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ABOUT FEMALE DRUMMERS ISSUE 23: BANNED

DRUMMERS THAT REFUSE TO PUT DOWN THEIR STICKS

$6 | € 6 | £ 6 DISPLAY FALL 2015


Shout Outs

Contributors FOUNDER | PUBLISHER | DA BOSS Mindy Seegal Abovitz (info@tomtommag.com) OPERATIONS WIZARD Rosana Caban (sayyes@tomtommag.com) HEAD DESIGNER Marisa Kurk (hi@tomtommag.com) REVIEWS EDITOR Rebecca DeRosa (hi@tomtommag.com) HEAD ILLUSTRATOR James Douglas Mitchell (hi@tomtommag.com) JR DESIGNER Charlotte Elise Brewin

JR. DESIGNER Charlotte Brewin

WRITER Tallulah Costa

WRITER & PRODUCER Shaina Machlus

TECH WRITER Kaori Suzuki

TECH SECTION EDITOR Mickey Vershbow WEB MANAGER Maura Filoromo WEB INTERNS Sophie Zambrano, Christine Pallon & Simone Odaranile SHOP TOM TOM MANAGER Susan Taylor (shop@tomtommag.com) WEB CODERS Capisco Marketing PORTLAND POWERHOUSE Lisa Schonberg NORTHWEST SUPPORT Lauren K Newman, Allan Wilson, Fiona Campbell LA CORRESPONDENTS Liv Marsico, Candace Hansen BRAIN TRUST Rony Abovitz, Kiran Gandhi BARCELONA GUAPAS Cati Bestard, Shaina Joy Machlus NYC DISTRO Segrid Barr EUROPEAN DISTRO Max Markowsky WRITERS Tallulah Costa, Kaori Suzuki, Lia Pavlovic, Mindy Abovitz, Chris Sutton, Lucy Katz, Shaina Joy Machlus, Mariel Berger, Leah Bowden, Joe Wong, Kat Jetson, bo-Pah, Lorena Perez Batista, Nikkie McLeod SHUTTER SNAPPERS Jess Jones, Eva Carasol​, Stefano Galli, Erin Yamagata, Ashleigh Castro, Eva Carasol PICTURE DRAWERS Hannah Peck, Lia Pavlovic, James Douglas Mitchell, Erica Parrott TECH WRITERS Dayeon Seck, Kiana Gibson, Vanessa Dominique, Elana Bonomo, Morgan Doctor, Georgia Hubley MUSIC & MEDIA REVIEWS Jamie Frey, Matthew D’Abate, Mindy Abovitz, Caryn Havlik, Gabrielle Steib, Svetlana Chirkova, Lia Braswell, Emily Nemens, Jamie Frey, Anna Blumenthal, Lola Johnson, Maura Filoromo GEAR REVIEWS Rosana Caban, Mickey Vershbow, Kiran Gandhi, Mindy Abovitz COPY EDITOR Kate Ryan MERCI BEAUCOUP All of you, Virgin Atlantic, Gareth Dylan Thomas, Monkey, Monkeys, Chris J Monk, Baby Geezush, Peetz Patz, Ima, Shamai, Rony, Shani, E.B., Aba, Saba, Savtah, Monkey, Zoe, Angel, Scoot THIS ISSUE IS DEDICATED TO ANYONE WHO HAS REFUSED TO LAY DOWN THEIR STICKS.

GET IT GUITAR CENTER NATIONWIDE (US), BARNES & NOBLES (US & CANADA), MOMA PS1, ROCK & ROLL HALL OF FAME AND HUNDREDS OF OTHER DRUM + MUSIC SHOPS AROUND THE WORLD.

CONTACT US

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

FREE ON ALL VIRGIN ATLANTIC FLIGHTS AND IN ROOMS AT ACE HOTELS ON THE COVER

Photo by REVNEP MANIFESTO

TO SUBSCRIBE TOMTOMMAG.COM

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

The Mission


Letter From the Editor Generally people think that girls don’t play the drums because it’s a masculine hobby or profession. Rarely do we think about the fact that for some of us playing the drums is outright illegal. There are women and girls for whom playing the drums is not an option. They face discrimination, mockery, threats, imprisonment and even death if they were to pick up the sticks. Every day around the globe there are instances where girls’ lives are threatened if they try. These forms of oppression resonate and ripple through to those of us who are free to drum, and we feel it as though it’s our own. This issue focuses on the bravest of the brave. We interviewed female drummers whose families, societies, communities, religion and government forbade them from playing—and yet they play. Some of them play in secret, some have moved continents to keep playing and others were forced to stop. This issue celebrates those girls who refused to lay down their sticks. In solidarity and drums,

Mindy Seegal Abovitz

Photo by Meg Wachter

Publisher/Editor


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PALE HONEY Tuva & Nelly are schoolmates and musical soullmates. Find out more about this sweet band that is on the rise.

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DAPPER DRUMMER Jamie Scoles likes it black and white and we like her style.

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RECIPES FROM THE ROAD This time it's a Banana Bugle Rosemary Sundae. Yum.

Photo by REVNEP MANIFESTO

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CLOCKING IN: MEG LAZAROS Refinery 29's Art Director by day and drummer by night lives and dies by the Google calendar.

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BACKSTAGE WITH MARLHY MURPHY Marlhy discusses working with Amazon Studios in the show History of Radness.


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RUTHIE PRICE Drumming for life.

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MISCHKA SEO Superheroine South Korean drummer moved to Germany to keep drumming.

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RISE OF THE PAN WOMAN Nikkie McLeod's personal and historical story of the panyard.

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PARIĂ“ PAULA "Our music is the color purple, it's the color many women have used to build thei rights."

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JANINA GAVANKAR The True Blood actress talks drum corps.

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PEGA MONSTRO Portugese sisters doing it for themselves.

SIMONE ORDARANILE The Go Team's newest addition.

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JAPAN AND I Coming up playing music in South Africa's Apartheid.


LETTERS TO THE EDITOR Thanks for all of the support and everything you do for female drummers :)

Hello from London! Excellent ideas and concept. There is an increasing number of female drummers in the world which is brilliant. And it's a great idea to serve them more specifically. During my career as a musician and educator and particularly when I owned and ran Tech Music Schools the number of female players was always low. So this is all good news.

Cheers, Alana D (Drummer, Percussionist)

Your magazine rocks my world.

Francis x (London)

I love how specialised it is :D Even though I'm not a drummer my work is inspired by music. Cheers, Eva

Congratulations on all of your achievements in spreading the word and having your awesome magazine placed in all of these big locations!! I wish you continued success. I often find fashion inspiration in your colorful magazine images. Lauren B

I absolutely love your magazine and I'm inspired by what you do. I work at PAS and Rhythm! Discovery Center. Thank you, Erin J.

I love the magazine.

In a world where girls are expected to suck at drums and have to prove themselves even more, I personally appreciate your hard work. Angela (Tennessee)

Reading about other female drummers and bands. I just started reading #22 on touring and love it. I'm in my late 50s, married, in the investment management world and have been taking drum lessons for several years. My fantasy is to quit work and join a women's band and tour and play gigs. Keep up the great work!

It was awesome seeing Tom Tom passed around at the Rock n Roll Camp For Girls Los Angeles this summer and seeing everybody flipping through the pages:)

Regards,

Tom Tom Mag rules.

I found your site through an art blog, and I immediately fell in love!

Sara

April D (California)

Mike (NYC)

Hello Tom Tom Magazine, I am a french artist and I discovered and bought ​Tom Tom magazine and I find it's a really good project and magazine. ​​ Congratulations on your work! Mehryl L (Casablanca, Morocco)

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Just wanted to say thank you for being a major voice for female drummers.

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Thank you for the magazine! Whenever I go pick up my issue at Guitar Center I move the stack to the front rack. :) Warmly, Ashley

Hi!

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


WHAT WE ARE LISTENING TO Read the magazine, then listen to it! Visit tomtommag.com for this issue's playlist

Vulkano (stockholm, sweden) Ernest Sliver | Indie Folk | Praticello, Italy Marine | Indie-Pop, Concept, Alternative | London, UK Moon City Boys | MCB | Stockholm, Sweden Young States | Rock | Norwich, UK Abjects Band | Garage Punk | London, UK Paycheck | Circus Shoegaze | Brooklyn, NY Pony Time | Punk Rock | Seattle, Washington Fever Dream | Shoegaze | London, UK GAPS | Electro Pop | Brighton, UK Useless Children | Punk | Melbourne, Australia Big Joanie | Lo-fi Riot Grrrl Afro Punk | London, UK The Wharves | Garage Lo Fi Punk | London, UK Deep Heat | Punk | Melbourne, Australia Born Crooked | Alt Garage Rock | Charlottesville, VA The Ethical Debating Society | Lo-fi Post Punk | London, UK


Pale Honey The Sweet Stuff By Kat Jetson Photos courtesy of artist

To say that two women at the age of 22 are old friends seems a bit silly, but Pale Honey’s Tuva Lodmark (guitar/voice) and Nelly Daltrey (drums) are exactly that. Schoolmates and musical soul mates since they were 13, these sweet Swedes are making audio and video that sound and look gorgeous. There’s a strong vulnerability to their minimalist creation, which is a mix of the quiet/loud/quiet of the masterful PJ Harvey, and the melodic, soft heartbeat of the alluring xx. Even their goals, which read as a secret teenage diary, are lovely in their simplicity. That is, they wish to inspire, create, pet animals, kiss all day, and love up on Queens of the Stoneage. They accomplish this and more with an incredible amount of charm, and an unprecedented amount of sincerity. PH, RFTW!


How do the songs come about? Do they start from a lyric, a riff, an idea...? What inspires you to write? It’s always different. Sometimes they can come from a playful riff and drum beat at rehearsal, or it could be a sentence that’s been stuck in your head. Sometimes it’s just a simple riff that comes from playing guitar in bed. What are the benefits of writing as a duo—a duo that happen to be longtime friends? We know each other extremely well, and are completely relaxed with one another. We’re not shy to try whatever idea comes to our minds, and we’re not afraid of that idea sounding silly. We almost always like the same things when it comes to music, so our writing together works really well. You’ve been described in nearly every article as “minimalist”. How do you feel about that term? It feels like it describes our sound very well. We actually use it ourselves by describing our music as minimalistic rock, blended with melancholy pop. Can you talk a little bit about some firsts. What was the first song you wrote, either as a band or previous to the inception of Pale Honey? The first song you learned how to play on your respective instruments, and the first time you heard one of your songs out in the universe? The first song we wrote pre­Pale Honey was called ”Never Strayed.” It was raw, popish punk with

We’re not shy to try whatever idea comes to our minds, and we’re not afraid of that idea sounding silly. an intense and repetitive bass line. We learned to play our respective instruments together trying to hit the drums and guitar strings in a way that sounded good. We're self-taught when it comes to music, so we've kind of always had this playful and curious approach to it. The first time we heard one of our songs play on the radio felt very strange. What made it even stranger was that before our song (“Fish”) came on the radio, a commercial was ending and the last line of the commercial was, "Hey referee! You smell like balls!" We had a good time joking about that being the beginning of the song.

Illustration by James Mitchell

How important is the visual aspect to your music? It’s not our number one priority, but it’s something that we do spend time working on. Our music videos have been important projects for us, as well as press photos, which we mostly snap ourselves. Neither of us have any education in photography, but we have a shared interest. We pretty much have the same preferences, and a good feeling for each other’s ideas, so we love taking photos ourselves. It's simply another creative aspect of the band. How does your live set differ from your recorded music? For us there is a difference between recorded and live music. When you record your songs in a studio you have so many ways of experimenting with the sound ­­things you can’t do when you’re just a few people on stage and lack all the technical stuff you have in the studio. So yes, there are some small changes in all our songs when we play them live. We've tweaked some songs for them to be playable live and still be representable for us. If we don't think that a song is good enough, it gets removed from the live set. But, it’s not necessarily about the song not sounding like it's recorded version. What song has seen the most changes since its inception? That might be “Lonesome”. It started out as a very low­ key, synth­ driven song and became a riff heavy guitar song that’s explosive and energetic. Did you always work with electronic drums, or did you start with a traditional kit and then realize all that you could do with different drum sounds/ manipulation? Started off with a traditional acoustic drum set, but when we recorded the songs for the album we experimented a lot with different electric drum sounds. We ended up with something that fits our sound perfectly. In your opinion, what song (that’s not your own) has the most unique drum/percussion sound? We both love Queens of the Stone Age! When they made their album “Songs for the Deaf,” Dave Grohl recorded all cymbals separately from the kick and snare, giving the drums an extremely tight sound. A fantastic album! Just choose any song from it. What’s your favorite lyric by another artist/band? What’s your favorite lyric of your own band? Very hard to pick a favorite, but ”I can’t wash you off my skin” from the song “Go With the Flow” by Queens of the Stone Age is amongst them. That sentence is even tattooed on Nelly’s arm. As for Pale Honey, "Come morning and wash over me" from “Desert” is one of our favorite lyric parts. It was written in Paris the day before we recorded the vocals. We were passing a laptop between us in bed to brainstorm and finalize the lyrics to what we thought were perfect for the songs.

You’re relatively new to recording and playing out live, but what do you hope to accomplish/achieve moving forward? What are some goals you have as a band? To record and release more albums, play live a lot more, and tour in all the world’s different countries and corners. We simply want to continue working and have fun.

The first time we heard one of our songs play on the radio felt very strange. What made it even stranger was that before our song (“Fish”) came on the radio, a commercial was ending and the last line of the commercial was, "Hey referee! You smell like balls!" What are your plans for touring in the U.S.? We’re heading for U.S in the autumn, and that’s pretty much all we can say about it so far. Keep your eyes peeled. What are your interests other than music? Tuva likes being on the countryside, hanging out in a rowing boat, reading books, wandering in the woods. Tuva also likes photography, as does Nelly, who also takes some snaps, reads fantasy, and dreams of patting animals and getting kisses all day long. If you could meet one person living or dead, who would it be and what would you ask them? Nelly would love meeting an older Tuva and ask her if everything turned out okay in the end, and how many guinea pigs she has on her farm. What do you hope people get from listening to your music? Inspiration and joy. We want to give our listeners the same ear­tingling sensation we get when listening to sweet stuff. ISSU E 23: TH E B AN N ED ISS UE

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What is your drum set­up? Pearl Drums and Aquarian Drumheads has me set up with the perfect kit. I have a 4 piece Pearl drum kit with all Aquarian Studio X drum heads. My cymbal set­up consists of 2 crashes (16" and 18"), a ride and hi­hat. When I want to drum quietly or want to record more electronic sounds, I throw on my Pearl e­ pro electronic kit with Aquarian PED onHeads.

NAME: JAMIE SCOLES AGE: 22 NEIGHBORHOOD: ORANGE COUNTY, CALIFORNIA PAST BAND: NYLON PINK CURRENT BAND: INDEPENDENT

Jamie! Who is your fashion icon? Tegan Quin from Tegan and Sara and I recently added Ruby Rose as another. I love that they are androgynous but still feminine. It doesn't matter if they wear a men's t­ shirt and jeans, they always keep that feminine edge. How do you get your clothing inspiration? A lot of my clothing inspiration comes from Pinterest and Tumblr. I am always finding great outfit inspirations on there, as well as new products from my favorite brands. I also get inspiration from the streets of LA. How would you describe your style? In a few words, I would describe it as minimal, contemporary and monochromatic. Some people would say it has a bit of an androgynous edge too. My entire closet consists of black and white and maybe a couple shades of gray. You just can't go wrong with those colors. 10

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What is your favorite outfit? My favorite outfit is a tshirt from Roux Clothing, my black skinny ripped "Jamie" moto jeans from Topshop and my black suede viva mondo boots from T.U.K. and sometimes I mix it up with some classic hi­ top Converse. I love my t­shirts from Roux even though they are men's t­shirts because it's a thin jersey fabric so it's more fitting. I also love my shirts to be a little long. I own a lot of men's shirts because I love the design, but if they fit me a little too masculine, I cut them up myself to be more feminine. I absolutely love the raw edge look too so it all works out. I bought a good amount of "Jamie" moto jeans from Topshop because it's hard to find a good pair of jeans that fit you perfectly and also keep the rich black color after wash. Lastly, my suede viva mondo boots from T.U.K. give me that edge that I love, but always complete my outfit keeping that feminine look. If I want to keep it even simpler, I can never go wrong with my hi-­top leather Converse.

