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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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Jun 1, 2016

Daru Jones was born to two church music directors; and although he is rooted in Gospel music, he was also drawn to jazz and hip hop at a young age. He tells Joe about living in both the sacred and secular worlds; his genre spanning career; running his own label, Rusic Records; and how faith informs his life.

Jun 1, 2016

Peter Erskine talks about generosity among drummers and jazz musicians in general. Don't be a dick, share your knowledge.

May 25, 2016

Gina Schock moved from Baltimore to Los Angeles with the intention of becoming a rock star, and she soon fulfilled her dreams as the drummer of The Go-Go's. Gina's monstrous groove and distinctively catchy beats proved integral to the band's iconic sound. She tells Joe about ruling the pop charts; moving forward after the band's initial run, writing hits for Disney stars; recovering from drug addiction; and why she loves music as much as ever.

May 25, 2016

In this bonus mini-episode, Gina Schock answers questions from Jon Wurster, Maggie Vail, Danny Frankel, and more!

May 18, 2016

Sara Lund plays drums with a mesmeric groove and enough bombast to make even the most angular rhythms feel compelling. She tells Joe about her childhood as the daughter of a folklorist and potter; the formative experience of seeing Sheila E. and Prince on the Purple Rain tour; discovering punk rock; navigating through difficult band dynamics in the highly influential Unwound; and recovering from heartbreak by reconnecting with music.

May 11, 2016

Kellii Scott moved to Los Angeles at age 17 with dreams of rock stardom. He finally accomplished this goal as the drummer for Failure's acclaimed 1996 album, Fantastic Planet. After the dissolution of the band, he stayed busy as an artist but fell deep into drug addiction and homelessness. He tells Joe how he got sober, learned to forge lasting relationships, and why he loves his life now more than ever.

May 4, 2016

At various stages in his life, Charlie Hall has been a drummer, guitarist, keyboardist, teacher, and social worker. He tells Joe about his Muppet drum set; the inner workings of The War On Drugs; his fascination with group dynamics; and jazz hats. (The previous version of this episode was corrupted. If you originally downloaded prior to Wed., 14:30 GMT, please re-download!)

Apr 27, 2016

Peter Erskine started his career with the great Stan Kenton, and his career reached new heights when he joined Weather Report in the late 1970s. He tells his Joe about his musical childhood, his time with several iconic artists, and his underlying artistic philosophy.

Apr 22, 2016

Here at The Trap Set, there is no artist that is more loved and admired than Prince—who aside from being THE towering creative genius of his generation—was a phenomenal drummer. Though we never had an opportunity to have Prince on our show, we did have the honor of speaking with one of his closest collaborators and another rhythmic genius—Sheila E. This is a re-broadcast of our conversation from last year. Rest In Peace, Prince. Hope u are “a whole lot better off than the fools u left here.”

Apr 20, 2016

Poni Silver is the drummer for The Ettes, but her talents extend far beyond music. She tells Joe about her journey through art, dance, rollerskating, and fashion design. She explains how she learned to drum after only three lessons; why her parents were unimpressed when The Ettes played on national television; and how the band has evolved into an all encompassing arts collective.

Apr 13, 2016

Mario Rubalcaba began his professional career as a skateboarder for the legendary Team Alva. When the skateboarding boom of the late 80s imploded, Mario transitioned to life as a full time drummer. He talks to Joe about skating, knife skills, and life with influential bands such as: Off!, Earthless, and Clikitat Ikatowi.

Apr 13, 2016

In this bonus mini-episode, Pete Thomas reflects on the longevity of The Attractions; and he tells tales of touring with The Police.

Apr 8, 2016

A native of New York, Dennis Davis was immersed in jazz at a young age, and he made his mark as the drummer for groundbreaking, popular artists such as: David Bowie, Roy Ayers, Stevie Wonder, George Benson, and Iggy Pop. He talks to Joe about his mentorship with legendary drummers Max Roach and Elvin Jones; fighting in Vietnam; crafting timeless, classic albums; constant touring; racism in Boston; raising a family; and battling the disease that ultimately claimed his life.

