Los Angeles - When you think of double-bass/double-pedal drummers, names like Terry Bozzio, Vinnie Colaiuta, Ginger Baker, Mike Portnoy, Neil Peart, and Chris Adler obviously spring to mind. Yet one drummer has taken the science of double-bass/double-pedal drumming to a new level of intensity with his new book, “The Footiments”. For the drummer in the know, the name Rick “BooM” Steel is a respected innovator in the field of music education. BooM is a successful drummer with a unique style and sense of music. He’s an artist, musician, clinician, entertainer, and educator… His “Connecting the Years” drum clinics with legendary Metal drummer, Bill Ward(www.BillWard.com) were widely anticipated events by drummers worldwide. Now with his pioneering new book “The Footiments”, BooM’s revolutionary techniques for the double-bass and double-pedal are made available to the public for the first time!
“Here,the past was my ‘teacher’,” BooM explains. “When I first moved to Los Angeles, I began studying with drumming icon Roy Burns(www.AquarianDrumHeads.com). Roy whipped my hand chops into an intense blur. I’ll never forget the day: As he walked into the studio, he throws down a copy of “The 26 Rudiments” .I thought, ‘Are you kidding me?’ He said, ‘Now that you have all this technique, it’s time to apply it!’. This is EXACTLY what I’ve done with ‘The Footiments’. In my opinion, once you learn the basics, you can get intense Double-Pedal chops. Once achieved, you will need to ‘apply’ them; thus, you will be sharpening your ‘chops’ as you apply 26 Footiments. Once internalized, the different beats, using these Footiments, are creative and intense. Taking 26 Rudiments, putting them on the pedals, and making beats from each has been challenging!”
BooM’s master plan began with his own training as a drummer. He studied with greats like Roy Burns, Casey Scheuerell, John Xepoleas, and African Talking Drum Master Francis Awe . “These guys all know the intricacies of rhythm and music”, explains BooM. Combined with music courses in college, this background and training has allowed BooM to build his reputation as a very creative and unique-styled drummer. Highwire Daze magazine called BooM, “One of the best Drummers in Los Angeles”. Since he was sixteen, BooM has been teaching other drummers, passing on his craft and style. “Not only is teaching a fun way to make a living”, he explains, “but it’s great practice. Having to show someone else how to play in a way they can understand forces me to really understand what I’m teaching”. It’s not so surprising that BooM finds the understanding of music so important. He applies music theory in his lessons. In Los Angeles, BooM is known as “a teacher of teachers”.
BooM is well known for his own Drum clinics. He created, hosted, and produced his own cable Drum show: ‘Drumst6’ (later re-named DrumTV). “It’s been a real sense of satisfaction and excitement for me to do the show”, says BooM. “My guests have been great! Being able to sit down and discuss things drummer to drummer is fun”. Producing over 80 shows, DrumTV has become so successful that over the years, similar formats have appeared around the country produced by people who admit to being turned onto the idea after seeing BooM’s show. With his TV experience, BooM has produced some major drumming video. DrumTV has created 4 broadcast quality videos, ‘The Buddy Rich Memorial Scholarship Concert #5 and #6’, ‘The Legendsof Drumming: The Jazz Era’, and ‘Basic Drumset Tuning featuring Roy Burns’. His success has created a buzz within the drumming community. In 1999, Liberty Films began co-producing DrumTV episodes. Liberty Films has produced the movies, ‘I Love You To Death’, ‘Foxfire’ and HBO’s ‘State of Emergency’. Recently, Liberty Films filmed the 5-minute promo for BooM’s new drum book(www.thefootiments.com).
Between teaching, clinics, appearing on behalf of the companies he endorses, and his almost full time schedule doing sessions and/or gigs with other artists, it is not surprising BooM has found time to work on his own projects. His first was ‘KVK’. The band was created to feature BooM’s ambidextrous style of playing. KVK was privileged to write and record a song for the movie, ‘Those Darn Vampires’. Even in BooM’s spare time, he is involved in drumming. He was the co-founder of ‘The West Side Drum Club’. Members included drummers Bill Ward, Survivor’s Marc Droubay, and famous Latin Drummer/Educator Chuck Silverman. They met regularly to share knowledge and experience as well as to compare equipment and technique. “The club came together because drummers are not that competitive by nature. These guys are here to help one another”, said BooM.
Bill Ward, after watching BooM apply the Footiments to a Metal version of Bach’s,‘Toccata and Fugue in D minor’,said,“Amazing sticking and bass drum work from Rick “BooM” Steel’s enlightened approach to Bach’s ‘Toccata and Fugue in D minor’. For the student who aspires towards the Metal of today with intense bass drum work and accurate sticking,this instruction book and DVD,I would suggest,is a good place to practice and study.I think it’s a must for your learning portfolio. Rock forever”. Impressed, Bill asked BooM to help him develop a clinic tour called ‘Connecting the Years’.
BooM and Bill toured California doing clinics to packed houses. After extensive soloing, each artist explained how drums, drummers, and drumming have changed through the years. After KVK, BooM began his next project, his ‘Drum Songs’ clinics, playing drumbeats with his feet and melody with his hands. BooM debuted Drum Songs at the 1998 Montreal DrumFest in front of a thousand Canadian drummers. Later, BooM joined the band MSG featuring vocalist Robin McAuley (Survivor) and bassist Bjorn Englen (Yngwie Malmsteen).