Joe Wong: How Do Drummers Navigate Through Life?

Scott K Fish

Silver Member
SKF NOTE: I tip my hat to Joe Wong for his podcast series, "The Trap Set." I've listened only to Mr. Wong's Sheila E interview and some of his John "Drumbo" French interview. The production is first-class and what I've heard so far are interesting, knowledgeable exchanges between Wong and the drummers.

Plus, I think his goal with these drummer podcasts is right on: "[T]he craft of drumming is irrelevant to the show. I wanted to know answers to how people navigate through life."

Reporter Piet Levy's "No one interviews the drummers" statement is completely wrong, but we should not hold that against Joe Wong. I look forward to listening to more of "The Trap Set."



Local Beat
Musician Joe Wong's podcast gets drummers talking
By Piet Levy



No one interviews the drummers. Practically the only time they're prominently featured in an article is when the drummer is the frontman, like Ringo Starr or Don Henley.

..."The Trap Set" isn't shoptalk.

"Drummers have an interesting temperament I can relate to, but the craft of drumming is irrelevant to the show," Wong said. "We address issues I tend to think about, like how to raise a family when touring all the time. I didn't want to believe that being great in the arts has to come with the exclusion of anything else that makes you a person. I wanted to know answers to how people navigate through life."

Full Story

Scott K Fish Blog: Life Beyond the Cymbals
 

bermuda

Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
Staff member
Joe interviewed me almost a year ago, and at the time I noted that he asked questions that I hadn't heard before, and that really made me think and answer more thoughtfully. I think "incisive" was the word I used when describing how it went. When my episode 'aired', I got more positive responses from family, friends, and the drumming community, than from any other piece done on me. Kudos to Joe for his skillful editing (I tend to ramble) and presenting a really pro podcast. And he's a nice guy!

Bermuda
 

uniongoon

Gold Member
Interesting Jon, I would think a lot drummer would experience a pang of guilt, maybe get a little defensive.
It can be a very selfish profession and obsession. The obsession part often leaves others with the crumbs of your life rather than the main course.
 

Icetech

Gold Member
Going to have to check out that podcast...

It made me think of something that amused me in NOFX's backstage passport.. Smelly (their drummer of like 30 years and one of my favorite drummers) is in a airport with the band.. the rest of the band is being mobbed. and hes 10 feet away sitting on a bench alone without a person saying hello.. Just cracked me up and this made me think of that for some reason..
 
M

Matt Bo Eder

Guest
Interesting Jon, I would think a lot drummer would experience a pang of guilt, maybe get a little defensive.
It can be a very selfish profession and obsession. The obsession part often leaves others with the crumbs of your life rather than the main course.
I'll have to check this out soon (really busy day today). But to the point here, I think it is a selfish profession. Even Geddy Lee concedes that being a musician isn't a very noble profession, and I agree. They're not doing what they do to help others, they do it because of how it makes them feel. And although I like it when people enjoy what I do and tell me so, I admit it doesn't really matter to me. It's really all "me me me". If I truly cared about people, I'd be a doctor.

This should light up somebody ;)
 

bermuda

Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
Staff member
Interesting Jon, I would think a lot drummer would experience a pang of guilt, maybe get a little defensive.
In my 25 years or so of doing interviews, a lot of the same questions come up, and some are necessary in order to establish who I am and what I do. I certainly don't mind such 'stock' questions, and my answers have become fine-tuned and I hope I sound a little smoother each time (though I try not to sound rehearsed.)

But Joe asked questions I don't think I'd been asked before, or perhaps a topic was explored a little more in-depth, or there was a tangent that forced me to create a fresh answer and talk about things that had never been brought up in my interviews before.

I can't cite specifics off the top of my head, but I do remember feeling that it was a more incisive (there's that word again) interview than I'd ever done before, and I liked that. When it was posted, there was noticeably more reaction to it than any other I'd done before. Granted, it helps if the interviewee can put a sentence together, but it's the interviewer who really steers the conversation, and Joe did an excellent job of that.

Bermuda
 

Les Ismore

Platinum Member
Great interview, and yeah, not you're average 'domestic' approach.

Its great we drummers have someone doing this. This isn't an interview IMO, its someone documenting history.
 

DrumEatDrum

Platinum Member
Joe interviewed me almost a year ago, and at the time I noted that he asked questions that I hadn't heard before, and that really made me think and answer more thoughtfully. I think "incisive" was the word I used when describing how it went. When my episode 'aired', I got more positive responses from family, friends, and the drumming community, than from any other piece done on me. Kudos to Joe for his skillful editing (I tend to ramble) and presenting a really pro podcast. And he's a nice guy!

Bermuda
Some of it was the same ole' questions.

Some of it was nice, he dug a little deeper where other interviewers don't.

I wish the interviews weren't so edited down. So many of the podcasts seem to just be getting juicy and then it's over!
 

Zero Mercury Drummer

Senior Member
Joe, if you're taking suggestions, don't be afraid to make them longer if it's possible. I regularly listen to podcasts of up to 4 hours (not saying go that long). I also wouldn't be afraid to have more natural pauses in the conversation. Those are just suggestions!
The Cobham interview probably taught me more than any interview I have heard or read, including the one I did with him myself in '99 or so. :) I was nervous and intimidated to be in the presence of such an icon.
 
Thanks for the feedback! Lots of folks have asked for longer interviews.

We intentionally make our show fit within a 30 minute format for the following reasons:

* So that folks without a lot of time can still enjoy the show
* So that our show appeals to drummers and non-drummers alike
* So that our show can be broadcast on radio
* We feel that our show simply works best for most listeners in a tightly edited format. (Many of the drummers we've interviewed, including Bermuda, agree with us.)

That said, we hear your request for longer interviews. And for those folks who prefer longer, if slightly rambling, discussions, we want to give you what you want! At some point down the line, we will release our entire, unedited interviews (most of which are 60-150 minutes) as bonus episodes.

Thanks!
 
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