Tom Tom Magazine Issue 14: The Country Issue

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a magazine about female drummers the country issue


country IssUE

hat fitz & cara BOBBYE HALL kitty daisy & Lewis LISA PANKRATZ

i s s u e 14 | u sD $ 6 DIS P LAY SU M M E R 2 0 1 3


welcome to tom tom issue 14: the country issue. have a seat, rela x and enjoy the hay ride.

contributors FOUNDER/publisher/EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Mindy Abovitz ( guest editor Melody Allegra Berger contributing editor johnny atlas

melody berger

johnny atlas

(country editor)

REVIEWs editor Rebecca DeRosa (

(contributing editor)

Melody Berger is on fire. This woman gigs johnny atlas was there from the start of in the city more than anyone we know (and this country issue spreading their love of that’s saying a lot) plus she is a killer writer country music throughout the following and a genuinely sweet person. Each of the pages. See their work at this issue’s Recipes interviews she conducted for this issue from the Road: Louisville Potato Pancakes are packed with interesting bits and and Sera Cahoone’s interview. (shout outs) heartfelt storytelling. tom tom


COPY EDITOR Anika Sabin DESIGN Lauren Stec distro Segrid Barr coders Kimi Spencer, Capisco Marketing brain board Lisa Schonberg, Kiran Gandhi, Cati Bestard, Rebecca DeRosa, Candace Hensen NORTHWEST CORRESPONDENT Lisa Schonberg NORTHWEST staff Katherine Paul, Leif J. Lee, Janie Faison, Fiona Campbell, Kristin Sidorak LA CORRESPONDENTS Candace Hensen, Kiran Gandhi, Anthony Lozano Miami CORRESPONDENTS Emile Milgrim, Beatriz Monteavaro, Maggie Rivers, Paige Cantrill

LEONIE Schneider (intern filmmaker)

We are gonna miss this little sprite who hails from Germany and is covered in stick and poke tattoos. You may have run into one of Leonie’s quirky posts on our Facebook page or seen a video or two she shot for Tom Tom TV. Here’s to hoping she gets one more tattoo and that it reads TTM for Lyfe.

amber valentine (dj/illustrator)

Amber Valentine is a DJ and illustrator living in Brooklyn, New York. You can find her DJing every week at her party MISSTER @ The Woods in Williamsburg. She loves drawing people, especially Peggy Bundy and Miss Piggy. We had the honor of having her DJ some of our parties and illustrate drummers for this issue.

tom tom shout outs Tom Tom Magazine would not be half as successful as it is without the talents of its incredible contributors, friends and family. Humor us while we take a minute to thank these outstanding people. emile milgrim Emile is a superb drummer, an excellent organizer and runs a sweet label called Other Electricities. Oh, and manages the best record shop in Miami, Sweat Records.

sumner taplin Sumner “Shamai” Taplin is an incredible person and a long-time supporter of Tom Tom Magazine. Mindy loves him very much. He’s also her adopted uncle, grandfather’s best friend and owner of the sweet cat Motek. James douglas mitchell

stephanie lavigne villeneuve

James (who used to go by Nas Chompas) has been illustrating for us for quite some time now. We are in love with his cartoon lines and sophisticated style.

Stephanie is a photographer and a new mom based out of Fort Lauderdale, FL. She specializes in underwater photography. She is also one of the most phenomenal people on earth.

PHOTOGRAPHERS Bex Wade, Dave Hidek, Paul Armour, Brad Heck, Camillo Fuentealba ILLUSTRATORs Jen May, James Douglas Mitchell, Carly Marcoux, Amber Valentine, Sara Lautman WRITERS Maggie Rivers, Eli Lehrhoff, Angela Smith, Daniela Muhling, Melissa Guion, Jen Ruano, Kasey Peters, Matthew D’abate, Arielle Angel, Rachel Miller, Madeleine Campbell, Garrett Haines technique wRITERS Morgan Doctor, Arturo Garcia, Rene Ormae-Jarmer Jenn Grunigen, Aimee Norwich REVIEW TEAM Andy Worley, Candace Hensen, Valerie Paschall, Stephanie Reisnour, Caralyn Green, Jo Schornikow, Attia Taylor, Matthew D’Abate, Robert Rubsam TOM TOM TV Elizabeth Venable, Jodi Darby, Anthony Lozano, Anthony Buhay, Teale Failla, Rhianne Paz, Pastor Alvarado interns NYC: Lydia Hines, Leonie Schnieder, Andrea Davis Miami: Maggie Rivers, Hilary Saunders LA: Nick Fermin PDX: Kristin Sidorak THANK YOU All of you, Emile Milgrim and Plan B, Rony, Zoe, Kiki, Stephanie LaVigne, Candace Hansen, Mama, Capisco, HLAG, Drum Channel, Hi-Hat Girls, CONTACT us Address: 302 Bedford Ave PMB #85 Brooklyn, NY 11249 Email: Corrections from issue 13 None that we know of! Booyah! ON THE COVER FRONT: Hat Fitz & Cara by Paul Armour BACK: Mindy Abovitz underwater by Stephanie LaVigne Villeneuve TO SUBSCRIBE WWW.TOMTOMMAG.COM


issue 14

photo at moma ps 1 by brad heck

playing spoons 6

Beat & pulse 9

Miami guide 15

recipes from the road 19

Welcome to Issue 14 of Tom Tom Magazine

lisa pankrantz

Up until now, I felt a fervor to cover as many drummers as possible in every nook and cranny of this 64 page book. To put them in the magazine not only as the drummers that we cover but also behind the scenes. I recruited female drummers to conduct interviews, shoot photos, write reviews and even design the thing. In the process and over the last three and a half years, thousands of women and girl drummers have been in, on and around the pages of this magazine. After doing this for several years, I finally feel a little bit calmer about the status of documenting us drummers and would now like to dig a little deeper in our interviews. So we are trying something new with this issue of Tom Tom. We are going a little more in-depth with our interviews than ever before and in some cases we have tripled the length of our interviews.


ms bobbye hall 23

kitty, daisy & lewis 27

the raincoats 29

We begin this more comprehensive coverage with Ms. Bobbye Hall, a true drumming legend who has worked alongside Bob Dylan, Janis Joplin, Bill Withers, and Marvin Gaye to name a few. Another more extensive interview in this issue happened by accident. We became interested in Kitty, Daisy & Lewis (three siblings in the UK playing blues-y rock with a distinctive rockabilly look) a while ago and knew they were a shoo in for the Country issue. Not long after we contacted them, we found out that they often perform with their parents, one of whom is Ingrid Weiss, the drummer of The Raincoats (who replaced Palmolive after she left the band in 1979). Two for one!

Mindy Seegal Abovitz Founder/Editor-in-Chief


willy moon 42

kitography 43

Illustration by james douglas mitchell

Whether you got this copy of Tom Tom through a friend, at a Barnes & Noble, a release party or found it at a coffee shop, we sincerely hope you love it. We love hearing your feedback so please get in touch or dialogue with us on social media. In the meantime: let a girl play your drum set and she plays for a day, teach a girl how to play the drums and she drums for a lifetime.

bulletproof stockings

tech 48

reviews 52

throwback 63

tom tom new s & events

fans that we love

hit like a girl 2013

Our second year of Hit Like a Girl went fabulously. We have had 100’s of participants from over 40 countries around the world and tens of thousands of votes and comments from fans of the drummers. Our list of professional female drummer/judges, including Sheila E, Jess Bowen, Hannah Ford, Meytal Cohen and Samantha Maloney and our contest included industry-leading drum sponsors, such as Drum Workshop, Yamaha, Evans and Vater, along with media support from Drum! magazine and Drum Channel. Pictured above and to the right is Valeria Sepulveda the winner of the 18 and over category for this year’s contest. Pictured to the right is Alexey Poblete the winner of the under 18 category for this year’s contest.

killmama Tom Tom Magazine was in full effect at Churchill’s Pub in Miami this May. The 5 band line-up put together by Plan B for Tom Tom included Testokra, Quarter Horses and The Violet West. Killmama stole the show with their drummer’s soulful singing at the kit. She also started her set off with a lit cigarette in her mouth. Smokin’! Killmama pictured here at Tom Tom’s showcase. Shot by Alex Broadwell.


f rom our guest editor

Tips: How to Play the Spoons Deb “Spoons” Perry puts the Kit in the Kitchen. She is, quite simply, a spoons playing rock star. Back in 2008, her high energy performance as a finalist on Australia’s Got Talent brought the audience to their feet. Here she gives us the scoop on how to rock out on the spoons.

Hey, y’all! I’ve had quite a time working on the country music issue with the fabulous folks at Tom Tom! I was invited to guest edit because of my feminist editing past and my country music present. I created a feminist magazine for teens/youthful people called the F-WORD zine which ran from ’04 -‘08 and I put out an anthology of young feminist writers on Seal Press back in ‘06 called We Don’t Need Another Wave: Dispatches from the Next Generation of Feminists. Currently I make my living as a fiddler/singer in NYC. Country music has a pretty contentious relationship with drums, (they were officially outlawed at the Grand Ole Opry until Rock n Roll became a thing) and a reputation for being a good ol’ boys club. So we had our work cut out for us this issue. We were looking to cover not only the rhinestone couture that so many think of when they hear the label ‘country’ but also American Roots music more broadly. Any country sub-genre that might feel right at home at your local honky tonk was fair game. (Honky tonk, old time, bluegrass, country rock, country blues, western swing, rockabilly, texas swing, Cajun, etc) I quickly went from thinking “good lord, how will we ever find enough female country drummers??” to “how will we ever fit all these amazing drummers in??” This is apparently the case with each issue of Tom Tom, which I find quite inspiring and encouraging. A personal highlight for me included interviewing the legendary Ms Bobbye Hall. She’s an amazing, soulful woman whose jaw-droppingly impressive career has spanned decades. I’m so grateful for her generous spirit and gentle humor and I was tickled to find out during our first chat that she had gone to my website and watched a video of me clogging/fiddling/singing at the same time! Anyway, time to don your boots and throw some peanut shells on the floor… it’s the county music issue of Tom Tom! Yeehaw, etc. xo, Melody Allegra Berger


Start by holding the bottom spoon. Put it between your pointer finger and your middle finger, on the middle joint. Wrap your middle, ring and little fingers around the back of the spoon and press the edge of it against your palm. All you are trying to do here is get a good grip on the back of the spoon.


Next hold the top spoon between your thumb and your first finger across the middle bone of your pointer finger. The pointer finger wraps around the back of the spoon and holds tightly against the bottom of your thumb. The thumb should press down on top of the spoon giving you a firm grip.


The bottoms of the spoon’s bowls should be back to back and about 2 cm apart. When you hit down on your leg they will click together.


Put the opposite hand palm down about 15 cm above your leg.


Start by hitting your spoons on your leg and then up on your hand — getting a click going in each direction.


Try putting a slight accent on number 2 and 4 beats by hitting a little harder on those beats.


To make a roll, spread the fingers of the opposite hand wide apart and make them rigid. Let the spoons bounce down each rigid finger in a rapid motion letting the last beat hit your leg. Use the roll as an occasional flourish, always going back to the basic rhythm. Whatever you do, don’t let go when you start to play!!



LOS ANGELES, california, Usa On Feb 28, band No Doubt announced a contest for allage drummers. Contestants were asked to film themselves drumming and upload the video to YouTube. The contest was created using the title track from No Doubt’s latest album, Push and Shove. Over 45 drummers entered the contest, which was judged by Do Doubt drummer, Adrian Young. On April 22, Tosha Jones was announced as the winner on the No Doubt official site. Tosha received an Orange County Drum and Percussion snare drum signed by Young, Zildjian drumsticks, a set of REMO drumheads, and an Ahead Armor snare drum case.

Spin’s Top 100 Drummers List comes out and includes 8 women. This May, Spin Magazine released a list of the 100 greatest drummers in alternative music, included 7 women drummers. Female drummers Lynn Truell of The Dicks (#93), Gina Schock of The Go-Go’s (#87), Palmolive of The Slits (#77), Susie Ibarra of Electric Kulintang (#61), Sheila E. of Prince (#59), Janet Weiss of Quasi (#53), and Cindy Blackman of Lenny Kravitz’s band (#44) were all featured on the list, signifying the strides women are taking alongside men in the drumming world are starting to get recognized. In the future, Tom Tom will be procuring a comparable list solely for female drummers with Village Voice.

SAN dIEGO, california, Usa Starting this summer at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD), professor S. Leah Bowden will be teaching a new course offering, Rhythm and Gender in American Popular Culture. The course plans on investigating the role gender has played in traditional music-making throughout the globe and the shifting focus, primarily on gender and drumming in modern pop culture. Issues will be explored through text, images, music, videos, and live performances. Mindy Abovitz, Editor-in-Chief of Tom Tom, will also be featured in a guest lecture. The class will be held during Summer Session I , Tuesday and Thursday from 5pm to 7:50pm.

Miami, florida, USA Kicking off Tom Tom Magazine’s World Tour, five Miamian girl-bands came together at Churchill’s Pub in Miami, FL to support Tom Tom and other women drummers. Bands Testökra, Killmama, Estonian Couch Surfer, Quarter Horses, and the Violet West all came together May 22 and created a killer show. The show was curated with the help of Plan B and also featured the debut of gospel-noir Quarter Horses. Tom Tom’s World Tour continues for the rest of the year and plans on stopping next in Oakland, CA for another great show.

Oxfordshire, england, uk Hobgoblin beer runs ad showing tattooed female drummer with the slogan: “Raise a glass to...Doing it better than the boys.” Wychwood Brewery, best known for it’s Hobgoblin beer, showed their support for female drummers with a new advertisement, that featured a women drummer behind a drum set with the words, “Raise a glass to doing it better than the boys,” written across the front. The brewery, whose brand is inspired by the myths surrounding the Wych Wood Forest, has been making and exporting beer all over the world since 1983.

In an effort to be more conscious of the events happening around the world involving women and drummers, Tom Tom presents Current Events. Current Events pinpoints news in a variety of countries, large and small, in both hemispheres of the globe. This issue Tom Tom travels to the United States, England, Russia, and the Emirates to keep you connected with the women drummers of our world.

Moscow, cENTRAL FEDERAL DISTRICT, rUSSIA Pussy Riot member, Maria Alyokhina, finished an 11-day hunger strike on June 2 in response to being barred from attending her parole meeting in person on May 22. Alyokhina, who was only allowed to attend her parole meeting over video chat, was arrested last August for “hooliganism motivated by religious hatred,” during Pussy Riot’s “Punk Prayer” demonstration. After seven days, Alyokhina was hospitalized and demands for improved prisoner treatment were answered. Appeals for parole from Alyokhina and other Pussy Riot member, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, were denied and the two will continue to serve their sentences until March of 2014.

AL AIN, ABU DHABI, UAE Five-piece band Random Stars can be found rocking it out in abayas and hijabs, covering classic rock songs from the ’60s and ’70s in Al Ain, United Arab Emirates. Comprised of five students from the Higher Colleges of Technology of Al Ain, the band was formed by English teacher Jackie Small and is the self-proclaimed first all-girl band of the Emirates. Random Stars is from an area where the majority religious group is Islam but has received widespread support from their friends, school and family. While the band has only been playing for a year and many of the members have no prior experience in a band, Random Stars has performed at school events and plans to start producing their own songs this year.

