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  #1  
Old 03-30-2017, 11:01 PM
motojosh motojosh is offline
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Default Article in Modern Drummer from bermuda

First post here, but I've been lurking for a while as I learn to play. Enough lurking at least to recognize that bermuda is one of the contributors here, so I thought this article of his might be of interest: https://www.moderndrummer.com/2017/0...s-future-tour/
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  #2  
Old 03-30-2017, 11:21 PM
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bermuda bermuda is offline
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Default Re: Article in Modern Drummer from bermuda

A little update that I wrote just the other day, it's always nice to get a mention from MD!

Bermuda
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  #3  
Old 03-31-2017, 12:12 AM
ottog1979 ottog1979 is offline
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Default Re: Article in Modern Drummer from bermuda

Makes me feel admiration and awe that you share with us daily, Bermuda. Thank you.

http://www.bermudaschwartz.com/credits.htm
(linked in the article)
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  #4  
Old 03-31-2017, 02:41 AM
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Default Re: Article in Modern Drummer from bermuda

Great article. Love the video. Definitely honored to have you contributing to DW Bermuda.
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  #5  
Old 03-31-2017, 03:00 AM
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Default Re: Article in Modern Drummer from bermuda

That's a good pic of you too Big B, looking real classy behind your Ludwig's.
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  #6  
Old 03-31-2017, 03:07 AM
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Default Re: Article in Modern Drummer from bermuda

Really nice article and really love the video-looks like fun but hard work.
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  #7  
Old 03-31-2017, 06:00 AM
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Default Re: Article in Modern Drummer from bermuda

Thanks all! Re working with Al, yes, it is a little demanding. You don't expect a 'comedy' artist to be musically meticulous, but he's Becker & Fagen, Zappa, and McCartney rolled into one when it comes to production and wanting things to be just right. There's the bit in the video where he wants something moved a few milliseconds... that wasn't for the camera, that's for real! But, the result is recordings that we're proud of, albums that chart well (that one we were working on was top-10) and a show that usually sells-out and gets great reviews. :)

Bermuda
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Old 03-31-2017, 06:29 AM
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Default Re: Article in Modern Drummer from bermuda

That's a very cool article and video. I love seeing that creative process at work. The combination of drive, perfectionism, and joyous enthusiasm is so fun to see. I admire people who can communicate exactly what they want to hear.
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  #9  
Old 03-31-2017, 08:06 AM
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Default Re: Article in Modern Drummer from bermuda

Going into the studio on Saturday, and seeing this got my jitters down a lot. Thanks, Jon. You and the rest of Weird Al's team are a world-class act.
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  #10  
Old 03-31-2017, 08:32 AM
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Default Re: Article in Modern Drummer from bermuda

Bermuda, I grew up listening to Al with my brothers and cousin, I will honestly never forget the 3 of us in my brothers room listening to "Running With Scissors" they sat on the bed and I had to sit on the floor because I was the youngest. But it's one of those memories where looking back things couldn't have been any better, I really looked up to them and they got me into music. I have always wondered, what is Al like outside of the studio? You say he's very meticulous and I can really see that, but is he the person he portrays himself to be? or is it more of a character?

Also, I don't want to cast his shadow on you anymore than I already have, I want to know, how did your drumming career take you so far? and what are some of your best experiences? (on tour, in the studio, learning, or outside of drums?) and what is the part of your job people don't see? I assume its not as glamorous as it seems, what is it that people who aspire to be where you are don't understand about the position?
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  #11  
Old 03-31-2017, 07:48 PM
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Default Re: Article in Modern Drummer from bermuda

Quote:
Originally Posted by bermuda View Post
Thanks all! Re working with Al, yes, it is a little demanding. You don't expect a 'comedy' artist to be musically meticulous, but he's Becker & Fagen, Zappa, and McCartney rolled into one when it comes to production and wanting things to be just right.
Bermuda
I'm not surprised at all by this. I've long thought that Weird Al's success and longevity (when most comedy songs are one-hit novelty items) is due to the fact that, in addition to the lyrics being clever, the musical performance and recording is just as high quality as the songs being spoofed. That's why his versions stand on their own.

