Originally Posted by jazzsnob
I have to say thanks for the inspiration. I've been a fan for 7 or 8 years now and I still listen often. I have two questions:
A: How do you practice you time keeping and mimicing(sp?) time feels? How do you practice listening? How time do you spend setting up drum sounds in the studio?
B:What do think about Polka Party? Because I know it didn't too well commercially, but I've been listening to it a lot recently and it's really damn good.
A: Mimicing feels is sometimes tough. It's one thing to play the parts, and another to play the feel. In some cases I've had to be a little loose, in others, dead on tight, and for Genius In France (Zappa homage on the Poodle Hat album) while copying various drummers from Ralph Humphrey to Bozzio to Wackerman, and Chad's in particular has a deceptively light touch with a very matter-of-fact style, it's almost choppy. I guess 'deliberate' is the best word to describe it. That was a tough one, and I'm very proud of my work on that.
For listening, it's always been natural to me. Even as a kid, I focused on the drum parts, and played along to whatever was on the radio (mid-60s) or the family turntable: Beatles, Gene Krupa, and a host of Afro-Cuban albums from the late 50s.
For the studio, I pre-select toms and kick/s, snares, and cymbals that fit the material, and may bring additional heads as required. I've got everything tuned when I come in, and our engineer has been with us for over 20 years (and also happens to be a drummer) so we get sounds in 10 or 15 minutes per song. We'll cut 5 or 6 tracks in a day.
B. I thought the Polka Party! album was good as well, one of my favorite tracks is Dog Eat Dog. There's some nice programming too, despite having to trick my Yamaha RX11 into playing certain parts. Not sure why the album didn't do well though, and it's one of only a few that failed to even go Gold, which after literally 20 years in print isn't too much to ask!