Who or what is your hair inspiration? I never really had any hair inspiration. I've only really rocked two hair styles. One of them being my every day look, which is a very clean and simple hair do. Long and black with bangs. I get my haircut about once every year and do the annual trim and layer. If there is one thing I change, it would be dying my hair to a darker black. My other hair style was a hairstyle that I rocked for photoshoots and shows. My hairstylist at the time actually freestyled it and it became my signature hair style for a while. It was kind of mohawky looking but without the spikes. My hairstylist would tease underneath my hair, tie it into a low ponytail, do a little bump at the top and blast it with hairspray. How did you get into drumming? I wanted to be a drummer since I discovered Blink­182 in middle school. They were my all-time favorite

MY ENTIRE CLOSET CONSISTS OF BLACK AND WHITE AND MAYBE A COUPLE SHADES OF GRAY. YOU JUST CAN'T GO WRONG WITH THOSE COLORS. band and still are. They were the reason why I became a musician and the reason why I wanted music to be my career path. I first picked up an electric guitar, then got a drum set and then picked up bass guitar after that. After dabbling in all three instruments, my heart just fell in love with the drums and my obsession with drums grew by the day and I stuck to it ever since. Who have you worked with? I have had the opportunity to work with a lot of great artists such as Bobby Brackins, Far East Movement and Pogo from Marilyn Manson as well as perform with some other greats such as Ciara, Chiddy Bang and Sleigh Bells. What is your fav venue to play in? The El Rey Theatre in Los Angeles. The building is all art deco styled and I'm a total sucker for art deco. It is one of the most beautiful venues and I had such a great experience playing there.

Photo by Briana Espinosa

DAPPER DRUMMER

What gets your attention? People with very out of the ordinary style.


RECIPES FROM THE ROAD

Banana Bugle Rosemary Sundae (serves 2) Illustration and Recipe by Liz Pavlovic

Multi­tasker Liz Pavlovic drums in The Furr, co­directs

INGREDIENTS:

record label Crash Symbols with her husband and works as

∞ One banana, sliced

a freelance designer. She also makes one heck of a sundae,

∞ Olive oil or coconut oil

and here she gives us the scoop (heh heh hehh).

∞ A pinch of fresh rosemary leaves (to taste) ∞ One tablespoon honey whisked with one tablespoon water

My husband Dwight and I learned this recipe from our friend Noah Wall while visiting NYC a couple of years ago. I think he made it up on the spot, but it's stuck with me since—nothing beats that sweet/salty combination, and all of these ingredients are relatively easy to find, so you can make it almost anywhere.

∞ Vanilla ice cream ∞ Bugles­­ 1. Drizzle oil in skillet over medium heat 2. Add rosemary leaves and banana slices and cook bananas for 12 minutes on each side 3. Remove pan from heat and pour honey mixture over bananas 4. Top your bowl of ice cream with cooled banana slices and a handful (or more) of Bugles; Devour.

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XOXX A SOUND MACHINE

by Kaori Suzuki photos courtesy of the artist

Kaori Suzuki of Magic Echo Music caught up with the up and coming industrial designer Axel Bluhme who is currently studying at the Royal College of Art. His current project is called XOXX Composer which is a sampler/sequencer of sleek design and highly user friendly. He will shortly be crowdfunding to bring this incredible machine and ideally bringing it to our studios and music making practices.

Axel, could you introduce us to the XOXX Composer? The XOXX Composer is a mechanical sampler / sequencer. The idea was to make a drum machine that would be simple to understand and delightful to play with.

cards between the spokes of my bike with a clothespin when I was a kid—it then made the bike sound like it was motorised. However, very soon after that point I started looking into traditional winding music boxes.

How did you get started on it? Have you made any other kinetic or electromechanical sound machines? I have never really made any other sound machines before. My two biggest interest in life are design and music, but I have never wanted to combine the two. I work as a designer so I tried to keep music as my hobby. I like the idea of having a hobby where you feel that you don't need to exceed or get better at what you are doing. It was however a very valuable lesson for me to realise how satisfying it was to mix the two.

Can you tell us what the individual sliders do, and what the single patch cable is connecting? The first version of the XOXX Composer is the small one, the one with the wheels rotating vertically. On that one the sliders are controlling volume. The knobs can be set to either control pitch shifting or low pass/high pass filter. On the second version, the big one where the wheels rotate horizontally, it works slightly different. This machine was made for an exhibition and I wanted to make the surface of interaction as big as possible. The grey graphics on the face of the machine visualises how the sound travels through it. The wheel with the magnets send away sounds that then travels along the grey path up to the yellow patch cable. There one can either patch the sound through an effect box, like a guitar pedal, or simply patch it up towards

The XOXX Composer looks so inviting and almost romantic. Were they inspired by 19th century music boxes, with the metal pins? What drove your aesthetic decisions? The initial inspiration came when I used to fasten hockey collectors 12

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the volume slider and then out the speaker. Each wheel has its own speaker. It was all about breaking down the components of a traditional drum machine. To then put them back together in a more understandable way in order to create a clearer and more simplified mental model. How does the XOXX Composer communicate with the computer? Is it easy to interchange platforms or is it hardwired to an Arduino? It all works through a USB cable sending MIDI—so it can be connected to whatever DAW you prefer; ableton, logic etc. This means you can also record whatever you are doing which makes it easy to manipulate and edit anything afterwards.

What experiences do you value the most when making your designs? It is very satisfying reaching a result when you feel that something comes together in a holistic way. When all the parts depend on each other to justify their own existence—like an ecosystem. The experience I would like others to have when using the machine is to feel that they are not intimidated by it. I hope that anyone would through a simple interaction immediately understand how it works. I think the XOXX Composer could be a good device for teaching children how musical rhythm works. The

Bradock, DJ Gregory/Point G or German Box Aus Holz. I seem to like dreamy and playful house that often have some influence from hip hop. But I also listen to a lot of jazz, funk, soul, rnb and hip hop. Lately, I have been listening a lot to a Retrogott EP called funky beats and a green petrol bus—good stuff! If you could choose an artist to play a session with your machine, who would it be and why? I would love to see KiNK play a session on the XOXX Composer. He is very open to experimental stuff. I love his music and he is always really playful and energetic when he performs.

The experience I would like others to have when using the machine is to feel that they are not intimidated by it. I hope that anyone would through a simple interaction immediately understand how it works

Do you have any thoughts on how the influence of electronic drum beats and sampling can shape one's own sense of rhythm and style? The drum machine was a substitute for when, for example, a guitarist didn't have a real drummer around. People started realising the potential in being able to create “impossible” rhythms and at that point the drum machine became an abstraction of a traditional drum kit. This was possible because of digital precision and a quantised framework. That can become very boring. I think it is interesting when artists start to move outside of these constraints. I have been reading a book called “The geometry of musical rhythm” by Godfried T. Toussaint that explores what actually makes a “good” rhythm sound good. It is a book about quantisations and recently I have been exploring combining different quantised wheels with each other. Since quantisations have strong cultural connections this can be very interesting and that can definitely shape a person's style.

stack of wheels are like a rhythmical sculpture that you can manipulate physically and then hear the difference—very much unlike working with a software. What music resides on your shelf? Lots of scandinavian house from Aniara Records, Local Talk, Studio Barnhus. I like french stuff like Pépé

I hear that some people have inquired about purchasing a XOXX Composer. Have you thought about future iterations or customization of the instrument, and why? It makes me very happy that people have been enjoying seeing the XOXX Composer and I have been getting a lot of emails from people who are looking to get their hands on their own. I love that people can see how it would fit into their own lives—If it’s for educational purposes, performing, music creation or simply a musical toy. I am currently developing a version that I plan on getting in production through crowdfunding. It is almost finished at this point and it will be a lot like the original version, with some added features and extensions. Kaori Suzuki is an electronic musician who primarily uses synthesis, acoustic recordings, and custom made machines through her company Magic Echo Music.

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by Erica Parrot

RANDOM STARS


by Hannah Peck

KASIVA MUTUA


CLOCKING IN:

ART DIRECTOR DRUMMER BY DAY

BY NIGHT

Meg Lazaros: Refinery29/Milk Dick Photos by Erin Yamagata

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Meg Lazaros is an Art Director at Refinery29 in NYC by day and the drummer for Milk Dick by night. In this new feature we are testing out called “Clocking In” we will be investigating drummers whose professions aid or detract from their drumming or are just plain interesting contradictions. We will be asking professionals across all fields to let us know how their drumming comes into play in their day jobs and the complications and happy coincidences that it brings.

Meg, how do people at work react at work when they find out you are a drummer? People usually think it's pretty cool! They tend to be a bit surprised. They're even more surprised when I tell them the band name.

for me when I'm out on the road. Basically, I save a huge chunk of my vacation time to tour. My friend and I were talking about touring earlier this year and he said to me, laughing, "Oh right, I forgot you work when you're on vacation!"

Do you ever hide that you are a drummer? Nope! But sometimes I make up a PG name for my band depending on who I'm talking to. I've gone with aliases like The Milk Duds, The MDs, The Duds, Milk Drip . . . the list goes on!

Full Name: Meg Lazaros Age: 29 Hometown: The Bronx, NY Lives in: Brooklyn, NY Past Bands: Human Ashtray, The Boosh Wahs Current Bands: Milk Dick Past Jobs: Graphic Designer Current Job: Art Director Education: Graduate of the College of Fine Arts at Boston University Work Hours: 9:30-­6:30pm Band Practice Hours: 8-­10pm (with a 45 min commute to my bassist's house in Westchester County) Your Title at Work: Art Director Band: www.milkdick.bandcamp.com Job: www.refinery29.com

Do your band mates know what you do for a living? They have a vague idea. It's fun to hear them speculate as to what I do all day.

How did you time manage? I live and die by our google calendar! If a show or practice isn't in there, you can bet that I won't show up. One time, a show fell through the cracks and wasn't recorded on our band's calendar. I was at a work event and got a frantic text from my bassist telling me that we were going on in 20 minutes! I was so frazzled that I ran to the train and wound up going to the wrong venue! I had to snarl at people on the street as I lunged at a cab. I remember I walked into the correct venue 15 minutes late and saw my guitarist making small talk with the audience as he tried to stall. I raced to the stage and got a few glares from my bandmates followed by inevitable laughter, cause hey, sometimes that shit just happens!

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Have you ever felt like you had to choose between your job and being a drummer? Timewise, it's always a crunch. I'm usually rushing from the office to a gig or practice. But other than that, I don't really feel like I have to choose one or the other! I'm lucky to have a job that's super creative. Lots of my coworkers come to my shows, not just because they know me, but because they enjoy the music and the scene. It always feels good to bring the two worlds together. How do you fit in touring with your job as art director? It can be tough, but luckily Refinery29 believes in celebrating the individual. I've been fortunate enough to have the support of my amazing team who steps in and picks up the slack

How does your job and being a drummer compliment each other? Focus and dedication are key for both. How do you get into the frame of mind of work or drums if you are in the opposite one? I'm sometimes caught up in what's going on at work or what show is coming up with my band, but I try to stay present. That's what it's all about— enjoying the moment you're in!


I live and die by our google calendar! If a show or practice isn't in there, you can bet that I won't show up.


Backstage with Marlhy Murphy in

The History of Radness by Tallulah Costa | Photos courtesy of Amazon Studios

Tallulah: How did you end up on the History of Radness? Marlhy: Well, it’s kind of funny because the History of Radness ended up combining my two favorite things that I plan to make a living off of: acting and drumming. I basically went through the same audition process [that I have] for any acting job: the audition, the callback, the test. So I had all of these connections that brought me to where I am today. I am very happy that all those people were there to support me. Were you already interested in acting, was that something you were planning on doing anyway? Well, I’ve been acting for ten years and drumming for seven. There are things that I love about both of them; a lot of people have asked me, “If you had to choose one which would you choose?” but I can’t answer that because they are two totally different things. And getting to combine them like I did the History of Radness made me realize that it’s still possible that I could do something with both. What is the strangest thing that has happened on the show? I think one of the weirdest things is that they would paint the grass green on the set! Like the patch we would be sitting on—they had a guy come in and spray the grass greener than it already was! Who are your musical influences, drum heroes and sheroes? I’ve always— and will always—been influenced by John Bonham. I really admire Alison

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Mosshart and John Bonham. I’m influenced by a lot of indie bands when I write…like the The Strokes, Band of Horses, Modest Mouse and The Dead Weather. Vinnie Colaiuta, he’s a really good drummer. Also, Alicia Warrington from Kate Nash. I love Stella Mozgawa of Warpaint. And definitely Sheila E. It’s actually a funny story because one of the apartments we had rented here in LA, the guy who was our landlord of the building - he does laser shows for all of these music videos. The day before we were going to leave he asked my mom if he could give me a gift before we left, and so he came down and he brought me this huge hard bass drum case that turned out to be Sheila E’s! He said she had accidentally left it there during one of her music videos. So now that’s my bedside table. (laughs) Wow—What an amazing story about Sheila E! What is your favorite part about drumming? There are so many different ways that you can play the drums. And there are so many different styles of playing. It’s always interesting for me to get to learn different ways to play them. There are so many different types of drums, too. So all around the world people create their own drums, and I find that very interesting, and I just want to learn more about them. Have people ever given you a hard time or not taken you seriously about being a female drummer? Yes, sometimes with being a female drummer, but a lot of the issues I’ve been given have been age-related. So the


fact that I’m a kid female drummer, I’ve also gotten a lot from that, too. My Led Zepplin cover band had a gig in Dallas one time at an airplane museum. They were having a party there and we were going to be with this other band and they were just doing covers like us and they told us that we couldn’t use the stage because of our age—or use any of their gear, any of their stuff because we were kids and they wouldn’t trust us. So we ended up having to set up on the floor next to the huge stage. We played the whole set, and I broke a stick during the set and so the drummer from the other band, before I could grab one of my sticks, ran over and gave me his and told me I could use it. After the gig, the band apologized to us.

Name: Marlhy Murphy Age: 13 Hometown: Dallas, Texas Present Bands: “Pretty Little Demons” (just finished recording) and “Zeppos” (Led Zepplin cover band). Past Bands: “Rosalynd” (used to be called “We’re Not Dudes”), and “Purple Hats and Jetpacks”. Drum Setup: Since I’ve been playing gigs for so long I’ve gotten used to whatever they throw at me, but John Bonham is my idol, so I love the one tom tom and two floor toms set up. Fav Drumming Experience: Since I go to School of Rock, we get to go and play at places and do gigs. So I was playing with School of Rock back when I was seven at a Stars hockey game in Dallas and they put me on the Jumbotron while we played The Immigrant Song by Led Zepplin. Fav Food: I’m stuck between two. I really like pizza but I also really like cereal. Fav Show You Ever Played: Probably when I got to play at Lollapalooza.

What been your toughest challenge as a musician and how did you deal with it? I guess I think the main challenge that I’ve had is having problems with being a female drummer. People thinking that we’re not strong enough to play and then being stereotyped as a female and then being a kid drummer as well. But since I’ve been drumming for a long time, I’ve learned to ignore those people who have tried to stereotype me. You don’t really have a reason to. Nobody is the same so there can’t be a stereotype, so…That’s why I just show up to gigs and I show them! (laughs) . . .


MUKI KANNAPAT OF IN VICE VERSA How did you gravitate towards drums? Playing drums

Was your family supportive of your choice to pursue

excites me, but I really just wanted to have a band. The

music? They weren’t supportive. I chose to do it. I am

drummer is always in back, so it allows me to observe my

still working on a daily basis and my decision to pursue

friends and the audience having great times.

drumming doesn’t hurt anyone around me.

her parents turned on—mostly Thai pop songs and boy

Who were some of your early artistic influences? Matt

Has anyone tried to prevent you from becoming a

bands. She originally met some of her bandmates in high

Greiner, Luke Holland, Nic Pettersen, and Aaron Spears.

musician? My family isn't excited about it. My parents

By Joe Wong Photos courtesy of band

Muki Kannapat grew up listening to whatever music

school; but it was later, after she discovered bands like

always worry about me but after awhile we kinda worked

Killswitch Engage and As I Lay Dying, that she decided to

Before you were serious about drums, what did you

seriously pursue metal drumming. Brutal and precise, her

picture yourself doing? I actually never thought I was

style anchors In Vice Versa, a band that is winning fans in

going to be a musician or somebody famous. I saw myself

Which cultural forces have made it more difficult for

its native Thailand and around the world.

as an ordinary girl, finishing a degree, and going to work

you to pursue drumming? Some adults believe that girls

regularly. But after I got really into drums I got a feeling

should do girly things—like piano, singing, etc., but not

that I had to pursue music.

playing drums. Adults here think going into music is a

it out together and got through it.

waste of time, un-lucrative, blah, blah, blah. They want us When did you start identifying as a drummer; when

to study and find good jobs. I'd say the culture at large is

did drumming become more than a hobby? Roughly

not very supportive.

around 2010. I practiced a lot back then. My neighbors

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complained that I was too loud, so I had to go back and

As a female musician, have you faced cultural obstacles

forth between my home and the studio regularly. After

that you may not have as a man? If so, what are they?

my first release, a cover of TDWP's “Born to Lose,” I felt

I just feel that I gotta practice more than men. Physically, I

like all the practice was a worthwhile use of my time.

can't match male drummers. Sometimes after drumming


for awhile, I feel really exhausted. Maybe I need more practice? Hahahahaha Do you feel like that should be a goal? To “match” male drummers? Is there such a thing as a masculine or feminine drum style? Well, I don't have to match male drummers. But, of course, I don't have the same physique as them. I just have to find my own drum style and go with it. Sometimes you don't have to hit that hard or get brutal on the drums. You just need to know what you’re doing so you can produce a big sound. What is your involvement in the songwriting process for In Vice Versa? Our guitarist writes the song first, because he likes to throw out his ideas all at once. Then, everyone else will help arrange and throw out suggestions here and there. If we like it, we will jam on it and see if it works out. Describe how your drumming style for the band developed? Basically my style is Metalcore/Post-

really enjoy playing overly intricate songs, because I think

They [my family] weren’t supportive. I chose to do it. I am still working on a daily basis and my decision to pursue drumming doesn’t hurt anyone around me.

it’s too much. However, we'll see in the near future; our songs might get more advanced. Is In Vice Versa your full time job, or do you have a day job, too? Nope. I also do regular work like everyone else. It's hard to make a living as a musician in Thailand, unless if you are extremely famous (which I hope we will be, hehehe). What are your artistic goals for the future? I hope get more fans from around the world. There are people who like our music. I hope we’ll get to play at some bigger venues—like the ones in the U.S. and Europe. Do you have goals specific to drumming? Areas you'd like to work on? Styles you'd like to explore? I'm focusing on groove at the moment.

