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TOM TOM MAGAZINE

ISSUE 20 | USD + CAN $6 DISPLAY WINTER 2014/15

A MAGAZINE ABOUT FEMALE DRUMMERS 5TH YEAR ANNIVERSARY ISSUE


HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO US! Five years ago today I typed ‘female drummers’ into the search bar of my laptop. The top result? ‘10 Sexiest Girl Drummers EVER!’ followed by ‘Can women really play the drums?’. Then a list of guy drummers. Having been a feminist and a drummer for most of my life, it was a call to action. It wasn’t that female drummers weren’t out there; we just had no representation in a predominantly male industry, outside of scantily-clad photoshoots beside drumsets. I knew a ton of phenomenal heavy-hitting girls who had grown up never seeing people like them in any mainstream media, and in a sense they were making a statement every time they played a show. With every crash and fill these women made themselves heard, and it was truly inspiring. Because of them (and those poor search results), I decided to start Tom Tom, with no clue how to put together spreads, negotiate interviews, or get a magazine printed and out into the hands of an audience. While I was laughably ill-prepared for the sweat that goes into creating a regular publication, and in spite of the trials and tribulations over the years, getting Tom Tom off the ground has been the most worthwhile and rewarding thing I’ve ever done. All around us, in cities across the world, we’re witnessing a politically charged wave of antiestablishment furor. Agitators and reactionaries don’t seek disruption for disruption’s sake— actually, they strive for something altogether quieter and universally inclusive: parity, identity and equal opportunity. And they’re willing to shout at the top of their lungs to get it.

But protests need staying power and a supportive community to effect change. So I’m proud and humbled that, five years after we took a stand against the representation of female drummers, we’re still here—bigger, bolder and more powerful than ever. That we have not only survived, but thrived and expanded each year, is thanks entirely to all those people who supported us along the way (this means you). I sincerely hope that by giving girls and women a platform to express their kick-assness behind a kit, the landscape for lady drummers has really improved and that more young girls ask for sticks on their Holiday wishlist. We’ve gotten a lot done since our first issue. We started a drum school run by female instructors —the Tom Tom Academy—in which we hope to reinvent the drum curriculum and reduce barriers to entry for anyone wanting to hit. Next year we’ll be hosting workshops from drum titans like Terri Lyne Carrington and Stomp’s Kris Lee. Hit Like A Girl, a Tom Tom-produced global female drumming contest, is now moving into its fourth year. Through it we’ve launched The Powerpack Program, where leaders in the industry provide free educational materials to encourage girls to stay at the drums. And our audience is growing with every issue. So I want to thank you for believing in us. It means everything. Here’s to another five incredible years of love and drums. Now turn the page, get stuck into this extra special 20th issue of Tom Tom, and keep on making noise.

Mindy Seegal Abovitz Founder/Editor-in-Chief


TOM TOM THE MI SSI O N Tom Tom Magazine Ž is the only magazine in the world dedicated to female drummers. We are a quarterly print magazine, website, social media community, events and more. Tom Tom serves as the ultimate go-to guide for the latest information about female drummers and beat makers. Tom Tom seeks to raise awareness about female percussionists from all over the world and hopes to inspire women and girls of all ages to drum, all while strengthening and building the community of otherwise fragmented female musicians. We cover drummers of all ages, races, styles, skill level, ability, sexuality, size and notoriety. Tom Tom Magazine is more than just a magazine; it’s a movement.

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CONTRIBUTORS

INSIDE ISSUE 20

FOUNDER/PUBLISHER/EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Mindy Abovitz (info@tomtommag.com)

DAPPER DRUMMER

MANAGING EDITOR Melody Allegra Berger

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REVIEWS EDITOR Rebecca DeRosa (reviews@tomtommag.com)

LANG PERCUSSION

HEAD DESIGNER Marisa Kurk DESIGNER Natalie Baker

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WEB CODERS Capisco Marketing WEB MANAGERS Maura Filoromo, Kate Ryan, Jennifer Mulligan

TOM TOM STORE MANAGER Susan Taylor

WEB STORE MANAGER Susan Taylor WEB SALES Rosana Caban

PIG SNOUT 14

FRANK THE MOVIE

NORTHWEST CORRESPONDENT Lisa Schonberg NORTHWEST CREW Katherine Paul, Leif J. Lee, Fiona Campbell, Kristin Sidorak

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LA CORRESPONDENTS Liv Marsico, Candace Hansen MIAMI CORRESPONDENT Emile Milgrim

TEL AVIV SNAPSHOTS

BOSTON CORRESPONDENT Kiran Gandhi

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BARCELONA CORRESPONDENT Cati Bestard

YISSY GARCIA

NYC DISTRO Segrid Barr

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EUROPEAN DISTRO Max Markowsky WRITERS Shaina Machlus, Kate Ryan, Christina Bulaong, bo-Pah, Jennifer Marchain, Melody Berger, Daiana Feuer, Gabriela Jimeno, Rachel Miller, Mariel Berger

TOM TOM ACADEMY HEAD INSTRUCTOR Mickey Vershbow

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PHOTOGRAPHERS Bob No, Joseph Amella, Jr., Cortney Armitage, Goni Riskin, Lorey Sebastian, Sammy Roenfeldt, Robin Laananen, festivalpictures.be, Rab Adam, Genevieve Davis, Alexandra Belle,

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ILLUSTRATORS Rachal Duggan, Maggie Rivers TECHNIQUE WRITERS Morgan Doctor, Linnea LaMon, Vanessa Domonique, Kristen Gleeson-Prata

ROSHNI THOMPSON

MUSIC & MEDIA REVIEWS Rebecca DeRosa, Lola Johnson, Candace Tossas, Jay Moore, Tarra Thiessen, Somer Bingham, Attia Taylor, Matthew D’Abate

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GEAR REVIEWS Andrea Davis COPY EDITORS All of us this time

PHOTOGRAPHER Goni Riskin

TOM TOM TV Teale Failla, Angel Favorite

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TECH

THANK YOU All of you, Ben Sisto, Roto Hotel Drummers, Pam Burnard at the University of Cambridge, Bryan Powell, Chris J Monk, Geezush, Rony, Shani, E.B., Frank

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THIS ISSUE IS DEDICATED to every contributor and staff member who has worked for and believed in Tom Tom. Thank you for an incredible five years. Looking forward to five more.

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CONTACT US 302 Bedford Ave PMB #85 Brooklyn, NY 11249 info@tomtommag.com Facebook, Twitter, Instagram:@tomtommag ON THE COVER Illustration by Rachal Duggan

WARPAINT

ILLUSTRATOR Rachal Duggan

TO SUBSCRIBE WWW.TOMTOMMAG.COM

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Just got an issue in the mail and OMG, the magazine is so awesome. You [all] should be proud of the work you’re doing. I wish there was something like this around when I was a kid, learning to play drums. I was raised by women and have played in bands mostly with women and just find it so refreshing to experience the craft/instrument through a different perspective than has historically been the norm. Looking forward to getting a subscription in the near future. Sincerely, Bert G.

Hi Tom Tom! Just wanted to say I love you. I’m just an amateur drummer but I love drumming!! I really struggle with my confidence. I always feel really intimidated playing because I’m usually the only woman in the group and I’m usually the least experienced musician. Your mag, and even your posts on Facebook, really help me!! I’m a woman beat keeper! Hear me roar! Alix C.

Hi there, I’m a female drummer based in Montreal, and I’m a longtime fan of your magazine. I really believe that Tom Tom is greatly contributing to the diversity in the music industry. All the best and thanks again for your awesome magazine :) Laurie T.

Hi there Tom Tom Magazine! I love Tom Tom! Every time I open one up I feel uplifted and inspired. You can’t say that about too many things! Willow A.

I just wanted to send you a message because I think your work is extremely inspiring! My name is Fien, I’m from Amsterdam, and I happened to stumble upon your magazine online: later I found out you also have a selling point in Amsterdam! Wonderful! I started playing the drums when I was eleven. I’m now 24 and I play in an all-girl band called Ivy’s Trial. There are many occasions on which I hear from other girls/women that they, when they were younger, also “would have loved to play the drums.” I think your magazine and projects really contribute to that dream becoming reality. So, thank you very much for starting such an awesome magazine­—I finally feel a bit at home in the drummer’s scene! All the best and keep up the wonderful work! Fien Veldman

Hey! I am a very big fan of your magazine which I discovered last summer in New York. Encouraging girls to drum matters so much! The situation is really bad in France as there are no proper music classes at school and parents are reluctant to choose this instrument for their child. I am a French drummer (30 years old and male) and I would contribute with pleasure to your great project. Keep rockin’! Sylvain A.

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Dear Tom Tom Magazine, Firstly, I want to just say that I am a massive fan of your magazine. I stumbled across it at The Magazine Shop in Dubai and have been a loyal reader and fangirl ever since. I’m the Editor of Brownbook Magazine (http://brownbook.me/) and also a girl drummer myself, in an all-girl punk band in Dubai called The Gasolines. All the best, Natasha S.

CONTACT US 302 Bedford Ave PMB #85 Brooklyn, NY 11249 info@tomtommag.com @tomtommag


DAPPER DRUMMER Design by Maggie Rivers Photo + Assisting by Bob No

NAME: Nue Nc AGE: 29 HOMETOWN: MARS LIVES IN: BARCELONA WEBSITE: ripkids.bandcamp.com

FAVE DRUM? Any drum with lots of glitter in toms and bass drum. // FASHION ICON? Ziggy Stardust. // WHO INSPIRES YOU TO LOOK SO DAPPER? My grandma Pita from Chile. She’s pure style. // WHAT GETS YOUR ATTENTION? High voltage Rock’n’roll and grease. // FAVORITE OUTFIT? Tee of any band I like, skirt, ruined stockings and some Andy-Z sneakers. // HAIR INSPIRATION? I love Sandy West from The Runaways and Dee Dee Ramone! // HOW DID YOU GET INTO DRUMS? I was absolutely obsessed by the sound of the snare drum on each album I had. Every decade has its sound and I used to play “guess the year of the song by how the snare drum sounds”. Then, just for fun, I started to play with some friends, later called Rotten Nuttes. // WHAT KIT DO YOU PLAY? I play a really big Tama Rockstar with massive cymbals hoping they are unbreakable (but unfortunately that never happens). // WHAT BANDS ARE YOU IN? Right now I’m playing in RIPKIDS, and I help Lolita Monita with the drums in LOS PEGOTES. // FAVORITE VENUE TO PLAY IN? I do not have one. But everytime I play in ROCKSOUND I feel at home. ISSU E 2 0: GR OOV E

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EVENTS

BUILDER

TOM TOM + ACE HOTEL PRESENTED

ROTOHOTEL On October 21, Tom Tom Magazine & Ace Hotel New York presentsed Rotohotel: 19 female drummers performing a 44 minute drum piece in the lobby of Ace Hotel NYC. Photos by Seze Devres Kasenic More photos at tomtommag.com

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WHAT WE’RE LISTENING TO Tanio O // Warszawa, Poland // crunchyhumanchildren.bandcamp.com Peepholes // London, UK // wearepeepholes.co.uk Miss Lilith // Guatemala City, Guatemala // facebook.com/MissLilithband Nostrildamus // Minneapolis, Minnesota // nostrildamusmpls.com Flashlights // Orlando, Florida // flashlightsmusic.com Condor Jet // Santiago de Chile, Chile // soundcloud.com/condorjet Autobodies // Leeds, UK // autobodiesband.bandcamp.com 2:54 // London, UK // twofiftyfour.net Dead Asylym // Vancouver, British Columbia // facebook.com/deadasylum Miss Danby and the What // Newcastle upon Tyne, UK // missdanby.com/band Let Drum Beat // London, UK // reverbnation.com/letdrumbeat Cardiel // Valencia, Venezuela // cardiel.bandcamp.com


BUILDER

KAT CASALE DRUM BUILDER AT LANG PERCUSSION BY C H R I S T I N A B ULAO N G, OWNE R AT D I S T R I C T D R UM C O M PAN Y P H O T O S BY JO S E P H AM E LI A, JR . 10

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“Being able to partake in this history in whatever way I can is one of the more valuable parts of my job.”

Tom Tom Magazine: Tell us a little bit about Lang Percussion. Kat Casale: Lang Percussion was founded by Morris “Arnie” Lang in 1993. At the time he was working with Saul Goodman making timpani drums in upstate NY alongside a machinist. Arnie had the idea to make a replica of his original 1950 Billy Gladstone Snare Drum, so he asked the machinist if he could make castings of the parts from his drum. 21 years, several locations, and a lot of love for drums, Lang Percussion has its home at 1717 Troutman St. in Ridgewood, NY. We still produce a replica of the original Billy Gladstone Snare Drum and drum sets, as well as the Dresden style New Yorker Timpani, and a new line of drum sets called “Brooklyn Tagz” to be released in 2015.

est in learning how to make the drums, so I spent a few days making drum heads out of saturated goat skin, wicker baskets and gut, and then installing them onto each drum. When I returned to the States I knew I wanted to continue learning about instrument construction and repairs so I became the Equipment Manager for the Percussion Guild at Fredonia. I spent several years repairing the instruments the school owned, and a lot of time thinking about ways to make drum equipment and instruments work better and more efficiently. Upon graduating and moving back to NYC I worked in a bicycle shop where I learned to be a mechanic. I’ve been working for Lang Percussion for two years now, and love every minute I spend in the shop.

How did you get started building drums?

What is Lang Percussion’s procedure, and how do you and Arnie work together?

