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Display Summer 2015 | USD 6

L7 Babes in Toyland Broad City’s Ilana Glazer Mona Tavakoli The Nightingales Summer Twins The Courtneys


Contributors FOUNDER | PUBLISHER | DA BOSS Mindy Seegal Abovitz (info@tomtommag.com)

Shout Outs

OPERATIONS WIZARD Rosana Caban (sayyes@tomtommag.com) HEAD DESIGNER (MAGIC HANDS) Marisa Kurk (hi@tomtommag.com) REVIEWS EDITOR (AUDIO SLEUTH) Rebecca DeRosa (hi@tomtommag.com) REVIEWS GUEST EDITOR Tarra Thiessen HEAD ILLUSTRATOR (CURATOR OF WEIRD) James Douglas Mitchell (hi@tomtommag.com) DESIGNER (JR. MAGIC HANDS) Natalie Baker

REVIEWS EDITOR Tara Thiessen

TECH WRITER Lorena Perez Batista

WEB MANAGER Maura Filoromo

STAFF WRITER Kat Jetson

TECH SECTION EDITOR (WHIPLASH) Mickey Vershbow (tomtomacademy@gmail.com) WEB MANAGER (INTERNET BOMBER) Maura Filoromo SHOP TOM TOM (TRENDSETTER) Susan Taylor (shop@tomtommag.com) WEB CODERS Capisco Marketing PORTLAND POWERHOUSE Lisa Schonberg NORTHWEST SUPPORT Lauren K Newman, Allan Wilson, Fiona Campbell LA CORRESPONDENT Liv Marsico, Candace Hansen MIAMI CREW Emile Milgrim BOSTON BRAINS Kiran Gandhi BARCELONA GUAPAS Cati Bestard, Shaina Joy Machlus NYC DISTRO (OUR ROCK) Segrid Barr EUROPEAN DISTRO (THE CUTE GERMAN) Max Markowsky WRITERS Mindy Abovitz, Joe Wong, Susan Taylor, Kat Jetson, bo-Pah, Anne Gauthier, Attia Taylor, Elizabeth Venable, Chris Sutton, John Carlow, Lauren Vidal, Mirah Yom Tov Zeitlyn, Lorena Perez Batista, Joe Wong, Max Markowsky, Christine Edwards SHUTTER SNAPPERS Eric Morgensen , Stefano Galli, Finding Charlotte Photography, HOSSxxBOINK, Nieto Dickens PICTURE DRAWERS Charlola Louise, James Douglas Mitchell, Rachel Blumberg, Charlotte Wilson-Kolp, Erica Parrott TECH WRITERS Morgan Doctor, Kristen Gleeson-Prata, Lorena Perez Batista, Rene Jarmer, Elena Bonomo MUSIC & MEDIA REVIEWS Jamie Frey, Veronique Noelle, Richard Aufrichtig, Emily Brout, Candace Tossas, Matthew D’Abate, Jacqueline Green, Tara Thiessen, Rob MacInnis, Mindy Abovitz TOM TOM TELEVISION Teale Failla GEAR REVIEWS Rosana Caban, Mickey Vershbow COPY EDITORS All of us this time MERCI BEAUCOUP All of you, Rob Cook (Chicago Drum Show), Don Lombardi, Bobbye Hall, Chad Smith, Tony Barrel, Anette Barlow, Dave Levine (TRX Cymbals), Chris J Monk, Baby Geezush, Peetz Patz, Ima, Shamai, Rony, Shani, E.B., Aba, Saba, Savtah, Monkey, Easton, Zoe, Angel, Melanie, One-Tooth, Willie Nelson, Kate Ryan, Comedy Central THIS ISSUE IS DEDICATED TO ALL THE BANDS WHO DARE TO BRAVE THE OPEN ROAD

GET IT GUITAR CENTER NATIONWIDE (US), BARNES & NOBLES (US & CANADA), ACE HOTELS, MOMA PS1, AND HUNDREDS OF OTHER DRUM + MUSIC SHOPS AROUND THE WORLD. FIND OUT WHERE AT TOMTOMMAG.COM

ON THE COVER A 1992 Econoline named "the Butt"

CONTACT US

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

TO SUBSCRIBE TOMTOMMAG.COM

Tom Tom Magazine ® is the only magazine in the world dedicated to female drummers. We are a quarterly print magazine, website, social media community, irl community, events, drum academy, custom gear shop and more. Tom Tom seeks to raise awareness about female percussionists from all over the world in hopes to inspire women and girls of all ages to drum. We intend to strengthen and build the fragmented community of female musicians globally and provide the music industry and the media with role models to create an equal opportunity landscape for any musician. We cover drummers of all ages, races, styles, skill levels, abilities, sexualities, creeds, class, sizes and notoriety. Tom Tom Magazine is more than just a magazine; it’s a movement.

The Mission


Letter From the Editor

One of the most challenging parts of being an Editor of a magazine is picking who goes into the rag. Choosing whose face makes the cover and whose doesn’t. From day one I knew this wouldn’t be easy. To fill this magazine with all of the incredible drummers you see and have seen, we reach outside of our friend group, community, city and country. We scour the farthest corners of the drumming community to search and research music scenes to find our subjects and subject matter. Each of us that works here pushes outside of our comfort zone for that next story and the best drummer to fill our pages. We find translators to help us communicate with drummers who are non-English speakers and deliberately seek out musicians that are hard to get to and take intention to reach. The by-product of being a conscious journalist in this way means we’ve left some of our closest, dearest, most talented drummer friends out of the magazine and instead corralled their talents and skills into the backstage mechanics of making this beast. For instance, Emi Kariya (a local drummer in texpak and friend) acts as our Japanese translator and Rebecca DeRosa (drummer

for Fisty) has been our Media Reviews Editor for over 5 years. Lisa Schonberg (Secret Drum Band drummer) throws events for us in Portland and is our NorthWest Correspondent, while Jen Carlson (Politician’s drummer from Huntington Beach, CA) codes the backend of our website. Mickey Vershbow (ANMLPLNET’s drummer) is our Tech Section Editor and Rosana Caban (Psychic Twin) is our operations manager. These unsung and uncelebrated heroes are who make up this magazine. And they deserve to be on the pages and covers, not just behind the scenes. So I would like to take the time right now to say thank you to the myriad sick thrashers out there (and here in our office) who have contributed to and supported this magazine and helped grow our community, by stepping out of the limelight and working hard to let another drummer (someone they didn’t know) shine. There are too many of you to name, but you know who you are. We had a lot of fun putting this issue together. Touring is one of my all-time favorite things to do and for those of you who have toured, you know exactly why. Read on for some tips, tales and one on ones with incredible touring drummers. Happy trails,

Mindy Seegal Abovitz Publisher/Editor


THE TOURING ISSUE 8

QUIZ! SHOULD YOU GO ON TOUR? Take this Quick Quiz and Find Out

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BEST CAR OR VAN FOR TOUR We did the research. You do the driving.

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DISCWOMAN In the mix with the #1 platform for female-identified DJ’s in the electronic music community

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BROAD CITY BABES Backstage with Ilana Glazer of Comedy Central’s Broad City

Photo by the band Susan

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RECIPES FROM THE ROAD Unexpected Cookies by Mirah Yom Tov Zeitlyn


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MORE BABES IN TOYLAND Lori Barbero and the Babes are Back in Town

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MARTHA PAREDES Chino y Nacho’s Secret Weapon

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SUMMER TWINS Riverside’s sisters Chelsea and Justine Brown and Their Power Pop Duo with Garage Rock Roots

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L7’S DEE PLAKAS They’re BAAAAAAACK!

MONA TAVAKOLI Is on Tour with Jason Mraz & Raining Jane

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THE COURTNEYS Get to Know Drummer Jenn Twynn Payne

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FLISS KITSON UK’s Nightingale Drummer Talks Mind Over Matter

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THE DECIBELLES’S Lyon’s Coolest Band


LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Hi, I bought issue # 21 yesterday and had to write you after reading both your editorial & Katy Otto’s Gender Ain’t Genre. As one writer to another I applaud you not just covering women in music but covering why women in music is seen by society as fad, or needs disclaimers. I’ve seen many editors who don’t have the guts to say so. Thank you.

What you’re doing for female drummers is so necessary. These efforts mean the world to women who want to play and share. Your spotlighting them is like the air they need to breathe. It’s still so hard for female drummers to get respect. So congratulations on your fifth anniversary and on founding the Drum Academy! You deserve a MacArthur Genius grant. Seriously. What you do is that important.

Sincerely,

Hugs,

Alex Teitz

Dottie B (NYC)

(Editor-In-Chief FEMMUSIC)

Hey Tom Tom!

We LOVE what you are doing for female drummers!

Love the magazine, and I’m a big fan off all you done for female drummers all over the world.

Thanks! Keep up the great work! We hope to inspire many people as you do, boys and girls, women and men!

Best, Zanny (The Cabin Project)

Hi, Thank you for everything Tom Tom does for female identified drummers. It hasn’t been an easy road being a woman playing drums, but knowing there is a supportive community such as Tom Tom is hugely empowering.

First off, thank you SO MUCH for existing. I just started drumming in January (I’m 22), and when I first looked for resources for drumming, I was overwhelmed by how much of the online drumming world seemed to be dudes in short-sleeve button-ups with flames teaching you how to play AC/DC. Then I stumbled across Tom Tom Mag and it was such a godsend. Even if a lot of the technical stuff is still over my baby-rudiment head, it’s been great to be surrounded— even if just virtually or in print—by really cool women drummers who actually play stuff that I’m interested in.

Kind regards,

Thank you so much for everything!

April Camlin

Melanie K (Chicago, IL)

Stephanie Kipp McLain (Rhythm Workshops)

Tom Tom, I have just started looking through the copies of the magazines. I love the look and feel, the paper stock is great because it doesn’t feel like every other magazine but feels more like a book. The other thing I love about it is that you have drummers from all different skill and professional levels and the majority of which are drummers I have never heard of. It’s great to find a source of exposure to drummers I have never heard of, female or male. Matt Alling (CT Pro Percussion)

Hi! I’m a drummer from Catalonia and a big fan of Tom Tom. Thanks for making such a great magazine, I’m looking forward to the next issue! Best regards, Anabel Folch

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TO M TOM M A G A Z I NE

Hey, Just finished flipping through my first copy of Tom Tom. I’ve waited 20 years for a publication like this. Absolutely love it. Thank you! Laura Savage

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


WHAT WE’RE LISTENING TO

Read the magazine, then listen to it! Visit tomtommag. com for this issue’s playlist.

GODMOTHER (BERLIN, GERMANY)

STEALING SHEEP (LONDON, UK)

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Illustration by James Mitchell


Choosing the

E L C I H E V T S E B for Tour!

Don’t get caught with the wrong wheels for tour. Your vehicle is your tried and true buddy for you and your band when you head out of town. Let this guide help you pick the best Bessie for that open road and leave you with one less question before you leave town. Use this handy guide to be certain you don’t get stuckin a lighter-less hunk of metal.

BEST FEATURE C a rg o Va n

The classic! This is the optimal tour vehicle for bands made up of 4 or more (or for bands on tour together). TONS of room for all of your equiment and space for getting some alone time. Add a lofted compartment in the back for a makeshift bed or more storage space. This is our top choice for touring.

M in i Va n

This Cargo Van alternative fits most 3 or 4 piece bands and your equipment all while creating the illusion that you are a family of 5 on your way to a soccer game. Seriously though, these vans make great tour cars and often the middle seats or back seats come out or fold in for more gear packing space.

SUV

S ta t io n Wa g o

Fit all your gear, but not all your people. SUV’s also give off the feel that your don’t give a hoot about the environment. Will, however, haul gear like the best of ‘em. Take your tour off-roading in your downtime.

n This car is the optimal car for smaller band or a band with less equipment. You can fit a drum set in a station wagon but that’s it. Not much else. The upside of this type of car is the intimacy you get with your band (feels like a sedan) but with the extra boot space.

Sedan Great for the electronic band or the banjo/washboard act. You could easily inherit this car from a family member.

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LEGEND LEG ROOM

SEATS

FEATURES

GEAR SPACE

GAS MILEAGE

PRIVACY

WORST FEATURE This van is an obvious tour van and will require extra security to keep your valuables safe. Store a dark sheet in the van to cover amps and guitar cases when you are staying somewhere overnight. You can also tint the windows or put up curtains. We recommend you add on an additional bolt to the van’s back door and depending on which city/ neighborhood you are touring in, have a band member sleep in the van with your gear.

A definite draw back for hitting the open road in these beauts are the windows. Often, only the front of these vans allow for that incredible breeze to blow through your main. The middle and back seat usually fight over tiny a/c vents. If this isn’t a drawback for you, this is your tour vehicle as it gets great gas mileage.

Gas. Guzzlers.

Fit all your gear, but not all your people. Doesn’t have the spaciousness of a cargo or mini van but will haul gear like the best of ‘em. Take your tour off-roading in your downtime.

Aside from the obvious fact that this car won’t fit much of your gear, it makes a great touring car if that isn’t the dealbreaker.


DISCWOMAN’S MAIN WOMEN by Mindy Ab ovitz | Photo by Nie to Dickens

DISCWOMAN IS AN NYC BASED PLATFORM SHOWCASING THE WEALTH OF FEMALE AND FEMALE-IDENTIFIED DJ TALENT IN THE ELECTRONIC MUSIC COMMUNITY. DISCWOMAN IS A FORCE. DISCOWOMAN IS FRANKIE DECAIZA HUTCHINSON, EMMA BURGESS-OLSON AND CHRISTINE TRAN. HOW DID DISCWOMAN GET STARTED? E: It was a simple idea that Frankie and I had about a festival featuring female DJs benefiting charity. Christine joined us and helped it really come together as a movement. F: Yeah, it pretty much created itself- meaning we just responded to ridiculously talented women around us by creating a platform for them to play on. C: We did the first event in NYC benefiting the Sadie Nash Leadership Project and showcased 12 female DJs. It was a successful event and now we’re planning on taking it around the world. ARE YOU A COLLECTIVE? Yes. WHO IS A MEMBER AND HOW DO YOU BECOME A MEMBER? E: The founding members are myself Emma Olson, Frankie Hutchinson, and Christine Tran. Discwoman is a movement so if you identify with it we want you to be a part of it. I define our collective as all of the DJs we’ve booked as well as the ones that inspire us that we want to work with in the future.

F: Folks have gravitated to us because we represent something that they already followed in their lives, we’ve just put a face to it therefore great opportunities have definitely come our way. C: I love the reciprocal relationship we have with our community and those around the world. Individuals reach out to us because they want to start a DISCWOMAN event in their cities knowing it’s purposeful and powerful movement.

BEING A GOOD DJ IS GREAT BUT HAVING A DIRECTION AND A MESSAGE REALLY CATAPULTS IT TO THE NEXT LEVEL.

F: One becomes a “member” simply by liking and supporting what we’re doing. :) C: Email us your Soundcloud and tell us what city you’re from WHAT IS THE MISSION OF DISCWOMAN? E: To provide a platform to showcase female-identified talent. A safe space for women to learn new technical skills. A community of women engaged in music.

WHAT WOULD YOU CHANGE ABOUT THE MUSIC INDUSTRY? E- I want women to be taken seriously as artists and producers. I want women to feel that they can put out an album without handing it off to a man at any point of the production. I want men to stop insisting that sexuality is part of marketing your music. I want men to stop assuming women need help from men to get what they want.