Hardcore. I am trying to make it straight and clean. I don't

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by Chris Sutton

RECORD LECTION #71 FANNY “SELF-TITLED DEBUT�

While the fifties and 60s definitely saw its fair share of girl vocal groups, there was an alarming shortage of self-contained bands that consisted of solely females proficient at their respective instruments. There were definitely female luminaries within the studio and jazz circuits leaving influential marks like Carol Kaye, and the occasional girl garage group like The Pleasure Seekers, but serious critical recognition seemed unfairly out of reach. Fanny, from Los Angeles, set out to break this trend and succeeded in becoming the first all girl hard rock band of note that ever signed to a major label. Featuring the exquisite harmonies and songwriting of Filipino guitar and bass duo June and Jean Millington, it's actually the entire band as a whole that dazzles the senses, creating quality music with a humungous oeuvre. All of the members were studio level masters of their respective crafts and before the formation of Fanny they each had already attained a level of notoriety within the early 70's Southern Califoria rock community. In fact, it is crystal clear that they were given respectful freedom as far as arranging and songcraft on all of their records because you can hear and feel their unique brand of pop bleeding through your speakers, stretching and shredding without constrictive limits. This intense level of musicianship and trust earned them a special level fandom from peers and punters alike, most notably David Bowie, who may have felt a kinship with their ecclectic explorations, and Barbara Streisand, who employed the group for her album "Barbara Joan Streisand" when she was looking to re-invent her image as a hard rock goddess. In so many ways, Fanny were the perfect all-around band. One listen to their debut reveals a tight-knit group brimming with confidence in it's songwriting faculties. With artistic flexibility ranging from Partridge style sun dollops to all-out glam crunchers, they navigated joyfully through a bevy of genres not unlike a feminist Bee Gees, a more skillful Shocking Blue, or perhaps even an even jazzier Heart. Ultimately, treading through these lines was precisely what Fanny were all about. These were amazon flower children exploding from the detritus of the late 60's malaise. Times were changing, and Fanny were leading the way.

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A song like "Come On And Hold Me" is as good a lead off track as you're ever gonna have. Carrying a bit of dust in the air left over from The Summer Of Love the girls spin a happy wonderland groove and lace it with uplifting harmonies, letting the listener know that the bottom line is love vibrations, so grab a ray of sunshine and ride the wave. This rainbow-ish togetherness only continues from there, and every track seems to improve on the last. Drummer Alice de Buhrs' top shelf level talent could have landed her in any number of prog rock or country rock bands of the era. Tight fills, expressive flourishes, and heavy hands are obviously results of a well schooled career, while her style underscores and supports the vast talents of her bandmates. She's the consummate percussionist if one ever existed and proves it repeatedly on Fanny's entire discography. While Fanny were thoroughly capable of demonstrating their musical dexterity on tape, it is in concert where they were at full power. I implore anyone interested to check out the few available YouTube clips that show them in full flight. These performances pulsate with each the individual members sweat, joy, and technique (especially the flamboyant Nickey Barclay, who works her keyboards with the fortitude of an enchanted octopus.)


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Pega Monstro


of GDJYB


by Joe Wong Photo courtesy of band

Hong Kong band, GDJYB, formed in 2012 and cemented its current lineup last year with the addition of vocalist, Soft, and bassist, YY Wong. In short order, the band has developed a unique style dubbed, “math-folk”, which it performs in venues ranging from live houses to festivals throughout Hong Kong.

Hei Hei, who were some of your early artistic influences? My dad. He is a classical baritone vocalist. He always sings in the bathroom. He also composed some songs when he was young. He made me believe that I could be a musician, too. That’s awesome. Can you recall your earliest musical memory? When I was about eight or nine, my mom brought us to watch a children's musical. This is my first memory to music and performing art; I fell in love with music at that moment. Did you play other instruments before drums? Yes. Piano, trombone, and guitar. I was forced to learn piano by my parents when I was small, and I didn’t really like it. When I was in secondary school, I joined the orchestra with friends and chose trombone. I liked its sliding motion and the bass tone. How did you gravitate towards drums? I’ve been into making beats since I was very small. African percussion instruments were always attractive to me. In primary school, I started to learn marching snare drum, and I found that drumming is so cool and interesting. So, I decided to learn the whole drum set. Before you were serious about drums, what did you picture yourself doing? I had a great interest in arts. I pictured myself going to design school, to be a designer and doing advertisement. I ended up actually achieving this goal and became an art director at an advertising agency. When did you start identifying as a drummer? When I was a teenager and had already been drumming for a while, I thought I was already a good drummer. But four years ago, when I entered the indie music circle, I felt like I wasn’t good enough to even call myself a drummer. I still have so much room for improvement, but after our band's first EP was released, people began to recognize my drumming ability. I am still working hard to improve now. When did drumming become more than a hobby? After GDJYB had been together for about a year, I started to take drumming seriously. Keeping a day job was getting hard when

GDJYB's workload increased a lot. Half year ago I quit my agency job and now work freelance. Did your family support your choice to pursue music? Yes they are very supportive (which is rare in Hong Kong). They were even okay with me quitting my job. Why is it rare for family in Hong Kong to support an artistic career path? What is it about the culture that favors "traditional"/stable careers? Most Hong Kong parents hope their children have a good academic background and a decent career, so they can make good money. That is parents’ definition of a bright future. There is a common phenomenon that children are pushed to attend different extracurricular classes (like music, sports or arts) just so they can enter a good school. There isn’t much consideration given to the kids’ legitimate interests or artistic development. Playing music somehow means you cannot earn good money in parents' eyes. So quitting a stable job with good career prospect may sound insane to most parents. Do you think that, as a woman, you've faced cultural obstacles that you may not have as a man? If so, what are they? As a woman, the PA technicians are all very gentlemanly to me. But at the same time, people may have the perception that female drummers are less skillful, knowledgeable, and less powerful than their male counterparts. They are fine with it because they think it is a norm and "expected" from female drummer. I hope one day people will remove the "female drummer" label. Do you think magazines like Tom Tom perpetuate the "female drummer" label? Or is it necessary to highlight female drummers because mainstream media has historically covered predominantly male drummers? I think the labeling has both positive and negative sides. Tom Tom projects the positive impact of this label. It lets more people to know how cool female drummers are. It makes the label look cool and neutralizes the negative factors. What would you like to be doing five years from now? To be an iconic drummer in Hong Kong.

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by Mariel Berger Photo by Ashleigh Castro

DRUMMING FOR LIFE

Ruthie Price says that music saved her life. In addition to struggling against systemic racism and sexism, being a foster care child meant that she had even heavier weights pulling her down everyday. How did she survive? She drummed. And drummed. Drummed to escape the cycle of poverty. Drummed against all the voices telling her that girls couldn’t play. Since she was young she has fought for her life through music. You can hear it in her raw and powerful beats, the depth of her groove, her persistent and demanding pulse of protest-- the pulse that prevails despite all obstacles against her. Ruthie’s passionate playing recently has brought her to national recognition as the drummer for Fantastic Negrito, the band which recently won the highly competitive Tiny Desk Concert Contest. The soulful singing of the Fantastic Negrito, combined with Ruthie’s deep grooves made their band stand out of thousands. Growing up, Ruthie says she sought out music programs at school to escape her home life. “I would never come home because I didn’t like my home, but every time I played drums I was just so happy. I surrounded myself with that. Everyone thought I wasn’t going to keep doing it. But yeah, I kept playing. It saved my life. I can’t see myself doing anything else in the world. I tried to do a corporate job and I quit. Music is saving my life to this day.” By 15, she was chosen to go to Africa with a non profit called Global Educational Fund and later on returned with a band through the program Jazz and Democracy. In 2007 Ruthie landed a 5 year gig playing with grammy award winning band Van Hunt. She got to tour in Europe, Japan, Canada, and throughout the United States, playing venues like Jay Leno’s Tonight Show. She has played with legends such as Pete Escevedo, Mulgrew Miller, Ed Kelly, Ledisi, Branford Marsalis, Etta James, Faye Carol, Marcus Shelby, the list goes on. This past year Ruthie was awarded an outstanding working African American Musician in the Bay area prize. Ruthie reflects on her achievements: "I was this kid who could have been a drug-head with kids [of my own]. Those are the statistics of a foster child. But I’ve been to 5 out of 7 continents and I’m still playing music." This past summer Ruthie played with Fantastic Negrito at Central Park Summer Stage as well as Outside Lands Festival where Elton John, Kendrick Scott, and D’Angelo were also on the bill. After sharing a bill with D’Angelo, is it possible to want more? For Ruthie, yes. She says, “I want to play Carnegie Hall and Madison

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Square. and I want to play Wimbley in the UK. I want to do it as my band, as the leader. I also want to play at the Smithsonian and get on the board with Wynton in D.C when I’m old...I mean older.” Her future dream band includes mostly female musicians playing songs that sound like Curtis Mayfield meets Bad Brains. To be a female drummer means you have to defy the very concept of the word drummer, defined by men, modeled by men. As Ruthie says: “You constantly have to prove yourself. Cindy Blackman told me, ‘you know, you always have to remember that you are a woman’. And sometimes that’s very difficult for me. I’m so in tune with my spirit that I forget what I look like sometimes. I’m here in the moment. It’s difficult when people treat you different because of what you have on and what you look like. What does that matter? I played the music right? That’s the main struggle. And then you always have to be 10 times harder. You have to show up early. You can’t be too nice and you can’t be too mean. You gotta make sure you’re not flirty or something they think is flirty. You always have to stay on your guard. Guys are just kicking it. Women have to be careful.” Ruthie realized the game, and played on. She points out: “Yeah, I have to suppress some of my freeness.” So that she’ll continue to be hired and paid well, so that she’ll be heard more than seen, she plays the ideal woman male musicians will accept: not too angry, not too soft, not too flirty. “When it comes to getting paid I have to pull out my resume to show them that I’m worth more. It’s crazy. That’s the real struggle. Getting heard but not nagging because then they’re going to feel some kind of way. I have to figure out a happy medium.” She’ll do all this, but when sticks are in her hands she is able to be whoever she wants: assertive, loud, sensitive, passionate, free. Ruthie Price’s drive and dedication is unparalleled. Not only has she risen above difficult life circumstances to soar in her talent, but she also plans on starting a nonprofit that brings music to foster-care children not unlike Sheila E’s: The Elevate Hope Foundation. Music is what saved her life, and she is going to support other foster kids in turn, helping them to engage in music and art as a way towards community, connection, expression and empowerment.


MISCHKA SEO NO MATTER WHAT by Lucy Katz Photos by courtesy of artist

Lots of drummers have faced obstacles in developing their musical abilities; many of us will at some point feel the pinches of the infuriating constraints of time, money, space and access when we are trying to learn and grow as drummers. For some players, however, the barriers between them and their drums are considerably more insurmountable and entrenched within cultural and social expectations. Not even the tenacity of a talented woman can overcome these obstacles without difficulty. South Korean drummer Mischka Seo is one of these women. Mischka left her native South Korea to study music in Germany, telling her parents that she was just traveling, and supporting herself through music school despite knowing no German or English. After her daring educational venture, Mischka has had career highlights that include performing at international jazz festivals in Germany, Japan and Korea, and performance tours in USA, Canada and Malaysia. She currently lives and teaches in Daegu, Korea, alongside her jazz-pianist husband and 6 year old daughter. Her debut album, recorded in Korea with her husband and world-class musicians Marco Panascia (NYC bassist) and Kenji Omae (Canadian saxophonist working in Korea), was released last year. She has worked and fought for this prolific career, and Tom Tom Magazine recently had the pleasure to sit down with her and hear about her journey. 32

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Why did you want to be a drummer and how did it eventually come about? When I was in high school, I often used to go to pop singers' concerts, and the drummers always stood out to me the most because they looked cool and hit things a lot... You know how drummers are! I went to an all-girls high school and my friends and I secretly made a rock band, my teachers were opposed to this group because they were very conservative and classical music-oriented, and didn't think that female students should form a rock band. We were just trying to play some music but our teachers thought we were doing something bad other than just playing rock music, you know? The ridiculous thing was that one of our teachers beat me up and cut my hair just because I was the drummer! Out of all the members in my rock band, I guess playing the drums seemed the most rebellious. That’s incredibly violating. Aside from brutal punishment, was the motive to make you look like less of a girl? And how did these kind of experiences affect the music that you were making? No, it was really common in Korea for teachers to cut their students’ hair when they did something wrong, regardless of whether they were girls or guys. This incident made me and the girls become more rebellious and we kept on playing. We didn't really know how to play back then but we just played no matter what. These experiences made me want to play the drum set even more and want to succeed as a musician to prove them wrong. Playing must have been such a cathartic release for you all. Yes, it was a cathartic release and a stress reliever to play in the rock band. Did you know any other girl drummers at the time? No, there were very, very few girl drummers in Korea back then. I think I was the only girl drummer from my city. What about other female musicians? Are opportunities improving or changing now for Korean women? There were a lot of female musicians making classical music or Korean traditional music, but not many people making pop, rock or jazz. There were male drummers in my town but they did not have teachers to help them grow. They usually just studied on their own from records or books. But the contemporary music business in Korea has grown so much over the past 20 years. Now, K-Pop is super popular all over the world and there are more and more contemporary music departments in universities. Also, there are local music academies that hire teachers who have studied jazz or contemporary music from abroad or people who just have a lot of performing or recording experiences. There are more and more opportunities for female musicians. Why do think your parents were so opposed to you drumming? Was it because of society's expectations of girls or their own personal ones? It was just really rare for a girl to play drums in Korea and my parents are very conservative and I think they just wanted me to have a normal office job. If I wanted to play music, my parents were okay with me playing the piano or something less crazy. My dad was okay with me playing the piano or other more "girly" instruments so I ended up going to a two-year music college in Korea but I didn't tell him that I played the drums. He probably thought I majored in piano. I'm not a good pianist but in Korea, any music school graduate could teach at a small academy-type piano school for children even if their major is not piano. So I ended up teaching the piano to some children but I didn't like my situation. I wanted to keep studying drums but I didn't know how to convince my parents.

