DRUMMERWORLD OFFICIAL DISCUSSION FORUM (http://www.drummerworld.com/forums/index.php)
-   Drummers (http://www.drummerworld.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=4)
-   -   Jon Theodore (http://www.drummerworld.com/forums/showthread.php?t=46)

Dill X 06-29-2005 11:04 PM

Jon Theodore
Even though most of you probably already know of Jon Theodore, I think you need to really sit down and listen to him play to understand how amazing his playing is. He is probably my favourite new drummer on the scene, just because of the power and depth that he has in his playing.
For those of you who listen to the band he plays in, The Mars Volta, you will know how experimental their music is and I find it amazing how he thinks up new grooves and ways to incorperate even the smallest sounds to make certain parts of songs that much cooler.

This guy just leaves me amazed every time I hear him playing on the albums or from live recordings. I hoping to go see The Mars Volta in September when they play in Toronto, and I'm sure I'll be just blown away by the unbelievable power, pressense, and skill that Jon Theodore has while on stage.

If you haven't check him out, do so now!

ameripino 06-30-2005 12:11 AM

Re: Jon Theodore
i agree...he is amazing. i can figure out easily what he is playing usually and i can put all the stokes in the right places but it doesnt have the same feel that he employs...i dont know what it is but it baffles me. but...i wasnt to impressed with frances the mute. de-loused was much better in my opinion

Colin 06-30-2005 12:22 AM

Re: Jon Theodore
Jon Theodore's a great drummer. I own The Mars Volta's most recent album, Frances the Mute, and his drumming is very creative. Works perfectly in TMV's progressive setting.

Also, his stainless-steel Ludwig is to die for...

CyclopseSlayer 07-01-2005 10:25 PM

Re: Jon Theodore
I agree with Ameripino in the feelings that Theodore's playing is better on De-loused. I also think the drums sound way better on that record as well. I loved how in his MD interview the interviewer was getting frustrated when Jon was being somewhat mysterious about how he got so good. It was also rad that he mention Bruford's work on King Crimson's "Red" album as a big influence, such an underrated album

Ash 07-05-2005 12:35 AM

Re: Jon Theodore
I think jon's playing is,how shall I put this,the spherical genitalia of a canine quadrapede.The dogs Bo!!ock$.

Superlow 07-05-2005 05:52 PM

Re: Jon Theodore
I think the Cats Meow would work just fine in describing his playing thank you.

CerpinTaxt 07-08-2005 07:50 AM

Re: Jon Theodore
Jon Theodore is an amzing drummer. I love his variations on paradiddles in Tarantism. The solo he does on drummerworld is sweet too

Jonas Bridgous 07-15-2005 01:38 PM

Re: Jon Theodore
Jon theodore is one of my favorite drummers. There's just something he's got when you
hear him play. Such energy and precision, especially in his fast-paced, syncopated chops
in alot of the mars volta's tracks. He's really got a brilliant style and I love his minimalist
kit set-up too, it looks challenging to play.

cicatrizoo 08-09-2005 11:43 PM

Re: Jon Theodore
Not since Danny Carey have I been so excited about a new drummer on the scene. Such passion, monstorous power, dynamic control and nuance. He can go from the most savagely frenetic pattern into something it's complete polar opposite on a dime and make it feel so seamless. Watching him live is electric! One of the most creative drummers I've ever heard. He really needs to get songwriting credits considering that he formulates all those wonderfully abstract drum parts and figures out the song structures (but that's really a debate for another day).

Dill X 09-03-2005 05:12 AM

Jon Theodore in concert
Last night I saw The Mars Volta and System of a Down in concert in Toronto, and I was must say it was an amazing show. Both bands tore up the stage with so much energy, power, and sheer excitement.

Jon Theodore of The Mars Volta completely blew me away. I was in some sort of awe for their entire set. It was so cool because it was as if I was watching him just play in a room because I was only about 10 meters from the stage.
I knew Jon Theodore was a great drummer (he's one of my favourites right now), but after seeing him live it completely made me see his playing in a whole new prespective. He just had some much power and he was so smooth and creative.

I could rave all night about how great he was but I just need to stop and share a bit of my experience. You really need to see him play live in order to truly be amazed by his drumming.