F: Men need to stop making this super tired, super wack argument that women aren’t booked as much as men because there isn’t enough women talent out there. This is absolute bs. It’s also a very manipulative tool to get women to stop talking about this very issue. Men are definitely booked over women because there’s a pre-existing FUCKING-ANCIENT-OMG-I’MOVER-IT notion that men are better at stuff. C: More women in decision making positions. WHAT MAKES A GREAT DJ?

F: Also, artist management and eventually a record label.

E: Someone who responds to sound and doesn’t see in genres.

C- Showcase incredible female talent in our music communities, educate and empower each other.

F: Someone with good taste, lol. And practice.

WHAT OPPORTUNITIES HAVE COME UP FOR YOU THAT YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE GOTTEN BECAUSE OF YOUR PRESENCE AS A GROUP? E: People are so much more engaged with what I do because I’m representing a movement. Being a good DJ is great but having a

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direction and a message really catapults it to the next level. Way more people come to my events since Discwoman’s launch and people want to have us curate events because there is a confidence that we will bring a following.

TO M TOM M A G A Z I NE

C: Loving music and the role it plays in our lives. Practice


B a c ks t a g e w

ith

of B ro a d Cit y

B y K a t Je t s o n | P h o t os c ou rt esy of Com ed y Cent ral

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M

uch has been written about Broad City and its two comedy darlings, Ilana Glazer and Abbi Jacobson. Enough to fill the pages of glossy magazines, and blow up the screens of tiny electronic devices, but no one is talking about the secret weapon that is Ilana’s formidable talent behind the kit. That’s all about to change. As audience members and as fans, we’re still getting to know these funny faces and their big city (mis)adventures, but for a long while now they’ve been kind of a big deal. Comedy Central loves them (Broad City is already renewed for a third season), Amy Poehler stands tall behind the show as executive producer, and after each new episode there’s at least one new catchphrase or quote that hilariously makes its way onto cross-stitch patterns, buttons and t-shirts. And we’re pretty sure that a quick Google search of Broad City-isms will lead you down a rabbit hole of refreshingly raunchy girl talk. For now, join us as we get the dish from Ilana on drummer face, the level of queerness of Texas, and the burden of a five pound hawk. Yas kweens.

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Like most fans who saw Broad City Live or this season’s episode, “The Matrix”, I was thrilled to realize that the “Drummer Girls” webisode wasn’t just good fun. Tom Tom is a magazine about female drummers so we’re gonna ask you a bunch of questions about your mad skills on the kit. You’re obviously a seasoned drummer. How long you’ve been playing? We had to choose instruments in 5th grade, so I started playing the drums when I was ten. I played until I was 18. I don’t play regularly anymore, but I want to. Why the interest in that instrument? Rhythm is my shit. As a kid and tween, I was a tap dancer and did dance competitions, which are creepy in retrospect. I was very into Savion Glover and Gregory Hines, and there was no YouTube yet, so seeking clips of them was a legit pursuit. Is there some inherent connection between funny folks and drums? (Fred Armisen is a drummer and regular contributor to our magazine, as well.) I love this question. I agree there is a connection. Rhythm is a foundation of comedy. Were you trained or self taught? I was trained from 5th grade through high school and dreamed of being an orchestra percussionist before I discovered comedy was an attainable thing.

6. It’s not sexy, touring. Who’s got the best drummer face (aside from you and Abbi)? I gotta say Questlove because his face is just the same as his normal face, which is certainly the most impressive. Music made me way more nervous than comedy, and he doesn’t look nervous at all. It’s so centered. Can you talk a little bit about you went about writing that opening scene in “The Matrix”? The fantasy drum off that just got more outrageous with each throw back to the other drummer. I just re-read this cold open (the scene before title sequence), and I have to say, we executed exactly what we wrote. Badass. Our director John Lee is so good at silly shit, and we knew he’d capture our vision. More thoughts: Abbi is sexy as a dude with boobs. The hawk was 5 lbs., and it was the heaviest 5 lbs. Birds also creep me out. And lastly, we did a version of this scene on tour, as our closing act, where Abbi and I drum battled. We’d trade fours, and I’d play well, and she would have to overcompensate for her playing with choreography and emphasis, and only through practice did I learn not to LOL.

MUSIC MADE ME WAY MORE NERVOUS THAN COMEDY.

Have you ever played in a band? Which ones? I played in bands in high school. One was an all girl band with up-andcoming pop rock staple Deidre Muro of Savoir Adore called Ana’s Band (say it: Ana’s Band, Ana’s Band Ana’s BANDANAS. And we’d wear bandanas… very cool). The second band was called Ophelia, another all-girl, dickbitin’ group, and then another one with no name, really, with these dude twins. Do you have any incredible, funny, scary, or outrageous tour stories? (This issue of the magazine is themed “Touring”.) Honestly, nothing that amazing. Here are five observations ranging from not-surprising to slightly-surprising from my time on tour with Ab in November 2014: 1. Abbi is really good at exploring new places and finds the coolest little art hot spots in each city. I am not good at that and explored “Main Street” in each city.

If you and Abbi were in a real band together what instruments would you play? What would Hannibal play? What would Jaime play?

I would play the drums, Abbi would sing, Hannibal would do auxiliary percussion and gibberish rap, and Arturo Castro ( Jaimé) would be lead guitar. Eliot would do backup vocals, but this would tie everybody together, and he’d be bandleader in effect. Bevers would sit on a microphone and fart at the perfect times and very occasionally. Paul W. Downs, who writes on the show and plays Trey, would be a jacked backup dancer -- the only one. Gethard who plays Todd, Ilana’s boss, would be a neurotic tour manager. Stephen Schneider who plays Jeremy would be there in spirit as lewd videos of him played behind the band, and we’d never acknowledge it. If the show ended now, what item would you take with you from set to keep as a memento? We got to keep our bass drum skins for Razor Burns and Pussy M.D., and used them on tour in our live drum battle. I’m really happy with that.

2. Texas is queer as fuck!

Obviously, Broad City Abbi and Ilana are outrageous versions of reallife Abbi and Ilana, but there have to be some moments that make it on to the screen that are lifted from real life experiences. Can you divulge one of those moments?

3. The shopping in Portland is surprisingly yas.

“Pussy Weed” is real.

4. We couldn’t shit on the bus. As in, one can’t shit on the bus. Our little tour tribe would sleep through the night and, in the morning, shit dispersed throughout each city.

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5. The coffin-like bunks are comfortable and comforting in a goth way.

TO M TOM M A G A Z I NE


ANNE GAUTHIER OF TR/ST

T

ouring can mean many things, depending on who you talk to. I started touring at 19, not even legally able to be in the bars I often performed in. It was an amazing time of discovery for me to be able to travel across North America, and see so many special places, and to meet amazing people at basement shows, festivals and other DIY venues. I’ve been a touring drummer for almost 15 years now. these days I’m lucky enough to get paid to tour. this past year I toured through Europe, and not just to the ‘typical’ destinations, but i was also able to tour more out-of-the-way places like Croatia, Serbia, Poland, Turkey and Russia. Here are some Recommendations for a fun and snafu-free tour.

Photo by Ivona Tautkute

TALKS TOURING • CHECK the weather ahead of time and dress accordingly. There’s nothing like dreaming of stretching out on Turkey’s sandy beaches only to arrive during a full-on snowstorm.

• BRING a neck pillow. The way your neck contorts when you sleep in the tour van might be entertaining/photo-worthy for your bandmates, but it just might create some back and neck problems for you in the long run. • BRING things to do! On tour you’ll usually ‘work’ only about 4 hours a day; a lot of time is spent just just hanging out, or traveling between performances. At the beginning of TR/ST’s 4 month tour last year, everyone was happy to just look out the window and think about their lives, but after a while we started to realize we were running out of things to reflect on! Van time is guilt-free activity time, whether that means catching up on your reading, or your favorite TV show (including rewatching every episode of Friday Night Lights for the third time), beating your Candy Crush score, learning a new language, etc. I’ve recently taken up crosswords as a way to keep my brain active on tour. • GROUP games can be very entertaining during long drives: 20 Questions, I Spy, Slug Bug . . . or make up your own! These are especially useful when there’s not much scenery to look at. • TOURING is amazing, but there can be downsides: not a lot of time alone, feeling tired, hangry, stressed, etc. As hard as this can be, it’s crucial to strive to be kind, respectful and considerate of your bandmates, and the new people you’ll meet. • LEARN the basics (hi, please, thank you, etc.) in the languages of the places you’ll be performing in. The people who come to see your gigs will really appreciate it! • ALTHOUGH touring will often take you to amazing places, sometimes you’ll only be there for a few hours. So, if you know you’ll only be in Turkey for 12 hours, catch up on your sleep beforehand, and plan out what you want to see and do while you’re there. I call it flash tourism!

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TIPS FOR TOURING

JAPAN

DRUMMERS only need to bring sticks! The venues provide drums, amps, etc., and it’s usually good quality gear, too. BRING unique merchandise with you. Hand-made, one of a kind stuff. Hand towels seem to be especially fashionable currently. VENUES (at least for us) tend to be fairly small, windowless rooms in mall-like buildings where folks chain smoke like the old days. Be prepared to feel like you've smoked a couple packs per night, second-hand. IF YOU DON’T want to deal with cigarette smoke, you can ask the promoters for nonsmoking shows! They will accommodate when they can. ONE MORE thing about smoking: Japanese people tend to keep it inside; you could get ticketed for smoking outside. DRINKING, however, you can do anywhere! On the street, in the subway, in trains, etc. AT THE SHOWS, be sure to thank EVERYONE: the other bands, the promoter, the club… Names can be hard to remember; writing it all down on your arm to recite is totally acceptable.

by Elizabeth Venable of Sad Horse

M

y band Sad Horse was lucky enough to be invited back to tour Japan a second time by Sweet Dreams Press. They recently released a 35-song ‘best of’ Sad Horse album (soon to be released in the U.S. by Mississippi Records). Norio Fukuda and his team tour-managed us. Without their guidance, we would have truly struggled to navigate the busy cities and cultural differences. Here are some recommendations if you find yourself touring in this incredible part of the world.

MINI-MARTS like 7/11 and Lawson’s have delicious, healthy, cheap food! Always carry an extra rice ball for emergency situations. DON'T be afraid to ask questions. Not everything is translated into English, and so normally simple tasks like flushing a toilet, lighting a stove top burner, finding a store, and changing money can be quite disorienting. BATHHOUSES/SAUNAS are wonderful and plentiful. For those of you with ink: you might have to cover your tattoos! VENDING machines are EVERYWHERE, filled with hot and cold coffee drinks, teas, etc. YES! JAPANESE drive on the left side of the street and walk on the left side of the sidewalk. This goes for stairs and escalators, too. DELICIOUS and strange foods abound: try it all! A few of my culinary adventures included fish guts, cow tongue, eel liver, squid dumplings, pig ear, oxtail, and of course, incredible sushi, bento, and ramen. (Geoff tried the horse sashimi; I did not.) ANOTHER side note, but worth mentioning: I was so excited to notice an incredibly strong female musician presence! Amazingly, the lineups at many shows seemed to be around 50/50. I'm not sure how to describe how this made me feel... So. Totally. Different. Please. Can. I. Feel. This. More.

L I V E

L O N G RUMIE


I WAS DANCING AT THE LESBIAN BAR AhOOh: After the show (If you’re not playing the lesbian bar already like me) FIND the lesbian bar. I don’t need to explain why here. They are just the coolest.

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GET ALONE TIME! Any time you have the opportunity, make sure to get some time by yourself (journal writing, stretching, being alone is awesome!)

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GET UP right when hotel breakfast starts, then go back to bed, then do it again.

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BYOP: BRING YOUR OWN PILLOW!

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NEVER GET HANGRY [Hungry/ Angry] AGAIN: make sure you have tons of snacks, AT ALL TIMES!

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MELANIE VALERA

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Beatmaker, Tender Forever FFF: FIRST AND FOREMOST FOOD: The food at the venues isn’t exactly always ideal (deep fried life) so give yourself time to find the CO-OP! Use your GPS, your phone or ask a person on the street. Healthy meals, snacks, and if there is one place where you’ll find the weirdos, it will be the co-op! I guarantee you!

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PRANKS: Pull pranks on your tour mates: this will keep you busy laughing, joking and bonding!

MAKE A TOUR BOOK: compile all the contacts for each venue, the $$$ deal, sound check time, stage time, curfew time, etc . . .) because when it’s 6 am and your band mates are hung over, you’ll have to figure out where to go next and what the next show is all about.

5

Have your tour mates back, and they will have yours. Touring IS HARD! Check in with everyone daily, share your food, share your bed, jokes, and be a good friend!

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SHOWTIME is #1 priority. Don’t rely on your reputation or how cool you may “appear”. Put on a good show, always, every time. Be professional and fun!

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TOP TEN THINGS TO DO ON TOUR NOT

1

Do not take an exit for a bathroom break unless you see the gas station from the interstate.

2

Do not assume you remembered to grab everything while loading out. Always double check.

3

Do not make everyone wait for you. Set an alarm. Get yourself to where you need to be in a timely manner.

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Do not skip out on calling your loved ones. You’ll need the support.

4

Do not carry on long phone conversations in the van. It’s annoying to your bandmates.

9

Do not eat tuna salad in the van. It smells bad.

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Do not wander off to where no one can find you.

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Do not forget time zone changes. You’ll miss your soundcheck.

Do not leave your trash all over the van (like I do). Your bandmates will ridicule you relentlessly and give you nicknames like “Baby Dirty.”

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10 okay?

Do not eat egg salad in the van. It smells bad. Just don’t do anything stinky in the van,

LAUREN VIDAL

drummer/cellist/guitarist, Ghost Ease/ Steel Hymen

Illustrations by Charlotte Wilson-Kolp

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Recipes from the Road

Unexpected Cookies by Mirah Intro by Lisa Schonberg Illustration by Rachel Blumberg

I toured with Mirah for some time, and she always concocted the most wonderful yummy surprises in the best moments while we were on the road when we needed it most. And somehow the surprises were always healthy options. Thus, she came to mind immediately when I was thinking of someone to contribute a recipe for this issue. Leave it to Mirah to share a relatively healthy cookie recipe with us! Drummer Rachel Blumberg, who has also graced the stage as a beatmaker with Mirah, illustrated her recipe. *2 cups of mixed flours

(I like to use a combination of two or more of the following: barley flour, almond meal, quinoa flour, oat flour, teff flour, mesquite flour, spelt flour or even the ever-more exotic unbleached white flour if that’s your favorite flour medium. The idea is to experiment and to never make the same cookies twice. At least that’s my idea, generally, with cooking and baking. *½-1 tsp. baking powder *¼-½ tsp salt *½-¾ cup oil (I usually use organic sunflower or

safflower oil but any tasty, light and high quality oil will do just fine.) *½-¾ cup liquid sweetener (I always use maple syrup, but you can try whatever you have handy) *As many of your favorite chocolate chips and you’d like *Anything else that seems yummy to add: cinnamon or cayenne or orange zest or vanilla or walnuts or pumpkin seeds, etc. *Optional: ½-¾ cup nut or seed butter: peanut, almond, hazelnut etc.

Note: Total wet ingredients should be about 1 ½ - 1 ¾ cups so adjust the oil and sweetener according to amount of nut butter if you decide to use it. Final consistency should have just enough moisture to be able to be scooped out without falling apart. Mix dry ingredients, mix wet ingredients, mix wet and dry ingredients together, add chocolate chips. The dough should be greasy enough to not require greasing the cookie sheet but you can grease it if you’d like to. Scoop onto cookie sheet and press down gently. I like to use an actual scooper like an ice cream scooper so they are all the same size. Bake at 350 degrees for about 12 minutes, maybe more, maybe less. Depending on what combinations of ingredients you used, they might be crumbly so let them rest and gather themselves before using a spatula to remove them. Set them on a flat surface like a cooling rack, plate or clean dry countertop until they have cooled down. I might have forgotten something in these instructions, or gotten the measurements wrong. I don’t measure much when I make these or anything else for that matter. Usually things turn out! Have fun experimenting!

