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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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Now displaying: March, 2020
Mar 31, 2020

Joe and Torche's Rick Smith first met when their respective bands shared a bill in Dallas, TX, in 2008. The two reconnected last year when Rick was in Los Angeles, touring behind Torche's excellent new album, Admission.

During the age of social distancing, we're releasing new episodes every day.

 

Mar 29, 2020

Ben Gibbard is best known as the vocalist and guitarist of Death Cab for Cutie, and as co-founder of The Postal Service. Ben and Joe discuss: songwriting; the challenge of creative evolution; existential dread; and life in quarantine.

Mar 29, 2020

Armed with a background in orchestral percussion, hand drumming, and jazz studies, Andrya Ambro possesses a uniquely compositional drum set style and is a proud member of the Singing Drummer Club. A resident of New York City, Andrea tells Joe about how she is handling the current pandemic; growing up in Delaware; the influence her older brother had in shaping her musical awareness; getting kicked out of jazz school; finding her voice via hand drumming; and the internal debate around whether her dedication to music would preclude her from becoming the kind of parent she'd want to be.

Mar 28, 2020

Billy Martin joins Joe to discuss: how his parents met at Radio City Music Hall (she--a Rockette, he--a musician); his childhood affinity for Jacques Cousteau; how going to the movies informed his inner world; some of his key mentors; the difference between dead music and live music; and why he considers himself an experimental artist.

Mar 27, 2020

Matt Sharp and Joe gulped down thick, black coffee and hung out for well over two hours. We discussed: Matt's itinerant childhood as the son of a government contractor; working with brilliant producers such as Ric Ocasek; how his first band--Weezer--willed themselves to success; working with Nick Zinner and Ronnie Vanucci on the new Rentals album, Q36; and collaborating with multimedia artists via the HITRECORD platform.

Mar 26, 2020

The legendary Billy Gibbons joins Joe to discuss: his love of Fugazi; studying percussion with Tito Puente; attending art school in Hollywood; Roky Erickson; his uncle, Cedric Gibbons, the most awarded art director in history; and why--after over 50 years as a band--it's still a joy to play with ZZ Top.

Mar 25, 2020

Mike Bordin delivers trance inducing rhythmic patterns with earth-shattering power. This inimitable style places him in the pantheon of all-time great rock drummers. Mike and Joe discuss: Mike's journalist grandfather who worked as editor of The Milwaukee Sentinel; how Mike and his childhood friend, legendary bassist Cliff Burton, began playing their respective instruments together; how music saved Mike's life; how he developed his explosive drum technique; the steady trajectory of Faith No More; hanging out around Tony Williams; playing with Ozzy; and Mike's preference for living in the present.

Mar 24, 2020

Chad Clark's parents were attorneys positioned at the vanguard of the civil rights movement, representing the likes of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and James Baldwin. Ergo, Chad feels that--however lofty his ambitions--he'll never impact the world to the same degree as his family. That said, his music is enormously impactful on the folks lucky enough to have heard it. He and Joe discuss: his first memory of staring at the sea; the nature of success; the responsibilities of an artist, beyond making the art; Chad's roots in the DC punk scene; and why he is proud to remain in his home town.

Mar 23, 2020

Before attaining massive success with Red Hot Chili Peppers, Flea was a wild child, roaming the streets of Hollywood. He and Joe discuss: the unfamiliar vulnerability he faced when writing his excellent memoir Acid for the Children; the cathartic experience of translating traumatic memories to text; the spiritual connection between jazz and punk rock; the seeming decline of active listening; and the kind of connection he seeks with drummers.

Mar 22, 2020

Cedric Bixler-Zavala is best known as the explosive vocalist for bands like The Mars Volta and At The Drive-In, but he is also an accomplished drummer. He and Joe discuss: a punk rock video arcade in El Paso, TX; drumming in punk band Foss with Beto O'Rourke; the unique story behind his surname; selling bootlegged cigarettes on tour to make ends meet, just before experiencing explosive success; 90s punk dogma; and the lifelong creative dynamic between himself and his creative brother, Omar Rodríguez-López.

As a bonus, Craig Wedren, who happens to be a creative influence on both Joe and Cedric, drops by to talk about his meditative Sabbath Sessions.

Because we're in lockdown due to the Corona virus outbreak. We're recording by phone and bringing you new episodes of The Trap Set every day for the foreseeable future.

Mar 21, 2020

Joan Wasser began her career as a session musician for artists like Elton John, Lou Reed, John Cale, and Sparklehorse. It wasn't until she was in her 30s, that Joan began writing her own, highly-acclaimed material as Joan As Policewoman. She and Joe spend an hour discussing the songwriting process and how personal loss pushed them both to discover their creative voices.

Mar 19, 2020

Sean Tillmann and Joe met when Sean played in Joe's basement in the late '90s. Sean tells Joe about: his early love of community theater; the origins of his ambitious nature; creating his Har Mar Superstar alter ego; losing his way in LA; why he decided to get sober; and how a series of coloring books can help those in need.

During the age of social distancing, we're recording remotely and releasing daily episodes.

Mar 18, 2020

For nearly 40 years, The Melvins have been an astounding live band and peerless in their prolific ability to create a consistently adventurous body of work--a musical universe unto itself. Buzz Osborne discusses: his childhood in WA; feeling comfortable around firearms; being too smart to enjoy school; writing his memoir; the discipline required to maintain a career as a professional musician; dogs; his songwriting process, and more!

Because we're in lockdown due to the Corona virus outbreak. We're recording by phone and bringing you new episodes of The Trap Set every day for the foreseeable future.

Mar 17, 2020

Because many of you are on lockdown due to the Corona virus outbreak. We're bringing you new episodes of The Trap Set every day for the foreseeable future.

Today's episode features the inimitable Meshell Ndegeocello. Meshell has charted a wildly adventurous artistic course over the past 30+ years, and throughout it all, she has retained a unique creative fingerprint.

Meshell and Joe talk about: achieving a balance between honoring one's own creative vision and facilitating that of others; Meshell's rich inner world, which she first developed during childhood; the DC go-go scene; becoming a professional musician while caring for a baby; and reconciling the call of the muse with the desire to entertain a crowd.

Mar 16, 2020

Life has slowed down as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic, so we're using the extra time at home as an opportunity to create and release a new episode of The Trap Set everyday until further notice. We'll record by phone, and--by necessity--experiment with a more raw and immediate production style. It's our hope that these daily episodes will give you a sense of community amidst the larger social distance.

Today's guest is Laura Veirs. Laura is a songwriter with over ten albums to her name, both as a solo artist and as a member of the supergroup Case, Lang, Veirs. Laura and Joe talk about how they met during a Fred Armisen comedy show; how they helped each other creatively; and how Laura is experiencing a post-divorce creative renaissance.

Touring is on hold, so please make sure to support Laura by purchasing her albums!

Mar 4, 2020

Mike Post started out as a studio guitarist, recording on hits such as Sunny and Cher's "I Got You Babe." As a producer, he won a Grammy for "Classical Gas" in 1968 and worked with artists ranging from Sammy Davis Jr., to Dolly Parton (on her smash 9 to 5 album), to Van Halen.

But Mike is best known as the preeminent television composer of his generation. Often in conjunction with his longtime composing partner, the late Pete Carpenter, Mike crafted thematic earworms that reside in the collective consciousness. The A-Team, Doogie Howser, Quantum Leap, LA Law, Hill Street Blues, The Greatest American Hero, and the entire Law & Order Franchise represent just a slice of a body of work comprising thousands of hours of television music.

Mike discusses his decades spanning career, and he and Joe recall the unusual way they became friends.

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