• Mike has 650 rare and valuable snare drums in his San Francisco home! He tells us all about the rarest snares that he owns and how he got into this level of collecting. Mike also shares tips and trick for how to begin your own collection and how to utilize eBay to find great deals on legendary snare drums.
    Mike is a true legend in the drum community and his collection of snare drums has got to be one of the largest privately owned collections of snare drums in the world. Mike is not buying these drums to flip them, he buys them and restores them purely for the love of drums.
    Learn more about Mike here: https://www.curottodrums.com/
    Enjoy this episode!

  • Mike is the co-founder of SJC and shares the great journey he and the company have been on in its 20 year existence. They erupted on the scene right when boutique drum companies were popping up everywhere, and I think it is safe to say that they came out on top - but it was full of serious ups and downs in the relatively short existence of the company.
    We hear about the rocky relationship that Mike had with his co-founder brother Scott, who is a true mastermind at drum building and a massive part of the DNA of the company, and also the behind the scenes story of being featured on the CNBC TV show, The Profit. This also features great information on the transition from a complete custom shop company, to partnering with Guitar Center to make affordable SJC drums available to everyone.
    This is the most modern company that I have had on the podcast and I had a blast learning about SJC. Check out SJC at
    https://www.sjcdrums.com/ and on social media at @sjcdrums
    Enjoy this episode!

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  • Max Abrams was THE drum teacher in England in the mid 1900's and taught Stewart Copeland, Simon Phillips and my guest, Neal Wilkinson. He operated like a drill sergeant and didn't give his students much praise, but it created countless professional drummers. Before he was a teacher, Max was a top drummer around the Jazz and Big Band scene in England in the 30's, 40's, and 50's.
    Neal Wilkinson is one of the UK's top studio drummers and has worked with artists like Paul McCartney, Van Morrison, Annie Lennox and has performed for multiple major films and TV shows.
    We also learn all about Drum Hangs, an awesome new project that Neal and Russ Gleason have created to bring the worlds top modern drummers to all of us via Zoom hang outs where you spend an hour with drummers like Nate Smith, Vinnie Colaiuta, Dennis Chambers, Peter Erskine and pretty much every other famous drummer you can imagine. Russ tells us all about it at the end of the episode.
    Learn more at www.drumhangs.com and find them on social media at @drumhangs

  • Mapex was founded in 1989, but its parent company, KHS, goes back 80 years in China and has a very interesting story beginning in after school music programs. Jeff is the brand manager for Mapex and is full of great stories about this relatively young drum brand and goes through the origins of all the iconic lines of drums that Mapex is famous for today.
    Jeff is the brand manager of both Mapex and Sonor drums and is a working drummer in Nashville, Tennessee.
    Learn everything about Mapex at www.mapexdrums.com

  • Donn Bennett is one of the worlds foremost dealers in celebrity drums that were owned by the top drummers in the world such as Buddy Rich, Gene Krupa, Hal Blaine, Art Blakey, Elvin Jones and MANY more...
    Donn shares how he got into this unique profession and some stories of acquiring some ultra rare drums. He also tells us how he authenticates these ultra rare drums and what happened when he comes across a counterfeit drum that is being advertised as being owned by Ringo.
    Check out Donn's collection here: http://donnbennett.com/

  • Dan Bailey shares his tips and tricks for recording with vintage drums in his studio including favorite drum brands, head choices, mics and recording gear. Dan and I go off the deep end in this episode and completely nerd out about recording and engineering..and it's great! Learn his entire mic and pre-amp choices he uses in his studio.
    Dan is the drummer and Music Director for Father John Misty, along with recording and performing with many other major artists. You find out everything about Dan at his website www.drichardbailey.com and find him on social media at @drichardbailey
    Enjoy this episode!

  • Norbert takes us through every decade in the history of Meinl and gives a detailed look at the 70 year history of this iconic company. We begin in 1951 when Roland Meinl started out making wind instruments and creating his own cymbals by hand in his home with his wife. He then went head first into distributing Hoshino (Tama) drums in Germany and carried on in that fashion until the company grew into what we know today in a slow and steady rise to the top.
    Meinl has now grown to be one of the most popular brands in all of drumming and has very popular sub-categories in the business including guitars, percussion, sticks/brushes, and therapeutic percussion. We learn all about what makes German manufacturing so special and how the distribution process works for a company like Meinl and how that was a massive part of the company history.
    Norbert knows the history of this company better than anyone and is a wealth of information. He is the International Artist Relations Manager and has been with the company for 30 years.
    Check them out online at https://meinlcymbals.com/en/about-us


  • We discuss how percussion is used in Ireland, Turkey, Iran, Africa, and other various countries in comparison to the downbeat focused western music that dominates pop culture. It is a big eye opener to learn that drummers are often used to support the melody of the music more commonly than providing a head-bobbing back beat that we are used to in American music.
    Colin O'Donohoe AKA "World Maestro" has had extensive travels and played with musicians across the globe where he has learned the history of many amazing percussive instruments and techniques. He brings his first hand experience to all of the cultures and techniques that he discusses in this episode and it really brings everything to life.
    Learn more about Colin at www.worldmaestro.com and find him on instagram at @worldmaestro

  • Vic Firth was a prolific timpanist, drum set performer, and educator all before he started his iconic drum stick company that we all know today. This episode starts as a biography of Vic, but then goes through the origins and rise of his company with great stories like how Vic used to have his employees matching sticks by tapping them on a tombstone he got from a friend in his basement.
    Mark Wessels is a long time employee of Vic Firth and is now the Director of Education at Vic Firth/Zildjian/Balter Mallets. He is a wealth of information and is very passionate about VF and has many great personal experiences he had from his time working with Vic.
    Check out Marks many great books at his publishing company: https://www.mwpublications.com/
    and check out Vic Firth at www.vicfirth.com

    Enjoy this episode!

