Aaron Apter is a corrective exercise specialist and professional drummer based out of Nashville, TN. Having a uniquely specific education and professional credentials in both music performance and pain management, Aaron combines both practices in a way that directly addresses the needs of musicians who want to correct nagging injuries without impacting their career. He has worked with a wide variety of acts ranging from Cirque Du Soleil to the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra to War. In 2022, Aaron founded PR3 Performance, a company designed to help musicians resolve chronic pain without having to see a surgeon or miss a performance.
In this episode, Aaron talks about:
Both adapting to a scene and learning from an environment
Prioritizing his health
Surviving a serious bike accident that changed his life
Aaron’s unique coaching practice - PR3 Performance
Aaron’s work to build back Matt’s health with a focus on drumming
Load vs Capacity
Building a tolerance through recovery
Being the best version of yourself
Joy Lapps is a bandleader, composer, and educator based in Toronto. She was introduced to the steel pan through her church music program as a teenager, and soon started playing community and church events. This soon led to composing her own music and leading her own bands. Her latest release is Girl in the Yard, featuring her own compositions and arrangements, and her husband, Larnell Lewis on drums. The album reflects her exploration of the steel pan as a traditional folk instrument of resistance, but also as the vehicle for her original compositional ideas.
In this episode, Joy talks about:
The musical and geographic origins of the steel pan
How Larnell encouraged her to compose, improvise, and take the steel pan beyond its traditional stylistic role
How having a son with special needs has affected her relationship with music
Leaning into her instrument's traditional identity vs. carving a new musical path for it
How her relationship with Larnell has affected her relationship with the drums
Working with her band to translate traditional Afro-Caribbean styles to a modern jazz format
Hubert Payne is one of the most sought after musicians in the Nashville music scene with a Performance Coaching skill set that’s a cross between ministry, life coaching, therapy and motivation. With over 20 years of performance experience in athletics and music, Hubert is widely recognized for his ability to ‘Unblock’ his clients so they are fully equipped to live from the best of themselves in every area of their lives.
Hubert is a certified life coach, practitioner of Neuro-Linguistic-Programming and a Level 2 ISEP Experiential Coach. He is skilled in emotional wellness and performance after trauma and has worked with The NFLPA, The Green Bay Packers, Chick-Fil-A. Hubert maintains a roster of clients from NFL Coaches and players to real estate agents and musicians.
Hubert is also the touring and recording drummer for National Country Music Artists, Little Big Town. When not on location at The Space (The mental gym he founded in Nashville, TN), you can find Hubert and his wife, Nicole, with their 5 children in Spring Hill, TN.
In this episode, Hubert talks about:
Using the concept of performance when navigating life
Touring with Little Big Town and Miranda Lambert
Double drumming with Miranda’s drummer Max Zemanovic
Life and performance coaching in “The Space”
Normalizing mental health and the help that’s available
Becoming a compassionate witness to our own history
Being able to manage your failings
Choosing curiosity over judgement
Erik Aylesworth is an Atlanta-based drummer who joined Jet Black Roses through remote recording during the pandemic. He attended Atlanta Institute of Music but cut his gigging teeth on the funk/R&B scene in Dayton Ohio. He returned to Atlanta in 2016 and got himself busy playing the usual combo of corporate, bar/restaurant, and church gigs. Jet Black Roses signed with N-Ovation Music Group in Nashville and just finished recording their debut album, with songs set to be release starting in late summer of 2022.
In this episode, Erik talks about
The recording process for Jet Black Roses at Ronnie's Place
The band's unique strategy for releasing and publicizing their music, skipping a few of the usual steps
Becoming a father during the pandemic
How recording with guitarist Rob McNelly influenced his own approach as a drummer
How the usual influences of Bonham, Colaiuta, and Peart combined with pocket influences like Prince and Lil' John Roberts
Drummer and Nashville native, Jerry Pentecost has played with John Prine, Brent Cobb, Amanda Shires, Caitlin Rose, Aaron Lee Tasjan, and many others. In 2018 he became only the second drummer ever nominated for the Americana Music Association’s Instrumentalist of the Year award.
Since around 2019, Jerry has been the drummer for the Grammy award winning group, Old crow Medicine Show.