When I was very young I would spend hours on end building golf clubs in the garage with my dad. This piqued my interest in mechanics, and it quickly translated to other mediums. I would take the family computer apart several times a week to better understand it. My obsession for building things sort of took the back burner when I developed a complete obsession with drums in elementary school. I went on to study percussion in college at SUNY Fredonia, which allowed me the opportunity to travel to Ghana, West Africa to learn about Ghanaian music, art, and culture. On the trip I developed an inter-

Lang Percussion’s procedure in general is based on time tested ideas. We use the same snare bed for all of our snares, the same bearing edge, strong durable hardware, and complete infatuation and elation for the instruments we are producing. The drums have a special three-way tuning system where you can tune both the top and bottom head independently and together with a special three way key from the top hoop of the drum. The throw off has many fine moving parts which make it very smooth. In the shop I try my hardest to listen and remember every detail about everything Arnie tells me. He’s

been in the music business for his whole life, he’s seen it all, and he has really fascinating stories about the history of our craft. At this point I know how to build a drum, but I’m continuously learning more about drums and history through Arnie’s stories. And for me being able to partake in this history in whatever way I can is one of the more valuable parts of my job. How did Lang Percussion come to specialise in the Gladstone Series? Billy Gladstone was the snare drummer for Radio City Music Hall during the 1930’s and 40’s. During this time Arnie started taking snare drum lessons from Billy. Arnie says during this time they never touched a sheet of music, but worked on Gladstone’s signature technique. Arnie bought an original Gladstone snare drum in 1950. This drum had the three way tuning system, and throw off we replicate today. Only about fifty original Gladstone Snare drums and four drum sets are known to have existed - many of the snare drums are still out there, and have been catalogued for reference. Gretsch had purchased the patents to Billy’s drums, but returned them during WWII when steel was not available for civilian enterprise. Many drum companies went under during this time, and Gretsch returned the patents to Billy. These Gretsch Gladstone drums are equally as rare as the ones produced by Billy himself. Arnie thought it a shame to see the drums disappear so he started making the replica in 1993. ISSU E 2 0: GR OOV E

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Presenting Tom Tom Magazine’s latest innovation:

Drum schools, reinvented.

tomtomacademy.com ◊ facebook.com/tomtomacademy ◊ @tomtomacademy

Photo by Meg Wachter

The Tom Tom Academy is Tom Tom Magazine's drum school run by female drum instructors. The flagship academy is located in Brooklyn, NY, with expansion to two more cities anticipated in 2015. Learn more about our private lessons, innovative group workshops, and special events at tomtomacademy.com.


DAHLIAOF PIGTAMMINGA SNOUT Interviewed by bo-Pah of Sledge Grits Band

Six year old Dahlia rages on drums with her Dad and brother Lucien in the Seattle area based Pig Snout Band. We asked 12 year old mini beast correspondent bo-Pah Sledge (featured in 2013’s winter issue) to ask Dahlia a few questions. The following adorable-ness ensued over Skype. (Dahlia apparently got very shy the second bo-Pah’s head popped up on screen.)

BO-PAH: HOW LONG HAS PIG SNOUT BEEN A BAND? Dahlia Tamminga: Since March SINCE MARCH? COOL! HOW DID YOU THINK OF THE NAME? We were doing names and then Lucien shouted out Pig Snout!! SO WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE PART ABOUT BEING IN A BAND WITH YOUR FAMILY? That we get to get new songs to make. WHEN DID YOU GET YOUR FIRST DRUM KIT? When I was a baby. DID YOU GET A NEW KIT YET? ARE YOU STILL PLAYING THE SAME ONE? Yes. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE THING ABOUT PLAYING THE DRUMS? That I get to hit them hard. ME TOO!! DO YOU HAVE A FAVORITE DRUMMER? I don’t really know their names, so not really. IT’S OK. HOW LONG DO YOU PRACTICE DRUMS IN A DAY? Three times a week for a half an hour. SO WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE BEAT TO PLAY? A rock groove? 14

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A ROCK GROOVE. ME TOO, I LOVE ROCK GROOVES. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE DRUM ON YOUR KIT? The tom. THE TOM. WHICH ONE? Floor. THE FLOOR TOM? I LIKE THE SOUND OF THE FLOOR TOM, TOO. WHY DID YOU START DRUMMING? Because I thought it would be cool to all play together. COOL! SO WHAT DO YOU LIKE TO DO BESIDES DRUMMING.. WHEN YOU’RE NOT DRUMMING? Playing with my brother. WHAT DO YOU GUYS LIKE TO DO? Um.. playing with our beanies (silly voice) (CONFUSED PAUSE.) YOUR BEANIES? They’re little stuffed animals. OH! I USED TO COLLECT THOSE. THEY’RE REALLY FUN. (LAUGHS) SO THIS IS A REALLY RANDOM QUESTION, BUT WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE SNACK? Pudding!

OH! COOL! WHY DID YOU PICK SEATTLE? Hmm. Because it’s close. OK. SO, THANK YOU FOR THE INTERVIEW. SO NICE TO MEET YOU. I saw your drum video. It’s really cool. THANK YOU SO MUCH! You’re welcome. YOU PLAY KEYBOARDS, TOO? Yes. HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN PLAYING KEYBOARDS? Umm, well...since March. DO YOU LIKE PLAYING KEYBOARDS OR DRUMS BETTER? The drums! YES! GOOD ANSWER! SO TOM TOM MAGAZINE AND I WANT TO WISH YOU GOOD LUCK WITH YOUR BAND AND DRUMMING AND ANYTHING ELSE YOU DO WITH YOUR LIFE (BIG SMILE) Ok. Thank you. SEE YOU! BYE! Bye bye.

PUDDING! MMM. YUM. I LIKE CHEETOS. SO THIS IS A BONUS QUESTION. IF YOU COULD PLAY ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD, WHERE WOULD YOU PLAY? (Long pause) Mayyybe at SEATTLE! Photos courtesy of the artist


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B A C K S TA G E W I T H

CARLA AZAR AS THE DRUMMER IN THE NEW FILM FRANK

B Y K AT E R YA N A N D M I N D Y A B O V I T Z PHOTOS BY LOREY SEBASTIAN

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CARLA AZAR has been making magic with Autolux for almost fifteen years, recording two full-length albums, two EPs and steadily playing awesome shows all over the world. Azar has also played with such faint-worthy people as PJ Harvey, and she’s been part of Jack White’s touring band for the past few years (Jack White interviewed her about that for Tom Tom, you can still read it online!). Now this rock star veteran is playing a novice drummer in the film FRANK, and we got to talk to her about not acting like a drummer, getting out of your comfort zone, and what it’s like to be such a versatile badass.

NAME Carla Azar HOMETOWN Planet Earth PAST + PRESENT BANDS Autolux & Jack White DRUM SETUP it varies—I lean towards minimal and I usually play vintage drums mixed with modern electronic devices FAVORITE PERCUSSION THING the tambourine tree made by a Brazilian company FAVORITE DRUMMING EXPERIENCE recording with Dave Lombardo (double drums) FAV FOOD Spanish (tapas) FAV VENUE L’Olympia - Paris FAV SHOW YOU EVER PLAYED The Getty Museum in Los Angeles with Autolux

Tom Tom Magazine: How did you get the part of the drummer in Frank? Carla Azar: Someone contacted Autolux’s manager, asking if I’d be interested in being in this film, playing a drummer in an experimental band. I was on tour with Jack White at the time. I have never had an interest in acting, so for me, when I got an email describing the role: I’d be playing a drummer in a band etc., I immediately told them no thanks. Mostly because, to me, it’s rare that anyone pulls off a film about a band. The next email from my manager said that Michael Fassbender was going to be in it and he’s playing the singer in the band. At that point, I became very nervous, confused, and curious. Michael is someone whose work I respect immensely - to the point of seeing pretty much every movie he’d been in, more than once. It was if someone said, “I know how to get Carla interested, let’s hire Michael Fassbender to play the singer.” I told them to send the script for me to read. I’d never read a script before, but I remember asking the name of my character so that I could scan through every page before reading it—in 18

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hopes that I had no speaking lines. Funny enough, I found that my character, who’s in the whole movie, doesn’t speak until one pivotal scene. I read that scene over and over again—trying to decide whether or not I could pull this off. My biggest fear was to be in a position like a lot of musicians that get a part in a movie: they can’t really act, and it seems as though they’re there because the director is a fan of their band or something and just wants to see their face in the movie. I ended up reading the script. It was one of the funniest stories I’ve read and it was well written. Michael plays an eccentric, weird, savant called Frank who’s the lead singer in a band of misfits. Frank wears a giant, fake paper mâché head in the film, the entire time. That was enough to make me want to do the film - but then I thought I should probably watch the other films the director had made, so I watched them before persuing it any further. I liked all of his films and the acting in all of them was solid. The next hurdle was to show the director—and mysel—that I could actually act. After that leg of the tour was finished

with Jack, I got a great actor/acting coach to help me and I worked for 2 solid weeks on the 2 minute scene that I had speaking lines in. The director had asked me to put myself on tape—doing the scene —and send it to him. This was basically my audition. I heard later that they were having trouble finding an actress that could actually play drums and vice versa. They were auditioning for months. This was the first time in years that I had done something that challenged me in that way and made me nervous. It was far from my comfort zone, mostly because I’m camera shy. I think this drove me to try as hard as I did to get it. With Autolux and when you play with Jack White, you’re such an amazing, aggressive minimalist driving force. Did you have to change your style much to play with the band in Frank? Did you feel like you were playing as your role, or playing as yourself? I tried not to be myself as much as possible—but the director liked who I was in real life and thought I was a lot like the character already. He wanted my hair


Did you feel like the narrative of the film spoke to your experiences in bands in the past?

the same way that I wore it in real life. I played match grip in most of the movie (which is not how I play). And I tried to come from the position of someone who hadn’t been playing drums very long. Are you interested in doing more acting, or more drumming in movies? Acting. Well... I can’t say I’m interested, but I wasn’t interested before this came up either. I’m not against it anymore, I suppose. Playing drums in a movie—is less interesting for me. This was an unusual situation. All of the music in the movie was recorded live while they filmed us. That’s rare. It was great because it was fucked up and spontaneous. The music happened to be great too. Usually in films, they prerecord the music and then fake playing to it—while listening to playback, as they film. How was this job different from other drumming experiences? Well, to start—I was playing music with actors. A couple of them had never played the instrument they were playing in the film. The French bass player in the film, Francois Civil, is an unbelievable musician. Michael wanted to play guitar in a speed metal band when he was growing up—so he plays guitar. And Domhnall Gleeson plays the fiddle. They’re all natural musicians but because they were all doing things they’d never done before, it was very childlike and innocent. But the chemistry was so strong between all of us. That’s something I rarely find. It made everything real. And made the music work.

What was surprising to you about doing this role? What’s the biggest challenge you faced with this gig? What was the most fun? The most surprising thing was that I’m actually in this movie at all. I hit the jackpot and was lucky enough to be in a movie with such great actors. And I got to work with them and play music with them almost every day. The biggest challenge was to let go of any inhibitions when I was in front of a camera. And not care what I looked like. I had to be real. Even though, in most of my scenes—I was observing or watching or studying everyone without speaking // it gave me more time to be self conscious. I had to overcome that. The most fun was just being a part of this movie in general. We were in the Irish countryside. It was beautiful. I was working with the funniest people I’ve ever met. Michael, Francois, and Domhnall made me laugh from morning until I went to sleep. It was non stop. I’ve never experienced anything like that before. Uncontrollable laughing where no sound is coming out and I’m crying. This was every day, all day—and after “work” we’d hang out all night too and drink and do the same. Somehow we fit in working on that movie. Was it weird to act like a drummer? No, because I wasn’t acting like a drummer. I am a drummer and I just played drums when I needed to play drums and there happened to be a camera there. It was harder trying to play someone that doesn’t talk but still has some weight on screen.

The funny thing is that the insanity of the band’s inner dynamics in Frank is very similar to Autolux—but there’s no one in the band trying to reign in the music to be more accessible (clearly). I’ve met and worked with people that have that in them though. People that want be an artist—but they want to be popular at any cost - that side will always run the show. You can’t have both feelings working against each other. A real artist doesn’t care what anyone thinks and is naturally taking the risk of never being popular or mainstream. There are plenty of true artists that become popular (like Jack, for example). But he never tries to appease any audience. He’s only making music that he believes in and then puts it out and hopes people like what he’s done. What skills did you learn from doing Frank? I definitely learned a lot about acting. I had a crash course in that. I got to watch Michael act every day. What a gift. But I would never assume that I can act all of a sudden because I was in one film. I had some of the best people around me, helping me, and I learned from them Any advice for drummers who want to branch out beyond their bands? I don’t have advice on how to branch out but I really think it’s good to do things that challenge me and make me play differently. I don’t like getting stuck in a box or routine, doing the same thing over and over. Sometimes doing other things forces me to play in ways that aren’t natural or comfortable. That’s where I grow as a musician.

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DRUMMER TO DRUMMER

BATTEURS

A conversation between Tatiana Mladenovitch + Zoe Hoch

Every once in a while we ask two drummers to get together and interview each other. Last issue we had Balancer’s Gabriela Jimeno in conversation with Fran Straube from Miss Garrison.This issue we asked Tatiana Mladenovitch, the mulit-instrumentalist behind Fiodor Dream Dog to talk with the hard hitting Zoe Hoch in the French outfit Demi mondAine. This is what they had to say.