Pussy Riot: A Punk Prayer

by mindy abovitz & rebecca derosa Photo courtesy of H B O

As most of you already know, Pussy Riot is a

feminist activist group from Russia who wear balaclavas and brightly colored clothing and perform protest art against their government and its overt patriarchy. As a result of one of their protests, three members ended up incarcerated in a Russian labor colony for a sentence of two years beginning in late 2012 (one member was released early on account of footage revealing her level of participation at the time of the arrest). Their crime was hooliganism. Their artist/political statement encourages women everywhere to pick up instruments and speak their mind. The HBO documentary begins 6 months prior to the sentencing and documents the underground network of young feminists meeting and planning their political actions using guitars and mics as their weapons. The film reveals first-ever footage of the group’s meeting locations, the three member’s capture, the ensuing court hearings, and their appeals. Perhaps one of the most alarming elements that the film illuminates is the hostile climate against the group amongst locals and specifically members of The Orthodox Russian Church. In one part of the film, the camera operator records them calling the incarcerated


women witches and demons which immediately brings to mind a modern day witch trial. Juxtaposed to what appears to be the mass sentiment, the filmmakers also capture genuine moments with the captives’ families and lay down the history of where each of the women come from and their parents’ pasts. The film ends with the unknown outcome of what will happen, both to the movement and the remaining two imprisoned women — but also with the overwhelming sense of outside support for the women. After screening the film, we were left with a sense of trepidation for the future of Russia, its women, and others who choose art and music as their medium of communication. While it is happening in Russia, the feeling like it is happening here and everywhere is unavoidable. All should be able to express themselves freely and peacefully without government intervention. And those of us who share that freedom need to not take it for granted — and ideally help those of us who don’t have it. Find out more about ways to support Pussy Riot here: Pussy Riot: A Punk Prayer airs at 9pm on HBO June 10, 2013 Dir. Mike Lerner & Maxim Pozdorovkin

in this issue

willy moon

gigi from willy moon photograph by bex wade

THE BEAT AND THE PULSE Sandy Silva: body percussionist/dancer by Melody Berger & daniela muhling

Montreal-based percussive dancer Sandy Silva draws upon dance and music traditions from all over the world when she throws down the beat. She got her start in traditional American old time country and folk genres where there aren’t usually any drums at all. The rhythmic drive comes from the acoustic instruments themselves and people playing “the feet.” She has since traveled the world studying percussive dance of many cultures and incorporating the diverse traditions she encounters into her own personal rhythmic vocabulary. Drawing upon influences as diverse as Hungarian czardas, Spanish flamenco, gigue Québécoise (French Canadian step dancing), as well as the African-American and Appalachian dance traditions she began with, Silva has developed her own highly expressive style. Her moves are intense and involve full on body percussion. She not only uses her feet to pound out a rhythm but keeps her hands flying all over her torso and legs as well — becoming a veritable percussive whirlwind. In performance she doesn’t see herself as a dancer moving to musical accompaniment, but a member of the band making sounds to accompany and enhance the music she moves to. Originally an anthropology major, she discovered her calling while studying traditional American folk culture. In her words: “After landing at a festival and witnessing a session of buck-dancing and guitar playing, step-dancing and fiddling, I was hooked. I traveled to the sources where music takes place as an integral part of the culture, in kitchens or on the porch with family, friends and visitors. I felt welcomed in these communities as they knew I was so enthusiastic about their traditions. The goal for me now as an educator is to connect people to their bodies through rhythm, movement, music, and listening to each other and how the traditional sources come into play.”

Tina Williams by johnny atlas

Tina Williams started hitting the sticks at a young age when her Dad would sneak her into bars to play with his country band. Her current gig Big Joe Matthews & Rock Bottom Band draws quite a mixed crowd. Oklahoma City is an oil town where you might find a worker from the fields chatting it up at the bar with a real slick oil boss. There’s also a large Native American population. Part Potawatomi and Cherokee herself, Williams laments that women in many Native tribes are still kept from the big drums, but is excited to see a growing number of women picking up hand drums at Pow Wows.


shovels & Rope by melody berger

Listening to the raucous music of Shovels and Rope is bound to help you follow the directive of their first full-length album “O, Be Joyful.” Since its 2012 release, Charleston, SC songsters Michael Trent and Cary Ann Hearst have played Letterman, recorded on Jack White’s Third Man Records, and basically just had a good ol’ time banging on guitars, a kick drum, a snare, some tambourines, harmonicas and the occasional keyboard. Their soulful harmonies can melt your face off one second and leave you crying the next. Good stuff.

Darla Perlozzi Darla Perlozzi moved to Nashville in 1997 and quickly found her place in the country music industry. She had the privilege of working as drummer, band leader, road manager and head of fan club operations for The Lynns, a duo made up of the daughters of legendary singer Loretta Lynn. Perlozzi also beat the skins as an artist on Asylum/Curb Records for four and a half years. Darla’s career highlights include playing on the Country Music Awards with Terri Clark and receiving a gold album for her song “Loud,” recorded by the group Big & Rich. She has also played for the King of Morocco and received the Congressional Record of Honor. Currently Perlozzi plays for Justin McBride, who she also manages. She owns

Christine Balfa Plays the Triangle by Melody Berger

and runs Misstyx Studio in Murfreesboro, TN — an artist management company, record label, booking agency,

Christine Balfa is Cajun music royalty. Her father, Dewey Balfa, was a

publishing company and recording studio all in one.

renowned fiddler in his own right and part of the Balfa Brothers, one of the most famous Cajun groups to ever come from the Southwest

plains of Louisiana. Although Christine mostly plays guitar and sings in her band Balfa Toujours, she put out a 55 minute album of solo Cajun triangle back in ‘06 which caused quite a stir. Isolated from the rest of the instruments in the Cajun lineup, the incessant clanging of the triangle is hypnotic, transporting the listener to another time and place in a trance of easy bayou feeling. It really takes the “I’ll play triangle in your band!” joke to a whole new level of awesome.


Drum plates W ords by Philippa B loomfield

I built a drum kit where all the ‘drums’

were made out of ceramic crockery. I collected piles of plates, bowls and dishes and piled them up to make the drums, then drilled holes in them and put them on stands as cymbals. I wanted to create an object which was ultimately useless and self destructive. For it to fulfill its purpose would ultimately destroy it. It stood as a sculpture in the gallery space for the duration of a week-long exhibition and on the last day I played it using hammers as drumsticks. It transformed from a static object to a performance piece and the whole thing was violently destroyed. I was a fine art student at the University of Brighton at the time, my tutors told me it was a stupid idea and I shouldn’t make it, but I did it anyway — it turned out to be the one piece everyone remembers. A local production company had heard about what I was going to do and turned up on the day to film it. When I left the university I started making music videos with them, initially making no-budget videos for bands I played drums for and then going on to work with other artists. I live and work in London.


Drum paintings By Eli L ehrhoff

Alexandria Tarver

really loves music, especially live music. She goes to shows as often as she can and, if she has a strong feeling about the band, grabs a quick photograph of the drum kit. These photos have become the basis for her current series of drum portraits. Tarver is not a musician, she’s a classically trained painter and has been behind the easel since age four. The drums are, to her, a ready-made still life that allows her to present her love for one medium in another. “It’s about me enjoying the music as an audience member. I really think being an active audience member at these shows is just as important as the music being played.” She says “This is something I could foresee going on forever. It’s experience based. I still see music. I still love music. I still love listening to music. So each painting is still that piece of me. It’s still part of my life.”

ART alex

Drum Casket

T op photo by Amery K essler B ottom photo by Mary Jane Ward

​Drum Casket is a social

artwork created by Amery Kessler in 2006. It is a marriage of a funeral casket and a drum. One person lies inside the wooden box while a group drums on the lid. The participatory event can last for two or more hours. People take turns both inside the drum and drumming for others. ​ Mary Jane Ward and Amery Kessler are teammates in Drum Casket USA which is the percussive audio installation of many compiled recordings from Drum Casket. They are taking a nationwide tour with the drum, to collect field recordings of the repeated participatory drumming event. The final audio installation will take place in New York.

underwater drums photos by stephanie lavigne villeneuve

childhood friends,

drummer Mindy Abovitz and photographer Stephanie LaVigne Villeneuve, sank Mindy’s first drum set (which Stephanie gave Mindy on her 21st birthday) for this ethereal underwater photo shoot. The two have been inseparable since the they were early teenage riot grrrls. Today Mindy is Tom Tom Magazine’s founder and editor, and Stephanie travels throughout the U.S. and the Caribbean, specializing in underwater, commercial, architectural and wedding photography. This is how Mindy described the experience, “Sinking the drum set felt exhilarating. Watching the snare fill up with water and then slowly descend in comparison to the hardware and the rest of the kit which happily fell to the bottom of the pool was exhilarating. Playing underwater was harder than I thought and definitely not as fulfilling as playing the kit above water. Submerging the drum set combined two of my favorite things (drumming and swimming) and photographing it left behind the ephemera to remember the moment forever.” To see more pictures from this shoot as well as more of Stephanie’s work above and below water:


MIAMI dr umming guide

Music isn’t the first thing that comes to mind when most people think of South Florida. Besides the perception of the region being just a massive sub-tropical tourist attraction, it’s also often considered “too far” for many touring bands to hit. But whereas geographical isolation has deterred many from coming in, over time South Florida has fostered a strong local music community that figures, “if the sounds can’t come to us, let’s just make noise ourselves.” It’s a place where most nights you can find myriad genres atypically paired anywhere there’s some semblance of a space to perform. Sludge metal alongside country-tinged acoustic folk at a dive bar? Why not? Free-jazz and techno in someone’s backyard? Sure, that works. The open-mindedness and camaraderie within the South Florida scene facilitates music making. It’s an incredible place to be a musician and also home to a diverse group of female drummers. A few of them joined forces to put together this guide to Miami drumming for you. Graphic Design ⤻ Helga Juárez Intro & Text ⤻ Maggie Rivers Compiled ⤻ Emile Milgrim, Beatriz Monteavaro & Paige Cantrill Flamingo Illustration ⤻ Erin Bowers 16















When she’s not practicing or working at her art studio she can usually be found performing at Churchill’s, “the center of the universe.” She usually gets her gear at Resurrection Drums and likes to pick up her records at Sweat Records. As for recording studios, she frequents The Laundry Room (which is local legend Rat Bastard’s studio) or Jonathan Nunez’s. For food, Betty suggests Dogma (a hot dog place), Enriquetas (a sandwich shop), or Churchill’s (bar food). MARIA CHU calls Miami home but lives in Ft. Lau-

derdale, drumming for her band Sorus. She enjoys playing at Treasure Coast Café for it’s healthy meals and ice cream floats and last played at the Covenant Music House of Rock in Doral. For her gear, Chu likes Resurrection Drums for cymbals and Guitar Center for the rest. She recommends The Shack North for a recording studio and but keeps her practice space top secret and secure with “guard dogs, surveillance, and ninjas as hired security.” When hunger strikes Chu heads to Thasos Taverna for some Greek food close to where she lives.

dro at “whatever warehouse.” When it comes to gear and records Sputnik opts for Resurrection Drums and Radio Active Records, which are found in Hollywood and Fort Lauderdale, respectively. Estonian Couch Surfer drummer Coco De Salazar has played in the past with bands such as necrofabulous and MEAT. Although the last venue she played at was Churchill’s, she says her favorite venues are people’s houses, where “the vibe is more relaxed and there may be a pool as well.” Practice and recording time all take place in Dennis Fuller’s garage, the lead of Estonian Couch Surfer. Her choice for grabbing gear is Resurrection Drums and she likes to shop for records in thrift stores. Rather than going out, De Salazar’s favorite food spot is her kitchen.

Dorys Bello drums for her bands BBQ Bitches and Slither but

Boise Bob and his Backyard Band in the past. Living in Fort Lauderdale, Merlot last played at Churchill’s, her favorite venue. Al-

keeps her schedule packed by working with other local musicians Jonathan Nuñez of Torche and Dennis Fulller of Estonian Couch Surfer. Bello likes to practice on her Frankenstein drum kit, which is mostly bought off Craigslist if not borrowed, at General Practice, Nuñez’s studio, or Fuller’s shack. She usual records at either The Laundry Room in Miami Beach or Nuñez’s studio in Pinecrest. As for food, Bello likes Disco Fish in West Miami maybe a little bit more for the name than the food.

EMILE MILGRIM is right in the center of the local music scene as a

Hailing for Lima, Peru, Sandra Marquez drums for Miami bands Aeval, Brujas, and Ssandra’s Propject. When she’s not practice or recording at Green Flower Music, Marquez likes to perform at some of her favorite venues such as the Culture Room or the Brickell Irish Pub. Marquez tends to get her gear at either Guitar Center or Musician’s Friend, and when it comes to records she usually shops online.

Timeless drummer/washboarder TEX MERLOT has drummed for

though she’s not in a band at the moment, Merlot tells us she likes to get her gear at Guitar Center, except her electric washboard, which is custom-made. She shops for her records at Sweat and had recorded at The Laundry Room in Miami Beach. When she’s hungry Merlot chows down at Tom Jenkins BBQ, which can be found in Fort Lauderdale. drummer and the manager plus record buyer at Sweat Records. Working at Sweat, Milgrim gets most of her records there but also uses Discogs. MIlgrim frequents Craigslist and thrift stores when looking for gear to find “weird percussion stuff.” Drumming with bands Quarter Horses and Parker Posey Posse, Milgrim found her favorite venue to be the Fillmore and usually records either at home or The Laundry Room. Her favorite food spot is Lokal in Coconut Grove for burgers and beer. As a sixteen year old, ALEJANDRA CAMPOS taught herself how to play drums. Now Ale, as she is often called, drums in a riot grrrl band called Testökra, where she even “screams in a couple of songs.” As she’s been doing for the past six years, Ale still practices in her parents’ living room. Campo’s favorite place to perform is Lester’s Café in Wynwood and has recorded at the Laundry Room and friend Diego Oliden’s place. She works behind the accessories counter at Guitar Center and buys a lot of her gear there. Campo’s recommends 1909 Café for food and the Beehive for some “killer juice” which are both on Bird Road. Sophie Sputnik is usually found playing in duo Killmama or do-

ing her own thing as a solo artist. Sputnik usually practices at


Solid Sounds and enjoys playing at the last venue she performed at, Five Points Lounge in Fort Lauderdale. She records at the Vinyl Militia headquarters when she’s not recording with friend Alejan-

High school drummer “Rage” Paige Cantrill lives just northwest of Miami, in Weston, where she drums with band Siren. Even though she is just in high school, Cantrill has already played with plenty of bands including Wild Roses, White Lies, and Barbee Reputation. She usually practices at her home studio and chooses Resurrection Drums and Drum Workshop for gear. She last played with her band at Weston Regional Park but her favorite venue hands-down is Hollywood Bandshell. Come recording time, Cantrill goes to Studio Center in Miami. She also likes to get her food fix at Sushiyama in Boca Raton. Loveless Lies drummer, Paige Swalley, says she loves performing at her school more than other venues like her last, Jimbo’s Sandbar. She practices in her drum room at home and likes to get her gear at Resurrection Drums, Guitar Center, and MAE. Swalley says she usually goes to f.y.e. when purchasing records. She also likes to eat and her favorite place to eat is Denny’s.