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Did you try to reason with them? Do you think their minds were gradually changed? I tried to reason with them but my dad was really opposed to me playing the drums. My mom was a little bit nicer about it. Their minds gradually changed as I got my degree from Germany and started to play more professionally. Where and how did you practice and teach yourself in secret? Before I went to Germany, I mostly studied from books and records. How did you make the decision to move to Germany and play drums? What kind of standard were you? I found out that the tuition in Germany was free so I secretly prepared for an audition at the Frankfurt School of Music without telling my parents. I didn't think I would get in because I wasn't that good and I didn't know the German language. But I tried my best and I think the judges were surprised to see an Asian girl and thought I was interesting and saw some potential in me. I'm really thankful that they selected me. I told my parents that I was going to travel with my friends at the time, but later I told them I got into a music school in Germany and wrote them letters from time to time. How was it suddenly being in a supportive, creative environment in Germany? It doesn’t sound like it was something that you were used to. When I went to Germany my parents fought a lot over how I left without telling them. My mom was on the supportive side and my dad was completely opposed to me living and studying drums in Germany. My mom secretly sent me some money from time to time without telling my dad. I made money by working at a restaurant or giving private lessons or performing so I had a mininum amount of money to survive. Living in Germany gave me freedom to play whatever music I wanted to play and I had supportive teachers who helped me grow which made me really happy. Culturally and creatively, what were the biggest challenges that you faced? Everything was new to me culturally and creatively. Even though the school tuition was free in Germany, I just had my plane ticket money and not much more than that when I left Korea, so I had to work at a restaurant serving or washing dishes, or as a babysitter. But since I didn't really speak German or English at the time, I had trouble communicating with people in Germany. (I'm still not that good at English but my husband lived in the U.S. for a long time so he is helping me with this interview.) One episode was that I couldn't read German so I pushed the emergency stop button on a train by mistake, which made the train stop. It was really embarrassing. I also did not know much about jazz but a lot of people played jazz so it took quite a time to get used to that environment and to learn how to play jazz and drums in general. What were the best experiences you had when you first arrived? At my school in Germany, I had great teachers who helped me out like Claus Hessler and I got to meet legendary drummers like Elvin Jones and Jim Chapin through clinics. It was such as honor to have met legends that I only saw in books or heard in recordings. Have you lived and worked in other countries? What is it about Germany that makes it good to work and live in as a drummer? I lived in Canada for one year working as a rock drummer. I got to perform and record with a Canadian rock band called Kasablanca Blvd. In Germany, college tuition and local transportation are free so it was financially a lot less stressful and when I had performances in Germany, the pay was higher than performances in Korea.


I told my parents that I was going to travel with my friends at the time, but later I told them I got into a music school in Germany and wrote them letters from time to time.

So your husband is a great jazz pianist and has been very encouraging towards you, but how is your relationship with your in-laws now, as it was problematic initially? It must have been tiring trying to deal with another set of disapproving parents. It was really hard when I got married because my husband and I lived with my in-laws and they did not like the fact that I played drums and demanded that I sell the drums. So my husband and I decided to leave them and we didn't contact them for two years. I really thank my husband for taking my side and not his parents' side in terms of letting me play drums. It came to a point where my husband and I both erased and blocked their numbers. After two years of not seeing my in-laws, I had my daughter and they really wanted to see their first grandchild so they apologized and just wanted to have a good relationship with us. Now they are very supportive of me, which is a lot better than the situation a few years ago. You said you wanted to start playing because you thought drummers look cool and hit things... which are both true! Now, as a professional drummer, do you think there are other reasons why it is important for young girls to play drums, or any instrument? Would you encourage your daughter to play drums? I do want to encourage my daughter to play drums or any kind of music but my in-laws are strongly opposed to that so I'm not sure what to do. They want her to have a job that has more steady income. Since I have learned about jazz and improvisation, I know more about making creative music and how drummers can really determine how the music flows and what directions the band can go in. I believe playing drums or any instruments at a young age helps with how kids develop their creative thinking, and I strongly encourage young girls to start learning drums or other instruments. Why is South Korea more accepting of boys who drum? I think the drums just seem masculine to people in South Korea so they are just used to seeing guy drummers. More and more girls are playing drums in South Korea nowadays but the guy drummers are more developed and the drum companies or the music industry in general only support the guy drummers which gives girl drummers very, very few chances. I've been having a hard time with this myself. This is my first interview ever so thank you so much for thinking of me.

Our pleasure! What has to change for people in your culture or others to be more accepting of female drummers? Do you think that this is possible? I think more girls should keep on playing to prove that we can do it too, and it has been really hard but it would be great if the media could introduce female drummers to let more people know that there are female drummers, too. There are a lot more female drummers in Korea now but there is a tendency in Korea to support only pretty girls who do not have great techniques. It would be great if the media or press could support female drummers who do not necessarily have good looks but have great techniques and musicality. I think if more and more female drummers keep pushing forward and making music no matter what anyone says, our society in general might be more accepting of female drummers. I think there needs to be more exceptional drummers who will set the bar high to prove that women can do it too, though. I’ve been enjoying performing in Korea more and more and I’m getting more opportunities in Korea so I’m satisfied with living in Korea for now. How have all the obstacles in your path since you began drumming shaped you into the drummer you are today? If it had been easier for you, had you been supported in places where you weren’t, would this have affected the kind of player you are today? The obstacles in my paths have been so difficult in my life that I wish I had it easier from my high school days. If I had had a better musical educational environment and if my parents and teachers had been more supportive, I would be a much better player today. It’s been such a long and difficult journey but I will continue to overcome any obstacles in my life that get in the way of me becoming a better drummer. I wish I had better drum education when I was a teenager, but I’m glad I have had experiences in Germany and Canada and I feel blessed to be working with great musicians from all over the globe in various bands. I have had a lot of obstacles in my paths as a drummer but I feel blessed to have overcome these obstacles and I’m glad I kept on playing no matter what. With thanks also to Mischka’s husband, for his assistance with translation.

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by Nikkie McLeod Illustration by James Mitchell

I grew up surrounded by music. I lived seconds away from an orchestra's panyard. I remember being so excited when the Christmas season began, because it not only meant the sound of Parang, but also the beginning preparations for Carnival. It is during this season the steelband orchestras choose their calypso anthem, and begin rehearsing for the largest steelpan competition in the world: Panorama! My little self stayed up late, trying to feign away sleep at my window, listening to my village's steelpan orchestra rehearse. This was one of the most magical experiences of my childhood. My older brother was allowed to play and be in the panyard. I was not. I wondered why I could not participate in such magic. We were a part of the same magic we created for our parents when we sang together; when we put on our own talent shows on evenings - break dancing, believing we were a version of Michael Jackson. From a very young age, my curiosity was ignited. I fell in love with the tenor pan. I fell in love with its circular, shiny chromed mystery, which to me represented genius. I'd stare at my brother's tenor pan, completely mesmerized the instrument's aesthetics. The sound of the steelpan possessed me. Given any opportunity, I stole my brother's sticks, and tried to play the calypso song our village's steelpan orchestra chose for their ten minute Panorama reinterpretation. I did not care how much noise I made while trying to capture the arrangement, or how many times my brother swore he was going to kill me for touching his pan. I could not resist the pan’s hypnotic allure. I began running away to the panyard. Annoying the orchestra’s captain with my fantasy, that I was a crackshot. Actually I was out-tuning the various pans left unattended, as I was unaware there was a touch; a difference between beating and playing the pan. A grace. The captain started me off on the Grundig (Double Guitar). It was both exciting and difficult learning how to play. Not only does the pan want the player to understand rhythm, but the rhythm has to be strummed, and in sync with the melodies. The touch has to be even and precise, especially on double pans. The physical hand coordination must execute equal independence, like harmonious ambidexterity. 36

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The captain, satisfied that the mystery of balancing the physical motion for the Grundig's hand dance held my attention, promised if I learned how to play it well, I could move onto my desired pan: the shiny chromed tenor. One of the lead pans in the orchestra. Though I did not have the words for it, being in the panyard meant something beyond the zeal I felt. I'd observe the crackshots - the steelpan prodigies, the steelpan god geniuses - in complete awe, because they embodied an understanding far beyond obsession, and a shared love of the instrument. Although they were possessed as I was, their lives were centered around living and breathing for this period in Trinidad and Tobago’s celebratory uproar for freedom. They lived for carving the arrangement into their hearts; for the united dance of going into battle with their fellow pannists. I wanted to be like them. [Clive (legendary steelband arranger] Bradley himself said that Carnival is a healing time for us, it is a golden link that runs through everybody, it is a connector for all of us, and he used the music to reflect his relationship to the band and the community. The Illustrated Story of Pan, pg. 228. My parents became concerned about my presence in the panyard. Although my brother and I are close in age, there were not many young girls, and very few women pannists in the orchestra. With a playership which can exceed eighty members, the beginner age for a steelband orchestra's pannist can be as early as a six year old, to however old a pannist wants to hold onto their sticks and play. This in itself, the wide diversity of ages, symbolizes the unifying nature of the steelband culture. I wondered why I could not join. My pan sticks. Look at them. I was proud of my pan sticks. The Ministry of Culture should teach that to people. Our sticks should be cherished. We shouldn't be knocking up the pan any more. I lost a lot of friends. You couldn't be seen with a pan stick: 'You in a panyard?' Of course you play piano or guitar. People looked at you in this scornful way, even though you had the cream of the crop next to you playing pan, doctors and lawyers. I was first female member of Renegades 16 years ago, on nine-bass . . . The Illustrated Story of Pan, pg. 256.


The panyard was considered a predominantly male space. A space born out of poverty, branded as criminal, labelled, uncivilized. While that stigma was shifting during my youth, the panyard - where the steelpan lives - was a place where safety and privilege was open-ended for boys and men. The panyard was regarded as unsafe, deemed improper for a lady. Meanwhile this then unspoken stigma of criminality - which haunted the instrument - threaten the access of the steelpan for everyone who shared in the struggle for freedom. [The steelpan] limed outdoors and was wild. The piano sat indoors and was respectable. Piano lessons were part of a decent girl’s cultural finishing. It combined a classical “culture”, the discipline of practice, and domestic entertainment. For males it was different. In the US the piano had a wild streak in the saloons, where men created ragtime, boogie woogie, jazz and rock-and-roll, but in Trinidad young men beat drums and invented pan. The Illustrated Story of Pan, pg. 248. [The 1970’s] Black Power allowed women active if not leadership roles, and it infected everything. Grassroots women joined steelbands as never before. The Illustrated Story of Pan, pg. 254. The lack of historical presence of women and girls in the panyard is entrenched in the creation of the steelpan: a history which is tied to absenteeism slavery and classism or in more contemporary terms: respectability. In the various forms of the steelpan's inception, it was not viewed as an instrument. The first steelpan orchestras were not considered orchestras. Whilst it was celebrated during its early development in the 1950s, it was in the form of political agendas. Prior to the seventies, the steelpan was not thought of as an artform, as culture. During the 1930's, the activity of playing the steelpan signified criminal, vagabond, hooligan. . . . when Daisy was six in 1944 she secretly played with [her brother's] pan at home . . . [Daisy's brother] had to sneak her out because their mother was against even the boys being in a steelband... however, until Eric Williams, who was hero-worshipped by Daisy's parents, came to power in 1956 and his government endorsed the steelband. Steelband, initially a rage among teenage boys, was not in schools before the 1970s . . . The Illustrated Story Of Pan, pgs. 233 & 237. The impetus for the creation of the steelpan plays to an immediate reaction to a law. In response to the Canboulay Riots, former slaveholders banned the use of African drums by the ex-enslaved and their descendants. It was feared the ex-enslaved were communicating to ignite revolts in the Caribbean. Indeed, in 1805 a drum dance carded for Christmas by the slaves of several plantations in Trinidad’s North-West Peninsula was brutally suppressed for fear of being a planned rebellion. But in 1882, the government introduced a “Music Bill” that made a police licence necessary to beat drums, tambours and shak-shaks from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m., after which it was absolutely prohibited. There were riots when the police tried to stop the drum dances, but gradually the African drum was excluded from Carnival. The Illustrated Story Of Pan, pgs. 25, 32. Because of this ban, the ex-enslaved in Trinidad began beating the stems from bamboo trees. This practice, which was eventually outlawed as well, is known as Tamboo Bamboo. The playing of Tamboo Bamboo transcended into the Ping Pong, as biscuit pans were one of the precursors of the steelpan. Although the Ping Pong was integral in the Carnival celebration, the stigma of criminality persisted, as the island was under British colonial rule. Against the August 1st, 1838 declaration of emancipation, the governance of the island was one of absenteeism regulation which existed during slavery: the dominant population of black ex-enslaved and descendants of black exenslaved ruled by decrees, laws, religion, aesthetics, etc... from the outside. It is not a coincidence the Ping Pong evolved into the first steelpan wider in octave range - during the period of World War II. Amongst Trinidad and Tobago's many natural resources, the most valued was the island's oil resource. Because of the economic realities of World War II, British colonies like Trinidad and Tobago, with a geographical proximity

to Europe and the United States, played an important role in the supply of petroleum. These colonies' natural oil resources were utilized in the economic market as a source of oil reserves. The steel barrels (drums) which were used to ship Trinidad's oil to Europe and America, these oil barrels became an ingenious raw material for the steelpan musical inventors. From emancipation in 1838 to independence in 1962, Trinidad & Tobago was under Victorian British rule of aestheticism, religion, philosophy of life, economical value, etc. - and as such it was undignified for a lady to play the pan. Women's involvement in a steelpan orchestra meant "vulgarity,” "looseness". Most of the women who participated in orchestras throughout pan’s early days and during World War II were not playing the instrument. Their allowed participation was the heavily sexualized flag women, originally a masculine role. In many cases, women's support of the steelband movement was made invisible, as it was limited to providing yards for the boys and men who played in steelbands. The underlying discouragement stemmed from the stigma of criminality by route of race, Victorian idealism of respectability, and the norms of sexism. Women were vital from the outset. As heads of households many were in a position to give succour to the youths at a time when they most desperately needed it, because a steelband without a home quickly died. Such women were supporters, lovers, flag-wavers, sex objects, weapon-bearers or even fighters in the band but almost never pannist. Their role was just another aspect of the traditional sexual division of labour. The Illustrated Story Of Pan, pg. 238 The view of the steelpan as criminality slowly shifted in the seventies through the nineties. This may have been influenced by Trinidad and Tobago’s public recognition of the steelpan as the country's national instrument on August, 30th 1992. In fact, the steelpan is globally recognized as the only instrument created in the 20th century. The country’s middle class, mothers, and radical social movements (such as the vibrant trade unions) were instrumental in shaping the future of the steelband movement, by integrating the instrument into the education system, which ultimately made its longevity a real presence, as it was now accessible to all women and all girls. This was most dramatically demonstrated in 2014, as women and girl pianists’ involvement was highlighted/documented in that year's Panorama. Their roles transitioned out of being relegated to the position of flag women, or to the Bass and Grundig pans (the first entry way into the steelbands). Although this transition is greatly applauded, there is still marginalization based on, and prejudice against, sexual orientation. My passion for the steelpan never faded, desiring to play tenor in the orchestra continued to absorb me at twelve. With a great sense of what may have been pride, I hungered for Panorama. This hunger became apparent to my parents, as I was not going to stop running away to the panyard. They finally allowed me to join. I am thankful they did. I wanted to be the brilliance that is the late artist Pat Bishop, and all pioneering rebel women steelband orchestra conductors. I wanted to be a crackshot. I wanted to play. REFERENCES: The Illustrated Story Of Pan, 2011. The University of Trinidad & Tobago. Kim Johnson Pan Trinbago: http://www.pantrinbago.co.tt/index.php?option=com_content&vi ew=article&id=85&Itemid=100 Trinidad & Tobago National Library and Information System Authority: http:// www.nalis.gov.tt/Research/SubjectGuide/Music/Steelband/tabid/239/Default. aspx?PageContentID=429

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por Shaina Machlus Edición: Laura Fernández e Isa Roldan Mones by Shaina Machlus Edited by: Laura Fernández and Isa Roldan Mones

Cuando tu nueva amiga por correspondencia es un grupo de 29 bateristas de Lima, Peru, tienes el privilegio de un historia personal construida, no de un solo momento, sino de la compleja colección de experiencias y luchas de un grupo. Juntas, Parió Paula, es algo distinto a sus componentes por separado. Escucha un "beat", un ritmo, en vez de las notas individualmente. Imagina puntos que antes estaban dispersos, ahora entrelazados e interconectados, entrecruzándose y formando puentes entre el pasado y el futuro. Tom Tom tuvo el honor de conectar algunos de los puntos de Parió Paula para configurar las líneas de la entrevista que encontrarás a continuación.

Photos by Ruibau Photography

When your new penpal is a group of 29 lady drummers from Lima, Peru, you have the privilege of a personally constructed story of not just one moment in time, but the complex collection of a group experience and struggle. Together, Parió Paula is something different than its singular components. Hear a beat, a rhythm, rather than individual notes. Imagine points formally scattered, now intertwining and intersecting, wrapping into themselves and forming bridges from past to future. Tom Tom had the honor to connect just a few of Parió Paula dots to form the lines of the interview you’ll find below.

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¿Quién es Parió Paula y qué hace?

Who is Parío Paula and what do you do?

Somos un colectivo de mujeres de diferentes características y profesiones que utilizamos la percusión como herramienta para compartir entre nosotras y con otras mujeres, la conexión del tambor y los ideales con los que soñamos.

We are a collective of women of different characteristics and professions that utilize percussion as a tool to share, amongst ourselves and other women, the connection of drums with our dreams of an ideal society.

Nuestras luchas están inmersas en la defensa de los derechos humanos (defensa del medio ambiente, por la no violencia, derechos de la mujer, defensa de los barrios, etc), y llevamos la percusión como medio de expresión hacia acciones políticas planteadas por la misma ciudadanía, comprometidas con la búsqueda de justicia, igualdad de género, la democracia, la alegría y la música.

