Metallica Fridays (no. 5): i Make A Ton Of Mistakes (Just Like Metallica)

i should start calling this ‘Metallica Saturdays’, if i keep this up!

Well, not really. Once again, there were a ton of technical mishaps, like the camera being in the incorrect configuration, computer freezes/crashes/battery death, totally losing parts of a recording, and so on. All of these things happened , and interestingly enough i began to think about Metallica. One of the reasons i appreciate them is because of how open they are in their imperfections. They stay making mistakes, and make fun of themselves about them. While they certainly don’t shy away from the occasional post-production fixxxing (see what i did there?), there’s plenty of evidence of ‘happy accidents’. And let’s keep it real: as celebrated as they were for the output in their ‘younger days’, a lot of those live shows were pretty sloppy… which is why it’s interesting to me that people attack them for any mistakes they’ve made in later years. They absolutely do make mistakes, but as a whole how they play now is far more refined, and less sloppy.

i also thought about this, because when you watch drumming videos people tend to not show mistakes. There are people who are excellent and barely make mistakes (if at all), but that can’t be EVERY person who produces content. The interesting thing for me in posting this content is not only watching my growth, but also recognizing common mistakes i may make, and figuring out how to make them better. One of my hopes is that someone who watches this (and is a drummer/bassist/etc.) could point out things i could do better.

So of course in the following posts i made some mistakes.

Of course.

Today is a shorter post.

Of course.

The first major mistake was erasing half the drum track. The camera (when filming) was in the correct position, but when i went to go edit it ended up being flipped sideways. i erased everything up to the bridge of ‘Master Of Puppets’. Master Of Puppets was actually my favorite Metallica album from the age of 14 up until this year, where Load knocked it out of the #1 spot. ‘Master Of Puppets’ was my second favorite song of theirs (after ‘Blackened’), until ‘One’ knocked it to number three. That said, ‘Puppets’ is by far, the greatest Metallica song to exist. It is the one song i would choose if asked what the one song by them someone should listen to. It’s absolutely got excellent lyrical content, but even without lyrics, the song takes you through an emotional journey. ‘Puppets’ is up there with ‘Home Is Where The Hatred Is’ in the pantheon of songs describing the journey of addiction.

The song also has my favorite James Hetfield solo…

For this one, the first portion of the video is me playing along with Lars, and the other portion (from the bridge on) is where i am playing. It was also the first time i drummed through the whole song in full (but alas, i erased the first half).

The next song is pretty appropriate, because i was struggling hard all day. i made a couple of mistakes here too, but you already know!

i’m trying to get my ‘Lars face’ right.

‘The Struggle Within’ is one of my absolute favorite songs on The Black Album (aka Metallica). It’s also one of the most fun to drum to.

i Do What i Can Do, So i Do It

i continue to try an seek out other amputee drummers, and so far, i’m so amazed at all of the things i see. i am literally a baby in this experience (well, technically a toddler), and i have a ways to go before i can get to the level of a Caleb Graves, Jack Thomas, Jason Barnes and most famously, Rick Allen. It’s mostly dudes i have seen highlighted in the community- no surprise there.

i’m here representing those of us who are less known or acknowledged- or not known at all (raises hand here).

i thought about all of this because figuring out different things amid the limitations has been interesting. For instance, in a traditional set people who use double kick obviously use the left foot. i have never used my left leg for the kick before, so i was surprised at how fast i adapted. There are other things i have to sort out while playing, such as playing a particular pattern in place of the alternate open/closed high hat- such as the following song.

‘Is It My Body’ is probably my favorite Alice Cooper song. Frank Zappa found them interesting (and strange) enough to put them on. Their first few albums (of which Love It To Death (where the above song is on) is among them) were more straight ahead rock, as opposed to the metal of the proceeding years. Neal Smith seemed to be a pretty big fan of the open high hat.

But alas, i did what i could do.

Soooooooooo… i finally got a keyboard again, after years of not having one. i used to play piano all the time (and even wrote whole songs), but i was never proficient at it. i kind of forgot how to play; i hope it’s like what they say about bicycles- when you know how to do it you don’t forget.

i hope that’s true though, because i intend to ride again.

i can still play some notes, but the technique is TERRIBLE. i wouldn’t even call it a technique. i have never seen anyone play this bad- HA! But i wanted to show it anyway. Because you have to start from somewhere.

