This was a fun afternoon of live performances on Univision.  I had the fortunate opportunity to play in the house band backing up such artists as Carlos Vives, Fonseca, Lila Downs, Julieta Venegas, Debi Nova, Miguel Bosé, Jessy & Joy, Natalia LaFourcade, and Jorge Drexler.

I listen to so much new and old music every day. However, my friend Dave Elitch turned me onto two European bands: The Intersphere and Gojira. I’ve been digging into their albums. The drumming on these records is impressive.

The Intersphere – Relations in the Unseen

Gojira – Stranded

jason_zhang

’Twas a pleasure rehearsing and recording a live DVD concert for the Chinese pop artist Jason Zhang.  We arranged almost 30 of his hits, and performed them at the Ace Hotel Theater in Downtown Los Angeles.  Jim and Jeanna Lee were the masterminds of this project.  The band included guitarists Jan Ozveren and Yogi Lonich, keyboardist Peter Adams, and bassist Eric Holden; plus a whole bunch of guest artists and string players.  I look forward to doing more shows with this gang in the not-so-distant future.


1. Ex-Machina (by Alex Garland)
2. Mad Max: Fury Road (by George Miller)
3. The Martian (by Ridley Scott)
4. Spotlight (by Thomas McCarthy)
5. The Revenant (by Alejandro Gonzalez Iñarritu)
6. Dope (by Rick Famuyiwa)
7. Straight Outta Compton (by F. Gary Gray)
8. Bridge of Spies (by Steven Speilberg)
9. Me and Earl and the Dying Girl (by Alfonso Gomez-Rejon)
10. Slow West (by John Maclean)
11. Lambert & Stamp (by James D. Cooper)
12. Sicario (by Denis Villeneuve)
13. Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation (by Christopher McQuarrie)
14. Big Short (by Adam McKay)
15. Star Wars VII: The Force Awakens (by J.J. Abrams)


1. Mr. Robot
2. The Jinx
3. Narcos
4. Homeland
5. Making of a Murderer

1. Carly Rae Jepsen: E-Mo-Tion
2. Chvrches: Every Open Eye
3. Robot Koch: Hypermoment
4. Jaime XX: In Colour
5. LO: LO
6. The InterSphere: Live at Alte Feuerwache Mannheim
7. Kendrick Lamar: To Pimp a Butterfly
8. Thundercat: The Beyond/Where the Giants Roam
9. Jason Isbell: Something More Than Free
10: Vince Staples: Summertime ’06
11. Deantoni Parks: Technoself
12. Mister Barrington: Can’t Turn Back
13. Tame Impala: Currents

Hi friends!
Hope all is well. Whenever I get asked, “So what have you been working on lately?” it makes me realize that I do a terrible job of keeping people up-to-date.
So here are a few highlights from the last 18 months (!) or so.

Live Playing

Studio Recordings:

– Rilan
– Alejandro Sanz “Sirope”
– Shelby Lynne “I Can’t Imagine”
– Minnie Driver “Ask Me To Dance”
– Aleks Syntek “Romántico Desliz”
– Beth Thornely “All That Longing”
– “Cantinflas” movie soundtrack
– JJ Lin “Genesis”
– Willodean “Willodean”
– Taryn Southern

And yet to be released albums from artists:
– Roberto Carlos “live from Abbey Road”
– Nathan Fox
– Jeff Wang
– Axel Muñiz
– Boys School
– Joel Taylor
– Kandia Crazyhorse
– August Empire
– Dan Navarro
– Stevie Brock
– Stevie Ann
– Madame Recamier
– LOFT
– Spam Allstars
– Christian Petersen
– Sarah Packiam
– The Voice Australia

Thanks for all the support!
rock & roll.

I’m constantly asked for advice to give up and coming drummers who are trying to “make it” in the industry… It’s a pretty simple plan… PLAY!!! And then, play some more! Hours and hours on a drumset, with sticks in your hands… that is the most important concern.

“But what about websites, and social media, and YouTube?” Don’t lose focus on the most important part of becoming a great drummer, and that is BECOMING A GREAT DRUMMER.

Also, and I know I’ve said this a million times, meet other musicians through playing. Form bands. Rehearse together. Play shows. Meet other drummers from other bands while you are out. Go to jam sessions and concerts. Talk to people. Don’t creep them out with overaggressive networking. Just hang and get to know fellow musicians. Improve your drumming, while expanding your peer group. That’s it! The rest is beyond your control.

(for my nerdy drum friends)
– 15″ Artisan Hats
– 14″ Paragon Hats
– 21″ HHX Dry Ride
– 21″ AAX Stage Ride
– 19″ Vault Crash
– 19″ HHX Extreme Crash
– 19″ Legacy Crash
– 18″ Artisan Crash
– 18″ AAX Chinese
– 18″ Ozone Crash
– 18″ El Sabor Crash

Lastly, get paid. This sounds simple, but it’s important. And you’d be surprised how difficult this part can be. For musicians, it’s not common to get paid before you do the work. Therefore, you’ll probably have to type up and send an invoice. There is a myriad of ways to transfer payment such as: direct deposit, PayPal, Western Union, cash, or “the check is in the mail.” Keep track of all outstanding payments because certain people will space out and forget.

I hope this gives you a brief look into what I do to prepare for a performance. You’ll find that most pro drummers out there have a similar approach and work ethic. And keep in mind this sports quote: “Don’t practice until you get it right. Practice until you can’t get it wrong.”

*thanks to Kevin Stevens and Stewart Jean from Musicians Institute for the additional help.