Remember, 3/22 in Anaheim: Night of Debauchery 2 with Enrot! Go to the show and party!
Having said all that, I have to pay tribute to a very close friend, bandmate, confidant, mentor and any other thing I left out. Matt Ryd was my brother in so many ways. He decided to end his life about a month ago and I’m about to leave for Chicago to play cajon on one of his songs at he public service. I cannot name all the good Matt has personally brought into my life and I won’t attempt to list everything now, but know that that when Matt left we lost one of the best. And if you read his Facebook page, you’ll find that I’m not nearly the only one with this kind of story. Matt touched so many people’s lives. I’m honored to have been so close with Matt and so proud to be involved in his tribute. I just wish he wasn’t gone.
Today we had another busy day. Jen and I got up early and drove to the Painted Desert and Petrified Forest in AZ. This was a pretty amazing stop. The rocks and scenery are incredible and the actual petrified forest really has to be seen to be believed. Our next stop was Scottsdale to visit my family and Google took us on this crazy route through all these national forests. The drive was a blast. Got to my mom’s and, of course, she already had dinner waiting. We ate, drank and had a blast. We’ll be here tomorrow night as well then hitting LA on Monday to find an apartment!!!
Up and on the road today by 11:30. We stopped at a place called The World’s Largest Gift Shop, which was very boring and a place called The Candy Factory, which was not. They share a parking lot and mascot, but I assure you, that is where the similarities end. Candy rules. What more can I say about that? Bought too much candy and hit the road for a few more hours. Now we’re at a hotel near Tulsa OK eating pizza and watching Doctor Who which makes me very happy. No idea where tomorrow will lead, but I’m excited for it. I’ll let you guys know how it goes.
I’m about to pass out but I just want to take a minute to thank everyone who helped me on the road to getting on the road to LA. I’m going to leave people out but specifically Matt Ryd, Ryan Bodi, Matt’s entire band, Jennifer Jackson and, of course, my family. I would not be where I am today without you guys! I’m feeling super content right now in the thought that I’m really making the right decision. LA here I come!
Tomorrow I’m hitting the studio with DEADMANSWAKE one last time before I leave. This is also a fitting bit of closure for me. I’ve played drums on and off with DMW for almost as long as I’ve been playing with Matt and we’ve had some great times. I love the way these guys work and you should definitely give DMW a shot next time you’re trying out some new bands. We’ll be shooting a video as soon as we get to the studio and I’ll be editing it as the day goes. The plan is to have it up on Youtube before I leave the studio. Seems like a tall order. Cross your fingers for me.
Then I just have a few projects left to work on. I’m shooting a drum cover of a Taylor Swift song tonight. I decided last minute to record a song for my student band “Party Crashers” so we’re working on that. A few other little odds and ends, and of course, packing. So I’ll be busy. Feel free to shoot me an email and say hey, especially if you live around LA. See you guys September 14!
In addition to the tour, the HUGE, life altering news for me is that I’ve decided to pack up all of my stuff in a couple of months and head out west. I’ll be moving to Los Angeles and trying to "make it". I’m certainly not saying I’ve done all I can in Chicago but there is a point in life where you have to go for the gold. I’m so excited and optimistic for this transition. If you know anyone looking for a drummer for recording or live gigs or for a drum or guitar teacher, get that person in touch with me! Or even if you live in LA and just want to chill, make sure you send me a message. I only have a few friends out there and am looking to make more.
So until the big move I’ll be super busy. Tomorrow I’m recording a very cool acoustic version of Time After Time by Cyndi Lauper with DEADMANSWAKE. If you haven’t heard Kryssie Ridolfi sing yet, you are missing out. Then Sunday afternoon I’m coming back to Rock House to record the video for “The Ultimate Drum Cover”. That’s shaping up to be a real can’t miss video and hopefully I’ll be editing both videos in the car on tour and have them on Youtube when I get back. I also picked up another gig with the lovely and talented Lady Laura at Double Door on August 18 so check that out for sure. Oh, and I’m recording a song for Chris Hortola who is WAY out in Vegas. So much new music! I love it!
The move is scheduled for mid-late September. Between now and then I have so much stuff planned. If you come to any of my shows, please don’t be a stranger. Come up, say hey and hang for a bit. And maybe you can even pick up a “DRUMS” t-shirt! See you guys soon!
Only a month in to selling t-shirts and I already get to make a second order! Thank you guys SO much for that. You all rule. I’m coming up with some new designs and color schemes so keep an eye out. Nothing mind blowing. I just want to sell some cool stuff that people would actually want to wear.
So in addition to selling my new shirts, lately I’ve been working on the new STILL DEATH cover of Blitzkrieg Bop. I dropped the tempo a ton and made it really sludgy and heavy. I’m super happy with the song, especially the drums, which were actually inspired by some of my students who couldn’t play the song at the original tempo. I slowed it WAY down for them and then sort of decided, “Hey, that actually sounds pretty cool.” I’ll have that on the site soon but if you want your own FREE copy you have to sign up for the mailing list.
