You know Fred Armisen from his work on Portlandia and SNL, but before he was a comedy star, Fred was a working drummer. He charts the journey from his early fascination with music, to his time touring and recording with arty Chicago band Trenchmouth, to Blue Man Group, SNL, The 8G Band and beyond. Fred also discusses the nature of his creative drive and his relationship with success.
Ron Lynch grew up with aspirations to become a professional drummer. His aptitude for music earned him a scholarship to college, but his path soon led him to pursue comedy and acting. Ron developed his comedy chops as part of the Boston comedy scene of the 80s, that also produced Bobcat Goldthwait, Marc Maron, Louis CK, and Steven Wright. Over the course of his career, Ron has also appeared on acclaimed shows like: Dr. Katz, Home Movies, Bob's Burgers, and Adventure Time. He is also the host of Tomorrow!, a uniquely bizarre and consistently entertaining weekly variety show in Los Angeles.
Todd Barry is one of the greatest comics working today; but before he dedicated himself to the art of stand-up, Todd played in popular Florida band The Chant. Nowadays, when Todd isn't busy filming comedy specials or acting in acclaimed films and TV shows, he finds time to sit in with bands like Superchunk and Yo La Tengo. He and Joe explore the relationship between music and comedy.
In this bonus mini-episode, Jon Wurster discusses the influence of legendary producer and drummer Steve Jordan. Also included is an--until now--unreleased song by Jon's early band, The Carneys, with Steve Jordan producing. You can hear a full-length interview with Jon at thetrapset.net or on iTunes.
Jon Wurster first made his name as the drummer for Superchunk, and over the past twenty years, he's become of rock's most in-demand and versatile drummers. He's played with everyone from Bob Mould to Katy Perry, but his creative output isn't limited to music. Jon is one half of the acclaimed and bizarrely hilarious comedy duo Scharpling & Wurster. He talks to Joe about setting ambitious goals at a young age, the power of projecting your intentions into the universe, sobriety, and the relationship between comedy and music.
In Part Two of his Trap Set Interview, Bernard Purdie tells Joe about how his legacy has been broadened by sampling, his solo career, and the sessions and artists that who took the music over the top. Also, he briefly addresses his controversial claim of playing on some Beatles recordings.
In part one of a two part interview, Joe speaks to a true original, the legendary Bernard Purdie. They discuss Purdie's early fascination with drumming, the tragic loss of his parents, overcoming alcoholism at a very early age, and his arrival in New York. Part two airs next Wednesday.
Steven Schick first heard music as a child on a farm in Iowa. Over the course of his 40 year career, he has become a renowned performer, educator, conductor, and author. He talks to Joe about cultivating financial stability as an artist, learning to be in the moment, and the symbiosis between teaching and performance.
Sheila E. talks to Joe about her legendary musical family, joining a gang, working with Prince, overcoming abuse, and helping youth through her Elevate Hope foundation.
Sam Fogarino was a productive, adult member of society before he gained notoriety as the drummer of Interpol. He talks to Joe about his creative role in the band, parenthood, the nature of ambition in the Indie scene, and drinking Vodka from the bottle with Josh Homme.
Danny Frankel began his career as the drummer for DC band Urban Verbs. After the group dissolved in 1981, Danny moved to Los Angeles and became an in-demand session drummer. He tells Joe tales of his adventures with Lou Reed, Fiona Apple, and KD Lang. And he discuses how his mentor, jazz great Paul Motian, changed his life.
Legendary drummer Billy Cobham tells Joe about immigrating to the US from Panama, performing with his father's band in New York City, co-founding the extraordinarily influential Mahavishnu Orchestra, making the jump to a successful career as a leader, and constant creative evolution.
As the original drummer for Guns N' Roses, Steven Adler was the swaggering pulse of the 80's Los Angeles hard rock scene. But as the band exploded, so did Adler's addiction to drugs and booze and he was ejected from the band. Steven discusses his difficult past, his lifelong relationship with Slash, and feeling better than ever thanks to his newfound sobriety. Also, Laser Drum Art.
Joe talks to The Maya Tuttle about growing up in the Bay Area, the nature of biracial Eurasian marriages in the US, drawing inspiration from Karen Carpenter, singing and drumming with popular band The Colourist, and the challenges presented by working as a professional musician.
Joe talks to Milford Graves about exploring uncharted musical territory as an avant-garde pioneer; building a second career in medicine; supporting a family; and cultivating a multi-disciplinary artistic approach.
Kliph Scurlock was born to a musician mother and policeman father in Kansas. He tells Joe how he began his career with The Flaming Lips as a roadie and eventually realized his dream of becoming the band's drummer for over a decade. He also discusses his controversial departure from the Lips and his continued musical development with Gruff Rhys, Psychic Heat, and Split Level Stiffs.
Joe talks to Victor Delorenzo about seeing Sun Ra perform at the Racine Zoo, entering the arts as an actor, co-founding the successful and incredibly influential Violent Femmes, and remaining creative and prolific as a member of several groups including Lorenzo Menzerschmidt and Nineteen Thirteen.
Joe talks to Stella Mozgawa about her Polish heritage, her musican parents, how a benign lie became the truth, how she evolved beyond her competitive nature, and her creative collaboration in Warpaint.
Joe talks to John Herndon about growing up on a commune; leading a musical movement with Tortoise, 5ive Style, and Isotope 217; his side career as a tattoo artist; and raising his kids in LA.
Joe talks to Dave Lombardo about co-founding the groundbreaking metal band Slayer, his experience as the son of a Cuban butcher living the American Dream, his Latin Jazz influences, and expanding his horizons with Fantomas, John Zorn, and Philm.
Joe talks to master improviser, Hamid Drake, about playing with Don Cherry, Fred Anderson, and Mandingo Griot Society; his evolving concept of meditation; being a "bridge"; and the inseparable nature of music and life.
Joe talks to Lori Barbero about living on a houseboat, her time with the highly influential Babes In Toyland, and going with the flow.
Joe talks to Jon "Bermuda" Schwartz about Dr. Demento, his 35 year collaboration with Weird Al, and the meticulous effort that goes into re-creating the sound of the constantly shifting pop landscape.
Joe talks to Dale Crover about innate confidence when approaching the drums, his three decade--and counting--run as drummer for The Melvins, playing with Kurt Cobain and Nirvana, baseball, marriage, and parenthood.
Joe talks to John "Drumbo" French about blazing a singular path with Captain Beefheart, slipping his under tyrannical rule, arranging the seminal album, "Trout Mask Replica" and learning many years later that his work truly meant something to people all over the world.