ZOE HOCH: TATIANA, WHAT MADE YOU WANT TO START PLAYING THE DRUMS? Tatiana Mladenovitch: My high school friend Thomas and I listened to music together all the time and he was a drummer in a high school group. When I went to see him play I was completely fascinated, it really spoke to me. One day I put myself behind the drums and I found it be an obvious fit. It was Thomas who inspired me. Z: HOW DO YOU FEEL WHEN YOU PLAY THE DRUMS? T: Good. Haha. I mean, well most of the time, but it was not always like that! Now I feel absolutely free. Z: WITH WHOM DO YOU FEEL MOST COMFORTABLE ON STAGE? T: Bertrand Belin. Z: YOU HAVE SEVERAL PROJECTS IN WHICH YOU PLAY THE DRUMS, GUITAR, AND YOU SING. DO YOU HAVE AS MUCH FUN PLAYING THE GUITAR AS YOU DO THE DRUMS? T:Yes, I do but they are very different.

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Translated from French Photo of Zoe (L) by Pat Fouque Photo of Tatiana (R) courtesy of artist

Z: IS THERE A PERSON OR FIGURE THAT PARTICULARLY INSPIRES YOU IN YOUR MUSIC?

T: WHAT MADE YOU WANT TO PLAY DRUMS, AND WHAT MAKES YOU WANT TO PLAY NOW?

T: There are lots of people who inspire me. Bartok greatly inspires me at the moment. And the English artist Micachu because of her sound research. I am also inspired by classical musicians like Steve Reich and John Cage.

Z: I had a friend who had bought a guitar, you know, the guitar that comes in a box with an amp.That girl was an illustrator and she began to draw three of her friends, one on guitar, one on bass and me, she did not know where to put me so she put me on drums. After that I started to watch all kinds of drum videos. It took me a year to convince my mother to let me be a drummer but she saw that I was motivated so she said okay. Now I feel very comfortable with this instrument. The rhythm part is my favorite. I like the melody of course, but I prefer the skeleton to the skin that is around.

T: ZOE, WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE STYLE OF MUSIC TO PLAY? Z: African music. Ethiopian specifically. I can not play those traditional instruments that well but I find that there are incredible sounds and rhythms in those traditions. Rhythms I can only understand through dancing.

Z: Tony Allen and the drummer of Siouxsie and the Banshees!

T: BETWEEN PAINTING, SCULPTURE, DANCE AND CINEMA (ALL OF WHICH YOU DO AS WELL), WHICH OF THESE DISCIPLINES ASSISTS YOU MOST ON THE DRUMS?

T: IF YOU WERE TO PLAY A SINGLE RHYTHM ALL YOUR LIFE, WHAT WOULD IT BE?

Z: I would say the sculpture and dance. Sculpture because it’s like construction. And dance because it’s basic rhythm.

T: WHICH DRUMMERS INSPIRE YOU?

Z: A piece from Jon Spencer Blues Explosion.

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SNAPSHOTS FROM

TEL AVIV


PHOTO STORY BY GONI RISKIN DRUMMERS: ALEX LEVY - SUICIDAL FURNITURE YAEL COHEN - HAMEHASHEFOT NITZAN GOLDBERG - 1, 2 MANY MAYA PERRY - LAILA RONEY LEIGH DUBNOV - OPIOIDS TOMER DAMSKY - PARVE

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RONEY-LEIGH DUBNOV // OPIOIDS, VON HELIX When I sit to practice it’s never to let loose or release anger—it’s to challenge myself and do a lot of thinking in the process! I prefer to practice coordination rather than let’s say speed or strength. So I guess you could say it’s actually the challenge that inspires me the most.

YAEL COHEN // HAMEHASHEFOT

TOMER DAMSKY // PARVE What is your drums/percussion set up? Ideally—bass drum, snare, floor, hihat, crash, 2 rides (one with a crash on top), an enormous metal plate, a gas tank and whatever’s around. Lately I’ve been working a lot with amplified metal junk. What inspires you to make music? The infinite sounds of this relentless existence. Where do you go to find relaxation? Rooftops. Factories at night. Other people’s kitchens when they’re not in them.

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ALEJANDRA LEVY (ALEX) // SUICIDAL FURNITURE + ORGANIZER OF A DUO FEMALE DRUMMER FESTIVAL CALLED “DUO SISTER DRUMMER FESTIVAL” IN ISRAEL I have to say that music has taught me how love feels like, not only by playing and feeling so many things, sometimes going through tears to laughter, it’s like a meditative stage, where the heart and soul really opens and you become naked. It has taught me so many things about life, and somehow it has taken me to a kind of a pathway of living through music.

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BUZIN DRUM SHOP

MAYA PERRY // LAILA 26

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Jen Ledger SKILLET

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Stella Mozgawa of Warpaint by Robin Laananen


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YISSY GARCIA BORN WITH GROOVE By Gabriela Jimeno | Photos courtesy of artist

Accomplished Cuban percussionist Yissy Garcia had a chat with Tom Tom’s Gabriela Jimeno.

Tom Tom Magazine: You had a very early start. Your father Bernardo García (drummer of Irakere and of Arturo Sandoval’s band) is an incredible musician and it is very clear you carry music in your blood. Tell us about your musical education, both academic and at home, and the importance you think each had on your upbringing as the musician you are today.

Since I was very little I knew I was going to be a percussionist, as you said, it is something that is in my blood. At first my family thought it was a game, until they realized my passion for percussion was very serious. I started at the music academy at the age of 10. I was very lucky to have incredible teachers, school was very important in my formation as a musician. I learned to play the piano, a little bit of musical harmony, history of music and most importantly drumming technique: grip, the movement of my hands, rudiments, etc. I studied classical percussion, xylophone and timpani for 9 years. They are not the instruments I feel most comfortable with, but they are basic instruments to any music student in Cuba. You have been part of many drumming competitions. Apart from the recognition and the prizes, what role does this experience have on your musical formation?

I’ve participated in competitions like “Fiesta del Tambor” (Cuba), Jojazz (Cuba), Percuba (Cuba) and Master Jam (Ucrania). At first I was always thinking with competing that it was a matter of winning or losing. But with the years I have started seeing these competitions as a musical exchange. Of course you always want to take the prize home, but being a part of such a rich environment and gaining the approval of the judges and the audience is a prize in itself. Thanks to these competitions I have gained recognition as a drummer, which has lead me to being able to work with great musicians in Cuba and all around the world. Horacio “El Negro” Hernandez and Giovanni Hidalgo are two of the most influential percussionists alive and you have had the chance to play with both of them. Tell us about those experiences and what you learned from them, both musically and as human beings.

I am very lucky to know so many percussion giants, such as Giovanni Hidalgo and Horacio “El Negro” Hernandez whom I consider to be a great friend. When I started to get interested in jazz I watched their videos and thought “wow, these two guys are monsters.” Back then I never thought that I would run into, much less play alongside them. I remember it was at the Barbados Jazz Festival where we spoke for the first time. I love the way they play, their creativity and how modest and simple they both are. Those are all characteristics to follow as examples. From them I also learned that you have to study, study, study and always stay focused on your goals. You have also worked with Arturo Tappin and Roy Hargrove, who are melody masters. How was that experience?

I love both Roy Hargrove’s and Arturo Tappin’s music. Having had the experience of playing with them was a landmark in my life, accompanying their melodies and their improvisation was a gift from life. What are your thoughts on the influence that electronic music beats and drum machines have on contemporary drummers? How have these new ideas influenced your drumming? I can tell that Jojo Mayer is a big influence on your drumming. He has a very unique approach to drumming in which drum & bass is the style but jazz is the spirit.

I think music is always changing, there are always new genres and sub genres, etc. I particularly like some genres of electronic music, like drum & bass. My cousin is a DJ and he was the one to first show me drum & bass. As soon as I listened to it I started using some of their groove variations in my music. Right now in my band Bandancha I work with electronic elements: a drum pad as well as a DJ. I try to fuse sounds from electronic instruments with Cuban rhythms. Jazz is such a broad genre that it gives the possibility to fuse it with any style, any instrument, any sound, it is amazing. Jazz plus electronic music is one of my favorite fusions. Although it is really hard to apply ideas from computer sequencers or drum machines into the drum set, drummers like Jojo Mayer have shown us that it is possible.

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GROOVE IS SOMETHING YOU ARE BORN WITH, IT IS NOT SOMETHING YOU CAN STUDY. Your impressive career reminds me a lot of Terri Lyne Carrington. She is also in front of her own solo project now, in which she combines jazz with more contemporary styles like rap, sampling, electronic instruments, etc. When I saw your solo project the connection was undeniable. I felt I was watching the Cuban version of Terri Lyne, and I mean that as a compliment in every way. Is there any direct influence? Are you familiar with her work?

She is one of my favorite drummers, I follow her work closely. One of my favorites is her concert (which is available on DVD) Future 2 Future with Herbie Hancock, another one of my idols. I think unconsciously Terri Lyne and I have a lot in common, our musical tastes are very similar. I have never had the chance to meet her but I am hoping that day will come soon. Many of your solos are very groove-oriented, which is not common in jazz drummers. You have long rhythmical phrases that evolve, very melodically, very musically. Please tell us about this.

Playing around with the tempo, creating melodies and dynamics- those are my main thoughts when soloing. And of course what type of music I am soloing over is also very important, that is what drives the melodies and the phrasing. I do not like to put myself inside a box. I like many drummers that play very different and specific styles, and I think I am a combination of all of them, with my own touch, with my roots. If you could describe what “groove” is, that which makes a drummer sound more special than another, without taking into account technical abilities, how would you describe it? And what would you say is the most important thing for a drummer to keep in mind about “groove”?

I really don’t think it is something that I can explain with words. I think it is something that each person carries inside, beyond technical abilities or virtuosity, it has to do more with feeling, feelings that one is able to translate into the instrument so well that it touches other people. Groove is something you are born with, it is not something you can study. No audience can stand still to a solid pocket groove, and to make others feel something you have to feel it first. Groove starts with each individual drummer.

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WARPAINT MAKING NEW GROOVES By Melody Berger | Photos by Robin Laananen

On Valentine’s Day 2004 Theresa Wayman (guitar/vocals), Emily Kokel (guitar/vocals), Jenny Lee Lindberg (bass/vocals) and her sister Shannyn Sossamon (drums) jammed for 4 hours in Los Angeles and Warpaint was born. The drummer seat rotated a bit, but things settled down once Aussie powerhouse Stella Mozgawa came on the scene in 2009 just before the group recorded their first full length album, The Fool. (A welcome follow up to their 2007 EP Exquisite Corpse.) Their 2014 self-titled release Warpaint was the first time Mozgawa was involved with creating songs from the ground up, hence the rebirth of the band in the title. Their music is sensual, visceral—with prominent bass and drums, a pulse you feel deep in your gut and vocals ranging from Sylphs calling across the oceans of time, to mischievous kids singsong shouting across a schoolyard. And they can rock the f--- out or bring it down to a whisper across a pillow. A couple days after their October 14th Webster Hall show we had a super fun chat at Tiengarden, NYC’s premiere Vegan joint. They are lovely, down-to-earth ladies who have the spontaneous silliness so often wrapped up in serious thoughtful types. I love their music, I fell in love to their music, and I hope you dig them too.

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Tom Tom Magazine: I would hope that any band would have a lot to say about groove, but y’all seem especially perfect for this issue as you’re very jam and groove based. You had an immediate click when you first jammed on that Valentine’s Day all those years ago?

Emily Kokal: The band really came together because of the ability to kind of meditate out on a groove or an idea and subsequently make songs from that. But really for a long time what we did was we sat in our garage or wherever we were playing and just kind of gave each other space. Everybody was just figuring out how to play in a lot of ways. Were you all beginners at that point?

E: Everybody played on their own but playing together and developing a sound without coming in and being like, ok, here’s the song, and here’s what you’re going to do- we came to it really naïve. We definitely started to write songs, but the majority of our practices were just jams. A meditation with music. When we got to a point that felt really good we would usually make that a part of a song. So once we all felt like the right alchemy, the right conversation was happening that would take us to the next level of the song. That initial groove was so easy and spontaneous for you. Have you ever felt like you’ve slipped away from that or has it just deepened over the years?

E: You don’t want to get stuck in a groove either. It’s a natural place that you can fall in, but we want to make sure we’re always making new grooves. It’s like in Vipassana meditation, instead of drawing a line in stone you try to get so that it’s more like drawing a line on water. When you’re not feeling it or you’re not connecting on stage or in rehearsal what are some steps you can take to tune in again?

Jenny Lee Lindberg: I usually just close my eyes and listen to the music. ‘Cause if I’m not feeling it or I’m not feeling connected it’s usually because I’m distracted and I’m not really listening or maybe my mind is just wandering to other places. So, I usually just close my eyes.

closing my eyes too much for example. Just try changing it up for yourself, or maybe confronting things that are more uncomfortable. Like, it’s not always comfortable to totally engage with your audience but that pushes you more into a present state.

Theresa Wayman: I think what Jen said is really it, be in the moment. If something’s not working or if there’s tension with somebody, or if there’s something pulling you out it’s best to center yourself and just listen and step back. If you can’t physically step back and leave the room then just try to get back into the music and listen to other people and listen to what’s going on. Warming up is a good thing before a show. We started doing that.

S: I was just thinking that.

E: Together. T: We have these little amps and we play our songs and warm up together. If we don’t do it… J: It’s weird. E: It’s like we’re tuning like an orchestra. We’re tuning in to each other.

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T: Oblique strategy cards are good. T: Brian Eno created it with…? S: Peter Schmidt. T: It’s like a deck of cards and each one has a sentence on it. If you’re in a rut or you want some inspiration it says something like, ‘do something uncomfortable.’ ‘Don’t do the obvious.’ Your Celebrate Brooklyn show this summer was fantastic. I had watched a kind of new band on that same stage, and the space just seemed so BIG. When I watched you, you really took up the space, I felt like there was energy between all of you. What advice would you give to a new band about how to take up space? Is it just about playing more often?

