DRUM! Staff Blogs
Styx Live At The City National Civic in San Jose, Ca 3/17/2016
Styx is an institution as well as a helluva band. The group, which started in Chicago in 1970, had its first big hit in 1973 with "Lady." But its heyday began in the late '70s as they reeled off a series of Top Ten singles, all in a style that mixed '70s progressive flourishes, hard rock, pop, and theatrical lyrics into a meld that was all their own. Superstar drummer Todd Sucherman joined the band in 1996 after the death of original drummer John Panozzo and he has been a mainstay of the group ever since. DRUM! caught the band and Todd during a recent show in San Jose, California on St. Patrick's Day. The band swept through their serious songbook of hits like Genghis Khan sweeping across Asia, taking no prisoners. The volume and energy was high, and they played some obscure tunes as well and included tributes to David Bowie and Keith Emerson, both recently passed. Stux stays on the road much of the year so you might want to catch Todd in action when he gets to your city.
Todd's office with furniture by Pearl and Sabian.
Original bassist Chuck Panozzo showed up for a few tunes with guitarist James Young.
Who says Tommy Shaw has lost his rock star moves?!
Though not exceedingly complex, Styx songs are arranged with grandeur and built from cyclical structures that include A,B,C,D, or even E parts, and sometimes multiple soloists. Todd keeps them on track and on time.
Most of the time this column writes itself. I typically stew on a topic for a couple days and, once it reaches gestation, sit down and spill words onto the keyboard. Then there are other times, like yesterday, when it feels like I’m trying to arm-wrestle a grizzly bear just to plunk a period at the end of a sentence. See, this issue marks the official start of our 25th anniversary year, an achievement that makes the entire DRUM! team proud. Of course, it’s our right and obligation to trumpet such a milestone from the rooftops, but everything I tried to write on the subject yesterday just seemed so sanctimonious and self-serving I wound up playing “Wipe Out” on the delete button over and over. So I put it aside. Now I’m back. Allow me to say we’re honored to have served the drumming community for a quarter century, and amazed that we were 25 years younger when we dreamed up the crazy idea of publishing a drumming magazine. It’s been a great ride, punctuated by all sorts of accomplishments (and almost as many snafus). And while I’m glad to take some credit for helping usher this publication over the decades, at this very moment I only feel grateful for all the talented people — freelancers and staffers alike — who contributed to our longevity. Most of all, I need to give a shout out to my business partners, Phil and Connie Hood, who made sure the company was secure throughout the years. And while our early ad sales team of Leigh Taylor Hartley and Darryl Ecke helped lift DRUM! off the launching pad, the ad sales director who succeeded them, Eric Frank, has become the face of DRUM! Magazine among drum and percussion companies, and truly kept the boat afloat. I feel fortunate to have worked with such immensely talented graphic designers, who each left a mark on these pages, including our current art director Rich Leeds, who I’ve known for almost 30 years, starting when we were both mere tykes working at GPI Publications. We were equally lucky to enlist the artists who preceded him, including Cristina Strombotne, Mauricio Rams, Lalaine Gagni, Leslie Hampton, Rick Eberly, Clarence Yung, and our founding art director Kristine Ekstrand. I’m no less humbled to have the opportunity to work alongside some of the best staff writers and editors in the business, including Andrew Lentz, Dave Constantin, Sabrina Crawford, Scott Locklear, Don Zulaica, Elisa Welch, Andy Ziker, Billy Ramirez, and Jared Cobb. They all made sure DRUM! was a superior literary experience for our readers, and for me. Toss a long line of past and current freelance writers, photographers, illustrators, office staff, and interns into the mix and you’re looking at a veritable football field full of loyal and dedicated individuals who contributed greatly to our legacy. Of course, despite the best efforts of all these creative types, we never would have been able to continue publishing for the past 25 years without the support of our readers. Keep in mind that DRUM! never was subsidized by a larger publishing company, nor underwritten by a family inheritance. We’ve paid salaries and benefits, print bills and rent with the money we earned, one issue at a time. I’m proud of that. We couldn’t have done it without you. It’s just that simple. Thanks for your continued support.
Cherisse Osei And The NY HLAG Fest
The NYU Day of Percussion was produced in conjunction with KoSA on February 13, 2016. This year's theme of Hit Like A Girl was a celebration of female drumming featuring Terri Lyne Carrington, Cherisse Osei, and 2015 Hit Like A Girl winner Lindsay Artkop, among others. Hat's off to NYU for a great event.
Cherisse, who plays in Brian Ferry's band in the UK, knocked the crowd out with her hard hitting and enthusiasm.
Cherisse with Lindsay (left) and Terri Lyne (right).
Kim Thompson And The Hit Like A Girl Fest
The Hit Like A Girl Festival held February 6, 2015 featured Kim Thompson, Emmanuelle Caplette, demos from various companies, a panel featuring Samantha Maloney, Kiran Gandhi, Val Sepulveda, and Alicia Warrington, and even a performance by the great Gina Schock of the Go-Gos, playing with a young band from the School of Rock. Kim's clinic was notable for the way she wove the history of jazz into her playing and shared musical concepts that all ages could understand, all while blazing away on the kit.
Photos by Phil Hood and K Angonio.
Kim Thompson's performance was powerful, both in terms of her playing and the ideas she imparted..
Beauties and the beast. DRUM! Publisher Phil Hood with (l to 4) Mona Tavakoli, Kim Thompson, and Emmanuelle Caplette
Gina Schock with the School of Rock band.
The panel on women in the music business.
Hit Like A Girl Contest co-founder David Levine.
Former Hole and Motley Crue drummer Samantha Maloney is now Vice-President of A&R for Warner Brothers Records. She shared her insights from multiple positions with in the music business.
Emmanuelle Caplette At The LA HLAG Fest
Emmanuelle Caplette was one of the headliners at the Hit Like A Girl Festival in Los Angeles on February 6, 2016. Performing at Swing House Studios the Quebec-based drummer wowed audiences with the cleanliness of her singles and awesome technique in a solo clinic and a duet with Kim Thompson.
Photos by Phil Hood and K Angonio.
Work hard, play great, and one day Evans will make a logo head for you, too.