My name is Casey Cooper, but on YouTube my username is "COOP3RDRUMM3R"
I was directed to this forum post by someone on Twitter and after reading it I just wanted to take a little bit to clear up a few things for all of you, as well as offer some insight into a few things. This will be a long response, because I am always long winded and also because there is a ton to respond to.
Firstly, although practically every response on this page was highly critical and an attempt to point out everything each person could find that was annoying, or bad, or wrong, or a mistake in what I do, I would like to thank everyone for checking out the videos. It's obvious they are not for you, but to know you took the time to check them out (whether it was just to bash them or not) is appreciated. I would request that if you truly feel you need to be a judge of what I do and my drumming that instead of judging "gangnam style" (a video in which I dance and goof off and wear a suit and sunglasses and basically just fool around) or some of my older stuff, you take a minute to check out something new. Everyone has a journey musically and we are all improving. I leave up the old stuff because I like to show my viewers that exact point, we all were once a lesser version of ourselves now. We must practice and play and gain experience to improve and no one should be frustrated or discouraged because their level now doesn't match up to someone else's current level. They were where you are now at one point in their life.
I'd like to next point out that many of your statements are very true and I in no way disagree. There are many points in my videos (more predominantly in my older videos, but not absent from more recent ones) where there are timing issues, dirt and definitely apparent immaturity in my playing (where parts that shouldn't be played are played). I could have used multiple takes, or camera cuts, or done it multiple times until the timing and everything was absolutely perfect, but that's not what I want to show my viewers. None of them are perfect, so why on earth should I make it seem like I am? I'm supposed to tell them its ok to make a mistake, we all do, but to be encouraging them to practice and get better.
I think the thing that gets me the most about threads like these about myself is everyone always instantly feels the need to say that I'm some cocky dude who thinks he's all that and I need to be humbled and taught that I'm not that great, like the quote from the last post here:
Originally Posted by T.L.
thought he was the best f$)(@&: drummer in the world...
... and then he started working and went into the studio and of course was humbled..
This kid, I think, probably has that same (typical young) attitude.
I can assure you. I am the last person to tell someone I'm amazing. I understand you all didn't take the time to really dig into my videos, especially not the ones that matter, and really figure out who I am as a personality on YouTube and what I tell my viewers, but I can assure you that one of the biggest reasons I am as "popular" as I am on YouTube is not because I think I'm great, it's the exact opposite. It's because I know I'm not and I know I'm just like everyone else, having fun, trying to get better and hoping to provide inspiration and entertainment to others to do the same thing. When people watch my videos, they see drumming as something THEY could do. As you all have pointed out many many times, I'm no Steve Gadd, I'm no drum god, I'm no extreme drummer who plays things that melt your mind and that's EXACTLY what people like about me. When they watch my videos, they see the passion, they see the love, the energy, the fun that I'm having and they see that what I play is actually attainable. Most people don't watch a Neil Peart drum solo and think "that could be me in a few years." But one of my biggest goals is that that is what people think when they watch my videos.
Now, another important thing that is driving me crazy, is reading you all bashing on the YouTube thing. You're asking yourselves "what is it all worth?" "what has he actually gotten out of it?" and saying things like it doesn't matter and live playing in a paid gig is all that matters. We're in the age of technology. I reach more people in ONE DAY than almost any drummer in the world reaches through live shows in a month. And that's not me being a cocky dude and bragging, it's just the truth. My YouTube isn't about what I get out of it. (Although I admit, I started it thinking all about me me me and what it could do for me) but my YouTube is about what I can do for OTHERS. I have quite a few people EVERY DAY that tell me that they watched my videos and then they went and learned to play drums, or they got the encouragement to go jump back on a kit they hadn't played in forever, or they joined their school band, or a church band, or a rock band because after watching my videos they saw how much fun I was having, or they heard me tell them that with hard work and practice they can accomplish anything and so they put in the hard work to make it happen. My channel is about the drum community and positively influencing it. Creating more drummers and inspiring people to go out and have fun. And yes, a counter argument could be that it would be better for someone more technically talented or knowledgable or experienced than myself to do that, and if that is you, PLEASE DO IT. I want everyone to help out the drum community.
I think I'm most disappointed in the moderator "bermuda"'s response to what I do. Sarcastically putting it down and wondering "if I'll ever get a gig?"
What if I never did? Is that such a terrible thing? Even if I didn't get a gig, but some of the kids I inspired to play drums and to work their tails off to be the best they can be, do, then I feel I have won. He's a moderator on a great drum forum, I think it would be way cooler to have a much more positive approach to the drum community than sarcastically putting something down just because it's not what you do, or like.
And lastly (because this is SUPER SUPER LONG). Even though your opinions don't bother me to the point I feel I need "back myself up" or spit a resume or anything, I would like to point out a few things that might change your mind a bit about what I do.
Just because I do something in a video doesn't mean that's what i feel is best in a different scenario. I overplay almost everything in all of my videos. Why? Because that's what my viewers want to see. I can't remember the last time someone came on a video and said "I came to YouTube to watch the most simple rendition of a song you can possibly do, so I would appreciate it if you could just play time for 4 minutes and I'll watch"
I don't think any of you can argue that I know what I'm doing in terms of reaching an audience and having people enjoy what I do in video format. In a live setting, there are times where I tone down the overplaying quite a bit. There are still times where I keep it there because people love it, but for you to make a statement that I don't understand that if I were to play for a big name artist they'd want me to play more time and less fills, that's crazy. Of course I understand this, but I also understand that the same principle doesn't translate to a visual medium like YouTube. I know what I'm doing can't be that out of line, because I have been recognized by people who are actually somebody in the music industry. Zakk Wylde shared my cover of his track Stillborn just the other day (which is a cover that's not perfect), Mike Shinoda of Linkin Park tweeted out my cover of their new song and was impressed. Chad Szeliga and I are friends and he shares my videos. And my favorite drummer on the entire planet, Chad Smith was blown away by what I do when I met him. (Not technically impressed of course lol, but excited about what I do for the drum community).
As far as gigs go, no, I don't play for Bruno Mars, but do you? I in no way intend to bash anyone commenting on this thread, but I feel most of you probably play similar gigs to what I do. I get paid (and I'm on scholarships) to play for Georgia State's marching band and basketball band, I get paid to play and fill in at various churches, I get paid to appear and play at various events, and although I don't do it as much anymore due to time constraints because of YouTube/GSU, I used to get paid to play with quite a few bands in the Atlanta area and still get asked to fill in all the time. Not to mention, I'm 22 years old and still in school. I'm working my way towards the bigger gigs, I'm not 80 and past my chances. lol
And as far as exposure/endorsements/all that jazz goes. I wish everyone could have endorsements and you are very correct that it all boils down to exposure. No, Pearl and Zildjian don't think I'm the best drummer out there, but they both think I have enough ability to positively represent the company and they both are a fan of what I do for the drum community. No, I'm not most deserving technically speaking, but I will say you'd be hard pressed to find someone who has worked harder on his career/exposure/network etc than myself. That is one of the biggest things I try to teach the people who watch me. I don't do a lot of technical/technique based lessons, because I feel I am not the one to be speaking about that, but I do lessons discussing hard work, encouragement, going after your dreams and having the most fun you can while playing. That is what I promote.
If there is one thing I can ask of you, let it be that you positively influence the drum community and use your powers for good. You don't have to like my playing or anything, and heck you don't even have to like me if you don't, but don't go around judging people that you don't really know. Someone could be reading your responses, and be discouraged because they still have a way to go, themselves.
I appreciate you reading this, if you did.
Have a great one, work hard, jam hard, and have fun!