Go ahead. Make fun of me. i know i look like a little kid playing on a small Casio.

It’s okay though. i have Touré the octopus by my side.

‘Every Little Step’ at a time counts.

Speaking of… i got a request to play to some ’90s R&B. i did play to the one SWV song a few posts ago, but i couldn’t think about what else to do. Then i thought about the severely underrated Bobby album, by of course, Bobby Brown. My favorite BB song is the one i played above on piano), but Bobby is a much more mature work.

‘Get Away’ is the jam, but of course i had to punk it up (shoutout to Infectious Grooves). And of course, Lars was (subconsciously) all over this. i have to laugh about it at this point.

Drums are definitely a way to get away…

And finally, we have Toto.

My first exposure to ‘Hold The Line’ was actually Millie Jackson’s version (If you haven’t heard it go check it out). i have the album now, but the only Toto songs i remember knowing as a kid (besides the Thriller association) were ‘Georgy Porgy’ and ‘Rosanna’. Toto was one of those bands (like The Police, Hall & Oates, Wham!, The Doobie Brothers, Kenny Loggins, Ambrosia, etc.) that crossed over into the hood.

Jeff Porcaro was one of those drummers who prominently put the swing in rock music. i hope i did him justice here.

ima punk, ima punk, ima punkpunkpunk

i was watching a Mike Portnoy video, where he was demonstrating unconventional time signatures. While i have done a few odd ones myself during playing (and being in the midst of writing music right now), there were only a couple i could do with him, especially not having double kick. i’m also not as good as him. That’s not a good or bad thing. He’s been at it way longer than me, in all the years i’ve been drumming combined.

i guess i mentioned this because i am finally at the point where i am getting more comfortable with playing (after 20-odd years of not), to the point where i can write some basic (not yet Portnoy level) odd signatures. That’s a huge step from the first time i sat in front of the drums.

The next step: Practicing and getting decent at blast beats. Old school ones of course, since i am only using one foot for now. An even larger drumming goal: Blast beats with a prosthetic.

Until then, i’m just gonna continue to work on building the confidence, and having the fun.


A band i have seen live a couple of times and have always been a lot of fun is Rocket From The Crypt. There’s not too many rock bands that have a horn and organ section. i was listening to them one day and said, ‘they would probably be fun to drum to.’ Out of the many i could do, i narrowed it down to two.

At least for now. And i just realized that rhymed.

The State Of Art Is On Fire and Hot Charity are two favorites of mine in their catalog, and i decided to do one song from those- ‘Cloud Over Branson’. The other song is from Scream, Dracula, Scream (another great album), ‘Ball Lightning’.

Maybe i’ll drum to some Drive Like Jehu next…

My favorite part about ‘Lithium’ is Novoselic’s playing. He’s a solid player, but doesn’t seem to get a lot of credit. The bass is a bit more prominent in the version here (which was at the Reading Festival). i was really into Chad Channing and Dale Crover’s playing (they seem to be forgotten about as well); however, Dave Grohl goes hard on them drums. The dude is also a multi-instrumentalist, playing all the instruments on more than one Foo Fighters album himself.

i am bigger on Bleach and In Utero; but ‘Lithium’ is my jam.

i was just having a little fun here; nothing too serious.

When i was a young punk kid (and not a middle aged one like i am now), i played guitar in a band that covered The Misfits. i don’t remember the exact moment i heard them, but the first Misfits tape i bought was Walk Among Us. ’20 Eyes’ set the stage for the rest of the album.

One of my other favorites is, i would say, a favorite of many others as well- ‘Green Hell’.

i couldn’t round out this (halfway) punk set, without playing to my second favorite punk/hardcore band (after the Bad Brains), The Dead Kennedys. The lyrics will always be timeless, despite the very prominent past (and present) actions of band members (outside of Jello Biafra, who’s been pretty consistent since day one).

‘Police Truck’ speaks for itself. The band (the version i acknowledge anyway) only had a 6-year run, but it was a very impactful six years.

Metallica Fridays (no. 4): Thinking About The 40th…

So here we are again… i adjusted the Alesis kit a little bit, and it definitely sounds better, but i need to work on adjusting the sound for each drum and cymbal individually… One day at a time.

Speaking of time… it has certainly passed quickly, since the 40th anniversary shows back in December. It was the first concert i had been to in a while, and the first since the accident. i am definitely grateful for the experience, and it didn’t complete, but helped to expand my journey since everything happened.

