Tom Tom Magazine Issue 8: The Kids Issue
This is the issue where we focus on girl drummers. It was so fun to put together and there are so many more amazing girl drummers. Looking forward to revisiting this again.
tom tom magazine kid drummer issue kid drummers tayler smith rachel blumberg talks to yo la tengo's rocker families georgia hubley i s s ue 8 | w int er 2 0 1 1 /2 0 1 2 | usD $6 welcome to tom tom issue eight. have a seat, relax, and enjoy the ride. contributors FOUNDER / EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Mindy Abovitz (email@example.com) DESIGN Candice Ralph (firstname.lastname@example.org) Lauren Stec (master) WEB MASTER Harlo Holmes (wizard) WEB MANAGER Katyann Gonzalez (email@example.com) events Sean Desiree (firstname.lastname@example.org) distribution Segrid Barr (on point) NORTHWEST CORRESPONDENT Lisa Schonberg (for president of the universe) LA CORRESPONDENTS Liv Marsico, Kiran Gandhi (golden nuggets) COPYEDITORs Rebecca DeRosa, Yifot Shilo, Elisabeth Wilson PHOTOGRAPHERS Bex Wade, Meg Wachter, Diane Russo, Stefano Galli, Maya Stoner, Elizabeth Venable, Barry Dolton, George Owen, Anthony Buhay ILLUSTRATORs Stephanie Monohan, Minka Sicklinger, Rachel Day, Lauren Maresca, Nas Chompas WRITERS Van Alexander, Sophie Rae, Lynette Gillis, Katherine Paul, Rachel Blumberg, Joanna Gutierrez, Andrya Ambro, Katy Otto translators Emi Kariya i llu s trati o n by mark wa rre n jac q ues tom tom staffer love is our Northwest Intern and conducts interviews, heads distribution, and all around awesomeness in the NW drum world. Katherine paul is our get-it-all-done and do it gracefully intern. Woah, we could not have done this without her. No, really. Joanna Gutierrez technique wRITERS Jose Medeles, Bianca Russelburg, Morgan Doctor, Steph Barker, Jyn Yates, Lien Do, Aimee Norwich, Rachel Fuhrer, Christine Barron REVIEW TEAM Rebecca DeRosa, Anika Sabin, Stephanie Barker TOM TOM TV Steph Barker, Tamar Glezerman, Elizabeth Venable, Jodi Darby, Anthony Lonzano, Anthony Buhay interns NYC: Joanna Gutierrez LA: Anthony Lozano, Nick Fermin Portland: Misti R. Miller, Katherine Paul is one of our incredibly sweet and ridiculously talented designers. She almost missed x-mas to get this issue to you. Lauren Stec Attia Taylor is one of our newest review writers. Love her. We do. THANK YOU All of you, Ima, Rony, Shani, Stephanie LaVigne, Adam Gerstein, Sweat Records, Churchills, Carlton South Beach, Cymbags, Procatinator, Ace Hotel, George Ferrandi (my heart), Alan Calpe, John Orth, Santo CONTACT EMAIL: email@example.com Address: 302 Bedford Ave PMB #85 Brooklyn, NY 11249 Corrections The Collective’s Website: www.thecollective.edu Lover’s drummer Emily Kingan Julie Heisenflei photo by Linda Rapka (Issue 6) ON THE COVER FRONT: Tayler Smith by Barry Dolton BACK: Chloe Saavedra by Diane Russo TO SUBSCRIBE WWW.TOMTOMMAG.COM 2 sb11 inside issue 8 Welcome to Issue 8 of Tom Tom Magazine. When I was working as an instructor of drums at Rock Camp, teaching both kids and adults, I was pleasantly surprised to find that the kids never once thought the drums weren't for them just because they were girls. It was always the adults that had those hang-ups. In fact, the girls never even requested special size kits or sticks, and we usually ended up prying those sticks out of their tiny hands when drum instruction was over. While the girls felt free, confident, sure of their right to pursue their passion, and blissfully ignorant of what society might say, the adults brought all the preconceived notions and gender biases with them to the drums. So in this issue, we celebrate girls in all their glory. We will see the drums through their eyes that never questioned their right to get behind the kit and rock out. Through them we will learn how to be leaders, take what is ours, and play to the beat of our own drum. In the pages to come you will read interviews with Smoosh's drummer Chloe Saavedra, who has been playing in a band with her sisters since she was five (if you run into her, ask her about "Tomato Mistakes".) Then you will cross the sea to Tokyo and read our conversation with fourteen-year-old drum prodigy Senri Kawaguchi. All in all, you will meet dozens of girls, from all corners of the world, keeping the beat for their bands in an exceptional way. be prepared 5 recipes from the road 10 off the decks 14 superheroes 16 kid drummers 19 We are also previewing a few new features in this issue. Off the Decks will highlight our favorite DJ's and Recipes from the Road will have a healthy step-by-step recipe for when you are stuck in the van. Let us know what you think through mail, email, or carrier pigeon. Thanks for your continued love and support. rocker families 32 yo la tengo 38 fresh beat band 41 kitography 42 Warmth and drums, Mindy Seegal Abovitz Editor-in-Chief diy drum lamp Illus t rat i on by Nas Chompas 48 art Made by you, our Tom Tom readers. Keep it up! We love it. by linnea lamon by s u s a n l i n d e ll by adam s egol i s ch ubert 3 see more event pics online / we like to party tom tom : events Freak City issue 7 Release Party bruar falls issue 7 release party Brooklyn, NY Los Angeles, CA phot os by a nt ho ny b u hay phot o by bex wade tom tom magazine cmj festival art Basel sweat records panel Miami, FL Brooklyn, NY phot o by george ow en grimey goods party Los Angeles, CA phot os by b e x wad e phot o by Dom inoe Farris -Gilbert Press: Miami New Times, Miami Herald More parties we threw: Churchills Pub (Miami), Ace Hotel Lobby (NYC), Hotel Carlton South Beach Lobby Future Parties: Ace Hotel Palm Springs (LA), Dog Party Vinyl Release (LA) 4 Be Prepared For (almost) Anything FIG. 2 by Rachel Fuhrer FIG. 1 FIG. 3 FIG. 4 ILLUSTRATI ONS BY STEPHANIE MONOHAN Ten years of heavy gigging and touring has helped me put together a small arsenal of items that are always packed into my pedal bag and are accessible to me on stage. These items have helped me avoid disasters both big and small. Being prepared can especially come in handy when having to play a club’s house kit. Often, they’ve suffered years of abuse and lack proper maintenance resulting in hardware and mounts that are barely functional. Having parts and tools on hand to make things as stable as possible makes a huge difference. for kick pedal repair, cymbal tilter spring, kick beater weight, various memory locks, various sized nuts, bolts, key screws and wing nuts, snare chord, three prong to two prong chord adaptor, and rubber bass drum hoop protectors. If you don’t have a stash of basic parts and tools with you for gigs, please read on. These items have helped me avoid many tragedies with just some quick attention during sound check or even in the middle of a set. I carry these items with me to all gigs, rehearsals and recordings. In my pedal bag’s interior pocket, I keep the following items (fig. 3): a quality multi-tool (equipped with pliers, scissors, screwdrivers, etc), a speed key for quick head changes, multiple standard drum keys, adhesive Velcro strips, an adhesive bass drum patch, in-ear accessories, ear plugs, hi-hat clutch, electrical tape, various cymbal felts including a hi-hat seating felt, a clip-on style flash light, 9 volt battery, Sharpies (for set lists) and mechanical pencils (for quick notes/notations). I also carry a microphone that lets my iPod function as a recorder to record rehearsals. Most kick drum pedals come in a carrying case that is roomy enough to pack a few additional items. Keeping items organized and easily accessible is most important (fig. 1). If it takes ten minutes of digging around in your bag for a washer, then it’s probably not worth having this stuff on stage with you. Finally, I purchased these small zippered pouches from Home Depot that neatly clip together (fig. 4). I use them for all of my click related items. In the large pouch I keep my metronome, in the medium pouch I keep a variety of spare cables, and in the smallest pouch I keep my in-ear monitors and their extension cable. The first item I’ll mention is a small Tupperware-style container that has a screw-on lid. Here, I store the following items (fig. 2): various sized metal washers including a hi-hat seat and cymbal cup washer(s), various hose clamps, cymbal tilter wing nuts, nylon cymbal sleeves, snare and tom tensions rods, kick pedal spring, hex keys There may be items that you need to include for your particular set up or situation that I haven’t mentioned. Plan ahead before tours or gigs so you can be prepared to deal with wear and tear or faulty gear. Cheers! 5 chloe's closet WHAT'S IN YOUR space? smoosh's chloe saavedra Photos by di ane rus s o Chloe Saavedra, Smoosh’s drummer, is not only one of our favorite girl drummers that we interviewed in this issue, but she also let us in her practice space to shoot some of her favorite gear. Some of it is custom, some given to her by her friends in Bloc Party, Death Cab for Cutie and The Go! Team. Any way you look at it we would love to get a chance at her drum gear. So cool! Check out what she has to say about her incredible collection. 1 1 My DW Pacific drum kit! I got this kit from Bloc Party when we toured with them. They had an extra, so they gave it to me. I decided not to ask questions, and just take it! It sounds awesome, and has great low end on the kick and floor tom. I combine that bass-y-ness with my edgy hihat and loose snare to give it an old school sound. I've also been making African inspired beats with my floor tom, rack toms and rim-clicks. I'm into African drums right now, and want to get a Djembe once I finish saving up. I plan to use it on our new album. 4 2 2 The instrument in the grey case is a melodica. Asy plays it in a song called “In the Fall,” and makes it sound like a trumpet. We were inspired to use a melodica when we toured with The Go! Team. They used one, and it sounded awesome. So far, we only feature it on one song, but plan to use it more on our new album. 6 3 This pedal is Asy's loop pedal. She uses it similar to how Feist and Final Fantasy do live. We haven't used it on stage yet. 4 The grey pad is my drum pad. I use it when I practice snare rolls, and technique exercises whenever I'm not feeling creative on the kit. 3 6 6 The Harpeji is an instrument lent to us by “Marcodi.” We're SO lucky to try it out because it's probably the coolest instrument I've ever seen. It's like a harp mixed with a keyboard and a guitar, at the same time! They also gave us this cool effects pedal, AdrenaLinn 3, to enhance the sound. Maia, who usually plays bass, plays the Harpeji in a new song called “Time.” 5 5 I got my SPDS Roland sampler and trigger pad because I noticed the drummer for Death Cab for Cutie had one. I was just a drummer, but he was a drummer with a sampler pad. I got the sampler and uploaded electronic drum samples and sounds from our songs. All of a sudden drumming was much more complicated for me, and wasn't stress free anymore. It took me a while to relax with the sampler on stage because I made so many mistakes hitting the wrong sample or forgetting which one was which. Once I got more comfortable with it, I started using a lot of drum samples and playing an acousticelectronic kit on stage. 8 7 8 My jingle bells, I call them “the fish," were given to me as a kid before I even played drums. They were just one of those toys lying around to make noise with. I never used them until our second album, on a song called “Great Skies.” “The fish" can only be used on pop songs. I've tried to work them into other songs, and it usually doesn't work. 9 9 The Motu is our box we use to record our demos. We plug all of our gear into it, and it has a great sound. It's a good way to make home recordings. You can mic the whole drum kit, and plug each separate mic into the Motu. 7 Asy's side of the reversal studio. She has a glockenspiel that she and I play little ditties on. We use the midi keyboard to play beats from Logic. It has a USB, so we can just plug it into the computer and use it with Logic. 10 10 Oh my gosh my “Hang” is the coolest thing ever! I was so incredibly lucky to get it for free, custom made from 1-tone. It's alien-like. It looks like a flying saucer! It is a new instrument created in Switzerland, and the sound is sort of Middle Eastern. So many percussionists want to get their hands on one. I first saw one when I watched this percussion band from Iran play in Sweden. They told me about it, and I had to get one. I emailed the company back and forth for a while and they sent me one. I haven’t played it with Asy yet because it's set on a C pentatonic scale, and Asy plays mostly on black keys. So, I am going to make a song with the hang, and then have Asy sing/play to it. Hopefully, it will make it on the new album, and if not, I will busk with it a lot in the city. I've also been making African inspired beats with my floor tom, rack toms and rim-clicks. 7 THE PULSE AND THE BEAT BEAT the pulse and the beat phot o by jee young s i m vibe songmakers viBe SongMakers brings together a small group of high school girls from NYC to write, record and perform an album of original songs, in collaboration with adult mentor musicians. It's a free program offered by viBe Theater Experience that's not associated with any particular school. At this point they "Fame" movie remake, and is pursuing a career in music & acting. Rapper have recorded, mastered, and produced 7 full-length albums, three music Poison from "Real Im(perfect)ions" (vol 4) is performing nationally. Rapper videos, radio appearances and many live performances. We asked their pro- Mawia Khogali from "Grade 13" (vol 5) and "The Sound" (vol 6) is perform- gram director, Katie Eastburn, what she thinks makes for a great program. ing in NYC with Rukiya King from (vol 4) and (vol 6). Singer-songwriter Kelly She said, “I would strongly encourage seeking allegiance with an existing Montoya (vol 6) is all over the internet, and look out for Ericka Suarez (vol 5), non-profit that supports creative freedom. viBe is a girls-only enterprise, she hopes to study music in college. Theresa Matthews from "Hot Fire" (vol and that brings its own advantages and challenges. Above all it is a safe 1) and (vol 2) is singing in NYC with her cousin, rapper Ime (like "I'm me") space, which is crucial. The girls enter a totally safe space where anything and is not to be missed! is possible creatively.” What some of the girls who were involved are up to now: Kristy Flores from “6Figures” (viBe SongMakers vol 2) starred in the www.vibetheater.org day dress by jared olms t ed phot o by john kelly For those of you pining for more of that Go Sailor sound after their reunion at the NYC Pop Fest earlier in the year, rest easy knowing there's more brewing in that vein in the basements of Brooklyn... Day Dress arrived recently to the underground music scene, but their drummer Olivia Hu has been slamming the skins since she was just 15. “I always thought that the drums were an insanely badass instrument. It's so instinctual and primal, and it just takes so much energy,” says Olivia. “Sometimes, I drink too much caffeine and get really restless. All my limbs just want to move. Drums are the perfect outlet for me to spazz out, productively.” Keep close tabs on them and maybe they'll play your town sometime soon. We know they would like to... www.myspace.com/daydress 8 army on the dance floor Wo rds by Kourt ney K lein phot o by rya n alys w ort h This is my new band Army On The Dance Floor. It is the three of us using only DJ interfaces and electronic drums hooked up to some drums machines for samples. We sing, play drums and keyboards. I’ve never had more fun. Kind of like a girl blue man group plus drum line plus electro. We are lucky enough to be working on a record right now with a legendary punk producer Ryan Greene (ex-drummer NOFX). Look out for it. Hozoji Roseanne Matheson-Margullis w or ds by kat y o t t o phot o by Q ua n F i W e at h e rh e ad I have had the extreme joy of seeing Hozoji play with one of her two bands, Helms Alee. I had heard about this phenomenal woman from several people, but seeing her live surpassed any expectation I had. She is a force, and her driving of her band’s songs and rhythm is propulsive and unstoppable. She started playing the drums when she was fifteen years old on a late '60s Rogers which she still plays today. She says she has grown most from, “playing with other musicians.” She says, “ I've found that different people's [playing] styles bring out different styles in my drumming. So it's always a period of growth when I start playing with new people.” She also teaches drums and had this to say about her kid drummer students: “Kids are so quick to learn and adapt because they operate on instinct and imitation. It's rad to watch a kid go crazy on a drum kit. That's true freestyle.” myspace.com/helmsaleemusic adrienne davies: earth w ords by Lori Golds t on phot o by maya s t oner Adrienne Davies has been the drummer for Earth for ten years. The band's music is slow, heavy and textural; her playing is fluid and precise, somehow delicate and massive at the same time. Her physicality with the instrument is remarkably focused and fully committed. After watching her perform most people remark that she looks like she's playing under water. When I started playing cello with Earth a couple of years ago it took some time to get used to functioning in their elegant minimalist musical universe; an extraneous note or gesture sounds ridiculous. I am still often surprised by the originality and economy of Adrienne's playing. There's a mysterious, expressive, very musical dynamic tension that's all her own. The second half of our most recent album, Angels of Darkness Demons of Light, will be released in February 2012 on Southern Lord. Tours of the U.S., Europe and hopefully the Pacific Rim will follow. thronesanddominions.com 9 BETTER THAN YOUR MAMA'S CORN PUDDIN' Recipes from the Road With Talk Normalâ€™s Drummer Andrya Ambro i llu s trati o n s by s t ephani e mo nohan Creamy Buckwheat Porridge & Steamed Broccoli Usually on domestic tours I bring a hot plate. This comes in handy if we should stay at a cheap motel. Things need to be simpleâ€”I have one burner and very little time. Usually I cook a quick grain for the day and lightly steam veggies. Since I'm cooking for the whole day, it's morning when I get to eat the meal hot, which is a warming start to a mid Autumn through early Spring tour. So let's focus on breakfast. Today I will blanch broccoli in boiling water. I usually throw in a pinch of sea salt/cup of boiling water right before the water fully boils. Once at boil, I toss the broccoli into the water until it turns bright green. Immediately remove the broccoli and rinse under cool water to stop it from cooking. Set aside. DO NOT DISCARD THE BROCCOLI WATER. I use it to cook the buckwheat. This way I maximize all the nutrients of the broccoli that were inevitably discarded in the water. Nutrients on tour seem crucial. When I first started to cook on the road, I carried around a large cooler. America's big. While on a cross-country tour we hit hot and dusty Arizona after some cool nights in Texas and New Mexico. I'm pretty sure the van was running the AC. Regardless, most of my food spoiled after only 3 hours being in the cooler with refreshed ice picks. Man I was so bummed! Never before had I thought squash could smell like death. Lesson learned. I now carry smaller coolers and try to buy small quantities fresh vegetables daily, usually tougher roots, squash or broccoli to cook for the next day. Greens are tough to keep. Cabbage is an exception. 