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MINI BEAST

by bo-Pah photos by Sophie’s Dad Gav Tracy

Sophie’s dad Gav started teaching her the drums about 2 years ago. We saw her first online while reviewing videos for the 2015 Hit Like a Girl contest and were taken by her video. She is just now learning how to read music and is studying the Trinity guildhall drum kit syllabus. She also recently joined her school band on cajon. In the past she has been on RTE (Ireland’s National TV Station) playing a djembe with Nigerian musician Solomon Ijigade. Sophie has not played in any bands outside of her school band yet but is looking forward to meeting people with whom she can form a band. bo-Pah (drummer for Sledge Grits band based out of LA and one of our staff writers) caught up with Sophie at her home in Carlow, Ireland for this interview. HI SOPHIE! MY NAME IS BO-PAH. I LIVE IN CALIFORNIA, AND IT’S SO EXCITING FOR ME TO INTERVIEW SOMEONE WHO LIVES IN IRELAND! Hi bo-Pah! Thanks for interviewing me. It’s cool you’re from California. I wish I lived there—it’s much warmer than here! YES, THE WEATHER IS REALLY NICE RIGHT NOW IN CALIFORNIA AND I’M REALLY EXCITED ABOUT THE SUMMER. LET’S GET STARTED! HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN PLAYING DRUMS? I have been playing for two years. I got my first junior kit for my sixth birthday. THATS AWESOME! WHAT DO YOU LIKE ABOUT PLAYING DRUMS? I like playing drums because they are so much fun. It’s great fun playing along to my favorite music. I also get to bash things really hard and not get in trouble!!! HAHA! I FEEL THE SAME WAY!! SUCH A FUN WAY TO GET OUT EXTRA ENERGY. WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE THREE SONGS TO PLAY?—THIS COULD BE A PULL OUT BOX?? Avenged Sevenfold-Nightmare (because I’m learning it at the moment); Green Day - 21 Guns (because it was the first song I played with a full band at my cousins wedding); and Linkin Park - Numb (because it got me to the Hit Like A Girl finals!) CONGRATS ON BEING A FINALIST, THAT’S FANTASTIC! HOW MUCH DO YOU PRACTICE? I practice for an hour on school days and sometimes a little more at the weekends. ARE YOU TEACHING YOURSELF, OR DO YOU HAVE A DRUM TEACHER? My dad has been teaching me for the last two years, but he’s not really a drummer so I started going to a drum teacher. It’s cool ‘cause I’m learning lots of new things. THAT’S GREAT! MY FATHER WAS MY FIRST TEACHER TOO, AND HE ALSO DID NOT PLAY DRUMS. BESIDES YOUR DAD, WHO ARE SOME OF YOUR FAVORITE DRUMMERS? The Rev, Tre Cool, Meytal Cohen, and Mike Portnoy. 22

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THIS ISSUE OF TOM TOM IS ABOUT TOURING. IF YOU COULD TOUR WITH ANYONE IN THE WORLD, WHO WOULD IT BE? Avenged Sevenfold or Green Day, because they’re my favorite bands. NICE! IF YOU COULD PLAY DRUMS ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD, WHERE WOULD YOU PLAY? Florida, so I could go to Disneyworld! FLORIDA IS ONE OF MY FAVORITE PLACES! MAYBE DISNEYWORLD WILL ASK YOU TO PLAY DRUMS WITH MICKEY MOUSE ;) WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE PIECE OF YOUR DRUM KIT? My electronic pad that I use sometimes to make crazy sounds. I NEED TO GET A PAD! IT’S DEFINITELY ON MY LIST. WHAT IS YOUR DREAM DRUM SETUP? I love my Pearl Export kit. I would probably stick with Pearl, or get a DW kit like the one The Rev has. I love my electronic pads, so I would have to have 3 or 4 of them. I really like playing double bass, so it would be cool to have a second bass drum. My drum teacher has Meinl Byzance cymbals; they look and sound really good, so I would go with them. I’d also get a china crash, ‘cause I don’t have one yet. AWESOME! FINAL (FUN) QUESTION: I HEARD THAT YOU LIKE TO PULL PRANKS ON YOUR DAD AND BROTHER. WANT TO SHARE A FAVORITE PRANK WITH US? I once told my little brother it was his bedtime in the middle of the day, and he got his pajamas on and went to bed! And one time while my dad was asleep, I brought one of my cymbals into his room and hit it so hard—he got such a fright! SO GOOD! SOUNDS LIKE A FUN FAMILY. THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR DOING THIS INTERVIEW WITH ME. YOU ARE AMAZING AND I AM LOOKING FORWARD TO PLAYING WITH YOU SOMEDAY, MAYBE EVEN IN DISNEYWORLD. ;)


DAPPER DRUMMER

LIZA HOLBROOK by Susan Taylor Photos by Sarah Holbrook

YOU’VE GOT GREAT STYLE! WHAT AND WHO ARE YOUR INSPIRATIONS? I’ve always been a tomboy. I’ve never really liked wearing girly stuff; my style is more androgynous. Every now and again, though, I do enjoy wearing a dress for a special occasion. I’ve recently been very inspired by LP—she’s my personal fashion icon. And Annie Lennox– in the 80s. WHAT’S IN YOUR SUITCASE WHEN YOU TOUR? Give me a V-neck and some black pants and I’m happy. I like to wear a button-down and a vest for shows, and boots—I LOVE boots—or some Chucks. WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO PLAY DRUMS? Well, my first instrument was harp. I started playing it when I was six. At the time, I had long blonde hair, and lots of people wanted little “angels” to play at their weddings. So the band got quite a few wedding gigs when we first started playing together. All of my siblings are classically trained on their respective instruments. Around the age of twelve, I wanted a drum kit so badly. I started using forks and knifes on the countertops . . . I’d pretty much use anything I could find as a drumstick. So for my thirteenth birthday my friends and family all pitched in for my first kit. It was the best surprise ever! YOUR BAND SHEL IS A FOUR PIECE AND YOU ARE ALL SISTERS. WHAT’S IT LIKE PLAYING IN A BAND WITH YOUR SISTERS? It’s really amazing. I think we understand each other in a way that no one else could, both musically and personally. We have a good family dynamic on the road and have a lot of fun together. Of course we fight like a family and like a band, but no matter what we’re fighting about, we have to figure it out because we’ll all be seeing each other back home for the holidays. WHO OR WHAT INSPIRES YOUR PLAYING? John Bonham, because I listened to Led Zeppelin so much when I was young. And Cindy Blackman– she is an amazing inspiration. I want to be that good. Also, I think it was from your magazine that I discovered Carla Azar. I love her playing a lot. DESCRIBE YOUR DRUM SETUP. It’s basically one third drum kit, one third djembe, and one third beatboxing. I have a percussion pad set up with my djembe in front and my kit in the back. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE PIECE OF PERCUSSION? I would say the djembe or the cajon. I really enjoy playing my Pitch Slap cajon whenever I get the chance. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE FOOD ON TOUR? I like cooking a lot so it’s hard to eat on the road and like it. Since moving to the South, though, I’ve fallen in love with chicken and waffles, which is pretty much the unhealthiest thing ever, but it’s so good. I love a good burger or reuben sandwich as well. HOW DO YOU STAY HEALTHY ON TOUR? I have a ten minute workout that I do before I jump in the shower, basically just a bunch of push-ups and crunches. I also do this thing where I randomly sprint down streets for no good reason. I try to do yoga when I get the chance, and I try to eat a lot of salads and drink a lot of lemon water. The band will sometimes throw together impromptu Ultimate Frisbee games when we have a nice afternoon off. WHAT’S IN STORE FOR SHEL? DO YOU HAVE ANY TOURS, SHOWS, OR RELEASES ON THE HORIZON? Well, we’re in the process of recording our next album, and it’s almost done. We’ve been doing a limited release through a Pledge Music campaign, which is how we have been funding the album. We are also going to do a small tour in the Spring, traveling up the East Coast to New York.


Posing Against a Hard Electronic Beat Cryptolect: The Language of Sanyu Nicolas

by Attia Taylor photo courtesy of the artist

O

n the cusp of this spring, I had the opportunity to talk with Sanyu Nicolas, an industrial electronic music producer and performer living in New York City. We talked about Sanyu’s strong interest in maintaining a subculture within a society. Our conversation reminded me that individualism is crucial in a time where appropriation of cultures is the norm. Brooklyn is the home to Sanyu’s music and community of friends who speak the same language and take pride in being able to communicate an experience like no one else’s. It’s all in the name. Their current project is Cryptolect, which was born after a move from PA and a shift in musical direction. This new path branches from their love of cinematic scores, the heavy metal band Kittie, Phyllis Hyman, and a film degree from Temple University. The sounds are reconstructed and pulled apart in houses and venues in and around Brooklyn. Sanyu maneuvers midi controller boards and catchy electronic drums to create songs with dark undertones, catchy clicks and waves of emotion. It is industrial bands meeting the old soul and funk that came as its inspirations. I am reminded of the electronic musician Anika who also builds on post-punk and avant-garde landscapes intertwined with the sounds of her own identity. In this world, music meets escapism. We spent time discussing what it means to make music that belongs to a subculture and how that informs your audience. This reverts back to the frustrating realization of seeing so many musical subcultures appropriated in the mainstream, ones that were previously celebrated, such as the disappearance of jazz and hip-hop into the deep dark abyss. With this in mind, Sanyu is crafting work that holds true to a personal identity, which they tell me is not only reaching fans that relate to their music but takes hold of outliers as well.

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CHECK OUT THESE

TAT TO O S ! ! !

TOMTOM M AG.C O M


by Chris Sutton

RECORD LECTION #74 SLANT 6 “SODA POP*RIP OFF”

During the mid 1990’s, Dischord Records, and seemingly the entire city of Washington D.C. for that matter, was rife with defiant feminist voices and angular agit-prop punkisms designed to inspire the inner revolutionary. By 1994, The Riot Grrrl movement was already in full bloom, Fugazi were still blowing minds on a regular basis, and Nation Of Ulysses had already claimed their place in the counterculture intelligencia and were taking steps towards becoming The Make Up. Perhaps buried underneath all of this local iconography, yet no less important in the chronology of D.C. punk groups was Slant 6, a band that expounded a slightly subdued vibration of old school soul, gothic sensibilities, and feminist wit to accompany their nervous brand of punk. Created by guitar/chantress Christina Billotte from the ashes of Autoclave, Slant 6’s musical angle concentrated more on a Pretenders-meets-Buzzcocks mix of cynical pop punk drenched in soulfully voiced hymns rather than trying to convey the incendiary message of DIY ethics to the masses like some of their esteemed label mates. Augmented skillfully by bass player Myra Power and propelled by the spunky Marge Marshall on drums, their debut “Soda Pop*Ripoff” is a spicy disc peppered with 2 minute slabs of quickstep melodies devoted to Christina’s paranoia-laced storytelling and a high octane Wire-tinged rhythm element. On the beautiful LP cover, you see the individual defiance of each band member on a simplistically composed cover, completely washed out in safety orange, which conveys their raw power ideals and innate artful simplicity. Instead of the obligatory political statement, you are left with upbeat music made for the downbeat sect of society. Surefire hits like “Time Expired” and “What Kind Of Monster Are You?” lead you down the rabbit hole of a cognitive dementia, but ultimately round out a collection of songs that retain an emotional complexity on par with downer concept punk classics like “Is This Real?” by The Wipers or “In The City” by The Jam. While Christina’s ace songwriting and guitar acumen are at the forefront, It’s Marge who influences this mysterious band into it’s snappy personality. With quick runs and flurries, and beneath an awesome head of hair no less, Marshall is able to twist and turn with each furious chord change and riff, a whip-

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smart charachteristic that brings to mind some of Pete Thomas’ techniques from The Attractions early masterpieces. Nimble tom interplay makes all of the instruments mold together perfectly and the tight rhythms create a sticky gel that molds every single song into one expressive blast. The production by Ian MacKaye and engineer Don Zientara on this recording is ethically lo-fi, allowing the band to maintain an air of naiveté much like Billottes heroes The Gories, who’s angular blues punk always carried the hallmark of space and simplicity. This album simply is one of the great debut records by anyone, and still retains an insider level of cult status among Grrrls in the know. It’s wonderful to hear a band create tight succinct songs in a soulful vein because very few bands in the last few years have been able to do it, gender regardless! Fans of Sleater-Kinney, Ex-Hex, and Mika Miko will dig the girly take on guitar-pop stylistics, but the maturity in this albums construction can not be overlooked. Christina Billotte has continued to deliver delightfully unique and tastefully complex music since her time with Slant 6, but “Soda Pop*Rip-Off” is her influental genesis, and with time more people are starting to realize it’s trailblazing potential.


THE

TOURING ISSUE

Intro by Mindy Abovitz Illustration by Erica Parrott

Touring is like a non-stop sleepover party with no curfews and all the glamour of performing in front of a real audience and not the imaginary ones from the slumber parties of our past. The windows rolled down, the wind blowing in your hair, singing crappy radio tunes at the top of your lungs heading south to some small town and a burger joint you’ve never heard of. Then you pull into that said small town and it feels like the whole place has been waiting for you and your band to arrive. For that tour, that week, that night—you’re Tom Cochrane and life is highway. For those of you who have embarked on such journeys this issue will serve a pseudo yearbook recounting others tales of tour that will likely spring memories and smirks of camaraderie. For those of you who have yet to take to the open road with your besties/bandmates, let this issue be your guide and your permit. The Tom Tom team has got your back.


B A B E S IN


TOYLAND


L O R I BARBERO by Jo Wong Photos by Debi Del Grande

Born in Minneapolis, Lori Barbero attended high school in New York in the late 70s, where she witnessed early punk shows in the East Village. She worked at a Nathan’s hot dog stand, and her boss was so taken with her (in a non-creepy, paternal sense) that he gifted her a houseboat in Key West, Fl, where she lived briefly after high school. After a short stint at college in Duluth, Lori returned to Minneapolis. There, she became a figure in the seminal indie scene. In 1987, Lori met Kat Bjelland with whom she co-founded the highly influential band Babes In Toyland. The band broke into the mainstream with the release of its 1992 album, Fontanelle. After releasing three more albums and maintaining a relentless touring schedule, Babes in Toyland ended their initial run as a band in 2001. Now back together, the band has been rapidly selling out reunion shows.

Tell me about your first tour. I believe it was in 1988 with Die Kreuzen from Milwaukee headlining, White Zombie was the middle band and Babes in Toyland were the opener. It was really super fun, because Die Kreuzen have been old friends of mine since the early 80s. To be quite honest I do not remember the attendance of any of the shows, and I really didn’t have any expectations. We were just on the road for the first time, with a couple bands that already had toured before. So we just pretty much followed their cue. As far as the stress aspects of the tour I don’t remember feeling any stress at all. It was just really fine. You know, just traveling from town to town, meeting new people, hanging out with friends, playing some rock ‘n roll wasn’t stressful to me. Which tours do you remember as most successful? I’m guessing the most popular and financially successful tour was Lollapalooza 1993. It was the only time Babes ever had a tour bus, which was mandatory, because of the long overnight drives. It was a pretty big deal. All of the bands were somewhat successful, and it was just a festival on wheels. I had a really good time on lollapalooza.

