Drummers on records

bermuda

Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
Staff member
I see lots of interviews with the old time guys and they do the same. If they played at all with someone anywhere they claim it. But the same thing probably applies with them too, that they aren't trying to sell anything.
I hate when musicians try to capitalize on brushes with celebrities. For example, I would never use my association with Weird Al to plug my new book, Black & White & Weird All Over, The Lost Photographs Of "Weird Al" Yankovic - '83-'86, due November 17 from 1984 Publishing. I would never suggest people visit www.BlackAndWhiteAndWeird.com Tres gauche!
 

CommanderRoss

Silver Member
If you watch the Steely Dan DVD on the making of the album Aja, Becker and Fagen were discussing how cool it would be if they could get certain players. So for them it was finding the right band for a song - how cool is that?
On the documentary Hired Gun, Jay Graydon talks about his part on that album. Played what he felt fit along with a few other guys there & didn't know he was picked until after the record came out.
Even though it was just one guitar part, he can now say he's played on a Steely Dan record & use them for his resume.

Bermuda is spot on about how it's inference vs. inclusion. One guitar part doesn't make Jay a band member, but he can say legitimately he worked with them.
 

CommanderRoss

Silver Member
I'd sign up for that (Taylor Swift) gig, gladly...
You know it!
Fish Fisher of Fishbone was a huge part of their sound. Then Justin Timberlake asked him to drum on a tour of his & he jumped on it.
Fishbone fans quickly went on the "sellout" rant & dismissed him.

Love or hate an artist, if you know playing on their tour will help your career, DO IT! He knew it & is very well employed because of it.
 

brushes

Well-known member
Bermuda said most things already. I know that certain drummers get hired for transporting a special feel or because they can play a certain style/technique better than anyone else. It is their "footprint" that is wanted. Like e.g. Ash Soans halftime shuffle abilities. Or Manu Katchés cymbal-playing. Or Simon Phillips polyrhythmic skills. Time is money and if drummer A can record that track in no time, it's worth considering to hire him - even if it is for only one song on an album.
 

Juniper

Gold Member
Not sure how related.

There was a very interesting interview I read with Omar Hakim once discussing the recording process for Daft Punks last record.

Basically, he never heard the songs in the studio, the band would record him jamming along to ideas and that was it.

One of the major hits (it could have been “Get Lucky” but I can’t remember) was credited to him but he was able to recognise that some of the playing in that song was also John ‘JR’ Robinson, who was the other drummer on that record.

Basically they used the recording sessions for the drums as sample sessions, then in the final album in places just used bits from the multiple drummers as they saw fit.

Basically thanks to modern recording techniques you can have someone only slightly involved, the way you can cut/splice digital recordings these days you could have multiple people involved in the making of a record.
 

felonious69

Well-known member
That's still common with Nashville artists, where there are studio musicians, and touring players. But in the old days, it was much more prevelant with young bands whose drummers in particular weren't experienced enough to make radio-ready recordings. Hal Blaine did a lot of those recordings, often credited however, while the band's own drummer then recreated those parts on the road.
I knew a guy in a local Madison, WI band. He was a really good drummer. Not sure why his exit from that band but he ended up playing for White Zombie. He toured for a while but was never on an album and rumor has it he was jettisoned from WZ for their anti-drug policy.
He came back to WI and didn't last long.
Drugs WILL get the best of you.
 
Yeah...guilty as charged. :)

I have little to no patience for people who loudly proclaim "oh, I don't watch television—I read literature." As though The Wire or Deadwood or Breaking Bad isn't every bit the artistic achievement of, say, Tales of the South Pacific or Early Autumn or A Visit from the Goon Squad (beep beep).

I don't listen to Taylor Swift for enjoyment, but I do try to keep up with pop culture, and she's put out some very good to excellent pop over the years, and her latest album was an interesting experiment and musically wonderful (if not as large a step forward lyrically).

What's more, I realized long ago that any big popster for whom you might have disdain—Justin Bieber, say, or Hilary Duff or Elton John or Barry Manilow or whomever—pretty much without exception has an absolutely killer band made up of monster players: like or hate their music, they hire outstanding musicians. So to diss someone who's almost certainly a fantastic player because you're too cool for their boss? To write off Thomas Lang, say, drummer for the Spice Girls and Kelly Clarkson—among many others—seems remarkably closed-minded and foolish to me. I may not want to listen to their music either, but yeah, you're right, I don't have a lot of respect for that attitude.
 