10 Cut up a small, preferably organic, delicata squash into bite-size pieces. If organic no need to peel! I use the small delicata because you can use the whole vegetable for one, maybe two, meal(s). This way the uncooked remains won't spoil for the next day. Leave 2 cups of broccoli water in the pot. Bring it to a boil again. Throw in a half a cup of buckwheat groats then immediately bring the heat down to a low to medium simmer. The usual ratio of groats to water is 1:2. I like my morning porridge creamier for lasting energy. The more water you use to cook down the groats the more dense the porridge will become. After 10 minutes the water will start to dissipate. Throw in a 1/2 cup of the squash. After a few minutes or when the squash starts to get a little tender, turn down the heat a wee bit. Throw in a couple teaspoons of olive oil and stir. I like to whip it up so the squash becomes almost mashed. Keep stirring until all water has almost completely dissipated. Place in bowl and top with scallion garnish. Place broccoli in bowl and garnish with gomasio (sesame seed and salt condiment) or lemon. shirazettetinnin.com BEGIN! 10 a.m.–NOON: Do business email check and reply. Foam rolling exercises for my run and practice routine. I am dressed and headed outside to run from Franklin and Fulton down to Flatbush Extension. I stop and stretch again and either walk or run back depending on how late I was up the night before or if I had enough fuel before hand. 9 a.m.-10 a.m.: Wake up and stretch just like the little puppies and kittens. Plan my practice and workout schedule. Noon–2 p.m.: I am back at the THE END office/apt. I cook breakfast which usually includes three eggs (two whites and one yolk) because you have got to have your protein. Hand warm-ups that include finger, hand and wrist exercises in order with each grip. The rudiment ritual with brushes and sticks at various tempos and dynamics. 10:30 p.m.–3 a.m.: Downbeat, one hour long show. 11:30 p.m.: Hang for a little while and then leave the club. 1:00 a.m. - 3 a.m.: Arrive home. Depending on how long I have hung out or if I decided to go to a session, or party. Pass out and do it all again for the next days show! 3 p.m.–5 p.m.: Revised version of the rudiment ritual with my feet using a double kick pedal. I clear my mind with some cartoon network, stretch, and foam roll. I get dressed for the night. 6:30 p.m.–8 p.m.: Out the door. Call time. Set up, re-adjust drum set with tuning, placement, add cymbals and my snare to the house kit. Downbeat, one hour long show with a break from 9:30 to 10:30pm. 24 HOURS WITH A RESIDENT DRUMMER Shirazette Lezitta-Amara Tinnin, Tutuma Social Club phot o by bex wade Name: Shirazette Lezitta-Amara Tinnin Hometown: Burlington, NC Lives in: Brooklyn, NY Current Bands: The Shirazette Experiment Core-tet, TheTia Fuller Quartet, Women of The World Ensemble, The Gabriel Alegria Afro-Peruvian Sextet, Mavis Swan Poole, Pauline Jean, Donald Malloy and Sight Day Job: Resident Drummer at Tutuma Social Club Having a residency is a wonderful thing for those of us seeking security in the music world. I am very thankful to perform every week at Tutuma Social Club and at times I am not so thankful. A resident gig has its positives and negatives. [When I first got the gig I was so new to the genre that I was more than gracious to have the opportunity. The negatives are not really negatives, but I will say please get out of your routine, your comfort zone and experience playing with others as much as possible because you never want to become stagnant in your playing.] There is always and should always be opportunity to grow and you cannot do that playing one gig or one style all the time. It is important to know that my practice routine for this gig started nine months prior to me auditioning for it two and a half years ago. Above is a glimpse into the day in the life of a resident drummer. Enjoy. 11 drummer tips / pee breaks, it's all about the pee breaks tips We know it ain’t easy. You spend lots of time with your band mates at your practice space, a crowded venue, or worse yet, a van. For hours, days, sometimes weeks on end. Sometimes you are not only bandmates, but you are also family or a couple. Here is our advice to you, the potential peacemaker of the band, so you don’t end up like the drummer from The Clash. cut out illus t rat i on by rach el day Steph Barker Got any tips on getting along with your band? Be open minded, willing to compromise, and able to let things go without holding a grudge. Have you ever had to break up with a bandmate? How did you do that? Was it clean? Yes. We all met up and kicked one of the mem- bers of our band out. In retrospect, I don’t think the meeting was appropriate. It should have been one on one. That would have made it cleaner and more sensitive. What was one argument or dispute you had with a bandmate that was resolved? Can you give us advice on how to apply that? When I am hired as an outside player, issues have come up, but I take it as a paid job and it is ultimately who ever is in charge that will make the final decision on issues that may arise. Since it is my job, I can accept that, or leave. Kendra Cox Got any tips on getting along with your band? Have a blast, tell jokes, and enjoy the company of your band. Remember, high fives and bear hugs are always appreciated. Got any hard and fast rules on pee stops in the tour van? Pee stops must be frequent! Nobody wants to be stuck in a van with someone who has to go. Have you ever had to break up with a bandmate? How did you do that? Was it clean? The best thing you can do is be honest. If things aren't working out, they probably know it too. Be open about the issues at hand, and a clean break shouldn't be far from reach. 12 Lisa Schonberg Got any tips on getting along with your band? I have three tips. 1. Learn how to take constructive criticism, and use it to your benefit. 2. Share band duties evenly, don't let anyone have to take on too much. 3. Speak up if any one band member is being too controlling. Got any hard and fast rules on pee stops in the tour van? On re- cent tours we have had a pee-urgency-rating-system - it was a scale of 1 to 10. 4 or 5, and you could hold it for about 40 min. 6 or 7, and itâ€™s more like 15 minutes. A 9, and you have to stop anywhere. You'll pee behind a bush. 10, its too late and you're essentially back to 1 again. Have you ever had to break up with a band mate? How did you do that? Was it clean? Yes, I have. It wasn't clean. It just happened, they quit. Have you ever had a bandmate fall in love with you or vice versa? Got any advice on band crushes? I was once in a band with someone I was dating for four years. It went well, but when the band ended, our relationship also ended. Know that your band and your relationship's health are tied so very close together. All in all, I would advise against dating a band mate. Andrya Ambro Got any tips on getting along with your band? Pick your battles and always give a STS loving gesture to your band mate after the show, no matter how things go. It's just a show, and you're still a team. Got any tips on getting along with your band? Share. Buy them snacks, and don't just eat all of their food. Got any hard and fast rules on pee stops in the tour van? If we're gonna miss a show, it's time to pee in a jar bro. Have you ever had a bandmate fall in love with you or vice versa? Got any advice on band crushes? I've been in a band with someone I was so crushed out on. I had to squash my feelings down inside. Every once in a while we had to share a bed, and I'd fall asleep wishing she'd like me again. What was one argument or dispute you had with a band mate that was resolved? Can you give us advice on how to apply that? I've had most of my arguments with band mates on tour or during stressful times like recording. I suggest prioritizing everyone's sanity, self-esteem, sense of happiness and fun over the band's â€œsuccess.â€? 13 gracefulee / coupdegrace.co OFF THE DECKS G*LEE Name: G*LEE (Grace Lee) Age: Ageless Hometown: Raised in a lot of cities, but New York is my home. Lives in: NYC Dj Moniker: G*LEE. Liaison Femme latest Remix: MIA MORETTI & CAITLIN MOE- SO BEAUTIFUL (G*LEE & DJ M.O.S. OFFICIAL REMIx Favorite Dj's: Nujabes. DJ AM. Mark Ronson. Wax Tailor. DFA. DJ Fatfingaz + all my friends. phot o by jayne li es 10 tips on getting started as a DJ Who to introduce yourself to equipment. How to get the gig 1. Learn every logistical and technical function of your 2. Solidify your "comfort zone" in what records you love. 3. Draft out ideas or even trials to see what songs can mix well together, or how I like to do it is just "risk" and experiment. 4. Know your music. Be open to every sound and music because that is what a successful DJ is. 5. Don't trap yourself in one style or genre of music because then your performance flexibility won't be as stylistic or unique. 6. Start off with proper set up, even if budget is low— equipment is very important. 7. Most important - start with turntables. Know the origin then find your direction. 8. Always have spare or double equipment for your gigs, small or big. Extra needles, slip mats, control vinyls, cartridge, and your hardware for music. 9. Be open to using all types of different mixers, every venue has different set ups but usually the usual Pioneer or Rane. 10. Don't try to be a DJ, it should come to you if it's meant to be. (wink) 14 Everyone. The DJ industry is a staple to the nightlife scene and nowadays has ties with the record industry—in terms of touring for an artist, opening act, festivals, showcases, and etc. Thus, networking is an important aspect to getting a gig—no name-dropping though. Be yourself, introduce your craft. People will believe in you and give you an opportunity to get a gig. We live in a digital web world where you can profile yourself in many ways from Twitter to Soundcloud. Believe in your work (mixes or even written playlists) and present it. People will catch on and just be prepared when you are offered the gig—this is the most important step. How to dress to your gig Dress in your own style. No need to push yourself to get attention through your clothes because your sound and style as a DJ is the highlight. What to bring to your gig Depends if you're a CDJ user or turntable, or both. Whatever you are comfortable performing with. I am a turntable DJ for life. I always bring the most—my needles, extra headshell, custom slip mat (rubber or felt), custom control vinyls (usually Serato or Shibuya), headphones, spare input adapter for headphones, spare needles, my Serato box. If I have a major gig or at a grander venue, I usually bring my MPC Akai and a live drummer. OFF THE DECKS DJ TINA T phot o by w w w.mahfia. com Name: Tina Turnbull Age: 29 Hometown: Seattle, WA Lives In: Las Vegas, NV Dj Moniker: DJ Tina T. When did you get your start? 1997 Day Job: N/A Remixes: Various Mix CD’s DJ Tina T is an amazing DJ with a heart of gold. When she’s not working on her craft, she’s inspiring young girls to tap into their inner DJ at Camp Spin Off. Keep an eye out for her, as she gets ready for her international tour dates as well as new monthly residencies in different cities. DJ community. I want to break down some of the negative stereotypes women have and also inspire more young girls to get into the art and break new ground. Tom Tom Magazine: What is the worst or best thing that ever happened to you while DJing? Tina Turnbull: Worst: In college, it was the first time I was DJing by myself all night at a club. The power kept going out and everyone kept booing me. It was horrible & the only time I ever thought about quitting DJing, but I woke up the next morning and was motivated to keep going. Best: Spinning with DJ AM on our birthday at LAX in Hollywood, CA. My vision with Camp Spin Off is to create a place where young DJ’s ages 13-17 can pursue their passion of learning how to DJ and also have a once in a lifetime experience. I went to summer camps growing up as a kid and can still tell you endless stories and memories from them. I also want to focus on the community element of bringing together guest DJ’s, camp counselors, staff, artists, teachers and sponsors that all are there to support the art of DJing. Are you more a Top 40 DJ or "I don't give a shit, I play whatever I want”? What are some of your future plans or projects other than Camp Spin Off that we should all look out for? I am definitely more of a Top 40 DJ. Its not about me, its about the crowd. I can listen to things I want any time. I am there to make them happy which in return makes me happy. It’s cool to have an open-minded crowd and I definitely try to take them to their limits. I am working on international tour dates, mix CD’s & podcast. Doing a lot of cool projects with Red Bull and starting new monthly residencies in different cities. How do you feel about the new generation of DJs collaborating with instrumentalist and beat makers? I think any collaboration and innovation is good. You have to find ways to keep things fresh. It’s always cool to see people do new things. We're familiar with youth movement Camp Spin Off, can you tell us more about this vision? Are you more geared for turntables or CDJs, if so why? Turntables. It's what I started on and am comfortable with. I can’t scratch on CDJ’s. Where's your favorite place to shop for records? I shop for all my music online now. I use directmusicservice.com and various blogs to search for new music. In a male dominated industry, what impact do you want to see female DJs make? I want females to be respected and viewed as equals in the 15 www.tinderboxmusicfestival.com Photos by: Jasmina Tomic ALYSON GREENFIELD! Name: Alyson Greenfield Project: Tinderbox Music Festival/Tinderbox Arts Mission: Tinderbox Music Festival is an annual event SUPERHEROES showcasing a powerful and diverse lineup of emerging female artists producing innovative original music. Rooted in the vibrant New York City music scene, Tinderbox fosters community by providing opportunities to perform, collaborate, and connect. Through additional programming, Tinderbox hopes to expose both industry and fans to even more innovative female artists, as well as giving back to arts programs for young women. by Van A l e xa nd e r You’ve heard the expression “necessity is the mother of invention?” Well, the Superheroes feature in Tom Tom is such an invention. A few months ago, I started thinking about how to make everyone aware of all of the awesome, amazing, out-of-this-world good work that women are doing in the world of music. Work that nurtures, features, inspires, incubates, and ultimately empowers women in music. In all honesty, Tom Tom was the first point of inspiration for this piece. Flip through the pages of this magazine . . . enough said. I truly believe there is a superhuman quality necessary to realizing your dreams. And as a female musician, I know that on top of the already massive task that is perfecting and committing yourself to your craft, women still to this day are far too often forced to take that extra step to prove their merit and validity as musicians. It’s not my intention to ignore or belittle the strides that have been made towards women’s equality over the years, but I’d be a fool to deny the work that still needs to be done. The women featured as superheroes here are doing that work and doing it well, and this is our chance to say to them, “Up, up and away!” I curated and interviewed the ladies 16 you will meet in the following issues of this superb magazine. Finally, I asked my amazingly talented bestie Jeanee Hammet to conceive and create costumes that balanced the traditional and the avant-garde. After all, the work of our superheroes is not meant to reinvent the wheel, just maybe put some spinners on it. How do we change this? By showing how competent, powerful, and innovative women are. Leading by example. Not trying to force people to change their minds or think a certain way, but by showing them the plain facts of what women can do, create, and build. I know this question was specifically about women in music, but I think the problem is both bigger Alyson, why are women still under-represented and smaller than the music industry. It's about in music? It does not only have to do with the societal notions