caught-in-the-act

Caught In The Act: Kenny Aronoff

Kenny Aronoff is perhaps the world's busiest drummer. It all started when he played with John Cougar Mellencamp more than three decades ago and his snare drums sounded so big and crisp and loud that it was like the background noise of the universe, caused by the echo of the big bang, temporarily disappeared. That's when his phone started ringing. Three decades on he is the first call if you need to honor musical royalty at the Kennedy Center, or support the Beatles on their 50th anniversary, or just need the world's fastest study to fill in for a night on a major tour. But his day job is cutting tracks at home for producers and artists all over the world. On this day he was in his Uncommon Studios recording tracks for an artist named Beverly. In the days before he recorded four Bodeans tracks. Tomorrow it will be someone else who needs perfection in a hurry.

Thanks to Robert Downs for the shot.

kenny aronoff

Iron Reagan & Exhumed At The Oakland Metro

Michael Hamilton looked relaxed during Exhumed’s crushing set – part of this blaster’s lethal charm. Note the 45-degree rack toms and total absence of floor tom. Doesn’t get any more extreme than that.

Michael Hamilton

Iron Reagan was all Cold War nostalgia as they ripped through their 40-minute set of thrash gems averaging less than too minutes long. That didn’t stop Ryan Parrish (ex-Darkest Hour) from beating his kit senseless.

Ryan Parrish

A Visit To Kaman Music

During a recent visit to southern California we had a chance to stop in Ontario and visit Kaman's west coast digs.The area around Chino and Ontario is a tribute to logistics; mile after mile is given over to warehouses and shipping offices for goods coming in and out of the Los Angeles area. Here Fender, and its Kaman Music subsidiary, responsible for such brands as Gretsch, Gibraltar, LP, and Toca, has a huge warehouse, nearly 3/4 mile long. In addition, Kaman develops its new Kat electronic drumming products here. So naturally, when I had the chance, I wanted to stop by and see it in person ”Kaman

Mark Moralez, the Kat Percussion Product Manager, in his office. Mark is surrounded by drums and guitars all day.

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On the walls, classic drumming albums.

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The Fender half of the building stretches for thousands of feet. But the Kaman side, housing products from Gretsch, LP, Toca, Kat and other brands, is pretty good sized, too.

”Kaman

When not driving forklifts and loading trucks, the warehouse crew is working on ping-pong technique. Mark says they take it seriously.

”Kaman

In the dealer showroom Brent Barnett, who handles artist relations for Gretsch and Gibraltar, was setting up an endorser's kit for photos.

”Kaman

Getting the tom mounted just right proved a challenge. The room is used for demos, concerts for dealers who visit the facility, and photography.

”Kaman

The brain crew: Mark Moralez and Brent Barnett of KMC with Dennis Peters of Heavy Bag Media.

”Kaman

The Toca side of the demo room. Products are displayed by brand in a store-like setting.

Kenny Aronoff At The Baked Potato

Kenny Aronoff and friends Brent Woods (guitar) and James Lomenzo (bass) played the Baked Potato in Los Angeles on November 18, 2013.

Photography by Robert Downs

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The People of Pasic 2013

The Percussive Arts Society International Convention (PASIC) returned to Indianapolis November 13-16 for four days of drums, from marching contests and classical concerts to exhibits and drum set clinics by Chad Smith, Rich Redmond, Walfred Reyes, and others. More than 5100 made the trek to Indy for the show. If you’ve never been to PASIC before, it’s drum heaven. Maybe you need to make plans now for the 2014 show November 19-22.

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The Gen 16 display drew steady traffic at Zildjian.

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Even better, Zildjian showed off a set of prototypes with real old-world sound.

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Peter Erskine (pictured) Ndugu Chancler, Dave Weckl, and other artists sat in at the Vic Firth 50th anniversary private party.

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Bulent Akbay of Istanbul Mehmet mugs for the camera with a poster of the DRUM! Mehmet Giveaway featuring an intense Robbie Ameen. Robbie also performed at PASIC.

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What would be extra cool under the Christmas tree? Yamaha DXR powered speakers with a DXS subwoofer.

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Most popular at the Yamaha booth? The Live Custom Oak kit. It sounded like it has already been EQ’ed.

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Brothers in arms, and good drummers, too. Steve Fisher, product manager, and Bob Terry, artist relations manager of Yamaha DTX drums.

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My fifteen seconds of fame. DRUM! Publisher Phil Hood with the legend, Vic Firth.