Teaching has started to die down for the summer, which is nice. I love working a lot but I’ve been going 6-7 days a week for a year now. It’s nice to actually have 2 days off in a row every week. Or at least I think it will be. I’ll let you know.
Music-wise I’m doing a ton of work. I have a show coming up with DEADMANDSWAKE called Dame-Nation that’s going to just be sick. It’s a whole night of girl fronted hard rock and metal bands. I’m super psyched to be a part of this. I guess it’s just the feminist in me LOL.
I also just booked a week long tour with my good buddy Matt Ryd. We’ll be heading up the east coast for a whole week in early August so if you are in NYC, DC or PA definitely mark it on your calendar! I can’t wait to get back on the road. It’s been way too long.
Well, it’s time to get back to working on music. I’m currently figuring out a conga part for The Trooper by Iron Maiden. You don’t often hear someone gallop on hand drums. This is going to be a fun cover. Thanks for all your support and I hope I see you guys at some shows soon!
First off, sorry I haven’t updated you guys in so long! It has been super hectic over here with teaching new students, getting kids ready for shows and having a TON of shows of my own. The show at Rock House with Party Crashers and Matt Ryd was insane! Remember the Ill Nino Drum Jam? It’s on my videos page. Well, I had some of my students come up and play it and it rocked SO hard! It’s so awesome to see kids that I taught able to memorize parts AND improvise solos all in one song! Check out the Ill Nino version and the Rock House version on the videos page. Party Crashers ended their set with the sickest, punkest version of 99 Red Balloons ever. Goldfinger’s got nothing on these kids.
After that I hooked back up with my old friends in DEAD MAN’S WAKE for a great show at Reggie’s in Chicago opening up for ZERO-1. ZERO-1 is fronted by actor/comedian Hal Sparks and they are a serious rock band. I had a great time and Hal was really cool. He took a picture for me in my brand new “DRUMS” t-shirt.
Speaking of which, I have now officially entered into the world of fashion design! My “DRUMS” t-shirts are available RIGHT NOW on the MERCH page. Right now I only have small, medium and large but I can take special orders if you need a different size.
Just 2 days after the show with DEAD MAN’S I had to reload the car and head to the south suburbs for the Southside Massacre headlined by Soil. This show was so sick. I played with Fashion Bomb and the energy couldn’t have been higher or more positive. The crowd was hot and ready to be rocked. Thank you guys so much for coming out and enjoying the music. Between the new drum part in Sick One, our brand new song Death March and closing with Thunderkiss 69 by White Zombie, this was definitely one I will remember for a long time.
This weekend will be intensely busy for me (I’m playing 3 shows with 3 bands) and then I’ll get some time off to work on my own music. And by my own, I mean a cover of Blitzkreig Bop, a really cool drum cover idea, you might call it The Ultimate Drum Cover, and the video for Carrie.
Make sure you set your DVR for the 11am WGN news tomorrow. I’ll be playing with Xoe Wise and sporting the “DRUMS” shirt. Then I have an early rehearsal with Mike Mentzer and it’s off to Cubby Bear for a show with Mike and Matt Ryd. I’m playing with 2 bands so if you are free, come on out. It will be a great time. Saturday Mike is playing a show at Rock House and some really talented students are going to open up the show. I’ll have shirts available at all of these shows as well.
I’ll try not to take so long between blogs next time. If you have anything to say or ask me shoot me a message. I answer all my emails personally. Thanks for reading.
After that show I had a couple of weeks off to get ready for the Hell On Earth Metalfest being headlined by Fashion Bomb! It was SICK! So many friends came out to check out the show but I really have to thank Mike Kingston, creator of the comic book “Headlocked” (definitely check this out) for changing his freaking flight to make it to the show! I’m glad you finally got to see me play, bro. The crowd was hot and we played with so much energy! It was really great. New bass player Chris was on top of his game and I thought we put on a really good show.
Just a few days before the Fashion Bomb show I released the video for STILL DEATH’s latest song “The Missing Link”. So far it’s been a hit with everyone who’s seen it and I want to say thank you so much to everyone for the kind words. You guys are why I do this so it means a lot to get positive feedback on my stuff. If you haven’t seen the video yet, check it out on my videos page. I played drums, bass, guitar, growled, screamed, produced the song and the video all myself.
That’s about it for now. Make sure you guys come out to The Rock House in Wilmette this Saturday night at 6:30 for a FREE show! Party Crashers will be opening up and I’ll be headlining with Matt Ryd and The Awesomes. We also have a HUMONGOUS surprise in store for the audience. I’m planning on shooting video for youtube but you don’t want to miss this live.
Thanks for reading. See you guys Saturday at The Rock House!
Thank you, Goodnight!