being re-imagined once again, music industry, but it comes from a larger culand it's also about simple face-to-face commutural/world phenomenon that has to do with nication where respect is truly present. questions of a woman's capacity for leadership, strength, power, and worth--and where society If you could have any super-power, what would it be and why? Oh wow! I've always wanted holds women in regard to all of those notions. The music industry, like many other industries, a super power. One super power I would like to have would be invisibility so I could walk has often been considered “a man's world,” which can make it more difficult for women to wherever I wanted to at any time of day or night and not feel like I have to be aware of my edge their way in, get respect, and/or positive surroundings. For a while I actually used to attention. I think women taking the industry think about having a power that helped people and music into their own hands in order to tap into their own sense of rhythm and movemake things happen is helping to increase the ment. A lot of people get so nervous about representation for women in music. That is movement/dancing and I think everyone has one of the reasons I founded Tinderbox Music Festival—because I felt like there needed to be some rhythm somewhere in their bones, so this super power would help them get in touch with more platforms to focus specifically on emergthat! Oh yeah and I'd like to be able to fly. ing female artists and bands. thanks to our supporters pa in t i ng by I t ta Another beautiful acrylic painting of a drummer women. This time contemplative and colorful. By the talented hand of South Florida artist, Itta. www.ittaart.com 17 P hot o of jayla by Me l i ssa Pak C oats 18 DRUMMING OUTSIDE THE LINES I L LUSTR ATIONS BY LAUREN STEC 19 senri for president! by m i n dy abovi t z t rans lat i on by emi kari ya Senri Kawaguchi is cute as a button. Don’t let that fool you though; this girl will knock your socks off with her amazing precision and technique. At the age of 14 she has already been drumming for more than half of her life and is instructed by Kozo Suganuma of Loudness. With a love of all kinds of music and dedication, this little drummer girl is bound to go as far as she wishes to. Name: Senri Kawaguchi Age: 14 Hometown: Aichi, Japan Favorite Food: Oranges! I love French fries too! Drum kit: 1) Main kit: [YAMAHA PHX] Color: Turquoise fade 2) Sub kit: [YAMAHA Hipgig] Color: Mellow Yellow Tom Tom Magazine: What is your favorite thing about playing the drums? Senri Kawaguchi: I just love drums… When I can make a big audience and other musicians happy, we get to have conversations through instruments regardless of age and language. I also become moved by it and it's so much fun. What piece of advice would you give to a young drummer starting out? I want them to try out different styles, especially in the beginning. I am fortunate that both of my teachers, who I’ve had since 6, knew every types of music and taught me not only techniques but also about different music styles. That benefited me a lot. What is your drum kit? Your drum set up? For YAMAHA PHX, I have three toms, 16"x15"FT, 22"x18"BD and use a twin YAMAHA DFP9500D pedal. I also set up a 12" side snare or a cowbell or a foot clave on my left at times. All my cymbals are Zildjian. How long do you play drums per day? I don't practice many hours, sorry if that's disappointing.. About 1-2 hours per day, 2-3 times a week but I focus hard. I'm also constantly making noises with my hands and legs, on a train, during class, wherever. And I often get yelled at for it. Please share a funny story with us about the drums. I played on a big stage for the first time when I was 6 and suddenly all this smoke shot out from the smoke machine during my set. I was so scared thinking there was a fire yet I still figured I had to continue playing so I fought my tears and struggled through to the end. I still get nervous of smoke machine because of that. Please tell us your favorite drum story. When my drum teacher was young he was asked to play a session with a sax player but he got yelled at afterwards by him saying, "This is the first time I played back-up for drums with my saxophone!" So my teacher yelled back, "that's simply because you're bad!" He told me this story as an example of how you don't need to hold back for other musicians just because you are a drummer. I love it because it encourages me as a drummer. What do you think the differences between drumming in Japan versus drumming in the US are? I’ve only played a short set in US so I’m not sure, but it seems to me like drummers are respected more as musicians in places abroad than they are in Japan. phot os court es y of artist 20 名前：川口 千里（カワグチ センリ） 年齢：14歳 出身地：日本、愛知県 好きな食べ物：オレンジ！あとフライドポテトも 好き！ ドラムの機種： １） メインのキット：[YAMAHA PHX] Color: Turquoise fade ２） サブのキット：[YAMAHA Hipgig] Color: Mellow Yellow て、世界中の人が私のことを知ってくれたらいいな って思います。 ドラムキットは何を使ってますか？どのようなセッ トアップですか？ YAMAHA PHX は 違うサイズのトム３つ と、16"x15"FT, 22"x18"BD、 キックペダルはツ インペダルのYAMAHA DFP9500Dを使用して ドラムを叩くことの何が一番好きですか？ とにかくドラムが好き。 たくさんのお客さんや一緒 に演奏してくれる人が感動したり喜んでくれたり、 そう言うのって年齢や言葉に関係なく楽器で会 話できたり出来るでしょ。 自分も感動しますし、 す ごく楽しい。 ドラムを始めたばかりの若い子に一つアドバイス をするとしたら何ですか？ 特に最初はジャンルを決めずに、 いろんな音楽に 触れて欲しいです。 私は６歳の時から二人のすごく良い先生に恵まれ て、二人ともどんな種類の音楽にも詳しい先生た ちだったんで すよ。 そういう先生に技術だけじゃ なくて、 いろんなジャンルの音楽を教えてもらった 事がすごく良かったと思っています。 ドラマーとしてのキャリアにおいて、 １０年後の自 分をどのように描きますか？ う～ん、 あんまり考えてないかも知れない。 今までのように、 いろんな人とセッションしていろ んな音楽をたくさん経験していきたいかな。 そし います。 これに12"サイド・スネアやカウベル、左足 にフット・クラーベをセットす ることもあります。 シ ンバルは全てジルジャンです。 するときは、 すっごく集中してやります。 あと練習し てないときでもいつも手足がパタパタ動いてます。 電車に乗ってるときも授業中も。 それで、 よく 「うる さい！」 って怒られます （笑）。 ドラムに関して何か面白い話があったら聞かせて ください。 ６歳の時、初めて大きなステージで演奏したんで すけど、演奏中にスモークの白い煙がブワーっと 噴き出してきたんです。 そんなことすると知らなか ったので、火事だと思って恐かったんですが、演奏 を止めてはダメだと思って、泣きそうになりながら 必死で最後まで演奏しました。 そのせいで、今でも スモークを焚かれるのが苦手なんです （笑）。 ドラムにまつわる一番好きな話を教えてください。 私のドラムの師匠が若い頃、呼ばれたセッション でのサックス奏者との演奏が終わった後、 その奏 者から 「サックスでドラムの伴奏をしたのは初め てだ！」 と怒鳴られたそうです。師匠は 「それは、 おまえがヘタクソだからだ！」 と応戦したそうなん ですよ。 ドラムだからって他の楽器奏者に遠慮す ることはないという例えなんですけど、 ドラマー としての勇気を与えてくれる大好きなエピソード ですね。 日本で叩くこととアメリカでたたくことで、違うこと はなんですか？ アメリカで演奏したのはほんの僅かな時間なので 一日何時間ドラムを叩きますか？ 良く分からないですが、 日本よりも海外の方がド 期待を裏切るようで申し訳ないんですけど、練習 ラマーをひとつの楽器奏者として、 きちんと評価し 時間はたぶん少ないです。 一日に１～２時間で週に２～３日かなぁ。 でも練習 てくれるように思います。 21 Name: Jayla Hernandez Age: 9 Years Old Hometown: Oakland, CA jayla hernandez Lives In: by joan na g u t i e r r e z phot o by Me l i ssa Pak C oats Oakland, CA Fact: Jayla Hernandez is adorable. This precocious 9 year old picked up the drums at her cousin’s house, on a drum set she felt was rather neglected. Instantly, she was hooked. Her favorite part of her drum kit is the bass drum because of the sound it makes. “Drumming makes me feel so excited. When I hit the drums the sound is so exciting to me,” she says. She also loves to perform. While she mainly plays alone, drumming and singing at the same time, she’s played in a few girl bands at Girls Rock Camp. She has yet to find a more permanent band, but she’s already got the name picked out for when she does: Sugar Drop. Until then she’s happy jamming on her own to her favorite songs by Nicki Minaj and Beyoncé. While she wants to be a famous drummer when she grows up, there’s one audience in particular that she really wants to play for. “If I could play anywhere in the world, I would play in Cuba where my brothers and sister live so they could hear me play,” she says. Cue the awwwwws and watch out for Jayla in the future! bridie stagg Typically at age 10, one might do their debut or grade 1 exam. But at age 10, Bridie Stagg from Yorkshire achieved a distinction on her grade 4 exam from Rockschool. This accomplishment is no mean feat. Rockschool is Europe’s leading rock and pop music exam board offering accredited qualifications up to grade 8. The grades are also examined in Australia, Asia, Canada, Africa and Mexico gaining 22 an international reputation. In addition to playing three pieces to backing tracks of various styles, the exams consist of snare rudiments, an improvisation component, listening tests and theoretical questions. A daunting prospect for anyone let alone a 10 year old! Yet Bridie seems unfazed. At just a few months old she would light up whenever she heard music. Her mother was convinced she’d be a dancer until age 6 when a family friend sat her on his drum kit. After only 15 minutes she was playing a groove! On her 7th birthday she was presented with her own drum kit. Though left- Name: Marlhy Murphy Age: 9 Hometown: Dallas, TX Lives in: Dallas, TX but spends part of the year in Los Angeles, CA Past Bands: Various School of Rock season bands Current Bands: We’re Not Dudes and Zeppos Favorite subject in school: Math and Geography Other hobbies: Playing keyboard, bass and sewing Years Drumming: 3 marlhy murphy Story a nd P ho t o by B onn ie G r ad i llas Q u i gl e y “When she was two years old, Marlhy would carry two plastic Easter eggs around the house and beat them together in perfect rhythm.” According to her mom, Wendy, Marlhy Murphy has always been a drummer. Her innate talent really showed, though, when she was six, during her first game of Rock Band, where she scored in the 90 to 100 percentile. Soon, her parents signed her up for “real” drum lessons, at School of Rock Dallas. She’s now nine years old, a slip of a girl whose stature belies her maturity and intense drive. “She doesn’t want to be good ‘for a girl.’ You can see in her eyes she wants to be the best, with no qualifiers,” said Terry Longhway, co-owner of several School of Rock (SoR) franchises, one of them Marlhy’s Dallas location, as well as drummer for local band The Nicholsons. “To say she is beyond her years is such an understatement! I’ve witnessed her practicing for hours and what I love most about her is that she doesn’t take shortcuts.” Proving her precociousness, Marlhy first rocked an iconic song by her favorite band two years ago at age seven…in front of 18,000 people at a Dallas Stars hockey game. “I will never forget it,” said Dean Tarpley, Longhway’s SoR business partner. “Like many who see her when she walks to the drum kit, the 18,000 people there applauded when she was shown on the jumbotron. It was obvious they thought she was cute and probably expected her to be a novelty act. When she started playing Led Zeppelin’s ‘Immigrant Song’ and her feet could barely reach the foot pedals, the crowd erupted.” handed, she started out drumming “open” on a right-handed kit. By the age of 9 she learned to play crossed. Now she can switch her lead hand to suit and is quite ambidextrous. drumming. Her regular tuition includes some rigorous and demanding studies and she practices between 30 to 60 minutes everyday. It’s not uncommon for her to play up to two hours on the weekends. She started going to local jam nights for teenage musicians. The first time she walked on stage, someone said, “But she’s just a little kid!” However, once she played Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit” and “Everlong” by the Foo Fighters, she was accepted on the spot. Off stage she can be quite a shy child—although this is hardly evident when she’s performing. Bridie loves her music and maintains a happy mix of serious learning, jamming and meeting new friends through Most recently she has joined a band. Her band mates are 15 and 16 years old. They met at the local jam night and have a couple of small pub gigs in the pipeline. Bridie plans to continue her drum exams to the highest level of grade 8. At her current rate of speed she could complete this by the time she’s 14. She one day hopes to be a session musician, work in a touring band, and help to prove that girls can play drums as good as any guy! Besides playing for SoR’s Advanced band, Marlhy drums in two others, We’re Not Dudes (best name ever for an all-girls band?) and the Zeppos (Zeppelin tribute band), both formed with fellow SoR students. Performing on stage, said Marlhy, is what it’s all about. “I don’t know the right noun for it, I mean adjective. Excitement. Yeah, excitement! I work really hard, and it’s nice to get that recognition.” 23 from carebears to diaries... read all about it A Conversation with Izzy Schappell-Spillman from carebears by s oph i e r a e phot o by b e x wad e When Isadora (“Izzy”) Schappell-Spillman and I met, we didn’t like each other very much. She wore princess costumes to school; I preferred black skinny-jeans. We were five and in the same kindergarten class. However, by the time we got to third grade, we had settled our differences. We bonded over our love of punk music, and unsuspecting pizza-lovers happened to be at there that night.” She was terrified to go onstage, afraid of “breaking a stick or falling off the drum stool,” which did happen a fair amount of times in the first year. “Even when I was worried about getting a stick stuck in my pigtail,” she says, “I remember getting that rush of how amazing it is to perform.” What started out as a few kids eating sourcandy and throwing Beanie Babies at each other during “rehearsals,” quickly became something much more. Care Bears on Fire was playing regular all-ages matinee shows at bars and clubs in Red Hook and Park Slope, Brooklyn, sold-out to middleschool kids and their hipster parents (who probably enjoyed it more). “When people who didn’t have any real connection to us, you know not our parents or friends, started showing up,” says Izzy, “that’s when I realized that we had something more than some kids playing crap in a basement. We had something that people actually cared about.” Though our close friends and family were very supportive of the band, Izzy notes “being a twelve year-old drummer in a punk band is not as cool as having a date to the sock hop. I remember this one time over both the superiority complexes and when we missed school to go to SXSW unpopularity that came with listening to punk music at the age of nine. So when we and some of the kids made us feel really returned from summer vacation before 4th bad about it, saying that we missed the grade having both begun learning to play math fair and stuff. It was hard to realize instruments, it seemed only natural for us that what we were doing and thought to start a band. Izzy had attended Rock n’ was really cool didn’t register as cool with Roll Camp for Girls in Portland, Oregon everyone else.” over the summer where she discovered drums and fell in love with being a With our entrance into the wonderful drummer. world of celebrity perks came something significantly less desirable: our first Now, almost seven years later, a hot pinkencounters with sexism. “I remember haired Izzy, sporting a nose ring and a really clearly a friend’s grandmother shirt that says, “If you want to achieve saying, ‘You’re such a pretty girl, what greatness, stop asking for permission,” are you doing playing the drums?" says recalls our band's, Care Bears on Fire, first Izzy, “I remember being totally shocked, gig. “We played at Two Boots Restaurant like, ‘What? You mean I can’t be pretty in Park Slope, Brooklyn in Spring of 2004 and play the drums?" Especially as a to our family, friends, and whatever poor drummer, Izzy noticed the extent to 24 which gender stereotypes could affect people’s perception of her as a musician. “Drumming is such a primal, animalistic art form. The physical power and athleticism needed to be a drummer requires a skill set that’s often associated with traditional masculinity. That’s what makes female drummers so taboo and scary to a lot of people. It’s also what makes being a female drummer so amazing.” When she was thirteen, Izzy discovered Riot Grrrl when a counselor at Rock n’ Roll Camp for Girls played her “Rebel Girl” by Bikini Kill. “I remember just being like, ‘Wow, she is so pissed off but she’s also really pretty and cool and smart and funny.’ I didn’t know that a girl could be all that. Riot Grrrl was saying exactly what I had been feeling but couldn’t articulate.” With Izzy’s love of Riot Grrrl came her discovery of feminism. When we start talking about feminism, Izzy points towards the bookshelf next to her bed. Buried under a questionable number of British teen novels with cats on the cover, are as many feminist books as are in the Women’s Studies section at Barnes and Noble. Izzy says that she feels lucky to live in a time when feminist press is so accessible and it’s so easy to become a part of a feminist network. “Care Bears on Fire has recently fallen in with the Brooklyn feminist music scene,” Izzy says, describing the other musicians and organizers we’ve met as “some of the most inspiring women and men out there.” But Izzy says that she remains equally comfortable playing shows in the “NYC teen music scene” with bands like Supercute! and the Indecent. “It’s really important to us to support other teenagers who are creating something,” she says. Having now played with Care Bears on Fire for almost seven years, Izzy and I recently began to feel that it was time to start another band. “We love Care Bears on Fire and are proud of what we’ve done,” Izzy says, “but at this point, it’s time for something new, something that will represent our current selves.” That “something new” is a band called “Claire’s Diary” which Izzy and I formed in September with our friends Joey Koneko and Kiri Oliver. “If you can imagine Kurt Cobain doing a four part harmony and singing about feminist stuff, that’s what it will be like,” says Izzy, looking equal parts confused and excited by her own analogy. skinnygirldietband.tumblr.com ursula's MIXTAPE! Artist / Album / Track Aneurysm - Nirvana Forever Dolphin Love - Connan Mockasin Celebrity Skin - Hole Blue Jeans - Lana del Rey Islands - The xx Bruise Violet - Babes in Toyland See Spaces - Teeth Hip Like Junk- 7 Year Bitch 53rd and 3rd - The Ramones Rebel Rebel - David Bowie 10 questions with ursula of the uk's skinny girl diet by mindy abovit z Tom Tom Magazine: If you could meet anyone (dead or alive) who would it be? Ursula: Kurt Cobain/Jimi Hendrix Whatâ€™s your favorite song? All The Young Dudes - David Bowie Describe yourself in three adjectives. Talkative, outspoken, and weird. Name: Ursula Age: 14 Hometown: London Lives In: London Current Band: Skinny Girl Diet Hobbies: Drumming and Acting Would you rather have a unicorn or a baby T-Rex? UNICORN If you could live anywhere in the world, where would that be? New York City Who is your biggest inspiration in music? Meg White/ Lori Barbero If you could be anyone for a day, who would it be? Helena Bonham Carter What are 3 pieces of advice you would give to someone who wants to know how to better get along with their bandmates? Itâ€™s hard for me to say because we always kind of get along. I say to talk about band issues in a diplomatic way. Who would be on your dream bill for a concert you were playing? (4 bands for the night) Babes in Toyland, l7, 7 Year Bitch, Nirvana What is your band up to right now? We are working on an EP phot os cou rt e sy of a rti s t 25 transmissions Name: Amelia Ley Age: 17 Instruments played: Drum set, tenor drums, cymbals, percussion (ex. marimba, snare drum, etc), and guitar. Current bands/ensembles: Lake Oswego High School Wind Ensemble and Pep bands, Northern Alliance Drum Corps, Guadalupe Past bands: dozens of Rock Camp bands, Rex Putnam High School’s Kingsmen Thunder Drumline. Name: Mizuki Amy Higuchi (Amie) Age: 19 Hometown: Tokyo/Lake Oswego lives in: Tokyo Past bands/ensembles: Lake Oswego HS Concert, Symphonic, and Jazz Bands, Wind Ensemble, Pit Orchestra, Pep/ Marching Band, Portland State Honor Band, All-State Orchestra, Portland Youth Philharmonic Orchestra Instruments played: drums, marimba, timpani, vibraphone, xylophone, glockenspiel, and other orchestral percussion. illus t r at i o n by L au r e n M a re s ca drummer 2 drummer Amelia Ley is a young drummer in Portland and although she’s only 17, she has already been playing 7 years. Amelia teaches as an intern at the Rock ‘n’ Roll Camp for Girls in Portland, and plays drums and percussion in a variety of bands and ensembles. Amelia met 19-year old Amie through the school band when she was a freshman – Amie taught her cadences to play at football games. Amie currently lives in Tokyo, and is eagerly awaiting the start of college so that she can begin to play in ensembles and take formal lessons again. Amelia interviewed Amie over email for Tom Tom. Amelia Ley for Tom Tom Magazine: How did you get started playing percussion and what drew you to it? Are there any percussionists who inspired you to try one of the instruments that you play? Amie Higuchi: I had to move from Tokyo to Oregon in 6th grade, and at the time I couldn’t speak any English. Since I wanted to make friends, I joined beginning band and started to play percussion. I chose percussion because I played timpani part for Pomp and Circumstance when I was fifth grade for the graduation and I liked the instrument. Once I got to high school, Alex Van Rysselberghe taught me how to play it and make it more fun, and that really drew me into the world of playing percussion. I only had a year of training when I was freshman. Most of the skills I have right now are from those lessons. Amelia: How have your experiences in different music ensembles compared to each other? Amie: The marching band I joined was an indoor type that only had percussive instruments with an exception of electric piano and string instruments. 26 So pretty much all you hear is someone beating something. This was an amateur competitive group, so every rehearsal was intense and very energy consuming. We practiced every breathing moment to perfect the piece. Even during the break, we talked about how we could improve on the click we just rehearsed. On the other hand, orchestra has a very different atmosphere. Since many orchestral pieces have little or no percussion parts, we were not asked to play every moment in the rehearsal. I liked how percussionists made their own circle and talked about school life while everybody else had to focus on their music. Last but best, is high school ensembles - wind ensemble or jazz band were both intense and relaxed, in a way that it was competitive but students were allowed to have their own lives other than just band. I loved my school’s wind ensemble the best. Amelia: What is your usual practice regiment? Amie: Before I joined marching band, I usually did four-mallet rolling variations as my warm-up. After [I joined] the marching band, I played the warmups for the marching band. Throughout all the warm-ups and practices, I used a metronome to play from slow tempo and speed it up after every four perfect licks. I did this for every group’s music, and since I didn’t have any private lessons after freshman year this routine was necessary in order to keep my wrists moving. Sadly, now that I’m waiting for college to start and I don’t have anything to practice with, all I do is wrist warm-ups. Amelia: What would be some advice you would give to drummers who want to participate in different kinds of musical projects or organizations? Amie: I was fortunate to have a music teacher who encouraged me to join many different ensembles, so what I did was to go up to him and ask him about different organizations and ensembles around the city. I also used friends and the Internet to research about it, so use your resources and try to reach out from yourself. At the same time, don’t forget to practice every day. www.sirenband.com MIXTAPE! Artist / Album / Track 11 questions with raige paige of miami's siren Tom Tom Magazine: What is your favorite movie? Paige Cantrill: Harry Potter Movies Who is your biggest inspiration in music? John Bonham/Led Zeppelin, Jason Bonham, Neal Peart, Cindy Blackman, too many. What’s your favorite song? Disco Pogo! What is the best concert you have ever been to? Tied between Guns N Roses, If you could invent a new subject for school what would it be and who would teach it? Probably some sort of p90x/ What advice you would give to someone who wants to know how to better get along with their band mates? My advice would Haha and Black Dog by Led Zeppelin shakeology class with Tony Horton or how to make ridiculously awesome shoes with Ruthie Davis. Would you rather dress up or dress down? Why? Dress up! Dressing up is way more fun and you can be creative and not care about what everyone else is wearing. Go big or go home! Describe yourself in three adjectives. Hyper, Spontaneous, Unique Rush, and the Led Zeppelin Experience be to find something in common with another band member. Band or personal website skinnygirldietband.tumblr.com and to chill with your band members once in a while to become comfortable with them and get to know them more. Who would be on your dream bill for a concert you were playing? Led Zeppelin, Black Country Communion, Guns N Roses, Prince What is your band up to right now? Would you rather have a unicorn or a baby T-Rex? Unicorn. A baby T-Rex won’t be a baby forever. Siren just finished their debut album. We are gigging like crazy and in negotiations for a national recording contract. Led Zeppelin/ Led Zeppelin IV/ Rock and Roll Guns N Roses/Appetite for Destruction/ Welcome to the Jungle Rush/Moving Pictures/Tom Sawyer Black Country Communion/2/Save Me Led Zeppelin/Led Zeppelin IV/ When the Levee Breaks Skrillex/Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites EP/Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites Buckcherry/15/Crazy Bitch Monsun/Schrei/Tokio Hotel Def Leopard/Hysteria/Rock it Pink Floyd/A Collection of Great Dance Songs/ Money Name: “Rage” Paige Cantrill Age: 16 Hometown: Ft. Lauderdale Fl Lives In: Weston Past Bands: Barbee Reputation, White Lies, Wild Roses Current Bands: Siren Hobbies: Playing the drums, learning German, reading, Internet surfing, going out with friends, making videos on the computer, p90x/working out phot o cou rt e sy of a rti s t 27 a conversation with chloe Pho t os by Diane Russo When most musicians say they have been playing their instrument “forever,” they are exaggerating. But for Chloe, now seventeen and in her twelfth year playing drums in her band, Smoosh, this statement would not be too far from the truth. Tom Tom Magazine: When did you start playing the drums? changed so much. It has gone from total randomness to actually being conscious of what we are writing about. Right now we are also doing some more electronic drums and percussion and we’re trying to be more poppy and catchy. We always corrupt our songs by adding way too much, so we’re trying to keep things simple. For me as a drummer, my new style that I’m really obsessed with is sort of made up: African electronic. It’s electronic drums mixed with big Djembe sounds. When did Smoosh start? Pretty soon after that. Asy and I started You’ve been traveling between New York, Seattle, and Sweden for most of your life, how has traveling around so much influenced your music? When we moved to Sweden and wrote Withershins playing at the Seattle Drum School and Jason recorded our first demos for us. Our first album was called Tomato Mistakes. That was when I was six. Jason really helped us get our start— we didn’t know how to do anything. We started playing cafes and open mics and then got some shows at the Vera Project in Seattle, which we got a lot of attention for. Sasquatch was also a really big show for us. Do you like playing with your sisters? I hate it. Just kidding, I love playing with my sisters! It’s good because we can be really critical with each other, but we don’t take it personally. I think that helps to make sure that all of the songs are the best they can be. For the album we’re working on now, I’m helping a lot more with Asy and her writing. I’m much more involved than before. 28 How has Smoosh’s songwriting changed over the past twelve years that you’ve been playing together? Our songwriting has Chloe Saavedra: I was five and I went with my family to a music store called the Trader Musician in Seattle. We were trying to get a violin strung that I had broken by accident. I wandered upstairs and saw all the drum sets. I thought they were so amazing and huge and sparkly. I’d never played drums before, but my sister Asy played piano and wrote some songs. We met Jason McGerr, now the drummer for Death Cab for Cutie, who was working there at the time. He said that if I bought a kit he would give me free drum lessons. We got the kit, but we never got the violin fixed. the album was really about Sweden and influenced by the countryside where we wrote it— very isolated in a cabin. The songs are kind of dreamy and you need a lot of patience to listen to it. We are going in a different direction for this album because living in Stockholm was much more upbeat. Then here in New York, things are just so crazy with all the different cultures that are here, we’re hearing so much African and jazz music. This inspired us to include a violinist and an upright bassist. I think if we were still in Seattle we wouldn’t have changed much musically. As a musician you need to have a dynamic, sort of mixed-up life in order to keep things interesting so you don’t write the same thing all the time. Location is everything when you’re writing. smoosh.com Are there any challenges you’ve faced as a young female musician? I’m a little conflicted when it comes to the girl drummer topic because obviously there are girl drummers and obviously there are male drummers, but we’re all drummers. I think that labeling yourself as a girl drummer or a feminist girl drummer puts you in a separate category. Instead of just trying to be an awesome drummer, you’re distracting the attention from yourself musically and you’re just drawing attention to a fact. I’m a feminist because I believe in women’s rights, but as a drummer, I just believe in good drummers. So I don’t think I’ve encountered any issues because of being a girl drummer but there have been some issues because we’re young. Like when we're setting up and doing sound check, people don’t always take us seriously. Hopefully that changes when they see us play and realize that we’re not just some kid rock band that’s going to break up in the next week, you know, that we’ve been playing together for longer than the band we’re opening for. I think it’s a good thing because it challenges us to break away from that pack and be noticed as good musicians. Least favorite part? I don’t like the general set up where drummers are in the back. There’s this band that has the drums and keyboard facing each other and I think it would be so cool if we did that. It would bring a whole new attention to drummers because people don’t even know what’s going on back there but they would miss the drums so much if they were gone. Drums make a song. You said Smoosh is in the process of making its fourth record. When is that going to come out? Later this month we want to go to a cabin somewhere to write. It’s too distracting here. We’re totally influenced by the city but we have to get out just to write. We’re going to release it ourselves so the release will probably be sooner than usual, but we don’t know when that’s going to be yet. I’m so excited to be a part of the writing process for this album. I’m also getting into writing my own stuff on Logic. I’ve been doing a lot of percussion and bass stuff and I feel like I could really contribute to the new direction we want to go in with Smoosh. Do you have any advice for young female drummers? Find your own style. Be influenced by not just one person but by a lot of different people. Don’t get bigheaded. You should always have someone to look up to who’s way better than you. For me when I was growing up that was Tony Royster. Having him to look up to really encouraged me to try to be as good as him. I never was, but it made me want to keep it up. Do you have a favorite part about being a drummer? Just rocking out and going crazy! Drummers can get so into it and go so crazy and the more into it you get the more people appreciate you as a musician. They see that you’re really attached to your instrument and that you’re really feeling it. Do you have any particular topics you want to write about for this album? Revolution. I went to a lot of the Wall Street protests and I was so inspired there and I really want to write about that. Also Wikileaks, which would be hard to write a whole song about other than if you wrote about how good-looking Julian Assange is (laughing). Also the digital matrix, you know, all the digital devices and how it’s kind of changed people. A lot of people just think that we overuse computers and that people should be going out and doing real things or reading a book but there’s so much more to it than that. Using a computer is basically the same things as reading a book; they’re both virtual realities and I probably learn more online than I do in books. But it is sad that we’re getting used to writing in twitter-style and that people now have really short attention spans and need instant entertainment. But that’s just the way it is and musicians can’t be stragglers—there are ways we can use all of this to our advantage, like releasing your album online for free or using YouTube and Twitter. We just need to go with the flow. 29 one d one d one d one d one d one d one drummer one question ONE DRUMMER ONE QUESTION is a regular feature in Tom Tom Magazine. We get a drummer to answer one loaded question and ask an artist to celebrate them in a portrait. Lisa Schonberg curates this feature, and has so far focused on drummers from her stomping ground of Portland, OR. This installment features drummers from the recent Not Enough! Festival in Portland, an annual queer festival of new music and art collaborations. Portland drummer Elizabeth Venable interviewed the drummers for this installment, and local artist and designer Emily Katz created some gorgeous embroidered portraits of them. JAMIE MONTOYA Emb roi dery by EMILY KATZ of Cochinos & Fucking Lesbian Bitches Thirty-one-year-old Jamie Montoya started drumming only a few months before forming the band Fucking Lesbian Bitches for last yearâ€™s Not Enough! Festival. FLB just released a split 7" with NO/HO/MO on Portland label Punk Start My Heart. The Bakersfield, CA native is one of the organizers of Not Enough! Fest; she also makes drawings and dioramas, and likes to keep herself busy in a creative world since she works a 40 hour week in an office. This year at Not Enough! she and some best friends started the band Cochinos. 