Over 30 years experience recording, touring, writing and producing talent in all fields. Grammy nominated and performed on many Grammy winning recordings.
Tell us a little more about yourself. How and why you started playing, who and what inspired you etc?
I couldn’t help but play. I think it’s something you’re called to do. My parents cultivated my musical seed when they bought a piano and started me on piano lessons. Then the Beatles and the British invasion hit and it was all over. I liked piano, but I loved drums, rhythm and the way music of the sixties moved.
What songwriters and musicians inspire you today and where do you see your musicianship in five or ten years from now?
Music, like life, is a constant evolution. My inspiration comes from what’s happening around me and how I choose to relate to it. For instance, I may get called for a gig that requires a different approach from just sitting behind a kit, and I dream up a solution. I am constantly asking myself how I keep my value and relevance in an ever-changing marketplace. That one question alone gives me inspiration.
The well that I go to for answers is my love for the past as much as my love for the present. There are songs like “Imagine” that make me want write a song that will still speak as truthfully and vibrantly 50 years from the day it was written. Watching Buddy Rich on film is still mind-boggling and makes me want to practice techniques that would make me a better player. Listening to Jackie Wilson sing “Baby Work Out” makes me wanna sing with as much feeling and range as that. Seeing Prince in concert leaves me breathless and just thinking...Wow, what a force.
My future lies in keeping my antennae up…and tuned in.
What Toontrack products have you collaborated on so far?
The Nashville EZX, which I must point out, is not necessarily a “country” package. Its sounds are adaptable to all musical styles.
What is your relation to electronic drums?
I’ve always been interested in their potential, but disappointed in the way the hardware translates what drummers do. We are light years from my first Simmons 5 kit in terms of pad feel, midi adjustability and sound.
The key in audio is the recording process, the recording process, and the recording process. Where you record, how many hits and the type of hits you sample. In MIDI it’s the level of sensitivity, period. I’m excited for the first time in a long time the way EZdrummer has put those two things together. Now, I can truly “phone in a part” through MIDI, and have world-class sonic results.
Any new exciting projects coming up in the next year that you can tell us about?
It’s about time to start on a third Corb Lund record. Last year we took Album of the Year at the Canadian Country Music Awards. Corb is such an original songwriter, I love working with him.
In closing is there anything you would like to pass on to the Toontrack.com visitors?
If you’re searching for world-class sounding drum or percussion software to make your demos or records sound REAL, EZ is it. If you’re a songwriter and need a ready-made groove to get you going, EZ is it. If you want to build on that groove later and blow out a demo or a record, EZ is it. Most importantly, if you want all this to be easy and intuitive, and NOT pay a lot of money…EZ is it.
Now, let’s go even a step further. If you’re a producer and want to go deep and have a dedicated hard drive of multiple kits, a full range of percussion, to build a kit and the ability to adjust pitch and isolate each mic on that kit, you must have the Superior package. It is truly, the ultimate.