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To be quite honest, there wasn’t really any tours I disliked. The attendance for the audiences for Lollapalooza averaged around 16,000 to 18,000 people per show. I guess the most stressful thing about that tour gala was just making sure that everyone was getting enough rest and taking care of themselves. It was really a crazy party on wheels. Did you have any strategies for getting along as a band while on the road for extended stretches? Have really good communication, respect for each other, and make sure that you have boundaries when people need their space. All of that’s really important when you’re spending a lot of time on tour or have relations with anybody, for that matter. Do you exercise on tour? I do a lot of stretching with my arms and neck because drumming is really physical, as you know, so that’s a lot of exercise. The other regular exercise I get is when I’m out and about I try to go to a lot of art galleries and antique shops. I love to venture to new places in each city we go to.


You toured prior to the proliferation of the Internet. How did that shape the experience? I’ve brought up to quite a few touring bands, friends, telling stories, how we toured pre cell phones and GPS. You had to pay a lot more attention to getting from point A to point B back then. For example advancing your shows on a payphone, reading maps, printing directions from somewhere before tour, printing itineraries, and the list goes on and on. I’d love to see a band go on tour today without any cell phones or GPS, and write a journal about it.

Do any particular funny memories stand out? I can’t really recall any funny memories of being on the road, because I’m usually laughing all the time, but I could write a 50 chapter book about all the crazy experiences, strange stories, most memorable and uncommon life that Babes experienced throughout all of our tours. There was a time when we were touring about 10 months a year for 10 years solid. No regrets. The road is hard, but it sure is beautiful.

Any favorite tour meals? The best meals I’ve been on tour I’m pretty sure hands-down were in Europe. All the food is fresh, not a bunch of chemicals and crap, and it’s just a different way of life and style of eating. I can’t wait to go back there in May and June and enjoy the delicacies of Europe.

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MARTHA

PAREDES by Lorena Perez Batista Photo courtesy of artist

Martha Paredes nació en Caracas, Venezuela y desde que era una niña su padre, Manuel Paredes, la introdujo al mundo de la música. Desde joven tocó en agrupaciones donde conoció y trabajó con músicos y artistas reconocidos a nivel internacional como Orlando Poleo, Cristóbal Soto, Yordano, El Canario, Orquesta de Salsa Femenina Son Karibeñas, Enghel Gabriel, Franco y Oscarcito, y Roque Valero. A partir del 2009 comenzó a formar parte del Crew de Chino Y Nacho, quienes en la actualidad son un dúo de cantantes Venezolanos de talla internacional dentro del género “Tropical Urbano”, ganadores de un Grammy latino, 2 Billboards, Premios Juventud entre otros. Martha se encuentra de tour alrededor del mundo con “Chino Y Nacho” tocando para miles de personas, y nosotras tuvimos el chance de hablar con ella sobre su vida de tour y nos contó de sus experiencias: 34

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Martha Paredes was born in Caracas, Venezuela and since she was a young girl her dad, Manuel Paredes, introduced her to the world of music. At an early age she met and played with internationally recognized artists like Orlando Poleo, Cristóbal Soto, Yordano, El Canario, All Girl Orchestra Son Karibeñas, Enghel Gabriel, Franco y Oscarcito, and Roque Valero. On 2009 she became part of the crew for the duo sensation “Chino y Nacho”, who are currently a Venezuelan duo with great international recognition in the “Urban Tropical” genre, who are also winners of a Latin Grammy, two Billboards, Premios Juventud and many more. Martha is currently touring around the world with “Chino y Nacho” playing for thousands of people, and we had a chance to talk to her about her touring life and these have been her experiences.


¿Cuál es tu arreglo de percusión en vivo? ¿Por qué escogiste ese? Actualmente estoy trabajando con las Master Sunrises Fades Tycoon Percussion, Tumba, Conga y Quinto por su excelente sonido y hermoso diseño. Para percusión menor: shaker, panderetas Shine, vibra slaps y uso platillos TRX Cymbals para los efectos. Debo agregar que también soy corista de la banda. ¿Cuál es tu rutina antes y durante las giras? ¿Tienes tiempo para practicar? Tiempo como tal para practicar durante las giras no hay, sin embargo a veces me llevo mi Pad de práctica y un par de baquetas para practicar en la habitación del hotel. Antes de cada show, siempre hago unos 15 o 20 min de movimientos de muñeca, golpes simple, dobles etc . . . para estirar los ligamentos y brazos. ¿Cómo llegaste a tocar con Chino y Nacho? ¿Pasaste por un proceso de audición? Gracias a un colega y amigo, Alejandro Guerrero. El tenía que trabajar con otro artista y me pidió que lo sustituyera con Chino y Nacho. Tuve que hacer audición con el director de la banda, que en ese momento era Luis “Chiqui” Rojas, un día antes del show en mi casa en Venezuela, y al día siguiente toqué. Meses después me llamaron para trabajar con ellos de manera permanente y aquí sigo.

What is your percussion setup for shows? Why did you choose them? At the moment I’ve been working with Master Sunrises Fades Tycoon Percussion, Tumba, Conga and Quinto for their excellent sound and beautiful design. For minor percussion I have a shaker, Shine tambourines, vibra slaps, and TRX Cymbals for effects. I also sing backing vocals for the band. What is your routine before and during tours? Do you have time to practice? During tours there is very little time to practice, but I bring my practice pad and sticks to practice in the hotel rooms. Before shows I always do 15 to 20 minutes of wrist movements, single hits, doubles, etc . . . to stretch out my arms and ligaments. How did you get to play with Chino y Nacho? Did you go through an audition process? It was all thanks to my friend and college, Alejandro Guerrero. He had to work with another artist and asked me to sub for him with Chino y Nacho. I had to audition with the Musical Director, Luis “Chiqui” Rojas, a day before the show in my home in Venezuela so I ended up playing with them the next day. Months later they called me to play with them on a permanent basis and here I am.

¿Hay algo con lo que siempre viajas, como un amuleto de la suerte? Sí, siempre tengo mi sábana viajera. No soporto pasar frío, así que es mi eterna acompañante.

¿Con qué otros artistas has compartido tarima? He acompañado a Yordano, El canario, Orlando Poleo, Cristobal Soto, Gerry Well, y a artistas urbanos como Franco y Oscarcito, y Enghel Gabriel ¿Cuáles han sido tus experiencias conviviendo con la banda? Una experiencia agradable. Considero que son una familia paralela para mí, a veces paso más tiempo con ellos que en mi casa. Lo bueno es que hay respeto y profesionalismo. Estoy contenta y agradecida de trabajar con cada uno de mis compañeros. ¿Cuáles han sido las experiencias que te han marcado para bien y para la mal durante las giras? Conocer países, músicos, y otras culturas, y viajar haciendo lo que amo es algo que me sigue marcando para bien. Y para mal, haberme quedado dormida en un aeropuerto en Houston ya de regreso a Venezuela luego de una gira larga y de haber dormido poco. Me senté en el piso a cargar el celular y me quedé dormida. Mis compañeros no lograron verme y cuando desperté habían pasado 2 horas del abordaje y además el cambio me costó 501$. Ahora entro en pánico si tengo sueño en los aeropuertos. ¿Hay algo con lo que siempre viajas, como un amuleto de la suerte? Sí, siempre tengo mi sábana viajera. No soporto pasar frío, así que es mi eterna acompañante.

With what other artists have you shared stage with?

I’ve accompanied Yordano, El Canario, Orlando Poleo, Cristobal Soto, Gerry Well, and urban artists like Franco y Oscarcito, and Enghel Gabriel.

What has been your experience living with the band on tour? It has been a lovely experience. I feel they are like family to me. Sometimes I spend more time with them than with my actual family. The good thing is that there is respect and professionalism. I’m very happy and grateful to work with each and everyone of my band members. What are some memorable tour experiences for you? The good experiences have been getting to know new countries, musicians, new cultures, and to travel while doing what I love. A particularly bad experience was falling asleep at an airport in Houston while returning to Venezuela after a long tour with very little sleep. I sat on the floor to charge my phone and I fell asleep. My bandmates couldn’t find me and when I woke up two hours had passed since the plane had left. On top of that I had to pay $501 to change my flight. Now I get anxious if I’m sleepy at airports. Is there something you always travel with, like a good luck charm? Yes, I always carry my travel blanket. I can’t stand the cold, so that blanket is my lifelong companion.


J U S T I N E BROWN


SUMMER by Kat Jetson Photo by HOSSxxBOINK

Southern California currently has a number of bands providing the soundtrack for its idyllic weather and utopian lifestyle, but no one captures that carefree feeling quite like Riverside’s Summer Twins. Sisters Chelsea and Justine Brown are a power pop duo with garage rock roots, and have a penchant for writing songs that sound familiar yet refreshingly new. But brushing them off as cute and bubbly would be a mistake, because underneath those sunkissed harmonies are intricate songs of full of love, longing and sing-along(ing).

TWINS

What’s your first musical memory? My dad used to play the Beatles for us a lot when we were little. When my sister Chelsea and I were about 5 and 6 years old, he would play Sgt. Pepper’s on vinyl and give us the record to look at. It had all of the song lyrics on the back and we would sing along! We’re still huge Beatles fans. Talk about your first drum kit. How did you procure it? Do you still have it? My dad bought it for me. If I saw it now, I would think it was really crappy, but at the time it worked out really well. I started out playing mostly easy punk beats so it didn’t have to sound too good. (Haha!) I can’t really even remember what it looked like or what brand it was. I ended up giving it to my longtime friend Brad who lives down the street from me. It was in his garage for a while, but I think he got rid of it. What’s the first song you learned? I don’t know for sure, but my guess would be “Blitzkreig Bop” by the Ramones. What song represents your idea of drum greatness or perfection? “Panda” by Dungen really gets me pumped. It’s one of the few songs where I only pay attention to the drums because they are so f-ing awesome. Who’s your favorite drummer? What question would you ask them? I think Meg White has left an impression on me more than any other drummer. I sort of grew up listening to the White Stripes. She was the first girl drummer I’ve seen on a big stage. I actually saw the White Stripes a long time ago at my first concert ever! They played at the Greek Theater with Hot Hot Heat. I’ve always admired how simple she was. People don’t realize how hard it is to play simple, straightforward drum parts. I also liked how mysterious she was. I feel like I can relate to her in that way. She’s never really had much attention for being a girl drummer. I like that. I don’t particularly like getting attention for it either. It makes me feel uncomfortable. I’m pretty shy.

If I were able to ask her one question it would be, what other women in your life have influenced you in a positive way to become who you are today? Do you have a warm-up song? My warm up beat is somewhat of a funky, soul sounding slow jam mixed with Ty Segall-esque psychedelic rolls. I’m constantly influenced by Thee Oh Sees and similar sounding bands. Plus, I’ve been into soul music lately. What’s the best thing about being the drummer? I like being in the back, away from the center of attention! I also like not having to deal with chords, amps, pedals, etc. There’s no electricity, so there isn’t as much of a chance for things to go wrong. What’s the worst thing about being the drummer? The worst thing is having to pack and unpack all of my equipment. It takes me the longest to tear down after a show, so I get to watch everyone hang out and have fun while I’m stuck there doing it! My band mates help me sometimes though. In one word, describe your drumming style. Easy, meaning relaxed. It sounds like something a Beatnik would say. As a drummer, you pretty much have the best seat in the house. What’s the most interesting thing you’ve seen from the stage? Our crowds are usually not too rowdy or aggressive, so not that much crazy stuff happens during our shows! There’s one show that stands out to me. It was a house party in Garden Grove. A lot of Burger [Records] bands played. The crowd was pretty wild and our mic stands and instruments seemed to almost move with them! I always get excited to play to a crowd like that. It was one of those parties where someone jumps off of the roof. Haha! Lastly, and most importantly, where’s your drum key? I keep it in my drumstick pouch in the little side pocket.

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Photo by Xavier Romeder


DEE PLAKAS by Joe Wong

The daughter of Greek immigrants, Dee Plakas grew up in Lansing, IL, also known as the “vice suburb” of Chicago. Raised on classic rock, Dee came into her own musically after she discovered early punk bands like The Cramps. Dee first sat behind a drum kit in college, inspired by the punk dictum that you don’t need to be a virtuoso to be in a band. A natural, she was rocking Ginger Baker beats within an hour. Dee headed to Los Angeles in 1988, and joined L7 soon after. She went on to record five albums with the band, including their hugely influential 1992 record Bricks Are Heavy. After 15 years of touring and recording, the band went on indefinite hiatus in 2001. The announcement of an upcoming documentary about the band, directed by Sarah Price, stoked the demand for L7’s legendary live performances. Back from hiatus, they’ll be appearing on the festival circuit this summer. Dee recounted two stories: one from the band’s early days and another from the height of their fame. An Early Tour Story: The Macon Satanists Very early on, I wanna say 1989, L7 borrowed a van from another band. Let’s just say it wasn’t in the best condition. We were heading back to LA from a gig in Phoenix, and were in the middle of nowhere. It was totally desolate and incredibly hot, and the van broke down. We were stuck on the side of the road, broiling to death. A couple of our roadies went walking to find a phone or service station so they could call for help. So we’re all laying in the van, like “oh my god,” passing around the water and waiting- it was just awful. We had the sliding door open for air, but it was still incredibly hot and we were all complaining. A couple hours go by, and these hitchhiker kids walk up to the van and peek in. When I first saw them, I thought maybe someone had sent help. Anyway, these two hitchhiking kids—they just look like the grungiest, weirdest characters—peek into our van and ask, “Do you know where the nearest coven is?” They then told us they were from Macon, GA, after which someone started making a joke about the Macon Satanists. It was just really weird. When they walked up, I thought, “Did someone come to help? Did they bring cold water?” But I guess they just thought we looked like people who’d know where the local coven was! For whatever reason, these two really needed to get to one. Anyhow, we did eventually get to safety. We got home really late, but early enough to hit a bar before closing time. We sat around drinking cold beers, asking each other, “Did we hallucinate that or did that really happen?” But it did happen! I guess these two . . . witches? warlocks? really needed to find a coven, and I just kept thinking, “Don’t you need to find some water first?”

A Later Tour Story: Flowers for Mr. Bowie We were on one of those huge festivals in Germany, with a gazillion other bands. The headliner was David Bowie, and we were somewhere in the middle of the order, towards the top. David had announced that this would be his last tour playing nothing but hits- you know, everything that you’d want to hear David Bowie do. We were just so excited; we couldn’t wait to finish our set so that we could watch him. We arrived at the venue early in the day, and everyone was still setting up the stage, people were napping on the bus, and the roadies were just starting to drag all of our gear out. Someone had left flowers for us in our dressing room. I think this was Donita’s idea, but she took those flowers and left them in David’s dressing room. No one was there yet, so she left them with a note saying “We love you! –L7” or something like that. Two hours later, there’s a knock on our door. It’s David Bowie with the flowers. And he says, “I should be the one giving you flowers! I think you guys are great.” What do you say? I don’t think we totally embarrassed ourselves while he was there, but he left, we just stared at each other with our mouths open. Here comes the best part. I can’t even remember our set, but I do remember getting ready to watch David. Donita and I are standing on the side of the stage with a prime view. We’re rocking out to Rebel Rebel, then “Jean Genie”—he’s doing it all, right? Then Donita says to me, “I’m going to run to the back of the venue—I need to see it from the back.” I say, “Alright, but I’m not moving from this spot.” So five minutes after she left, he did a break where he introduced his whole band. When it came time to introduce himself, he turned to the crowd and said, “And me, I’m going off to join L7.” I’m in shock, and Donita comes running back to me so that we can savor the moment that David Bowie said our name on stage to thousands and thousands of people. Not only that—he said he wants to join our band! After that, I was like, “If I get hit by a bus tomorrow, at least David Bowie knows who I am and wants to join my band.“ It doesn’t get much more exciting.


