And I’ve known [Zs saxophonist] Sam [Hillmer] for a while, and [Zs guitarist] Patrick [Higgins] I met a number of years ago when his old band, Animal, played at Bard when I was a student there. So I had met everybody and Sam was doing this weekly party at this bar Zebulon that unfortunately closed down. It was the only good bar in my opinion in the world. But anyway, Sam was doing these things, so I was hanging out with Sam a lot more, going to these shows and playing them and he asked me—I don’t really remember how long ago this was—but he gave me a call and he asked me if I’d be interested in doing some playing. And I was like, “Okay, sounds good.” And he was like, “It would be like a thing where we’d write music together,” and I was like, okay, that sounds interesting, you know. And so then, a couple months later, he called me back and he was like, “So that thing I was talking about was Zs.” And I was like, “Oh yeah, okay, that makes sense.” So you know, when he said that Pat was doing it with him, that made sense to me and I knew Ben was sort of moving on to do other things. And I just don’t know [ex-Zs drummer] Ian [Antonio] very well, I’ve met him a bunch of times… but yeah, to a certain extent I wasn’t really surprised by being asked.

I’ve definitely admired Pat and Sam, totally, their playing and their musicianship over the years in different times and spaces. So, I figured, sounds good. You know, Sam called me up and he was like, “All right, we’re going to write all new music together, you’re not going to have to learn any old stuff, we’re going to write new music together, we’re going to go to Europe and Japan, and we have two records like, ready to go. We just have to make them.” And so for me, it was just a no-brainer. So this is just like more touring, you know what I mean, getting into a situation where I’m playing with people who I admire and learning. It’s crazy how busy I am right now because of having joined Zs. But it’s working right now.

I started getting gigs as a session musician and doing some hired gun stuff. I was in a pretty terrible rap-rock band for a while that I was paid to play in.

So you’re talking about meeting all these people as childhood friends, so did you also start drumming at a really young age, and how did you arrive at the style of drumming you’re doing right now?

My grandfather was a drummer. Not professionally or anything, but he had a drum set in his house and you know, he played. So that was an early influence. I always kind of knew I would pick it up at some point, so I started actually playing in like sixth grade or something. For a while, it wasn’t something that I was taking extremely seriously. I mean, I was in bands and I was playing and I took lessons, but I wasn’t really concerned with it as a craft or as something that had a canon or something that I would find myself as a part of historically like with a link to people who play music like that. I never thought of it that way. I guess that playing in bands in high school and stuff, we’re playing a lot of metal, so I started getting into that stuff.

It got really serious with me—I think everything really changed for me with drumming when I got out of college and got kicked out of my parents’ house and decided not to go to college, and I didn’t really know what I was doing. But I got this job at this music store in New York, and some of the guys who worked there were really fantastic drummers. And they would give me free lessons. We would just be sitting around and they would give me lessons. And some of them would also work as drum techs. One of the guys who I owe a lot of my technique and style to is Guy Licata, who is a really fantastic drummer. And he gave me tons of free lessons. We would just be sitting there and we’d have the practice pad out, and he’d show me stuff and I would just practice all day. He was also studying with drum teching for Jojo Mayer, who’s an unbelievable drummer. So I met Jojo a few times, he showed me some things. A lot of just picking things up from people and meeting people, but that year was when I got serious about it because I didn’t know what I was going to do. So I was just like, well I’m just going to do this drumming thing, and I started getting gigs as a session musician and doing some hired gun stuff. I was in a pretty terrible rap-rock band for a while that I was paid to play in.

Page 3 of 5 | Previous page | Next page