Our struggles are in defending human rights (protection of the environment, non violence, women's rights, defending neighborhoods, etc.), and we use percussion as a means of expression during protests and political action by groups of the same ideals; those committed to the search for justice, gender equality, democracy, joy, and music.

¿De dónde proviene vuestro nombre? El nombre proviene de un dicho antiguo “Por fin Parió Paula” que se utiliza cuando se culmina algo después de mucho esfuerzo y tiempo. Nos gustó porque de eso trata el colectivo y además lleva el nombre de una mujer y la acción de parir que es algo particular de nuestro género. ¿Qué instrumentos tenéis? Contamos con instrumentos de banda, conocidos como march band: bombos, napoleones, tarolas, repiques, percusión menor, cajones y otros tambores.

Where does the name Parió Paula come from? The name comes from an old saying "Finally Paula is Born" which is used when something comes to fruition after much time and effort. We liked it because it describes the process of forming a collective and also bears the name of a woman giving birth, an action that is particular to our gender. What instruments do you have? We play with band instruments in the style of marching bands: drums, toms, snare drums, chimes, minor percussion, cajones and other drums.

Hacia eso caminamos, tocando fuerte los tambores y con ganas de seguir compartiendo nuestros sueños, nuestras luchas, nuestra fuerza. On that path, we are playing our drums loudly and are eager to continue sharing our dreams, our struggles, our strength. ¿Cuántos miembros sois? ¿Solamente mujeres? ¿Cuál es vuestra definición de una 'mujer'? Por qué solamente sois mujeres? Somos un aproximado de 29 mujeres participando del proyecto. Sobre la definición de la mujer, no queremos quedarnos con una única definición, pues creemos que cada mujer mantiene una individualidad que la representa y la hace única. Ahora, hay características comunes que compartimos entre mujeres, desde los grupos y colectivos que se definen por sí mismos como mujeres afrodescendiente, mujeres indígenas, mujeres trabajadoras, mujeres músicas, etc. lo que crea una diversidad amplia. Nuestro espacio convoca solo a mujeres porque sentimos que necesitamos compartir entre mujeres para reencontrarnos y recuperar el espacio del tambor que nos da fuerza, es una mística que tiene relación con la raíz y la vida, y porque dentro de una sociedad patriarcal, liderada en su mayoría por hombres, donde aún se cuestiona los roles de género, intentamos crear un espacio de convivencia diferente basada en el respeto y la hermandad, donde podamos ser nosotras mismas, libres, sin estigmatizarnos por los estereotipos impuestos y revalorándonos. Creéis que existen diferencias entre los hombres batería y las mujeres batería, ¿cuáles? Creemos que no existen diferencias entre hombres y mujeres que tocan percusión o tambores, pues ambos pueden demostrar que poseen mucha habilidad en la música, y ya sea mujer u hombre, según su personalidad, se pueden expresar de maneras determinadas, liberando

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How many members are you? Are you only women? What is your definition of ‘women’? Why only women? We are approximately 29 women participating in this project. On the definition of women, we don’t want to use a single definition, because we believe that every woman holds an individuality that represents them and makes them unique. There are common characteristics shared between women from the groups and communities who define themselves, such as women of African descent, indigenous women, women workers, female musicians, etc. creating wide diversity. Our space invites only women because we feel the need to share among women the rediscovery and reclamation of the drumming space as a source of strength and it’s mystical relation to the root of being and life. And because we live in a patriarchal society, led by mostly men (even in those spaces where gender roles are questioned), we are trying to create an alternative space for different coexistence based on respect and brother/sisterhood, where we can be ourselves, free, and valued without taxing stigmatizations. Do you think there is a difference between the way men and women play drums? What are those differences? We believe there are no differences between men and women playing percussion or drums, as both can demonstrate musical skill, and either male or female, according to their personality, expresses these skills in particular ways; releasing their own personal strength and energy. The


la energía y fuerza que tienen. Ahora, la diferencia radica en que aún es difícil que las mujeres cuenten con las mismas oportunidades para hacerse un camino en la percusión, en nuestra sociedad los hombres han tenido mayor apertura para ser músicos percusionistas, lo que permite que se luzcan más, a diferencia de las mujeres quienes están más relegadas por un tema social de género. ¿Cómo creció la banda? Siempre hay movimiento dentro del colectivo, hay un grupo base que está desde los inicios del proyecto y cada cierto tiempo se van sumando más mujeres que empiezan tocando en sesiones o talleres y luego se van quedando por interés en el proyecto y se van sumando en los proyectos y acciones que vamos realizando. ¿Cuál ha sido la mejor manera de enseñar a tocar los tambores? La mejor manera es motivarlas a tener una primera experiencia tocando los tambores, rompiendo con el mito de que la música es solo para profesionales en música. Nuestras sesiones abiertas de tambores son un espacio para lograr una exploración musical que permite acercarte al instrumento rompiendo las barreras de temor e inseguridad, de pensar que no puedes hacerlo. Por otro lado, el primer encuentro con el tambor tiene que ser feliz y debe generar confianza. En el círculo de tambores se da este placer por tocar, donde no existe una calificación de si está bien o mal lo que haces, lo importante es en un primer acercamiento la sensación y energía que te produce esta vivencia dentro de un proceso de aprendizaje colectivo. ¿De qué color es vuestra música? ¿Por qué? Nuestra música es de color morado porque es el color que se relaciona con el feminismo, es el color con el que muchas mujeres han construido sus derechos. ¿En qué partes de vuestros cuerpos vosotras sentís vuestra música? En todo el cuerpo. Claro, que al llevar los tambores pegados al cuerpo, muchas empiezan sintiendo la música y su vibración en el estómago o en el útero, pero se expande hasta que la energía fluye en todo el cuerpo.

difference now is it is still difficult for women to have equal opportunities in percussion; in our society there are much more opportunities for male percussionists, allowing males more exposure, unlike women who are more neglected because of society’s gender roles. How was the group created? There is always movement within the group; there is a core group that has been present since the beginning of the project and more women join through playing sessions or through various workshops and may come and go as they are interested in and incorporated into particular projects and performances. What is the best way to teach drumming? The best way is to encourage people to just start playing drums; breaking the myth that music is only for professional musicians. Our drum sessions are an open space for musical exploration that allows for anyone to approach an instrument freely; breaking down the barriers of fear and insecurities of failure. Also, the first encounter with drums needs to be happy in order to build trust. In the drum circle joy comes from touch, where there is no right or wrong way to play; the important thing is to simply feel and experience the energy you are producing and is produced within a collective learning process. What color is your music? Why? Our music is the color purple because it is the color associated with feminism, it’s the color many women have used to build their rights. In what parts of your bodies do you feel music? In all of the body. Clearly, carrying our drums so close to our bodies, many of us feel the music and vibration in the stomach or uterus, but it expands until the energy is flowing throughout the entire body. Where are you located? We currently have a place to rehearse in Barranco, Lima.

¿Dónde estáis establecidas? Actualmente tenemos un espacio donde ensayamos en Barranco, Lima. ISSU E 23: TH E B AN N ED ISS UE

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Decidme cositas de la cultura de Lima en general. ¿Cómo es la escena musical en Lima? Para nosotras Lima es tan diversa que no podemos decir que solo hay una única cultura, tenemos una variedad de propuestas artísticas y musicales. La escena musical para las mujeres, como ya explicábamos anteriormente, no es mucha, no se dan las mismas oportunidades para las mujeres que para los hombres. Y, si bien, se ven muchas mujeres cantantes o danzantes, no se ven muchas mujeres percusionitas, porque no es que no existan sino que no se les da la oportunidad de participar de muchos espacios. Decidme la conexión que tiene vuestra música con vuestro país. Tocamos ritmos variados pues hacemos ritmos que son originarios del Perú como el festejo, por ejemplo, pero también hacemos ritmos que la mayoría de gente escucha y gusta: salsa, merengue, hip hop, cumbia, entre otros. Habladme de la música clásica en Lima, específicamente de los tambores y las cajas. El cajón peruano es considerado el instrumento representativo de nuestro país, así como la música afroperuana, pero lamentablemente no hay respeto por los afroperuanos que lo inventaron como alternativa al tambor africano que fue prohibido en la época de la esclavitud. Aún el país es racista y clasista y más bien usar el tambor reivindica la conexión ancestral con nuestros antepasados y nos reencuentra con África, cuna de la humanidad. ¿Vuestra mayor lucha como colectivo? ¿Cómo conseguir más de esa lucha? Creemos que nuestra lucha se centra en la búsqueda de la equidad de derechos, la libertad, el reconocimiento de los espacios dejando atrás los roles de género impuestos por la sociedad, de cómo ser mujeres, de cómo debemos comportarnos. Para ello, necesitamos tomar el espacio público y hacer que se dé una mayor participación de las mujeres, que nos sintamos representadas en lo político, con leyes que nos consulten sobre nuestros derechos. ¿Qué os inspira para manteneros perseverantes? Dos cosas importantes: La primera, encontrar en Parió Paula una hermandad de mujeres que nos une, quienes están para compartir espacios, no sólo musicales, sino de cariño, alegría, en donde encontramos un soporte para los días difíciles y con quienes podemos soñar y luchar de la mano. Y por otro lado, encontrar en esta lucha a otros colectivos de mujeres y de hombres que también vienen trabajando temas similares y tienen los mismos sueños comunes, y con quienes podemos juntarnos para unir fuerzas y crecer juntxs. ¿Cuáles son las esperanzas de Parió Paula de cara al futuro, de las mujeres bateristas en el futuro, y de las música hecha por mujeres en el futuro? ¿Cómo creéis que podemos dar un paso más hacia este sueño? Para nosotras el tambor es el corazón de nuestro proyecto, pues es la conexión con nuestros sueños y queremos que estos sueños crezcan y se expandan, que nos hagan soñar con que cada día seamos más mujeres que, sin miedo, podamos romper con los roles estereotipados que la sociedad nos ha ido imponiendo de manera sistemática y nos liberemos, ganemos confianza y nos animemos a hacer lo que nuestro corazón nos dice y que podamos hacer nuestros sueños realidad, ya sea ser una percusionista maravillosa, una profesional exitosa o una mujer emprendedora, una mujer plena. Creemos que existe una transformación individual a partir de la conexión con el tambor y la hermandad que se genera en un círculo de tambores, y eso genera un interés mayor de transformación social, una motivación para construir un mundo mejor para nosotras y para otras mujeres. Hacia eso caminamos, tocando fuerte los tambores y con ganas de seguir compartiendo nuestros sueños, nuestras luchas, nuestra fuerza. 42

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Give me a few things about the culture of Lima in general. How is the music scene in Lima? For us Lima is so diverse that we can’t say there is only one culture; we have a variety of artistic and musical events. The music scene for women, as we explained above, it is not large, and women are not given the same opportunities as men. And while many singers and/or dancers are women, many women are not percussionists, not because opportunities don’t exist, but because they are not given an opportunity to participate. Tell me the connection between your music and your country. We play rhythms traditional to Peru, like Peruvian celebration songs, for example, but we also play rhythms that are more popular like salsa, merengue, hip hop, cumbia, among others. Talk to me about classical music in Lima, specifically of the drums and the ‘cajas’. The Peruvian ‘cajón’ is considered to be the instrument which represents our country, this is from Afro-Peruvian music, but unfortunately there is little respect or acknowledgment for the AfroPeruvians who invented it as an alternative to African drums, which were banned at the time of slavery. Though our country is racist and classist, we use the drum to reclaim the ancestral connection to our ancestors and that reconnects us with Africa, the cradle of humanity. What has been your greatest struggle as a collective? How did you overcome this struggle? We believe our struggle is focused on the pursuit of equal rights, freedom, and the recognition of the gender roles imposed by society; how to be women, how women should behave. To counter this, we need to reclaim public spaces to encourage and secure participation of women in these public spaces, so we feel represented politically, with laws that support our rights. What inspires you to keep struggling? Two important things: The first, there is a sisterhood in Parió Paula that unites us, where we share a space, not only of music, but of love, joy, where we have found support for difficult days and with people whom we can dream and fight hand in hand. Second, we also found in this fight other groups of women and men who are working against similar issues and have the same common dreams, and with whom we can join forces and grow together. What are the hopes of Parió Paula in the future? And of women drummers in the future? And music made by women in the future? How do we make these dreams into reality? For us, drums are the heart of our project, drums are the connection to our dreams and we want these dreams to grow and expand; we dream every day that more women can, without fear, break the stereotypical roles society has systematically imposed and free ourselves. We dream of women gaining more confidence and we encourage women to do what their heart tells them, that we can make our dreams come true; whether it be a wonderful percussionist, a successful professional or an enterprising, fruitful woman. We believe there exists a personal transformation that’s part of the connection with drums and the sisterhood that’s generated in a drum circle, which further generates more interest for social change, a motivation to build a better future for ourselves and for other women around the world. And on that path, we are playing our drums loudly and are eager to continue sharing our dreams, our struggles, our strength.

Texto original en español, traducido por Shaina Machlus Original Text in Spanish, Translated to English by Shaina Machlus


THE ALLURE OF COLLECTIVE EFFORT FROM DRUM LINE TO HOLLYWOOD

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by Leah Bowden Photos by Jeong Park

It opens with a bold arpeggio in the brass. And then another, followed by gigantic wailing chords, pitched high and full of vibrato. The mallet instruments trickle in with a groovy contrapuntal texture, foreshadowing the rhythmic impulse of the drum line. We see her through the eyes of a drone as she sings the opening lines; suspended as such, we follow as she makes her way to the marimba. Actor and musician Janina Gavankar is best known for her roles on popular television shows such as The L Word, The League, and True Blood, among others. But I became curious about why percussion and the world of drum corps have been such important sources of creativity and inspiration in her life.

You recently released a music video featuring an epic drum corps version of “Don’t Look Down” with the Jersey Surf. Tell me about this collaboration. I grew up studying music, and assumed I would end up a full time musician until I discovered acting late in high school. Now, I’m fully entrenched in “the business” and every so often start spiraling into a place where I have to make something that has no commercial proclivities, or I’ll explode. Even though the drum corps community is plentiful, the sport still somehow feels like America’s best kept secret. I’ve always been looking for a way to incorporate it into a project. When I heard Martin Garrix and Usher’s song “Don’t Look Down,” I envisioned a drum corps performing it. John DeNovi, from Drum Corps International, introduced me to Bob Jacobs, head of The Jersey Surf. Thank the gods for that man. He is so focused on furthering and evolving the sport, he was up for any weird ideas I had. When I was explaining the video plan to my crew, everyone looked worried. I just kept assuring them, “I know this is insane. But the only way something like this can be pulled off, is by people in the drum corps world. They execute complicated direction immediately, without complaint.” I went about producing the song itself, simultaneously, with percussionist and arranger Colin Bell. I brain-dumped all of my ideas to him, and he cranked out an epic version. Recording the arrangement was a massive challenge, and also, one of the most invigorating experiences I've ever had.

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You’re promoting the video though a hashtag campaign called #JustAddDrumCorps. I love that! Where did this idea come from? I needed to distinguish this version of the song from the original. Since it took about 100 people to make this project, we came up with a slogan that we could all use, that worked as an answer to everyday problems. “Want to have an epic Sunday? #JustAddDrumCorps” “Are you bored with life? #JustAddDrumCorps” Where else in life should we just add drum corps? EVERYWHERE! (laughs) The drum corps experience includes focus, precision and a massive amount of creative collaboration and moving parts. An overwhelming amount of life blood and human effort is exerted. Borrowing any of that energy and applying it to life can only make life better. Drum Corps is a genre that’s very invested in the construction of group identities and collective imagining. In what ways does this appeal to you? It’s similar to storytelling in theatre, movies, or television; a group of people come together with one artistic directive. People reading this may know the feeling, but it’s hard to explain the sense of transcendence one experiences when a line of drummers locks in, or how difficult is actually is to make something as simple as a double stroke roll sound like one person is playing it. It adds a laser focus. You know how people say they feel high when they’re meditating? That’s how I remember feeling as a teenager, in drum line.


Can you speak to the particular relationship of sound and image within Drum Corps, and the ways this might connect to today’s popular music culture? I don’t know if it does, at all! But that’s the exact reason I wanted to juxtapose it with the reimagining of a pop song. How do you relate to the militarization of group identity that is embedded in the physical gestures, iconography, and sound of Drum Corps? I don’t. There are many things that make drum corps what it is. I’m sure some people identify with its military origins. I just know how the pursuit of one-ness makes me feel. Is there a message behind the ‘non-militant’ drones that fly around in your music video? I love technology. I always will. Drones get a bad rap. But, my friend Christian Sanz has a company that is making intelligent, scalable and fully autonomous data capturing drones. He recently sent team members to Nepal for disaster relief.