In this episode, Jerry talks about:
Loyalty over pay when juggling multiple gigs
Playing the Medallion Ceremony at the Country Music Hall of Fame honoring Eddy Bayers
Drumming for Old Crow Medicine Show
Covering many roles with OCMS including playing mandolin, bones and singing
Recording the latest OCMS record, Paint This Town
Two op-eds he wrote for the Tennessean focusing on Black History
Dealing with systemic racism
Traditional country drumming and serving the song
Eric Slick is a product of the Philly area where he began touring with Dr. Dog. After relocating to Nashville in 2018, he continued that gig until the band’s recent hiatus, and has gone on to perform with Waxahatchee and The Crooked Rhythm Band among others. He is also a singer, songwriter, and producer in his own right, his latest release as a solo artist is an album of ten original songs called Wiseacre.
In this episode, Eric talks about
His ongoing studio learning process
The power of "no" - filling your schedule vs. being fulfilled
Playing with the Crooked Rhythm band and digging into the Fela Kuti/Tony Allen stuff
His interest in late 70s/early 80s drum machines and productions
Wrestling with drums and mics vs. wrestling with the computer
How Nashville is becoming a place for everyone, musically and otherwise
His "jazz damage"
Al Murray is a Co-Founder and Managing Director of the British Drum Company
He is also one of the UK’s most recognizable comedians! In his guise as the Pub Landlord he has played drums with the likes of Phil Collins and Queen as well as touring the world appearing on TV and radio.
Al has published books and is planning a movie, but his first love is drums. A keen and enthusiastic drummer, Al has played since he was a kid, and is currently active in the band 'Fat Cops'.
Lastly, Al and historian James Holland discuss all matters Second World War with their immensely popular podcast, We Have Ways of Making You Talk. The podcast is a bi-weekly show exploring the war in close up and James and Al have a stunning knowledge of the subject.
In this episode, Al talks about:
His podcast, “We Have Ways of Making You Talk”
His interest in the 2nd World War
The British Drum Company
The variety of snare drums that The British Drum Company offers
His full time gig as a touring comic act, the Pub Landlord
How the history of drum manufacturing is also the history of manufacturing
Danny Pachall has been active on the Atlanta scene for nearly 20 years with gigs ranging from the most precise metal to the most experimental improvisation. He toured with "blues surrealist" Col. Bruce Hampton and was part of the long-standing jam session hosted by bassist Kevin Scott. He has also toured and recorded with metal guitar heavyweight Emil Werstler, Zappa alum Ike Willis, tribute outfit Georgia Players Guild, and many others. He is currently in the house band for "Metalsome Mondays," a live band metal karaoke show, and most recently he was tapped to perform live and record for a new side project by Mastadon's Brent Hinds.
In this episode, Danny talks about
His view of the current metal landscape
His "Jim Keltner" approach to Brent Hinds' project
Recording and touring with Emil Werstler's metal project "Verlorener"
The influence of bassist Kevin Scott, and the role Kevin's experimental jam session on the Atlanta creative scene
Playing with Col. Bruce Hampton
Being capable of the precision of metal and the freeness of experimental music, sometimes simultaneously
Getting over imposter syndrome - being a jack of all trades vs. needing a musical home
Jim Brock has proven to be an innovator in the world of drums and percussion. Within his forty five year career he has appeared on literally hundreds of recordings with artists such as Joe Walsh, Joan Baez, Kathy Mattea, Joe Cocker, Janis Ian, River Phoenix, and James McMurtry. With five solo recordings and a DVD entitled The Nature Of Drumming, Jim Has traveled the world extensively with performances on The Tonight Show, A Prairie Home Companion, Good Morning America, MTV, and multiple appearances on The View, just to name a few. Among these include a concert at the White House for President Clinton in 2000. In 2007, Jim was asked to compose the music for the documentary "The Spirit of Sacajawea". For this work he is the recipient of the prestigious Telly award, and was nominated for an Emmy award in the category of Composer/Arranger.
