Damon Atkinson is perhaps best known for his drumming with Braid and Hey Mercedes. His cleverly composed, crisply executed beats are essential elements of those bands' formulas. He tells Joe about becoming fascinated with drumming while still a toddler; his punk rock roots in the northern suburbs of Milwaukee; how his DIY background served him well in the world of music business; and how--at age nineteen--he balanced fatherhood and musical ambition.
Edwin Bonilla started his musical journey playing rock and R&B on drum kit, but as a teenager he transitioned to timbales, bongos, and congas. He developed an aggressive, hard-hitting style that brought him to the attention of legends such as: Celia Cruz, Arturo Sandaval, and Stevie Wonder. He is perhaps best known, though, for his decades-long run with Gloria Estefan and the Miami Sound Machine. Joe caught up with Edwin before a recent performance of Estefan's hit Broadway musical, On Your Feet.
Jody Stephens drummed for Big Star, a band that was criminally overlooked during its initial lifetime but eventually became monumentally influential. Jody tells Joe about how he fell in love with drums, why he studied accounting and marketing, his creative role in Big Star, and how he has stayed busy at Memphis's legendary Ardent Studios.
In this bonus mini-episode, Gina Schock talks about performing with Baltimore legend and John Waters collaborator, Edith Massey, in Edie and the Eggs.
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.
Peter Erskine talks about generosity among drummers and jazz musicians in general. Don't be a dick, share your knowledge.
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.
In this bonus mini-episode, Gina Schock answers questions from Jon Wurster, Maggie Vail, Danny Frankel, and more!
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.
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.
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!)
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.
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.”
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.
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.
In this bonus mini-episode, Pete Thomas reflects on the longevity of The Attractions; and he tells tales of touring with The Police.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
Steve Gadd discusses Stuff, an incredible band he co-led with other NY studio luminaries in the 70s and early 80s.
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.