If The Mars Volta and System of a Down are playing near you go see them! The drumming is spectacular, and the bands are amazing as well.

Another thing....young drummers today should be looking at an amazing rock drummer like Jon Theodore and many other greats instead of Travis Barker. Don't let these great drummers be left in the dark!

3 t U r N a 1 09-03-2005 06:14 AM

Re: Jon Theodore in concert
I must say that I wholeheartedly agree with these sentiments about Jon Theodore. His style of playing is one of the most innovative of recent rock drumming IMO. It must have been a beautiful experience to see the master play live. A fellow drummer spoke to me of his experience seeing Theodore play as "Hands down the best show I've ever seen!". This was a show they played in Philly in May on their "Frances the Mute" tour. Unfortunately, I don't believe the SOAD/ Mars Volta tour is coming near where I live. I can only hope to catch them the next time around. But anyways, I believe drummers should not ignore such talent and that young drummers today would greatly benefit from this inspirational artist.

readingfc_sam 09-23-2005 01:33 AM

Jon theodor
has anyone heard of a drummer called jon theodor from the mars volta.
a quality drummer, very dynamic.
is anyone a fan at all?
not many people i know have even heard of the mars volta, let alone jon theodor

Riley05 09-25-2005 12:10 AM

Re: Jon theodor
He and the band are amazing. I love The Mars Volta.

parser 09-25-2005 12:27 AM

Re: Jon theodor
I'm also a huge fan. I especially like "L'Via L'Viaquez". Awesome grooves, tasteful genre jumps and dynamics from all ends of the spectrum. Ripping!

PaperTiger 09-27-2005 02:22 PM

Re: Jon theodor
I am consistantly blown away by his drumming.
I often find it hard to contemplate the beats he plays, especially on the new album.
Absolute insanity live also.

darkcherryfade 09-27-2005 07:02 PM

Re: Jon theodor
One of the best young drummers of today. Mars Volta is also one of the best bands. I saw them in August and they gave hands down the best musical performance I've ever seen in my life.

Dill X 09-27-2005 10:27 PM

Re: Jon theodor
Jon Theodore is my favourite drummer on the scene right now. I am totally sucked in by everything he does, plays, or says. So basically I can have endless comments to say about him right now.

I also saw him and The Mars Volta in September in Toronto, and they put on the best musical performance I have ever seen live. Literally my jaw hit the floor, and I still can not believe I saw them. Just the endless energy, power, and life that the entire 8 piece band put in was unbelievable. It was too bad though because they were opening for System of a Down, so they had a shortened set. I still remember that I was in so much shock, awe, and amazement that I stood up through the entire set change from The Mars Volta to System of Down.

I was at the side stage seating, so I was about 10 meters from the stage and of course perfectly positioned to watch Jon.

In my mind the man is a genius in every aspect of drums. Young drummers today should be looking at Jon Theodore for inspiration instead of Travis Barker or Tre Cool (no offence to them).

Oh and didn't I make a thread on him a long time ago!

nate 09-29-2005 02:06 PM

Re: Jon theodor
yup. the man is very, very good IMO...

and he's Lars Urlichs' fav. drummer (i know, i know this isn"t a good thing)...

theduke86 09-29-2005 06:41 PM

Re: Jon theodor
I saw Mars Volta with System of a Down last week. To be honest, I wasn't impressed. I like Mars Volta and I think that Mr. Theodore is an extremely competent drummer, but the show was lacking. No energy... it also seemed like really really pretentious art rock. Kind of like when I saw Tool, but they had so much energy, they sold it a lot more. I didn't enjoy the show. Go buy the cds, they're much better.

BackInBlack 09-29-2005 09:43 PM

Re: Jon theodor
If you can appriciate Theadore's playing, you should be able to enjoy many historical jazz artists, funk, swing, salsa, and many free-thinking artits akin to that. It would be a very hardpressed opinion (and quite a sin) to state you *loooove* the Mars Volta, but cannot go outside the proverbial box and look for other musicians previous to them, with a much more Pure sound, showing clearly where the Mars might have constructed their sound from. This kind of music has been around for ages. Some call it "avant-garde" but really it's just a free expression of our inner most creativity without any thought toward what might be commercially exeptable. It's pretty cool. Theadore's playing is very loose, energetic, and he does often play "behind-the-notes", similar to what jazz musicians are good at doing.