In this episode, Jim talks about:
Learning to develop his own voice with percussion
When and when not to use traditional patterns and feels
Recording with Joe Walsh
Recording in the pre-digital era
Living and working in Charlotte NC
The recording scene in Charlotte
The rhythm of life itself
Recording with Steve Gadd, Alex Acuna, Mel Lewis and others
Brian Steever is a drummer on a mission to inject joy into every musical situation that he finds himself. One of the most in-demand drummers on the Kansas City scene, the drums have been his passion since he was born. He began his studies with Loyd Warden in Columbia Missouri and is an alumnus of UMKC where he studied with Doug Auwarter, Brandon Draper, Curtis Lundy, Michael Carvin and Bobby Watson. Brian enjoys many performance opportunities in the Kansas City area and beyond. He can be seen around town with Mike Metheny, Matt Otto, Bob Bowman, Jeff Harshbarger, and Hermon Mehari. Brian has also had opportunity to play with musicians from all over the world including Ben Allison, Javon Jackson, Deborah Brown, Bob Sheppard, Tony Tixier, Shunzo Ohno, and Sam Newsome among others.
In this episode, Brian talks about:
Having the three strong influences of a mentor, a peer, and a community all before he left high school
How the Kansas City jazz scene is supportive of everyone's unique voice
His experience at University of Missouri-Kansas City
The influence of Matt Wilson - being effortless and intentional
Exploring sounds and ideas vs. practicing drums
The never-ending matched vs. traditional conundrum
As a session drummer, Shannon Forrest has contributed to the work of many well-known artists, including Brooks & Dunn, Taylor Swift, Rascal Flatts, Carrie Underwood, Mary Chapin Carpenter, The Chieftains, Willie Nelson, Ricky Skaggs, Trisha Yearwood, Lee Ann Womack, Jerry Douglas, Merle Haggard, and many others. Shannon is also a producer and engineer.
Born in Easley, South Carolina and now living in the countryside just outside of Nashville, Shannon's recording career is unparalleled. In his twenty-plus years as one of Nashville’s top session drummers, he's constantly in demand for practically every top artist that town produces. The list includes mega stars Brooks & Dunn, Taylor Swift, Rascal Flatts, Carrie Underwood, Toby Keith, Faith Hill, Sugarland, Tracy Lawrence, LeAnn Rimes, The Chieftains, Michael McDonald, Willie Nelson, Alabama, Art Garfunkel, Ricky Skaggs, Trisha Yearwood, Blake Shelton, Martina McBride, Lee Ann Womack, Gretchen Wilson, Merle Haggard, Trace Adkins…and countless others. Shannon Forrest is a recipient of the Academy of Country Music’s Top Drummer/Percussionist Of The Year.
In this episode Shannon talks about:
The confidence of Jeff Porcaro
The “inter-dynamics” of the Rosanna shuffle
What separates the “session musician” from others
The intent of building his own studio
The production of the Tom Bukovac record - Plexi Soul
Performing with spirit and intent
Developing a good working relationship with the click
Recent recording project - Judson McKinney and the Wanderers
Shannon’s YouTube channel
After spending the first part of his career in the New York-based jazz world, Corey Fonville has evolved into playing and producing more groove-based music. With his band Butcher Brown and most recently with Charlie Hunter and Kurt Elling on new album SuperBlue, Corey is exploring playing and tones that are firmly in the supporting role rather than the more explosive/interactive jazz role. Corey is the product of a couple of non-traditional educational environments; The New School in New York and the Dave Brubeck Institute in Stockton, CA, and his jazz resume includes Christian Scott, Nicholas Payton, Jacky Terrasson and many more. But he has found himself moving past that world in search of drumming and music that's more true to his musical identity and values.
In this episode, Corey talks about:
How the SuperBlue project came about, and how Charlie and Kurt turned to him to help shape it
Being a bridge between Kurt's energy and Charlie's energy
Being influenced by Kareem Riggins, Kendrick Scott, Obed Calvaire, and other New York jazz drummers
How sounding like other drummers is a step in the journey to sounding like you
Ways he's thinking about combining his new musical identity with the jazz world he used to inhabit, and approaching jazz with a production mindset
How turning something down or moving away from a certain music requires self-acceptance
Originally from Syracuse, New York, Nate Felty is an experienced live/session drummer and educator who enjoys performing a wide range of musical styles. Nate has been living and working in Nashville, Tennessee since 2012 and earned his Masters in Commercial Music at Belmont University in 2014.