Stella Mozgawa: Warming up the muscles in the mind and the body and the soul.

E: You just have to break away from feeling controlled by the audience. Make your own space.

E: Another thing I was going to say for your question about different approaches is sometimes you almost have to do something like an experiment of totally changing the direction that you’re going. Every show having an intention or trying something new. So, if I’m having a hard time hearing or I’m not engaging or if I’m

S: I think it has a lot to do with experience and being in so many situations so many times and finding different ways to solve the puzzle within yourself and as a band. The more and more you do

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S: Ha, yeah. E: Chatting. J: Don’t forget to give me back that twenty dollars! S: I think you’ve got something in your teeth… I love how comfortable you are with each other. I watched this one Coachella interview Jen and Emily did, and they’re asking Emily a question and in the middle of it Jenny starts playing with Emily’s pony tail and twists it up into a bun…

E: And it stays there, right? Yeah, and you didn’t even react. You were just listening to the question and nodding with this totally serious expression on your face. And I was like, this would be one example of a specifically girl band phenomenon.

E: Slumber party forever. I can’t really see Mick Jagger doing that to Keith Richards.

S: Not without getting slapped. What are you doing, bro? Step back.

E: Bro! T: I was going to say something about us seeming big on stage. We also intentionally set up closer to each other. Because we’ve had moments where we haven’t done that and we’re on a big stage and it just feels so uncomfortable. S: It feels like a bad dream sometimes. T: Yeah. E: You’re definitely not able to connect. that the more faculty you have to figure it out and be like—‘I feel really weird. Ok, I have a way to deal with this. There’s six different ways I can go and all of them have been pretty successful.’ Look at someone else and get into what they’re playing. Look at someone in the crowd. Go inward. E: Dance like no one’s watching. S: Yeah, there’s so many different ways to approach that. But when you’ve only done it once or twice, you don’t really have a safety net. E: You can’t even move your arm without feeling it. Everyone just saw me move my arm!

S: Yeah, it’s like being really really stoned. Am I smiling too much?? J: I think it’s important, like Emily said, to make your own space and also know that you’re all in it together. So if you’re uncomfortable for a show, ok, well your natural thing to do because you’re used to having band practice and playing with your bandmates is to connect with them and feel a sense of security or comfort or safety from them. Connecting on stage also makes for a really nice show to see everybody interacting with one another. And to feel like this isn’t a performance, we’re playing. One of my favorite moments at Tuesday’s Webster Hall show was when you and Stella both looked at each other and you were smiling back and forth and bobbing together. I was just like, they are having a blast up there! They’re giggling, I think they may even be talking!

T: So I definitely recommend that. Just because you’re on a big stage doesn’t mean… J: You have to fill out the space physically. S: You don’t all have to be on risers. Also we just started using in-ear monitors over the last year or so. And so now I think it’s important to stay close in order to compensate for the fact that everyone is even more in their own world and sonic environment. It’s important to feel the bass amp resonating through your chest or feel the kick drum, feel the guitars. Have that atmosphere be tangible as opposed to just synthetic. That’s a really important thing I think. Now we can set up wherever we want because we’re not in each other’s auditory way. T: That ties in with what to do if you’re playing a show and you’re pulled out of the music. It really helps to look at somebody. Sometimes I look at Jen. If I’m not feeling it I look at Jen and I’m like, alright, I’m back in! J: Ha! S: That’s my go to, yeah. I’m like ‘something’s not right’ and then I turn around and she’s doing this most incredible dance, and still pulling off all these parts. It’s like a choreographed thing sometimes. You did one straight faced the other night at Webster Hall and I was just looking at you like ‘who are you??” It was like a strut. I can’t even describe it because it was like something I’ve never seen before, very entertaining. And I get so jealous because I can’t move. But it’s very fun to watch you.

J: So much fun.

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Let’s talk about songwriting. You’ve always done a lot of jam based stuff together, but for this last album you did more individual stuff and brought it to the group to then develop?

J: Exactly, oh, we’re going to be writing songs. Let’s record it now so we have the newness…

J: Sometimes.

J: Yeah, just in case.

S: It was a combination of things. So it wasn’t just all of us in our own little worlds and then coming together and working it out. Some songs happened with all of us in the room writing, some in our respective homes.

E: A year later that’s the final version of something.

E: A lot of them came from Joshua Tree. We wrote a lot of songs together.

J: Which is very cool, because we’ve done that. But I think we’ve also tried chasing this demo that’s not quite useable. So now we go into our space and set it up for recording and press record from start to finish.

When you got together to record?

You kind of did that in the beginning with a mini disc player?

E: When we got together to demo and write. We got off tour and rented a place in Joshua Tree for three weeks. We set up a demo thing and would make tea or breakfast and just write all day. It was really fun.

E: I was going to say that. We have hundreds of hours of band rehearsals which are a lot of like the same song in so many different forms. We probably have like 70 versions of the song Burgundy.

Like a pressure cooker…

S: We’re also kind of one take Jakes.

E: Yeah, but without the pressure. It felt really good. Because we had just been on tour. So it was nice to have solitude with each other and connect.

J: Our first take is usually the best. By the second take, third take, fourth take you’re thinking about what you’re doing and it takes you out of the feeling of the music.

A songwriter’s retreat. That’s kind of your MO though, right? You lived together in a house initially?

E: Yeah, when we first started we got a house in Los Feliz. And we all lived there, we had a garage. Garage band!

E: Yeah! So many people we know have lived in that house. It should have a coffee table book.

...WE WANT TO MAKE SURE WE’RE ALWAYS MAKING NEW GROOVES. IT’S LIKE IN VIPASSANA MEDITATION, INSTEAD OF DRAWING A LINE IN STONE YOU TRY TO GET SO THAT IT’S MORE LIKE DRAWING A LINE ON WATER.

Let’s talk about recording. I liked hearing how difficult it was for you guys to agree on one version of a song to capture. There can be so many different versions, every night!

E: We’re really good at writing songs for like years and years and years. It’s fun for us, but you can’t really do that exclusively. Is it like a crazy moment freak out when it gets down to recording and the song is about to become ‘permanent?’

J: I think usually when we first write a song we get really excited about it. If we’re all like, wow, this is amazing, and we’re all feeling the same thing then it’s really exciting. And say the next day we go into the space and we play the song again and it doesn’t feel as good as it did the first time because of our moods, or the color of the room…

E: That red blinking light in your head gives such a heightened sensation. Recording has an energy, it’s almost like a personality. It makes you nervous, makes you want to perform your best. It’s better the more you can just be present, not zoning out, not having expectations and putting pressure on the song to sound the same way it did the day before. It’s almost like you have to pretend you’re playing it for the first time every time.

To keep it spontaneous.

E: And it is a new song. Every time you play a song it’s a new version of that song and it’s completely its own thing. I’m going to do my silly question.

S: Oh, good, I’m excited! I read somewhere that a word you used a lot while making this last album was ‘sexy.’ On average, per week let’s say, how many people come up to you and say something like ‘I love your album. My boyfriend and I have sex to it all the time.’

S: Not as many times as I would like.

It’s raining out…

E: Not as many times as babies being born to it.

J: Yeah! Who knows! I think we end up trying to chase that initial feeling that we had when we first wrote it. Or we end up just changing the song, oh, this part doesn’t quite work, or it needs to be faster or longer. We’ve learned it’s important for us to record and document the earlier versions of the songs, which we have before, but I think we do it more seriously now.

S: That’s true, a lot of babies being born. Maybe a lot being made but maybe people don’t want to tell us that.

T: Or maybe try making them then. 38

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E: Definitely heard it though. S: Yep. I think that’s one of the biggest compliments. If someone were to say that to me I’d be really flattered.


L to R: Jenny Lee Lindberg, Stella Mozgawa, Theresa Wayman, Emily Kokel

J: Yeah.

J: That’s so cute!

S: You’re provoking something.

E: There are pictures of me playing at it before I could stand. I was probably 8 when I wrote my first little piano song, but I started playing on it as early as I can remember. My poor Grandmother dealt with a lot of sustained pedal. I learned ‘Heart and Soul’ and from that I kind of tried to figure out almost like tablature to play all the music in my Grandma’s piano bench. Frank Sinatra, Engelbert Humperdinck and musicals.

Tell me the story about how your instrument picked you.

J: I knew that I wanted to play music and I had heard that bass was a really easy instrument to learn but a really hard instrument to get good at. I think that’s maybe what turned me on to at least trying it. If something’s hard for me at first, if I don’t get something right away, I freak out. I always have since I was a kid. It really makes me mad, I will cry, my face will turn red. So I got my first bass in Reno from a friend, and then I went home to LA and had one lesson with my friend Doug. He taught me a couple of songs because I didn’t want to do scales right away or anything that wasn’t necessarily going to be fun. I wanted to have a song where I recognized the bassline. T: Who taught you? J: My friend Doug from Puddle of Mudd. S: Oh my god, amazing! J: He taught me ‘Love Song’ by the Cure and a Weezer song and I think an Air song. From those bass lines I kind of just taught myself. S: That’s so cool. J: My claim to fame! E: My first instrument was piano. My Grandmother had it my whole life. And I spent summers with her mostly by myself. J: Is that the piano we have in the space? E: My first instrument.

Then my uncle gave me my first guitar when I was like 10. Later on in high school a friend of mine taught me a couple chords and I started writing songs. I think when I finally learned those three chords I realized I had a lot to say. S: I started playing piano when I was really young because my parents pushed me into it. And I didn’t really like it because it was disciplined and I was 6 years old and that was the last thing that I wanted to do. But I would have phases of being really studious with it and finding the joy of getting really good at something. Then I played guitar. And I don’t remember how old I was, but I have this distinct memory of being really little and sitting down at a family friend’s drumkit. And it was like this spaceship. It was the early 90s and everyone had like 400 toms and like a thousand cymbals. I remember thinking, this is the coolest thing I’ve ever seen, ever, and I want to come back here. I just had an immediate attraction to it. T: It always seemed natural to me to play guitar because my Dad always played guitar and my mom also did but not as much. He was always singing Dylan songs or making up little things. That was why it seemed like what you do. But piano was actually my first instrument as well. My mom taught me how to read music. I would learn pieces and I think that made me fall in love with the concept of a written song. How we got the piano is actually kind

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of a cool story. My dad’s friend from childhood had a business and he sold it for a lot of money and for some reason he gave my family a gold coin. And every so often we’d look up how much gold was worth. One day it was on the higher end so we cashed it in and bought a piano with the gold coin.

I was in choirs where we would always start singing without words, just on vowel sounds. And we’d obsess over how words were pronounced so that we would blend.

S: Amazing!

J: We did that in Joshua tree. There was one song where we would just start singing on Aeiou…

T: I love playing piano, I almost love it more than the guitar sometimes. Because it’s all right in front of you. It envelopes you. And it’s percussive too. I obviously write on guitar more still. But I’ve been writing a lot on piano. J: It’s nice to transpose. It’s nice to have a moment and experience the drama of the piano. And then transpose it to something that works within our band. It sometimes ends up sounding way cooler, because you might not have come up with that on the guitar, but you came up with it on piano. You get a different feeling from each instrument.

E: You approach it differently which is exciting because sometimes you get so locked into your instrument and kind of the way and style you play sometimes. It’s nice to play or write sometimes where you don’t know where you’re coming from. T: Emily was writing songs before I was and made me realize I could do that. I had been around it with my dad as well, but it was different. E: We learned some songs together in high school. Did you know that we were in choir together when we were kids? That’s adorable. I knew you were friends since you were 11.

E: We had an award winning choir teacher in high school. From San Antonio with blue eye shadow up to her eyebrows… T: She was crazy. E: Sandra Williams. T: Big shoulder pads, loved toucans. S: Toucans!! J: You just described my elementary school choir teacher to a tee. I think it’s like a thing. S: A type of person for sure. E: She was hardcore. She kicked me out of class for singing too loud once. And for chewing gum. T: She had her rules but it paid off because we were best in state. E: It’s kind of like we’re in choir now. Doing harmonies and knowing thirds and fifths. All that stuff came from Sandra Williams. S: Thanks, Sandy!

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T: Oh, Sandra was all about that too.

E: And then we would blend and everyone was doing like semitones. We called it ‘Girls in Church,’ that was its demo name. Because it was just really haunted. That was fun. We should definitely do more of that. I’d kind of love if we did more weird harmony singing and if we did like a drum circle. I think that would be so much fun to play drums together. S: I love that you’re all looking at me like, alright, bring out the djembes! Obviously you drum, Stella, and I know Theresa has done some drumming too. What about you and Emily, Jen?

J: Yeah, for sure. I mean I’m not that great, but it’s definitely fun to just go for it. E: You’re like a cavewoman on the drums. I love the way you play. S: Travis Barker. There was this one day where Jen came over and we were just in my basement studio of my house. We were probably in there for like 3 hours. At one point I started playing bass and she was playing drums. And she got into this loop which was the most psychotic thing I’ve ever seen anyone do on a drumkit… J: So not sexy. S: The first thing I thought of was Travis Barker, because he’s so fast and so precise. She was doing this incredibly athletic thing on the drumkit just out of the blue, it just got faster and faster. J: It didn’t sound good, but it felt good. S: It was kind of amazing. E: I want to get a drumkit. I think it would be the fun-est thing to have in your house. And also that’s a prerequisite for when I move again is that I need to be able to play drums in my new space or I’m not moving. I’ve been playing drums lately with my boyfriend while he plays guitar and it’s just the fun-est. I could just play on the cymbal for like an hour.