Elisa Seda likes to go simply by “E.” Drumming for Urban Rebel, she’s also drummed prior for bands Sticks Deep, The Scarlet Ending, and Just Kait. She practices with her band in her own warehouse space and likes to grab some grub at Angelina’s Coffee and Juice. Seda has last played at the Native Tap Room, but her choice venue is the beloved Culture Room. When recording Seda uses Sonic Projects and usually gets her gear online. She also suggests visiting Uncle Sam’s Music on Miami Beach, an independent record store.


Michele Kane, or Max as she is more commonly know by, has been

a Miamian all her life. Kane keeps herself busy by playing for several band at the moment, which are Curious Hair, Laundry Room Squelches, Max Dance, Double Duh, and Bag Hag. Her favorite place to play is Miami’s best known small venue, Churchill’s but she also enjoys playing at Bagdaddies, where she last played. She does not stray far from home, opting to practice and eat there most of the time. When she goes out to get records, Kane suggests Sweat.


Churchill’s | 5501 NE 2nd Ave, Miami | The Fillmore | 1700 Washington Ave, Miami Beach | Lester’s Café | 2519 NW 2nd Ave, Miami | Covenant Music House of Rock | 9851 NW 58th St 110, Doral Brickell Irish Pub |1451 S Miami Ave, Miami | Five Points Lounge | 2608 S Federal Hwy, Fort Lauderdale Culture Room | 3045 N Federal Hwy, Fort Lauderdale | Jimbo’s Sandbar | 6200 N Ocean Drive | Native Florida Tap Room | 2006 Hollywood Blvd | Treasure Coast Café | 116 Avenue A, Fort Pierce

RESTAURANTS Green Flower Music | 2120 SW 17th St, Miami | The Shack North | 9809 NW 80th Ave, Hialeah | Studio Center | 6157 NW 167th St, Hialeah | Sonic Projects | 5050 Biscayne Blvd Suite 104, Miami | Vinyl Militia headquarters | The Laundry Room |

Ca’n Lluis


Resurrection Drums | 1323 S 30th Ave # 4, Hollywood | MAE | 3301 Davie Blvd, Fort Lauderdale | Guitar Center | 7736 N Kendall Dr, Miami | Sweat Records | 5505 NE 2nd Ave, Miami | Uncle Sam’s Music | 1141 Washington Ave | Radio Active Records | 845 N Federal Hwy, Fort Lauderdale |

Dogma | 7030 Biscayne Blvd, Miami | Thasos Taverna | 3330 E Oakland Park Blvd | Tom Jenkins BBQ | 1236 S Federal Hwy | Lokal | 3190 Commodore Plaza, Miami | 1909 Café | 5710 Bird Rd, Coral Gables | Sushiyama | 7050 West Palmetto Park Road | Angelina’s Coffee | 3451 NE 1st Ave #102B | Beehive Juice Bar | 5750 Bird Rd, Miami, FL 33155 Enriquetas | 186 NE 29th St, Miami


yummmmmmmmmmmmmm /

recipes from the Road by johnny atlas illustration by Carly Marcoux

Louisville Lady Potato Pancakes


• 9 small red potatoes • 1 sprig of fresh tarragon • Wedge or chunk of Gruyere cheese • A bit of butter • Salt & Pepper

The last time I was in Louisville, Kentucky


1. Put them in a pot with water, bring water

5. Next form the tarragon potato mix into

to boil, and then drain. We found the best way was to lightly boil the potatoes. They don’t need to be super cooked.

little pancakes and fry in butter until golden brown on both sides. 6. Top them off with sliced or shredded

2. Then you want to grate the hot potatoes

into a bowl. Chop up your tarragon nice and good. You won’t need to use all the tarragon. I’d say a small pinch per potato.

Gruyere and cover cakes with lid for a spell so the cheese melts nice. These go great with some quick steamed kale and fried eggs for breakfast before heading to the next town.

3. Gently mix in the tarragon with the grated potatoes. Add some salt and pepper. 4. Heat up some butter in a skillet on me-

dium heat.

illustration by jen may

was July of 2000. My trip coincided with the Second Annual Southern Girls Convention. We hung around my friend’s house listening to Freakwater Records and watching my exgirlfriends’ little girl play on her ma’s drum set. It was adorable and it was Sunday and Sunday is a day for brunch. These ladies I knew in Louisville were pretty fancy. When I asked what we were enjoying for brunch, my ex pointed to a pile of potatoes she had in a bowl and handed me a chunk of Gruyere to shred. The cast iron skillet was heating up on a low flame. Kentucky brunch was about to happen. These potato pancakes were so good we stole the recipe away to Olympia for our upcoming secret cafe.




Country Issue

attack e h t f o

LISA PANKRATZ by M elissa G uion Photo By J im C hapin


ountry artists everywhere will tell you that Lisa Pankratz is one of the best in the business. She has worked with Ronnie Dawson, Billy Joe Shaver, Dave Alvin, Marshall Crenshaw, Cornell Hurd, Deke Dickerson, Wayne Hancock, Kathy Valentine, Texas Guitar Women, The Derailers, Rosie Flores, Robbie Fulkes, Jimmy Vaughn, Marti Brom, Roger Wallace, Bill Kirchen, and Hayes Carll – and the list goes on. Lisa is featured on an upcoming duets album by Brennen Leigh & Noel McKay called Before the World Was Made, produced by Gurf Morlix. She hits the road with Dave Alvin again in June. What makes her so darn good? 22

Tom Tom Magazine: Let’s talk about how you got started…Lisa Pankratz: My dad was a professional drummer in high school,

playing in blues and R&B bands. I grew up hanging around at parties and shows at Armadillo World Headquarters, which was the center of Austin’s hippie country/rock scene.

and recording. So when he had his comeback he was an artist – not an oldies act – and an incredible performer. My first show with Ronnie in Austin was jam-packed. My car trunk was full of old drumsticks and I distributed them to the audience, and when we played “Rockin Bones” everyone was banging on whatever they could find.

You were playing drums from a very young age? There were al-

ways drums for me to bang around on. I was twelve when I first worked out a beat. I went from the snare up to the rack tom and thought, “That’s how they do that!” Also, my parents had an amazing record collection, everything from Bill Monroe to Bob Marley, and I was lucky to inherit a starter kit of 45s: Ricky Nelson, Thurston Harris, and so on. That’s where my interest began. My dad and I learned to play reggae. I remember asking, “Why aren’t they playing the kick drum on the beat?” and my dad saying, “Why don’t you listen to what they are doing.”

Nice. So, what are some of your favorite styles to play? I have played a ton of Texas-style dance hall country with folks like Dale Watson, Amber Digby, Cornell Hurd and even the great Johnny Bush as well as more folky or bluegrass influenced country. I love it and I miss it when I don’t play it, but I love the chance to stretch out a bit too. Also, I have played roots rock and hillbilly boogie, rockabilly, western swing, blues, surf, garage rock, and

Now you tour regularly with Dave Alvin, as one of the Guilty Ones. What is that like? I really stretch out with Dave and push myself

to be stronger and more open on the drums. I first played with him at the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival, when he invited me to do a more acoustic set with some female musician friends. I flew to San Francisco and we rehearsed for an hour and then played to thousands of people. We did an album for Yep Roc as Dave Alvin and the Guilty Women and toured it for a few summers. Later Dave combined me with members of the Guilty Men to create the Guilty Ones.

And how is it being married to a fellow Guilty One (bassist Brad Fordham)? It helps that he’s one of my favorite bass players as

well as favorite people. I always joke, “One of us made a mistake, because we were both supposed to marry someone with a day job!”

My dad and I learned to play reggae. I remember asking, “Why aren’t they playing the kick drum on the beat?” and my dad saying, “Why don’t you listen to what they are doing.” reggae with many different artists. And just recently I recorded with the Carper Family, a fantastic vocal trio with acoustic bass, guitar and fiddle — no drums. I am always flattered when a normally drummer-less act asks me to play as I take it they trust me to add to their feel without ruining it. I used to practice in my room as a teenager playing brushes to instrumental Bill Monroe albums so I guess it paid off! Looks like it did! Most old time country/bluegrass is pretty antidrum, so when a drummer doesn’t get the feel right it can really muck things up. But I always heard Bill Monroe, the father of bluegrass himself, would have toured with a snare player if it didn’t mean having to pay another musician. Speaking of touring, tell us about your first touring experience. My first real tour was with

Ronnie Dawson and High Noon. Ronnie had been around since the first wave of rockabilly in the ’50s and never stopped playing

Ha, excellent. So, tell Tom Tom readers all about your main kit.

It’s a 1968 Ludwig kit: 22” kick, 13” rack tom, 16” floor tom. I have a ‘68 Supraphonic snare and lately I have been playing a hammered steel Gretsch snare with Yamaha wood hoops. My kit has a good warm sound that I can tweak for different contexts. I had to store it out in California between tours and when I went out there recently I realized how much I missed it. I actually gave my drums a hug. Any reflections on being a female drummer? Over the years, many women came up to me and said, “I always wanted to play drums but my father/family/school told me I couldn’t.” This shocked me. Lately, I get parents saying, “I want my daughter to see you,” (and occasionally daughters saying, “my boyfriend is a drummer but you kick his butt, ha ha!”). If I am any kind of inspiration to anyone, that makes me really happy.


Country Issue

Ms. Bobbye

hall Interview by Melody Berger P hotos courtesy of the artist


ven if you haven’t heard of Bobbye Hall, you’ve heard Bobbye Hall. Growing up in De-

troit, she started recording uncredited on Motown albums in her early teens. Since then she has played with a wide array of notables including: Bob Dylan, Bill Withers, Carole King, Marvin Gaye, Aretha Franklin, Joni Mitchell, Janis Joplin, Stevie Nicks, Tracy Chapman, Jerry Garcia, Tom Petty, Stevie Wonder, James Taylor, Pink Floyd, The Doors — the list goes on and on. Primarily a studio musician, Hall has lent her hand percussion talents to 22 songs that have reached the top 10 in the Billboard Hot 100, six of those reaching #1. We first got in touch with Ms. Hall for this issue because she’s worked with country greats Dwight Yoakam, Dolly Parton, and Kris Kristofferson. But, really, we’re honored to include her in any issue, any time. She’s been a huge part of American music history. We here at Tom Tom don’t like to bandy about the term “living legend,” but sometimes it’s just the only thing that fits.

Tom Tom Magazine: You grew up in Detroit and people like Aretha Franklin and Smokey Robinson were your neighbors. What was it like to start your career in that kind of environment?

Bobbye Hall: I happened to be in the right place at the right time when that light shined upon me. My mother said that I had a dream. I would play on her pots and pans, I’d beat on the garbage cans in the alley. I’d whack on them with sticks and my hands or whatever. I didn’t talk very much as a child. Mama’s baby, only child, my mother did all the talking. I just picked up the drums and that’s where I spoke from. 24

I was a prodigy. My mother took me to the Detroit Institute and after they interviewed me and I played for them, they said, “Mrs. Hall, your daughter just needs to play. We don’t want to disturb that.” I’ve always had this yearning to play, to learn, to study. And that’s what I do now. I’m better at that than I am mostly anything else. I feel better when I’m playing on something. You were discovered playing at the local sock hop? I was playing the teen hop downstairs at the 20 Grand and upstairs were the adults with the alcohol and stuff. The acts in the main room included the heart of the Motown roster, people like The Temptations, Smokey Robinson and the Miracles, Diana Ross and the Supremes. And a producer named Paul Riser saw me and he just sort of wooed my mother, “please let her come down!” So I got to record with all those guys. And it was really funny because he’d have to come pick me up because I didn’t drive. Of course not, you were just a kid! He’d pick me up and take me to the

studio. And my mother would kiss me in front of everyone!

As you continued on with your career you made such inroads for women, playing in a male dominated field...And I’m a studio musician, so I’m not

just another pretty face out there. I’m behind the scenes creating the product before it hits the street. At one time I represented five minorities. They are waning since then. I was just being me: a black American woman, single mom, female drummer — which is, in the union, I represented less than half of a percent of women in the union — I was a self-employed contractor, and a property owner. Those were all minorities back in the day. I hate to use that line “back in the day.” I have a past! Ha! Well, speaking of “back in the day” you picked up the Ms. moniker at the height of the feminist movement in the states right when it was becoming a thing. I’ll tell you who gave me that! Carole (King) says to

me “Bobbye, what do you want to be known as? Bobbye Hall from Detroit? How about Ms. Bobbye Hall?” And I said, “Great!” and then we went on stage. Because Carole would go out and she would play piano and I would come after her and we’d play piano and percussion. And she would say, “I’d like to introduce you to my percussionist, Ms. Bobbye Hall!” And that’s how I became Ms. Bobbye Hall. 25

To have music be your sole appointed income you have to be over the top driven. That’s awesome. Because “Bobby Hall” sounded so generic and male-dominant. When I changed the spelling to “ye” just before I came to LA it was specifically done so I knew “me.” So I was sort of pre-planning the fact that maybe one day I might see my name in lights. It distinguished me at that point. It gave me a body, it gave me a soul. With a name like Bobbye Hall, in Europe they knew I was a black woman. In the US they thought I was a white male. You’ve played on so many hit recordings, can you tell when something is going to be huge? Or vice versa, are there times when you think something is going to be huge and it’s a flop or you’re in the studio thinking, well, this isn’t going to go over well and it ends up being incredibly popular? I’d like to give

you this kind of an answer. I don’t want to seem too boastful, but when I get the call that’s when I say: it’s going to be huge. I prepare myself for that. I come from platinum and gold. That’s what my purpose is in the studio, is to create that platinum and gold. That’s what I do. I’m more of a studio musician than I am a stage performer. However, this is part of my philosophy I guess, if I don’t play on it, if I don’t record it, if my DNA is not a part of that baby when it hits the street then I really don’t want to be called. I don’t play other people’s music. I play the music that I’m called to do. And that’s how I built my career, on that understanding. There was a time when out of the top 10 on Billboard, consecutively, I was in that category, somewhere, for 10 years straight. It was that much work done in the studio back in those days. I would be working 24/7. That’s amazing. Yeah, it is. And I was the only girl in the studio.

So, that was even more amazing. And people did not know what I did. When I came home my neighbors would tell me, “Oh man, did you hear the Marvin Gaye thing? Did you hear the James Taylor thing?” And I would just say, “Oh, really?” It was my way of saying to myself, “I’m ok.” Because where do I go, who do I ask? I had to create something for me to say “I’m ok.”


You were in the studio with Janis Joplin the day that she died. Could you tell me about that night? (Her voice gets very quiet and som-

ber.) We were at a place called Sunset Sound on Sunset Blvd. I recorded with Bill Withers there and Dylan, quite a few other people. Anyway, it was on a weekend after midnight and Paul Rothchild called me and he says, “Bobbye, I need you to come down now,” and I said “okay, I’m on my way.” And that’s a tip, that’s my “A-list” tip and that’s: always be available. Because if you don’t take the call then they’ll get someone else. When I went down she was sitting there behind the console. And I couldn’t get my equipment! In Hollywood you have a service that will carry your gear for you, and I couldn’t get anyone on the phone. So, I sat next to her and we stayed at the session until daylight and we all went home, and I was supposed to come in the next day — and that was the night she died. I got the call that she had passed away. Then the following weekend I did, at another studio, Ocean Way, I did what I call my only “wake recording.” And I asked him out of respect for her, Janis, that we turn the lights out. And I played. She was a very sensitive person. That’s quite a story. I did get to meet her and talk to her, but then she moved on. How about something a little more upbeat. What was it like recording with Dolly Parton? Oh,

she’s just this petite, tiny woman who is just beautiful. The pictures don’t do her justice. And when I worked with her at The Hit Factory she brought fried chicken. So, when I met her I felt like I was coming into her house because I’ve eaten at a studio before but never on my session! And she’s inviting me into the studio, ‘hey, how ya doing!’ and she’s got the fried chicken, it was just great. She had blue jeans on and this red and white checkered western shirt, I’ll never forget it. And she just looked so much like “Dolly Parton!” But she was just this little thing in person, and full of love. Dolly Parton and fried chicken. The country issue is complete! I

very seldom get to work with women.