Photo by Charles Peterson


MONA TAVAKOLI by Susan Taylor Photos by Eric Morgensen


Mona is an amazing human and an amazing talent. A true professional and a true performer. A giver, a sharer and a source of endless inspiration. Having played drums since aged 11 and having played professionally as a drummer and percussionist for over ten years, she has toured the world with her band, Raining Jane, as well as touring and performing alongside such acclaimed musicians as Pat Benetar, Sara Bareilles, Tristan Prettyman, Willy Porter, Natalia Zukerman, Lucy Schwartz, Rachel Yamagata and Jason Mraz. When she’s not on the road or in the recording studio, Mona works diligently and tirelessly at inspiring the next generation of female powerhouses at Rock and Roll Camp for Girls Los Angeles. I caught up with Mona during the last cycle of her year-long, worldwide YES! tour with Jason Mraz and Raining Jane.


What’s it like being on tour? Inquiring minds need to know! It’s so different in every iteration of touring! When I first started touring with Raining Jane in 2004 it was my first tour ever as a drummer and we went on tour in a white cargo van. We took all the benches out and stuffed all our gear in and we all sat very erect for thousands of miles. It’s different now. Now we are flying to South Africa and Asia and playing for people all over the world. You’ve been touring for the past year with Jason Mraz and Raining Jane for the YES! album. Tell me about the YES! tour. Because the YES! album was mainly made acoustically and there wasn’t a ton of production on the album we wanted to try and stay authentic and true to how we wrote the songs. Instead of playing in bigger venues where the sound gets really washed out we wanted to bring the audience closer and have real genuine interactions with people during the show. It’s great because our show is all about our collaboration and our connection both as musicians and friends and you can get that across so well in small spaces. So you will see that here. It’s harder to see that at a really big show. What is your set up like for this tour? So I had been playing a lot of cajon and the cajon has been so clutch for me because it is such a versatile instrument. It is so similar to a drum set—like kick/snare. When I first toured with Jason there was another drummer, a kit player, so I had to figure out how to be a percussionist and not just a kit player. I experimented with a lot of different things like shakers, tambourines and jangles. Now, in this band I am the drummer and the percussionist so I try to create a cocktail kit that would be very similar to my vibe. I have a floor tom and right in the centre I have my cajon—which sort of becomes my throne—and I can use my cajon as the hub of my setup. I have a marxophone now and some chimes and I have this sick custom bass drum—it’s 16 by 12—it’s so little so I can stand and play and so it’s basically like my floor tom is my rack and my floor tom. I just keep thinking of how I can keep evolving as a player and change my setup and add things, not just for the sake of adding things, but for the sake of contributing to the heart of the music. Tell me about your last tour with Jason. That was my first real job as a musician. It was in 2012. And it was also the year I got my first savings account—and that is crazy! I’ve been playing music full-time since 2004! I was so excited when I got to be in Jason’s big band. I thought “awesome”!! Now I can have a bigger show and experience. More action, more sharing, more community. I feel like Jason and Raining Jane play the kind of music that really speaks to people’s hearts and souls. So it was amazing to share music with so many people and so many different audiences. International touring has been such a special gift to witness. I am returning to places that I have visited as a tourist and now I am going there as a performer—and there have been so many amazing shared experiences. So on that tour you were playing a lot of big stadium shows. What’s it like to play for such a big audience? No matter where I am or what I am doing or the size of the crowd I play every show like it’s my last show—because I want to know that if this is it I know that I did my best. I want to be able to ask myself —if this is the last show—or whatever it is—how do I want to feel when it’s done? And this is the attitude you bring to every situation in your life? Yes. Absolutely yes.

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Do you think that your success is about really believing in yourself and what you are doing? That it is a natural by-product of that? I do think what it really comes down to is this: preparedness meets opportunity equals success. I truly believe that. I do think the attitude of anything is possible is an attitude that works. And if we can help our next generation understand that anything is possible we can actually change the tide of humanity. Expressing yourself and being your best self can actually do great things in the world. If you really truly prepare yourself for something and the opportunity presents itself then why would you not take that opportunity? I wanted to be on stage with thousands of people playing music and when it happened I thought—I saw this already. I prepared for this. Confidence. Talk about it. Where do you get yours? I was raised by a really strong woman. My parents came to this country from Iran to get their Master’s degrees. That takes a lot of confidence—to move to another country and start a new life. Since I was little my Mom has always said “you can do whatever you want”. She always had this secret agenda though of me being president of the United States. She tells me that when I was four I told her that I wanted to be a professional whistler. And she said—you know what—that’s great—that’s awesome. And I walked around for days whistling everywhere I went. I get my confidence from my Mom and Dad telling me that I could do and be whatever I wanted and truly believing in me—they were really ahead of their time! There’s a handwritten quote on the mirror—it says “If you want to go fast go alone—if you want to go far go together” I write these quotes everywhere we go—on the mirror—or wherever. It’s to remind us. We need each other. We really do. I feel insecure every day. Everybody experiences that. And I count on the people around me to help me with that. 46

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I sense in you a deep feeling of gratitude. Relentless gratitude. Relentless. I know what it takes to get all that stuff and put it in your van 200 times a year. That’s where it all starts from. So gratitude is never feeling entitled. I know it is a gift that I get to do exactly what I wanted to—and I know that I can’t stop—because I know that the moment I stop being grateful for it or working hard at it is the moment it is not going to exist anymore. That’s just how energy flows

Mona never stops working at her craft. As a performer she exchanges a flow of energy with her audience—sharing the gift of music—bringing lightness to the room. I think there is a sense of mystery for some of us around art —that artists and musicians somehow stumble upon success through some kind of luck and magic—but there is no magic here—it all comes down to perseverance, dedication, and a LOT of hard work—to being willing to suffer through packing up your drum kit piece by piece 200 times a year knowing that what you are doing is what your heart and soul is calling you to do. I sense that on a deep level Mona knows that her successes are truly a result of hard work—there is no entitlement here—there’s a faith that with continued hard work and with the help of others, she will continue on this journey doing this thing she loves with all her being. And she will continue to give it away.


JEN TWYNNE PAYNE by John Carlow Photos by Finding Charlotte Photography

There’s a knock at the door of the meeting room door in the Vancouver Public Library where I’ve been talking the past few hours with Jen Twynn Payne. We have been told to keep it down. Smiles and more laughing ensue albeit at a quieter volume. The 28 year old lead singer and drummer of The Courtneys has sat down with Tom Tom on a rainy afternoon in Vancouver BC Canada, prior to the band heading out on tour. In a conversation peppered with an infectious laugh, Jen chimes in on drumming, singing, Totoro, OMS, Mac Demarco and the interesting journey that led to her successful band.


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Where were you born? I was born in Calgary. Alberta. I’ve been here in Vancouver since 2009. I was coming out here to go to school—Vancouver Film School for sound design in film. I’ve been here ever since. Where do you work? OK, so I work during the week, 9-5, at a production company called “Make Believe Media.” They do mostly like documentary type shows. The stuff I’ve worked on has been, like, true crime stuff. Then I recently started working at my friend’s pizza place called “Don’t Argue.” Yeah, it’s great. It’s super fun. A lot of my friends work there so it’s really good pizza, and a really awesome environment. How do you manage to leave for two months to go on tour? [Laughs.] Well it worked out really well. So usually it would be really hard for me to take off time. Everyone in my band has full-time jobs. Our guitarist is an animator so it is hard for us to arrange that. But I always seem to be the one that is most concerned about taking time off. Not only do I not want to have a job and be broke, but I really like my job so I don’t just want to be like “yeah, I’ll just quit so I can go on tour.” It’s like they’re both a priority for me. And this tour is so much longer than any other tour we’ve done so I was really nervous to tell my job. But they were super excited.


Let’s talk gear. What equipment do you use? I have a Yamaha kit, a jazz vintage. It’s really tiny, because I am tiny. I bought it in Calgary when I was with my band Puberty. I saved up all my money for it and I went to this vintage drum shop and looked at a bunch of them. It’s like a Frankenstein kit. Everything there is on consignment, so the guy that owned it …he just put together this kit that he really liked, and I played it in the store and loved it, so I bought it. How much did you have to pay for a vintage kit? What did I pay at the time? I think it was around $2000. I should find the receipt and give you an exact price, but I saved up. I had birthday money and my parents were like “OK, you want a drum kit, here’s some money for your birthday.” At the time I was working at a good job full time and my rent wasn’t very expensive. Accessories? For sticks; actual brand I don’t care about. It’s mostly size, so usually I get 5A’s. Sometimes, my right wrist I’ll have some issues with, so I might get a bigger stick for this hand and smaller one for this one. Recently, I got into the sticks that have the dipped grip. And it’s just like the end half of the stick; it’s a red wax, so it has a bit more grip. When I started having wrist issues I thought “I’m going to try those.” And I really like them. When we were in the heat of softball season, that’s when I was having the wrist problems. I don’t think it was actually from drumming, I think it was from baseball. That was kind of when I noticed the issue. I found a bunch of ways to try and alleviate it., and I haven’t had a problem with it since. The Courtneys actually have a softball team. How did a softball team come around? Well our guitarist is really into sports. And the only sport that I like is baseball. I played it when I was a kid. Well I should correct that statement; the only ‘team’ sport I like is baseball. And so we were like “let’s start a baseball team.” We kind of just asked all our musician friends if they wanted to be on this team, and it turned out that we had a really good group of people, so we joined a league and we made everybody hats. [Laughs.] Yeah, it was funny. We were like this hilarious team because all the league teams were very jock-like and then we had this team of weird musicians. [Laughs.] Probably been asked a lot but where did the band name come from? When we formed, all three of us were coming up with band names. We had some ideas about what we wanted to be called but they were all taken. Then eventually it just came around to like, we wanted to be one of the ‘blank’ girl’s names. And so there is kind of like two parts of the story. One was, why don’t we just name it after one of us, and Courtney’s name definitely sounds best, so that was pretty easy. But on top of that, when Sydney was a kid in elementary school there was a group of the popular girls and they were all named Courtney, so Sydney used to call them the Courtneys. It is kind of like that movie Heathers, with all the girls named Heather. [Laughs.] Where did the fascination with drums come from? When I was in high school I got into wanting to play in a band, but it never occurred to me that I could actually be in one. During that time I asked for a bass guitar for Christmas. I just like looked up tabs on the internet and played songs. I only really had that bass for a year or two and then I lent it to my boyfriend at the time and never got it back. The boyfriend who stole my bass; I hope he doesn’t read this. Actually, I hope he does, because I’m still mad about that. He’ll know who he is.

So I would go over to his house and play bass and I would always ask, “Can I play the drums?” and he would just say “no.” It wasn’t like I wanted to be a drummer, but it’s like they’re there, and I wanted to kind of mess around. So that was my first little inkling about drumming. I moved out from my parents when I was 19. This was all in Calgary. I lived in multiple houses and everybody who lived with us was a musician. I was very involved with the music scene there. Eventually I moved into a house with these two guys who were in a band together called Cities and Plains. They were like a band that had been together since high school and all they were was a jam band. Their sessions were in our basement so I would constantly hear them. And again I just started thinking “I want to play drums.” I would just look up how to play drums on the internet and then sit at the kit. I was too afraid to play, so I would take the drumsticks, go downstairs and then take my laptop on the couch and just try and learn. You were a pillow learner! Exactly! My friend Dave who I lived with, I remember I was looking at him and saying “I really want to try drums” and he suggested a blues jam. The first song I jammed with him was “Tuesday’s Gone” by Lynyrd Skynyrd . I didn’t know what I was doing; I was just playing a very simple beat. That was right before I moved out of that house. So that was a simple taste of playing on a kit. Ever take lessons? No. [Laughs.] Well no, but mind you I took one very casual lesson and that is it. The weird thing is with the Courtneys, which is obviously my most serious endeavor, if I were not the lead singer, I would probably take lessons. I deliberately keep my beat extremely simple in the band so I don’t really need to take lessons. Is it difficult to sing and drum at same time? Everybody in the band sings. I’m pretty much like a 4/4 beat, very simple drumming and that is I would say a 70% deliberate choice and 30% because I’m singing. It’s hard to say, but if I wasn’t singing I think at this point in the band I might take lessons, just because I maybe want to do some more difficult things. Even then I’m not a fan of huge cymbals and crazy beats. So subsequently, because you never took lessons, do you think you’ve left yourself open to repetition injuries or things like that from not learning proper technique, or does that not play a part? The one lesson I took was mainly “how do I play properly.” I wasn’t learning beats or whatever; I was really learning how you hold a drumstick properly and what the proper posture is. That stuff is important. And for singing, I’m constantly thinking about my posture. I was going to say when I had that wrist problem; I did go to see a physiotherapist. They gave me some wrist exercises and that kind of stuff. When the Courtneys started playing a lot; and this wasn’t because of drumming, but all three of us have memberships at the YMCA, so I do like go to the gym and lift weights. I think that has helped my drumming as well. Does one need to be physically strong to be a drummer? You need stamina. I used to go to aquafit classes specifically because I heard that they help you with endurance and stamina. It was deep water aquafit in a class with all these old ladies, and super fun. I definitely think you don’t need to be strong, but you need to be able to play for an extended period of time.

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Are you tired by the end of a show—these days? Not these days, no. There used to be some songs where I would think “oh I can’t make it until the end of the song.” That does not happen to me anymore; at least not with our current library. How fast can you set up your kit? Very fast. I don’t know, but it’s quick. We played a show with the Pack AD and that was one where I had to be like “no we’re all bringing our gear, we’re not sharing.” We literally, for our sound check we went up, set up, and one of the sound guys was like “this was the fastest setup I’ve ever seen.” I told you! We’re fast. We’ll set up the drums often just off stage so they’re ready to just carry on. It has to be really difficult to find a good rehearsal space. What is yours? It’s at this art music space called Red Gate. Yeah, we have a pretty big room that we share with a couple of bands. We pay a very low monthly fee. It’s on Hastings, literally right by the Astoria. We’ve been jamming every Sunday at 1:00 for the past five years or however long we’ve been together. Always once a week. It’s like every Sunday at 1:00 everyone knows not to make any other plans at that time. We’re a much disciplined band. But we have band meetings and run our band kind of like a business.

Do you have any icons that you watch that are drummers? Yes. I really like Levon Helm of The Band. I just appreciate him as a singing drummer. Pretty much anyone who is a singer/drummer. I really like the drummer of New Order. One of like my biggest idols is the drummer from Ty Segall. She’s the coolest. I just like her style; her drumming style. Her name is Emily Rose Epstein. She’s definitely probably my top pick. She’s very, very cool. Obviously you know other female drummers. Do you ever carefully watch them on stage? I’m never watching drumming technique. I’m never like “oh I want to try that beat.” I’m just watching them thinking “oh she looks so cool the way her hair’s in her face.” It’s like that kind of thing. What do you do to get ready for a show? What do you wear? I definitely dress in something I know I can play drums in. But I also definitely think about what I’m going to wear visually. One thing I’ve been really into lately is like one piece jumpsuits. Not suspenders, but more like a fashionable mechanics uniform. I have a few of those now and I’ve been like wearing them to shows a lot. I was out and I saw a onesie or whatever they’re called, so I bought it and then I thought “this is like a really good drumming outfit.” Then I just like got some more. It’s got room. They’re like full long sleeve, and button up. I don’t know, I just think they’re so comfortable. And they look cool.