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Photo by festivalpictures.be


JONNA LÖFGREN OF GLASVEGAS By Daiana Feuer

Four years ago, Jonna Löfgren was attending music school in Northern Sweden, not far from the Arctic Circle, when the right person walked into her life. A producer with friends at Sony heard that Scotland’s premiere indie rock band Glasvegas needed a new drummer to replace Caroline McKay. Guitarist Rab Allen said they needed a female drummer who could play standing up, and she had to be from Sweden. It was sort of a joke, but the higher-ups took him seriously. Like a fairytale, within a month Löfgren uprooted her life and found herself in Glasgow’s favorite band of Scottish fellows with accents she couldn’t understand.

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Whats going on with Glasvegas right now?

We’re just starting to record the next album. James Allan, the singer, he writes all the songs. He’s done eight songs already so we are going to start recording soon.

would call normal grooves. It can be a lot of playing on the floor tom instead of the kick and when the kick comes in it takes it to another level really. It’s good to play around with the less-is-more idea, even if you have a lot of gear.

Does he write the drum parts as well?

Do you drum with anyone else when Glasvegas goes on break?

Sometimes he does, sometimes I do. Sometimes it’s a mixture of both our ideas. Sometimes a song starts with the drums for him and he has a groove and builds a song around that. Other times he has a guitar and lyrics and then I come in with drum ideas.

When we stopped touring with Glasvegas in May, I was lucky someone contacted me and I started playing with a Swedish act called Hurula during this break. We play mostly in Scandinavia since the guy sings in Swedish.

Since you perform standing, do you write your drum parts standing up?

Swedish hasn’t really broken into the international market. It’s such a crazy language.

I do, actually! That’s funny you asked me that. I only play standing with Glasvegas. But I have a standup kit, which is a bit different the way it’s set up. So I always record standing up, and rehearse standing up, and perform standing up with Glasvegas. It’s fun. You can dance around at the same time. When I play with other bands, I play sitting down. I never stood up before joining Glasvegas. They were looking for a stand-up drummer and I said, “Yeah, I’ll try that!” I’d never really seen it before.

I know. Every time I hear someone speak Swedish who is not from Sweden I’m surprised. It’s hard.

How does having a modified drum kit affect how you approach your drumming?

I think you can do so much with the drum set I’ve got. When I sit down, I add a rack tom and two more cymbals, but I’ve got the kick and the floor and the snare and hi-hat and the crash and the tambourine, so I’ve got most of it. I can do so much with that set-up. Sometimes the songs are not built like what you

It must have been funny the first time you met the Glasvegas guys. Scottish English sounds like another language.

Yes! When I first joined I had no idea what the boys were saying. I thought I knew English. We read English in school since I was nine. But when I came there I was like, I have no idea what any of you are talking about. Now I know and I’ve started to speak a little like them. So, how does the story go? You were at school attending a lecture and someone said, hey, she looks cool, she could be in Glasvegas…

Kind of like that, yeah. We had a guest teacher, this producer who knew someone from Sony in Sweden. And the man from Sony had asked this producer for a girl drummer. He phoned me up straight away and I got in touch with Sony. It was like a month from that phone call to when I was living in Glasgow. I stopped school, and I had just started a six-month job as a musician for a musical. I had to quit and could not tell them why. I said, sorry it’s a secret but you will know why soon. Who knows what they thought you were going to do. Maybe a spy.

Yeah I know. But once they found out they were really proud. It was in all the papers in Sweden. It was really big news in Sweden, which was a surprise. It was quite a shock. I had no idea it was going to be like that. I told my closest family and friends before I left but I couldn’t really tell that many people. I was in Glasgow for two or three weeks before the news came out and then it was all over Sweden! I had no idea that would happen. But I got such good support and everyone was happy for me. How far into school were you?

Photo by festivalpictures.be

It was a three year program. I had just started my third year. Since we’re all the way in the North of Sweden, we would get these guest teachers come up to the school to inspire the students—like the producer that got me the Glasvegas gig—and now I’m going to go do a talk at the school. So it’s really cool. It’s a bit strange but it’s going to be fun as well to talk to people who want to do the same thing and to tell them that they can make it too if they want. That’s what I believe. I’ve been doing a few talks. In Sweden they do a lot to get girls to play music. You can go to a sort of camp for girls as a teenager. They go for a week and live together and have music teachers that show them how to play in a band. I went this summer and was there to give them tips and talk to them. It was really inspiring for me to meet them. I think it’s really great that Sweden puts money into getting girls into the music business.

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Photo by Rab Adam How do you feel about being called a “female” drummer rather than just a drummer?

I hope that one day it’s going to change so much and it will be 50/50. They never call a man a “male” drummer but you always call a woman a “female” drummer because that isn’t the usual thing. I just want it to be the usual thing: a drummer. Or you refer to it as a male drummer and a female drummer if you need to put gender. You can get annoyed with people who say, “Oh, you’re really good for being a girl.” But you can look at it another way and make it a positive thing and see that you do stand out in a crowd and on top of that your skills stand out and eventually you will impact something positive. It can feel negative sometimes but I just think it is a positive thing to be a female drummer. There’s so many drummers in the world after all, so if you can make a good first impression because you are a female drummer and have the skills to back it up, then that’s good enough for me. Have drums always been your focus?

Yes, I went to music high school then music college then music university and always focused on drums. I went to this program called “Rock Musician”—which is a quite funny name. You apply and they choose one drummer a year. They make one band of four or five people each year and you get really good classes and really good individual attention. So you’re not just some drummer that went up to the guest lecturer at school with a cool haircut and said, “Hey I want to play in a band.” You’ve worked hard for what you’ve accomplished.

It’s hard for me to say that I’m special, but something about me is special and that’s how I am here working with drums. I’ve worked hard to get to where I am and keep going and having fun with it. I was always surprised, when they were only going to choose one drummer a year, that how come they will always choose me? When they called me up and asked me to go to this special school, I had to ask four times on the phone, “What, you’re kidding me on?!” I couldn’t believe it. But that’s good to be open and try, because there is that slim chance of being that one drummer. I didn’t want to set my hopes too high but I always wanted to try and I’m happy for that. I saw a picture that you went to play for a tribe in Ecuador. All these people with loincloths and you guys are all plugged in with a PA and everything.

We get to do so many crazy things as a band but that by far is the craziest. It was such an amazing thing. We did a TV documentary. The concept is for different artists to go to different tribes in the world. We played our music for them and then they played their music for us and then we collaborated together. It just shows the beautiful thing, that music is so universal. They had their own language and some of them spoke Spanish but none of us spoke Spanish so everything was translated two times at least. But through the music we could still communicate. It was really cool to experience that—amongst all the snakes and all that. The first day we came it was a shock. There was a really big tarantula where we were going to sleep. We were like, “You’re kidding me on. You put that there to film our expressions.” But no, it was for real. There were a lot of cool animals there.

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JESS BOWEN OF THE SUMMER SET By Jenifer Marchain | Photos by Sammy Roenfeldt

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Power hitter Jessica Bowen of the punk-pop band The Summer Set took a few moments to lay down her drum sticks and talk with Tom Tom Magazine about her life on the road and what it’s like to “make it” in the ever changing music business.

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Tom Tom Magazine: Hi, Jess, it’s so nice to have you in Tom Tom Magazine!

Jess Bowen: Thanks for having me! I’m a big fan of the magazine! You recently wrapped the Vans Warped Tour, how was life on the road for you?

I did just wrap up the Warped Tour last month, and I miss it already! This was our third year on the tour, and it sort of felt like being seniors in high school, as opposed to our first year doing it, which was in 2010, when we had no idea what we were getting ourselves into. Warped is one of my favorite tours to play because it feels like punk rock summer camp. Everyone quickly starts to feel like your family. I’ve also been touring since 2008, so life on the road sometimes feels more natural than life at home. You were about 18 years old when you formed Summer Set in 2007. At that age what was it like getting the band off the ground and then having the level of success you did so quickly? Were there any hard lessons you learned along the way?

I think I was very young and naive, and had the wrong idea of what “success” was in the music industry. Luckily my band was able to tour with people who were more experienced and knowledgeable and they helped guide us along the way. We definitely made some bad decisions at that age, but as the saying goes, you learn from your mistakes. Once we met our management in 2009, things started to fall into place and they were able to help guide us as well. I had read that your introduction to the drums came from your father and older brother, who are also drummers. Were they influential in any way to your style of playing?

Absolutely! Before I even started playing the drums, I would sit and watch them play in our house every day. Once I did sit down to learn I would try to play what I heard them playing before. We all have different styles of drumming now, but I definitely learned a lot from them when I was first starting out. Did you learn how to play from them or did you learn by playing by ear?

My dad was the reason that I started playing, so essentially I did learn from him by listening to him play every day. Once I started playing drums I quickly realized that playing by ear and feeling the song was easier than reading music or copying another drummer’s style. I started listening to bands like Blink 182, Greenday, Mxpx, etc. and I would play their songs by ear. You are a power hitter behind the kit. What fuels your energy when you play?

To be honest, it all started when our band played one of our first shows in Los Angeles at The Roxy. The sound engineer told me he would check the drums for me and that he would “hit them like a girl.” That night, I broke about 2 pairs of sticks while I was playing because of him, and I have never stopped hitting hard since. I would have loved to have seen the look on that guy’s face. So, how do you both mentally and physically prepare yourself before a show?

I usually start my warm-ups about an hour before the show starts. Physically, I do a lot of arm, back, and neck stretches as well as warming up with marching sticks, doing rudiments on my drum pad. Mentally, I like to zone out to music, usually from a playlist I have on Spotify.

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You’ve mentioned other female drummers like Shelia E, Karen Carpenter and Cindy Blackman were inspirations to you as a musician. What do you think defines them as powerful drummers and what do you think defines you?

They made a lot of headway in the music industry as female drummers, and I think without them there wouldn’t be as much visibility in the female drumming community. I think what defines me is the passion and energy I have when I play. There has been a rise in female drummers over the years. Do you think more women are being embraced as drummers/percussionists?

Definitely! When I first started touring, it was rare to ever come across another female drummer in the industry. But as of recently, I have seen more and more women drumming and I’ve met quite a lot of girls at our shows who have told me they started drumming as well. Just this summer on the Warped tour, I met two other female drummers on the tour, in comparison to a couple of years ago when I was the only female drummer on the tour. We also have more outlets for female drummers to share their talents, such as the “Hit Like A Girl” contest that I was a judge for in 2013 and 2014. Tell us a little about Summer Set and the concept behind the band’s sound.

Our band started in 2007, while most of us were still in high school (16-18 years old). Three of us had been playing music together in a local band, and decided that we wanted to change our sound, which is why we started The Summer Set. There wasn’t


Switching gears a bit, what do you do to stay fit and fierce behind the kit?

I try to stay in shape while I’m off tour to make sure I don’t lose that endurance behind the kit. I usually work out a few times a week at the gym, and try to lift weights regularly as well as eating healthy. Tell us about your gear. What type of kit are you playing on?

I play SJC Custom Drums. I just recently designed a new kit with them and it sounds huge! I have a 24x20 kick, 12x8 rack, and a 16x16 floor. My SJC snare is a replica of the Black Beauty, and sounds just like it! I also play Sabian Cymbals (mostly HHX), Vater Drum Sticks (Universals), and Remo heads. Being in a band is a lot of hard work that typically gets misunderstood by fans and the like as a “rock star” lifestyle. What would you say is the biggest misconception about life on the road?

In general I think the whole “rock star” lifestyle is the biggest misconception. People seem to think that everybody is super rich, parties every day and has it easy. When in reality, most bands start out like we did, playing in bars with no crowds, and losing a lot of money trying to survive and trying to get from city to city. We spent a few years sleeping in our van in parking lots and trying to crash at random stranger’s houses on their floors. It’s not all fun and games, and everybody has to work their butt off if you want to make it in this industry. Do you have any crazy tour stories you can share with us where things didn’t quite go as planned?

THE SOUND ENGINEER TOLD ME HE WOULD CHECK THE DRUMS FOR ME AND THAT HE WOULD “HIT THEM LIKE A GIRL.” THAT NIGHT, I BROKE ABOUT 2 PAIRS OF STICKS WHILE I WAS PLAYING BECAUSE OF HIM, AND I HAVE NEVER STOPPED HITTING HARD SINCE. necessarily a concept, but we knew we wanted to steer more towards the Pop-rock direction. I think our sound evolves with each record, and as we grow as a band. We like to write about personal experiences that hopefully anybody could relate to.

We’ve definitely had quite a few crazy tour stories, but I think some of them might not be appropriate to share! There’s one funny story we have from the first year we started touring in 2008. We were new to driving a van and trailer, and in Hoboken, New Jersey we managed to get it stuck on a one way street, backing up a lot of traffic. Next thing we knew, a guy in a black hoodie with his hood up asks us if he could move our van for us. We thought this guy was going to steal our van, so we told him to direct us on how to get it out. Luckily he agreed, and was able to successfully help us get out of the sticky situation. Afterwards, we introduced ourselves and he took off his hood, and it was Gavin DeGraw. Ha! With such a busy, but amazing life, how do you “keep it real?”

I think it’s pretty easy to get lost in this lifestyle, and for people to become egotistical. But one of my biggest pet peeves is arrogance, and I think I am able to “keep it real” by remembering that there are so many talented people in this world who would kill for this opportunity that I have. I would never want to compromise this opportunity I’ve been given with arrogance, because there will always be better drummers out there and I need to strive to make myself better every day.

What are your relationships like with the other band mates?