  • Nick takes us through an in-depth look at the full history of cymbals, bronze, the iconic brands such as UFIP and Paiste, and all of the processes that are used around the world to create cymbals through time. The episode starts 7000 years ago and works up to the modern revolution of independent cymbal makers like NickyMoon.
    Nick is a master cymbal maker that has a deep passion for preserving the history of this art form. Not only does he tell us about all the milestones throughout time in China, Turkey, Europe, America and South America - but he also teaches us all of the terms and processes that are used in the process across the globe.
    Nick has prepared an awesome outline that will be available on www.drumhistorypodcast.com/episodes and here is a link to the Chinese cymbals from 1200 AD:
    Learn more about Nick at his website: https://www.nickymoon.com/
    And find him on Instagram at @nickymoon_cymbals

  • Learn the history of broadway drummers dating back to the days of Vaudeville, up to the modern times where shows are technical marvels that run Ableton, have screens on all the music stands, and the drummer is often playing remotely in a complete different part of the building!
    Warren Odze is a broadway veteran and has been performing on the stage since the 70's, but his music career has been in full swing for over 50 years. He takes us through the changes that drummers on Broadway have faced over the years and the importance that the Musicians Union plays in keeping them working.
    Warren has performed on broadway shows such as "The Life", "Civil War", "Kat and the Kings", "Seussical","Thoroughly Modern Millie", "Lennon" , "Come Fly Away", The Wedding Singer", “Priscilla", “Rocky” , “An American In Paris” and “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" - in addition to performing on the Tony Awards, being the drummer for the 1968 season of the Dick Cavett Show, and recording with a long list of A List artists.

    Enjoy this episode!

  • We go back to post World War 2 Japan and learn about the origins of Pearl as a music stand manufacturer in 1946. They then entered the world of drums in the 50's and began to rise to the drum company that we know today by creating "stencil drums" for over 30 other brand names, including CB-700 and Apollo, before creating the iconic Pearl "Presidents Series" in 1966.
    Raymond Massey is the Director of Product Development and gives us an extensive run through of each decade of this iconic drum brand. Pearl has been a family owned brand for almost 75 years and has continued to push the boundaries of innovation and quality since the first drum left the factory.
    This episode has been in the works for over a year and I am very happy to get it out in the world and share the history of Pearl.

  • Claus teaches us all about the Moeller Technique and its origins with Sanford Moeller, and how he passed the technique along to the legendary Jim Chapin who taught Claus and many famous drummers. This episode is full of great history and stories about how this method of playing was passed down through the generations, and also hear all about Claus's passion for rope tension drums, collapsed rudiments, and a number of other topics!
    Claus Hessler is an author, performer and educator who had a very close relationship with Jim Chapin and is a modern expert on rudimental drumming and the Moeller technique. In 2006, Jim Chapin was quoted saying "I hardly know anyone who is closer to the real Moeller than Claus Hessler."
    You can find out everything about Claus on his website at https://claushessler.com/
    Enjoy this episode!

  • Jim was the director of marketing at Ludwig for 36 years and was the right hand man to Bill Ludwig II, aka "The Chief". He shares amazing stories about his time he had with the chief, and his four decade career in the drum industry with Ludwig, and also Premier and Slingerland. 
    Jim brought The Chief out of retirement and back into the company after he had sold the company to Selmer, then he had a great rest of his career with Jim by his side. This episode is a great blueprint for how to work your way up the ladder in the drum industry while treating everyone with respect. 
    Jim is basically a member of the Ludwig family and is full of behind the scenes stories that you wont hear from anyone else.


  • North drums are some of the most unique looking drums ever made. They are horn shaped fiberglass drums that were made between the late 60's through the early 90's and were created by my guest, Roger North.
    Early on, Roger played the first North Drums tom on stage at Woodstock 1969 with his band Quill before he ever actually went into production and created the business. A few years later, he was in full swing and creating drums for Billy Cobham, Alan White, Gerry Brown, Doug Clifford and many more.
    He shares with us the entire story of why he created these "Dr. Seuss-like drums" and the ups and downs of his journey as a business owner. Roger has had many great experiences and learned lots of lessons that he very openly shares with us. North Drums are still some of the most unique percussion instruments ever created and are becoming more and more valuable as the years go on.

    Enjoy this episode!