I would just look up how to play drums on the internet and then like sit at the kit. I was too afraid to play, so I would take the drumsticks, go downstairs and then take my laptop on the couch and just try and learn. You write lyrics. Where do the lyrics come from? They literally just come from whatever I’m obsessed with at the time. A lot of my lyrics are very much about pop culture. There are a lot of TV and music references. I like writing about cute actors. Sometimes they are like real, kind of cryptic things about me; it’s just kind of a mix. So we’ll jam a song and then we’ll work on the structure. Then we’ll record it on a handheld recorder and listen to it for like a week or two and then if we’re all like still into it, we’ll be like “OK, this is a song.” We throw a lot of songs away. I’ll take it home and put it in Garage Band and start my lyric/vocal writing process, which is so weird. I open it up and press record and start singing gibberish. Basically my first step is trying to find melody so I’ll just sing gibberish or I’ll look up other lyrics like Fleetwood Mac and sing that to it. Usually, because I just have words, a melody will come from that. It takes a lot of steps though. I’m constantly saving copies . Once the melody is in there, I’ll write the lyrics to it. Lyrics come last. I don’t know if that is unusual or not. I feel like a lot of people have this journal and they have words and then they come up with a melody; but I do it in reverse. Some songs are really easy. I mean some songs like 90210 which is our most popular song; that one we started jamming and I just got the vocals. I wrote the whole vocals and it was done. I didn’t even have to go home to Garage Band.

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You don’t chalk? You don’t try to dry out your hands? No. No my hands are always dry anyway. How many sticks you keep with you on stage? Onstage I just keep one. I’ve never broken a stick. I mean I have more sticks with me, but I never put two extra down. I’ve never broken a stick. Knock on wood, never. Have you ever dropped one? No. It’s pretty straight forward. It never even occurred to me that I might drop a stick. Do you think there needs to be a magazine for female drummers? Yes. Why? And in the same question, is it a big thing to have an all girl band? Let’s start with the magazine. I think yes, and that’s just because I think it’s cool to have a place where you can look and see all these people who are doing the same thing. It’s just like a community of resources. It’s just cool.


Gender thing doesn’t really make a difference to you? Yeah, I mean it really, with the magazine it does, but with the band I’m of two totally different views. So with the magazine I think it’s really cool to have one specific to female drummers. I just think it’s cool because drumming is something that maybe girls think they can’t do. And then they might see Tom Tom and be like “oooh, all those girls are so rad.” With the band thing I absolutely; and this goes for everyone in my band, I don’t think of us as a girl band. We’re just a band. I mean yeah, that’s just like straight up. I don’t know, there’s like a connotation that goes with “girl band.” People automatically get this idea of what that sounds like. I think that’s just ridiculous. Do girls bring sexuality to drumming? People think they do, which I think is ridiculous. To me there’s no difference. And I don’t think it is a novelty anymore. There are tons of girl drummers. To me they’re one and the same, but other people don’t think that. And this goes not just for drummers, but female musicians in general. It’s just an annoying stigma to have. This hasn’t happened to me, but I know people who have experienced this. Let’s say there’s like a girl in a band and then a bunch of guys. And someone comes up to the guys and says “oh man, sweet guitar playing.” And with the girl it’s just like “oh you’re so hot.” It’s just like that. They can’t get past that. It’s just so stupid.

How do you get all your music information? Are there places you look or a magazine that you pick up? The internet via my phone. My phone is like always on. And I’m sure if my band were here they would tell you how annoying it is that I’m always on my phone. I can’t put it down. It is surgically attached to my hand. I’m like thinking about my phone all the time. I know, I know. It’s terrible. If you had one thing that you wanted our readers to see or to know about you, what would be most important to you? That’s a good question. A big thing for me is the singer/drummer thing, because nobody knows that. I’ll see articles about us and they automatically assume that Courtney sings lead. That’s like a huge thing for me, people knowing that. Also, that my drumming is deliberately as simple as it is. It’s not like I’m not capable of playing something else, I’m choosing to play that simple. Now you’ve got this tour coming up, there’s a point in there where you’re just going to gain popularity. At some point somebody will run up and ask for an autograph. That’s already happened. I wasn’t like “are you kidding me.?” But in my mind I was thinking “really”? And the weird thing is that people who ask us for autographs, will most often be at like really small shows. I get really excited about the younger kids being excited.

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FLISS K I T S O N

A NIGHTINGALE by Christy Edwards Photos by Kate Jackson for B_Drum

Fliss Kitson has been drumming for post punk legends the Nightingales since 2012. On the new album, “Mind Over Matter�, she takes on a prominent vocalist role, evoking the days of her old power duo, the Violet Violet. Give the drummer a mic once and you never get it back again!


This is your 3rd album as the Gales drummer? Yup! I can’t believe it’s gone so quick... I’m so proud to be a Nightingale and to be putting my own stamp on the new material, it’s an honour. I couldn’t be happier with how it’s come out. I feel it’s quite a change to any previous record, hooks galore! Hooks indeed, tell me about the songwriting process. Robert Lloyd is a renowned, well respected, lyricist. He’s brilliant and I never tamper with his words. But I do write a lot of the melodies and my own harmonies. I feel totally comfortable in bringing ideas of where I’d like to sing and how it could work alongside his vocal, we work well together.

Janet Weiss was the reason I became a drummer . . . as a singing drummer too, she’s got it all.

The lyrics are rich with local colloquialisms, as a Yank they are a bit hard to unravel. Robert’s lyrics are thick with phrases he picks up from all over the UK, a lot of Cockney rhyming slang. One of my favourite lyrics I sing is from The Gruesome Threesome: “The egg in his beard told this girl, I was not on for sable or milk” “I lay on the dog haired covered bed, was a bad day for giving up smack” One can only imagine ....

Janet Weiss was the reason I became a drummer... as a singing drummer too, she’s got it all. I went to see Sleater Kinney on their new album tour and once again, blown away. True inspiration. There’s also a rich tradition of female UK punks. Your role in the Nightingales fits right into that, wouldn’t you say?

Stroke of Genius was also interesting because RL had imagined it as an instrumental. But in the studio I came up with this floating melody to hang above all the kraut noise that I wanted to give a go. Rob agreed but that I’d have to sing it in German. I doubt any Germans will have a clue what I’m on about.

Oh yeah. Robert’s previous band, The Prefects, was part of the infamous White Riot tour (1977 headlined by the Clash), and he had a great connection with The Slits. He produced and managed Fuzzbox (all female band from Birmingham) who gained success quickly. All through his musical career he has had female guests on every record.

“The Man That Time Forgot” is a brilliant number to sing live. It’s an abusive, blood curdling, argument between Rob and I. The music sounded like a ‘punch up’ to me so I just started having a yell about during a practice and RL joined me... the lyrics are gruesome.

Ever since I’ve known Robert I’ve been aware of his passion to support women in music and push them forward; starting with his policy of promoters booking female bands to support us for shows around the UK and Europe. That’s how I first met him, my previous band was approached by Robert and asked to open for the Nightingales.

It seems to me that playing drums and singing requires some disassociation between voice and body. Are there any techniques you practice to train the voice to sometimes ignore the hands and feet? I’ve been singing and drumming since I started, 15 years ago. All be it I played a lot less complicated beats to start with, it did come pretty naturally. Now it sometimes gets tricky, the Nightingales rhythms are all over the place and I have to dumb the beats down first to get the vocal engaged with the patterns... then work it up to speed. Your drumming has always been amazing, but it’s sounding increasingly effortless and powerful here, any personal drum milestones reached? It’s far from effortless, trust me! I am always having an adventure with my kit. It’s forever an experiment to me. What part of the kit have I not hit before? I’m trying to make melodies with the drums. I put everything I have into a drum beat, my whole body moves with the rhythm.

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So who’s your favorite drummer?

TO M TOM M A G A Z I NE

Although I am more than aware of women always being part of popular music performance and recording, they have historically been identified as niche or novelty performers and steered away from dominant roles into less powerful positions. I do whatever I can to encourage young women to push themselves, boost their confidence and come to together to learn, create and inspire. I experience a fair bit of negativity from being a female drummer, especially turning up at a venue with a load of men... “You must be the girlfriend of the band....?” etc. etc. Needs to stop. The Gales are pumping out the albums. What’s next? We’re gonna go full pealt at the ol’ touring this year. And as always, looking to record a new album every year or so . . . always working.


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55


FANNY

BOULAND by Max Markowsky Photo by Denis Charmot

Our Berlin correspondent Max tracked down this tres chic three piece from Lyon, France and got an interview with their drummer Fanny. Their sound is moody and reminiscent of a darker Grass Widow. Read on and then keep track of this up and coming band.

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What are you working on with Decibelles? We recorded a few months ago and we’ll release a 10’’ vinyl composed of six songs this September, and we’re going on tour in May and planning another tour in October. When did you start playing the drums and why? I’d always wanted to play the drums, but my mum offered me piano lessons instead because she bought a piano for herself ! I was so disappointed; it was torture. But at 14 years old, I think I must have been good at school because we bought a neighbor’s old drums and I started drums lessons. At the same time, my friends and I started my current band, Decibelles. My best friend Sabrina, who also played the piano, asked her mum for a guitar the same year. It was a teenage dream to start a rock band! What‘s your favorite thing about drums? Playing drums is physical; your entire body is involved. It’s like dancing. Each move, each rhythm is a way to express yourself. How did the last The Decibelles tour go? It went very well. We always have a lot of fun! We’ve played some girls only shows. Sometimes it is really weird because our set will happen between a girl making a self-defense demonstration and another girl who is explaining how she became an entrepreneur! It can be so absurd and incoherent, like a museum of ‘girls doing things’. We decided not to play events like this again.

What makes a great drummer, in your opinion? I prefer strength to speed, so for me, a great drummer is someone who hits hard. I am a big fan of Comeback Kid, but when I saw them playing, I was really disappointed by the drummer’s play: very fast and no strength. Who are your favorite drummers of all time? It changes a lot. When I was a teenager, I was a big Travis Barker fan. I still think he is one of the best. Lately, I’ve been impressed by Metz’s drummer, Hayden Menzies. I also like the groove of Warpaint’s drummer, Stella Mozgawa. Who are your favorite french drummers? Vincent Redel, who plays in Electric Electric. He is a machine and his rhythms are awesome! I also love Yan Four for his inimitable style. Who are you dreaming to work with in the future? I’m a big fan of Steve Albini’s work and sound; I’d like to work with him in the future. Have you ever experienced disadvantages with being a female drummer in the music business? No, not disadvantages, but I often arouse curiosity, and I think it’s a good thing. Sometimes people tell me I play like a man, as if that is a compliment. I don’t like that.

Playing drums is physical; your entire body is involved. It’s like dancing. Each move, each rhythm is a way to express yourself. Do you make a living playing music? If so, how? No. Right now music making is just a big hobby. We don’t earn enough money to pay ourselves. The band pays for itself, though: touring, pressing vinyl, rent for the rehearsal room . . . What are your practice and warm up routines? Since I no longer have drums at my place, I don’t really practice alone, except before recording sessions when I practice with the metronome. Before shows, the best warm up is Arnica oil and a vodka shot, haha!

Have people ever told you you‘ve inspired them to play drums? Yes, it’s happened. Mostly girls have told me this. Are there other female drummers in your community? This is your chance to give shout-outs to any great drummers you know! Unfortunately, there aren’t. I only know male drummers and that’s too bad . . .

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On The Road Chop Builders

by Morgan Doctor

Let’s face it when you are touring it’s tough to get anytime to really practice. You definitely get good at playing the 15 songs on your set list, but everything else about your playing goes down the tubes. You have an hour at most to be behind a drum kit to play during sound check, but there is the rest of your band on stage too, who also haven’t had a chance to play their instruments since the last show. Having time to keep your skills up on the road is probably one of the hardest challenges of touring, on top of it you are exhausted from all the traveling and late nights and getting through a set of music sometimes is all you can manage after a 12 hour drive in a van. Here are some simple chop builders that will keep your playing going even when you only have 10 minutes alone in a hotel room or in the van to do them. If you want to work on your strength and power then play on a soft surface like a pillow or a sofa. If you want to work on finesse, then pull out the practice pad.

TECHNIQUE

THIS IS A 10 MIN CHOP BUILDER.

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TO M TOM M A G A Z I NE

1

8-4-2: 1 min

2

One handed triples: accent the “1”: 1 min / accent the “2”: 1 min / accent the “3”: 1 min

3

Play paradiddles, doubles and singles alternating between all: 2 min

4

Flam tap variation: 1 min

5

Paradiddle-diddle variation: 1 min hand

6

Double flam triple: 1 min


Developing Your Own Sound As drummers, we are constantly drawing inspiration from our biggest idols and the artists that we like to listen to. They are the ones whom we gravitate towards because their sound, their tone, their touch, their technique, etc. has influenced us in one way or another. But just because they tune their drums one particular way doesn’t mean that we have to do it the exact same way. Being an artist is about absorbing all sources of inspiration to eventually develop your own sound—your own musical voice. My musical voice might not be the same as your musical voice, and that’s ok. It’s all about making a statement and adding something to the music that only you are capable of adding.

you can utilize the different solos, rudiments, and ideas that you learned from the masters to influence your own sound. Developing your own sound also has a lot to do with the actual sound of your drums—the way you tune them. Try to tune your drums in a way that complements the music that your playing. What can I do to make my snare drum blend in with the sound of the band? How can I get my toms to sound full but not over-powering? How can I make my bass drum sound like another tom so I can use it to play more melodically? There is not necessarily a universally “correct” way to set up and tune your drums; it depends on what works best for you and the music that you’re playing.