I have a great relationship with every guy in my band. I have been playing music with brothers Stephen and John Gomez since 2003, and I have never played in a band without them. We are all family considering in the past 7 years I have spent more time with them than my own family and friends. ISSU E 2 0: GR OOV E

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ROSHNI THOMPSON GROOVE WITHOUT INTERRUPTION By Mariel Berger | Photos by Alexandra Belle

Classical Indian Music demands a lifetime of disciplined study and Roshni Thompson’s determination set her on the path early playing tabla. The complexity and mathematical nature of tabla rhythms make it challenging to get to a place where one can be playful and improvisational, but Roshni has dived into the practice so deeply that she is able to make it her own. For Roshni, tabla is integral to her overall life balance and groove. Her daily practice is a mind cleansing ritual that helps her flow into her day, and provides the underlying beats in her life.

Tom Tom Magazine: How did you choose tabla when there were not many female role models?

Roshni Thompson: My father is a vocalist and plays harmonium. When I was 9, I remember him suggesting the tabla even though not many other girls do it. I really responded to the physicality of it and the fact that there were not many women who played it. I entered into the tradition and started going with it, whatever the rules were, whatever it took to create the tones. It felt very singular to be alone in a room with the tabla and just be practicing and creating. When I moved to America it became a real companion in the journey. Being an only child of an immigrant family that moved someplace very foreign and being a loner myself at that point in time, I really took to the discipline of just letting everything go and diving into tabla. In highschool I would wake up at 5 in the morning and practice before I went to school. Whoa… for how many hours?

Usually two to three hours. It was pretty amazing. I got the sense from my dad that music came first and that gave me a lot of freedom. Sometimes I would not go to school and stay home and practice with my dad all day and we would watch concert footage. Did you deal with judgement from the Indian Classical Music scene being a woman?

Being a female drummer in a male-dominated tradition has definitely been an uphill battle, but one littered with experiences of acceptance and support. I played these homespun recitals where the other students would be young boys. I would get these looks from them like you’re here to play tabla with us? Especially in the Indian community, social places are so clearly defined that once you step out of them it takes people a while to adjust. However, there are also many progressive members of the Indian classical community whose open hearts recognize interest and dedication regardless of gender. I’ve been lucky to have a guru that treats me as worthy of a student as any other and celebrates the multiplicity among his students. Do you feel like you have to prove yourself through the music so people take you seriously as a woman tabla player?

Yes. You have to show that you have spent the same amount of time, that you have a mathematical aptitude as much as men, that you are capable of creating bass, or a strong tone. You have to project your voice a little bit louder to be heard. You have to show that you are level with these other musicians, that you can speak through your instrument. That you have

embraced it to the point at which it has become you and your voice without anything being allowed to separate that from you. Regardless of the adversities you are still able to retain your groove without interruption. Is knowing all the scripted vocab what eases your improvisation and groove as a tabla player?

Mastering the material takes a long time and you have to really drill yourself. There’s a lot of repetition and there’s a lot of internalizing with this tradition. Then you let go of that and can depart from what’s been handed down to you and just take off, have fun and that’s where the groove happens. That’s where the real improvisation comes in, when you are able to play within the parameters of the tradition but make it your own. It’s not the kind of groove that the listener would get up and dance to. Would you say it’s more trance like?

Yes. The Ragas, the scales of melodies that the singer or instrumentalist uses, were created for particular times of the day to evoke specific moods. There’s an ancient science about how melody relates to mood. It’s almost medicinal. There’s a lot of weight in the choices that a person might sing or play. This is the groove that might take you more inside, and very very deep. Very introspective. You take a line of melody, or you take a phrase of rhythm and it really speaks to you. It really affects you. I’ve had some experiences where I’ve turned on a Raga and within the first minute of listening I’ve been transported. And that’s what this music does, it transports you. I’ve observed that a strict daily practice comes with the tabla tradition almost in a religious kind of way. Do you feel like the practice puts you in a certain groove in your day?

Definitely. It’s kind of like a daily rite of passage, a daily cleansing. I’m still working stuff out from yesterday’s practice, I’m working on Ti-Hais. There’s so much math involved, but in order for it to become intuitive, it’s all about repetition. It’s called ‘Riyaz’ when you practice. Your daily sitting. And that’s a huge part of the tradition. As a mother it’s shaken up my ability to have that but it’s made me a lot more disciplined about fighting for it in my life. It’s my space. The space where I can think uninterruptedly. That’s something I really want to pass on to my children. In music it’s important to have regularity. To have a space carved out daily. It’s kind of how people do yoga or meditation. They cleanse and center themselves. That’s their groove, that’s their pattern of life. Their regularity, their pace. In yoga they call it sahna, your practice. It’s what you do, and only through regularity do you grow and you see yourself expanding.

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EMILY ROSE EPSTEIN BRINGS THE BANG By Rachel Miller | Photos by Genevieve Davis

In general, news about Ty Segall the band revolves around Ty Segall the singer and lead guitarist, whose feverishly intense performances have band managers crowd-surfing venues to reach the bar while Ty leans back on waving hands, spreading glitter and ripping through the majestic guitar solos on Manipulator, his newest album. But this is about Emily Rose Epstein, the quietly powerful (and often barefoot) drummer who brings the bang to Ty’s shred. We exchanged a few emails and from our conversations I put together this 3-D cross-section of Emily Rose Epstein’s brain. It reveals, among other things: repeat playings of “Ganglion Reef ” by Wand, a copy of Faulkner’s New Orleans Sketches straight from the French Quarter, and Skittles. Tom Tom Magazine: What’s the dynamic like with Ty and the rest of the band? How do decisions get made?

Emily Rose Epstein: The band dynamic is really special. I’ve toured with all three of these guys for six years now so they’re like my family. We all get under each other’s skin sometimes but there’s real deep love there. I’ve shared a really transformative time of my life with them so sometimes I feel like we can relate to each other and understand each other in a way that no one else is able to. It’s really unique and I feel so grateful that they are all in my life. In terms of how decisions get made and the dynamic of our band, it’s sort of a complicated question to answer because as much as we function like a band when we’re on the road, at the end of the day, Ty is calling all the shots because it’s his project. That said, Ty isn’t an alpha male about it; he wants our input and involvement and never tells any of us what to do, which is really great. It’s sort of a family operation. Until recently we didn’t have a tour manager or anything, so we’d all help out with everything, loading, doing merch, settling, etc. Musically it’s the same deal. Ty writes the songs and records most of them himself, but at practice he never tells us how to play them or that we have to play them just like the record. He loves watching us all add a little bit of ourselves to his songs and seeing how wild and different something can feel live. Who did you play with and what came before this tour?

Really for the past six years I’ve only been doing Ty tours and I was also in Mikal Cronin’s band for two years. I actually did quite a few tours with him but sort of decided that being in two actively touring bands wasn’t leaving me enough time to be at home and do my own projects. So I stopped playing with Mikal. I was also until recently playing in a country band with some of my friends in L.A. which was really thrilling because I was playing rhythms that were totally outside of my comfort zone and also learning how to play drums and sing and play bass and sing at the same time. I dreamed secretly my whole life about singing along with other people like the Byrds or the Everly Brothers or Gram and Emmylou and I was really scared to try to do it, but once I did it it made me want to do it a whole lot more! I hope we can resume that project at some point ‘cause I miss singing! When did you start drumming? Why?

I started drumming when I was around 13. My dad was a drummer and he had drum kits set up at his house. I was home alone a lot so I would just sort of mess around and try to play along to records I had. Eventually I took a few lessons but I mostly just kind of started learning through trial and error, listening to Subhumans and Stiff Little Fingers... stuff like that. I was in sort of an anarcho band for the first three years so I really wanted to play like Penny Rimbaud or Trotsky or something.

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Who did your pops play with?

He was never in any bands that really did anything, he would just jam with friends. He was a great drummer though. I have really fond memories of watching him jam along to like Santana records and stuff like that. Remember any of the records you played when you were first learning?

Yeah, the first record I tried to play along to was Pavement’s Slanted and Enchanted because the songs were slow enough for me to figure out what was going on. “Summer Babe” was probably the first song I ever tried to play. Then I played along to every Ramones record once I got better and faster and also Inflammable Material by Stiff Little Fingers was a favorite to play along to in the beginning. I also remember figuring out how to play to Subhumans EP/LP and The Day The Country Died. And anything by Bikini Kill because I thought Tobi Vale was the coolest person in the world. You reading anything right now?

Yes! I read a lot and I’m usually in the middle of a few books at a time. Right now I’m in the middle of the Alice Bag book Violence Girl, a poetry collection that Ted Hughes wrote later in life called Birthday Letters, and Faulkner’s New Orleans Sketches, which I picked up while we were on tour at a wonderful bookshop in the French Quarter. Listening to anything?

I’m on a break from tour so I’ve been having the best time sitting at home and listening to records. I also work at a record store when I’m not on tour so I get to listen to records all day. This is what’s in the stack of stuff I’ve been playing non stop: “Ganglion Reef” by Wand. White Fence “For the Recently Found Innocent.” That one’s an everyday record for me. It’s perfect. Slade “Slayed?” Danzig “Lucifuge.” Morgen. Mahmoud Ahmed and the Ibex Band. CCR Headcleaner. “Killed By Lee” (a Lee Hazlewood collection). La Luz “It’s Alive”—we just did a tour with them and I’ve had their songs stuck in my head all the time. Doses. they’re great. Pretty Things “Parachute,” which was a real grower for me. Ty told me a long time ago that it was good and now I know just how. And I’ve been listening to a tape a lot that my friends recorded. They’re called Vial and they’re fucking awesome. One last question: if you had a free two weeks and could go anywhere, where would it be? What would you do?

Lately I’ve been longing to go back to Greece. I would love to spend some time on an island I’ve never been to like Crete and sleep in late, write every day, go swimming, eat dolmades and drink Cretan wine. Sounds like heaven right now. Would you bring your drums?

Maybe I would leave the drums behind and finally learn guitar!


Name: Emily Rose Epstein Hometown: Los Angeles, CA Kit: Right now I’m using a 70s Ludwig Blue/Olive Stainless Steel kit that I just got and my dad’s old Gretsch staWinless steel snare and an odd assortment of Zildjian cymbals. Living now [when not on tour]: Eagle Rock, CA Fave tour snack: Salsitas or Skittles Tour sanity-saver: Coffee and Gram Parsons

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LONG LIVE FRANK. LONG LIVE TOM TOM.

CHIME GIVES jewelry made from drum cymbals

chimegives.org


GROOVE SHUFFLE By Morgan Doctor

This being the Groove issue, one of the hardest grooves to master is the shuffle. The shuffle is all about feel and that’s something hard to put on paper. That is why learning how to play a shuffle can be the best way to improve your feel and groove as a player. The shuffle is based on a broken triplet feel. Taking out the middle beat of the triplet and giving an accent to the downbeat (beats 1,2,3 and 4). There are many types of Shuffles (the double shuffle, sixteenth note shuffle, eighth note shuffle, and the Texas shuffle) and most rely on laying back on the beat. Here are a few examples of some shuffles that will hopefully help you with your groove and feel.

1 Example 1: This type of shuffle is called a Texas Shuffle. The main shuffle is in the left hand. The key is accenting the 2 and 4 to give a downbeat feel. A good example is Stevie Ray Vaughan’s “Pride and Joy” or Colin James’ “Let’s Shout (Baby Work it Out).”

2 Example 2: In this example we are putting the shuffle feel in the kick drum. This is a great beat to help get your kick solid and steady. Take a listen to Muddy Waters’ “Champagne and Reefer.” A great track to also play along to is Big Mama Thornton’s “Rolling Stone.” Key: lay back in the beat.

3 Example 3: In this shuffle the skip beat is in the left foot. It’s a great beat to get all four limbs working. Closing the hi-hat on the “let” of every triplet. Play the right hand pattern on the ride. You can hear this in the beginning of Aretha Franklin’s “Nighttime Is The Right Time.”

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THE GEOMETRIES OF SOUND A Mathematical Analysis of Musical Rhythms with Geometric Properties By Linnea LaMon I have two passions. One of them is drumming and the other is mathematics. In this article I want to link those two passions. To make drumming sound simple so that we can use mathematics to study it, we can say a rhythm is a sequence of hitting a drum and not hitting a drum. Since that’s two states, we can represent that as a binary string. A binary string is a sequence of 1s and 0s and is often used in computer science. Let’s say hitting the drum is a 1 and not hitting the drum is a 0. One of my favorite rhythms is the clapping pattern in Dave Brubeck’s “Unsquare Dance.” That rhythm is divided into sevenths, and it has four claps and three rests. As a binary string, we can say this rhythm is 0101011. Ones and zeroes are kind of boring. They’re useful, but boring. What we can do is use geometry to visualize the rhythm. Let’s take a circle and space out seven nodes evenly around the circle. We can fill in a node black if we hit the drum (or clap, in this rhythm), and white if it’s a rest. Connecting the black nodes creates a polygon. You can see how the rhythm in “Unsquare Dance” is a quadrilateral (more specifically, an isosceles trapezoid) in Figure 1. I was really interested in looking at rhythms that make different geometric shapes and properties, like right angles, right triangles, isosceles trapezoids, and all of the other kinds of triangles. I want to show you what I researched, just focusing on the right triangles. One thing that I did in my research was try to count how many rhythms are right triangles. I also wanted to create a computer program to generate those rhythms. We have a circle with, say, eight evenly space nodes. Our rhythm is subdivided into eighth notes. We want to figure out how many rhythms are right triangles. The algorithm I created to generate the rhythms actually helped me to count the rhythms that are right triangles. Here it is: I started by filling in the node at the 12 o’clock position (Figure 2). There is a theorem in geometry that says that the hypotenuse of a right triangle inscribed in a circle is the diameter of the circle. To create the diameter of the circle, we need a black node directly across, at the 6 o’clock position (Figure 3). (If there was an odd number of nodes, there wouldn’t be a node directly across, and so we couldn’t have right triangles.) Now all we need is one more black node to create a triangle. Going clockwise, we see three white nodes in between our black nodes. Any one of those nodes can be the third node for our triangle. 0 1

1

1

0

0

1

Fig. 1 : The clapping rhythm in Dave Brubeck’s “Unsquare Dance.”