This style gives the Mars Volta unique credibility in the indie-rock movement but doesn't nessesarily qualify the listener or audiences for having jaw-dropping music-credibility. To understand this music, or persue further the amazing loins of this enriching sound, travel back in time and 'get the feel' (wink wink) of music (latino, free-jazz, salsa, ska, funk, etc) for the madness. It isn't the context, but the 'sub-context' (if you will) that makes this music work. Whenever you've heard, say, "De-loused in the Comatoriun" a thousand times over and want something new, there is more, historically, to which offers that feel without over-wearing your sences on one record if you get my drift.

Case in point, consider Jon's playing (and the Mars for that matter) an open door to many new musical branches of creativity that just readily linger out there. Rock music isn't the only good music cranking out soul-palpitations of 'angst', love and heartbreak to which many can relate to.

i know this board is full of open-minded people, i was just saying it to hear myself talk AND for those that might Not be openminded.

Van Vanishing 09-30-2005 02:24 PM

Re: Jon theodor

Originally Posted by BackInBlack
It would be a very hardpressed opinion (and quite a sin) to state you *loooove* the Mars Volta, but cannot go outside the proverbial box and look for other musicians previous to them, with a much more Pure sound, showing clearly where the Mars might have constructed their sound from.

Exactly. The first time I heard De-Loused, I wondered whether Jon was a long-lost blood relative of Billy Cobham. TMV picks up where Mahavishnu left off, and one can tell they've really studied the roots of that style of music. That's certainly not to say TMV is better than Mahavishnu, just that they've done a nice job of evolving that style.

CanadianBonzo 11-07-2005 12:35 AM

Jon Theodore
I'm surprised no one's mention this unbelievable talent yet. (well maybe they have, im just too lazy to view all the threads, in any case i feel like talking about him).

The Mars Volta is absolutely mind-blowing...anyone who's listened to De-loused in The Comatorium would agree, and Frances the Mute is equally as inspirational.

This guy knows how to pound the hell out of the drumset, but he comes from so many places, if you listen to songs like L'via L'viaquez, those latin beats make me wanna get in a congo line

This guy is really somthing, and he's even better live, you just can't beat the kind of energy that he spews during a show.

Not to mention, he uses a really nice kit too, Ludwig Vistalites, and their sound really matches his style of drumming.

TopRamen 11-16-2005 04:12 AM

Jon Theodore
The Mars Volta is one of my favorite bands, the drumming in the first album "De-loused in the comatorium" was impressive to say the least. The song "Drunkship of lanterns" has some amazing drums and percussion. I recommend giving it a listen.

burnthehero 11-16-2005 10:38 AM

Re: Jon Theodore
You're absolutely right. The Mars Volta is a great band and Jon Theodore is an amazing drummer. I look forward to seeing more of him in the future.

Reflux own your mum 11-23-2005 02:39 AM

Re: Jon Theodore
that guy gives an amazing amount of energy to their live set too, very crazy and good

pearldjian0711 11-23-2005 03:04 AM

Re: Jon Theodore
this guy is freakin awesome! if you listen to a lot of his drumming, you can tell he listened to a lot of bonham.

pb125 01-16-2006 08:26 AM

Jon Theodore
Well... have at it. Please excuse me if he has been covered before, I searched, and no result came. I am a HUGE The Mars Volta Fan, and Jon inspires me more than any other drummer out there.


The one song and one solo on that page doesn't really do him justice, as he hardly ever plays solo's live. Speaking of him live, I saw him live on October 14 at the Santa Barbara Bowl.... He blew me away. His presense is amazing.

Anyways if you are interested, and want to hear more, check out the songs "Roulette Dares" and "Eria Tarka".