30 Has drumming affected other aspects of your life? Oh, absolutely. My whole life I have always admired drums and drummers. Whenever I'd go to live shows, it is the thing I fixate most on. I've always seen it as something I was too intimidated to try. Once I finally got an opportunity to do it and liked it, it felt like I could do anything! I started playing drums when I was 30. Once you accomplish something like that, especially later in life, you start to realize that you should try new things and learn to live and experiment more. [Playing at Not Enough! Fest last year] was like my own personal glory story. Taking on the challenge of playing drums for the first time gave me a stronger voice to encourage people to take these leaps and be brave and challenge themselves, even when they don't have a lot of confidence about it. LAUREN PAYTON Emb roidery by EMILY KATZ of Claw vs. Claw Twenty-nine-year-old California native Lauren Payton has been playing drums for sixteen years; she currently beats on a Gretsch Catalina Club kit. She recently got a cheap Washburn off Craigslist and started learning the bass. Another new pursuit includes her band that formed for this year’s Not Enough! Fest, Claw vs. Claw. Her past bands include the Castouts and Ira. And Portland musicians in need of a beatkeeper: Lauren is currently accepting offers for new projects! A lot of drummers recommend that the best approach to playing smoothly and comfortably is to not think about your drumming as you do it, but rather rely on muscle memory. What is your strategy for “getting in the zone”? When we play live I really try not to look off the stage. I try to keep focused on another band member that I'm listening to, or I tend to look down at the ground near my hi-hat. Drumming, for me, is all about muscle memory. If I'm having trouble learning something I will get up and walk away from the kit for a few minutes and then come back to it. As soon as I'm not over-thinking what I'm trying to play, it seems to come to me. I try to drink as much water the day of a show as possible so I'm not dehydrated and my muscles won’t cramp. A little bit of caffeine right before we go on helps too. 31 xxxxx You share the same genes. You share the same influences, the same physical space, heck, you might even share records and instruments. Why not start a band together? That's what The Carpenters, The Shaggs, The Jackson 5, The Jonas 32 Brothers and so many other family bands all did. We took some time out to uncover family bands in Tom Tom style. Read on to find out more about Smoosh, Isla, Screaming Orphans, and Still Saffire. Sisters armed with instruments. Illu s trati ons by minka s icklinger Pho t os by B arry Dolto n the s.h.i.t. Name: Tayler Smith Age: 13 Hometown: Houston, Texas Lives In: Houston, Texas Current Band: THE SCARS HEAL IN TIME School: Homeschooled What I wanna be when I grow up: still be drumming in The Scars Heal In Time THE SCARS HEAL IN TIME 5 QUESTIONS WITH tayler of houston's SCARS HEAL IN TIME I n te rv i e w by Ly n e t te Gillis / Int ro by Joa nna Gut ierrez Tayler Smith is a rocker chick if you’ve ever seen one. The girl oozes style, edge and rock n' roll. At the ripe old age of 13, she counts Tommy Lee, Travis Barker, Debbi Peterson, Roxy Petrucci and Sandy West as inspiration and idols for her kick ass drumming style. While she’s taken a few lessons, she considers herself to be a selftaught drummer. She loves all kinds of music but credits bands such as Nirvana and The Runaways for pushing her towards playing music. Her band is called The Scars Heal In Time (or The S.H.I.T for short, genius I know) and consists of her and her sister Kayla. While they fight every now and then, Tayler describes the overall experience of being in a band with her sister as “freaking awesome.” They’ve got a great relationship where they can be totally honest with each other about their music. Kayla does most of the songwriting, but turns to Tayler when she gets stuck. When asked if she feels as if they are part of a music scene, she says that the band is definitely working its way in there. “Generally, musicians are skeptical. But, after they see us play, we usually become friends and support each other,” she says. These sisters win over crowds and fellow musicians with their talent and rockin’ style, and with every gig their following grows. Don’t forget to check these girls out on YouTube and Facebook to see what they can do! 1. Favorite piece of the kit? The snare 'cause it's the loudest! 2. when did you start playing ? I took my first lesson when I was 10 but I wasn't serious about the drums until I was 12 and we started the band. 3. What album do you have on rotation right now? Hole by One-Eyed Doll. MIXTAPE! Artist / Track Fit For Rivals / Damage The Runaways / Cherry Bomb One-Eyed Doll / Nudie Bar Skillet / Awake and Alive Nirvana / Smells Like Teen Spirit Otep / Confrontation Kittie / Cut Throat Marilyn Manson / If I Was Your Vampire Otep / Breed (Nirvana Cover) Kimberly Freeman / Float Away 4. Favorite thing about playing drums? No matter how mad or pissed off I get I can just go to my kit and drum it out. 5. If you weren't drumming you would be? A lobotomist or a photographer. 33 www.screamingorphans.com screaming orphans by m i n dy abov i tz wi th i nt ro by joanna gut ierrez Pho t o by Caleb Pet er Maher Pho t o by Roddy McWha This rocker family comes all the way from Bundoran, Ireland to amaze you with their awesome technique and killer harmonies. Made up of four sisters (Marie Thérèse, Angela, Gráinne and Joan), the Screaming Orphans have been playing music from a young age all over the UK, Ireland, and the United States. These rockin’ ladies are taking some time off to write some new material before heading back to tour in the U.S. at the end of January. Check out their latest effort Lonely Boy, released earlier this year on CD Baby or iTunes. Tom Tom Magazine: How did you all meet? Joan: Well, first Marie Thérèse appeared and Mam and Da were extremely happy and life was good according to her. That was spoiled by the arrival of Gráinne but MT being MT got used to her really quickly. Next there was Angela. MT and G didn’t pay much attention to her. The last to appear was Joan. Gráinne realized that another "squawking yoke" was about to appear on the scene so she found a stick and spent a whole day going around the back garden screaming loudly and whacking things with the stick. After that release she became fast friends with Joan. And that’s how we met! 34 He taught us about discipline, how to work, and how as a unit we’re so much stronger. Mam kept everything going performance -wise. She taught us all the old songs and we always had great food to eat. It was a great education, we were exposed to life at a young age yet we were protected by our parents. What’s your key to conflict resolution within the band? J: There’s no key. People fight and then they get over it. We have a common goal and a lot of conflict is caused by selfishness and that was knocked out of us years ago. When your mom was the lead singer and your dad was manager, what was that like? Has anyone not related to you played music with you? How was that? J: Dad’s the best manager we ever had. Gráinne: Some in the industry have had a problem with Joan (drummer) being the lead singer. We never felt this was an issue but once we tried a different drummer. So, we got in this guy to play drums and it totally destroyed our whole sound. Many bands are identifiable by the sound of their lead vocalist but our sound can only be achieved with the four of us playing and singing together. What would you recommend to other siblings or families who want to play music with each other? G: I suppose it’s no different being in a band with your family but family bands have an advantage when it comes to vocal harmony as the vocal sound blends so well. It just comes with being family. I think the loyalty factor is more prevalent in family bands so that’s a good thing. www.myspace.com/dogparty DOG party Who better to interview this pair of sisters in the popular Sacremento band Dog Party then Lynette Gillis, one half of the Toronto outfit Sister (made up of the Gillis sisters). Lynette asks the girls about their affinity for indie and punk music, talks about Lucy’s drumkit score in first grade, and how the Sacramento scene responds to the teenage talents. Tom Tom Magazine: What grades are you in? phot o by St efano G all i Gwendolyn Giles: 10th grade Lucy Giles: 8th grade Lucy, how did you start playing music? LG: I've just always wanted to play the drums, and when I was in first grade, my parents got me a drum set at a garage sale. It turned out to be a complete vintage Ruether kit—we have since upgraded all of the hardware, and I still play that same kit. How does being in a band fit with being in junior high/high school? Or does it? Can you play in bars? GG: Yeah, we make it fit. We try not to play shows on school nights, but we find ourselves breaking that rule a lot. We love to play with cool touring bands and many local bands, so when those opportunities come up, we usually say yes! We used to be able to play bar shows in Sac, but that stopped a couple years ago. We have played bar shows in Arizona, New Mexico, and Nevada. How do you describe the Sacramento music scene? GG: Sac has a thriving, super supportive music scene. There are so many talented bands, I don't know where to start! Kepi Ghoulie, who was in the Groovie Ghoulies, and Agent Ribbons (moved to Austin), Ganglians, Lite Brite, Sister Crayon, Middle Class Rut, and tons more. We have always been treated with a ton of respect, even though we are younger then most. We love it. Are there a lot of girls in the scene, both going to shows and playing music? Are there other bands in the scene your age? GG: Not as many as there should be. There are a handful of bands our age, but most of them are guys. What is the best show you've played? GG: The Concert in the Park series in Sacramento is really fun because the turn out is over 4,000 enthusiastic music fans. Another fun show was opening for Best Coast in Davis because we like their music and they were at the top of college radio charts so there were lots of people there, and they were really enthusiastic. We also like house shows because the people are more high energy and easy to interact with. Is the song “Chihiro” about your pet rabbit? (It reminds me of being 14 years old playing in Plumtree and writing the song “Dog Gone Crazy” about our dog who went crazy). GG: It’s about our friend’s rabbit. Another teen band wrote a song about our dog, so we decided to write a song about their rabbit! Name: Gwendolyn Giles Age: 15 Hometown: Sacramento Lives in: Sacramento Current Bands: Dog Party, Little Medusas Favorite Subject in School: Biology & French Hobby: Skiing, running, cross-country, soccer, arts, filming/editing videos. Name: Lucy Giles Age: 13 Hometown: Sacramento Lives in: Sacramento Current Bands: Dog Party, Little Medusas Favorite Subject in School: Painting Hobbies: Painting, arts, skiing, soccer, running, photography. You list current bands on the “Bands We Love” section of your website: TV on the Radio, Dum Dum Girls, Shins, etc. Have you seen some of these bands play live? LG: A few years ago, I saw TV on the Radio, and that was really cool. Yeah, we like those bands, but my favorites are the Ramones, the Groovie Ghoulies, and punk bands like that. The Groovie Ghoulies are really inspiring to me and they had two female drummers! What excites you? LG: THE RAMONES!!!! Best part of playing in a rock 'n' roll band? GG: Getting to do what I love most, and share it with others. LG: I get to have so much fun! I get to be creative and travel all over, see new places and meet new people. Do you want to go to university or do you just want to play rock 'n' roll? GG: Ha! Both. We love rock & roll, but we also place a high value on our education. We are used to juggling a lot at one time because we are also athletes. Unfortunately, we will have to make some of those decisions when the time comes. 35 photo courte sy of artist www.islaonline.co.uk Name: Emily Harding Age: 24 Hometown: Goole, Yorkshire Lives In: London Past Bands: Lots of different bands, from orchestras to big bands, indie to samba bands. Current Bands: Isla since I was 6 Day Job: Events Team member at Hamleys, London Hobbies: Reading, cooking, looking after my baby tortoises, following Newcastle United ISLA 10 questions with emily of u.k.'s isla Tom Tom Magazine: If you could meet anyone (dead or alive) who would it be? Emily Harding: I would love to meet Dolly Parton. I think she’s amazing. I want to go to Dollywood! What’s your favorite song? That’s a really hard question, I have so many! I’m going to have to go for "Landslide" by Fleetwood Mac. Who is your biggest inspiration in music? My dad. And Animal from the Muppets. Who would be on your dream bill for a concert you were playing? (4 bands for the night) Isla Beyoncé and her band Stevie Wonder Sting and the Police Which of the Seven Dwarves would you be and why? Happy, because I’m happy most of the time. If you had to switch places (instruments) in the band, which instrument would you pick? If I had to I would switch places with Eleanor, the guitarist. But I love my drums too much to ever do that! If you were an ice cream flavor, which one would you be? Mint chocolate chip. It’s my favourite! Team Edward or Team Jacob? Team Jacob. If you could invent a new subject for school what would it be and who would teach it? Drumming lessons for everyone! And Cindy Blackman to teach it. Would you rather have a unicorn or a baby T-Rex? UNICORN! If you could live anywhere in the world, where would that be? Somewhere in Italy, possibly near Milan. 36 What is your band up to right now? We’ve just released our debut EP, "Constellations" and we’re currently gigging around London. It’s all pretty exciting! mixtape ilsa: Artist / Album / Track Dixie Chicks / Taking The Long Way / Taking The Long Way Around Red Hot Chili Peppers / By The Way / Cabron Delays / You See Colours / Valentine Sting and the Police / Ghost in the Machine / Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic Fleet Foxes / Fleet Foxes / White Winter Hymnal Foster The People / Torches / Pumped Up Kicks George Duke / Face The Music / The Black Messiah Pt 2 The Corrs / In Blue (Special Edition) / Love In The Milky Way The Kinks / Kinks / You Really Got Me Buena Vista Social Club / Buena Vista Social Club/Chan Chan www.stillsaffire.com STILL SAFFIRE Name: Soreya Scilipote Age: 16 Hometown: Blauvelt, NY Lives In: Blauvelt, NY Past Bands: AOI(Adventures of Isabel), Toy Sugar Current Bands: Still Saffire, Aeda Z Hobbies: Listening to music, reading, singing competitions on TV, making videos with my cousins, hanging out with friends Pho t o by J e ff H a r r o w 10 questions with soreya of nyc'sstill saffire tom tom magazine: What are the plusses and minuses of being in a band with family? Soreya Scilipote: Being in a band with my sister, I feel more comfortable being critical and nit-picky—which can be both positive and negative. We sometimes hurt each other’s feelings, but ultimately varying opinions can lead to interesting music. Also, being in a band with my sister makes practicing very convenient. MIXTAPE! Artist / Album / Track Coldplay/K&Y/Fix You Arctic Monkeys/Suck it and See/She’s Thunderstorms The Killers/Hot Fuss/Change Your Mind Ingrid Michaelson/Girls and Boys/Die Alone Young the Giant/Young the Giant/Cough Syrup Mates of State/Re-arrange Us/My Only Offer Guggenheim Grotto/Waltzing Alone/Told You So Sam Phillips/Martinis & Bikinis/I Need Love Elsinore/Yes Yes Yes/Chemicals KT Tunstall/KT Tunstall’s Acoustic Extravaganza/I Don’t Want You Now What are 3 pieces of advice you would give to someone who wants to know how to better get along with their bandmates? And we’re always working on adding original tunes. 1. Discuss (not infrequently) what each person wants from/for the band. 2. Appreciate what each person brings to the band because every contribution is unique and important. 3. Be open-minded to different ideas on how a song could be arranged. What are you up to right now? Well, Who would be on your dream bill for a concert you were playing? (4 bands for the night) Coldplay, KT Tunstall, Mates of Wall of China. State, Guggenheim Grotto What is Still Saffire up to right now? Right now we’re working on rock versions of Christmas songs for an upcoming show. besides having a rigorous school schedule and looking at colleges, I’m teaching myself guitar in my spare time. I’m also playing trumpet in multiple school bands. If you could play a show at any world wonder, which one would it be? The Great If you could have a super power what would it be? The ability to snap my fingers and whatever object I want would appear. Like right now, I could really use a new drum kit. *snap* Which of the Seven Dwarves would you be and why? Sleepy—because I love dreaming. The whole sleep state is really fascinating to me. If you had to switch places (instruments) in the band, which instrument would you pick? I’m a pretty shy person, but I think being a singer would be fun. For now, however, I’ll spare you the pain. If you could invent a new subject for school what would it be and who would teach it? I really don’t know, but learning to beatbox really interests me. Any beatboxer from The Sing-Off (my new favorite show) could teach it. 37 tengo with yo la tengo / www.yolatengo.com drummer to drummer a conversation between rachel blumberg and georgia hubley pho to s by alici a j. ros e I have been a fan of Yo La Tengo since about 1986, the year their first album Ride The Tiger came out. I started listening to all their records and they really became icons to me. Their ability to channel so many different kinds of music and make everything their own is amazing to me. I love their goofiness/serious all at once approach. And then there is Georgia Hubley. Her drumming style is fluid and feely. Her beats are beautiful and unique. This past September I saw them play a show, joined them on stage for a couple songs, and then went to their rehearsal space in Hoboken, NJ to conduct this interview. Name: Rachel Blumberg lives in: Portland, OR Past Bands: The Decemberists, Norfolk & Western, Boy Crazy, Bright Eyes, Mirah, Jolie Holland Current Bands: M. Ward, Arch Cape, Michael Hurley Other Pursuits: Painting, Art, Film Making, teaching Dayjob: Painting, Playing Music, Teaching, Film Making Name: Georgia Hubley lives in: Hoboken, NJ Current Bands: Yo La Tengo, The Condo Fucks, The Mad Scene Other Pursuits/Projects: drawing, painting, and other arts Dayjob: Yo La Tengo Rachel: Did you sit down at first on a [right-handed] kit and then did you figure it out later? [Georgia plays lefty] Georgia: Yeah I had a real point of confusion. I think I always knew that I was lefty for my upper body, but I started out using my right foot for the kick drum. I had a little practice kit that I would play and I kind of mocked it up. I actually didn't have a hi-hat but I had a flood lamp from art school that I turned into my hi-hat. So I knew that I wanted the snare on the right side and I was just playing along and it sort of dawned on me that that wasn't going to work, so I made my left foot my kick foot. R: Was Yo La Tengo your first band or did you play in others? G: I had a band when I went to art school. I met this woman in Life Drawing class, and somehow we got to talking. And