DRUMMERWORLD PRO DRUMMER
Hey everybody, finally had a minute to stop by my favorite drum site. Hope all is well with everyone.
First of all let me say Larry that I enjoy your posts, and i enjoy your responses to my threads. You have some really good information to share and I appreciate that. The first perk I can think of is getting to play drums for a living. That in itself is still the best so called perk for me. It's just freaking awesome to play for a living. A dream come true. When your on tour you usually have a base salary either per gig or per week. So simply put you either get paid by the gig, or a salary based on a week. No matter how many gigs you do during the week you get the same money. Myself I like to get paid by the gig, but most times unless your a famous drummer they tell you how your getting paid. I can't really discuss the exact amount of money but it can go from $1000 per gig , or $800 per gig, or it can be a weekly salary of say 1,500 a week. The top drummers get more than that I'm sure, plus if your a member of the band or a sideman has tons to do with the money. One other thing you can be sure of is they will try to screw you every step of the way.!! Count on it!! As far as meals and stuff. You get a perdium , hope i spelled that right. So every day no matter what say you would get $50 cash for food or whatever. Travel and hotels are always covered.I'd love to know how much a drummer at that level makes per big gig. You don't have to answer that, I don't want to put you on the spot, but I am so curious. I have no idea what top drummers get today. Like I would love to know when on tour are meals included or is that on you? Are there any extras? Free tix to your shows for your guests? Cool perks we might not be aware of?
I understand if you don't answer believe me, but you said it was OK to ask...
Wow this could turn into a book so I will try and keep it short to answer your questions. My uncle was a drummer in NY. My mom used to take me to see him when I was young. That's what got me hooked on drums. I started playing at age 4. Started taking lessons at age 5. Did my first money making gig when I was 10 years old. When I got to Jr. High and High school I just killed it. Jazz Band, Concert Band, Orchestra, District band. Yea, I was the man. Then off to college for 4 years and no I didn't major in music. My mom said I had to go to college incase the drumming thing didn't work out I would have a education and a back up plan. So I did it. Never argued with Mom!! HA!! During college of course I played in a very popular band and started gigging. After college I realized I WAS NOT THE MAN. LOL. There were plenty of good drummers out there. So I did what ever I could . I moved to Philly. Long story short for over 10 years I did every freaking gig you could think of. From Chicken wire, to touring in my own car. I was married now with kids on the way. Man I had to gig. I never thought of throwing in the towl. I worked plenty of day jobs and played at night. I really, really busted my butt!!!! I started to get some exposure and endorsments. I met guys like John Bermuda Schwartz who introduced me to tons of other drummers at Namm shows. John was very suportive of me and told other drummers I was a good drummer. I became friends with Dennis Chambers who saw me play once at Namm and we hung out and are still friends to this day. Then I started recording for some people and they really got my name out there. I just kept at it. I still do to this day. I don't really look at it like I took any huge chances, I just paid my dues. I have much more of an appreciation of better gigs after doing not so great gigs. I don't take any of my success for granted. I am very grateful every day and lord knows there are plenty of drummers out there better than I am.First of all, I think this topic needs a sticky.
Now to my questions.
1. How did you get started as a professional drummer? Did everything just fall in to place or did you have to take huge risks? I really want to play for a living but I would have to move to a music city for sure.
2. Besides Esteban, who are some other artists/bands that you've played with?
3. How much time do you get to practice while on tour?
Thanks Joe, I'm sure I'll think of more questions in the future.
NO COMMENT!! I'm really just like the rest of us drummers. Always looking for new music to play, new gigs, trying to feed the family and survive man. Seriously. Any other questions I would be glad to help out . Best of luckWow Joe thanks for the kind words. It's really cool to be able to have a direct connection (via guys like you, Bermuda, Derek, Bill, Nick, Gavin et al) to the inner workings of the life of a top level musician, especially for the business side of things. There are precious few here who can speak from experience what goes on at the higher echelons. Plus your answers are so forthright, you gotta admire that. Your life sounds freakin awesome!
Let's hear some groupie stories! Ha! Now I'm really putting you on the spot!