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Yamaha Rider

Well-known member
Yeah...guilty as charged. :)

I have little to no patience for people who loudly proclaim "oh, I don't watch television—I read literature." As though The Wire or Deadwood or Breaking Bad isn't every bit the artistic achievement of, say, Tales of the South Pacific or Early Autumn or A Visit from the Goon Squad (beep beep).

I don't listen to Taylor Swift for enjoyment, but I do try to keep up with pop culture, and she's put out some very good to excellent pop over the years, and her latest album was an interesting experiment and musically wonderful (if not as large a step forward lyrically).

What's more, I realized long ago that any big popster for whom you might have disdain—Justin Bieber, say, or Hilary Duff or Elton John or Barry Manilow or whomever—pretty much without exception has an absolutely killer band made up of monster players: like or hate their music, they hire outstanding musicians. So to diss someone who's almost certainly a fantastic player because you're too cool for their boss? To write off Thomas Lang, say, drummer for the Spice Girls and Kelly Clarkson—among many others—seems remarkably closed-minded and foolish to me. I may not want to listen to their music either, but yeah, you're right, I don't have a lot of respect for that attitude.
I think you're both right.
If you are a highly skilled professional musician and drumming is your day job, you would be nuts to turn down the big payers.
If you came into music to pursue a passion for a specific genre of music or to be creative, you might well put artistic integrity above all else, even if it means couch surfing through life.
Different strokes?
 
I think you're both right.
If you are a highly skilled professional musician and drumming is your day job, you would be nuts to turn down the big payers.
If you came into music to pursue a passion for a specific genre of music or to be creative, you might well put artistic integrity above all else, even if it means couch surfing through life.
Different strokes?
I almost agree with that thoroughly. I think I would argue that artistic integrity does not demand one sneer at pop music, even if it's not your cup of tea. I think of the admiration Tony Williams and Miles Davis had for the pop of their time—and not just the Beatles—or the way the boys from Anthrax were early and ardent admirers of hip-hop, of how many big hip-hop names loved grunge when it first hit, of Leonard Bernstein's appreciation of pop, of the fact that Robert Johnson played show tunes, of Bill Bruford's appreciation for dance music, of Hal Blaine's words of praise for Karen Carpenter. Not liking something doesn't have to mean being contemptuous of it.
 

The Shepherd

Well-known member
What's more, I realized long ago that any big popster for whom you might have disdain—Justin Bieber, say, or Hilary Duff or Elton John or Barry Manilow or whomever—pretty much without exception has an absolutely killer band made up of monster players: like or hate their music, they hire outstanding musicians.
Elvis had his TCB Band backing him. They were wickedly good!
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
I'd wrestle her.
Real or WWE style lol?

I think playing for Taylor Swift would be a dream job. She comes across as a nice, down to earth, humble person. Not some Mariah Carey diva type. She is nice to look at. Her shows are always sold out. There is money to be made for sure.

If one can handle playing the music, I dont see being TS's drummer as a bad thing. Could be much worse. You could be the drummer for a K-Pop "band". At least TS plays an instrument and writes her own songs. That's a rarity anymore.
 

felonious69

Well-known member
Real or WWE style lol?

I think playing for Taylor Swift would be a dream job. She comes across as a nice, down to earth, humble person. Not some Mariah Carey diva type. She is nice to look at. Her shows are always sold out. There is money to be made for sure.

If one can handle playing the music, I dont see being TS's drummer as a bad thing. Could be much worse. You could be the drummer for a K-Pop "band". At least TS plays an instrument and writes her own songs. That's a rarity anymore.
I wouldn't smack her with a steel chair, but I would definitely go no holds barred.
 

Yamaha Rider

Well-known member
I almost agree with that thoroughly. I think I would argue that artistic integrity does not demand one sneer at pop music, even if it's not your cup of tea. I think of the admiration Tony Williams and Miles Davis had for the pop of their time—and not just the Beatles—or the way the boys from Anthrax were early and ardent admirers of hip-hop, of how many big hip-hop names loved grunge when it first hit, of Leonard Bernstein's appreciation of pop, of the fact that Robert Johnson played show tunes, of Bill Bruford's appreciation for dance music, of Hal Blaine's words of praise for Karen Carpenter. Not liking something doesn't have to mean being contemptuous of it.
I think much, perhaps most, of the greatest music has been 'pop' (in the classic sense) - but there's still a vast spoil heap of bad pop which is devoid of redeeming qualities - and if people choose to hate that stuff, fair play to them! ☺
 
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