she was like, “Oh I've been playing with some people. Do 38 you want to come play?” So I ended up joining this all girl band. That was the only band that I ever played with before meeting Ira [Kaplan]. R: When did you guys meet James [McNew]? G: We met James when he was in a band called Christmas that Ira and I were friends with and had known for a long time. James liked our band, and then Christmas went on hiatus for while. He said, “Ya know if you need someone, I can fill in.” I think we had a tour and we were running out of people who could just pick up and go on tour, so he came down and practiced and then just decided to stay. R: When you guys write, is it collaborative? And have the dynamics and roles of the group changed over the twenty years? G: It's definitely collaborative. Usually what happens is when we are making up songs or pieces everyone just kind of falls into something. I'll usually just be inspired by whatever beat I am hearing and everyone kind of does that and a lot of times it is just like, “Wow this is magical.” And then other times someone will suggest, “I think this would be cool if you did it this way.” So it's a variety of things really. R: Do you find that there are songs that you've built up from drumbeats? G: Oh yeah, sometimes. Sometimes I'll just start playing something and someone will join in. It's pretty organic. It's shockingly non-verbal. A lot of things get tossed too or changed and become completely unrecognizable. R: One thing I've been curious about in regards to the creation process is Sounds of Science. I saw you guys do that live with the films in Portland and it was really fantastic! I really loved that you were switching between mallets and brushes and all sort of things. When you were composing the music for that did you just watch the film and react—just go for it—or was there a more thought-out process? G: I think we actually had a couple of little snippets of sound bites that we just were stockpiling. Then the opportunity came up that we were going to do that show live, and we had a deadline where we needed to come up with songs for these eight movies. So we went back and found some pieces and built them up from there. At the time I was really taken with the percussionist Susie Ibarra. And so I think I was doing things I thought were imitating what she might do. There was definitely some inspiration at that time, of you know, non linear playing and weird noises. R: What other drummers have you been influenced by or who are some of your favorites? G: There are tons. We were going to see a lot of different kinds of jazz stuff that was a lot more open and free and so there was that kind of thing having an influence on me. Will Rigby was a big influence on me. He's a lefty drummer. That meant a lot to me. He was the dB's drummer and I knew him personally. I think I’ve always been drawn to drummers specifically when you really feel like they have a real personality and their playing has a personality. So a lot of time I’m just watching them, not necessarily listening to records. So when I think of people, it's more who is really fun to watch. R: One thing that I love about Yo La Tengo is that you guys do so many different things. It seems like you don't try to do a certain thing, but you just do whatever it is that inspires you and I am curious about how you give yourself the freedom to be so open in your approach. G: I think we a lot of different things so that it's not so overwhelming to contemplate doing something strange. I don't know how many other bands are like this. Worrying about what to play for a show — I mean that enters into it for sure. We did these shows opening for The National and that was really great. They were so supportive and gave us an hour to play, which was amazing. We just did what we do and I am sure a lot of people were like, “What's this?” And then there were people who were really into it. It’s almost like we've been around for so long—why would we try to tailor it to something that we think someone else wants. have gotten used to the fact that we do 39 zanetasykes.com / turningthebeataround.blogspot.com Why all women should play percussion ZANETA SYKES Zaneta Sykes is percussionist, educator, and composer. She currently teaches through the Park Slope Percussion Studio and resides in Brooklyn. phot o by Z acha ry Ma xw ell S te rtz 40 “Why don’t you play like a man,” said the conductor. All eyes turn on me, the WOMAN with the bass drum. Outraged and embarrassed, I recalled my Dad’s voice. “Zaneta, if you’re serious about playing the drums, you’re going to have to play better than the GUY next to you.” As a little kid, I had no idea what he was talking about, but something stuck with me that day. Every so often his words would return, at times when I realize being a female percussionist is different from being a male percussionist. In fact, many girls aspiring to play drums will be discouraged from playing percussion and if they do continue, will face gender discrimination. But I argue that every woman should play percussion. It is one of the most empowering and liberating experiences a woman could have. And though I have met many jerks in my career, I have also had the fortune of meeting wonderful teachers and artists. Women and men, who remind me that I belong to a community working towards making the world better for future generations of women. In America, there are many attitudes surrounding female percussionists. Studies show that people associate instruments with gender and drums are considered masculine. Therefore, the most common issue is finding support. Many girls are steered away from drums because it’s not gender appropriate. As a teacher, I still encounter parents who fear allowing their daughters to study drums. Another challenge that girls face is being hypersexualized. From ads to Youtube videos, it’s easy for young women to be more concerned with how they look than how they sound. Above all, the hardest challenge is gender discrimination. In school, it is common to view girls as inferior musicians, unless they can prove otherwise. For a young girl, this machismo chops competition can determine whether they are accepted or bullied. So why should women play drums? Playing percussion is empowering and builds confidence for life. Teaching for Girls Inc. NYC, I saw girls who struggled to communicate, but through drumming they were free to express themselves without fear of bullying and judgment. Learning percussion forges a natural mind-body connection, which also develops spatial logic, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills, improving academic excellence. In addition, group drumming offers girls the opportunity to work cooperatively instead of competitively. Girls learn how to work toward common goals and cultivate discipline, humility, and responsibility. Finally, girls need healthy outlets to channel their emotions and through drumming they can share their feeling without stumbling through words or language. For aspiring girl percussionists, I recommend getting informed, start playing, make friends and be fearless! Get to know the history and develop preferences. Resources, such as Tom Tom Magazine, Modern Drummer, drummergirl.com, and drummercafe.com, offer history, forums, and sound clips. The next step is to find a teacher nearby through recommendations, websites, and music schools. There are great female and male teachers. Look for someone who makes you feel comfortable. Once you start playing, make friends, join a class, or even apply for a music camp. Finally, be fearless! Get out there and perform at a friend’s party or a retirement home and share your music. We are living in a time when being a female percussionist is more radical and awesome than ever before. So find some drumsticks, make instruments out of household junk, and play music. Remember, as a female percussionist, you belong to a group of musicians, who are boldly changing the world and music forever. Be proud and keep on drumming. TODDLERS AND TOMS GETTING FRESH WITH The Fresh Beat Band As a child-free person, I was not aware of Nick Jr.’s Fresh Beat Band until my sister told me that it’s caused my 3-year-old niece to be obsessed with the drums. Apparently my niece even brings sticks in from outside and beats on her pillows. (My sister is not happy to find sticks in the bed.) When another friend said the girl she babysits is also obsessed, I sensed a trend and wanted to find out more about this show that’s having such a powerful impact on kids. The Fresh Beat Band has four characters: Twist (DJ and vocals), Shout (keys and vocals), Kiki (violin, guitar, and vocals), and Marina (percussion and vocals). They play songs during the show and solve problems together and encourage kids to dance and sing along at home. I interviewed Tara Perry, who plays the character Marina, and asked her about her experiences as a drummer and as a role model. Tom Tom Magazine: How long have you been playing drums? How did you pick it up? Tara Perry: I started playing drums when I was 11 years old. I always wanted to play an instrument but couldn't decide what I wanted to pick up. I asked my dad what he thought and he said, “I always thought it would be cool to play the drums.” Well, my dad’s pretty awesome so that was enough for me! I got a Roxx Jr. set for Christmas that year and started taking lessons. Do you prefer electronic or acoustic drums? What is your dream drum kit? Definitely acoustic, all the way. As far as the dream kit, it's not my dream to own it but just to be able to play a song on Neil Peart's kit. That thing is impressive! It wouldn't fit in my apartment! Can you tell me about the drum set you play with The Fresh Beat Band? It was a little tricky to get used to. It's an electric kit that I play standing up. It has a snare drum, two toms, a kick pad with kick pedal, crash and ride cymbal pads, and a hi-hat. Pretty standard set up but it's painted perfectly to match Marina's signature colors, blue and purple. What's the best thing about being on the show? I love hearing about the response it gets from the children who watch. A mother posted on my Facebook page that her daughter was asking for a drum set for Christmas and another said her daughter asked for tap lessons after she saw me clog on the Ghost Band episode. That's so great! I'm glad we're encouraging kids to get up and dance and inspiring them to pursue creative outlets. What reaction do you get from kids? Do you get recognized when you're out? Do you get fan mail? What's the craziest experience you've had with a fan? The reaction from kids always varies. They're either very shy and don't understand why or how we're standing in front of them or they scream and just want to hug you. I get a kick out of both. Parents sometimes seem more phot o by Ra ndee St. Ni chola s /Ni ckelode o n By Rebecca DeRos a excited than the kids. I've gotten drawings and pictures as fan mail. It's all very sweet. I haven't really had any crazy experiences as of yet, but our tour kicks off in February so maybe then! What positive effects do you think the show has on kids, and girls in particular? Do you have a personal goal in mind as a role model? I think the show is great with diver- sity and showing that you can do anything you set your mind to. I think it's just great that we have a girl drummer and a girl guitarist. We need more girl drummers out there! I just hope the show continues to get kids excited about music. Singing, dancing, or playing an instrument is so important in childhood development and can help with all sorts of things including motor skills and concentration and confidence. What encouraging words do you have for girls learning the drums? Stick with it! Even when it's tough! You will get the hang of it, the rhythm will come and once you have it you'll never lose it. 41 send us your pix of you and your stix kitography Kitography is where we invite all of you to take a photo of your drums (percussion, congas, tablas, etc) and send it in with a brief bio. We will post it online or put you in print. City: Pollock Pines, CA breanna baker photo courtesy of artist WHAT DO YOU LIKE MOST ABOUT YOUR KIT? What I love most about my tenor set is the size, weight, and sound variety. I love marching the most drums on the field! Carrying some of the heaviest drums makes for a great workout. When I joined a college weight class, I lifted 375 pounds doing calf raises. When I tried to add another 20 pounds, the machine broke! I think the only reason my calves and my back could handle so much weight was the fact that I carry my tenor set for hours, and have a bad habit of marching high on my toes. Our tenors at Sac State consist of six drums. If you've never heard tenors before, they are kind of like the tenor voice of the drum line. Not as low as the basses, not as high as the snares. You have an electronic kit too? My electronic drum set is at home, I actually borrowed it from my boyfriend. Even though I prefer acoustic, I am so thankful I have something to play at home now. I used to spend days and nights at Sac State, because it was the only place I could actually practice on percussion instruments. Now I can come home to play! And I can sing and play along to all City: Birmingham, AL Jacquelyn Sullivan Pho t o by Andy Wesson “I’m mostly just always tapping on everything wherever I am.” What do you love most about your kit? The custom finish! Why? It's hard to say. I just know I feel really at home with it. It took me a long time to settle down with a kit I really liked. my favorite songs. As for my electronic kit, even though it is not acoustic, it is quite amazing! It's so cool to be able to play a song with one sound patch, and then play in another. You can hear yourself in so many neat and funky ways. It makes practicing very enjoy enjoyable. What do you think your drums say about you/your style? My tenors show I am not weak. Even though I am small, I can handle them. My drum set shows I am more than just a pretty face. I am a model and an actress, but my true passion in life is playing percussion. My set also shows my boyfriend loves me since it's his kit! I was raised a jazz drummer, and the electronic kit reminds me of a practice pad kit, which is what I began on in lessons. How had drumming influenced your personal style? Drumming influenced the way I approach learning anything. From posing in front of the camera, to swinging my racket in tennis. Everything I see that I want to do, I learn to break down the technique, and perfect it. I know how to practice correctly and I know how to learn from others without them ever teaching me. Drumming affects the way I dress, the way I think, and the way I feel. www.breannabaker.com 42 thanks to our supporters cici harrison City: Brooklyn, NY photo by meg wachter Age: 27 city: Brookly, NY Past Bands: Let Jill Go, The Pinkmeat, USVS, Astrid Pierce, Clinical Trials Current Band: Heliotropes I drum from my heart. I lose myself in it. It's the only way I can play. heliotropes.bandcamp.com latrisha redmon Pho t o by G i na Thomas What do you love most about your kit? My thought to be only a “guy” thing, I have taken not only my boldness as a “female” drummer to the next level by stepping in Why? I love those two because for me where the boys are and playing with them there’s nothing more aggravating than a but it has given me a sense of edginess ragged sounding snare and kick drum. I from my various hairstyles. From permed know exactly how I want mine to sound hair, to natural; rocking the mini Afro, and tune it accordingly. If I don’t have to the dreadlocks, to the Mohawk and anything else, those two can carry me the now the brush cut, it makes me feel like entire night. I can do what I want because I've taken the great leap to be one of the “guys” on What do you think your kit says about you? the set, but respected as a skilled female My kit says a lot about my loyalty. I’ve had musician. My style of dressing has evolved it now for about five years and it’s been over the years, some days the way that I a huge part of my growing process. Just dress is as unique and edgy as the style as my kit has gotten better with time, so and genre I like to play. Drumming has have I. also influenced my personality to where I’m able to interact with any type of indiHow had drumming influenced your vidual, because it has built my confidence personal style? Being a drummer has influ- to approach anything head on. enced my style in various ways. www.fee-nomenalmusic.com Being that it's already an art form that's snare and kick drum. City: Birmingham, AL 43 Jazz: Patterns and techniques by Lien Do Jazz: Jazz: Swing Key Patterns &Techniques Patterns By Lien Do &Techniques 2e +a 3 4e +a 1 1 2e +a 3 4e +a 1 snare cross stick accent open close stick snare crossbass foot hi-hat accent open close Key hi-hat bass foot hi-hat By Lien Do Swing 4 4 4 4 hi-hat 41 4 4 4 The most characteristic and popular beat in jazz, the swing beat, heavily depends on the cymbal beat that is usually played on the ride cymbal and quite often played on the hi-hat. The swing beat is constant with an underlying bass drum hit on the down and up beats. Thecharacteristic snare is usedand sparingly and isprimarily used for improvisation through on the The most popular beat in jazz, the swing beat, heavily depends play with improv snare and pattern 2: simple accents and that syncopation. cymbal beat is usually1:played on your the ride cymbal quite often swing playedpattern. on the hi-hat. The swing beat is constant with an underlying bass drum hit on the down and up beats. The snare is used sparingly and isprimarily used for improvisation through accents and syncopation. 1: play with your improv snare pattern 2: simple swing pattern. 