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Phil plays bass in the Jeremy Sanoski Band, and as a result he ends up being the camera guy for a lot of my random sound check videos. He’s a great musician, and a decent drummer, but I’ve posted two separate videos of him intentionally hacking, and apparently the Youtubers don’t all know that he’s kidding. Now you know, because this groove ain’t easy…

PS. We shot this video at a gig last night while I was getting some footage of my new 18″ hihat set up. I mentioned a few months ago that I’m going to keep non-educational posts on this site to a minimum and start doing more of that over at my Tumblr page instead. I’m currently giving a photo/video tour of my Paiste rig over there, so check that out if you’re interested.

Aaron Freer is a great photographer and all around good dude. He shot a bunch of cool stuff at the Jeremy Sanoski Band album release show last month, and he posted some of the pics on A Better Story blog. Check it out if you want.

I spent the weekend playing out at Higher Ground Festival again this year, with Jeremy Sanoski and Elizabeth Hunnicutt. Both shows were super cool, and the festival as a whole is always a good time.  My friend Matt best runs the event, and he’s a solid dude.

Noteworthy moments from the weeknd:

1)  Jeremy getting heat exhaustion after our set on Friday and spending an hour and a half in the EMT trailer.

2)  Liz boldy declaring from stage that her record is “an album full of journey songs,” which is very funny if you imagine that she meant Journey, and not journey.

And… I’ve got some footage from the weekend, shot with that awesome Flip camcorder that I bought before the UK Harms tour.  Here’s an exceprt from a track on the Sanoski Band’s forthcoming record, and my daughter Betty singing along with Hunnicutt…

Here’s some footage from soundcheck at a Jeremy Sanoski Band gig the other night in Wisconsin. This was the live debut of the newly-expanded amber acrylic kit…

We finished up the drum tracking for the Sanoski record on Friday. The stuff turned out great. I’m excited for this record to be done so people can hear it. I think March-ish is realistic for the album’s release, hopefully.

Like most rock sessions, I was camping out on my 60’s Ludwig Supraphonic for most of the tracks. There’s just something magical about that drum. I’ve got a handful of great snare drums, but when it comes to a great classic rock snare sound, the Supraphonic always wins the shoot-out. Actually, I think I read somewhere that the Ludwig Supraphonic is the most recorded model of snare drum in history.

While the Supraphonic’s tone is the go-to, “typical rock” snare tone, there are quite a few other rock sounds that aren’t in the Supraphonic’s wheelhouse. For the Sanoski record, we ended up using a couple of my Risen snares, and they just killed it…

img_3569The 6.5×14 black brass was the pick on some faster, punk-ish tracks. This drum is normally tuned down for a Supraphonic-ish tone for my gigging. I’ve been using a Remo Control-Sound on the black brass lately, but for the tracks on Friday I slapped on an Evans G2 and really cranked it, and the drum found a sweet spot I’ve never heard from it before. Holy cow… this thing was NASTY. I’ve literally never heard a louder drum. It really breathed a new life into the track, and the engineer told me that it was the coolest raw snare tone that he’d ever had in his studio.

img_51861Toward the close of the day we tackled a track that had a very interesting “BonJovi-meets-DeathCab” feel to it, and we turned to the huge Bill Mike acrylic snare. 9×14 of orange acrylic with a Aquarian TC reverse dot. It sounded amazing. Again, I cranked this drum a little higher than a normally have it for Bill Mike gigs, and the drum took on a new attitude. I’ve always liked the way this drum can exist at the flappy tuning I’ve been using it for, but I might jsut keep it cranked like this for a while.

It was great to get these drums happening on new fronts from where I normally have them. They’ve already been indespensable components in my snare arsenal, but I’ve got big plans for them now that I’ve seen their versatility.

Jeremy Sanoski is a dude I’ve been playing with for a few years now. He’s a super cool guy with a GREAT voice, and the band is what you would call a typical power trio (me, Jeremy, and my friend Phil Hicks on bass). Jeremy has a very “classic rock” sound, and the music we play ends up feeling like a cool combination of AC/DC, Foo Fighters, and Green Day.

Anyway, we’re tracking a full-length album this week at Hewitt Studios, which is where we recorded the episodes for the Risen Drums Video Lesson Series. The very boss Matt Berry is producing/engineering. I’ve got the big kick drum from the orange Bill Mike kit in the saddle for these sessions, with some other acrylic toms in standard sizes.

Man, the acrylic sound has really been growing on me… especially in the studio. You can crank them WAY down to get some serious depth and spank, but you don’t lose any tone. I guess that’s because their more dense, right? I don’t really know. Somebody help me out if I’m wrong here, but I think the SOUND of the drum comes from the drum head, and the shell just causes that sound to bounce around a little more or less depending on the density. Well, acrylic seems to get the sound moving quite a bit, even at a low tuning.

More from the studio tomorrow…

Hunnicutt tour is going well. My friend Christian Ankrum is playing bass, who I also play with in Joel Hanson’s band. Christian’s brother Aaron is Liz’s normal guitarist, but he couldn’t come this time, so Jeremy Sanoski came out for the tour. He’s another solo artist who’s band I’m in, so the lineup turned out to be a cool clustering of guys I play with all the time. It’s a lot of fun.

We’re in Spokane, WA right now playing for a women’s conference. The conference put the whole band up in the luxurious Double Tree Hotel attached to the convention center. Last night Christian and I made a video to showcase how nice the place is, and it’s pretty funny. Check it out.

This weekend I’m playing a few times out at Higher Ground Music Festival in Winsted, MN. I’ll be performing with Elizabeth Hunnicutt tomorrow and the Jeremy Sanoski Band on Saturday. The lineup for the festival looks pretty cool this year.

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