Is that why your entire crew is made up of women? Yep! No testos-


Name: Ms.Bobbye Hall Hometown: Detroit, MI Lives in: Los Angeles, CA Drum Set Up: Custom design by MBH GON BOP, Premiere, Yamaha Timbales, range-6”-16,”assorted Cymbals: Zildjian, 6”- 9” bell-Crash 18”- 22” Assorted stands, GON BOP Hand Percussion: Bongos, congas, cowbells,Tambourines, djembes, marimbas UDOS, triangles, shakers, gourds, gongs, cuíca, Kalimba, ugg-Lugs, custom effects made by MBH Hardware: Rhythm Tech, LP Fav Band: Miles Davis, “Kind Of Blue” Fav Food: Alaskan King Crab Sushi photo by Elizabeth H all C onley

Will you humor us with one more anecdote? Well, I worked with Ray Charles at his studio. He’s sitting behind his board, and I’ve never seen a board like this before. There’s no markings on his board, what markings there are — are in braille. And I’m looking around the room, at how different the studio is. There are windows in the studio! No one puts windows in a studio! They’re up high, they’re not where you can see people walking, but you can see the sky and lots of light in the room. Big huge room because he carries a big band. And he says to me, “I just want you to remember something, baby girl. I want you never to become plastic.” That’s wonderful. And when he said that to me it was like,

Do you have any parting words of wisdom to aspiring musicians out there? To have music be your sole appointed income you

have to be over-the-top driven. Because it’s not easy, it really isn’t — but it’s a beautiful life. On your down time you really have to be centered and you have to know and think about the next gig. ’Cause I’m the most hired and the most fired. Carnegie Hall today, unemployment tomorrow. When I go on a job, on a gig, on a session, I am working my way out of that job when I leave there. It no longer exists. It’s a life-long dedication that I wouldn’t change one thing about. ’Cause I listen now on the radio and I just smile and I remember the whole scene, the whole recording, the whole studio experience comes alive again in me.

Oh my god, this man is reading my soul. And he can’t see me!



Country Issue

kitty daisy & lewis by Melody Berger

We’ve always been into vintage clothes but we’re not trying to live the 50s lifestyle or be retro 50s or recreationists. I think the girls stopped having the quiffs because they got fed up with people thinking that.


ondon-based Kitty, Daisy & Lewis have been on our radar for some time now. The sisters and brother that make up the band are known for their slick rockabilly look and infectious blend of sweet nostalgia with raw grit that puts them squarely in the here and now. They’ve toured with the likes of Coldplay, Billy Bragg, Razorlight, Richard Hawley and Jools Holland and have acquired celebrity fans as varied as Amy Winehouse and David Lynch to Dustin Hoffman and Ewan McGregor. When we invited them to take part in our country music issue we learned that Kitty and Daisy have quite an illustrious lady drummer pedigree. Their mom, Ingrid Weiss, who currently plays bass in the band, (and Dad is on rhythm guitar!) used to drum with the all-girl punk rock band The Raincoats, a Kurt Cobain favorite. What follows is a conversation between the ladies of KDL about their family band and then an interview Kitty and Daisy conducted with their mom about her time in The Raincoats. Tom Tom Magazine: You mention in all your press releases that you come from a tradition of people sitting around the parlor jamming with their family. How did you get into old time American music, given that you live in London? Kitty Durham: Well, it was always a

big mix of stuff. A lot of it was American music and it was kind of passed down in a traditional way. My dad came from a big family and they used to all sing and play guitar together.

Ingrid Weiss: They used to do a lot of the old sentimental bal-

lads which would have been quite popular in America and where they were in India ­— popular tunes of the ’20s, ’30s, and some country-western.

Daisy Durham: A lot of that music is really simple three-chord

stuff. So you can just grab an instrument and bash away at it. You don’t really have to know how to properly play music.

TT: Which kind of connects it to punk rock, wouldn’t you say? Interesting given your background, Ingrid. I: Exactly. That’s the

thing when you all play together as a family, you’re just joining in. It’s not about rehearsing or getting something perfect. When everyone’s playing together you can make mistakes and you just carry on and that’s how people learn. D: It’s more about the feeling than anything else.

TT: I know you have some issues with the word rockabilly since everyone assumes that’s the style you play because of your vintage look. K: All of our press shots are quite old now, but I don’t think

we look as rockabilly anymore. It was just a phase we were going through. People are quite quick to pick up on the old American

style music as well but we play so many other styles like ska and ’60s stuff — and our next album will be even more different. I: It’s easy for people to put you in a pigeonhole. If you’ve got

a quiff you must be rockabilly. But that’s never been the case. It’s just one of many influences. We’ve always been into vintage clothes but we’re not trying to live the ’50s lifestyle or be retro ’50s or re-creationists. I think the girls stopped having the quiffs because they got fed up with people thinking that.

D: And I got tired of having a boat looking thing on my head. TT: Tell us about the kit you girls share. K: My dad got it in a jumble sale years ago, it’s an early ’50s kit. It was a gift for my sixth birthday because I asked for a drum kit. It was either that or some boxing gloves, which I got later that year, which I was quite pleased about. TT: What drew you to playing drums? D: I always remember loving

rhythm as a kid. Whether it was banging on pots and pans or tinkering on bottles or playing my mum’s bongitas whilst having a family jam session or listening to records. I never felt like I was just making noise, but like I was driving the music forward in some way and giving it a certain bounce. I probably did just sound like an annoying kid bashing stuff, but I felt it myself and enjoyed it.

I: What does it feel like when you’re playing? D: It feels great. Like

I’m a leader of a rowing boat or something. Keeping everything together, but also pushing it forward. Sometimes I get into a trance when I’m playing on stage and my mind can completely wander off somewhere else and sometimes I even start half drifting off asleep. When I snap out of it I realize that I’m still playing a solid beat with energy. Strange feeling. Sometimes I will feel dizzy when I switch from one beat to another. I think it’s because I move my whole body when I’m playing, so my body gets used to moving one way and then when it changes I get really dizzy. I guess it’s like trying to walk straight after spinning.

I: How do you decide between you who’s going to play the drums on which song? K: All three of us have different styles. It depends on

the song. For example, Lewis is better at doing ska drumming. Me and Lewis both do sort of jazzy drums, but I kind of vary between jazz, blues, and rock drumming. Daisy sort of plays more like one beat on the snare, so depending on the song it just varies. K: Daisy, is there anyone who inspired your style of drumming? D:

I’ve always loved the drums in “Shotgun Boogie” by Tennessee Ernie Ford. I think listening to it naturally influenced my drumming style in some way. It’s quite simple, but bouncy and thwacky, which I think is how I would describe my style. 29


Country Issue I: Do you have any other favorite drummers? D: We once watched

Adam Ant at a festival we were playing. He had two drummers. A male and girl whose name is Yola I think. She was amazing. She played completely different to me, but I could relate to the way she really moved and bounced around. She made the male drummer look silly and lifeless.

I: You’ve been noted to have a peculiar side saddle style of sitting when you play. Can you explain this? D: I used to wear quite tight

pencil dresses on stage, so I couldn’t put my legs apart, so I just sat to the side. Actually I may have sat side saddle even when I wore jeans. Can’t remember. Anyway it didn’t matter because I didn’t play kick drum. Now I wear mainly playsuits, so I switch it up a bit. I still feel more comfortable playing side saddle for some reason. TT: I’m sure everyone asks you about what it’s like to play in a family band. I’d love to hear one of your best sibling rivalry stories, or tales of family strife. K: I think every gig can be a struggle, es-

pecially sound checks. They’re always a nightmare. But when you get to playing the actual show you kind of forget about everything. If everything’s going well, if it sounds good and you’re enjoying yourself, then none of that matters. And we’ll argue but then we’ll forget about it like five minutes later, so I think the good things outweigh the bad.

I: There’s always an inquest. D: There’s always someone shouting at someone telling them

they f***ed up.

TT: Oh, man, are you all still living together too? I: For the mo-

ment, but not for long.

K: We just bought a new house up the road for the three of us to live — me, Daisy and Lewis. I: We say new house, it’s a very old house. D: We’ll be moving our studio there as well. TT: Daisy, I noticed you have a penchant for just sticking to brushes on a snare - a very classic country kind of move. D: Our

Broadway snare already has an amazing deep sound, but when it’s hit hard in the right spot with a brush it sounds amazing. Almost gives you shivers. I do love playing the rest of the drum kit depending on what song it is, but the main pleasure I get from playing the drums is hitting the f*** out of the snare.

D: After the gig as well we all moan about everything.

Mum, tell us about that time you were in the Raincoats? I nterview by K itty and Daisy Durham


Name: Daisy Rowan Durham Walters Age: 24 Hometown: Kentish Town, Camden, London Lives In: Kentish Town, Camden, London Past Bands: Kitty, Daisy & Lewis Current Bands: Kitty, Daisy & Lewis Drum Set Up: same as Kitty Fav Venue: White Trash (Berlin, Germany) Fav Food: Caribbean chicken curry with rice Fav Band: The Glitter band, The Kinks & T-rex

Name: Kitty Liv Durham Age: 20 Hometown: Kentish Town, Camden, London Lives In: Kentish Town, Camden, London Past Bands: Kitty, Daisy & Lewis Current Bands: Kitty, Daisy & Lewis Drum Set Up: Early ’50s Broadway Snare with Remo Emperor coated skin, Vintage premier snare stand, 12”, 14” Zyn Hi-hats with olympic stand, 1940s’ Calf skin 28” Slingerland Kick Drum, Zildjian K custom ride cymbal Fav Venue: Black Gardenia (soho, London) Fav Food: Curry (Dad’s homemade) Fav Band: The Glitter band, T-Rex

Daisy: How did you come to be in The Raincoats? Ingrid: They were one of my favorite bands at that time (1979) and I knew that their drummer, Palmolive, had just left. When I bumped into Gina (bass player) in Ladbroke Grove, West London and told her that I was a drummer she asked me to come along and audition and that was it. Kitty: When did you first start playing drums? I had some friends

in the boy’s school next to mine that were into punk as well. My best friend and I used to hang out with them and they had a band. After their rehearsals I would mess around on their drum kit.

D: What was it you liked about Palmolive? Seeing The Slits for the first time was a true revelation for my friend and I. We had thought we were the only ones looking and behaving as we did and then we found these others who we could both identify with and aspire to. Palmolive had amazing on-stage attack and energy. K: So how long had you been playing drums before joining the Raincoats? I suppose since ’77. I didn’t have a kit to begin with

and just used a pile of old New Music Expresses and a biscuit tin. After seeing the Slits play for the first time in 1977 and being inspired by Palmolive, I worked in a canteen for the summer holiday to pay for my first kit. A Pearl like hers! I practiced in my bedroom, but the neighbors couldn’t complain because their son was in a reggae band and played in his bedroom too!

D: Didn’t you have to work folding men’s underwear? No, that was a Saturday job in BHS (British Home Stores). To pay for records. K: Did your parents approve of you playing drums? No, my mum wasn’t happy at all about the music or the scene I was into, though my dad always maintained his principles about letting creativity take its course and supported me. I think he was actually quite proud that I’d got the gumption to take up what was then seen as a strictly male instrument and used to give me Gene Krupa 78s to listen to. I think my mum was reconciled to

Name: Ingrid Weiss Age: 52 Hometown: London Lives In: Kentish Town, Camden, London Past Bands: The Raincoats Current Bands: Kitty, Daisy & Lewis Drum Set Up: ’60s pearl snare, Bruce Smith’s Premiere kit (member of Pop Group & Slits) Fav Venue: The Roundhouse, London (in the ’70s) Fav Food: Spinach Fav Band: The Slits (live)

it after they came with friends to see the Alexander Palace AntiRacism gig and realized that it wasn’t just childish posturing. She brags about it now. D: How long were you in The Raincoats? Only a year, but a very packed one. We wrote Odyshape, toured Europe and spent time in NY — but the best fun was the Rough Trade tours where we shared the gigs with The Slits, The Pop Group, Gang of Four, etc. D: Why did you leave? I never really fitted into the Raincoats — or the raincoat never really fitted me properly! I was always on the outside of the clique. I was younger than them and quite naive in some ways which was probably annoying for them but I think I was also taken advantage of in some ways. It came to an end during the recording of Odyshape when they decided to change horses midstream and go for a sparser percussive sound with studio manipulation. K: Is it true that you wrote some of the songs on Odyshape and weren’t credited properly for it? I was credited for some of it,

but we wrote a lot of the songs kind of together. Then when I left the band, although the credit was always shared, I was then cut out.

D: Did you carry on playing the drums after The Raincoats? No,

I helped out with other things. Bits of percussion or violin with friends in bands like the Television Personalities, but no, didn’t play the drums again.

D: What do you think makes you different from other drummers?

The obvious one was that I was female. Most music then was still the normal 4/4 beat. I tended to work in and around the music, rather than just carry the beat. The drums were another kind of instrument, and that suited the Raincoats style. I first heard the word “polyrythmic” applied to my drumming when I was staying with Ornette Coleman’s manager in New York. I was chuffed when Robert Wyatt praised my drumming — but that might just have been because he’s a nice guy! K: Will you ever drum again? No — you always take the piss! 31


Country Issue

Full Name: Cara Robinson Age: 39 Hometown: Bangor, Northern Ireland Lives In: Boreen Point, Queensland Past Bands: Cara & the Robinsons (UK) Bad Habits (IRL). Current Bands: Hat Fitz & Cara Day Job: Music Kit Setup: 1920’s Ludwig kick, 1940’s Slingerland Radio King floor tom, 1965 Ludwig snare; two crash cymbals (12” & 16”), hi hats.

That Big Ol’

bass drum Hat Fitz & Cara


By Kasey Peters photos by Paul A rmour

ara Robinson grew up in Bangor, a small seaside town in Northern Ireland, and became well-known in the Irish and UK scene as a blues singer with her bands Cara & The Robinsons and the Bad Habits. She’s toured Europe and the US with Jamiroquai and Corinne Bailey-Rae, backed up Rihanna, toured Japan and opened for Beverley Knight.

The combination of your voices is lush and swampy, with harmonies full of pathos. Were you immediately embraced by Fitzy’s fan base?

However, these days Cara can be seen gigging behind a big ol’ bass drum! A few years ago she upped sticks and moved to the other side of the world to join her love, fellow blues singer Hat Fitz, on a new musical and romantic adventure. For Cara, home is wherever she’s making music. From Bangor to Cootharaba — any small seaside town will do.

Do you bring an Irish sensibility to Hat Fitz & Cara? Would you blend reels and jigs into your rootsy, old timey sound?