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GET CHOPS

Developing your own sound takes time. First, you have to listen to and copy the I might not use the same drum set on a masters before you can even think about jazz gig as I would for a show with my having a sound of your own. Drumming is band, The Novel Ideas. Our songs call for a a specific language that one develops over loud, thuddy bass drum, low, punchy toms, years and years of practice. It is a conby Elena Bonomo and a deeply tuned, beefy, loose snare. My stant learning experience that people can’t get enough of, no matter how many gigs you play, how little 18” kick drum from my jazz kit might not do the many drum solos you transcribe, or how many years trick in a setting like this. On the other hand, my 22” you’ve been playing. It’s just like learning how to read. kick drum and deeply tuned, beefy, loose snare drum You can’t form coherent, flowing sentences if you don’t probably wouldn’t work on a jazz gig either, because they don’t have enough clarity and definition. I’d want even know the letters that make up the words. drums that I can tune to a higher pitch, so I can utilize This concept applies to drumming. One must learn them in a more melodic way. the language of drumming—the vocabulary—before they can develop their own sound. This means learn- The way you tune your drums, the way you approach ing all of the rudiments, transcribing the drum solos the drum set, who you are influenced by, your particuof the jazz legends of the past (like Philly Jo Jones, lar feel, and the musical ideas that you play all contribMax Roach and Elvin Jones), learning be-bop melo- ute to developing your own voice as a drummer. Learn dies and playing them on the drum set, etc because from your idols, know the history of your instrument, this is where it all started. Sure, jazz might not be your play what is right for the music, and everything will fall thing. But this is where the history of drumming lies: in into place at the right time. the hands of the masters who played the music first. Soon enough, you’ll begin to develop a vocabulary, and

61


Afro-Venezuelan Adaptation for Congas

by Lorena Perez Batista

While I was talking to percussionist Martha Paredes for her current interview she mentioned there is a very specific Afro Venezuelan rhythm adaptation she plays on the Congas when she performs Urban Merengue with Chino y Nacho. She says this rhythm defines the sound of Chino y Nacho and it is what makes them different from other Urban Merengue groups. Martha explained the adaptation was created by drummer and producer Denis Vilera using the Afro Venezuelan rhythm Culo E’ Puya as the foundation. This is the rhythm Martha plays on the Congas when the group is singing the “hook” of the song and everybody is dancing:

TECHNIQUE

Merengue Urbano

Denis Vilera Martha Paredes Lorena Perez Batista

q = 120 “Congas - Afro Venezuelan Adaptation”

° Nomenclature for Congas

™4 œ / ™4

Quinto

Conga

Tumbadora

œ

™™

Conga Slap

Conga Ghost

>¿

¿ œ Merengue Urbano

Denis Vilera Martha Paredes Lorena Perez Batista

q = 120

Congas Afro Venezuelan Adaptation Nomenclature for Congas

¿ ¿ >¿ œConga ¿ ¿ œ ¿Tumbadora ¿ ¿ >¿ œ ¿ ¿ œ ¿ Conga ¿ ¿ >¿ œConga ¿ ¿ œ ¿ ¿ ¿ >¿ œ ¿ ¿ œ ¿ ™™ / ™™44 Quinto Slap Ghost ° ™4 œ >¿ ™™ œ ¿ œ / ™4 R

/ ™™™44

L

R

L

R

L

R

L

R

L

R

L

R

L

R

L

R

L

R

L

Open Hi Hat

R

L

R

L

R

L

R

L

R

L

R

L

Closed Hi Hat

+ o ¿¿ ¿ >¿ œ ¿œ ¿ œ ¿ ¿œ ¿ >¿ œ ¿ ¿ œ ¿ ¿¿ ¿ >¿ œ ¿¿ ¿ œ ¿ ¿ ¿ >¿ œ ¿ ¿ œ ¿ ™™™ œ Snare

Hi Hat R

L

R

L

R

L

Floor Tom

R

L

R

L

R

Kick

L

R

L

R

L

R

L

R

L

R

L

R

L

R

L

R

L

R

L

R

L

Now, letsCongas try a Drum Set adaptation that would go well if you were playing with a percussionist playing the Nomenclature Afro Venezuelan Conga part:

forAdaptation Drum Set

“Drum Set Adaptation 1”

Drum Set Adaptation 1 Nomenclature for Drum Set

Drum Set Drum Set2 Adaptation Adaptation 1

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Drum Set Drum Set3 Adaptation Adaptation 2 TO M TOM M A G A Z I NE

Open Hi Hat

Closed Hi Hat

‰ ¿ ¿ ‰ ¿ ¿ ‰ ¿ ¿ ‰ ¿ ¿ ‰o ¿ ¿ +‰ ¿ ¿ ‰ ¿ ¿ ‰ ¿ ¿ 4 ™ œ œ ¿ ¿œ œ ¿œ ™ / ™4 œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ / ™4 œ Hi Hat

// / /

Snare

Floor Tom

Kick

™ ™™™

4 ™™™™44

‰¿ ¿¿ œ¿¿ ‰¿ ¿œ¿ ¿¿ ‰¿ ¿¿ œ¿¿ ‰¿ ¿œ¿ ¿¿ ‰¿ ¿¿ œ¿¿ ‰¿ ¿œ¿ ¿¿ ‰¿ ¿¿ œ¿¿ ‰¿ ¿œ¿ ¿¿ ™™ ™™ œœ œœ œœ œœ œœ œ œœ œ œœ œ œœ œ

™4 ™™™44

> ¿¿¿ ¿¿ ¿œ ¿ œœ¿ ¿œ œ¿ ¿ œ œ œ

> ¿¿¿ ¿¿ ¿œ ¿ œœ¿ ¿œ œ¿ ¿ œ œ œ

> ¿¿¿ ¿¿ ¿œ ¿ œœ¿ ¿œ œ¿ ¿ œ œ œ

> ¿¿¿ ¿¿ ¿œ ¿ œœ¿ ¿œ œ¿ ¿ œ œ œ

™ ™™™


Adaptation

‰ ‰ ‰ ‰ ™™44 Hi Hat ¿ œ¿Snare ¿ ¿Floor Tom¿ œ¿Kick ¿ ¿ Drum Set / œ œ œ œ Adaptation 1 4¿ œ Nomenclature “Drum Set Adaptation/ 2” ™™4 œ œ for Drum Set “Drum Set Adaptation 3”

Drum Set Adaptation 2 Drum Set Adaptation 1

Drum Set Adaptation 3 Drum Set Adaptation 2

‰Hat ‰ ¿ ¿Closed ‰ ¿ ¿‰ ¿ ¿ Hi o ™™ œ+ ¿ ¿ œ œ¿ œ¿ œ œ ™™

Open Hi Hat

/ /

¿ ¿ ¿¿ ¿¿ ¿ ¿ ¿¿ ¿¿ ¿ ¿ ¿¿ ¿¿ ¿ ¿ ¿¿ ¿¿ ™™44 œ‰ ¿ œ¿ œ‰ œ¿ ¿ œ‰ ¿ œ¿ œ‰ œ¿ ¿ œ‰ ¿ œ¿ œ‰ œ¿ ¿ œ‰ ¿ œ¿ œ‰ œ¿ ¿ ™™ ™™44 ™™ œ œœ œ œœ œ œœ œ œœ

/ /

™™44 ™™44

> > > > ¿ ¿ ¿ œ¿ ¿ ¿ ¿ ¿ œ¿ ¿ ¿ ¿ ¿ œ¿ ¿ ¿ ¿ ¿ œ¿ ¿ œ¿ ¿ ¿ œ¿ œ¿ ¿ œ¿ ¿ ¿ œ¿ œ¿ ¿ œ¿ ¿ ¿ œ¿ œ¿ ¿ œ¿ ¿ ¿ œ¿ œ¿ ¿ œ œœ œ œ œœ œ œ œœ œ œ œœ œ

™™ ™™

o + o + o + o + o + o + o + o + ¿¿ ¿¿ ¿ >¿level ¿ job>¿ ofœ¿ a¿third¿ percussionist ¿ ¿ >¿ œ¿ you ¿ can ¿ this ¿ ¿ the ¿ ¿play >¿ œvariation If you Drum want to œ¿ ¿œ¿and¿ add ™™44 œnext Settake it to the œ œ œ / ¿ ¿ ¿ ¿ ¿ ¿ ¿ ¿ ¿ ¿ ¿ ¿ ¿ ¿ ¿ ¿ œ œ œ œ œ œ¿ ¿ œ which I believe is the most fun to play: Adaptation 4 ¢ 4 ™ œ œ œ œ Drum Set ™ œ œ œ 4œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ Adaptation 3 /

™™ ™™

o + o + o + o + o + o + o + o + ¿ ¿ ¿¿ ¿¿ ¿ ¿ ¿¿ ¿¿ ¿ ¿ ¿¿ ¿¿ ¿ ¿ ¿¿ ¿¿ ™™44 œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ œ ™™ Drum Set / Adaptation 4 ¢ Remember to start all the patterns slowly and practice them with a metronome. Once you feel comfortable playing them start speeding up the tempo. You can even look up Chino Y Nacho’s music and play along.

For those of you feeling curious about the original rhythm called Culo E’ Puya here is a short description:

Culo E' Puya

Culo E’ Puya originated in Barlovento in the coasts’ of Venezuela and are played on June 24th every year for As written by Miguel Hernandez the celebration of the Saint Juan Bautista. These drums are three large drums made of wood and animal skin in the bookhaving "Ritmosthe Afrovenezolanos Para La Batería" heads and they are called Prima, Cruzao, and Pujao, with the Prima higher pitch, the Cruzao the q. = the 140lower pitch. medium pitch, and the Pujao

° / ™68 œ ™

g

Open Prima

Nomenclature for Culo E' Puya

Prima (High Pitch Drum)

Cruzao (Medium Pitch Drum)

Pujao (Low Pitch Drum)

™6 / ™8 ‰

Muffled Prima

œ œ ‰

Open Cruzao

œ

g g

™6 / ™8 ¿ g g œ ¿™

™6 ¢ / ™8 g¿

g ¿ œ ‰

Muffled Cruzao

Open Pujao

g

Muffled Wood Pujao

g ¿

œ

™ ™

g g ™ ™

œ œ ‰

¿ g g œ ¿™ g¿

PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT

“Drum Set Adaptation 4”

g ¿ œ ‰

™ ™ ™ ™

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63


Health of a Drummer Part III of IV

by Rene Jarmer

TECHNIQUE

EATING AND CONSUMPTION IN GENERAL: Sounds obvious doesn’t it? Eating ½ hour before the gig. Yet many times this gets ignored, especially if showing up early to the gig advice is not followed. Eat like an athlete because drumming is the most physically demanding instrument of the band. We’re moving all the time with all four limbs. Protein, greens, and smart carbs are what you need to keep going if the gig is longer, louder, and physically demanding. We burn lots of calories. ENJOY THAT. Here’s a sample of smart carbs: minimally processed whole-grain products like oatmeal, brown rice, quinoa, whole wheat breads, beans, lentils, nuts and seeds. Avoid candy bars, sugary foods, and junk food. Keep on hand energy bars, nuts, portable fruit (bananas, apples, etc.) so you’ll be able to concentrate and not hit a sugar low during a 2-hour show. No one wants to see the drummer stare off into space, especially the band leader! That’s when musicians are at risk for making mistakes. I teach many different levels of drumming, drum line, private lessons, clinics, etc. I can always tell when a student is “spacing” out. The eyes wander, response time is slow, and a general “checking out” of concentration makes for sloppy drumming, mistakes, and reinforcement of drumming “ticks” (bad habits that creep up and become part of our presentation and performing). LIQUIDS AND FREE DRINK TICKETS FOR THE BAND! Playing your favorite club (or any club for that matter) comes with lovely beer, wine, and cocktail tickets that are often given freely to bands. Unfortunately, this is often done in lieu of compensation in the industry, but that’s a whole different article. So,

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TO M TOM M A G A Z I NE

you show up and YAY!!!, drink tickets are handed out! You slam a couple back, do your sound check and before you know it, it’s your time to rock the casbah. So why halfway through your show do you feel like crap? Because you are DEHYDRATED and literally have no time to consume water since drummers often play continuously during the show without breaks. I cannot say this enough: Drink water, not booze at shows. Wet blanket? Maybe, but there are more reasons than just your health to follow this path. Alcohol also has a side affect of making you think you just played super awesome, when in reality, you totally thought you were awesome, but truly sucked (missed entrances, sloppy hands, or inability to concentrate on the music, or worse . . . saying something really stupid into a microphone to the audience!). I dare you to record your next performances and see how it sounds under the influence and dry. Compare and contrast not only how you sounded, but how you felt. Of course drinking those 8-10 glasses of water is not some myth, y’all really need to do it. It’s a fact that most people walk around dehydrated even when they think they are getting enough water. COMMON SENSE HEALTH POINTS: • I’m going to be efficient, opinionated, and forthright (also seen as bossy, know-itall, and naggy) here because again this list may seem obvious, but I often see drummers ignore common sense at shows in order to show off, create the illusion of tough drummer-ness (is that a word?), or simply forget their needs: • Be well-rested. Not only will you play better, but you will enjoy music more and not be a grumpy-pants drummer. Being friendly and professional only works in your favor for fans, future gigs, and band relationships.

• Take care of your mental state. Being stressed out and distracted doesn’t help you or your playing. • Where EARPLUGS. Do it. It’s smart, so find some you can tolerate. You need to avoid tinnitus that can result from loud rim shots and cymbals. Cymbals can be punishingly loud. That ringing sound after you play or listen to a live show? That’s NOT a good thing. You’ll be rockin’ for years to come if you take care of your ears. • Wear decent shoes. Almost all my shoes are dictated by “Can I drum in these?” • Have sunscreen, bottled water, drum rug, first-aid kit with lots of bandaids, towels, and a drum key in your car at all times. • Active lifestyle = active and healthy drummer. Anyone can benefit as a musician, but also as a person from just taking care of your body: stretching, walking, running, biking, whatever you can do to get some physical activity. I also find that walking or biking allows me to do a mental brain “dump” as well. Some drumming requires physical fitness: marching drill or in drum lines and parades requires a strong back and ability to carry field drums while running. My first year drummers in high school drum line have a huge wake-up call after their first parade (as much as I try to prepare them). They end up tired, sore, and spent. Drum set playing can be physically demanding depending on the type of music you’re playing. There is always a level of athleticism present for drumming, so the more you drummers can take care of yourselves, the longer you’ll be able to keep drumming your passion! Til next time!


Electric Love Groove

Kristen Gleeson-Prata’s Rock Beat

by Kristen Gleeson-Prata

1

The first transcription below is the groove I play live in the choruses for the song “Electric Love”. It’s a simple, tom-heavy, slightly swung 4/4 rock beat that hits hard and lets you give your trusty hi-hat a break! Its straightforward nature and solid backbeat make it applicable in many different situations. The key for this groove is the sticking; splitting the swung 8th note rhythm between both hands allows for extra room to bring those sticks up high and rock out!

Electric Love (chorus)

R

Drum Set

ã 44 .. œœ

Drum Set

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œœ

>L œœ

R

‰ 3

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3

L

œ

..

‰ 3

> œœœ

œ

3

R

R

œ

œ

L R

> œœœ

R

‰ 3

œ

3

R

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..

Electric Love (variation 2)

The third transcription is a variation I play sometimes in either the verse or the chorus. It adds a few extra notes on the floor tom, including a ghost note (notated with parentheses).

L

œœ

R

> œœ

L

3

œ

L

R

œ

R

3

œ

œ

..

Electric Love (variation)

The last transcription is a variation that incorporates the rack tom and can be used as a fill.

R

Drum Set

L R

R

ã 44 .. ’ 4

R

Electric Love (verse)

ã 44 .. œœ 3

œ

L

The next transcription is the groove I play live in the verses. It’s very similar, except the right hand stays on the floor tom and plays every beat and third triplet partial.

R

Drum Set

3

PLAY THIS

2

>L œœ

R

3

ã 44 .. œœ

L

R

( œ)

œ

3

> œœ

L

R

L

R

œ

œ

œœ

3

L

R

( œ)

œ

3

> œœ

L

R

L

œ

œ

3

..

ISSU E 22: TH E TOU RIN G ISS UE

65


CRITTER & GUITARI™ Terz Amplifier ™

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Two Tone/Distortion Controls

critterandguitari.com


INFINITE POSSIBILITIES

As drummers ourselves, we’re constantly striving to find ways to create fresh sounds and take our music to new places. The American Classic® Barrel tip 5A and 5B are just the latest in an array of hundreds of sticks, mallets and implements each designed for a specific musical purpose and vetted by the world’s top players. Try something new. See where it takes you. Go to VicFirth.com/SoundChoices for some fresh ideas to take your sound to the next level.

VICFIRTH.COM

©2015 Vic Firth Company


BRENDA’S FRIEND

YAAWN

VOLK

Bloomington, Indiana’s Amy Oelsner and Erin Tobey are Brenda’s Friend, an indie guitar-pop duo that hearken back to the days of 90’s alternative acts like That Dog. and Juliana Hatfield, with a spare minimalist touch. The two perform on dueling guitars while playing drums with their feet (though percussion is mostly absent on this record, it’s a roomy guitar/vocal sound.) Under The Shrub is a short and sweet gem, full of dreamy, twee melodies and weaved crunchy guitars delivered with a snarky sense of humor on songs like “Comedy Show” and “Thunder Pillow.” This is a crush worthy lo-fi triumph, a simple pleasure.

Self-titled, the first album from Southern Cali band YAAWN, is a ball a feminist rage flowing through metal drums and bass, post-punk guitar, and screamo-punk vocals. There’s a feel of some of the early 1980s California punk bands here—the Germs, the Bags, Black Flag. Many songs feature imaginative interplay between drums and guitar reminiscent of Anne-Marie Vassiliou and Kenneth Williams of White Lung.