So, discuss.

zj2302 01-16-2006 05:31 PM

Re: Jon Theodore
man, am i with you on jon theodore. you're right, that video doesn't do him justice by a long shot.

what i love the most about him is that his beats are so weird structurally and would look pretty darn strange transcribed, but make the music of TMV flow so naturally. in my opinion, he is the mvp of the band, for the fact that without him they would sound sooo different and be infinitely less interesting and provocative with their music.

i also think he blows those guys like virgil donati or dennis chambers out of the water, just for the fact that he can make insane grooves that actually fit a band. it seems to me that a lot of the extremely chops oriented drummers play like they are doing an exercise, while jon plays with such fire and musicality yet still manages to be so fast, intricate, and complex, while supporting a 8 piece band. from what i've heard of the above "chops" drummers, they are kinda of lacking when it comes to supporting or complementing other musicians with a great groove. not to make a blanket statement at all though, just to make a point for discussion that i think these guys are better playing by themselves than with others, which goes against what for me is the litmus test of great musicians.

yes, but if you wanna get a taste of jon theodore, check out anything from the de-loused in the comatorium for some more punkish drumming and especially take a gander at "cassandra gemini" from frances the mute, a 32 minute cut that TMV reportedly did in 1 take.

burnthehero 01-16-2006 05:50 PM

Re: Jon Theodore
Jon Theodore is an amazing drummer, but saying that he blows Dennis Chambers out of the water is pretty ignorant.

Inthe_pocket2000 01-16-2006 06:09 PM

Re: Jon Theodore
Dude! zj2302 are you serious with that comment?

I dig Jon Theodore too but he's no where near or even in the same realm as Dennis Chambers, Virgil Donati.

Don't get me wrong Jon has chops and is a great player, I give him much praise. But Chambers and Donati are just phenominal power houses that just can't be reckond with. I hear what your saying about his groove and feel and he's has it down. But Chambers and Donati can do that and more. They're not just solo chop players.

I've seen all three of them live Chambers, Donati in clinics and The Mars Volta twice. There's just no comparison.

OceanDirt 01-16-2006 06:25 PM

Re: Jon Theodore
ah man he's nuts. everyone in that band are just out of their minds. i've been listening to both cds nonstop since i got them a couple of weeks ago. i've honestly never heard anything like it.

jon's a powerhouse, to say the least. it's not that he has chops, he just puts everything into what he's doing. i get the feeling that in a quieter setting you'd still get that same effect, so it's not the volume that he's playing (though he does play pretty loud). to me he seems like a guy who has studied his stuff (jazz, funk, r&b, afro-cuban, brazilian, odd times, false groupings, etc.) and has come back home to rock.

his work with the mars volta is just phenomenal. i can't wait to see them live at some point.

pb125 01-16-2006 07:22 PM

Re: Jon Theodore

Originally Posted by zj2302
he is the mvp of the band, .

Oh, there is absolutely no question he is the MVP of the band.

finnhiggins 01-16-2006 08:02 PM

Re: Jon Theodore

Originally Posted by zj2302
i also think he blows those guys like virgil donati or dennis chambers out of the water, just for the fact that he can make insane grooves that actually fit a band.

I'm actually going to risk the ire of the rest of the thread and agree with this. It's one thing to be able to play insane grooves like Chambers or Donati can produce on request, it's quite another to make them fit musically into a rock band without going into "Look at me! I'm the star of the show!" territory, which invariably comes off a bit 80s. I'm not a big fan of the Mars Volta - if I wanted to listen to Yes and Led Zeppelin I already can - but Jon Theodore does do a great job of fitting some very complex drumming into a band in a musical fashion.

I always find it odd how people do the whole "Oh, (chops guy X) isn't just about chops - he can do all that musical/grooving stuff too!" yet never the converse. Why is there nobody arguing that Jim Keltner can secretly out-chop Mike Mangini, he just never does it? Chops and groove/musicality are not rungs on a ladder, with chops higher and groove lower. They're both skills that need to be developed, and if you see a drummer displaying a lot of one and not much of the other it tends to suggest that appearance represents the amount of time they put into practicing the two approaches.

zj2302 01-18-2006 05:12 AM

Re: Jon Theodore
im not trying to say jon theodore can hang with guys like chambers and donati when it comes to pure, unadultered technique. he can't. no one, except a select few in the world, can.

what i'm saying is that jon thedore can apply the huge amount of chops he does have in a much more creative and artistic way than the above players. and, to me, thats the sign of a true musician.

chambers and donati have shown that, with the right gene pool and years upon years of practice, things people never though possible or even dreamed possible in terms of power, speed, and complexity could be acieved on the drum set. but their technique doesn't make them musicians, anymore than a guitar player being able to shred like malmsteen makes him a musician.