For this edition of ‘Metallica Fridays’ (which is actually a few hours late, but always on time) i thought a lot about my experience at the 40th, but i also thought a lot about Lars. i think it’s pretty easy to make fun of him and say he’s a bad drummer, but his style is unmistakable. And while i can never be him (nor should we want to be anyone else), given that he has been a major inspiration for me in this journey; i cannot deny that a few things rubbed off on me in terms of how i play- anyone who knows his style can probably tell. You listen to someone enough, those things happen.

We will begin this edition with a song we’ve posted before (my favorite Metallica song of all time)- except this time it’s on the Alesis. Playing on a more ‘traditional’ set (whether acoustic or electronic) is going to be much different than playing on drum pads, even if you set those up similarly to match a traditional set. Of course i messed up a couple times (and hit the rim somewhere in there), but i don’t think this version of ‘Blackened’ is bad. My favorite thing about it is that you can clearly see my gray hair. And i am a major fan of gray hair.

‘The Memory Remains’ is the type of song i wish i could write. it’s just that good. Load and ReLoad (and St. Anger) will someday get the respect they deserve. It’s the type of song, when you see it live, that’s pretty special too, to see everyone in the crowd singing along.

For some reason, once again, i lost part of the video. Such is life… It was the first instance of me utilizing the choke on the crash cymbal while playing this thing.

This one’s dedicated to Jesse.

Another song done at the 40th was the WONDERFUL surprise, ‘The Shortest Straw’. When i heard those opening notes, i lost it. …And Justice For All is my 2nd favorite Metallica album. People want them to repeat this album, but besides finding inspiration in it with albums like Death Magnetic, Justice can never be repeated. Nor should it. Not one of their albums sound alike, and that is a good thing.

This was the first day i played the song (as opposed to the many times i’ve played ‘Blackened’). The timing throughout this song (for a basic drummer like me) is not easy, i had to peek over a couple of times to see where i was at. i mean, when they’ve done the intro live even Lars has to keep time- and at one point they skipped the intro altogether.

There’s a few times i messed up or lost my place, and got right back in. But that’s life, right?

Dang, this band is so good.

Harmonies And Childhood Memories…

i’ve always been that kid to sing the harmonies to songs. i don’t know why, but the melody never interested me as much. Obviously that’s not totally true, since you need a melody to build the tune. And i definitely love a good melody- but there was always something much more needed (and all of those things were in my head).

i’ve also never been much of a good singer, even though i absolutely love to sing. Like with playing other instruments i haven’t (yet) reached the heights of some of my favorite vocalists- Ella Fitzgerald (my favorite of all time), Sarah Vaughan, Donny Hathaway, Rachelle Ferrell… Being a punk kid, i wanted to, at the very least, be able to growl too, like barney Greenway or max Cavalera. i always wanted to have the simultaneous roughness, power and melody of Patti LaBelle, of Betty Davis, of Joyce Kennedy, of Phil Lynott. i wanted my voice to travel far like R.J. Dio, like Rob Halford, like Bruce Dickenson… i wanted to have that guttural YEAH like James Hetfield…

But i am just me. i don’t even have the warmth of a Tracy Chapman or Joan Armatrading, or a Joni Mitchell.

i don’t even sing like a Greg Graffin. i’m not saying this is a good or bad thing. It just is.

One of the songs where the harmony stayed in my head (shout out to the Buzzcocks) was ‘Struck A Nerve’ by one of my favorite ever punk bands, Bad Religion (of which Graffin is in). This song has one of my favorite intros of all time, and the song itself has some of my favorite chord structures. And the ‘stream of consciousness/self-reflective’ lyrics are always there.

The version i drummed to was from the live album Tested. Sadly, i missed them when they recently came to town. i found out about it a day later. i hope i get to see them at some point.