Fig. 2

Fig. 3

Figure 4 shows those right triangles. I argue that all the other right triangles using eight nodes are simply rotations of these three rhythms. The bass drum rhythm in Joan Jett’s “I Love Rock and Roll” is actually a rotation of one of these rhythms. Challenge yourself and figure out which one. Generalizing the algorithm we used, when the circle has n nodes, the number of rhythms that produce right triangles is — 1.

Fig. 4 : The rhythms with eighth notes that are right triangles

In my research, I counted and algorithmically generated rhythms with several geometric constraints. I would love to see my research be applied to looped music sequencing. In the future, I see an app where I can specify what polygon or geometric property I want my rhythm to have. Overlaying these looped rhythms with different tones could create some awesome music. ISSU E 2 0: GR OOV E

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GHOST NOTES by Kristen Gleeson-Prata

Ghost notes are very soft, de-emphasized strokes that can add groove to every style of drumming. Parentheses around note heads signify ghost notes. Most of the time they’re played on the snare drum, in the “windows” between what both of your hands are already playing. David Garibaldi, Bernard Purdie, Jeff Porcaro and Chad Smith are just four drummers known for spicing up their grooves with ghost notes.

Ghost Notes

1

ã 44 ®

∑

One option is to put a ghost note in every window in a groove. For instance, if your groove is a simple eighth note rock beat, you can put a ghost note on all of the ‘e’s and ‘a’s to create a Drumcontinuous Set 16th note rhythm and deeper groove. (Example 1 below)

EXAMPLE 1 Without ghost notes:

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2

3

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TO M TO M M A G A Z I N E

x

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Ghost Notes xœ

x œ

x x x x x x x x .. .. œ e e œ e e e e œ e œ e .. ∑ Drum Set EXAMPLE ã 44 ®2 Without ghost notes: Ghost Notes With ghost notes: >x x >x ‰ x >xœ x >x ‰ x . . >x e x >x e x >xœ e x >x e x . . ‰ ‰ . .œ . 1 ã . œEXAMPLE Without ghost notes: With ghost notes: 3 3 Similarly, on3 the 3 xhi-hat 3 x x if3 your xthe groove xœ (ONE-trip-LET, xis a swung x 3 x backbeat xœ with x yourandxkick,so3 xsnare, xœ and x alanding xœnote xon all beats .and on ‘let’s TWO-trip-LET, on), you cane put e ghost . . e e e e e . . . ã 4 œ ã 4to create œ and deeper œ ∑ groove. (Example 2 below) œ e .. of Set the ‘trip’s a continuous 12/8 rhythm ® Drum EXAMPLE 3: "Can't Stop" by Red Hot Chili Peppers (Chad Smith on drums) x x xœ x x x xœ x e e . e eœ e e .. . EXAMPLE 2 Ó Œ ‰ . ã Without œWithœ ghost notes: ghost EXAMPLE 1 notes: >x >x ghost xghost>x notes: x >xnotes: x >xœ e x >x e x . Without ‰ x x >xxœ ‰ x x >xx ‰ x x . . With . e e x x x x x x x ‰ . .. œ e e œ e e x e x e xœ e x e .. ã ...EXAMPLE 4œ œ . œ . . œ ghost notes: 3 ã Without 3 3 œ œ x ghostx notes: œ . With 3 3 3x x x x x x x x x x x x x 3 3 œ œ .. .. œ e œ œ eœ œ .. ã .. œEXAMPLE œ œ 2 EXAMPLE 3: notes: "Can't Stop" by Red Hot Chili Peppers (Chad Smith on drums) Without ghost xœ notes: > > >x ‰x. >x ‰ exe .. xWith >x x ghost >xx e xx >xe x xxœ >x x exe .. x x x x x Ó Œ ‰ ã ..EXAMPLE œsingle oredouble.. œ notes .. ..œœin œPurdie e groove. eAdding œ ae ‰ is 5:to"Babylon ‰ byinSteely Sisters" Dan (Bernard on drums) ã >œ option Another place ghost specific places the > > > > > > >x (Example x x x x x x x x x x x x x x . 3 3 ghost note before the downbeat of would give it a little 3something3 x extra. 3 a rock groove 3 . e e œ e e e e œ e e . 3 3 3 ãbelow: “Can’t Stop” by œRed Hot Chili Peppers)œ œxEXAMPLE œx œ x œ . x4 notes: x x x x Without ghost With ghost notes: x x 3:xœ "Can't x Stop" x byxRed Hot xœ Chili x Peppers x (Chad x Smith xœ onxdrums) x e xœ x . EXAMPLE . . . x x x 3 3 3 ex 3 3 3x . . ã Ó. EXAMPLE œ 6: "SoulŒ Vaccination" œ ‰ .by TowereofePower .. œ (David œGaribaldie on drums) e3 x œ xœ x3 e e ... ã >œ œ >x œ >x >x >x œ x x x x x x e œ e œ œ e e e e e .. ã .. œEXAMPLE œ Sisters" by Steely Dan (Bernard œ Purdie œ 5: "Babylon on drums) x x EXAMPLE 4 >x xghost>x notes:x >xœ x >x x >xWith ghost x >xnotes: x >xœ x >x x . Without . e e e e e e e e x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x ã ... EXAMPLE œ xby Toto (Jeff œ ..on..œxdrums) e x œ œ x e x œ œ ... œ"Rosanna" œx Porcaro 7: x ã >œxœ œ œ œ œ >x >x >x >x >x >xœ x >x x x x x x x x x e3 e3 œ œ e3 œ e3 e3 œ e3 œ e3 e3 œ .. ã .. œEXAMPLE 6: "Soul Vaccination" by Tower of Power (David Garibaldi on drums) >x >x Sisters" >x 3 EXAMPLE 5: Steely 3onxdrums) 3 x by > xœ "Babylon x 3 œDan (Bernard xe> 3 >x Purdie > > > > > >x ex x>x 3 ex .. 3 e 3 . e œ e e x x x x x x x x x x x x ã ... œ e eœ œ œ e e œ œ eœ x e œ œœ e x e œ .. ã œx x x x x x x x With ghost notes:

3 3 EXAMPLE 7: "Rosanna" by3Toto (Jeff Porcaro on drums) 3 3

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EXAMPLE 2 Without ghost notes:

With ghost notes: >x >x ‰ x >x >x ‰ x Notes >x x >x x >x x >x x x x Ghost . . . œ e œ e e .. ‰ ‰ . .œ e ã .œ Ghost Notes 3

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x x x x x x x x ã 444 ®® e e .. œ ∑∑œ œ e e œ œ e e .. Ó Œ ‰. ã ã4 of Set a funk flare. 4 below) ®1 ∑ Drum ã 44 (Example EXAMPLE EXAMPLE Without ghost With ghost notes: EXAMPLE 14 notes: x x x x x x x x x eghost x xœnotes: x x x x x Without ghost notes: With Without ghost notes: With ghost x xœxœ1 xx x x xœœ xxœ . .. . .. xxœ e x enotes: xœ e xx e x eex e xœxœe xœx e ... EXAMPLE x ã ..... xœxWithout e xe xe œxe œ xe œ xe ... œ œ x notes:x x œx x œ x . .. . .. œœWith ãã . œœx x ghost x eghost xeœeœ xœnotes: . . . e e e e œ e e .. œ œ .œ . .œ 2 ã EXAMPLE œ œ Without ghost With ghost notes: EXAMPLE 2 notes: >EXAMPLE >x ghost >xon drums) "Babylon Purdie Without ghost x>EXAMPLE x> notes: x >>>xœ x >>x x . x >>x>5:2notes: x by>x>Steely x .(Bernard With ‰ xx >>xœ>xSisters" ‰ Dan > > > > . . e e e xx x e x . x x x x x x x x x x ‰ ‰ x x notes: x xnotes: x xœxœ ee ‰e x xœœ ‰e ‰e .. .. xœWith ã .... xœWithout ghost e e e e ãã . œœx>x ‰e ghost >x 3 ‰ œx x>x 3 x x>x 3 ‰ œx . œx. œ>x x >x 3 œ xx >x 3 x x >x e3 œx .... x x œ 3‰ .. .. œ 3 e e œ 3e e .. 3 3 3 3 ã .. œ 333‰ 3 3 notes into 3 I remember 33 3 3 my playing, 3 3 feeling WhenEXAMPLE I first tried3: integrating ghost being 3difficult and "Can't Stop" by3Red HotTower Chili Peppers (Chad Smith on3itdrums) 3 3 EXAMPLE "Soulpassed Vaccination" by of Power (David Garibaldi drums) very unnatural. As6:time however, it became sox natural thatxon I now play ghost notes x x x x x 3 3 xto me EXAMPLE 3: "Can't Stop" by Red Hot Chili Peppers (Chad Smith on drums) > > > > > e take e x..axœgood œ e e œ e e .. . definitely xœ TheŒx process x x x x x x without will amount of practice time, but begin Ó. x evenetrying. ‰ x x x x x x x ã œ œ œ ePeppers e e e e e e byã playing the grooves veryStop" slowly mindfully de-emphasizing the ghost notes using lower . œ e e œ e e .... e . EXAMPLE 3: "Can't byœ‰while Red Hot Chili (Chad Smith on drums) . Ó Œ . œ x œbeœ xmore œ and quieterœvolume. The ghost notes should œ œ x under ã height x x x x x stick felt thanxheard, the main e e .. œ œ œ e e œ œ e e .. Œ ‰. sound of the groove. ã ÓEXAMPLE 4 Without ghost With ghost notes: EXAMPLE 47:notes: "Rosanna" xEXAMPLE x ghost xœ notes: x x> by xToto (Jeff xœ> Porcaro x . on.>With xdrums) x >notes: xœ x >x e >xœ x . >xxEXAMPLE > Without ghost e x x x x x x x x x x x xœx œx xx x x .. Here.. are a few other examples to try. . . (Examples 5-7 below) 4 x x x x x x x x . . ã ... œWithout œ œ œ œ œ e e e e e e e e œ œ . . e œ ghost notes: With ghost notes: ãã . œœx x œ x xœ x œ x œx x . . œ x œ x œ x x x œ œ x xœ ... .. .. e œ œ3 .. 3 e 3 ã .. œ 3 œ œ 3 œ œ3 œ œ 3 œ3 EXAMPLE 5: "Babylon Sisters" by Steely Dan (Bernard Purdie on drums) >x >x >x on drums) EXAMPLE x >>5:x "Babylon x >>xœSisters"xby >>xSteely Dan x (Bernard xPurdie x >>xœ x >>x x . > > > . e e e e e e e e x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x . ã œEXAMPLE 5: "Babylon Purdie on œ drums) œ Sisters" by SteelyœDan (Bernard œ œ . ã .. œxx>x e x xx>x e œ x œxx>x e x xx>x e œ x œxx>x e x xx>x e œ x œxx>x e x xx>x e œ x .. e œ œ 3e e œ œ 3e e œ œ 3e e œ .. 3 3 3 3 ã ..EXAMPLE œx 33 e 6:x"Soul x x x x x x Vaccination" by Tower of Power (David Garibaldi on drums) 3 3 3 3 3 3 >x >x Vaccination" >x Garibaldi >x drums) x 3 EXAMPLE 6: "Soul by> Tower of Power (David on x x x x x 3 3 3 3 3> 3œ >x Tower e > e xe3 >xœon drums) e xœ6: "Soul e xœ by e e .. x x 3e ã ... >xœEXAMPLE Vaccination" of xPowerxœ(David Garibaldi œ e .. œ œ e e e œ e e x x >x >x >x >x ã . œ>x x x x x x œ œ œ x x e .. œ e œ e e œ e ã ..EXAMPLE œ e 7:œ"Rosanna" œ eby Totoœ (Jeff Porcaro x on drums) x >x >x Porcaro EXAMPLE x >>x7: "Rosanna" x >>xœ by Totox (Jeff x on>>x drums)x >>x x >>xœ x >>x x . > > . e e e e e e e e x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x . ã œEXAMPLE 7: "Rosanna" œ by Toto (Jeff œ> ePorcaro on>drums) œ > e œ> e œ ... e e > ã .. œ>x e x >x e œ x œ>x e x œx x x œ x x 3 x xœ 3 x x œ x . 3 œ 3e e e 3e 3e 3e 3 3 ã .. œ 33 e œ œ3 œ 3e œ . 3 3 3

EXAMPLE 3: "Can't Stop" by Red Hot Chili Peppers (Chad Smith on drums) Drum Set DrumOr, Seta few strategically placed 16th note ghost notes in a mostly 8th note rock beat can add more

3

3

3

3

3

3

3

3

ISSU E 2 0: GR OOV E

59


PARADIDDLES EXPANDED By Vanessa Domonique

Paradiddles Expanded

In this lesson we’re going to take a look at the Single Paradiddle and how we can apply it as a groove using straight sixteenths and sextuplets.

Paradiddles Expanded Below we have the Single Paradiddle played as 16ths (1E+Ah 2E+Ah..) Play this pattern on your snare/pad to familiarise yourself with the pattern.