It was Northern Ireland taking more time, as they held Fitzy as this international, fully acclaimed star and, in their eyes, I was just the local girl hitching a ride. Now, they’re very supportive and we packed the last show in Belfast, which meant a lot to me.

My washboard has a grill that’s over 100 years old, with a native frame built around it. It’s one sturdy washboard and takes no prisoners.

Tom Tom Magazine: You now live in Australia with your husband Fitzy and are part of a duo with him called Hat Fitz & Cara. When did percussion turn into drum kit playing and was that out of love, necessity or both? Cara Robinson: Watch-

ing Fitzy play was so inspiring, that I went home and searched for a kit, as I had this wild feeling that I wanted to have a go. I was lucky to be given an old kit from a friend and so I would say I starting playing the kit out of love. Oh and Fitzy would not be seen dead with a cajón, ah ha ha! Hat Fitz had already been well known in the roots and blues scene in Australia and blues has always been part of your repertoire, with your powerful soulful voice. I imagine the formation of your duo was fairly seamless? For a while I just sat back and

got my head down into playing the drums. That was enough for me. Then Fitzy coaxed me out to sing more on my own and then together.

Fitzy has inspired me to play more traditional style. We write all our own melodies with an Australian influence of traditional and hill country music. So it’s our own wee stamp on it all really. Tell us a little bit about your gear and set up. This year

I’m really excited to have my 1920s’ Ludwig kick drum back in Australia with me. It’s a beauty and has a lot of warmth and room resonance. I have an 1965 Ludwig snare that has a lovely deep sound and I’m hoping to reunite my 1940s’ Slingerland Radio King floor tom from Ireland. Then I will have the supreme kit. My hi hats are from the ’70s, with a nice full sound and a 12” and 16” crash. I use the 16” as my ride. My washboard has a grill that’s over 100 years old, with a native frame built around it. It’s one sturdy washboard and takes no prisoners. Your older drums look great and really suit the music you play both sonically and visually. Where did you find them? We do a lot

of travelling and keep our ears out always for a vintage seller. There are a few in Melbourne and Sydney — and they mostly sell from their homes, so you get to see what they’re in the process of making when you go round, which is great. 33


Country Issue

delta blues, Family Style HOMEMADE JAMZ BLUES BAND By Matthew D’A bate photo courtesy of artist

All brothers and sisters have their share of drama — but not all of them channel that drama into a killer blues band. In 2007, Homemade Jamz Blues Band qualified as the youngest blues band ever to be signed to a major label. Northern Blues Music, out of Toronto, released the solid freshman work, Pay Me No Mind,when the Mississippi Delta based Perry siblings (Ryan, Kyle, and Taya) were 16, 14 and 9, respectively. Since then they’ve recorded three other albums, played all over the States and abroad, and had their song ‘Hobo Man’ featured on the hit Fox series Justified. I asked Taya how she joined her brothers in their Blues adventure. “I didn’t really have a defining moment, it just happened,” explains Taya Perry. “While my brothers were practicing one evening, I asked them if I could play the drums. Needless to say, they told me ‘no’. After mom intervened, my brothers reluctantly allowed me to join them for the remainder of their practice Name: Taya Perry Age: 14 years old Hometown: Tupelo, MS Lives in: Tupelo, MS Current Band: Homemade Jamz Blues Band Cymbals: Sabian (sponsor) Hardware: DW hardware Fav Venue: BB King’s Bar, NYC Fav Band: Paramore Fav Food: Chicken strips with ranch sauce


session. To their surprise, I was able to keep the beat, timing and the pace through all the songs they practiced. Later on that day, they asked me to be their drummer. I accepted and never looked back. I was seven at the time.” Ryan Perry’s vocals are seasoned from John Lee Hooker salt, laced over traditional blues progressions often compared with the dexterity of B.B. King. When asked about how Ryan and his brother Kyle felt about their 7-year-old sister joining the crew, Perry explains: “Initially, we did not like the idea of her asking to play with us — we were 12 and 10 — simply because she was our little sister. By the end of our practice set, we knew we had to include her in the band. At the dinner table that night, we swallowed our pride as her older brothers and asked her to be our drummer. Our dynamic is what I would think would come from any family band; a very tight sound with everyone on the same page at all times. With us spending every second together, we know each other, our sound, and body movements to the point where all of us can hear a variation in the music and adjust to it accordingly. Taya being our drummer and part of our band has been a blessing. We wouldn’t want any other person to sit behind the drums but our little sister! So far, being a family band has been an amazing experience. All of us are still learning new things about ourselves and our music every day.”

W Infinity runs in all directions, including simplicity. It’s often what you don’t play that counts.

hen Michelle Josef performed in an all-star tribute to the late Canadian folk singer Kate McGarrigle — in a band that backed up Rufus and Martha Wainwright, Emmylou Harris, Bruce Cockburn, and Broken Social Scene among others — one of the performers, Robert Charlebois, said to her: “You’re not one drummer, you’re five drummers – a folk drummer, a rock drummer, a jazz drummer, etc.” Considering the caliber of musicians she was working with, she took that as high praise. Josef is not your average female country drummer. Her history is unique in that she underwent gender transition in 1997, the same year she was named the Canadian Country Music Association’s Drummer of the Year. Ironically, the same day the courier brought the award to her door she received a phone call from her band Prairie Oyster telling her they were letting her go because her gender change was too much of an issue for them. “It was a great gig and I loved playing with them. After the soup hit the fan about my gender transition and I was let go, I didn’t work for a year. It was not only financially challenging but spiritually and emotionally challenging. I always wonder how different it could have been if they had kept me in the band. They could have made this world a slightly more accepting place for transgendered people — but I guess they weren’t up to it. It was a different time then. I never wanted to be an “issue.” I still don’t. I just want to rock the joint and turn the audience’s crank.” Josef was 12 when her parents, hard-working but poor Ukrainian immigrants to Canada, scraped the money together to buy her first drum set. She began taking lessons in the local music store and in high school enrolled in the school band. “The music teacher lined us up in order of height,” Josef said. “Since I was tall, I was given the string bass. The chubby kid played tuba, and the smaller girls played flutes and violins.” Josef said she really learned how to play drums by putting on headphones and “jamming along to Jimi Hendrix records. I was a total Mitch Mitchell freak.”

Michelle Josef A Country Drummer in a Class by Herself By Angela Smith

By listening to drummers such as Roger Hawkins, Al Jackson, Jr., Bernard Purdie, and Harvey Mason, Josef learned that “you don’t have to play a lot of fills to be a great drummer.” As a student at Ontario College of Arts, she discovered Weather Report. “Psychedelic music and soul music were my first loves, although I have gone on to play a lot of ‘roots” styles — country, reggae, blues, swing, etc.” She says for drummers to effectively play country and folk music they’ve got to love the songs. “Country and folk music are all about the voice and the song. The drummer’s role is to be supportive. I am a singer’s drummer. I look upon what I do as supplying the pulse and the rhythmic tonal spectrum of the song I’m playing. I do drum seminars and I tell the students that there’s a time to pay the drums and a time to play the song. Ninety-nine percent of the time you are hired to play the song.” Some musicians , she says, look upon country as simplistic. “There’s not a lot of tight syncopation with wacky accents or odd time signatures. Still, there’s a lot of skill required to play with dynamics, sensitivity, a deep groove with great tone at quiet volumes. Infinity runs in all directions, including simplicity. It’s often what you don’t play that counts. It’s impressive to have the chops when you need them, but this kind of music rarely calls for elaborate or fast fills. Too many drummers think you really have to whack a drum to make it sound good. They confuse energy with tone. I learned to play quietly from working with Etta James. She demanded that you play from a roar to a whisper, and slowly, too.” She also made it clear, Josef said, that she “would punch your face if you didn’t deliver.”


Country Issue

sera cahoone e is lik

DEALING WITH DYNAMITE By johnny atlas illustration by amber valentine

Sera Cahoone is a Seattle-based singer-songwriter signed with Sub Pop records. Cahoone drummed for Carissa’s Wierd and Band of Horses before releasing her own self-titled record in 2006. A Colorado native, Cahoone’s music is inspired by the deep roots and dust of classic country, while maintaining the Northwest lo-fi pull of port so many Seattle based musicians are known for. Tom Tom Magazine: Which came first, the drums or the dynamite? Sera Cahoone: Ha, well, the dynamite! We always had it in our

garage growing up.

Was your dad always a Rocky Mountain Dynamite salesman?

Yes. His father was in mining, and as long as I can remember my dad sold dynamite. Did being the daughter of a dynamite salesman shape you as a drummer? Growing up we trav-

eled to a lot of mining conventions and parties where there would be good old country music playing. I am sure that exposure had something to do with my musical tastes, if not my drumming.

You began playing drums when you were 12, what drew you to playing drums? I was always

obsessed with drums. When I would listen to music it was always the first thing I heard. I would constantly bang on stuff as a kid. My teachers would get pissed at me. I finally convinced my mother that if she bought me a drum set I wouldn’t bang on things anymore. Well, that was a lie, but it worked! Then I could play along to songs like “Funky Cold Medina” and make my mom dance. I thought I was pretty damn cool. Did you have any female drummer role models when you began playing? I was a huge Luscious Jackson fan. Kate Schellenbach is awe-

some. Of course Karen Carpenter! There are so many these days it’s hard to name a select few. But, I’ve always loved Janet Weiss, Cindy Blackman and this local drummer Faustine Hudson is great.


What do you love most about playing drums? I’m definitely in my comfort zone when I play the drums. It comes more naturally for me. I’m much more confident and comfortable. I love to just be in the background and zone out to other people’s songs. When you are behind the drum kit, or think about yourself as a drummer, how much does gender influence your identity as a drummer? I think when I was younger it really did influence me.

There were not many female drummers. I felt like I constantly needed to prove myself. Which just made me work harder to try and kick all those boys’ butts.

Do you ever feel burned out or unmotivated playing music? If so, can you pinpoint what caused the burn out? Unfortunately I do. Af-

ter my record Only As The Day Is Long, I toured a bunch. One of the last big tours we did someone broke into our van and stole all our guitars and gear. It was already a rough tour so that was the dagger for me. I knew it was time to take a little break and try to make things feel good again. That’s why it took a little while before I released Deer Creek Canyon.

Your solo career has you in front of the drums, what inspired you away from the drums towards singing-songwriting? I always

loved the guitar as well. In high school I slowly started learning chords. I never wanted to be a singer and I was the shyest kid. But, I started humming along to the chords, and writing songs. I wrote my first album almost accidentally. I had been touring with Carissa’s Wierd and just felt inspired on the road and ended up writing an album. Your new album, Deer Creek Canyon, is a lot about love and home and relationships, do you ever see yourself moving back to the Rocky Mountains, or has the Northwest won your heart? I do ac-

tually. I think about it a lot. All of my family is in Colorado. I don’t know if I ever will, but I sure miss it. I do love Seattle so much though as well. It would be very hard to leave this wonderful city.

one drummer one question

by melody berger PORTRAI T by amber valentine

When you’re feeling burnt out and unmotivated (as we all do from time to time) what tangible steps do you take to feel inspired about music again? What activities do you find yourself doing when you feel the most happy/inspired to play/learn music? When you’ve felt burnt out, what were your primary activities that caused the burn out? Linda Pitmon: I find that I may experience a dip in creativity if I’m spending too little time listening to music that fills me. When I listen to a supremely beautiful song I’m inspired all over again by the way that music can change your mood and your entire approach to your day. I keep my love affair with music alive by revisiting the records that made me want to play in the first place.

My fire to play is stoked most often by having new songs to work on. I feel the great surge in creativity when all the possibilities are open and I’m digging deep for an interesting approach. This is especially true when I’m in the studio and know that I can build on my part with other instruments. Ultimately though, I’m most inspired when I’m on-stage with my friends channeling a cathartic energy that cannot be created in solitude. 37

gina “G” osmar By Jenifer Ruano Photo by Rudy Ximenez

At only 13 years old, Gina “G” Osmar has left wellrespected musicians and producers wanting more and asking her to contribute to their albums. She has played more than 300 live shows and has been asked to be a session drummer for well-known country artists. She’s also an artist endorser for Soultone Cymbals. Gina has emerged as young talent and has caught our eye here at Tom Tom. Don’t let her age fool you. This girl rocks!

Tom Tom Magazine: At the young age of 12 years old, a lot of wellrespected musicians and producers are singing your praises. How have you managed to achieve your level of success at such an early age? GINA “G” OSMAR: I was just blessed with doing what I love and

being at the right place at the right time, I guess? It really came as a surprise! My dad just recorded videos of me playing at various churches and I guess the right people saw it that liked my work.? Who Is It Records in Nashville heard me do a song, “Lonely Night in Georgia” which was a ½ time shuffle. All of a sudden I was getting friend requests on Facebook from people I didn’t even know and a lot of comments on that video. Next thing I knew, I was recording at Tombstone Studios in Nashville!

We read that you are mainly a self-taught drummer and that you got your first drum kit at age 6. Tell us about how you developed your skills early on? How has your drum kit expanded to what it is today? My dad brought home coffee cans from his restaurant

when I was 3. I would just put them on the floor with some lids up for toms and some steel bottoms up for cymbals. I just started keeping a rhythm! My dad first showed me how to do 4/4 time to the song “Bad Company”. Then I just started playing along to Bad Company, Joe Satriani and others. When I was 6, I got my first


real kit for Christmas, a Tama Swingstar. I could hardly see over it but it sounded great! I was invited to play on stage with the youth band at our church after their rehearsal. I played from memory, the last song that they rehearsed and I was asked right there to join the church youth band. I was 7 at the time. I have been on stage playing live on-stage with adults ever since then. I’ve now played over 400 live performances. Then, in 2011, I was signed to Soultone Cymbals after they saw my videos and in 2012, I was signed to Pearl Drums and Hardware. My current kit is an 6 piece Pearl Masters kit in Birdseye Maple with toms in 8”, 10”, 12”, 14”, 16” that are all rack mounted and an 18”x 20” kick and 2 snares; a 13”x 6” Reference Series 20 ply and a 10”x 6” Maple Popcorn. I have 15 Soultone Cymbals and two sets of their hi-hats. That’s amazing! And you were recently asked by Soultone Cymbals to be an artist endorser. How did that opportunity work itself out? Soultone called one day in 2011 and said they saw some

of my videos and liked my work. They offered me to be an artist endorser. I had not played their cymbals before. My dad took me to a local store in Austin, “Music Lab” that was carrying their cymbals and they had a kit set up. I loved them from the minute I played them! Most of my cymbals are from their “Extreme” Series.


N Name: Gina “G” Osmar Age: 13 Hometown: Georgetown, TX Past Projects: Robbie Bever Current Projects: Banana Nightmare Drum set up: Pearl Masters Kit in Birdseye Maple. 7”x8”, 7”x10”, 8”x12”, 12”x14” & 14”x16” rack toms; 18”x20” kick; snare is a 13” - 20 ply Pearl Reference snare in Maple and a 6”x10” Pearl Popcorn snare also in maple. hardware: Pearl cymbals: Soultone prototypes microphones: Audix & “Kelly SHU” installed in my kick drum microphone stands: ProLine Pedal: Pearl Double Demon Eliminator Throne: Pearl memory foam Favorite Movie: “Signs” with Mel Gibson

You attended NAMM 2013. What was your experience like there and what type of activities were you involved in? Wow! That was cool!