I also appreciate that, while he pokes a little fun, he's never mean-spirited about it. If I had a top ten hit, it would be an honour to have Al parody it.
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  #12  
Old 03-31-2017, 08:03 PM
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Default Re: Article in Modern Drummer from bermuda

Gawd, I love video's like that. Fly on the wall to another world.
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  #13  
Old 03-31-2017, 09:27 PM
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Default Re: Article in Modern Drummer from bermuda

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Originally Posted by PlayTheSong View Post
I'm not surprised at all by this. I've long thought that Weird Al's success and longevity (when most comedy songs are one-hit novelty items) is due to the fact that, in addition to the lyrics being clever, the musical performance and recording is just as high quality as the songs being spoofed. That's why his versions stand on their own.

I also appreciate that, while he pokes a little fun, he's never mean-spirited about it. If I had a top ten hit, it would be an honour to have Al parody it.
All of this. His music is now getting to a point where second-generation listeners hear Weird Al's parody first, through their parents, and get confused when they hear the originals later on. That's pretty cool if you think about it.

That article was a great read. Thanks for sharing with us, Bermuda!
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  #14  
Old 03-31-2017, 09:30 PM
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Default Re: Article in Modern Drummer from bermuda

That was so cool Jon. Envious! I'm really envious. Did I mention that I was envious? It's just really great for us here to have a DIRECT CONNECTION to the insides of truly, a band in the top 5 or at the most 8 of the most enduring musical affiliations of all time. Aren't you guys still the original lineup? That's not something that should be taken for granted. Or granite, whatever.

Al is so very real, I envy your working situation man, and I'm not even trying to be funny. You have the very thing that most every musician at some point covets. Way to go. I like seeing the inside stuff a lot.

Are there any more inside stuff vids you can point me to?

:)
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  #15  
Old 03-31-2017, 09:56 PM
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Default Re: Article in Modern Drummer from bermuda

How cool, and what a great making-of video. Congrats!

Jon, I have a question. This is obviously recording at an extremely high level with lots of demands on performance. To consistently get that kind of precision, do you have specific things you work on as part of a practice regimen, or has the 10,000-plus hours you've spent on this type of work made it all second-nature to you? I'm curious if you do anything specific to prepare for a studio date that might differ from preparing for a live show, etc.

If you do work on specific things to get in a studio frame of mind, I'd love to know what they are.
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  #16  
Old 04-01-2017, 02:50 AM
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bermuda bermuda is offline
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Default Re: Article in Modern Drummer from bermuda

Quote:
Originally Posted by larryace View Post
Aren't you guys still the original lineup? That's not something that should be taken for granted.
Same members for the last 35 years, dating to the recording of Al's first album. I believe that only U2, Aerosmith, ZZ Top, and Rush (if you overlook John Rutsey!) have us beat. And I don't recall the last time any of them had a #1 album so late in their career! :)

Quote:
Are there any more inside stuff vids you can point me to?
No other 'making of' but there's tons of Al & band stuff on YouTube.

Bermuda
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Last edited by bermuda; 04-01-2017 at 03:30 AM.
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  #17  
Old 04-01-2017, 02:57 AM
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Default Re: Article in Modern Drummer from bermuda

Quote:
Originally Posted by 8Mile View Post
How cool, and what a great making-of video. Congrats!
Thanks!

Quote:
Jon, I have a question. This is obviously recording at an extremely high level with lots of demands on performance. To consistently get that kind of precision, do you have specific things you work on as part of a practice regimen, or has the 10,000-plus hours you've spent on this type of work made it all second-nature to you?
All second nature, I really only practice when I need to work on something I don't already know, or need a tune-up if I've become rusty. But that's a matter of minutes to get that coordination back. Everything I've ever done is in my DNA, though things get buried deeper than others after a while. :) I basically keep in shape via gigs and rehearsals with 4 bands in town. There are also 2-3 bands I sub with on occasion.