Nate is the drummer for Nashville-based, nationally touring country/roots artist, Kelsey Waldon. With Waldon, he has shared the stage on tour with Grammy Award-winning artists such as Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder, Marty Stuart and His Fabulous Superlatives, and John Prine.
Since his arrival in Nashville, Nate has performed and recorded with notable touring bands from Nashville. Among these are The Amanda Broadway Band, Abby Anderson, Devon Gilfillian, Dan Smalley, Marquee Mayfield, and a 9-piece funk/fusion group Dynamo. While with Dynamo, the group earned Nashville Industry Music Awards (NIMA's) in 2015 for "Best Funk/Fusion Band" and "Album of the Year" for their 2015 release, Find Your Way.
When not on tour, Nate is an adjunct professor of drum set at Sewanee University of the South. Nate continues to make his imprint on Nashville's local music community, performing with notable musicians such Roy Agee (Prince), Jeff Coffin (Dave Matthews Band), Micah Hulscher (Margo Price), Jay White (Amos Lee, Cory Henry), Mike Hicks (Rascal Flatts), David Rodgers (Keb Mo), De Marco Johnson (Marc Broussard) and Paul Horton (Alabama Shakes).
In this episode, Nate talks about:
Being yourself on the session or gig while paying reverence to the genre/style
His early influence and exposure to jazz
Following his “North Star” and seeking out new music and experiences
Playing in the house band for “The Pitch Meeting”
Understanding musical references when creating parts
His award winning band Dynamo
Teaching and learning
Recovering after snapping a tendon in his left hand
Jordan Perlson has spanned about as wide a stylistic reach as one can imagine. Be it with jazz legends Seamus Blake and Gary Burton, folk heroes Alison Brown and Missy Raines, reggae giants Matisyahu and Trevor Hall, cutting edge music innovators like Becca Stevens, Snarky Puppy, and Jeff Coffin, progressive innovators Adrian Belew or Kaki King, or fusion megastar Hiromi, Jordan has become a known force in these many circles. With credits on 100+ recordings, including national and international ad campaigns, Jordan is as at home in the studio as he is on stage. Having taught at prestigious institutions such as Berklee College of Music, New York University and masterclasses all over the world, Jordan is a passionate educator. An author of 2 books for Mel Bay publishing, Jordan’s books have been translated into several languages and are used the world round by teachers and students of many levels.
In this episode, Jordan talks about:
Why he moved to Nashville after 12 years in New York
Curating musical situations that line up with momentum in a direction, even if the end goal is abstract
Being more intentional about not just what he says yes to, but why he says yes
How New York shaped his personality, and how that shapes his musical identity
Trusting that his instincts and intentions will make good music, even if the execution isn't quite perfect
His "asynchronous" drum coaching approach to private teaching
At age sixteen, Michael Bland won the "twin cities' best drummer" contest and was the beginning of a rewarding career.
With his recognition as a prodigy, Michael was actively sought by many local acts. At seventeen, Hiram Bullock snagged him up, and took him to Pittsburgh and New York to do some one-nighters. That same year, he joined Dr. Mambo's Combo, a house band at Bunker's Music Bar and Grill, a local club where many Minneapolis musicians cut their teeth. Bunker's is where Prince first spotted Michael, Michael joined prince in 1989 and he toured, recorded, and performed with the new power generation for the next seven years.
In 1996, immediately after his tenure with Prince, Michael went on tour with Paul Westerberg, which led to tours and recordings with other national acts, such as Chaka Khan, Maxwell, Dionne Farris, George Benson, Phil Upchurch, Howard Hewitt, and many others. Since 2005, Michael has been a member of the band Soul Asylum.
In this episode, Michael talks about:
The demands of working for Prince
How he got the gig with Prince
The podcast, MUSIPOLITIX he ran during the pandemic
Drumming for Soul Asylum
The power of mentorship
Stories of working for Chaka Khann, Madonna
Over the last decade plus, Quinton "Q" Robinson developed a busy and sustainable career drumming with Gospel and R&B acts such as Avery Sunshine, Peebo Bryson, and Anthony David, and recording in his home studio. But he got interested in musical theatre and started spending time in New York meeting Broadway drummers, musical directors, and contractors, and playing readings and off-Broadway productions. He also got in with the Alliance Theatre in Atlanta played a litany of shows there. That legwork has culminated in Q landing the drum chair for the touring production of "Ain't Too Proud," the Tony-winning Temptations musical.