2 2 Extended Exercises Approach these exercises by playing each part individually. This will help create independence in your hands and feet. This independence is one of the most important things in jazz because jazz drumming (and the style in general) is highly dependent on improvisation. Then try playing the bass Extended Exercises and cymbal (hi-hat or ride) lines together until you get it solid. Then add in the snare parts. Use this approach for both exercises. Each exercise is to be played interchangeably andplaying continuous. For individually. example, youThis canwill play thecreate first bar of exercise 1inthen bar and 1 of feet. exercise right after andisloop Approach these exercises by each part help independence yourplay hands This 2independence one itof or mix and match. The more comfortable you get with swing and these exercises, try your own line of snare drum or add some fills on the tom toms. the most important things in jazz because jazz drumming (and the style in general) is highly dependent on improvisation. Then try playing the bass Lastly, taking(hi-hat the theme of swing, try playing solo.get Improv solos foradd the in drumset usually drum at steady beat while theexercise player is to and cymbal or ride) lines together untilayou it solid. Then the snare parts.keep Usethe thisbass approach foraboth exercises. Each drums around the set as a indepedent voice.ForYou want toyou try can the keep thefirst solobar with feeling of swing while on a swing beat. be played interchangeably and continuous. example, play the of aexercise 1 then play barsoloing 1 of exercise 2 right after and loop it or mix and match. The more comfortable you get with swing and these exercises, try your own line of snare drum or add some fills on the tom toms. Lastly, taking the theme of swing, try playing a solo. Improv solos for the drumset usually keep the bass drum at a steady beat while the player drums around the set as a indepedent voice. You want to try the keep the solo with a feeling of swing while soloing on a swing beat. 1 41 4 4 4 2 42 4 4 4 44 Drum Kit Grooves and Fills by Christine Barron: Cross-in-a-Square 45 Education Vintage Rhetoric by Jos e Me d e l e s photo by e l i zab e t h v e n abl e WHAT ARE THOSE?: Vintage Japanese Drums D.I.Y. Drum It Yourself: Dirty King By mo rga n doc t or Morgan Doctor has been a session/live freelance drummer in the Toronto scene since 1999 and is a highly sought after session player as well as private drum teacher. She has played wtih The Cliks, Bob Wiseman, The Toronto Tabla Ensemble and Tamara Williamson. Morgan’s session drumming has turned up on TV and Film soundtracks including the CBC Metro Morning, The L word, and Grey’s Anatomy. Here is her transcription of “Dirty King.” This is a question often asked of “made in Japan” drums. In my opinion they are a best kept secret when it comes to vintage gear. Most of the time these old shells just need some TLC to get them functioning and sounding great. A brief backstory: the U.S. drum market was bombarded in the 1960's with name brand knock-offs from overseas. The drums came with Slingerland, Sonor, Gretsch and other name brand look-a-like hardware. Most of the shells were made of luan/Philippine mahogany wood. Luan is a softer wood that gives the drum an overall warm tone. The finishes were pretty amazing: various sparkles, pearls, satin flames, stratas and many other unique wraps were available, including leopard. The downside to “M.I.J.” drums, is that the hardware was cheaply made, leading to inadequate tom mounts, spurs, brackets, and throws. This is easily remedied with use of a snare stand to support the rack and replacing other troubled hardware with reliable parts. The upside is when you do find these drums, they’ll be inexpensive and you’ll get a lot of bang for your buck. Drummers like Joey Waronker (Norah Jones, Thom Yorke), Daniel Hunt (Ages & Ages) and custom drum company C&C are rediscovering the depth and tone of luan shells. Online classifieds sites like Craigslist are helping a new generation of students and gigging drummers trade and share the classic Japanese sound. So next time you’re at your local drum shop, yard sale or friend’s grandma’s attic and see a “Drum Mate.” “Star,” “Crown” or “Revelle” (to name a few), give ’em a shot. Chances are you won’t be disappointed. We are stoked to present the second installment in our regular column on vintage drums by Jose Medeles. Jose is the owner of Revival Drum Shop in Portland, Oregon. This shop has become a favorite tour stop for drummers and musicians from all over the world. It specializes in vintage and custom drums, and is full of all sorts of percussive treasures. Jose plays the drums in The Breeders and the 1939 Ensemble (a vibraphone and drum kit duo!). Please send your questions for Jose to info@ tomtommag.com, attn: Vintage Rhetoric. 46 thanks to our supporters The Purdie Shuffle Part 1 Drum Machine Love Wo rds and Illus t rat i on by Ai mee No rw i ch by Jyn Yat e s The famous Purdie shuffle, a brilliant groove popularized by the world’s most recorded drummer, Bernard “Pretty” Purdie. If you aren’t familiar with his work, then I highly recommend you get familiar because the man is not only a riot, but a brilliant percussionist. His approach to his craft is gentle and smooth and he is one of the most genius gems we have in the modern day rhythm world. This dude has style and swagger and so does his grooves. One of the most famous being the Purdie shuffle. The Purdie shuffle is played in half-time which places your main backbeat on count three and can be heard on Steely Dan’s “Babylon Sisters.” Not only did the groove work for Purdie, but a handful of other famous drummers later took the shuffle, made it their own and in turn sold millions of records off songs written around it. The Purdie shuffle holds not only triplets but brilliantly placed ghost notes. It’s a very tough beat to master but definitely worth the effort in the end. When I started learning this groove, the first step was to take it super slow, count in eighth note triplets and work on it over and over again until the muscle memory became ingrained. I suggest that you start with the kick drum and hi-hat patterns as the kick happens always with the right hi-hat hand. When that is comfortable, bring in the snare accent on count three. When that flows well, add in all the other snare hits as ghost notes, the hardest being the one right after the accented snare hit. Hint: it’s just a rebound. Be sure you play the ghost notes as quiet as possible. Once you get the main groove down, swing it just a bit and bring the left hat foot in to finish off the hat shoops for a crowd pleasing effect. Voila! The Purdie shuffle, play around with it, make sure it feels good and as always, have fun! Stay tuned… Part II and III will show you the different versions of the Purdie shuffle that drummer John Bonham and Jeff Picaro later made famous on “Fool In the Rain” and “Roseanna.” Roland Rhythm Arranger (TR-66) Hi, this is the first illustration and writeup for the new series Drum Machine Love, which will provide some drawings and fun tidbits on cool vintage drum machines. Being a bass player, I naturally am interested in beat making devices, so, I jumped at the opportunity to draw some of these beautiful machines and get to know a little history about their evolution. Old gear like this, often made with real wood frames and electrical components, are durable, aesthetically pleasing and sound rad. Sure, the current digital alternatives have way more features and parameter controls, down to specifying the millionth harmonic of the kick drum, but these old machines are pretty and they don’t overload your CPU. The Roland Rhythm Arranger is a beautifully simple device that was invented in Japan in 1974. One can watch a three minute YouTube video to see how this baby functions; quite refreshing to the user manuals the modern programmer must suffer through! Basically, it’s as if Roland took all of the beat components from those old ’50s organs that many an Aunt Mable jammed out upon, and consolidated it into this fine, portable wooden framed box. Also, it is said that the Rhythm Arranger is most famous for providing the “Cha-Cha” rhythm on one of my favorite bands, Roxy Music's “Dance Away” in 1979! Aimee Norwich is a musician, composer and producer. For more info, please visit www.aimeenorwich.com 47 l et th e er be li gh t DIY Drum Pendant Light by l i nds ay ballard www. l i v i ngw i t hli nds ay.com 1. I bought a used tom drum off of Ebay for under $30 shipped. I’m sure I could have found a better deal at a thrift store or pawn shop around town, but I knew what I wanted and was willing to pay a little extra so that I didn’t have to drag the kids all over town. This tom is 12 inches tall and 10 inches wide. Any size will likely do— you’ll just want to make sure it will fit in your space. 5. Thread your fixture through the slot. You can pick up a light kit at a home improvement store, which you will hang by a wire and chain. OR, you can do what I did and use one of the Pendant Light Kits from Shandell’s. Instead of having the ugly chain, these kits are made from cloth cord. They come in several colors – red, gold, brown and putty – and in either nickel or brass finishes. These kits are $29 each and I couldn’t speak more highly of them. They definitely give a much more finished and vintage look to a fixture. I have a 60-watt blub in the fixture, but that could vary by project. You will need to test it on your own drum, but mine does not get warm to the touch at all, even when left on for many hours. 2. I removed the top and bottom of the drum by unscrewing the lugs that hold it together. Use a drum key. 3. I cut a piece of scrap wood so that it would fit tightly inside the drum without distorting its shape. I didn’t curve the edges; I just cut it straight across. On either side, I hammered in 2 finishing nails to hold it in place (drill small holes first to make it easier). In the below photo, I hadn’t hammered them in all the way so that you could see them more easily in the photo. Obviously, hammer them all the way in. I colored the nail heads black with a Sharpie marker since my drum is black, but they are pretty well hidden by the chrome rings once you put the drum back together, so you might not have to worry about that. 4. Once the strip of wood was in place, I needed to create a slot for my light fixture to thread through. I drilled three holes that were roughly the diameter of the piece I needed to thread. I used my jigsaw to connect all three holes into one long slot. The reason you need to do this is to be able to balance the drum. There is a clamp on the side of a Tom that attaches it to a drum kit, and it creates more weight on one side of the drum. The drum doesn’t hang straight from the center, so a slot gives you the ability to slide the fixture around to figure out its balance point. 48 6. Replace only the chrome rim on the top of your drum (where the light fixture is). You may find that you need to cut (with scissors or an X-Acto knife) the little silver ring off of the what was then the bottom head (they part you don’t play) and put that under the chrome rim. You’ll see what I mean when you start to put it back together – you want the top to be open, but you may need that silver ring as a spacer in between the drum and the rim. Flip your drum over and attach the head and rim to what is now the bottom of the drum. You can just screw the screws back in with your fingers. Materials Needed: • Used Tom drum • Short piece of scrap wood • 4 finishing nails • Drill • Jigsaw • Pendant light kit (recommend the cloth cord kit from Shanell’s) • Scissors or X-Acto knife • Light Canopy 7. Hardwire your new fixture to the ceiling. You’ll want to buy a light canopy to hide the wires. I got mine at Home Depot and spray painted it chrome. I hung my new drum pendant light in a small area of our entry way. I could not possibly be more in love with its quirkiness and originality. I bet you will be the only one in your neighborhood with this light fixture! My favorite part about it is the amazing light it throws off at night. There is an almost ethereal glow that comes through the drum head, and the light that shines on the ceiling really highlights the fixture. the latest on the greatest / gearheads Outlaw Drums: Snare Drum outlawdrums.com I took this drum out for a test drive in Washington Square Park, and was approached more than once about its unique, and gorgeous look. This is a 7”x14” snare made with quarter sawn virgin heart pine. Outlaw Drums recycles wood from old plantation houses, abandoned buildings, farmhouses, and constructs snare drums out of the reclaimed wood. What? Yes, this exists. This particular drum was built from an 1880’s plantation house using the floorboards. It is garnished with ten black chrome lugs around the 7/8” shell. This baby is heavy, but is one of the most visually outstanding drums I have ever seen. The sound is overall crisp, and punchy. Rim shots are very strong, even with brushes. To me this drum seemed to excel in a large playing area. The drum did not have enough room to really sing in a small space, and would require some dampening to get it a nice snare response. It has an extremely well built snare switch. It was very easy to turn the snares on and off, and adjust the tightness. The sound with the snares off was punchy as well, and responded nicely with brushes too. If you need a crisp sound, and a big bite snare drum, this is a great option. Check out Outlaw Drums for their one-of-a-kind reclaimed wood snares. Roll-It-Ups MUSIC by s te ph ba rk e r fleapuckett.etsy.com This handmade stick-bag makes it easy to keep all of your mallets and sticks in one place, and keeps them super easy to store. Created by Flea Puckett, this bag rolls up, and ties shut with the same ties that can be used to attach the bag to your floor tom. There is also a pouch inside for easy drum key/miscellaneous storage. Each bag is a unique design, and once again, it is handmade. That means they were all made with care, and who doesn’t want a little love surrounding their drumsticks! bermuda bonnie Cymbag cymbag.com The Cymbag is a felt-lined bag that slides directly over your cymbals, and can be tied shut to provide extra security if needed. These gems keep your cymbals looking arena-ready at all times. The Cymbag at first seemed like it did not serve a real purpose in my life, but then it dawned on me. Maybe I don’t need them, but everyone who can actually leave their drums set up would love these! That is the whole purpose, no fingerprints, no dust, less bottles of polish and extra cymbal bag protection. One package contains 14’’, 16”, and 20” bags. Check ’em out! Drama Chill Mega Chill | September 2011 Rebecca Huston's solo project Bermuda Bonnie comes back with the solid sophomore effort, Drama. Huston retains the chill stylings from her previous album—her voice often floats along top sparse electronic pop like an inner tube on a lazy river. With Drama however, she leaves some of the breezy retreats to experiment with heavier, dance-induced beats. Favorites include “Franny's Theme” which pulls out a whirlwind of pitch-switched synths and a library of whizzes and blips, while “Say Something” is a sort of bubblegum nod to Ladytron. Listen to this: While getting tropical in your bathtub. — Anika Sabin bloodhuff Bloodhuff S/T | 2011 District Drum Company: Snare Drum districtdrumcompany.com This is a 6.5” x 14”, North American maple, 10ply custom-made snare drum. Talk about a beautiful drum; this is by far one of the best. The maple wood creates a very warm, and woody tone. At the same time, the heavy-duty chrome hardware allows this drum to create fat, and heavy rim shots that resonate far and wide. The quality craftsmanship of this drum can be felt easily in the pure weight of the overall shell, and the thickness of the hardware. This beast is not about to break apart on you, no way. The crisp snare sound delivers when necessary, and the drum can carry a conversation with the rest of your kit when the snares are off. The warm tone easily blends with other toms. If you ever wanted a custom snare, DDC is a company to look into for sure! There's something really comforting about this band from Providence, RI. Muddied in experimental lo-fi, Bloodhuff's vocal harmonies, noisy guitars and sharp drums spill into each other. The trio's music is intimate and frenetic, letting their instrument's seeming mishaps make intricate harmonies. “King Crab” has a bit of a Bauhaus meets sleepwalking sound while the more garage-y “Awakening” gives us something between joy and terror. Definitely worth a listen. Listen to this: While driving a semi late into the night cross country with the windows down. — Anika Sabin one love y'all GEAR 49 MUSIC top pick e d i te d by R e b e cca D e Ros a isla wild flag Wild Flag Merge Records | September 2011 Lonely Hunter Soft Abuse | June 2011 Constellations Floating Island Music Limited | October 2011 On first listen, Isla sounds like this generation's answer to The Corrs: a group of sisters (in this case three from the U.K.) with preternaturally perfect harmonies creating pop songs that seem tailor-made for the soundtracks of romantic comedies and prime time dramas. However, the wealth of musical influences reveals itself over the course of this EP. Wild Flag’s debut self-titled album is the brainchild of Carrie Brownstein and Janet Weiss of Sleater-Kinney, Mary Timony of Helium, and Rebecca Cole of The Minders. That’s just a few of their past endeavors, but this time their pop-rock fusion is a phenomenon. Carrie Brownstein completely reigns over us with her effervescent vocals and energy that bursts through the record, while Mary Timony is able to reel you back to the soft edge you might remember from The Mary Timony Band. The album brings us The Clash mixed with a psychedelic spin on what feels like post-punk to modern day indie-rock. The groove of their connection rides straight through the album and gives us a solid record constructed by four fearless women. Listening to Lonely Hunter, Brute