After drumming, i felt inspired to sing it a capella. i’m not the greatest singer, but as i said, i love it! No one else is gonna hear all the sounds going on in my head…

i was a kid who played with trucks as much as i played with dolls (i withdrew from all those gendered expectations early on without even knowing what that was). i loved playing with barbie dolls, but i never wanted to BE Barbie! i mean, her feet must hurt standing on her toes all day…

Being the burgeoning punk kid i was though, i was MASSIVELY into the Barbie vs. Jem battle. i knew of the Misfits before i got into The Misfits (if you know, you know). Jem and the Holograms went a little bit harder in the rock section than Barbie & the Rockers (but NOBODY went as hard as the Misfits- i mean- they had motorcycles shaped like guitars!). Jem & the Holograms were more like Cheap Trick, and Barbie & the Rockers were more like the E Street Band.

i used to wear out the Barbie & the Rockers tape though! One of the songs on it was ‘Born With A Mic’. It’s so bad, but good at the same time. i already know i am a basic drummer, but i don’t know how Marky Ramone does constant fast eighth notes for an hour. My arms were getting tired the few times playing through this song.

i need more practice!

i like both corn and chickens- though i only eat one of them. Brushy One String made a great song to groove to, discussing both of them. i did a little search of drum covers of ‘Chicken In The Corn’, and i actually found more than i expected to. So i figured, how can i groove to this in my own basic way?

Well… here it is.

Just Messing About…

Just like how i would always look at the deejay at a hip hop show, i would always tend to focus on the drummer when going to see bands. i never became a turntablist, but i did end up deejaying at clubs and bars off and on for years (and also doing radio solidly for 11 of those years). You look at the hundreds of drummers over time, and some of those end up being your favorites. And you say to yourself, ‘i will never get there.’ But is ‘getting there’ really the point? You want to be able to have inspiration from your favorite musicians, but you should never want to BE them.

i have no idea why this thought was just in my head… It’s gonna take me a long time before i am ‘as good’ as my favorite drummers (or ANY of my favorite musicians). Still, i try to visualize the first time i sat in front of a drum set and somehow knew how to create a beat (after time and time again of air drumming and banging on random things). It still seems very unreal, sitting in front of a set and banging on things.

i mean… i’m not horrible. It could be worse right? But i’m also realistic. i will never profess to be the greatest basic drummer of all time. But you know what? Someday i will graduate to being alright.

As for now, i’m just gonna keep messing about, and keep practicing.

And i decided to mess about and play to one of my favorite songs by The Jam, ‘Going Underground’. Like any great song, the lyrics are always on time.

…Can’t explain why the drumming i do seek (and destroy)…

i actually mistakenly erased a bunch of the video, so you get a brief one here, of me playing to SWV’s ‘Weak’. It’s nothing too complex (obviously). This is a ‘why not??!!’ situation. Let’s have some fun and bang on things, making a beat or two.

Remember to sing along…

i actually love ‘This Charming Man’ more now after playing drums to it, because for some reason (after hearing the song 50,000,000 times over the years (and even having the record)) i didn’t realize it was missing an 8th. i mentioned a couple of posts ago how i absolutely loved rhythmic illusions; this isn’t necessarily a rhythmic illusion, but it is a thing that will mess you up and confuse you if you’re not paying attention.

The reason i bought all those Smiths records was honestly, Johnny Marr. He was the best at doing that jangly guitar (and was also inspired by great players like Nile Rogers). The rhythm section of Mike Joyce (drums) and Andy Rourke (bass) were pretty dope too.

i wanted to be funny and put some gladiolas here, because… you know who.

Metallica Fridays (no. 3): The Imperfections Of Life

Tomorrow- February 12- will mark the first year since being hit by a semi truck. It’s surreal to still think about the impact an accident of that sort has on one’s body. i’ve come to terms with much of it (i kind of don’t have a choice), but it’s still strange to think about. i don’t look at myself in full in the mirror much, and i i feel like i accept everything more, looking down at my legs every day. When i happen to see my reflection in random places, and see my full self sitting in a wheelchair it just doesn’t seem real. It’s like those legs (or what’s left of them) belong to someone else. i don’t even hate the body i am in. As a matter of fact, i am very happy to have survived such a traumatic event.

i cannot predict what is going to happen on this first ‘anniversary’ (for lack of a better word); i do know that Metallica has been a massive soundtrack in coping with this journey. Being a young, angry kid i gravitated towards the thrash classics. St. Anger was released when i was approaching 27, but had it come out when i was 16 i would have embraced it… though i would not have understood and appreciated it in the same way i do as a 40-something adult.

i am around the same age as when they recorded Death Magnetic. There is no manual that can prepare you for life in your 40s. i’m not even talking about the typical societal expectations of ‘spouse/house/career’. All the things you may still enjoy from a younger age just hit differently.

The songs i chose to post for today’s ‘Metallica Fridays’ session are just that.

