Leah Shapiro's bombastic energy and spacious sense of time helped launch Black Rebel Motorcycle Club to new creative galaxies, but her early years with the band were plagued with misfortune. She tells Joe about growing up with free spirited parents in Denmark; studying music business; losing her friend and mentor, Michael Been of The Call; and recovering from a debilitating brain condition.
Jason McGerr fell in love with music at an early age, and drumming provided him with solace during a somewhat challenging childhood. He tells Joe about seeing Santa Claus; his teaching style; joining Death Cab For Cutie and helping propel the band to mainstream success; his quest for self improvement; and balancing his career with fatherhood.
Mitchell Feldstein's deceptively simple grooves contain a universe of poetic nuance. He tells Joe about growing up in Philadelphia, losing his parents at an early age, joining the inimitable band Lungfish, earning a master's degree in social work, being a "good nihilist", and why he is no longer compelled to play music.
A native of New Jersey, Jim Derogatis raised the cash for his first drum kit working odd jobs, such as scraping gum off of school desks. He is perhaps best known as a music writer; but Jim has also toured and recorded with bands for over 30 years. He tells Joe about his childhood in New Jersey, Catholic guilt, how his writing and drumming are fed by the same creative energy, and an early encounter with Lester Bangs.
Illinois native, Jose Medeles, made his way to California as a young man; and his stunning musical versatility served him well as he performed with everyone from Joey Ramone to Ben Harper. Jose gained international exposure when he joined Kim Deal in The Breeders. He is now the proprietor Revival Drum Shop, considered by many to be the greatest drum shop in the world. Jose tells Joe about falling in love with drums, proving himself, abandonment issues, the pros and cons of an obsessive work ethic, and learning to be present.
Jon Szanto possesses a rare combination of rigorous virtuosity and emotional intelligence. These qualities have served him well in a 40 year career, spanning Harry Partch to the San Diego Symphony. Now contemplating retirement, Jon talks about why--even if he isn't playing full time--music will always be fundamental to his makeup.
Stephen Perkins answers your questions about: acid, The Grateful Dead, Eric Avery, etc. Make sure to check out his full length episode; subscribe to The Trap Set on iTunes or your favorite podcast app.
Jane's Addiction rose from the LA club scene to become one of their generation's most influential bands, due in no small part to the iconoclastic, tribal-influenced contributions of Stephen Perkins. Stephen tells Joe about growing up in Los Angeles, his tryout for Jane's addiction, his love of the Grateful Dead, fatherhood, and more. Also check out Stephen's bonus episode next week, wherein he answers your questions.
Marian Li Pino's wild, inventive drumming has helped La Luz emerge as one of the most interesting rock bands working today. She tells Joe about her childhood in Washington state, feeling pressured to pursue something other than music, relentlessly searching for (and finding) the right band, and her love of rest stop pretzels.
Hong Kong native Ian Chang grew up a voracious music listener. With a unique style metabolized from disparate influences and an innovative approach to electronic percussion, he is a harbinger of a new era drumming.
Born into a musical family, Ignacio Berroa was a first call session musician in his native Havana, Cuba, before emigrating to the US during the Mariel Boatlift. Shortly after his arrival in NY, Ignacio began a twelve year association with Dizzy Gillespie, which led to gigs with a who's who of jazz and Latin luminaries. Ignacio tells Joe about the advantages of growing up in Cuba; losing his mother at an early age; the agonies of a perfectionist outlook; navigating through marriages and divorces; and his lifelong love of baseball.
Butch Vig began his career drumming with various polka outfits and rock bands like Spooner and Fire Town. Also a prolific producer, Butch recorded Nirvana's breakthrough "Nevermind", along with landmark albums for bands like Sonic Youth, Die Kreuzen, and Smashing Pumpkins. Not content to stay behind the mixing desk, he also co-founded the massively popular band Garbage. He tells Joe about growing up in Viroqua, WI; developing his musical ear; navigating through conflict; and creative reinvention.
In this bonus mini-episode, Damon Che answers listener questions about his relationship with Ian Williams, the infamous "Pizza Incident", underwear preferences, and his propensity for Sabian B8 Pros cymbals.
As drummer for the highly influential band Don Caballero, Damon Che established himself as one of the most unique and beloved drummers of his generation. But, in 2009, his "creative window" closed; and he stopped playing. He tells Joe about his musical roots, what he's been up to during his hiatus, giving up alcohol, working a day job, and returning to music as a session musician. He also tells his side of the now infamous "Bellini Incident" and reflects on the creative dynamic of Don Cab. Make sure to listen to his bonus episode next week, wherein he answers listener questions!
As drummer for Little Richard, Charles Connor helped invent rock and roll. He tells Joe about working with legends like Richard, Professor Longhair, Shirley & Lee, and Sam Cooke. He also discusses working a day job at KROQ; marrying a woman 30 year after meeting her halfway around the world; his love of "material things"; and the current incarnation of The Upsetters.
Joe hosts a live round table discussion featuring Jim Keltner, Bobbye Hall, James Gadson, Jim Sclavunos, and John "Drumbo" French. This episode was recorded live in Los Angeles at the release party for The Drum Thing, a fantastic book of photography focused on many of the world's most interesting drummers.
Clyde Stubblefield was a towering genius whose drumming helped define modern popular music. He passed away Saturday at age 73, due to kidney failure. Unfortunately, Clyde died with no insurance; so a GoFundMe page has been set up to cover his funeral expenses. Joe speaks to Joey Banks, Clyde's longtime friend and protege, about what you can do to help Clyde's family. Then, we re-play our conversation with Clyde from last year.
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.