In this episode, Q talks about:
The process of getting on the radar of decision makers in the musical theatre world
His experience at The Alliance Theatre in Atlanta
How he got on Clayton Craddock's radar, and how Clayton came to recommend him for "Ain't Too Proud"
The intricacies of the show
The qualities required of a musical theatre drummer
His goals for the new studio he's about to build
Clifford Koufman is a Nashville-based, award-winning drummer who founded Sound & Rhythm Drumming School in 2000. With over 20 years of experience, Clifford carries a world of experience to every scenario, whether creating music, performing or teaching. He's honored to be the recipient of multiple grants, the Thrive award to build community through community drumming classes, performances, and drum circles, and the Regional Arts & Culture Council professional development grant to study music in Guinea, West Africa. He's toured internationally, throughout the US, and in Alaska. Clifford has spent time living and learning from master musicians in Ghana and then Guinea, West Africa, and has performed, taught, and worked with thousands of people as well as working with numerous bands, songwriters, and composers throughout the United States. In an effort to share in his musical experience, inspiration and to connect with creative people through conversation, he began "Clif Chats" where he's has conducted over sixty interviews of creative people at the top of their fields.
Clifford teaches people in Nashville as well as traveling to schools, colleges, and universities as well as teaches internationally online. He creates play-along tracks for drum circle facilitators as well as making music for licensing. Clifford embraces the spirit of collaboration in Nashville, performing and recording and writing, collaborating with songwriters, bands and composers. He is continually experimenting with a hybrid drum set, incorporating percussion and drum set elements with various hand drums. He facilitates leadership development events using the drum circle as the vehicle. Clifford continues to teach students all over the world and is excited to collaborate with songwriters, bands, and composers. He continues Clif Chats and is always looking to geek out about people living creatively, drums, art, and music.
In this episode, Clifford talks about:
His journey into hand drumming
Studying and adventures in Ghana and Guinea, West Africa
Completing the cycle of music through sharing
Building a teaching practice
Clifford’s interview series: Cliff Chats
Blair has been an LA staple for over two decades, having recorded and/or toured with Alanis Morissette, Chris Cornell, Gwen Stefani, Brandi Carlisle, Melissa Etheridge, and many others. Blair has a couple of new calling cards, one of them is his podcast Recording Drums, he’s getting ready to get season 2 of that going. And the other is his suite of online courses, Introduction to Recording, The Snare Sound Bible, and Improve Your Groove. For the month of March, Blair is offering a 15% discount on these courses to drum click listeners, check ‘em out at blairsinta.com and use the promo code BFSDSDB at checkout.
In this episode, Blair talks about:
Tracks that require a set of drum sounds and parts vs. tracks that require a drum performance
What led him to create his online course
Focusing on a narrow or specialized set of goals/skills in the studio vs. taking on the challenge of going after any sound
His six week zoom course
What "listening with your eyes" means
Phone audio considerations
His time with Alanis Morissette
Trying to be what you think a band wants vs. representing yourself accurately
Noah Levy is an in demand drummer that lives in the Minneapolis / St Paul area of Minnesota. He has toured and recorded with a long list of international artists including Five For Fighting, The Honeydogs, Peter Frampton, Nelson, The Bodeans, and Golden Smog.
Noah spends a lot of time as a session player working in studios around town as well as his own home studio. He currently plays with Brian Setzer in his Rockabilly Riot, and Orchestra.
In this episode, Noah talks about:
Building his home studio
Time management in the home studio
The power of 2 and 4
The talent in Minneapolis / St Paul
Working with Brian Setzer
Zack was recently in Nashville for a gig, so he and Matt took the opportunity to sit down and chop it up.
In this episode, Matt and Zack talk about:
What "burying the click" really means and how it fits into the greater goal of sounding and feeling good
The phenomenon and business model of the social media drummer
An interaction we had with a listener regarding our interview style
What's coming up with The Drum Click Network from discounts to a Nashville Drum Camp