Interestingly, these songs gave me the most trouble to do. Everything kept going wrong- there were issues with the headphones (one pair i was using kept falling out and eventually decided to malfunction as i was playing (making it hard to hear much of anything), the other pair kept falling as i was playing); the hi hat trigger decided to go in and out (which hadn’t happened before or since), the memory in the camera was full (because i forgot to empty it- my fault), i had to suddenly go to the bathroom in the middle of playing… and so on. i feel like the universe gave me the micro of challenges, possibly as a way to acknowledge the macro of the trauma i’ve experienced.

i messed up a whole bunch on these songs, but these songs mean a lot to me. So i’m posting the mistakes and all. All i know is that i survived.

i survived a massive change to my body, and i dealt with what ever issues were thrown my way with doing these songs.

While trying to heal from a trauma, you end up processing a lot of things. ‘The Unforgiven’ is a song that, despite always liking it, i didn’t understand its significance until in that very process. The foundation of how to deal with anything (whether positive or negative) exists in the relationships with those who were your caregivers. . After experiencing such a traumatic event, there are people who say they care about you (and have been close to you) who suddenly become silent and/or unsupportive. When one (or more) of those people were the foundation, you begin to ask a lot of questions of yourself. You ask if it’s something you did. Even though you love them you become angry and resentful.

Me playing this song is a way for me to adjust to a process of forgiving myself, and just allow whatever happens to flow through. Despite all the mistakes, this was entirely healing to do.

i had to think about it. ‘One’ is not only my second favorite Metallica song (‘Blackened’ is the first), but i think it might be my second favorite song of all time (after ‘Home’). i loved the song before (and even listened to it on repeat before the accident). As a person who lay there in the hospital, unable to move and in an immense amount of pain- and eventually having to amputate a leg- this song means so much more to me now. The anguish of the character of Joe Bonham in the book (and film) Johnny Got His Gun was captured succinctly in the lyrics. The plainness and directness encapsulated everything i was feeling and experiencing as well. While it wasn’t a landmine (or artillery shell, like in the book), a truck took my leg from me. i remember nothing about experiencing the actual accident (which is a good thing, if you ask me). i was happy to have survived, so i remained as positive as i could while in the hospital… but so much of the time, i wanted to die.

Nothing about it feels real at all. i wish this on no one.

But… but… how are you playing ‘One’ with only one foot??!! You CANNOT possibly leave out what is arguably the MOST memorable aspect of the song (out of many memorable parts)!!!

Yes, i know. i played the ‘double bass’ on the SPD-30. i kept most of the song simple- no major fills or complex footwork. But i knew i had to put the double bass in. i really wanted to do the song to… commemorate the year since the accident. The song got me through a lot.

i mean, Metallica got me through a lot.

A Little Bit O’ Half Time… And A New Song (Sort Of)

i ended up getting an Alesis Surge mesh kit. i am still figuring it out (of course), but it’s nice to have this along with the SPD 30, where i can make some extra patterns and sounds to compliment the Alesis. The hi hat pedal is open (echoing an acoustic set) so i had to put rubber bands on it in order to keep it closed (i only have one leg, so i gotta do what i gotta do). The other adjustment i made was to put the kick on the left side (because, you know, one leg and everything). i’m a below the knee amputee but my knee doesn’t bend so well right now. Whenever it gets to that point though i can use the prosthetic and eventually do some double kicks!

While i’m still new at playing around with this kit i ended up actually writing a song- well, sort of.

i am absolutely in love with rhythmic illusions- where a song is playing one rhythm and your brain is interpreting it to be another. It is fairly common in jazz and in the polyrhythms of traditional African music. In terms of popular music in the west, The Yellowjackets’ ‘Top Secret’, Metallica’s ‘Blackened’ and ‘Battery’; ‘Solitude Standing’ by Suzanne Vega, ‘Black Dog’ by Led Zeppelin are among some.

The first song i recognized as having a rhythmic illusion (despite hearing others in the past) is ‘Swap meet’ by Nirvana. i think the song begins on the 3 instead of 1 (Don’t quote me on that; i cannot read music and i am not great at tabs). i would always get mad (not really) when the drums kicked in, because they always ended messing up the beautiful rhythm in my head. Despite knowing the way the song is, i still see the ‘preferred’ rhythm.