Heart's gorgeous follow-up record to Brass Beads, is a bit like being passed a poem after a lifetime of ink-stained teenage love notes. There's a refreshing intention to every note without sounding overproduced; and there is an eloquence and restraint without disrupting their marks of post-punk that give them so much heart. Since the trio's inception, Brute Heart has proven its sound to be wise beyond it's years. Take the album’s opening song “Eclipse” a piece that wakes slowly and deliberately, tethering plucked violas and commanding percussion, eventually laying the groundwork for an entire album embellished in well-crafted composition and moody Midwestern atmosphere. The two older Harding sisters, Emily and Charlotte, studied music extensively in college, which is apparent in their pristine arrangements. The hollow deep percussion on “Run For You” sounds like it could have come either from Emily's kit or her djembe. Charlotte pulls out her tenor saxophone during “Defences,” making the EP's final track a jazzy conclusion. Listen to this: While watching Portlandia. — Attia Taylor Listen to this: On a winter drive through your hometown. — Anika Sabin Listen to this: Before turning on your favorite HBO drama. — Valerie Paschall the whip shondes htrk Southern Fried Records | September 2011 Exotic Fever Records | September 2011 Ghostly International | September 2011 The Whip, an electro-pop quartet from Manchester have put out a record that is a collection of cool vocals and synth sounds reminiscent of Depeche Mode and New Order. It features crisp disco percussion, held together by production so seamless you can’t tell the difference between the electronic beats and Lil Fee’s acoustic drum kit. But these slick, commercial sounds don’t quite cohere into pop songs. Dance music isn’t exactly verse-chorusverse pop though, so maybe it’s unfair to expect it to be. Rather, expect solidly dance-able, floor-ready tracks with some provocative rhythmic surprises. Songs about heartache, exhaustion, loneliness, illness, “tarnished” reputations and ill-fated relationships are all represented on this Brooklyn Jewish-folk-punk quartet’s third full-length. But to call it a “break up record” would be reductive. Searchlights is better described as a survival record. Thematically the band shifts its focus from identity politics and interpersonal power relations to everyday crises, like long work days, supporting sick bandmates, drawn-out break ups, and feeling homesick on tour. Stylistically, the band experiments with less aggressive and dissonant sounds, employing girl group-esque vocals and rhythms and standard pop structures. The Shondes make “survival” sound unexpectedly triumphant. WORK (work, work) is a grunge electronic album that presents a mood unlike their exploratory rock EP from 2007, Nostalgia. The album is passionate and obviously floats in a direction toward something weighted. The 10-track album has simple titles but clear abstract structures. “Bendin” works in a deconstructive manner with beats slashing through an ambient safari. All the way through the album is a haze of vocal continuity with beats that can’t help but pull you deep in. The shoe-gaze approach to the electronic album lights a torch of emotion and their heavy story easily translates from beginning to end. Wired Together Listen to this as: You are getting ready for a night out dancing after a hideously long week. — Jamie Varriale Vélez 50 brute heart Searchlighs Listen to this: While proudly and happily engaging in your favorite self-care practices. — Jamie Varriale Vélez WORK (work, work) Listen to this: During your moments of deep, deep contemplation. — Attia Taylor reviews zola Jesus cult fever pack a.d. Sacred Bones Records | October 2011 Self-released | November 2011 Mint Records | September 2011 Zola Jesus has easily dodged the post-success doldrums of her first albums with pure grace. If The Spoils had Nika Danilova singing from the bottom of a well, in Conatus, she emerges unscathed. The album is deliberate in giving space and nuance to each instrument. No longer the dense claustrophobic landscapes we’ve come to expect, songs like “Vessel” evoke a barrenness. Still, she flirts with entropy, disseminating songs with mantras of industrial clang, and ambient curtains of no-fi noise and even splurges into hurried dance beats with “Seekir” and “Ixode.” Acoustic instruments get their moment too, such as in “Skin” where she dwells beautifully on a piano. Conatus provides a sophisticated clarity to Zola Jesus’ work as a whole, brushing even past albums in new light. Cultfever, the Brooklyn-based electro–pop trio consists of lead singer, Tamara Jafar, instrumentalist, Joseph Durniack, and drummer from Tokyo, Shiori Takenoshita. Throughout the entire EP, Jafar guides the listener with an utterly dependable vocal performance. The intensity picks up midway through with “Devil In The Drum.” The drums sound like they are in an alleyway, catching all the reverb from the walls, and using that to further enhance the energy/ fullness in sound. “Duress” contains an extremely tasteful synth solo section, and “Farm” plays a few tricks on your mind with a surf-rock bass line, beautifully layered with those mysteriously rich synths. Cultfever brings a suspenseful, but still locked in sound to their debut EP. P.S. There is a line in “Rouge” that says, “I’m addicted to the drumming.” Um, awesome! The Pack a.d., a duo from Vancouver, layer storytelling on their fourth album, throatily rupturing compositions beyond confrontational ferocity. Maya Miller, the drummer, drives us through the record, with a deft brush stroke in “Ride,” a raging cowbell in “8,” and her consistently catchy and unpredictable tribal-punk garage power throughout. Guitarist/vocalist Becky Black conjures bits of PJ Harvey, Grace Slick, Jean Smith, and even Alice Cooper in her vocals, proving decided range as she delivers eerie lines like “Your future is uncomfortable” from “Positronic.” The most clever track “8” advises, “I know your pain. Let’s have soup together, kill the world, and all have lunch.” Unpersons brings us the personality and sounds of ghosts. Conatus Listen to this: Post break-up. — Anika Sabin Debut EP: Cultfever Listen to this: On a private adventure, with a flask in an inside jacket pocket. — Steph Barker Drummer girl violence girl Coteau Books | September 2011 Feral House | October 2011 All Sid wants to do is play the drums. When she hears that the most popular band at her high school is looking for a drummer, she jumps at the chance. She knows she’s better than the competition. When she auditions, the guys in the band know it too, but they’ll only let her in if she admits she’s a dyke (which she’s not, she just likes carpentry and drums and baggy jeans) or she has to get a “hot” new image. She decides to sacrifice her identity and get a makeover, which results in a whole lot of unwanted attention and sexual harassment. She learns a lot about herself and the issues that many girls face when they try to conform to others’ standards. But don’t worry, she still keeps rockin.’ — Rebecca DeRosa Listen to this: During dance solos on apartment rooftops, tossing jump splits at cloud cover. — Bonnie MacAllister top pick books By Karen Bass Unpersons By Alice Bag Mix together glam rock, sex, rage, family bonds, luche libre, and some stage lights and you’ll get Alice Bag (née Alicia Armendariz). Bag emerged from her tumultuous adolescence straight into the emerging L.A. punk scene. The love and violence she experienced growing up made her completely at ease with her new punk family. In this realistically complex memoir, you’ll find detailed accounts of Bag’s experiences with her own bands which include The Bags and Castration Squad, as well as her friends’ bands: the Germs, the Weirdos, the Go-Go’s and many others in the scene. (There’s even a photo of Sid Vicious writhing on the stage as The Bags perform in San Francisco.) Anyone interested in the origins of L.A. punk should definitely pick this up. — Rebecca DeRosa women who rock coloring book Girls Rock Rhode Island Girls Rock | December 2011 We haven't gotten our hands on one of these sweet coloring books yet but we can't wait. The pages include: Yoko Ono, Erykah Badu, Meg White, Heart, Esperanza Spalding, Rocker with pedals, Patti Smith, Janelle Monae, Nico, Cindy Blackman, Nina Simone, Trish Keenan, Best Coast and more. And while you’re filling in the lines you are also supporting Girls Rock! Rhode Island, a local nonprofit organization dedicated to giving girls and women the chance to rock. Best of both worlds. — Mindy Abovitz 51 channel thanks to our supporters We have a Tom Tom YouTube channel! Check it out. Here are videos we had to share with you. Alexey Poblete This girl not only has fashion style, but she has mad drumming style covered in swag. Oh yeah, she is eight! I was floored when I heard her lay down some heavy beats, with a confidence to match. Also, she is adorable. Watch this now to have a smile on your face for the rest of the day, or at least the next three minutes. SEARCH: Next Great Drummer Competition in Las Vegas, NV DASHA KOTOVA I came across this video, and was in awe of the absolute level of power and sureness she played with every note. This girl can rock, and you can tell that every hit has a purpose. Not only is that a rare trait to find in a young drummer, but with every drummer. This is a must see video treat. SEARCH: Young Russian Girl Drummer 2 Senri Kawaguchi This 14 year-old girl from Japan is killin’ it on the drums. She seems to be playing at NAMM, off to the side somewhere. I am so glad someone decided to film, because she is amazing. I can’t even say anything more, go watch it and you will understand why! SEARCH: 14 Year Old Japanese Girl Kills It On Drums Yayank Um, drumming and singing…at sixteen…to Dream Theater. What?! I don’t think I need to tell you anymore. Go now! SEARCH: Female Drummer From Indonesia (3) 52 dvd Miss Representation Directed by Jennifer Siebel Newsom Girls Club Entertainment | 2011 America, we have a problem. Filmmaker Jennifer Siebel Newsom saw it; indeed, the impetus of the film was her pregnancy with her daughter and a desire to forge a better world. The film deals with women’s representation in media (in tabloids and in advertisements) and their lack of representation in powerful positions (as heads of media companies or as filmmakers). It’s a lot of information that many feminists know, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen it all synthesized so well, nor have I seen the broadest implications of how media is affecting gender roles, politics, and well, everything, brought together in one documentary. One quotation really stuck with me: the idea that we can’t become what we don’t see, to which the filmmakers mean, we see emaciated models, tabloids speculating about baby bumps, but we don’t see enough business women or female directors. Something has to change; young women must grow up seeing women in positions of power, seeing women musicians, and being taught their worth is more than a number on the scale, because right now, the mainstream media perpetuates the exact opposite. This is something worth fighting for, and Miss Representation will get you in the mood to fight. — Rachel McKay Steele reviews books girl gang zine By Kristina Hens and Maren Karlson Fall 2011 how the mistakes were made By Tyler McMahon St. Martin’s Griffen | October 2011 This novel, narrated by Laura Loss, an ’80s D.C. hardcore bassist turned ’90s Seattle grunge drummer, follows her rise to fame and then the demise of her reputation by the press and the band’s fans. We’ve seen this story before—a woman, say, Courtney Love or Yoko Ono, is blamed for the break up of a band. It’s interesting to read something in which such a character has a voice. While it is a pageturner and the story is engaging, I found some of the narrative to be flawed. Disappointingly, Loss comes off as tough, yet not strong. She displays a lot of bravado, and views other women as competition for male attention. To be sure, there are a lot of women just like this, but I’d like to see our ideas about women evolve. Riot grrrl was blossoming at the time this story is set and those ideals or even any mention of it is absent. I would also have liked some commentary about other women in the scene. — Rebecca DeRosa thanks to our supporters Yes! We made it into this fabulous zine, Girl Gang Zine, put together by two even more fabulous ladies residing in Berlin. The theme for this issue is “Role Models” and consists of interviews with wonderful women from around the world. The zine opens with this befitting quote from Kathleen Hanna, “If I am a role model I wanna be a really three-dimensional one that makes mistakes and [does] not has to do everything right all the time.” Totally. And lo and behold, many of the women they feature are drummers and beatmakers! Inside you can find interviews with our very own Lisa Schonberg, amongst interviews with Zola Jesus, Super Wild Horses, Electralane’s Emma Gaze, Grass Widow and more. The interviews are accompanied by lovely heart-warming illustrations. Our only comment is that we wished we could have seen more women of color represented in this issue. — Mindy Abovitz tom tom tv best of L i s t compi l ed by s t eph barker If you haven’t noticed, we have a video screen on the homepage of our website. Yep. That’s right. We use it to premiere music videos, upload exclusive drum lessons, and for just about anything female drummer related. Lately we have debuted “Space Invaders” with our LA team. They have been filming drummers in their practice spaces. We are also posting Tamar Glezerman's SXSW interviews and search our site for LKN's stellar van interview. Here is a short list of some of our other favorite videos on Tom Tom TV. Interview w/ Liv Marsico Supercute The woman on the cover of Tom Tom Magazine Issue #6 comes to life in this interview for Tom Tom Magazine. Liv talks about her background, and also gives us the rundown on her drum kit. Vintage sounds, and vintage gear with an amazing player on top, Get clicking! This band is exactly what it sounds like, SUPERCUTE! These young girls are not new to the music scene (Rachel has been drumming for years) but their free spirit, and a love of music is obvious in this group. Watch this video and remember to follow them throughout their journey as they tour the world. Space Invaders: The Orange Rev Valerie George's car kit This is the first installment of “Practice Spaces” on Tom Tom TV, and it is with The Orange Rev. We get a tour of the space, and of course, a tour of the drum kit. Take a glimpse of the whole band during a rehearsal, and a closer look at how the drummer breaks it down. Also, hear the cutest NAMM story ever! A recording studio, in a station wagon! Why would you not want to see that? There is also an array of drums, and cymbals mounted on top of the same car. Valerie George speaks to Tom Tom Magazine, and explains how everything works, and why she made this masterpiece in the first place. Must see station wagon! 53 thanks to our supporters 54 t og i eno ad ekil namow on tnia throwback throwback bertha By ani ka s abin Illu s trat i on by Lauren Mares ca BIRTHA HAS BALLS spouts a pin from the ’70s. Sounding the second wave feminist alarm, this marketing ploy exhibits what an all-women rock group needed to prove in the male-dominated music scene back then. Classic rock especially seemed hooked up to a constant IV of testosterone and Birtha came together at a time when women were just starting to bang their instruments against the glass ceiling. Hailing from L.A., the band burst onto the scene via other girl groups like the Daisy Chain and the Ladybirds, touring the west coast rigorously for years. And though the foursome dissolved after only producing two albums with Dunhill Records, their music stands as testament to the evolution of classic rock via blues, funk, and the beginning drumbeats of feminism in the ’70s. The self-titled debut is brimming with muddied classic rock, blown out by psych riffs and wailage ala Janis Joplin. Songs like “Work on a Dream” and “Judgement Day” feature Favela's killer skills on the kit, while “Free Spirit” taps into their classic rock intuition. Their second, and unfortunately last album off Dunhill Records, Can't Stop the Madness is also a well-rounded collection of rock anthems about freedom, cheaters, and short shorts definitely not to be overlooked. other women Sherry Hagler, Shele Pinnizotto,and Olivia “Liver” Favela did not continue to play in the public sphere, a serious loss for music. Both a drummer and singer, we can only imagine where Favela might have taken us musically. Throughout her time with Birtha, Favela held great prowess over the kit while belting out anthems that shook stadium crowds packed in to see the likes Alice Cooper and Fleetwood Mac. The truth is, Birtha never really found the momentum they deserved, and the struggle for validity perhaps led to their disbandment in 1975. Critics weren’t ready for them then, nor later when Lester Bangs wrote “They're an all chick group and we all know that you've sort of got to make allowances . . . well forget it, they project more power and drive than most male groups with similar instrumentation.” Veiled compliments like that pushed them back, and though this perspective isn’t a surprise, the ladies of Birtha did respond with a refreshing feminist last laugh: Appearing on the cover of Titbit, shirtless much like many male counterpart bands, they declared “we want male groupies!” They took this light-hearted but bold attitude to their music, which if you revisit, can be heard loud and clear. Rosemary Butler later received acclaim as a popular back-up singer to the likes of James Taylor and Neil Young, but sadly the 55 a magazine about female drummers tom tom magazine the kids issue chloe from smoosh i s s ue 8 | w int er 2 0 1 1 /2 0 1 2 | us D $ 6