Apr 6, 2016

Jeremy Barnes tells Joe about growing up in a military family, dropping out of school, playing in the highly influential band Neutral Milk Hotel, falling in love with Eastern European music, and evolving as a multi-instrumental artist.

Mar 30, 2016

Pete Thomas began his career in the UK Pub Rock scene, but he is best known for his 40-year association with Elvis Costello. He tells Joe about stalking Mitch Mitchell as a teenager, his working relationship with The Attractions, drinking for maximum enjoyment, getting arrested, and the existential dread that plagues us all. This episode is co-presented by our good friends at thedrummersjournal.com

Mar 23, 2016

Joe welcomes back three of your favorite guests for a live panel discussion about life, fandom and existential crises. All three guests were fans of each other and were excited to interview each other, as well as take questions from Joe and the audience. Warpaint’s Stella Mozgawa interviews Portlandia’s Fred Armisen—who began his career as a drummer. Fred interviews his favorite drummer of all time—Blondie’s Clem Burke. This episode was recorded live at The Steve Allen Theater in Los Angeles.

Mar 16, 2016

Barbara Gruska tells Joe about growing up in a musical family, forming the excellent band The Belle Brigade with her brother, and developing meditative practices to keep existential worries at bay.

Mar 9, 2016

During Part 2 of Joe's conversation with legendary drummer Dennis Chambers, Dennis talks about his recent brush with death and his subsequent recovery. He also assesses the legacy of his influential body of work.

Mar 9, 2016

Steve Gadd discusses Stuff, an incredible band he co-led with other NY studio luminaries in the 70s and early 80s.

Mar 2, 2016
After a recent, life-threatening health scare, drum legend Dennis Chambers met with Joe for a revealing, comprehensive conversation. Dennis opens up about  his mischievous childhood in Baltimore, how he fell in love with music, his time with Parliament/Funkadelic, his obsessive drive for greatness, the legacy of his groundbreaking instructional videos and, of course, his near-death experience. Part one of two. 
Feb 24, 2016

Joe traveled to Portland, OR, to record the very first live episode of The Trap Set at the world-famous Revival Drum Shop. Four of Portland's finest drummers--Janet Weiss, Spit Stix, John Moen, and John Sherman--shared their remarkable life stories. This is the first time all four drummers had been in the same place at the same time, and they bonded over the common challenges they face throughout the course of their artistic lives.

Feb 17, 2016

Jabo Starks is a stylistic chameleon who can jump from hard-driving blues shuffles; to latin-infused backbeats; to sophisticated, syncopated funk jams. His addition to James Brown's band in 1965 was crucial to the leader's evolution from traditional song forms to his own, wholly unique style. Though he is most closely associated with James Brown, Jabo has also worked blues legends such as Bobby Blue Bland and B.B. King. He tells Joe about how he fell in love with music, his journey with giants of music, and his advice for maintaining a strong family life as an artist.

Feb 10, 2016

As a member of James Brown’s band, Clyde Stubblefield created ingenious drum patterns that came to define the funk genre. Years later, Clyde became the most sampled drummer in history, powering hits by everyone from N.W.A. to Kenny G. Yet, despite his monumental contributions to music, Clyde’s name doesn’t even appear on the majority of the records on which he appears. He tells Joe about his time with James Brown, how he ended up as the house drummer on an NPR show, and why he hates the song “Funky Drummer”.

Feb 10, 2016

In this bonus mini-episode, Fluke Holland tells Joe about his signature drum sound; playing with Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins, and Johnny Cash; and why Cash chose to wear black.

Feb 3, 2016

For the One Year Anniversary episode of The Trap Set, Joe had a chance to speak to one of his favorite drummers, Steve Gadd. One of the most prolific and respected drummers of all time, Steve generously shares some hard-won wisdom about musical communication, addiction, recovery, and family. At age 70, he is still trying to achieve a difficult balance between touring, studio work, and his home life. He describes his goals for the future and reflects on what it means to, "get it right." Also: Friend of the show, Jon Wurster, calls in to wish the show a Happy Anniversary.

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