You know how people say they feel high when they’re meditating? That’s how I remember feeling as a teenager, in drum line.

You have been helping to promote DCI (Drum Corps International) in a variety of ways. What is your vision? I’m interested in raising awareness for DCI, and helping the organization discern who its future ambassadors will be. Those new heralds need to be diverse and gender balanced. Who were your musical role models during your formative years? My drum instructor in high school, Fred King, was a superhero to me. He marched with the Cavaliers and had a DCI championship ring. In my imagination, it glowed. He took me to their rehearsals. I wanted to march with them so badly, but the Cavaliers were, and still are, one of two male-only corps. He readied me for Phantom Regiment (co-ed), instead, and pushed me to be the best leader I could be to my high school drum line. Gender had nothing to do with my level of musicianship. He was a young feminist…which worked out well, as he now has two badass daughters, both musicians. What have been some performance highlights for you as a percussionist? Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson is one of my best friends. We just played Carnegie Hall together. We did a rendition of Prince’s “Diamonds and Pearls” with me on vibes, and him on drum set. Walking around New York with mallets sticking out of my backpack and tape on my fingers because my four mallet calluses had disappeared was NOT something I envisioned happening once I decided to pursue the life of an actor. It was a welcomed challenge. Do fans of your acting also know that you’re a rad percussionist and vocalist? Haha! Thanks for considering me rad! Some people know about my music. But I don’t treat my acting career as a talent show. Every character is an individual, not an extension of me. For example, Luna (True Blood) had an incredibly rough childhood, so her family didn’t have the means to provide music lessons. I feel the fourth wall gets lost when actors suddenly juggle or tap dance, so my assumption is that people who may know characters I've been may have zero clue I'm a musician. I'm ok with it. If you want to have a diverse artistic career, you can't assume everyone knows everything you've done. Are you already thinking about ideas for your next musical project?

Their work is inspiring. I wanted the drone in the video to be a character. I drew a “face” for him, and Christian had his team 3D print it, and attach it to the body. They named him Skyler. I love finding the lines between where technology and human life blood meet. I wanted Skyler to be fascinated by these musicians, and their non-automated existence. I wanted him to experience the allure of human effort.

I’m always dreaming of the next musical endeavor. Mostly when I’m sitting in my trailer, tapping my fingers. Do you tape your sticks halfway or all the way? I don’t tape them anymore. In my marching days, we used to tape them the whole way, to match our uniforms. I can still smell the combination of sweat and adhesive.

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SISTERS DOING IT FOR THEMSELVES by Lorena Perez Batista Photos by Sara Rafael


We are two sisters, Maria (21) and Júlia (23) born and raised in Lisbon, Portugal. We've been playing with friends since we were 15 and 17 years old respectively. We started a label in 2010 with our friends called Cafetra Records and we became performers who release their own stuff. In 2010 we put out an EP called "O Juno-60 Nunca Teve FIta" which was surprisingly successful for us. People knew our lyrics and stuff ! So we played a lot that year due to that phenomenon. We think it was also motivated by the fact that we were young girls rocking out and people weren't used to that.

In 2012 we released our first self-titled album produced by B Fachada, a pop star singer-songwriter well-known here in Portugal. It was really great working with him and the record sounded great too! The name of the record is Alfarroba and it means carob. Carob it's this kind of sweet tasting bean that grows on Alfarrobeiras which are wild trees that exist spontaneously on the Mediterranean coast. In Portugal there are a lot in Algarve and our mother's side of the family is from there and that´s where we spend every summer. The smell of Alfarrobas is unlike any other. So apart from the phonetics appeal of the word, Alfarroba is also like a homage to that heritage. Our lyrics are not easy to translate because we use a lot of the imagery and sayings from Portuguese language. But most of our songs are about love, growing up, female perspective and also about songwriting! What does Pega Monstro mean in English? How did you come up with the name? Pega Monstro here in Portugal was a toy we had in the late 90s. It was a sticky rubbery small toy that you threw at walls and got stuck. Literally, it means "catch the monster", and we believe the English translation is "sticky hand". Do you come from a musical family? Did you always play music together?

the respect of the public. If we look at the 80´s, we have António Variações, a huge and well respected pop/rock star, along with Lena D'Água, still alive and working. Pop Dell'Arte, a very cool, real and weird band born in the mid-80's and still going. We also had Damas Rock, an underground girl-band that sounds really good but they only put out a 7”. Then a DIY label came out in the 90's called Bee Keeper, so teenagers started listening and making music and zines. Actually, two of the producers in our upcoming album who made our video for Branca, Eduardo Vinhas and Rodrigo Alfacinha, started in Bee Keeper. There is also a band with a crazy wall of sound named Caveira that started in the mid 00's and they are still playing and growing with new members. We began playing in 2009 with our friends and ended up starting a DIY label, Cafetra Records. Right now our friends rock! The music scene in Lisbon is diverse and it is a circuit that maintains itself. That includes rock (Putas Bêbadas), free (Gabriel Ferrandini, Pedro Sousa, Caveira), dance music (Príncipe Discos), noise-ambientelectronic (Tropa Macaca, Rabu Mazda, Van Ayres, Go Suck a Fuck, Bleiddwn), and singer-songwriters (Sallim, Lourenço Crespo, Éme, B fachada), just to name a few. We know that maintaining a band can be difficult, but how is it having a band with your sister?

It's really cool. We always hang out together. It's easier in many ways, most of the time we don't even need to speak, everything it's almost Yes, our father has always been very musical. He knows how to play implied and when we perform we feel the same way, it all makes guitar, mouth organ, accordion and right now he's in a choir! He sense. You minimize the barriers between living and playing and usually plays with friends at parties and hangouts. We had a family that's a good feeling. Of course we have our disagreements but that's tradition of putting on a little show every New Year's eve for friends also part of being a band and makes sense. and family. We sang, read poems, and did puppet shows. So singing and performing was always kind of a normal thing for us. Our oldAny upcoming performances we should check out? est brother is also a musician, he plays jazz double-bass. Check him out his name is António Quintino! Our oldest sister is also an artist, Right now we released the album in Lisbon on July 11th. In August Camila Reis, and she did the artwork of his album! we are doing an UK tour—through London, Manchester and Glasgow . . . so check it out! You're all invited! We don't have anyTell us about the rock scene in Portugal. thing booked for the US yet but we're waiting for that chance! We've always had things happening here. Maybe not that many but there are enough to have good references that have earned

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PLAYING LIKE IT'S THE LAST TIME

by Lucy Katz Photos by Jess Jones

Perhaps I speak for many when I say that The Go! Team’s 2004 debut Thunder, Lightning, Strike was one of the records that helped gently wean me off the kind of saccharine smash hits typical of a peachy, British, noughties adolescence. Singularly composed and recorded lo-fi by Brighton’s Ian Parton, the record is cacophonous, triumphant pop. As well as a surprisingly harmonious synthesis of genres like rap, rock, jazz, world music and soul —plus a fair amount of sampling—its reliance on live instrumentation (including double drums) eschewed classification. After two follow-ups, the most recent of which was promised as the last (Ian, you tease), the Team are back as an almost entirely new body attached to the same head. Their new album, The Scene Between, is as sunshine soaked as their first, but is toured this time with Brighton resident Simone Ordaranile behind the drums. We met (virtually <3) the night before Simone and the rest of the band left on tour, to talk about, amongst other things, the inherent dangers of instrument swapping, and playing like it’s the last time you’re going to do it . . . ISSU E 23: TH E B AN N ED ISS UE

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Simone! I know you’re about to go off on tour, so thanks for talking. Let’s get to it: when and how did you start drumming? Did anything draw you to the drums in particular? I started having lessons when I was around 11 years old, but I was always interested and excited about music from an even younger age. I remember having tap lessons and enjoying making patterns and rhythms with my feet, so the move to drums made sense. Yes! And that connection is evident is evident in a few bands we’ve featured before... Yes, like the great band called Tilly and the Wall, they have a tap dancer in the band and make great summer time music. So what kind of songs and bands were you excited about when you first started playing? I remember my dad always having Nirvana on around the house, and I am still a fan—Dave Grohl is one of my favourites—anything that was alternative or rock I loved and still love. Grohl’s playing in Nirvana is always relatively simple, but so strong, it’s really good for practice. Exactly, smells like teen spirit is so simple but powerful and that is what I love; people who play their instruments like it’s going to be the last time they do it. But poor Dave's leg! I KNOW!! But what a trooper, right? So you started playing at 11, and then you studied music at university in Brighton, but how did you start your career as a session drummer? Were you still playing in bands as well? That began at least a year after I graduated. I've always played in bands, I love writing and being in a rehearsal room for hours just jamming ideas out, but it wasn't until last year that I found an email sitting in my inbox from The Go! Team to do this current tour… Aw sweet! So this is your first big professional gig? My first tour, yes. I had a lot of ‘no’'s before this big ‘yes’. It’s especially great because they’re a band so I have the freedom to write and really be a part of something. After I got the email I just met up with Ian in coffee shop in Brighton. It was pretty relaxed. What a dreamy email to receive one day. It was crazy, very exciting . . . but crazy. It was nice to be approached and not do the approaching.

Yes! Playing like it’s the last time, just like Dave. How are you and The Go! Team gelling as a unit? There are a few new members including yourself that Ian has cherry-picked for this tour. We’ve all gelled really well; there are 3 original members and 3 new members so I don't feel like I'm the "newbie.” Plus, we did a lot of prep before the live sets so when we’re on stage we can just enjoy it. And as I understand, Ian composed all the parts. What was the experience of interpreting and playing someone else’s compositions? Has he given you a lot of breathing space to adapt them for what works for you? I don't feel like I am playing somebody else’s drum parts at all. Ian is super-talented and gives us all a lot of freedom to add or take away, so during rehearsals I could give some input. Ian has said some interesting things about the live experience of the band, like how on stage it can be “teetering on the edge of chaos!” Would you say this is accurate for you? It's pretty interesting on stage / I am the only person that doesn't change their instrument, so I sit back and watch as there are guitars being passed around, recorders, microphones etc. I get my own little show in between each song! I'm just chill. I grab my water and watch the "change over" show.

I used to throw many tantrums in my early teens when practicing. I used to chuck my sticks at the wall in my bedroom and leave dents on the wall, I don't think my mum ever noticed them though!

Yeah of course! You’re in demand girl! Hard work pays off for sure. Interacting and jamming with other musicians helped me too. That is what I love, when you connect with another musician and you make something awesome, it is the best. So last night was a big show for you, your first London show with the new line-up at Village Underground. How was it? How much had you already played together? Last night was amazing, it was a great crowd and venue. It was our fifth show and we had done a lot of rehearsing prior to this tour of course. The energy on stage was great. I came offstage sweating buckets and that’s a sign of a good show. It’s like a workout for an hour, non-stop.

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Ha! there must be some serious recorder-in-my-eye type moments. Well I have definitely seen Cheryl nearly knock Ninja out with Lizzy (Lizzy is the name of Cheryl’s bass.) Is the double drum kit setup still a feature? YES!!! We still do double drums. Ian and Sam jump (literally jump!) on the drums for a handful of songs. What I’ve always loved about The Go! Team is that your music is influenced and incorporates so many genres, but it synthesises them, rather than jars or clashes. How do you approach and adapt to this? And how has your previous experience prepared you for this? I listen to all sorts of music, from artists like Caribou, Blood Orange, Lauryn Hill, Led Zeppelin, Nirvana; completely different styles of music but I love them all. I know that as individuals in the band we all have our different tastes and I think that helps when playing this music live. As a musician I think having an open mind


and wanting to try new things is important and fun! I found it really easy to adapt actually, I don't feel like I'm particularly playing any differently because I am open and experienced in different genres of music. There was one stage where I was in 3 bands, all completely different genres and gigging every week, and that experience has helped me with The Go! Team for sure. What do you think are the most important qualities for a drummer? And how can you put them into practice in your playing? For me, it is being curious, finding new music, asking friends to make you playlists etc. Also, keeping an open mind when playing and trying different styles, like putting a Latin groove in a punk rock song and always switching things up. I think patience is a good quality to have as well, we have all been there where we want something to work NOW. Oh, and PRACTICE! Of course. Patience is such a big one, it’s so easy to want to throw a little tantrum when your hands and feet won’t do what your brain is already doing.

Now that you have your own drum school in Brighton, how do you approach teaching? I like to cater the lessons to each student, as people learn in different ways. I want the time they spend behind the kit to be rewarding and fun. so each time they leave with a little bit more confidence. Yes, and confidence not only with the instrument, but instilling a deeper, personal sense of confidence and empowerment, especially for girls, right? Absolutely. And I'd say my students are currently at a 50/50 split gender wise but when I started, I was one of only 3 girls in my school learning the drums. What I enjoy the most is giving people tools to build their confidence and to grow. I also love going to my students’ gigs and seeing them smash it, and their faces when people applaud—that’s just the best.

I used to throw many tantrums in my early teens when practicing. I used to chuck my sticks at the wall in my bedroom and leave dents on the wall, I don’t think my mum ever noticed them though!

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by Shaina Machlus Photos by Eva Carasol​

Let’s get right to it. When I think about South Africa, it’s impossible not to think about apartheid. From 1948-1994 South Africa had a rigid set of laws that enforced crushing segregation of it’s colonizing white population from the other three racial classifications: ‘black’, ‘Indian’, and ‘coloured’. Some of the segregation laws were similar to the Jim Crow laws of North America during the civil rights with ‘white’s only’ neighborhoods, beaches, busses, hospitals, benches, restaurants, schools, etc. And of course, the facilities and services for whites were infinitely, incomparably better than those of the non-white majority. In 1970 non-white governmental representation was abolished and black people were literally deprived of their citizenship. The series of negotiations that eventually led to the end of the legal apartheid and an election in 1994 came with a huge amount of violence, protest, and general crisis in South African identity. The repercussions of apartheid remain glaringly clear, with poverty, unemployment, income inequality, life expectancy, and land ownership statistics worsening for all since the 1994 elections. South Africa, as a whole, remains divided physically and culturally. Apartheid can be heard within all the music, art, culture of South Africa even when not directly addressed. The punk rock scene in South Africa is no exception. For me, this history fits interestingly and neatly within the greater history of punk rock itself. Punk is a genre of music that was born in protest to popular, capitalist, conservative culture; many times campaigning for an end to various injustices. However, somewhat oxymoronically, the punk scene has always been and currently is predominantly and exclusively white male dominated. Which means punk tends to neglect the groups most affected by the injustices they sing about. In addition, punk rock was born and appropriated from the black roots of rock, reggae, and blues. This bring us quite perfectly to Japan and I. A three piece punk rock band from Johannesburg, South Africa. So, what’s it like to be an all 52

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white, all female, punk rock band who grew up coincidentally in post apartheid South Africa? I had the opportunity to sit down with Japan and I at Primavera Sound 2015, in Barcelona, Catalunya for a brief peek into 10 years of South African rock and roll. Japan and I were simply bubbling with excitement and nerves, it was one of the first times they had the opportunity to leave their country and even more excitingly, it was because of their music. Talking to them, they were still humbly in shock they have been invited to play at Primavera Sound, arguably the largest music festival in Europe. The punk rock habit of Japan and I started simply as a sometimes dangerous means to both identify with a small, radical subculture and protest a conservative part of their community. This has evolved to be their ticket to a future they hope expands far past South Africa. Seeing Japan and I perform was a spectacular experience of sincerity, skill, bravery, and sheer gusto. I had the privilege of having the following conversation just minutes before they shook the stages of Primavera Sound:


Hi Japan and I! Can you say your name and what instrument you play?

When you were first starting to gig were there any specific bands you played besides or were inspired by?

Angela: I’m Angela, I play guitar, sing and occasionally play the accordion.

Mandy: Fuzigish was one of our favorites. It’s funny because we would have done anything to go to their shows.

Mandy: I’m Mandy and I play drums and trumpet.

Dee Dee: And now we play with Fuzigish! It’s funny how times change and now we’re all friends.