i feel like these guys somewhat miss the big point...namely that they are or should be developing these chops for a musical purpose. not that playing drum clinics or festivals frequently is inherently un-musical, or that even possessing so much ability is wrong. but their use of it to me strikes of an obsession with getting technically better while not necessarily being able to apply technique in a musical fashion. much of their work seems bent on limits of how complex can the groove be or how many notes can fit in a measure.

that is not to suggest that guys who playing minimalistically are somehow wiser or better musicians either. there is a time and place for playing at both ends of the spectrum. i like drummers who can do both, and play even the most complex things in ways that serve the music by creating parts that are both conducive to everything else going on around them and interesting/cool by themselves.

haha sorry for typing so much its late and im rambling.

aahznightsky 01-18-2006 05:16 AM

Re: Jon Theodore

Originally Posted by finnhiggins
I'm not a big fan of the Mars Volta - if I wanted to listen to Yes and Led Zeppelin I already can

i like the mars volta quite a bit ... but i agree with you that they still aren't quite Yes or Zep ... but i'm glad that alot of younger people today are getting back to that stuff through Volta

Flam_Paradiddle 01-19-2006 12:12 PM

Re: Jon Theodore
Does anyone know anything about his background? Like his musical education and stuff. He sounds like someone who knows all his rudiments and his jazz and latin chops and then utilises them to sound like a four-armed behemoth behind the kit.

pb125 01-20-2006 05:07 AM

Re: Jon Theodore
Taken from his wikipedia page.


Theodore first started playing drums at the age of 15. He was soon involved with his high school concert band and took lessons on a full kit shortly after. It was at this point that he studied percussion and learned how to map arrangements; dedicated practice had already become a daily habit. He also listened to a great variety of music, growing to love the likes of Billy Cobham, Elvin Jones and John Bonham.

Around the end of his time in high school, he joined the band Golden and recorded and toured with them for ten years. It was during this time that he met Cedric Bixler Zavala and Omar Rodriguez-Lopez, who were performing their first gig with their experimental dub band Defacto in El Paso, TX. They became friends and the former At The Drive-In duo would later invite Theodore to join their latin-tinged prog-rock band, The Mars Volta, with whom he currently tours and records. He also played with Royal Trux for a year-and-a-half prior to joining The Mars Volta.

In his spare time Theodore surfs, which helps build and maintain the main muscle groups used in drumming.


Theodore draws inspiration from many different forms of music but those most prevalent in his playing are jazz, fusion and rock. He has also touched upon another factor which adds to his individual style - "Then there's a whole bunch of stuff from Ha´ti because my dad's Ha´tian. My favorite Ha´tian drummer is this guy called Azor... ...The Ha´tian music that moves me has the drumming from the voodoo rituals. It moves me because the patterns are connected to different spirits; it's a spiritual thing that is interconnected with dancing, sacrifice and devotion. It's fully passionate. There is nothing contrived about it."

In interviews he regularly cites Billy Cobham of The Mahavishnu Orchestra as his main drumming influence: "My all-time favorite drummer is Billy Cobham. I love the way he plays... ...[his] playing is so natural, powerful and dynamic at the same time. I pattern a lot of stuff after him.". He has also been heavily inspired by John Bonham of Led Zeppelin: "He had one of the best feels in the history of rock... ...because [of him] I try and play with as much bombast as I possibly can."

thrice981 01-24-2006 03:48 AM

Re: Jon Theodore
Jon Theodore is my Homie. He is effin AMAZING. He rocks. My favorite song is Take The Veil Cerpin Taxt. One weird thing is though is the Mars Volta always plays there songs faster live. Anyone else notice that?

hik 01-25-2006 09:01 AM

Re: Jon Theodore
Saw 'Volta yesterday evening.
Front Row, thus got really close to Jon Theodore (and the band ofcourse!)
I only lasted 2 and a half songs before getting pulled out, it was way~~ too chaotic for my body.
But those 2.5 songs was a mind blowing experience...

Trigger 01-25-2006 10:00 AM

Re: Jon Theodore
I saw volta live 5 days ago, and my god, Jon beats the bejesus out of his drums. they were stainless steel... very bonhamesque.

All times are GMT +2. The time now is 08:01 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.0
Copyright ©2000 - 2015, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Bernhard Castiglioni's DRUMMERWORLD.com