“VOLK, a two-piece band based in Berlin whose members originally hail from California and Texas, make a kind of raw music that we are unaccustomed to hearing in our modern age. Their first release feels like a masterpiece—a four-song window into a wild and fertile universe where the ghosts of all the singers trapped on crackling 78s mingle hand-in-hand with the most soulful rock and roll musicians the world has ever seen. The basic ingredients here are simple: Christopher Lowe’s screaming electric guitar and Eleot Reich’s thunderous drums. The real secret weapon, though, is Reich’s voice: an oddly expressive yowl that continues to surprise and thrill the listener over the course of this record’s too-short seventeen minutes.

Under The Shrub Let’s Pretend Records / April 2015

Listen to this: with headphones on a solitary walk after you’ve watched Empire Records or But I’m A Cheerleader whilst considering an ex-lover and what they’re doing right now. —Jamie Frey

S/T Self-Released/ March 2015

The tone, in the vocals especially, is in-your-face defiant. Songs that stand out include “Adult Acne” (great lyric: “You call this teenage angst / I call this every day”), “Midlife Crisis,” “Survival,” and “Goal Weight.” Sometimes the drums are somewhat back in the mix, but Candace’s playing is strong and sure on everything from hardcore to polyrhythms. Jessica puts her rage into her bass as well as her vocals (Candace also sings). And Josh provides creative guitar work over it all.

Boutique Western Swing Compliations EWR / March 2015

Listen to this: while driving out into America on a hot summer night, or on the greatest date of your life. —Richard Aufrichtig

REVIEWS

—Véronique Noelle

WE LIKE HUMANS

FAT HEAVEN

GANGS

From the opening rip of the first song, “Castles”, the recently released EP by British trio We Like Humans, the band means business. Aggressive pop channeling acts like System of a Down and Against Me, Dan Clayton screams with the sort bloodied angst rarely heard in the light soft core world of indie music. No idolization of truth on this record, the ferocity explains itself: the world should be met with rage instead of a smile. Backed by the relentless rhythm section of Beth Pawson on the drums and Rob Kenny on bass, We Like Humans sarcastically proves there’s still some frenzy left under the Union Jack.

“Punk” music today is often a mutt of a handful of genres. While this has made for an array of intriguing new sounds, few releases can boast being pure of punk heart. Rivaling this notion is Fat Heaven’s self-titled debut EP.

Gangs caught my attention with their cover of Suicide’s “Cheree” they released in April 2015, with its swirling, disjointed take of the song with a strong female voice at the front guiding you through until the end guitar riff creating a new summer surf vibe to the original. Their self-titled EP released in 2014 is a bit weirder, with different levels of buzzing vocal effects and The Kills-esque simple drum machine beats that accentuate their vocal hooks. This duo’s voices compliment each other in a way that makes the whole song sound like a delicious piece of cake, even if each bite tastes differently.

Kings EP Self-released / May 2015

Listen to this: when you’re tired of the sensitive croons of whiny singer-songwriters and need a little mosh pit in your life. —Matthew D’Abate

S/T Chisel Records / February 2015

Fat Heaven gives you the turbo fuel of a caffeinepacked energy drink when you’ve just about hit the floor. Due to the enthusiastic guitar chords and heavy hits by the drumsticks, the EP is impossible to listen to in the seated position. It’s a shock of adrenaline straight to the heart. No frills, just diligent drum pounding, guitar shredding, and rhythm section stabilizing bass. Listen to this: only if you have sufficient space to flip your hair up and down in true headbanging fashion. —Jacqueline Green

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Cheree (Single) Self-Released / April 2015

Listen to this: while feeling spaced out by humid August New York heat. —Tara Thiessen


GODMOTHER

PEACH KELLI POP

ADVEATA

Berlin’s Godmother is a baffling act, combining euro-club sounds with the aesthetics of late 90’s-early 00’s geeky pop like Cake and Barenaked Ladies. In fact, the first track of the EP “MTFTM”, a campy, supposed to be funny song about sexual reassignment surgery but doesn’t really display any real understanding of gender dysphoria, steals the structure and hook from “Rockin’ The Suburbs” by Ben Folds and is somehow even less edgy. The rest of the EP follows the same, dancy pop with tonguein-cheek lyric, one song about the 90’s that features the hook from Suzanne Vega’s “Tom’s Diner” where the vocalist claims he learned everything he knows from “90210 and Dr. Huxtable.” Listen to this if you enjoy kitsch.

Listening to the energetic and Canadian-originated Peach Kelli Pop’s refreshing album, titled III, is like having a once in a lifetime sneeze that pushes sonically induced euphoria through the pharynx, reminding the listener that a feeling is a physical happening. Like a sneeze, each song is brief, and like a sneeze, each song provokes the other. The sensor does not have a choice, as one is repeatedly jolted into a heightened state of corporal awareness that charms even the most jaded receptacle into further listens. III is structurally brilliant; each song is filled with fetching melody and textures that breeze by rapidly. As you try to soak in what you just experienced, one may suddenly realize a motif that’s been there all along. By the time you’ve plowed through the album (and you will because this sneeze comes in a group of ten), you will immediately want to go through it again to explore the new sensations in your arrogantly assumed heightened awareness, only to be re-hooked into a third listen now that each song has built involuntarily pleasurable associations within you. Peach Kelli Pop’s III will brain-hack you, but you wont mind the chromatically executed violation.

Have you ever gotten up too fast and have that blood-wave scan your body as it clutches your nervous system, and enjoyed it? Neither have I, but “Angelfish” off of Brooklyn based sound weavers ADVAETA’s new album Death and the Internet makes one think that they’ve underestimated the sensation.

Transgenre EP New Pangea / April 2015

—Jamie Frey

III Burger Records / April 2015

—Emily Brout

As “Angelfish” opens, the crunchy guitar speeds up, confronting the drumbeat as if a plane hitting turbulence. Yet, the song manages to squeeze through its all-consuming drag as the track enters a blissfully melodic release. The first few minutes of this track are a great microcosm of the entire album. However, this is not to say that the album is at all predicable; in fact, on the contrary. Death and the Internet is an album that plays with you, using all existing sonic manipulations: time, texture, structure, phrasing, conflict, hook, volume, harmony, and even such occasional lyrical witticisms as, “love, does it suck your cock?” The vocals on Death and the Internet are as dynamic and varied as ADVAETA’s instrumentation. That is, they are playfully non-restrictive to a single modality. Death and the Internet will transport you inside soundscapes that offer escapism into a fascinating world unafraid of pushing its listeners out of their comfort zones, and into a paradoxical world of unpredictable noise and melodic hook.

MUSIC

Listen to this: While licking the whipped cream off the top of your hot chocolate whilst watching anime, as your wiener dog circles in the corner of your living room trying to catch its own tail.

Death and the Internet Fire Talk Records / April 2015

Listen to this: while copulating with a siren beneath the Franco-Swiss border, as you laugh at the engineers trying to understand high-energy physics while fighting their voyeuristic inclinations. —Candace Tossas

MILK DICK

HANDS OFF GRETEL

With a name like Milk Dick how could you expect anything less than a perverted garage punk NY 3-piece whose lyrical content consists of watching rats on the subway tracks eat your vomit, catching a case of scabies from your most recent fling, and sweet childhood memories of visiting a rotting dog corpse on your bike every day. Every track of their Infinity Cat cassette perfectly tells the mundane stories of bored degenerates around the United States who go to renaissance Fairs, get their tarot cards read and unfortunately can’t donate blood this year. Their drummer Megan Lazaros has a drum style reminiscent of Moe Tucker with sweet spoken word interludes while Michael Delaney yelps like Lux of The Cramps and plays fast chunky power chords like The Ramones.

I hear the dirty bass in “Be Mine” and I know Hands Off Gretel love, love, love L7, and that’s no slight. There’s nothing derivative here. Just a homage to every good about riot grrrldom of the early 90s. The roads Kathleen Hannah and PJ Harvey blazed down following the empty vacuous coke smeared 80s; Hands Off Gretel pays a blue haired modicum of respect to this style. The tracks, unique and full forced are soaked in the petrol of dissatisfaction. Everyone says the 90s are back. They never really left: Hands off Gretel is living proof.

S/T Infinity Cat Cassette Series / February 2015

Be Mine EP Self-released / February 2015

Listen to this: when you’re out of money, ragingly single, and mildly buzzed dancing alone in your room not worried about it. —Matthew D’Abate

Listen to this: while making a serious attempt not to take your life so seriously. —Tara Thiessen

ISSU E 22: TH E TOU RIN G ISS UE

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WHIPLASH Directed by Damien Chazelle Bold Films / October 2014 (USA) Whiplash, directed by Damien Chazelle is about a music student named Andrew (Miles Teller) obsessing about becoming one of the greatest jazz drummers of all time who meets a teacher, Fletcher (J.K. Simmons) obsessed with producing one. The length each will go to achieve this goal, leaves us questioning what damage we would be willing to inflict on ourselves and others in order to achieve our own ultimate desires. Women in this film are pivotal to the main character mainly by their absence. Andrew has a romantic relationship he cuts short, and a mother absent from his life. It’s unclear if his relationships with women in the film exist to define his singular focus, or if it’s a hetero-normative suggestion that female persuasion causes men to lose purpose. His connections with women only come as a distraction as he sweeps these obstacles aside, removing everything except that which will enable his success. Witnessing his pursuit makes this action movie for band-geeks a maddenly intense ride. —Rob MacInnis

THE FIRST COLLECTION OF CRITICISM BY A LIVING FEMALE ROCK CRITIC by Jessica Hopper Featherproof Books / May 2015

REVIEWS

I have been a fan of Jessica Hopper since The Girls Guide to Rocking came out in 2009. Then she continued writing some of my favorite music reviews for Punk Planet, SPIN, Rolling Stone and Chicago Reader and became the music reviews editor at Rookie. THEN she landed the Editor-in-Chief position of the carefully crafted quarterly print magazine version of The Pitchfork Review. DREAM GIRL. She’s titled her newest endeavor The First Collection of Criticism by a Living Female Rock Critic and the book reads like all of her other work, fun and conversational with an edge and a championing grasp of the English language. She runs circles around most music reviews and encapsulates my music experience in her vulnerable honesty. —Mindy Abovitz

RAD AMERICAN WOMEN A TO Z: REBELS, TRAILBLAZERS, AND VISIONARIES WHO SHAPED OUR HISTORY . . . AND OUR FUTURE! Written by Kate Schatz & Illustrated by Miriam Klein Stahl City Lights Books / March 2015 Who knew Billie Jean was a kick-ass tennis player and not just a stalker out of a Michael Jackson song? Who knew there was another female pilot before Amelia Earhart? Rad American Women A-Z is a concise book with vividly colored illustrations about fearless women who all have in common a passion for fighting for what is right, educating people, and advancing society in a positive and equal way. I was really surprised at how many of these women I have never heard of, women who range from important civil rights activists to the first women to have their own variety shows to stylish athletes. They even spell out all the ways you can be a rad American woman yourself! This short read will leave you feeling empowered and inspired. —Tara Thiessen

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#TUNEDUPNICE #FASTTUNING #HUGESOUND #LOVETHESETHINGS #LEVEL360


VAYA BAGS Stylish storage for your cymbals made of recycled materials

REVIEWS

by Rosana Caban

Vaya bags is a Queens, NY based company that makes custom and pre-designed bags made for everything from drumsticks, cymbals, records, and bike messengers. They’ve done a great job of fusing fashion and function by using creative color combinations and appealing design. The woman-owned and operated business is dedicated to using as many recycled and sustainable materials as possible, like recycled bike tubes and scrap sailboat canvas. The rugged, industrial textiles are a perfect match for drummers who are bored with the other cymbal bags on the market. With a $215 price tag, the bag is slightly more expensive than the average cymbal bag. As far as cymbal protection goes, your cymbals will be as safe as most canvas/cloth bags but if you’ll be doing a lot of rugged touring, you may want a sturdier option that wouldn’t cave if stored under a pile of keyboard cases or amps. As far as the styling goes, Vaya nails it. The bag comes in 4 colors; blue striped, brown & tweed, green & black, and red & black. The blue striped was our favorite here at the office, but any combination is more exciting than the typical black cases we’ve grown used to seeing from other manufacturers. If you want more variety, you can contact Vaya to create a custom bag to fit whatever color scheme your drummer heart desires. As drummers, we’re used to getting limitless material and color combination options for our drums, so it’s great that Vaya is giving us options for our cases as well.

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EVANS Reso 7 Coated Heads by Mickey Vershbow

GEAR

The new Reso 7 heads from Evans are 7mil coated resonant heads, which are thinner than the standard G1. The idea of these heads is to control the resonance from the bottom, as opposed to endlessly tweaking and muffling the batter head. This makes sense given the title “resonant head,” even though most drummers tend to set their resonant head in one spot and use the batter head for tone control. I can include myself in that category; I typically set the reso head to a pitch that resonates nicely with the shell and then use internal and external muffling to achieve the “boomy,” short-sustain sound I’m looking for. With the new Level 360 G2 coated batter heads on my toms, I figured I would experiment with these Reso 7 heads to see what sound I could achieve with little to no muffling. I tend to use a combination of internal and external muffling with my toms. I’ll place a few cotton balls inside the drum (a trick I learned from a drum tech in college) to control the sustain, and a moongel or a few pieces of tape on the batter head to bring the overtones down. I did away with all of this to test out the Reso 7 heads and found I was able to achieve a similar level of control; the overall tone and response was similar to that of a thicker head, but offered a faster decay without any external muffling. The new Level-360 technology also allowed for a wider tuning range than many other heads I’ve tried—a huge plus for drummers who need to tune their drums up and down for different playing situations! In conclusion—the Reso 7 heads a great option for drummers looking for a warm, full tone with a quick decay but don’t want to dampen their sound with external muffling. Highly recommended!


EVANS Reso 7 Coated Heads

REVIEWS

by Mickey Vershbow

LARNELL LEWIS SELECTS REBOUND.

The new Reso 7 heads from Evans are 7mil coated resonant heads, which are thinner than the standard G1. The idea of these heads is to control the resonance from the bottom, as opposed to endlessly tweaking and muffling the batter head. This makes sense given the title “resonant head,” even though most drummers tend to set their resonant head in one spot and use the batter head for tone control. I can include myself in that category; I typically set the reso head to a pitch that resonates nicely with the shell and then use internal and external muffling to achieve the “boomy,” short-sustain sound I’m looking for. With the new Level 360 G2 coated batter heads on my toms, I figured I would experiment with these Reso 7 heads to see what sound I could achieve with little to no muffling. I tend to use a combination of internal and external muffling with my toms. I’ll place a few cotton balls inside the drum (a trick I learned from a drum tech in college) to control the sustain, and a moongel or a few pieces of tape on the batter head to bring the overtones down. I did away with all of this to test out the Reso 7 heads and found I was able to achieve a similar level of control; the overall tone and response was similar to that of a thicker head, but offered a faster decay without any external muffling. The new Level-360 technology also allowed for a wider tuning range than many other heads I’ve tried—a huge plus for drummers who need to tune their drums up and down for different playing situations! In conclusion—the Reso 7 heads a great option for drummers looking for a warm, full tone with a quick decay but don’t want to dampen their sound with external muffling. Highly recommended!

Snarky Puppy’s Larnell Lewis selects REBOUND BALANCE to optimize the finesse and agility required to play highly articulate jazz and funk.


Tom Tom Magazine Issue 22: The Touring Issue  

This issue of Tom Tom discusses all the nitty gritty details of one of the most exhilarating things to do in life, Tour! We interviewed L7,...

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