Dee Dee: I’m Dee Dee and I play bass and backup vocals. Where are you from? All: Johannesburg, South Africa You started playing together in 2006, correct? All: Correct And you met in high school? All: Yes Can you talk about when you met and how you decided to start playing music? Angela: We were friends in high school first and we all played instruments. We snuck into a lot of punk shows when we were underage. Eventually we thought it could be cool to get into shows for free and do it together in a cool girl band. I don’t think we knew at the time, we were just jamming together, then we made songs from start to finish and we thought ‘I guess we should try and play this live’; and then it was like, ‘ok we’re in a band.' How long did that evolution from 'jamming' to 'we're in a band' take? All: About 6 months. Angela: My studies took a bit of a dive that last year of highschool for the band. But we were playing a lot. When we had 8 songs we said, ‘that’s enough’ and we booked a gig. Dee Dee: Our first show was at an open mic night at a tiny pub. And our parents came, we were so young. How old were you then? All: 18 I'm really interested to hear about the punk scene in South Africa, you all have been involved for a pretty long time, almost 10 years. Mandy: I remember begging my parents to drop me off in the center of Johannesburg at night, which is very, very dangerous, just to see bands play. But under crazy circumstances like I also remember someone smoking meth on the corner, very dodgy that area. Angela: That’s what we did! Go to dodgy areas of town to see shows and then not have a lift home. What was the punk scene like when you began to play? Dee Dee: Our experience of the punk scene was sneaking out of the house, catching a cab, and sneaking into a show because we were underage. Angela: It was thriving at that time with the DIY ethos of what really defines punk. Bands organized everything for themselves, totally underground. And it was not just punks bands, but a mix of ska and other music all together. Because the scene was so small, we all collected in the same scene. Maybe because of this we all sort of looked out for eachother. We never really had any trouble.

Mandy: The Rudimentals were also great. Do you all identify as female? All: Yes. When you first began to play, was the scene male or female dominated? Or equal? Mandy: Definitely male dominated. Dee Dee: When we started I don’t think I knew of any other females. Angela: And if there was a girl in a band, they’d be the bassist or the singer. Definitely male dominated, and still is actually. Dee Dee: And it’s not just bands. All the sound engineers and even the people who worked at the music shops were male, and still are. If you want to buy an instrument, the only people you have to speak to are male. Do you think being a female band has made a difference in the way others perceive your music? Mandy: In some ways, yes. I think people are always curious to see an all girl band. Angela: Unfortunately it’s still rare that I see an all girl band. Dee Dee: But we have to work just as hard as any other band to get shows and recordings. Angela: It’s one thing to peak someone’s interest, but you still have to deliver. And sometimes it’s harder to get people to take us seriously. And what are your strategies for being taken seriously as a band? Angela: Just trying to be a really good band. Mandy: I’ve heard a lot of times people saying they were surprised by how good we are. And I always want to say, ‘Um, thanks? But why are you so surprised?’ Dee Dee: It’s kind of sad, I mean, how long ago were the suffragettes* and we’re still ‘good for a girl band?’ Angela: Or you know what they would do, weirdly enough, is call us a group and not a band. It seems silly but I remember correcting people and saying, ‘we’re a band.' Do you feel a difference between playing music here in Barcelona than in South Africa? All: A big difference! Mandy: Everything’s bigger, there’s a lot more people, a lot more everything. Angela: A lot more nerve-wracking playing here as well. We’ve got something to prove. Your personal musical goals and the goals of your music? Mandy: I just want people to enjoy our music. There’s this feeling

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TO M TOM M A G A Z I NE


Tell me about your first drum kit. For a long time I didn’t even have a kit, I learned the basics without a kit just practicing on my lap. I remember at school drumming on the tables too. But I think it really helped me having the coordination before you even go on a drum kit. It was nice not to have to sit in front of a drum kit to practice, just to make sure my arms were moving in the right ways. And now you've got a kit? Mandy: Yes! I couldn’t afford a proper kit so I went to visit my cousin and she had this pile of rust but of course I thought, ‘it’s so beautiful!’. She gave the kit to me and I treasured it. Even now, my drum kit isn’t the best, but it plays fine and it’s served me well for many years. For me, I really think the music comes from the musician. For example, when you look at skateboarders from Johannesburg, there’ll be really good boarders from townships that have the worst skateboards and then you’ll get some from the suburbs that have all the most expensive equipment for skating but won’t be able to skate as well. I think about that with my drumming; I don’t need to have the best kit to try my hardest. Is there any specific piece of your kit you can't live without? Mandy: Snare, pedal, stool. The rest is generally just what I can afford. The one thing I really love is my Piccolo snare. And my pedal because I only play with a single pedal but I do a lot of doubles beats; I know the tension perfectly. Oh and my stool! You gotta have the perfect angle. Any stick preferences? Mandy: I usually go with 5A or 5B. Big fat drumsticks! Mandy: Yea, I hit hard. Always gotta take extras too. I remember I used to keep a glass of water next to my hi hat and one time during a show I took a sip and was like ‘what is that!?’ and it was all the little pieces of wood from my sticks! The worst idea. you get when hearing a really good drummer and band, I would like people to get that same feeling when they hear us. And for live shows, I just want people to dance! Dee Dee: As long as people are having a good time, we’re having a good time. Japan and I are all about the three of us hanging out, being friends and having fun. Angela: We would really like to keep seeing the world together as friends and as a band too. Being able to get out of Johannesburg using music has been amazing. Although South Africa is our home, we want to see the world and we think music is our way of doing that. It would just be so cool, that’s the dream. Quit our jobs and play music. What else do we need to know? Mandy: We just recorded our new album! ‘Rise of the Dutchess Army’, it’s available on iTunes and CDBaby, Spotify, etc.

You live and you learn. But not a bad thing to be playing so hard you're literally shredding your sticks. Mandy: Definitely. Right now I’m trying not to play harder, but smarter. I used to have to buy sticks in bulk, I would go through them so fast. What's your practice routine? Mandy: I used to be really strict with a set of rudiments; foot and hand paradiddles I would always play. These days I more practice with the band because we practice quite a bit together. Any words of advice for fellow lady drummers? Mandy: I remember going to a festival and seeing this amazing drummer, going home and promising myself one day I would play that same stage. Two years later I did. Think of your dreams, write them down, and do whatever it takes to make them come true.

Now let's get to the drums! How long have you been drumming for? Mandy: I don’t even know. I started playing violin when I was very young. I played in the Johannesburg Orchestra for a few years. But then when I got into highschool I decided I wanted to be in a punk rock band, and there aren’t many violins in punk rock bands. I wanted to play an instrument with other people. So I started playing drums. And all the sudden there was this punk community, I could play with friends, in a band, in gigs.

* The Suffreggettes is the name of the women’s right to vote movement in the late 19th, early 20th century Great Britain and South Africa

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Groove it out!

by Dayeon Seck

IT IS IMPORTANT TO CREATE YOUR OWN PRACTICE ROUTINE AND DO YOUR BEST TO STAY DISCIPLINED WITH IT EVERY DAY. But what’s even more important is to create a versatile, balanced routine so that you don’t lose interest or neglect certain areas of your practice. Let’s say you practice 2 hours a day: start to practice basic warm-ups for 20 minutes, and then move on to practice the consistency of time for 40 minutes. By the time you finish these two, you might start to feel unfocused on your practice. At that point, you can let loose and play around with some grooves or chops to wake you up for 20 minutes. Lastly, finish your practice with stick technique and coordination skills for the remainder of your session. The effectiveness of your routine and your concentration throughout it is more important than how many hours you actually spend playing! Next, I’d like to explain how to groove it out!

1

First of all, if you look at the sticking pattern of this groove, you’ll see that it’s just alternating paradiddles:

TECHNIQUE

(R/L=accented notes, r/l=unaccented notes, (r)=rest) first measure : R l R L R (r) r (r) R l r R L r R (r) second measure : R l r R L r R (r) R l r R L r R (r)

2

So, practice this pattern for few minutes on the snare drum or pad and once you get used to it, move hands to hi-hat and snare, and start to add the bass drum.

3

Make sure you get the groove without using the left foot first and then once you get it, add the open hi-hat hits. Simple Tip: if you bring up the left heel when you open the hi-hat, as if you’re counting 8th notes with your left foot, it’s going to be way easier to get the coordination happening since the closed hi-hat is landing on the downbeat.

IT’S ALSO HELPFUL TO PRACTICE THROWING IN FILLS EVERY 2 OR 4 BARS. NOW IT’S YOUR TURN TO MAKE IT FUN! 60

TO M TOM M A G A Z I NE


Practice on the Go

by Kiana Gibson

DRUMMERS DO NOT HAVE THE LUXURY OF PRACTICING WHEREVER WE ARE. Many of us spend a lot of time traveling away from our studio, while others are in school or at work most of the day. As much as we’d all love to spend the entirety of our days behind a kit, our daily schedule just might not allow for it. I myself travel quite frequently, so I came up with some exercises to maintain my skills while I’m on the road . . .the idea is to be able to work on these exercises no matter where you are. If you find yourself riding on a bus, sitting in the car, or waiting at a doctor’s office, you can place your hands on your thighs (close to your knee) and then do this linear combination on repeat:

To make it more challenging once you get the hang of it, try adding a triplet feel to it and/or adding your left foot on the quarter note pulse or the 2/4.

This will work on your muscle memory, improve your hand/foot coordination, and strengthen your overall linear drumming skills.

GET CHOPS

KR L K L R KRL KL R

Here’s another few combinations, to be counted as 8th notes and played on repeat:

R K RK RKRK L KL K L KL K R KRK L KL K ANOTHER GREAT WAY TO CHALLENGE YOURSELF is to listen to music and try to create drum parts that aren’t already present in the song. This pushes you to listen deeper to the music, to be innovative in your playing, and also helps you develop overall improvisational and songwriting skills. You can try to come up with new parts that “fit” with the song, or just improvise “over” the music. And last but not least—you should always be drumming in spirit anytime there’s music playing. Tune in to the sound of drums, tap your feet, move your body, feel the rhythm.

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10 Things to Know Before Going On Tour BUDGET

TECHNIQUE

Before you leave to go on tour, it’s crucial that you know your budget. This means that you add up all of your costs (van rental, gas, food, hotels, etc.), confirm how much money you will be making at every show, and then figure out if you will be profiting, losing money, or breaking even. If it’s clear from the beginning that your profits won’t exceed your expenses, then it may not be the best time to go on tour. It’s very common for new bands to lose money or break even on their first tour – just be prepared to ask yourself: will this tour really benefit us as a band, or will it set us back financially and keep us from pursuing our dream?

62

PER DIEM Before you leave for tour, figure out if your band has a budget to pay everyone a “per diem’ – an amount of money allotted to each person per day for food costs. Whether it’s $10 or $25 a day, this should be a cost that is taken into consideration when working out your tour budget. That way, nobody has to pay for food out of his or her own pocket. CATERING

You should know ahead of time if you will be getting fed at each venue you perform at, so you don’t waste time (or money) on food before the gig. Some venues will give the band a complementary meal, some venues will give you a disFAN BASE count, etc. Just make sure this information is For new bands, it’s important to know where confirmed ahead of time. Otherwise, you might your fan base is. Do you have a following in other finish a show and get in an argument with your by Elena Bonomo cities besides your own? Or are you only well manager about how the restaurant owner says known around your hometown? It’s one thing to that bands have to pay for food, but you were told want to venture outside of your area with the hope that you’ll that you were going to be fed. attract new fans – but it might not be worth it to drive across BACKLINE the country to Colorado if you’re only well known in Boston. In that case, maybe plan a regional tour, where you only travel This is important to know before you leave for tour, because around a 300-mile radius. You’ll gradually expand your fan- it could save you a lot of unnecessary heavy lifting! Contact base without completely breaking your bank account. each venue and find out if they have a backline, and what equipment they are willing to provide. Most venues will have TRANSPORTATION a house drum kit and maybe even a bass and guitar rig. Of Before you leave for tour, you have to decide which vehicle course most people prefer to play on their own gear – but if would be best for you to travel in. Do you have enough money you bring as little equipment as possible it’ll save you a lot of to rent a bus and hire a driver? Or maybe you can use your extra trouble in the long run. old van and buy a trailer to carry all of the gear? Figure out LOAD-IN TIME what works with your budget. If you have an old car, allow extra money in your tour budget for repairs that might need Know what time you’re expected to “load-in” at every venue to be taken care of on the road. you’ll be performing at. Plan your travel schedule around this, and even allow extra time just to be safe. You never want to GETTING PAID: DOOR DEALS VS. GUARANTEE be late for load-in because you might lose your chance to Before confirming anything with your booking agent, you have have a decent sound check. If you’re late and you’re sharing to know how you will be getting paid. Is it a door deal (where the bill with other bands, then you run the risk of having the you get a percentage of the cover charge) or a guaranteed venue cut your set short. Be professional - be on time! amount of money? Door deals are more risky because if you TRAVEL DAYS don’t draw a crowd, you won’t make much money. But if you bring a great crowd, a door deal can sometimes work out to Know in advance how many days it is going to take you to be better than what the club might offer you as a guarantee. travel from city to city. Don’t book two shows back to back if one is in Nashville, TN and the other is in Los Angeles, CA. LIVING ARRANGEMENTS Allow enough time in between shows to travel from one to Make sure you have a place to stay every night. A good nights the other. If you know in advance that you’re going to have an sleep is super important when you need to have enough en- extra few days in between shows, plan a day trip or someergy to put on a good show after driving for hours and hauling thing that you can do together as a band. Take advantage of all of your gear. Whether you choose to sleep on the bus, in exploring all that each city has to offer! a hotel, or on somebody’s couch, make sure you have everything planned out ahead of time so you’re not stressing about a place to stay after you finish your show at 2am and you’re too tired to think.

TO M TOM M A G A Z I NE


Decoding The Kuku Rhythm for Djembe The Djembe is a goblet-shaped drum originally used by the Maninke people of West KEY: Africa since around the 1300s. The Djembe was traditionally played by men but in the year 2000 Mamoudou Conde included two female players in the ballet ‘Les KEY: Djembe FLAM RH Percussions de Guinée’ bringing female players to the forefront.

KEY:

KEY:

TONE FLAM

LH RH

BASS TONE LH FLAM RH SLAP BASS TONE LH FLAM RH The Rhythm we are going to explore in this lesson is called the ‘Kuku' which is commonly SLAP BASS TONE LH played on the Djembe. We’re going to look at it on1. the and how we can translate the TheDjembe Call SLAP rhythm to a traditional drum set. (A basic knowledge of BASS the Djembé is advised.)

1. The Call 1 +

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∞ You can loop this as many times as you like but when ending keep the ‘Djembe 2’ rhythm going whilst doing ‘The Ending Call’.

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2a. The Rhythm - Djembe 1

2a. The Rhythm - Djembe 1

∞ Here we get a little more adventurous, we play the ‘Djembe 2’ rhythm between our kick drum and our hi-hat foot!

RH

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∞ Then we have the ‘Djembe 1’ rhythm played between the floor tom, rack tom and snare.

FLAM TONE

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∞ Firstly we have ‘The Call’ which is played on the snare. Make sure the flam and accents are clean and clear!

KEY:

SLAP 2

1. The Call 1

by Vanessa Dominique

2

1

Now that we are familiar with the rhythms on the Djembe, let’s move onto the kit one pattern at a time. TIP: Before attempting the different voicing’s on the kit, play everything on the snare.

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2

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Tabla Traditions THE TABLA ARE AN ANCIENT CLASSICAL INDIAN INSTRUMENT (DATING BACK TO 200 B.C ) THAT UTILIZE COMPLICATED FINGER TECHNIQUE TO CREATE TONES (BOLS).

Women have never been “banned” from playing tabla, but even in this day and age there is only a handful of professional players and it is generally not seen as a “woman’s” instrument.

TECHNIQUE

by Morgan Doctor

64

I studied tabla for many years both in Canada and in the States with Swapan Chaudhuri. I was one of only a couple female students and I can say I only know one other woman that plays the tabla professionally. I have asked people in the classical Indian music scene about why there are so few female tabla players, and they told me that traditionally tabla was learned through the guru-shishya system where you lived with your guru for up to 12 years and studied rigorously every day. Even today in India it is not seen as “appropriate” for a young girl to live away from home let alone with other men and boys. Most answers I got are along these lines, based on gender stereotypes of women. Some include women’s hands are not strong enough to play tabla and minds are not strong enough to master the complex rhythms, or woman can not devote ten hours a day to practice the instrument when they have domestic obligations. For 5 years I played in a percussion ensemble where I translated tabla compositions onto kit. You don’t need to play the tablas to be able to play this piece. So…here is the theme of a Kaida composition from the Luck Now style in 5/4 (Jhap Thal). The accent marks are where the down beats are.