And so i made a song around it. i also took the opening bass line from ‘Blew’ (also from Bleach) and pulled an Ulrich and Hetfield by arranging the drums as the primary driver to these particular riffs, then writing the lyrics last. It’s a silly little song about a cat- because cats are the best! Despite being inspired by Metallica (with a nod to Slayer) here, the song interestingly/unintentionally ended up sounding not unlike something Sonic Youth may have done.

You be the judge…

Thinking about all the songs i could have fun with, for some reason, one song did come up.

Y’all, tell me why it was ‘Billie Jean’? MJ is my favorite artist, but ‘Billie Jean’ is a song i’m okay with never hearing ever again. i said ‘Well, since you came up all in my face, why not switch you up?’ i envisioned something other than the very recognizable 4/4 ‘on the floor’ pattern. i messed around, and it ended up being mostly half time (which is kind of a running theme of this post. It also helped me enjoy the song a bit more. it just puts the song in a different space).

RUN DMC was my favorite group in hip hop as i was coming up. A simple beat could be one of the dopest, and Jason, Daryl and Joseph took inspiration from Billy Squire’s ‘Big Beat’ to create one of the most classic tracks with ‘Here We Go (Live At The Funhouse)’ (which many a hip hop, house and pop record have also sampled from themselves).

i love how Jam Master Jay (RIP) messed up a bit, and they kept it in. That threw me off as well, but i came back in. i hope.

One thing i do know is that i can’t count. HA!

You can consider me hiding under a rock, because i hadn’t heard all of ‘Seven Nation Army’ until i played drums on it. It’s pretty easy to see how not familiar i was with the song, but i went for it anyway. i know that Meg White is also a pretty basic drummer, so i’m just going along with her for the ride to the land of basic drummers. i’m just going where i am wanted.

Or am i? i didn’t get an invite.

Playing drums on it, i only heard all of the drumless version. So i still technically have not heard the actual song in full. What i did hear of the song, i know it’s more of a 4/4 rhythm. So i decided to play around with the half time as well (as you do)…

i hope i did alright though.

Metallica Fridays (no. 2): Jonny Z And First Plays

So here we go… As promised, since Metallica/Lars was the inspiration to get me back here on these drums, i wanted to have a specific day where i just posted playing to their songs. How i play is very basic, so in a way i was scared to even cover their material- i don’t play double kick, and i don’t do complex rhythms, at least at this stage. But still… how you do things is to just do them, and get better despite whatever limitations. i have one leg (which, even though i have accepted it still bugs me out to say), and the foot on the existing leg (which permanently has pins and rods) isn’t the strongest. So every time i play i am surprised! Whatever mistakes or hits i make, i’m still happy i am alive and get to bang on stuff.

As i was figuring out what songs to do for this post i heard that Jon Zazula (the co-founder of Megaforce Records, along with wife Marsha) passed. Jonny Z was the one who championed for Metallica when other labels weren’t into them. So of course, ‘Hit The Lights’, the first song Metallica ever recorded (for the Metal Massacre compilation); and the first song released on the first album (Kill ‘Em All) was the first choice to play to. It’s actually one of my favorite songs to play drums to.

i wanted to play another Megaforce track, and at the same time challenge myself- so i said… ‘Creeping Death’! No, it is not the most complex song on Ride The Lightning; however, i had never practiced or played it in its entirety before. i’m just doing a lot of experimenting. What you are seeing here is me playing it through in a first take for the first time, warts and all.

Interestingly, the ‘Guitar Hero’ versions to some of these songs are a bit different than the album versions, in terms of arrangement…

‘Fuel’ is a perfect example of where my limitations lie, and how i work around them. No wait… that’s ALL the songs!

Honestly, even though i love them all (and i say that unironically), the Load/ReLoad/St. Anger period is some of my favorite drumming from Lars. Load is actually my favorite Metallica album. The musicality, the lyricism, the production- they are all on point.

This is an incredibly fun song to play, and it’s even more fun to see it live! ‘Fuel’ to me is like, the Metallica version of Michael Jackson’s ‘Speed Demon’. Both awesome songs.

And of course, being a St. Anger fanboi, i wanted to do a song from it. Lars was putting in work on that album- don’t sleep. Should Kirk have had solos on it? Yes. Absolutely. Does the snare sound bother me? Not as much as it does other people. Should Bob Rock be considered a ‘hero of the day’ for his work on that album? Indeed. He stepped back in his primary role as producer, and became a member of Metallica, even if for an album (as well as some other sessions, and live performances). The whole album tells a specific story (some of which ‘invisible kids’ like me can identify with), and i appreciate that.

