Shudder to Think; how he evolved as a person when he stopped touring; and how he overcame artistic numbness.
Carmine Appice first achieved mainstream recognition as the drummer for Vanilla Fudge. Over the subsequent 50 years, he has established himself as one of the most influential drummers in the history of rock. Carmine tells Joe about his time in a gang; collaborating with Cactus, Rod Stewart, and Vanilla Fudge; and why he was compelled to sleep with 4501 women.