So, while I do recommend practice, I don't do it except as needed.

Bermuda
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  #18  
Old 04-01-2017, 03:28 AM
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Default Re: Article in Modern Drummer from bermuda

Quote:
Originally Posted by -Jeff- View Post
I have always wondered, what is Al like outside of the studio? You say he's very meticulous and I can really see that, but is he the person he portrays himself to be? or is it more of a character?
Al is pretty normal, a good father and family man. He's naturally funny, but not bouncing off the walls (much) in real life. On stage, he's obviously more 'on', but I wouldn't say it's a character or an act, he's just expressing himself in the context of the performance.

Quote:
Also, I don't want to cast his shadow on you anymore than I already have, I want to know, how did your drumming career take you so far? and what are some of your best experiences? (on tour, in the studio, learning, or outside of drums?)
A career in music has been a real privilege. There are a ton of drummers who can drum circles around me and would kill to play for a living, so I never take my success for granted. There are a thousand guys and gals in L.A. alone who'd line up for my job with Al.

It's hard to pick out the best experiences, I regard it all as the best. But there have been special gigs such as the Hollywood Bowl (2 nights!), Radio City Music Hall, Hammersmith Odeon, any time we play the Greek Theater in L.A., Bonaroo, Wolf Trap, Massey Hall... many too many to list! And I regard my life as a great experience, I've been lucky to be given the opportunity to do what I set out at age twelve to do: play drums professionally.

Quote:
and what is the part of your job people don't see? I assume its not as glamorous as it seems, what is it that people who aspire to be where you are don't understand about the position?
With respect to touring, there are a lot of unseen logistics in addition to being on stage for a few hours a night. Travel, dealing with hotels, maintaining some normalcy such as handling bills, trying to eat right, exercising, even doing laundry, which is actually the best day on the road! When players have been touring for most of their life, and they get tired and just want to stay home, it's not because they don't like playing; it's because they're tired of all the travel. It's not the vacation that people think it is!

I've been touring for 34 years, and I'm not at that point yet... but I understand how those players feel.

Bermuda
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  #19  
Old 04-02-2017, 10:39 AM
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Default Re: Article in Modern Drummer from bermuda

Quote:
Originally Posted by bermuda View Post
Al is pretty normal, a good father and family man. He's naturally funny, but not bouncing off the walls (much) in real life. On stage, he's obviously more 'on', but I wouldn't say it's a character or an act, he's just expressing himself in the context of the performance.



A career in music has been a real privilege. There are a ton of drummers who can drum circles around me and would kill to play for a living, so I never take my success for granted. There are a thousand guys and gals in L.A. alone who'd line up for my job with Al.

It's hard to pick out the best experiences, I regard it all as the best. But there have been special gigs such as the Hollywood Bowl (2 nights!), Radio City Music Hall, Hammersmith Odeon, any time we play the Greek Theater in L.A., Bonaroo, Wolf Trap, Massey Hall... many too many to list! And I regard my life as a great experience, I've been lucky to be given the opportunity to do what I set out at age twelve to do: play drums professionally.



With respect to touring, there are a lot of unseen logistics in addition to being on stage for a few hours a night. Travel, dealing with hotels, maintaining some normalcy such as handling bills, trying to eat right, exercising, even doing laundry, which is actually the best day on the road! When players have been touring for most of their life, and they get tired and just want to stay home, it's not because they don't like playing; it's because they're tired of all the travel. It's not the vacation that people think it is!

I've been touring for 34 years, and I'm not at that point yet... but I understand how those players feel.

Bermuda
Thanks for the reply, glad to see you really love what you do, it seems like it's a rare thing to meet someone doing what they love. Also I hope laundry day isn't a rare day on the road..... something tells me it is.....

Good luck with everything, if you guys come to Calgary I'll be sure to be there.
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  #20  
Old 04-02-2017, 11:36 PM
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Default Re: Article in Modern Drummer from bermuda

After reading this thread I found this video that I thought was enlightening of Weird Al. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DvSvz2_d9R8
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