Honestly, it’s one of the Metallica albums i listen to the most. And again, i love all their albums.

Hopefully down the line- sooner than later, the album will be seen for the greatness it actually is.

Wherever you go Mr. Zazula, say hi to Cliff for us.

The Memories Come Flooding Back…

i was listening to El Estepario Siberiano speak about his experience as a drummer, and reaching the point between just doing it as a hobby, and doing it because he wanted to be a DRUMMER. He showed his experiences over the course of six years (beginning at the age of 16) and he spoke about how horrible he was as a drummer at that age. Obviously in six years’ time he got much better (and even saying that is an understatement), but from my vantage point those videos he showed were excellent.

And while i am definitely doing this as a way to have fun (as well as a means to counter a mental health crisis as much as i can) listening to him was inspiring. Whether it’s playing an instrument or organizing, in order to get better at anything you must be open to making mistakes and learning from them. You have to be accepting of the fact that there’s no easy or quick solutions to being ‘good’ at anything.

But before any of that there must be a first. i asked myself… what song have i not done before that i can try out?

‘Hedgecore’. Operation Ivy. Because why not? The one other song i have played to by them was ‘Hoboken’.

And because i hadn’t done it before i didn’t even do any fills here. Aaaaaaaaaand i mess up a few times. i think i did it only two times before it got filmed here. Dave Mello’s style is NOT easy- at least for a basic drummer like me.

Maybe in six years i’ll finally get this one (smiles).

The first song i ever learned on the drums from The Clash (Operation Ivy’s obvious inspiration) was ‘Clash City Rockers’. i had the U.S. pressing of the first album on vinyl, and ‘Rockers’ was the first song on that edition- i didn’t hear the UK edition until some months later. i was aware that the song was pitched higher, but that (nor the not that great production) didn’t stop me from enjoying the song.

i end up having an unintentional duet with Topper Headon here.

Time for a bass break… i wanted to post me playing bass alongside some stuff, but unlike the drums i haven’t set anything up in terms of a mic (in order to capture some decent direct sound). i did plug the Spark amp directly into the computer, but it was a plug and play situation (meaning, whatever background noise is there, you’re gonna hear).

But in the meantime in between time, i felt like playing a little ‘Boris The Spider’, which is one of my favorite things to play on the bass right now. i’m not that great, but what is it?

I’M HAVING FUN! i played it very much not how John Entwistle plays it, and i wasn’t playing along with the record. The bass line more or less follows the vocals, so it’s a little easier to play (for a basic… wellllll… you know what i mean).

Back to drums… The first Prince song i ever heard was ‘Soft And Wet’ (yes i was one year old when that song came out, but it’s strange, the things one remembers at that early an age). The first songs i remember in TOTAL though (even though i was about to turn 3), was ‘I Wanna be Your Lover’ and ‘Why You Wanna Treat Me So Bad’. i remember when he was on American Bandstand with the (first incarnation of the yet to be named) Revolution. He had a blowout and some speedoes on. It was the first time i ever recall someone trolling (as the kids say) on the teevee.

i remember how they used to play the full version of the song on the radio (with the jam), despite the video (and any subsequent compilation entries) being only 3 and change minutes. ‘Mountains’ (from Parade) was the first song where i began to appreciate Prince, but ‘I Wanna be Your Lover’ was the first song where i thought he was cool. i think it was the jazz phrasing in the verses.

And finally… i remember seeing Ministry live around the age of 15. It was one of the most brutal pits i have ever been in in my life. i loved it. ‘Thieves’ came on- anything else you were doing before then, you could forget about it. i know they got pegged under the ‘industrial’ label, but to me they are a metal band with ‘industrial’ references (that is, if you don’t count the first three albums). i mean, they ended up even touring with Slayer on Slayer’s farewell tour. If the music wasn’t sample-laden they’d probably be called a thrash band.

i know much of the focus is on Al Jourgensen (for obvious reasons, and to a lesser degree Paul Barker) but i used to always watch drummers Bill Rieflin and Martin Atkins. Rieflin was the anchor to keep things steady, and Atkins was the jolt. i met Rieflin very briefly some years before his passing, where i told him he was a great drummer. He said ‘thank you.’ That was all.