1

Paradiddles Expanded

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Now to make it into a groove! Firstly play the rudiment between your Kick & Snare, [KSKK= SKSS]. When ready, play 8ths notes ( 1+ 2+..) on your Hi-Hat. 70 R

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Sextuplets; The sticking stays the same as in Bar 1 but we now play 6 notes to each Quarter note.. (1 Trip-Let & Trip-Let 2 Trip-Let & Trip-Let...) 2 R

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TO M TO M M A G A Z I N E 1/1


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REVIEWS THE GROWNUP NOISE

LOW FAT GETTING HIGH

Low Fat Getting High Money Fire Records / November 2014

REBEL KIND

The Problem With Living in the Moment Self-Released / October 2014 Revisiting an ambience similar to their self-titled debut in ’07, The Grownup Noise’s third album, The Problem with Living in the Moment, beckons the listener to step out of their mental clutter and appreciate the beauty found in simple notions. Embraced by elements of nostalgia, the album journeys through intimate moments such as “My Ride’s Almost Here” to achieving more glorious, upbeat peaks in tracks like “The Fight Against Paranoia” and “Outside.” With a flow that is impressively balanced throughout by the band’s drummer, Aine Fujioka, the album is tender, but enticing—perfectly summarized in the opening line of “We Are Tame”: “let’s be estranged from the world today…”

Low Fat Getting High play the kind of music that make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up. LFGH attack their songs with punk-metal ferocity that gets your blood racing. The opening tune, “Instrumental No. 1,” reminded me of the theme from Jaws except instead of a monster shark, a drum monster called Kaleen Reading shows up. Her triplet fills and speedy breaks on “Start All Over Again” had me air drumming immediately. Layered with buzzsaw-ripping guitar riffs and melodic, howling vocal parts, it’s hard to get these songs out of your head.

From the jangling guitars of the opening track “Sha La La,” and the soft, sweet harmonic tones of singer Autumn Wetli, marched on by the high hat pitterpatter beats of Amber Fellows on drums, and the strummed bass lines of Shelley Salant, Rebel Kind’s new record, Today, is light fare, straddled with both nostalgic and modern innuendos. “Drugged longing” is the best way to describe the feeling of this “made for vinyl” sound. Any and all of these songs could be in a credit sequence for a Wonder Years episode, tears included. “I See” and “No Cares” are personal favorites, but it’s hard to conceive of anyone not wanting to listen to this record on a rainy day off from the world. Angsty music it is not: try dreaming music, with no interest in waking up.

Listen to this: while spending a lazy summer day floating in a swimming hole tucked away in the countryside.

Listen to this: as you’re setting your instruments on fire when the revolution starts. — Jaye Moore

Listen to this: once your heart has been sewn back together with red string and a love poem written over the stitches.

—Candace Tossas

—Matthew D’Abate

NOTS

MISS LILITH REVIEW

3RDEYEGIRL

Nots are not a blip-in-a-pan revival band, nor are they just another project tapping into the vast collective unconscious of female rage. We Are Nots, the debut album of long-time collaborators Natalie Hoffmann on guitar (of Ex-Cult) and Charlotte Watson on drums with the additions of bassist, Madison Farmer (of Toxie and Coasting), and Alexandra Eastburn on synthesizer, sound more like a Ouija board séance, conjuring spirits with their wild chants and overdriven guitars. They are meditating on the underbelly of the DIY universe with their ever-present driving bass lines, post-post punk screeching psychedelic spaces, and darkly catchy synth lines in order to break out into higher planes beyond the Memphis music scene and into our homes through our speakers to connect with us on a new astral plane of anger.

After listening to Miss Lilith’s EP La Muerte Tambien Muere (Death Also Dies), you cannot deny the Guatemalan trio’s ability to seamlessly rock out. With each track carrying its own dynamic personality, it’s hard to pick a favorite. With instrumentals “Nel,” “14,” and “Sí,” the band spotlights their experimental rock roots as they energetically spring across different complex tempos, all the while managing to keep you hooked. The group’s bassist, Leny Garcia, eventually breaks into vocals on “To Evolve” and “Be My Salvation.” The obscure lyrics combined with her strong, somewhat raspy voice hints to possible earlyNirvana influence and makes you wonder if that’s intentional. Either way, the band has produced an EP that presents itself as an impressive portfolio and yet gives you the feel that you’re just sitting in on one of their practices, watching them casually jam out and have a good time.

Anything Prince does will never be normal. It’s not in his nature. So many new pop releases give what’s expected; auto-tune vocals, the same, repetitive programmed beats. Nothing feels fresh. Prince’s new record, Plectrumelectrum, adds a new line up backing him up and unsurprisingly, a different direction to his vision. This is nothing unique to the “Kid”—most of his records over his 30 year career have ranged from silk-funk love songs to outlier prog-rock experiments worthy of Ornette Coleman. Plectrumelectrum, backed by 3RDEYEGIRL, lands somewhere between sonic metal and heavy fusion. Take the opening track “Wow” for good measure. But Prince doesn’t forget the groove with tracks like “Stop This Train” and “Whitecaps”. Backed by the fiercely talented Hannah Ford on the drums, Prince takes us on another hybrid journey, both of psychedelic highs, and the romance of bringing the funk back.

Listen to this while: prepping for a Monday at work / interview / first date / something we all dread having to go through but need a last minute confidence boost to let us know it’s all going to be OKAY.

Listen to this: once you’ve found your third eye and it demands you keep it funky.

We Are Nots Goner Records / November 2014

Listen to this: while you jump into a giant pile of leaves after you ate way too much leftover Halloween candy. —Tarra Thiessen

La Muerte También Muere (Death Also Dies) Self-Released / October 2014

—Candace Tossas

62

Today Urinal Cake Records / April 2014

TO M TO M M A G A Z I N E

PLECTRUMELECTRUM NPG Records / September 2014

—Matthew D’Abate


MUSIC

SLEATER-KINNEY

HARD NIPS

MAZZMUSE

Explosions. Lightning. Revolt. There is a war, and this is no looking back. These feelings detonate when you press play on the highly welcomed return record of Sleater-Kinney, aptly titled No Cities To Love. There is no one out there that is not excited about this record. Just listen to the tribal roar of “Price Tag,” the opening track. The guitars are Television meets The Stooges, and the brutal beauty of Janet Weiss (my drum crush) pounding away signal the return of one of the most seminal acts this side of the 21st century. Take the chorus to “Surface Envy”—“We win / we lose / only together/ do we break the rules”—these women know the truth: we make up our own future. We’re just lucky they decided to break the rules of retirement and bring back this killer addition to their already famed repertoire out into the world.

Sometimes I’m convinced the only means to save rock lies in the hands & voices of women; herein lies proof. It’s no easy task to bring something new to a genre that’s been around since Elvis, but Hard Nips succeed on their latest EP, Uncommon Animal. The title track explodes with a choppy guitar riff that feels like it slipped out of a Gang of Four favorite, and who can argue with bad-ass lyrics like “You dress like a princess, but you eat like a wolf / You speak like your highness, but you fuck like a goat”? This is the kind of track that quickly finds its way to your heavy rotation list.

MazzMuse: The Band is the debut album and intrepid invention from violinist and singer, Mazz Swift. The album, produced by Vernon Reid of the rock band Living Colour, is energetic, audacious, and made with the strength of a warrior. Mazz Swift is a Juilliard-trained musician with a band to prove that she has true depth and a broad musical scope. The album features Swift’s masterful skills at electric violin and takes you through multiple waves of soft and fast rock. “Molten,” the album’s fifth track, has a fearless intro and could serve as the anthem for a champion. If you keep that in mind, listening to “Life Afloat” will humble you quite quickly, for its soft vocals and pop-rifts. While the brilliant strings and rock tones serve a grave purpose, they are not what tie this album together. Mazz Swift has a powerful voice that reverberates through each track like a triumphant run through the finish line.

No Cities To Love Sub Pop / January 2015

Listen to this: when you’ve lost your job, your lover, and your best friend in one week. Don’t worry. It won’t matter after this record plays. — Matthew D’Abate

Uncommon Animal Self-Released / July 2014

MazzMuse: The Band Self-Released / December 2014

A driving post-punk beat brilliantly dissolves into stoner rock on “Crime of Luv,” then finally collapses into chaos, displaying the band’s versatile songwriting. Though the EP loses a little excitement & steam on “Surreal Sounds,” it finishes guns-blazing on “No Way.” Epic drums meet a deliciously fuzzed-out guitar that almost eclipses Sleater-Kinney’s reunion… Listen to this: on a mix tape you made to introduce your little sister to the best of female-fronted indie rock, along with tracks by The Raincoats, Shonen Knife, The Slits, Sleater-Kinney, Cibo Matto, and Deerhoof.

Listen to this: during your morning run through Central Park (for the gold medal). —Attia Taylor

BOOKS

—Somer Bingham

CLOTHES CLOTHES CLOTHES MUSIC MUSIC MUSIC BOYS BOYS BOYS By Viv Albertine Faber and Faber / June 2014

JANE LEE HOOKER

NO B! Self-Released / November 2014 Blistering. Sweaty. Raw. Kinda like sex on a steamy southern night. Jane Lee Hooker’s debut full-length captures the nostalgic feeling of classic blues rock, a ballsy punch in the face to the dispassionate electropop that often dominates the musical landscape in Brooklyn. This all-female ensemble of virtuosos knows when to step out of the pocket to balance the explosive driving force of Dana Danger Athens’ vocals. The recording has just the right amount of grease and shine. “I Believe to My Soul” and “Free Me” are the perfect soundtrack to your dive bar romance, and the latter feels like a nod to both Joplin’s vocals and Hendrix’s guitar. Thankfully, the power of the band’s live show is well-translated. Crank “Mean Town Blues” up to 11 — it’ll feel like chugging cheap beer and stage diving,

Viv Albertine is the perfect example of a creative woman who is told again and again by a patriarchal society, her father, and countless boys and men, “no” when her mind whispers (or screams), “yes!” By listening to her intuition, she picks up the electric guitar, forms the Flowers of Romance with Sid Vicious and Palmolive, and from there joins the highly influential punk band, the Slits. From going to rock concerts barefoot in the park to shooting up with Johnny Thunders, this memoir illuminates London in the ’70s through the eyes of a scruffy, “feral” working class girl. She unflinchingly shares stories about lack of confidence and failure, venereal disease, relationships, infertility, cancer, loneliness, and triumph. —Rebecca DeRosa

DRUMLINE: A NEW BEAT

FILM

Directed by Bille Woodruff VH1 Original

Listen to this: while starring in a whiskey-drinking motorcycle-riding anti-hero movie. Your pool-hustling scam goes bad and you run out of the bar to flee the impending brawl. Sweat and broken bottles fly while you sneak in a passionate kiss before riding off into the night.

Amidst school rivalries, budding romance and parental conflict, lies a girl’s dream to drum her way to the front. Drumline: A New Beat is the sequel to 2002’s Drumline, which got rave reviews and starred Nick Cannon as the main character, Devon Miles. This time around, Alexandra Shipp plays the starring role as Danielle Raymond AKA Dani, an upper class Brooklynite, who dares to defy her parents’ wishes and enrolls in Atlanta A&T University to show her skills on the drumline. Dani runs into obstacles with romance and gender, as she pushes to achieve her goal with respect from her parents and peers. The amazingly choreographed marching bands and the story of a girl fighting for what she believes in and showing that talent has no gender, is enough to inspire any drummer.

— Somer Bingham

—Lola Johnson

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EVANS EMD HEAVYWEIGHTS by Andrea Davis

Evans has recently introduced an exciting new line of drum heads to its family, the Evans EMAD Heavyweights. These are the thickest and most durable line of heads Evans has on the market. The Heavyweights include a new durable and versatile design for exceptional tone. The 14” Heavyweight snare features one 10 mil film on the batter side and another 10 mil film on the snare side. This adds extra durability to the head, which is perfect for drummers who play a lot or hit hard. The one feature that stood out to me was the reverse snare dot in the center of the head. The dot is 3 mil and helps focus the attack and tone of the head. While playing I noticed how responsive the snare head is—even playing quietly I could clearly hear every ghost note. The 23 mil film doesn’t affect the sound quality either, the tones are still dynamic tuned high or low. Sizes available for the head are 12”, 13”, and 14”. The Evans Heavyweight bass drum head also features two plies of 10 mil on the batter side. The bass drum also comes with the Externally Mounted Adjustable Damping system and two interchangeable rings. Playing the bass drum head, the low tones are present without the damping rings and still resonate a deep boom. While playing, the bass drum head has a quick sustain with low tones, but projects perfectly with enough attack. The EMAD Heavyweight’s durability would be a great match for any musician playing metal, rock or punk.

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GEAR

MAXONIX STICKARK & COLORNUTZ Maxonix has recently introduced a new technology called StickARK. It’s a mounting device to securely hold your drumsticks while playing. The StickARK can be mounted on various positions of your kick drum and it also works for people who play with marching drums. The wings of the StickARK are placed underneath the two top lugs of the kick drum closest to you. The foam material makes it an easy installation and also customizable for positioning the StickARK to fit comfortably on your drum. The foam also allows the removal of sticks to be quick and easy. Many sizes of sticks fit - I play a variety of 5A to 3B and the StickARK holds onto them tightly. For extra support if you play thicker sticks, try another StickARK to hold the end and tip of the sticks so nothing is off balance. The StickARK is a great addition to your kit, making it easier to grab another stick when playing live or recording. Maxonix also created ColorNutz. These wing nuts are super exciting because they come in a variety of colors and are also lightweight. They are made from Maxylon material that will not damage your cymbal. The Maxylon material makes them indestructible even if you hit them while playing. You can also use ColorNutz without felt pads, which allows your cymbal to be played freely without the tension and restriction from the felt pad and steel wing nut. ColorNutz are a great addition to any kit if you want to customize your set and find lighter-weight hardware that makes transporting your gear easier.

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Small, 3-string guitars.

loogguitars.com


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