I was invited out by Soultone Cymbals and couldn’t believe how huge this NAMM Show was! I don’t think that I saw 25% of it! I met a lot of great musicians like Will Calhoun, Virgil Donati, Michael Cartelleone, Mike Johnston and Mike Mangini. I met Mike Mangini the year before at a Dream Theater concert but, he’s really cool! Mike Farriss, Director of Artist Relations for Pearl was really cool. He took me all over and introduced me to everyone. This was the first time that I met Mr. Farriss since I was signed. I was also recently signed by Audix Microphones and got to meet the whole team including Cliff Castle, Vice President of Sales who gave me an artist endorsement as well. I hope to go back next year because there was just so much to see!

And are your parents or any siblings musicians as well? My dad

actually started on drums. He said he played from age 5-15 and then switched to guitar. He has been playing guitar since then, which is a long time! What other musicians do you draw influence from? Mike Johnston,

Darren King from Mutemath, Mike Mangini from Dream Theater.

So is playing drums a hobby for now, or do you see it as a long-term career? I told my parents about 2 years ago that I would like to

play session drums and tour for a living.

Tell us about your regimen. Do you practice daily? What do you do to stay fit at the kit? Sometimes I just don’t get on the kit for

a day and sometimes I go in my studio 2 or 3 times for an hour or more. Sometimes I just feel like playing “A Random Beat”, (I call it) but, most of the time I’m rehearsing songs that I’m going to play that weekend at church or wherever I’m playing and that helps me develop skills to perform on stage with the band. I do take lessons for reading and technique with Tony Miller from Austin Drum Lab and some online lessons with Mike Johnston. And I am sure as busy as you are; you still want to be a kid! What other fun things do you do? I love Sports! I wish I could get on a

football team! I play basketball, baseball, football, run track. I also taught myself to play piano and I want to start to play bass as well so that I can record all of my own music. I also love to just hang with my friends. But right now, I’d like to be a touring and continue as a session drummer. I still have a lot of time!


hasidic rock /

bulletproof stockings By A rielle A ngel Photos by Camilo F uentealba


t’s Saturday night and I am going to see the Brooklyn-based band Bulletproof Stockings. But they aren’t hitting a Lower East Side club or a Bushwick basement. The self-described “Hasidic alt-rock girl band” will soon be playing a brightly-lit dormitory rec room at Stern College for Women. The door staff consists of two girls dressed fashionably, but modestly in long skirts and long sleeves. “You’re not from Stern,” one says to me, frowning at my jeans. I tell her I’m interviewing the band, and she nods to the bouncer, a seven-year-old with a magic marker, who draws a smiley face on my hand for re-entry. The evening has been billed to Stern students as a night of “female empowerment through music,” and over the next couple hours, I will hear many girls — the event organizers, the student “opening acts,” and Bulletproof Stockings — preach about the importance of “using your gifts” and “inspiring other women.” As limp as these phrases sound on their tenth utterance, this kind of encouragement is much needed. According to Jewish law, there is a mitzvah, or commandment, called Kol Isha, in which a man is not permitted to listen to the singing voice of a woman outside of his immediate family—one of many laws that go to extraordinary lengths to limit “improper conduct” between the sexes. This means that while a Hasidic musician like Matisyahu 40

Full Name: Dalia G. Shusterman Hometown: Potomac, MD Lives in: Crown Heights (Brooklyn, NY) Past bands: New Orleans Klezmer All-Stars, Current Band: Bulletproof Stockings Drum Set Up: DW PDP Maple 5 piece Cymbals: Sabian B8 Rock HH, B8 Pro Thin 16” Crash, B8 Plus Ride Hardware: Pearl Fav Venue: Mimulo flower shop & The Clandestine Hester Fav Food: Kosher

can achieve superstardom and still be within the bounds of halacha (Jewish law), it would be hugely problematic for an observant woman to attempt the same. Bulletproof Stockings is trying to change that. A collaboration between Perl Wolfe, a keyboardist and vocalist who has been described by The New Yorker as “a less angst-ridden version of Fiona Apple,” and drummer Dalia Shusterman, who spent the late ’90s/early aughts touring and recording with the indie band Hopewell, Bulletproof Stockings knows that they have crossover appeal, and they intend to push it as far as it will go. But they don’t intend to compromise their faith: their live shows are “ladies only.” “We don’t feel limited,” Shusterman tells me after the show. “People say ‘you’re cutting out half your audience.’ So we can only reach 3 billion people instead of 6 billion? Whatever.” According to halacha, the women are not prohibited from performing; it is the men who are prohibited from listening. Therefore, Shusterman says, it’s not for them to worry about men accessing their music indirectly or on the internet. “We’re not focused on that,” Shusterman says. “We’re focused on creating a space for women to be free with their creativity, without having to worry about any projections or innuendos. And a lot of women, Jewish and non-Jewish, are appreciating that.”

DRUMMERS Listening to Shusterman talk passionately about the value of an all-women space, it’s clear why feminists have long been flummoxed by Orthodox Judaism. On the one hand, here are confident, creative, ambitious women talking about a space free from the impositions of the male gaze. On the other, the separation itself is externally imposed, and tends to limit female engagement in much of public life. The Stern student tapped to kick off the evening with a D’var Torah, or a bit of Jewish learning, seems to confirm the worst. During her cringe-worthy ramble, she says she used to wonder what was so wrong with women becoming rabbis, but now she knows women don’t have to be “equal.” They have a “greater gift.” They are the “backbone,” the person behind every great rabbi. I’m charmed, however, when she’s followed up by three all-girl acts in a row, an acapella group and two singersongwriter types. Though the quality is varied, I can’t remember the last time I saw an all-female line-up in the heavily male-centric music scene. And when these girls sing about “Him,” they aren’t singing about guys, but about a deeply felt spirituality all their own. It’s refreshing. The band arrives late, wearing red lipstick, hand-beaded jackets and long vintage dresses, and affectionately fixing each other’s sheitels, the wigs Orthodox women wear for modesty. Wolf and Shusterman are joined on-stage by their new upright bassist Elisheva Maister. They begin with a song off their EP called “Easy Pray.” It’s immediately clear that they are not just a novelty act — Bulletproof Stockings rocks. The music is catchy and accessible, but not canned, and in the next few days, I will find myself humming the songs on train platforms. Though the band insists that the lyrics have a spiritual message, they are completely unthreatening to the secular listener. Wolfe is a compelling frontwoman, with a voice in turns sultry and strong. For her part, Shusterman looks seasoned and natural behind her drum set, and I’m enjoying the cognitive dissonance around her being simultaneously a Hasidic mother of four and a member of a buzzworthy indie band. So, do the girls in the audience look “freer”? Sort of. They’re having fun, but even without boys, the hierarchies of their own social structure still exist, and they all seem to be watching each other. It helps when, about halfway through the set, someone mercifully shuts off the lights. “This past Shabbos was Shabbos Shira,” Wolfe tells the audience between songs, referring to the Torah portion read and studied in the previous week. She reminds the girls how the women led the Israelites out of bondage in Egypt with singing and tambourines, segueing into the “use your gifts” message of the evening. It’s no surprise that BPS routinely takes an inspirational tack. They are members of

Chabad-Lubavitch, an outreach-driven sect of Hasidic Judaism led by the late Rebbe Menachem Mendel Schneerson — a group that has been extremely successful at attracting secular Jews to greater observance through their joyful, non-judgmental approach. Wolfe was raised by two such Chabad ba’al teshuvas, or “returnees to the faith,” and Shusterman went from a Modern Orthodox upbringing to Hasidic life. Both women dabbled in non-observant lifestyles. “It was a different Crown Heights ten years ago,” Shusterman says, referring to the Brooklyn neighborhood that is the movement’s center. She describes a time period in which a lot of creative kids were “frying out,” or leaving the religious community for the outside world, because they didn’t think they could access creative outlets. “Now people are really owning their voices, and finding ways to do it within the context of halacha.” Women in the community are hungry for this, she tells me, and recently there have been more and more all-female events popping up. I ask Shusterman if she thinks that the influx of ba’al teshuvas is partly responsible for the recent renaissance. She stops short of endorsing my theory, but does acknowledge that ba’al teshuvas have definitely brought some “new life.” “People welcome it. We’re learning from each other.” BPS alternates original music with Hasidic niggunim, and other Jewish music. While it’s interesting to hear a modernized version of a traditional song like “Ashreinu,” I must admit, I much prefer the BPS originals. Then again, I may not be the target audience; the Stern girls don’t miss a beat. It’s “Frigid City,” though, that has them going wild. This tune is BPS’s banger, and they know it — complete with an acapella breakdown in which Shusterman is up on her feet, knocking her sticks together in veritable rock star fashion. At this point, with the audience jumping up and down ecstatically, it isn’t difficult to believe in Bulletproof Stocking’s women-only vision. It seems worth pointing out that neither of the core members of BPS are married—Wolfe is a divorcee and Shusterman is a widow. In a community where many women’s identities center around their role as wives, it’s hard not to find redemptive messages in the very existence of this band and what they are trying to do. For Shusterman, who thought that her music days were behind her when she began building her family in the Hasidic community almost a decade ago, this new development seems like a dream. “It’s like re-living a really magical time in my life, but without the yucky stuff. It can really just be about the music.”

a chip on the ole block /

“I’d have Tchaikovsky on synths, Meg White on drums and Prince to tie it all together on guitar.”

Name: Gigi Age: 23 Hometown: Bristol, UK Lives in: London, UK Past bands: Wilder Current Bands: Willy Moon Drum Set Up: Tama Superstar - 24” kick, 14” snare and a 16” floor tom. Cymbals: 19” A Custom Rezo crash, and a 20” Zildjian Sweet Ride and 14” Rezo hats. Hardware: Standard Tama touring hardware, Iron Cobra kick pedal Fav Venue: La Fleche d’Or, Paris Fav Band: Haim, Fleetwood Mac


willy moon’s gigi golderro


By Mindy A bovitz Photos by Bex Wade

e found out about this British rock star when Tom Tom’s Kiran Gandhi (then working for Interscope Records) wouldn’t stop raving about her. She saw her play live in LA and was taken aback by both her stage presence and her seamless use of the kit and drum pads. When she headed back home, one of our favorite photographers, Bex Wade, was in the UK and ready to shoot her. What follows is an interview with a fiery drummer put together by three of her fans here at Tom Tom. Tom Tom Magazine: First of all, I love how you incorporate samples into your beats with Willy Moon. What are you using to trigger those samples? GIGI: Currently using some Roland RT-10k

acoustic drum triggers into an SPD-S pad.

What are the lowest and highest points in your career so far?

I sunk kinda low when I vomited after playing a show in France. I was exhausted. It is hard to understand when you’re not touring how intense it can be on your body. A high point: it was quite amazing having Jools Holland and Jack White (not at the same time) compliment my drumming. What is your favorite thing about touring?

You’re constantly seeing new parts of the world, it’s an incredible opportunity. Cliché I know but it’s true. Then there was that time I went skinny dipping with champagne and a rapper at our hotel in Hollywood. That was epic. What movie/book/artist is inspiring you right now?

Haha, this makes me seem like I’m completely Fleetwood Mac obsessed (maybe I am, thank you for proving this to me) but I find Stevie Nicks quite inspiring. The way she speaks - she seems confident, innocent and naive at the same time. A few interviews I’ve seen of her during the early ’80s/late ’70s capture that side of her beautifully. It’s inspiring. How would your childhood music teacher describe you?

An annoying, won’t-stop-talking, disruptive little noise maker. What are you doing/working on now?

Currently I am working with Willy Moon, that’s my job. In my spare time, I have my own band with a couple friends back home. What three things would you take to a desert island? I would

take a book on how to play the piano, a piano and a solar pow-

ered iPod with loads of music on it. I think I’d probably be alive for like 22 minutes. What three people (dead or alive) would you like to be in a band with? I’d have Tchaikovsky on synths, Meg White on drums and

Prince to tie it all together on guitar. I’d be their producer and I’d just sit back and watch. Who has influenced your work?

I love Matt Tong, Mick Fleetwood and actually I’m quite into the theatrical style Roger Taylor had in Queen.




By Madeleine Campbell & G arrett H aines Photos by Dave H idek

I first met Dani Buncher when I assisted on a drum recording session at Treelady Studios for her band Teammate’s new EP, The Sequel. Although the band’s two members are on opposite coasts (Pittsburgh and Los Angeles), they come together to create modern pop music with an edge and, as Dani says, “one of the happiest breakup songs ever.” Name: Dani Buncher Hometown: Pittsburgh, PA Lives in: Pittsburgh, PA Past bands: Big Hurry Current Bands: TeamMate Drum Set: ddrum w/ Roland SPD-SX Cymbals: Zildjian Fav Food: Soup

Tom Tom Magazine: How old were you when you started drumming and what made you want to start? Dani Buncher: When I was around eight, my

best friend played drums. His father was a drum teacher who inspired me to talk to my mom about getting lessons. Later, I was in the marching band in high school and at college. I loved playing snare drum and I think it’s definitely shaped the drumming style I have today. How did your current band, Teammate, begin? Team-

mate consists of Scott Simons and me. We dated for ten years. After our breakup, we remained best friends, and started recording music together. Next thing you know we formed Teammate. We’ve been touring and recording and our first EP was released by Rostrum Records on April 16.


Tell us a little bit about Teammate’s new EP, The Sequel. The Sequel EP is titled after our first single,

which is a pretty literal account of the story of my relationship with Scott. Basically it says this is who we are and this is how we got to this point. In our opinion it’s one of the happiest breakup songs ever.

How did being in the marching band impact your drumming today? The discipline of practice is huge. Learn-

ing how to read music and be really tight with other musicians. You may be marching in a line with twelve snare drummers, but everything has to sound like one drum.

Some marching people like die cast hoops. Do you use a die case or triple-flanged snare hoop? I actually

have an S-hoop on my snare. Unlike other hoops, the

S- hoop doesn’t extend above the head. It has a great crack to it when you hit the rim in the right place, but it doesn’t take over the snare drum sound. The only thing is mic-ing it live; you can’t clip a mic onto it. Can you say more on avoiding drum-related injury?

When I was in the marching snare, I played with thick, heavy sticks. I love the sound of a crazy heavy stick on drums, but the problem is that it can really damage your wrists. I went from playing with a 5B to a 5A. It’s a subtle difference but it matters. It’s definitely a challenge to rework your body into making the same sound in a different way. Do you notice that being a female drummer in particular has affected you in any way? Honestly, not really. I

think it’s just something you notice right away. I don’t know why that is. If you see a guy drumming, you don’t think to yourself “Oh, there’s a male drummer.” Really the main thing that’s affected me about being a female drummer is the stories I get to tell about interacting with people [who] aren’t used to a female drummer. There have been a few instances when I’m loading my drums into clubs to play a show where I have to convince the door guy that I’m in the band and not just someone’s girlfriend. I’ve definitely experienced some sexism in dealing with people with smaller minds. What advice do you have for a younger girl who wants to learn how to play drums? Just go for it! If you want

to play an instrument, no matter what it is, do your research. Read some books. Take some lessons and play with other musicians. Take it seriously. If it’s something you want to do, keep doing it and don’t stop. Knowing good technique is important. It can save you from injury and frustration down the road.