  • Joe Morello was one of the most innovative and masterful drummers of the last century, but did you know he was playing Violin with the Boston Symphony at age 9? Learn about how the iconic "Take 5" Drummer made the switch to drums and became the legend we know today.
    Steve Fidyk is a legendary drummer and educator in his own right, and he was lucky enough to study with Joe and have a very close relationship with him as a student and a friend.
    Joe began his music life as a virtuosic violinist who became discouraged at 15 after not feeling that he could surpass the sound of one of his heros - so he began studying drums with Joe Sefcik and George Lawrence Stone..and then the rest his history. Steve does a wonderful job of very thoroughly taking us through Joe's entire life including the hardships of being legally blind and pursuing a musical career.
    Steve Fidyk is a composer, author, educator, and a phenomenal drummer. He is a wealth of information and a very nice guy who is extremely well prepared for this deep dive into Joe's life. His passion for sharing the story of his friend, Joe Morello, makes this a special episode.

    Here is Steve's website: http://stevefidyk.com/
    Be sure to check out Steve Fidyks latest album, "Battle Lines" which is streaming everywhere, but for information on how to purchase Steve's latest recorded effort, please visit www.bluecanteenmusic.com
    A portion of each sale is donated to Warrior Beat, an organization that helps Veterans that suffer from
    PTS and Anxiety. For more information, please visit www.warriorbeat.org

    Here are some links to Joe related content that Steve generously sent me:

    1. Joe Morello DVD that breaks down the approach we discussed in detail:

    2. Tribute homage of mine that I did for Modern Drummer:


    3. "The Great Drum Solo" that I referenced of Joe with DBQ:


    4. Joe on the Conan O'Brien Show performing Take 5:


    5. "Burning for Buddy" video performing with the Buddy Rich Band:


    6. We discussed his brush work with Marian McPartland. Here's a video for Hudson Music where he talks about approach:


    7. Take 5 with DBQ 60's:


    8. At the Playboy Mansion with DBQ performing Take 5 (slower tempo):


    9. The Take 5 Cymbal documentary/Greg Caputo/Memphis Drum Shop:


    Thanks for listening!

  • Learn the origins of this iconic book that is the most thorough and extensive resource for all things cymbals! Hugo tells us how he gathered all the information for the book and we learn tons of valuable tips and tricks along the way.
    While writing the book, Hugo was taken all over the world by the major drum companies who wanted to teach him the origins of the companies that we all know and love. That gave him a great understanding of the cymbal making process, the history of the companies, and countless other bits of information that he used to write The Cymbal Book.
    This has been on my to-do list for a very long time because of how important the Cymbal Book was for me to start the podcast. This is a fun one, you will definitely learn something new from Hugo.


  • John Sparrow is the drummer for the Violent Femmes and a die hard Slingerland enthusiast! This is a fun episode where we talk about Slingerland high points in the history of this great American brand, and also some low points through the decades as the company evolved and tried to keep up with the constantly changing world of music.
    John is an endorser of A&F Drums but has been a Slingerland fan since he was a kid starting by playing his dads Radio King's. We talk about the great Gene Krupa, Rolling Bombers, the feud with Ludwig, and highlights from the 30's to today. I find it very interesting that John really likes the 1990's era Slingerlands. I have never heard much about this time period before talking with him and he has great things to say about them!

    Check out the Violent Femmes here: https://vfemmes.com/

    Enjoy this episode!

  • Rob and Tony are the founders of the iconic American drum brand, GMS Drum Co. They were one of four custom-shop companies that started in the 1980's, well before the boom of boutique brands in the mid 2000's. It is a great story of an underdog brand exploding in popularity and how they kept up with demand!
    They are USA made drums that are known as some of the highest quality drums you can buy thanks to the extreme attention to detail. We learn about the origins of the brand and how they exploded in popularity in the 90's and became a regular sight on MTV with bands like Stone Temple Pilots using GMS. Tony shares his techniques for building and some very unique processes on creating snare drums, and Rob tells us some amazing stories such as James Brown picking GMS drums out of a line up of bass drums and commissioning them to build two drum sets for his 40th anniversary show at the Apollo.
    These guys are great and a lot of fun to listen to..enjoy this episode and check them out online at www.gmsdrums.com and on social media @gmsdrums

  • We learn about Ajax, Carlton, Hayman, Beverley, and Premier drums - just to name a few! We discuss pre and post war drums made in England, and the many similarities and differences between British drums and the classic American brands.
    Geoff is a renowned author and expert on the history of the drum set, with a special knowledge about British drums. We go through the full history of all these different brands that were at the top of the drum world for many years, and then disappeared as the American and Japanese brands took over the market. We learn about the horrible fate of some of these companies as the Nazi forces bombed England and they were forced to rebuild and start over. And also about the special relationship between England and the United States and how Jazz was one the most important exports of the USA that changed the world of music in the UK.
    Episode Edit - Geoff wanted me to mention: At 44’06”ish He said the Autocrat drums were made by John Dallas and Son (Jedson) where he meant John Grey.
    Geoff is the author of "The Drum Book", "The Drum Handbook", "John Bonham :Thunder of Drums" and more.
    Here is a link to Drum Book - Shop around a find the second edition second hand for under $10.
    Enjoy this episode!