Originally Posted by Swiss Matthias
I can relate to that. It struck me as very odd when Jordan said it was interesting that they
chose seven of the best drummers they know (they know), and even of the seven
not all of them could tackle what they were presenting them. As if they were über-musicians
from another planet, ignoring i.e. the whole fascinating jazz realm with brillant drummers
(and musicians in general) - another idiom, but stellar playing too. So I was disappointed
with Jordan saying that. By the way the same Jordan who seems to still read the riffs from
"Dance of Eternity", haha!!
But as (I think) Derek mentioned, when the drummers from the audition started to throw
something at them, they didn't know what to do. I can only imagine the circles Virgil
may have played around them!
I think you misunderstood Jordan at that point. I think what he was trying to get across was that these 7 guys were the best fits for the band that they could have come up with - of course implying that this leaves out quite a lot of other drummers from other genres. DT is kind of a special genre that calls for a drummer who can fit the needs of that genre. For example: Brian Blade is one of my absolute favourite drummers on this planet, but would he have gotten that gig (leaving aside that he certainly wouldn't have wanted that gig)? I doubt it because he just doesn't fit that genre. On the other hand I highly doubt that any
of these drummers would have gotten a call if a band like Tower of Power or a Jazz artist such as Brad Mehldau were looking for a new drummer.
I also highly doubt that Jordan considers himself to be an uber-musician as he is one of the nicest and most humble persons I ever met (I saw him doing a clinic a few years back and he was an absolute sweetheart). Also, he is an absolutely outstanding pianist and keyboard player. The guy could also make a living as a concert pianist, he has great skills in classical music but can also play blues and stride piano real well. In DT he only shows very little of what he's capable of. As for reading music: I don't think that's such a bad thing.... Sviatoslav Richter read music on most of his concerts and he was like one of the most gifted people to ever touch a piano.
About your last point: Sure, some of these drummers could have played in circles around them. Hell... even I could probably come up with some real weird groove that nobody would understand at first sight. I guess everybody with some musical knowledge and skills could. However, that's not important for this audition. Fact is: DT is looking for a drummer, many drummers would like to be in the band. For a drummer to get the gig it's not important to be able to play around the band in circles, but to be able to play with
the band and be able to play what the band is asking to play. THEY are the guys offering the job not the other way around.
I've played quite a few auditions in the past many times I probably was the best educated musician in the room. But still I was the one trying to get the gig and trying to get into the band. The last thing I would want to do in such a situation is giving the band a feeling of "hey guys, I play wayyyy above your level and at anytime could play circles around you, but at this point this seems to be a gig that might be good for my career so you can be real happy about me actually doing this". If your auditioning for anything you should always try to make the band feel comfortable with you as a drummer and with you as a person.
As far as I can judge it from these short clips, that's what all the guys who auditioned tried to do.
@Peter Wildoer: I had never heard of you before, but for sure you absolutely kicked some ass in there. Great playing and great personality. I'm sure you'll get far with playing drums in the future!
BTW maybe Peter or Derek could shed some light on how the DT guys came across... To me it seemed like they were quite nice.