Do you alter your kit for when you’re on tour versus when you’re in the studio? When I’m recording, every

song is different. I like to sub in different drums and heads for different sounds as much as I can. My tour kit is pretty close to my studio kit with the exception of the snare drums and some cymbals.

Do you have any tips for a drummer who is about to go into the studio for the first time? I think if a drummer

wants to prepare themselves for recording in a studio, the first thing they should do is buy a metronome and start practicing to a click. That can be very frustrating experience if you aren’t used to it. You don’t want your first session to be the first time you play to a click. No, definitely not. It takes some

getting used to.


summer wood


My Kit: Mapex V Series shells and hardware Paiste 21” Twenty Maters Dark Dry Ride Paiste 14” Giant Beat Hi-hats Sabian 16” AA El Sabor Crash Onyx drum heads Vic Firth Steve Gadd drumsticks

band: four families

I found a really great second hand Tama Swingstar from the ’80s. It has a dreamy pearl color. Unfortunately there was no floor tom, so I have a newer Tama version. I have a broken Sonor Armoni crash cymbal which looks like somebody took a bite out of it. But I think that’s just what makes it’s sound perfect for me. My ride cymbal is an old Meinl Raker and it’s sound is like a light church bell and goes on like forever.

band: crystal soda cream

kitography Kitography is a feature of our magazine where female drummers from around the world are encouraged to take a photo of their drum set or set-up (congas, tabla, drum kit, drum machine, cajon) and send it to: with a brief bio and a link to their music. Then we post in online and some of them make it into print. Enjoy and submit!

Tracey Andronaco I play a 4 piece kit in blue sparkle. I also use Zildjian ZBT series cymbals and have 2 crashes (16” and 18”), a 20” ride and 14” high-hats. My drum heads are UK Remo. I have PDP, Pearl and SP Percussion hardware. I use Vater and ProMark sticks.

mandy dietz

b a n d : pile of kittens

Roseana Safos

I play DW drums.

band: bang bang My kit is a late ’60s Japanese copy of a Slingerland. 20” kick, 13” tom and 16” floor and a Fortune snare, from the Cleveland Drum company (that’s where we’re from). Formerly, the kit belonged to the drummer of the Coasters. It’s a great set for tour.

band: goldm ines


getting plaid /

Heidi Joubert’s story begins with a classic drum kit in apartheid

South Africa; at the tender age of 17, she left her kit behind and moved across the world to London, began busking, discovered cajón (the name simply means ‘box’ in Spanish, which it is) and swiftly became an icon for cajón players across the world through her simple, easy-to-follow cajón lessons on YouTube. Friendly, gorgeous, extremely energetic, and totally immersed in recording her band’s first album (Fernando’s Kitchen — Musica Fina), Tom Tom Magazine was lucky enough to pin Heidi down for a quick skype session.

Tom Tom Magazine: When and where did you start playing cajón? Heidi Joubert: Truthfully, everything started with busking and all

my music has developed from that. But before my family moved to London, which was one week before I was 18, I had a drum kit and I was taking simple lessons; amateur drumming. Then I just started playing sax on the South Bank in London with my mum, who plays piano, By R achel and my dad. I was a little bit of a rebel and I loved feeling free at that stage. That was where I met Sebastian Diez, from Spain, and he taught me the cajón with traditional Flamenco rhythms. I combined what he taught me with my knowledge of traditional drum kit playing. For the first 2-3 years I played outside, just busking. You pack up your batteries, amps, microphones, stands, and just play outside. That’s how I developed my style, and really learned Name: Heidi Joubert stamina. It’s cold Age: 25 out there!

Fernando’s Kitchen is making now. I’m looking forward to playing with new musicians in the future. You’re on the Wikipedia page for cajón! That’s basically the modern-day equivalent of finding yourself in the encyclopedia under ‘cajón.’ How did you get there? That’s actually a photo of us busk-

ing in Cambridge, London, but I have no idea how it got there. My friend contacted me a while ago letting me know I was on Wikipedia. To be honest with you, I just thank god. I was just screwing around and things fell into place.

Do you admire any female drummers in particular? Did you model your style after anyone? Actually, I read the Tom Tom interview

with the drummer for Lenny Kravitz [Cindy Blackman], and I liked the answer she gave to the sexist question. Obviously people like to make a thing about it, it’s just one of those things. For, me it’s not about girl or guy. So if I could pick someone, I’d say Jeff Ballard, because he’s awesome. Miller He really knows how to play the drums like an instrument, he knows how to make them talk; he knows how to make them play softly — I need to learn that.

heidi joubert From Apartheid South Africa to Busking in London

Hometown: London via South Africa Current band: Fernando’s Kitchen Kit: the cajón, simple as that

So your entire family moved from South Africa to busk in London. How did your family know you could make enough money to live?

My brother is a virtuoso guitarist. He practiced nine hours a day, that kind of kid. He started the London Guitar Institute, but before that he was playing in Covent Garden, and selling CDs—you just put ‘suggested donation’ really small on the corner of the sign and its legal—he made a really good living, even rented an apartment in the center of London, in a good neighborhood. He was our connection, our proof; we knew you could do really well busking in London. Are you in any other bands aside from Fernando’s Kitchen?

Truthfully, the last seven years of work are going into this one CD

Cajón has a really complex history: people say the cajón originated with African slaves in Peru, but there are different theories. Do you identify with any of these histories?

Right. I’ve read and heard the African slave theory, about how they weren’t allowed to keep drums so they just started playing on fishing boxes. Coming from South Africa, I was born before apartheid was finished, and an early memory was hate and dislike towards this rubbish of a difference between white and black people. When you start saying someone is lower than you because of this difference — this really ridiculous difference of different colored skin — I really hated that so so much. My family didn’t get into that kind of thinking even though we were white. My dad was working with the government that played a major role in the switchover to Mandela—there was going to be a civil war. Thank god that didn’t happen. * And anyway, screw that, you find a way. Love, life, music: whatever the darkness wants to do, wherever it takes over, life and joy and happiness and music mean something, it means more than anything. If people were playing with this box when they were oppressed, and if their drums were taken away, well I can identify with that. *President Frederik Willem de Klerk began major negotiations to end South African apartheid in 1990, and a multi-racial election in 1994 was won by Nelson Mandela and the African National Congress. 47

TRAIN BEAT EXERCISE By morgan doctor

The train beat is the most common beat used in country music. It is not a very difficult beat to play, but to have freedom within it to accent different notes can be challenging. Being able to accent freely comes in handy when you are accompanying solos. You want to have your hands free enough to respond to what the soloist is playing and be able to accent and play rhythmically along with them. This is a great exercise to get you comfortable accenting any note of your train beat.

play Exercise Train Beat this

R L R L R L R L R L R L R L R L 3

Morgan Doctor is a freelance drummer based out of Toronto. She currently is the drummer for Andy Kim, and was the drummer for the rock band, The Cliks, for over four years. Touring with The Cliks, she got a chance to play alongside Tegan and Sara, Debbie Harry, Cyndi Lauper, and The B-52’s. Morgan is endorsed by Yamaha Drums, Zildjian, and Vic Firth.



Switching to double-time is an effective way to bring up the energy of a song or even a drum solo. You may switch to double-time during the “cool” part of your song, the climax of the guitar solo, or wherever else you feel it’s right. It’s all up to you.

Arturo Garcia was born and raised in Venezuela. After re-locating to Miami he graduated from University of Miami Frost School of Music and has been musically active ever since. You can see him perform around town and nationally with The Tunnel, Palabra Viva, Gold Dust Lounge, among others. For more info go to or write to

You can start practicing the switch by playing the snare while keeping the foot pattern steady. As you shift gears on top (your hands), your feet will continue playing the same pattern they were doing before the switching to doubletime. It’s a good idea to practice this with a metronome so your tempo is consistent.

play this


“B” (double time)

* Once you feel comfortable going back and forth from “A” to “B”, try it with your band and experience the results!





seven Common Beginner Drummer Problems By Ren é Ormae- Jarmer

In my drum-pinion, there are common issues that new drummers come up against. Here I address seven of them. I draw on my 20+ years of experience, schooling and performing along with the aid of some of my favorite technique methods books to provide some advice on how to get over these common problems.

How To Sit A slouching drummer with poor posture immediately communicates low self-confidence. Sitting too low on your throne forces you to reach higher to strike cymbals and wastes time, space, and energy to get there. The throne should be at a level that allows your thighs to be slightly higher to create an almost 90 degree angle with your leg. Feet should be lined up so knees are not hyper-extended forward over ankles. I didn’t realize for a long time that I played “squished” up and too close to my drum set since I was used to setting up a certain way in my youth. I’ve grown taller since then and an instructor pointed out that I needed to stretch out a bit to accommodate my growth into an adult! Finally, a good quality drum throne can never be underestimated: make sure it is comfortable, adjustable, and heavier duty to withstand years of hauling around and being used. Sitting on the wrong seat can result in back and butt pain. Don’t skimp on the throne, it’s worth it!

Arms To avoid “monkey-arms,” it is important to relax. Many drummers raise their elbows too high as soon as they get ready to play. Ergonomically speaking, this creates intensity in the shoulders and before you know it, you are as stiff as a board, sore, barely able to keep up with the song and your band. (Not to mention bananas may start to fly at you….). Keep your elbows at your sides and allow your right arm to naturally curve in front of you as you reach with your hand to position over the hi-hat to play, if that is where you are starting.

Hands Many techniques including Gladstone, Traditional Grip, Match Grip (German, French, American) could fill this page. You need to be able to reach everything with ease. So do your hands a favor, adjust your drum set so you are not stretching to reach those crash cymbals. Let’s talk about the most popular grip, Match, and let us use two examples. Rock: match grip rock on the drum set is not the knuckles up, 45 degree German grip where you are looking like a rudimental drummer and stiff. The American grip is somewhere between 45 degree and a slight turn of the wrists affords us to look more at the thumb — but don’t turn your hands so you are looking strictly at the thumb (French). 50

Use the right tool for the right job. I use Vic Firth sticks. Use a good rock stick (I like the HD4 but anything bigger is fine, as long as it’s NOT a marching stick). The flags on the sticks are a nice place to put the thumbs. If you need to adjust the fulcrum (the balance point) up a ¼ to ½ inch, that’s okay, just be sure your sticks are even. Close the “smiley-face” between your forefinger and thumb, so there are no large gaps between them. This will give you a firm grip that will allow maximum contact with the stick (which helps keep down the possibility of losing a stick during that big drum break). Have other sticks readily available in case you rock out too hard. Jazz: Okay, this is a huge topic, but in a nutshell, jazz is way more relaxed, but not lazy. Jazz is still intense and you have to pay attention. Hands are more thumbs up, especially for the ride cymbal swing pattern. Important note: don’t use rock sticks for jazz. The heavier sound won’t afford you any finesse. Don’t worry; you can still hit the ensemble hits with force. It’s a common misconception that jazz is “quiet” all the time. In all cases—no extended pinkies (tea-cup drumming), no white-knuckles, no inward-turned or bent-upward wrists. Let the stick return to you, no buzzing or dribbles on the head. A clean stroke that returns is desired, however, don’t let the stick come back and hit you in the face. Play up as if you are playing in a tube in the center of the drum. Playing back and not playing up for stick height is a very common bad habit. Loss of control ensues and frankly it just looks floppy.

Feet Put them on the pedals and keep them there. Feet should never leave contact. For the rock bass drum, I’m a toeplayer and dig right in. However, it should be noted that to get a better tone, it is desirable to back off the pedal and let the bass drum tone come through. In the beginning, drummers are learning basic independence with all the limbs and the kick pedal should be played and pushed into the head until needed again. So, heel slightly up and play with the ball of the foot (not the toes). Too much of an arch will be overkill. For the hi-hat, it is important to keep it closed until needed. Since we’re talking basics here, just keep it closed and start getting used to pumping it with your bass drum during your fills on 1/4 notes.




Hitting the drums First of all, when a new student comes to me, I ask them to play how they normally play, and then bad habits are addressed. Most of the time, the sonic balance is off. What that means, is that not every drum is played with equal force or attitude. The bass drum may be too quiet, or the cymbals may start to get the “washing” sound because they are being hit in the wrong place and too loudly. So listen to each limb and what it is playing and try to make sure they are all evened out as far as dynamics. With all this said, each drum and cymbal has a tone and it’s important to get the best tone out of it. Make sure you are targeting the appropriate place to get the sound. For example, do not play on the bell of the ride cymbal constantly. Save it for Latin feels or special funk/rock grooves. The bell is punishing and can really annoy the listener. Oh yea, and wear earplugs. Cymbals can sear off the high end of your hearing, so get those puppies in your ears!

Dynamics Playing a regular 4/4 rock beat without any dynamics or development of the phrase (whether it be a 4, 8, 12 bar phrase) is a common problem for many drummers. It’s not enough to do the mechanics of keeping time. In order for it to sound good you have to pay attention to where your dynamics need to be: loud or soft, medium, or build to loud before the fill? And how about those accents? Drumming without any kind of accent pulled out is doomed to sound “square” and boring. Learn and feel the difference between a 2” and 12” stick height. Playing harder is not always recommended. At some point, there is no more tone to level the sound to be gotten out of pummeling your drums. In fact, if you just hit hard all the time, it can sound bad. Playing crescendos, accents and riffs that develop not only in complexity but also dynamically, can make you stand out from other drummers.








Keep them simple and dynamic if you are a beginner. Get some help from CMY a good drum teacher and listen to records to learn new fills and don’t play K them unless you know them! So many drummers don’t have a clue what they are going to play when it’s time to fill. Don’t be that drummer. Have a group of fills you can use and start developing more for your repertoire so you don’t freeze up or repeat yourself over and over. Don’t forget to keep some sort of time during your fills. So many drummers rush or drag without keeping hi-hat or bass drum going to keep some kind of time while you are out exploring the fill in the song.

Hi-Hat Finesse One of my early drumming heroes was Stewart Copeland and I especially love his famous hi-hat work on “Driving The Hi-Hat”. He is accenting the downbeats and that motion drives the sound forward. Using the Moeller approach on your hi-hat will allow you to whip up a faster tempo while getting that two-for-one special associated with Moeller method (described as a whipping motion, where the first stroke is generally emphasized and the second is the coming up on the return bounce up-stroke, another Googleworthy method that is widely used and requires more space to write about). Basically, emphasizing a driving hi-hat will give you playing speed, and an emphasized “lope”. Everyone eventually develops their own sound, and it is really apparent on the hi-hat approach. Generally, in rock you will use the shoulder of the stick and not the tip. The tip is used for more delicate funk and jazz approaches (unless you listen to Belle and Sebastian and hear the “ticky-ticky” tip of lighter playing in pop).




expression volatility

When lux from Nekromantix gets behind her ddrum Reflex kit, she’s gotta drive at full speed – with no room for doubt. Even when careening through daredevil turns, her solid musicality can never take a back seat.

Reflex is ready, though. Tour-quality construction makes sure the warm punch of our alder shells (the wood used in classic electric basses since the Fifties) is all hers to command – song after song, night after night.