BOL

RIGHT HAND

MUTED

LEFT HAND

Na

A

Yes

No

Ta

B

Yes

No

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C

Yes

No

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D

No

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D (middle finger, mute sound)

Yes

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Yes

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C

Yes

E

Ge

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No

E (with ring + midlde or index)

Ke

No

No

F (All fingers)

TO M TOM M A G A Z I NE

Dhin dha ti dha ge na / Dha ti dha ge na / / Dha ti dha ge thun na ke na / / Ge na dha ti dha ge na / Dha ti dha ge na / / Dha ti dha ge thun na ke na / / Tin ta ti ta ke na / Ta ti ta ken a / / Ta ti ta ke thun na ke na / / Ge na dha ti dha ge na / Dha ti dha ge na / / Dha ti dha ge dhin na ge na


Georgia Hubley of Yo La Tengo: Automatic Doom Here’s a handwritten transcription of Yo La Tengo’s “Automatic Doom”, written by Georgia Hubley herself. It’s super sweet and simple—but try singing the song while you play and you’ll start to see the magic of Yo La Tengo. Enjoy!

by Georgia Hubley

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CRITTER & GUITARI 速

critterandguitari.com

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Synthesizers, Bass Machines, Loopers, Video Synths

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HARSH CROWD SHARKMUFFIN

Chartreuse State Capital Records / August 2015

THE DARKNESS

Last of Our Kind +180 Records / June 2015

Chrissie Hynde-reverbed vocals? Check. Slamming down chords of gut rock like a Wipers record? Absolutely. Patty Schemel (of Hole fame) cutting the drum tracks on their record? You can bet on it.

The Darkness is an arena/glam rock outfit that needs a solid, hard-hitting drummer keeping a mean backbeat and someone who can pull off grand-scale theatricality. The band found both in Emily Dolan

Chartreuse is the debut of Sharkmuffin, the record you want to hear from a tried and true punk band from Brooklyn, a borough that’s gotten a little soft as of late. Tarra Thiessen and Natalie Kirch bring their raucous injection of post-punk choruses and sarcastic lyrics to the scene—so gentrification be damned. Proving these gals got rock on their minds, spin “Mondays” or “First Date” to get a real feel for their hair in the face sound. Touted by Billboard Magazine as “one of the 20 all-female bands you need to know” in 2015, Sharkmuffin is exactly what their name implies: a monster of the sea and the sweetest thing you can eat. Buy this record.

Davies, who recorded with them for their latest record, “Last of Our Kind.” She takes no prisoners (“Barbarian”), kills with a tom-heavy groove (“Sarah O’Sarah”) and she swings (“Mighty Wings”); her giant flams, tasty fills, and creative rhythm tops are really well-chosen, especially for the tight constraints of a highly-produced record, featuring a mighty guitar onslaught and the signature—nearlyunbelievable—overdriven falsetto voice of Justin Hawkins. Too bad that she and the band parted ways after recording, as there was the promise of further spectacle.

Listen to this: when you need a fix of big hair, cutListen to this: at your next ritual magick party out spandex bodysuits, and fire-spurting cannons channeling the infernal rock powers of Black Sab- (or other indoor pyrotechnics). bath while sucking on a lollipop. —Caryn Havlik —Matthew D’Abate

Harsh Crowd's first EP makes me wish I knew them when I was 15 skipping classes at my all girl's catholic school to skateboard, and pretend it was the 1970s. The pure punk delivery in the opening song “Don't Ask Me” is composed so that it almost feels nostalgic when the muffled vocals and distorted guitar come in. The intro of the release is in sync, and each member emits a propelling overdrive by their individual performance. The band is a New York-based quartet that met at Willie Mae's Rock Camp for Girls, and have been playing together ever since. “We wouldn't be here without the camp,” the drummer, Dea notes. Each of the girls are multi-instrumentalists pulsating with rock ’n‘ roll. This EP is a quintessential result of what the Girls Rock Camp aims to do; which is to bring together girls of diverse backgrounds and empower them through music education, selfrespect, and self-expression. This EP is a success lyrically, instrumentally, and socially, and I believe it will spark girls to continue attending Willie Mae's, and pick up instruments at a young age.

REVIEWS

Listen to this: when you want to wear a leather jacket and time travel back to CBGB's in 1977. —Gabrielle Steib

THE HUSSY

THE RIZZOS

Worse Things King Pizza Records / June 2015

VOMITFACE

Galore Southpaw Records / July 2015 “What I Want,”one of the many classic tracks on the album Galore by The Hussy rants like a Ramones dance-bop school dance—and everyone is invited. On their 4th studio release, the album rates as high as any John Hughes film soundtrack (cue Duckie rocking out in a record store for Molly Ringwald’s love). The Hussy, a punk duo from Madison, Wisconsin (Bobby Hussy on guitars/vox and Heather Sawyer on drums/vox) reads like a flashback jingle from the era pre-Drake and his overproduced cronies. The Hussy bring the purity back to rock and roll. Heather’s voice howls like Courtney Love without the huskiness or criminal record, and tracks like “Made In The Shade” and “Channeling Spiral Stairs” have that hum-along sweetness anyone who owns a Squeeze record will appreciate.

If I were in high school with The Rizzos, their party is the one I’d want to be invited to. I’d try to eat lunch with them too, but I have a feeling they’d be somewhere cooler than the cafeteria. Their mix of poppy, punky rock and roll is reminiscent of 1970s era Blondie, when Debbie Harry was eulogizing life as a sex offender, and Reality Bites-era Juliana Hatfield, but with an unrelenting sense of longing stemming from Megan’s Mancini’s deep, sultry vocals. Her voice perfectly complements the fuzzy guitars and driving power pop drumming, and this mix of wise-beyond-their-years rock and roll is tempered, awesomely, by songs like “Vomit Kiss” and “Blackout” in which Mancini intones, I better watch my mouth/when I blackout. Words to live by.

Hailing from Jersey City, NJ, a place where punk has persevered into modern times are the crudely named, fuzzed out, sludgy post-punk band called Vomitface. Singer/guitarist Jared Micah alternates from talky narrator to hardcore screamer over hard grooves anchored by drummer Preetma Singh, whose stiff, hard-hitting approach gives them a Gang Of Four-esque feel. “Did She Come Alone” sounds like a track that narrowly was cut from Nirvana’s Bleach, while much of the rest of the EP reminds me of the Welsh post-hardcore group McLusky, who also cut their visceral attack with a sense of humor and ironic detachment.

Listen to this: when your nostalgia levels peak and you burst with Breakfast Club references (“What about you, Dad!”). —Matthew D’Abate

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Don't Ask Me Self-released / September 2015

TO M TOM M A G A Z I NE

Listen to this: When you’re trying to get the roller skating waitress’s attention at the drive-in. —Anna Blumenthal

Another Bad Year Boxing Clever Records / May 2015

Listen to this: to get super pumped for a DIY house show while pounding a large iced coffee from Dunkin' Donuts. —Jamie Frey


SEE GULLS

You Can’t See Me Self-released / July 2015 he debut E.P. from North Carolina’s See Gulls is a witchy, jubilant brew that veers from gleeful punk/ pop to soulful, howling rumination and has already earned the praise of Everett True, who drew parallels between the gals from See Gulls and The Breeders, and NPR’s Lars Gotrich, who touted the band as a must-see at the Hopscotch Music Festival. The band formed in 2013, it’s four members bringing together a mix of past projects and genres so numerous and diverse, that were they stitched into a quilt it would keep a psychedelic wizard warm on a desert night. The title track, “You Can’t See Me,” is a ska tempo-ed, ex-boyfriend's shirt shredder— the multi-dimensional harmonies of female voices will make you feel part of a tribe, tambourines and driving percussion combining for a pagan ruckus. The driving drums on “Don’t Write Me Love Songs,” usher you through a holographic tunnel toward a glittering conclusion—that the pain inside you means you’re never alone. Listen to this: while having a ceremonial glitter fight with your cat on a moonlit beach and regretting nothing.

YO LA TENGO

Stuff Like That There Matador Records / August 2015 Anyone who is a fan of Yo La Tengo’s fourth fulllength, Fakebook (released in 1990), will be pleased to hear its unofficial “sequel,” Stuff Like That There, prepared to hit record stores on August 28th for its 25th anniversary. The original line-up (Ira Kaplan, Georgia Hubley, James McNew, Dave Schramm) went back in the studio with producer, Gene Holder (of the dB’s) for 14 beautifully compiled folk songs that weave in and out of remakes, familiar covers, and a handful of brand new songs. You find yourself at the end of a school dance surrounded by nothing but a ghost town full of balloons and streamers swaying alone in your fanciest shoes. Everyone has gone off to the next big thing, but you choose to share a moment with the greatest catch of all; soothing sounds and your true love. Kurt Wagner gives credit to the band for “embracing the people who they still hold close and making a spirited noise about it.” Listen and feel for yourself. Listen to this: in a hammock under a starlit sky after having a great time with your favorite people. —Lia Braswell

—Svetlana Chirkova

BODEGA BAY

COLLEEN CLARK

Our Brand Could Be Your Life Capitalist Records / July 2015

Introducing Colleen Clark Self-released / January 2014

Described as “critique and reverence for the rock and pop apparatus,” Bodega Bay are a true art rock band, valuable both for their abbreviated lo-fi indie guitar jams evoking Pavement and Guided By Voices, but as an art project, a full-on dissection of rock music in modern times. The record was not released as a record, but as a book in the style of the 33 ₁/₃ series, with photography, lyrics and Yoko Ono-esque poetry. Singer/guitarist Ben Hozie leads the band through 33 short tunes that follow cues of The Velvet Underground, punctuated by the primal beat of stand up basher Aiko Masubuchi, and driven by Hozie’s lyrics which are kind of rock-crit worthy like Bangs or Christgau pushed to the front of a rock ‘n’ roll band.

There’s more than one way to get attention as a jazz drummer. Percussive pyrotechnics, in the form of big volume and fast frequency are how many young musicians turn heads. But the sophisticated drummer, as demonstrated by bandleader Colleen Clark on her debut album, does something better: she’s banking on subtle, surprising nuance in her drumming, impressive arrangements that spin between hip-swaying Latin and foot-tapping swing, and fluid conversations with an interesting collection of bandmates (bass clarinet, anyone?) to leave an impression.

Listen to this: in the midst of a conversation on the subject of rock ‘n’ roll and what it all means. —Jamie Frey

Listen to this: when you want to hear a new voice in jazz who will be turning heads for years to come. —Emily Nemens


DOPE Directed by Rick Famuyiwa Forest Whitaker’s Significant Productions / June 2015 High tops, white-washed jeans, and cassette players. All elements of the 80s and 90s. If you throw in a flattop hair cut, NWA, and slang like “whack,” you got the emergence of hip hop culture. Dope is a movie about three friends who absorb themselves in a birth of hip hop era, in present day time. The main focus is on Malcolm, a self-proclaimed high school geek, with his sidekicks and bandmates in their group Oreo: Diggy (the lesbian drummer often mistaken for a boy) and Jib (the multi-ethnic bass player). You follow them through the trials and tribulations of teenage life in their stomping ground of Inglewood, California known as “The Bottoms.” At first, the film seemed like just a more racially diverse version of a John Hughes movie, but as the issues of living in such a hard knock neighborhood became more and more the subject and the ever growing search for identity while surviving the drugged streets, were surfacing , you couldn’t help to find yourself questioning “What would you do in Malcolm’s position?” Be the scholar you’ve worked hard to be, while being socially unaccepted or join the street life that is stereotypical for someone coming from your hood? —Lola Johnson

A HISTORY OF RADNESS Amazon / 2015

REVIEWS

Amazon has ordered a pilot for a new musical sitcom called A History of Radness. The plot centers around two middle-school aged siblings, Tessie and Jack, who just don’t fit in (but really who in middle school does?). They decide to start a band with fellow “outcasts.” Tessie is a female drummer, which we couldn’t be more excited about. This character will be played by Marlhy Murphy. And she isn’t acting when she’s playing drums. She IS a drummer and a pretty darn awesome one too. Marlhy has been playing since the age of 5. Tom Tom Mag featured her online last year. A History of Radness appears to be a look back at the siblings’ days in middle school (similar to the Wonder Years with the narration done by the siblings as adults). Bethany Cosentino of Best Coast is scheduled to narrate along with Dan Reynolds of Imagine Dragons. Although this series is written and produced by Andrew Green, who worked on Hannah Montana, this show has few different elements up its sleeve. For one thing, Henry Rollins of Black Flag fame will guest star. The theme song is reportedly written and performed by the Thermals. Smashing Pumpkins has also written music to be featured in the episodes. —Maura Filoromo

REXTREME DRUMMING STYLES WORKBOOK by Aira Deathstorm of Fiend Moscow: Helscream Academy / 2014 In one of the first books on extreme drumming by a female drummer I’ve ever seen, by Russian death metal player and teacher Aira Deathstorm, this workbook is recommended for experienced/ advanced players. Make sure to read through the first half using your weaker foot as the lead. See if you can conceptualize songs as squares. Enjoy the second half of the book—the double-bass drumming—covering patterns of “constant release” (or “Wall of Death,”) and “rapid fire” (or playing with spaces) along with a quick blast beat primer. Try not to get flipped out by the sometimes unclear notation, especially half-time breakdowns, and the use of British English musical terms, like “crotchet” and “quaver.” I was also left wanting at the end of this. Where are all of the audio or video files that should go with a manual like this? I hope that she does record some, because they would be a great asset and greatly augment the experience for the person who uses this workbook. —Caryn Havlik

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TO M TOM M A G A Z I NE


#TUNEDUPNICE #FASTTUNING #HUGESOUND #LOVETHESETHINGS #LEVEL360


Sensory Percussionâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Drum Sensors

REVIEWS

by Kiran Gandhi

SENSORY PERCUSSIONâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S DRUM SENSORS ARE A TOTAL GAME CHANGER. Each sensor attaches to the rim of each drum on a traditional drum set or drum practice pad with a metal rim, and can be programmed to correspond to multiple electronic sounds. Instead of mapping one sound to one sensor, their software allows the drummer to hit different parts of the drum to obtain different electronic sounds. For example, the drummer could play the rim to trigger a cowbell sound, the center to trigger a tom sound, and the outer center of the drumhead to trigger an entirely different third sound. The software also allows you to blend between different sounds on the drum, making it really easy and natural to play. The technology works on its own as standalone software or integrates easily with Ableton Live over MIDI. These sensors are ideal for drummers who wish to songwrite by using a traditional acoustic drum set as their instrument of choice, as well as for drummers who want to play electronic sounds as well as acoustic sounds during their live set. The most fun is connecting the sensors to your headphones and hearing back all the electronically produced sounds the sensors make when you play an acoustic drum set in real time. The other two use cases for these sensors are to be able to pack a really light travel kit on the road and use electronics only, as well as to control different effects on top of the sounds with your strokes on the drum itself.


Teenage Engineering Pocket Operator by Mindy Abovitz

I RECENTLY GOT MY HANDS ON ONE OF THESE BAD BOYS AND COULDN’T BE HAPPIER. The PO-12 Rhythm Operator (pictured below in musician's hand) is the closest to a drum machine with the other two operators in the trio, the Sub PO-14 and the Factory PO-16 emphasizing the bass line and the melody respectively. They most resemble an 80’s calculator in looks and a Dr. Rhythm in function. Their price point ($62.95) makes it one of the most affordable drum machines on the market. You turn the machine on by securing 2 triple A batteries and the little guy doesn’t turn off until it feels like it. You have 16 drum sounds and 16 possible patterns to write which can be chained together to create a “song.” The moving visuals on the calculator-like screen, are a robot and a giant sewing machine, having to do with where the operators can be purchased (Cheap Mondays - a Swedish based clothing company) and generally making the machine more female friendly and a whole lot cooler.

GEAR


GEAR

Alesis DM10 X Mesh kit

by Mickey Vershbow This month, we had the pleasure of reviewing an Alesis DM10 X Mesh kit. The kit is comprised of 4 toms (10/10/12/12’’,) a 12’’ snare, a 4-piece cymbal set (12’’ hi-hat, two 14’’ crashes, and 16’’ 3-zone ride,) kick drum trigger, a heavy duty chrome plated rack, and all necessary hardware (snare stand cymbal stands, etc.) The only component that doesn’t come with the kit is the kick drum pedal itself. This is the flagship electronic kit for Alesis. It comes with three 12” pads sized for the snare and floor toms, two 10” pads sized for the rack toms, and an 8” pad for the kick. The tightly woven mesh heads offer a realistic stick response and the sensing components have been redesigned for enhanced trigger sensitivity and stick response. The kit includes the premium Alesis DM10 sound module, which features their unique Alesis Dynamic Articulation™ technology. All the sounds on the module are actually made up of a series of different samples and articulations so as you play harder and softer, the drum or cymbal changes its timbre, not just its volume. USB and Midi connections also allow for virtual instrument plug-ins. This kit is ideal for quiet practicing. The overall realistic feel of the kit allows a player to work on technical skills and musical development on an electronic kit that feels more like a “real” instrument than a toy. Alesis markets the kit for studio or live situations as well; it doesn’t necessarily live up to our standards for professional recording or performing, but we highly recommend it for practicing and experimenting with different sounds.


opening 2016 blog.acehotel.com

Tom Tom Magazine Issue 23: Banned  

In this issue of Tom Tom we celebrate drummers who refused to put down their sticks. They are women from all over the world whose families,...

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