The Tattooed Lady black chrome steel snare is another perfect fit for lux’s breakneck style. She’s a Lady of piercing strength and gorgeous menace, but with supreme response – and a voice that’s pure music. Reflex & The Tattooed Lady are fine examples, but really just a taste of ddrum’s 2013 collection... and lux isn’t the first drummer to find her perfect, personal voice realized among our versatile selection. From premium acoustic drum kits to wood & metal snares to drum triggers... let us help you find YOUR favorite methods of expression at ddrumUSA


ddrumofficial 52

the l atest on the greatest / gearheads

GEAR reviews top pick

Cymbal & Gong

OCDP Bell Brass Snare Drum

These are Modern vintage cymbals done the right way. Building modern cymbals that are consistent in sound and have a ‘real’ vintage look is a very tall order for any company, let alone a small company like Cymbal & Gong. As a critic and self-proclaimed cymbal junkie, I think they have gone far above and beyond fulfilling the challenge and offer a quality product at a reasonable price. The dark, complex, controlled trashiness certainly reminds me of the classic sounds of famous drummers like Art Blakey, Tony Williams and Ringo Starr! Within the Cymbal & Gong line are rides, crashes and hi hats that resemble old Zildjian A’s, K’s and Constantinoples. I would highly recommend giving them a try and, if they suit your palate, know you’re supporting an artisan community of instrument builders who are working hard to deliver superior craftsmanship rather than mass marketing. —Andy Worley

With a shipping weight of nearly 20 lbs, the OCDP Bell Brass snare is one of the beefiest snares on the market. Although it’s a monster, it has a versatile sound. The center produces thick meaty tones while rim-shots are bright and full of attack. Configured with a 6.5x14 solid bell brass shell with heavy-duty hardware, lugs and a real Trick throw off. Bell Brass snares were a studio secret in the ’80s and ’90s. This snare is limited edition and even at $999 it’s a steal. — Candace Hensen

The Bleep Drum

Roland TD-4KP

Made by Dr. Bleep, The Bleep Drum is a tiny drum machine that comes in a kit form for you to build yourself. How fun! It has four samples and a pitch controller to alter the sounds and you can record a sequence by tapping it out. The kit start is $60 kit or you can purchase pre-assembled version for $85. If you are into vintage drum machines, there is a good chance you’ll love this one. We are swooning over here. — Mindy Abovitz

The TD-4KP is a brand new innovation from Roland. It’s portable frame and smaller footprint make it great for a traveling drummer or drum teacher on the go. It even fits into the trunk of a car! The TD-4 module features 25 pre-set drum kits, auxiliary in, midi out, a metronome, and easy onboard recording. Also, tuning, muffling and ambience settings make it easy to dial in personalized tones. Dual zone pads make playing realistic. The TD-4KP is easy to use and fun to play. — Candace Hensen

Sabian 24-inch Bash Ride (Player’s choice winner) This 24-inch brilliant ride cymbal has all the makings of a classic! It has shimmering tones with great wash. The bell was small but mighty and able to cut through even the toughest of Marshall stacks. It’s deep lathes are reminiscent to 1960s’ era Zildjian. This cymbal reminded me a lot of the Sweet Ride but brighter and fresher. It’s wash wasn’t too overbearing and didn’t lose too much definition. This is a great cymbal for punk, garage, or anyone looking for a wash with great response. — Candace Hensen

Sabian AAX Frequency Crash (Player’s choice winner) Another winner from the player’s choice cymbal contest, the AAX Frequency Crash is smooth and brash in one powerful cymbal. The inner part of the cymbal is similar in look to the chopper; it has thick biting attack. The outer part is basically a lathed brilliant medium weight AAX crash. The combination of the two styles makes for a new and innovative, bright and complex crash. — Candace Hensen


MUSIC top pick Shellshag

Stereo Total


Shellshag Forever

Cactus Versus Brezel

Silence Yourself

Don Giovanni | April 2013

Kill Rock Stars | April 2013

Matador Records | May 2013

Shellshag is the longtime DIY duo from Brooklyn with a new album released on Don Giovanni Records. Shellshag Forever is, at its core, a pop-punk album. After a stint of releases with Starcleaner Records, Shellshag Forever makes bigger promises. A personal favorite from the new record is “Come Down” that reminds me of an early Kate Bush tune with a rock ‘n’ roll kick. It’s a light record, hence the pop-ness mentioned but the dial still tips toward punk and grime with the scruffy guitar in “Face to Face,” for instance. The wordplay alone will leave you slightly hooked on Shellshag, who make writing a punk album look so easy.

After thirteen albums and roughly twenty years together, it would make sense if the duo of Francoise Cactus and Brezel Goring were actually at odds as suggested by new Stereo Total’s latest album title. Yet, Cactus Versus Brezel is just as upbeat and playful as anything Stereo Total has ever released with only a few songs veering into minor key territory. Furthermore, Cactus’ perky drumbeats and pouty voice remain a perfect complement for Goring’s synths which seem to be permanently set on “1985.” Cactus Versus Brezel ends out of character on a plodding down-tempo number, “We Don’t Wanna Dance,” where Cactus poohpoohs the dance music in discotheques and states that she’d rather stay in bed. Yet, it’s a fair assessment only because there isn’t much dance music out there with the level of spunk and caffeine that they inject into their songs.

Whispers and buzz about this new British band built up to a dull roar by the time the album came out. The record itself builds up in intensity in a similar way. Eerie noises at the beginning suddenly burst into something dark, and yes, a little savage. The band knows how to string you along in their intense brooding and then they smack with you with bombastic bass and guitar, thunderous cymbal crashes, and wailing vocals. The band clearly is not trying to pander to their listeners. There aren’t many comfortable moments until the beginning of the piano-driven song “Marshal Dear.” And even that has an undercurrent of duress, like a Nick Cave song. Indeed, they’re not trying to exorcise their demons, they’re just trying to get to know them better.

Listen to this: for a few funny surprises to dance to. — Attia Taylor

Listen to this: When you’re on a sugar high and just want to pogo around. — Valerie Paschall

Brennen Leigh and Noel McKay Before the World Was Made Self-released | September 2013

This below the Mason-Dixon line group rocks to and fro with simple smiley songs like “Breaking Up and Making Up,” and lullaby-like tunes like the title track “Before the World was Made.” This album drips with American flavored lyrics about love, home, and hope with catchy rhythms supported by Lisa Pankratz’s drumming, twangy acoustic guitar, nostalgic fiddles, and the milky voices of Brennen Leigh and the harmoniously matched Noel McKay. While Before the World was Made is a country album at heart, it’s really just an honest, relatable, and fun piece of work that is worth listening to, even if you, like me, are one of those damn northern yanks. Listen to this while: sipping lemonade on your front porch in July while wearing cowboy boots with your old dog overlooking the farm or cityscape. — Stephanie Reisnour


Listen to this: as you bum a cigarette in a dimly lit bathroom on Avenue D. — Rebecca DeRosa

tunes reviews


The Sequel EP

Rostrum | April 2013 The first release by Pittsburgh-L.A. electropop duo TeamMate, The Sequel EP may be the most celebratory breakup album ever. After a decade of dating her best friend — keyboardist Scott Simons — drummer Dani Buncher came out as gay. Rather than throw in the towel, the two started writing songs. The Sequel is an up-tempo mix of cathartic, Mates of State-style boy-girl pop, with the Submarines’ bittersweet nuance and sly, dance floor-ready synthi-ness. Simons sings lead on most tracks, including the adorable “Girls With Boys Names,” and Buncher takes the mic on Blond Ambition-era Madonna cover “Causing a Commotion,” a fun lead-in to plaintive, Mike Snow-lite closer “LA Winter.” Listen to this: accepting the past, falling in love with the future and making out with the present. — Caralyn Green

Terri Lyne Carrington

Mercy Bell

Money Jungle: Provocative in Blue

All Good Cowboys

Concord Jazz | February 2013

Self-Released | August 2011

Renowned percussionist Terri Lyne Carrington pays homage to the iconic Duke Ellington/ Charles Mingus/Max Roach album Money Jungle, 50 years after its original release. Essentially still a trio record, Carrington’s recording features pianist Gerald Clayton and bassist Christian McBride. Carrington updates Ellington’s classic tunes with her arrangements and features from Clark Terry, Herbie Hancock and others, in addition to sound bites of Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, and Martin Luther King Jr. The core trio’s exceptional groove and camaraderie, combined with the familiar yet jarring political sound bites, guide the listener into engaging with and re-hearing Ellington’s melodies. Carrington is an exciting yet intellectual drummer, her music considered yet visceral. Money Jungle: Provocative in Blue gives a new voice to an old classic.

Mercy Bell’s album, All Good Cowboys, is like the hand-crafted root beer float of folk music. I’d order this album up at the counter of an old general store on the side of a dusty, Midwestern road, and sip it in through a swirled red and white paper straw. Overall, this album’s folky flare is crazy relaxing, and while Mercy’s creamy voice has a cold vanilla quality, it would have been nice to hear a varied vocal range throughout the album. Her acoustic chords and rhythms, while solid, also suffer from a lack of variation from song to song. The combination of Mercy’s soft and simple, but poetic lyrics captures her introspective observations. It’s easy to hear her Nashville roots in the subtle twangs tucked into every song. Let this album stitch you up in its patchworky rhythms, and enjoy its cozy Americana nostalgia.

Listen to this: back to back with the original, and see where 50 years has taken America culturally, economically, and musically. — Jo Schornikow

Listen to this: while enjoying the quiet, reflective headspace you find on the train, in the shower, looking out of sunny windows in the morning, or while sifting through old photo albums while drinking something sweet and fizzy. — Stephanie Reisnour




Black Rebel Motorcycle Club Specter At The Feast

E.D. Sedgwick


We Wear White

Self-released | April 2013

Dischord | November 2012

No one can deny that when Black Rebel Motorcycle Club releases an album, the same “band that broke the floor” (a reference to the now infamous mid-show cancelation of their 2003 Leeds City Hall show by officials for fear of destroying the 150 year-old floor boards with their raucous energy) will bring their West Coast alleyway swagger and crunchy, fuzzbox bass to the table. And the band’s seventh album release Specter At The Feast continues the same moody, eclectic mix of bad boy laments and boot stomping rock rhythms ala Jesus and Mary Chain. “The crime is never what you steal/ it’s what you leave behind,” singer Peter Hayes croons on the opening track “Fire Walker,” a haunting parade of both heavy, crackling electric guitar and steady beats executed by ex-Ravontette’s touring drummer Leah Shapiro (who joined the band in 2008). The album’s finale “Lose Yourself,” caps a solid effort with a symphonic cathedral of sound, reminding us that BRMC will revel in evocative rock with sexy confidence and grimy truths.

Anchored by the tunes of underrated songsmith Frank McGinnis, Secret is an earworm. Though many of these songs appeared in stripped-down form on Time Travels’ self-titled 2011 debut, the EP’s now-full-band approach has resurrected them, and each one bursts at the seams with keyboards and distortion. With an undeniable ear for pop melodies, McGinnis’ songwriting pulses with the nuanced beats of Samantha Niss. Her pounding bobs and weaves, never overpowering the track, but always staying in the picture. Riding on a bouncy piano melody and a heavy emphasis on hi-hat/snare interplay, the title track perhaps best represents this transition from bedroom-toband, pushing an already-catchy song into the stratosphere. “The Eye” feels like something left off the Empire Records soundtrack, and truthfully the whole EP carries a distinctly 90s-movie vibe, but bucks the post-hardcore aping of many modern bands, more Election or Pretty Woman than Kids. Trading in both shuffling nuance and outright bombast, expect this to stay on your car stereo this summer.

Justin Moyer’s Edie Sedgwick project has gone through multiple lineup and stylistic shifts. For years, the Dischord veteran dressed in drag, sang about celebrities, and performed with whomever was available. In late 2011, Edie Sedgwick went through an identity crisis and Moyer ditched the drag. Edie Sedgwick became E.D. Sedgwick with Josafeen Wells on backup vocals, Kristina Buddenhagen on bass, and Jess Matthews on drums. We Wear White is the Edie/E.D. album that truly breaks away from novelty act status. While the guitar riffs reveal Moyer as a post-punk veteran, there’s a lot of go-go influence that is obvious in the rhythm section as well in Wells’ formidable soulful vocals (check out “Goddam”). Matthews steers ship in “Rockin’ the Boat,” where her tight groove (which includes cowbell) lays down the funky foundation upon which the rest of the song glides.

Listen to this: while slipping on a leather jacket and doing your best Marlon Brando impression from The Wild Ones. — Matthew D’Abate

Listen to this: while trying to stop a corporate conglomerate from shutting down your neighborhood record store. — Rob Rubsam

Abstract Dragon | March 2013


Time Travels

Listen to this: When you want more grit at your dance party. — Valerie Paschall


thanks to our supporters

She Bop: The Definitive History of Women in Popular Music Lucy O’Brien

Jawbone Press | September 2012

art by jen may

If you can only have one book on your shelf about women in music, this is the one. This third edition (the first published 17 years ago) covers popular music starting with the vaudeville and blues of the 30s up to the pop divas and digital revolution of today. Lucy O’Brien examines the achievements and struggles of many notable musicians, songwriters, and businesswomen with decades worth of interviews and original source material. The author acknowledges that there are more singers highlighted in this book and not as many instrumentalists because women tend to be pushed into “showgirl” positions. One question she asked people was, “how do you express yourself?” The reaction she says was startling because women aren’t written about enough in terms of their body of work, rather they are put into categories like “angel” or “victim.” O’Brien herself played synthesizer as a teen in the early punk band The Catholic Girls which she says was a powerful experience, although short-lived. Most of the women documented in this book are from the UK and US (O’Brien is British), but there is an entire chapter on non-Western music. This book is a great resource for any music student or for musicians looking for inspiration. ­— Rebecca DeRosa

art by jen may

3< u o y e k i l i ’ n i l r a d y e h


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In celebration of our 50th year, we are excited to re-introduce Vic’s eight original models as limited-time collector’s items. Each model features a special commemorative branded logo like the one Vic made with his branding iron in the early days of the company. Available exclusively in 2013.




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Original branded sticks from Vic’s early years.

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VIC’S GARAGE–Dover, MA With his fledgling business underway, Vic accidentally drops a handful of sticks on his basement floor. Noticing that each stick makes its own definitive pitch, he begins pitch pairing all of his sticks—revolutionizing the industry.

Get the whole story at

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CHIME GIVES jewelry made from drum cymbals

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Brittany Maccarello

De’Arcus Curry

Lucy Fawcett

Karmi Santiago

Michel’le Baptiste

the funnies

sara’s guide to your drummer’s body language by sara lautman

bl ast from the past


helen peaches price by melody berger

‘Peaches’ Price began playing country drums in the mid 50s, which makes her not only one of the first female country drummers, but one of the first country drummers period. Playing with many LA based acts, she was a part of the classic ‘Bakersfield Sound’- a genre of country music popularized in the geographic region of Bakersfield, CA and brewed in honky tonk bars in reaction to the slickly produced ‘Nashville Sound’ that was reaching its heyday towards the end of the decade. Peaches is best known for drumming in Wynn Stewart’s band with heavy hitters Ralph Moody on steel guitar, Roy Nichols on lead guitar, Bobby Austin on bass and Gordon Terry on fiddle. She played nearly every session Stewart did from 1961-1965 and again in 1968. As part of this band Peaches played with country legend Merle Haggard on one of his earliest sessions for Tally Records in 1963. After this session she continued to play with Haggard for the next couple of years, contributing to country music history by drumming on his hits “Sing a Sad Song,” “(My Friends Are Gonna Be) Strangers” and “Swingin’ Doors.”



a magazine about female drummers the country issue

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