Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Volume 34 - Veronica Bellino


This next artist is someone I have been paying attention to ever since I joined the Soultone Cymbals family, about 6yrs ago. I would always see her pic or vid on the website and I started watching some of her know how we drummers like to do?! lol.
Fast fwd to last December and I was attending the Soultone 10th Anniversary, where a number of the artists played with with their projects. Veronica was one of them and I was excited, I would get to see her live. More interesting to me was she was playing with her band Halo Circus, which I am a big fan of Allison Iraheta(singer) and wanted to see what this new project was all about. Well, they were great and Veronica was very impressive. I was so glad I got to witness her and the band throw down.
When I started this project she was def one of the drummers I wanted to get to interview because I knew she had a lot going on in her drum life and is a very talented musician. We finally got connected and she's her to give us a little insight into the world of Veronica Bellino. Right Here on Talkin' Chop!

Name or Stage Name: 
Veronica Bellino.. most people call me V. 

Where are you from? 
Long Island, New York 

How long have you been playing? 
About 20 years 

What is or are your main genre of playing? 
Most of the genres I play are rock, pop and some hip hop 

How did your drumming career unfold?, are there some specific events that led you to where you are now?
Cool question... aside from practicing and perfecting your craft as much as possible, there are little things we do that have a huge impact on where we are today and what direction our life goes. The universe will take you places and give you choices. Something that you did can seem so in significant at the time, but could actually change your life or take you on a path you would have never been on if you didn't do that thing. When I was 15 I went with my friend who had a car, to Tower Records. I picked up a drum magazine and an ad fell right out of it. I picked it up, looked at the ad and it said " Looking for drummer for band, influences - Korn, Sepultura, Pantera, The Deftones" - I said to myself - woah cool, I love all those bands! I took the number down and called them when I got home. I ended up going to meet them at Lyric Studios in Long Island for an audition. Long story short, they wanted me in the band, and I played with them for a few years. Being in that band led me to meet other musicians and friends (who I still hang with today) who by hanging with them, led me to meet someone who told me Carmine Appice was looking for drummers for a new drum group called SLAMM!!. I ended up being a member of SLAMM!!, and the video audition I made for it was seen by Jeff Beck on YouTube which is how he discovered me and we ended up working together. Of course there was many other timelines and branches to this, but the short version is.. If I never went to Tower Records that day, maybe none of this would have ever happened?? 

What are your goals, short & long term? 
I have a few goals.. I would love to have a song placed as a theme song for a TV show, I have been close! Also a goal is for a major artist to record a song I had written and have it go number 1! 

You have already played for some Big names in music, are there any other artists you would like to play for? 
Sure, plenty. I would love to work with Lady Gaga. Imogen Heap is one of my favorite artists. It would be a dream to play for Sia.

Speaking of Big names, you worked with a legend in Jeff Beck. How did that come about? 
Jeff had actually come across one of my drum videos on YouTube and had his management email me. I was living in New York at the time and working in an office for my Father's company. I saw the email and thought it was a joke... so I replied with my cell number and asked if Jeff could give me a call ( to see if it was real).. and sure enough he did! He said he was very impressed by my video and wanted to work on a new album with me. Of course I accepted :) Some time later we ended up working together in the studio and playing shows. 

Veronica, Jeff Beck & Rhonda Smith

What were some of the things that you learned working with Jeff? 
One thing I learned for sure was to overcome insecurity and be more sure of myself. Obviously I am no Vinnie Coliauta LOL... nobody is Vinnie but Vinnie, so I had to just do what I do and think "You would not be here if you weren't good." It was also very cool that Jeff is so down to earth..there is sort of this stigma attached to people who are considered legendary and you expect them to be a certain way. I will admit I was pretty nervous to meet Jeff for the first time, but he was very easy going, funny and made me feel comfortable. It's always cool to work with people like that. 

You're in a band called Halo Circus and you guys have album coming out in June, i believe? 

Will you guys do a National Tour? 
Yes.. we are working on dates for a west coast run starting in August, and I believe late September we will do the rest of the dates. 30 cites total. 

Do you enjoy touring? 
I do. I lose track of time and it can be exhausting but its fun. 

Being in Halo Circus, is this a project where you can really express yourself as a drummer and musician? 
There is freedom for me to express myself as a drummer.. I have fun, I may do some flashy stuff with my sticks and move around, that's just me and the band appreciates that. I definitely add my own flare to the songs.

Halo Circus - "Do You Believe In Shame?" 

Tell us about the songwriting process, is it collaborative or is there a central writer? 
Matthew ( bass player) and Allison ( singer) mostly wrote the songs on the album. Those songs were pre-existing when I joined the band.. but some of the arrangements we modified together as a band, such as the song "Yo Me Voy" 

What kind of band is Halo Circus? What kind of musical journey are you guys taking us on? 
Halo Circus is a bilingual, alternative rock band with an electric, compelling stage presence. I think the type of journey the audience experiences at our shows and with our music is that of an Alice In Wonderland vibe.. Halo Circus represents the "beauty and the chaos".. that's what Allison sings about and the music represents that balance. 

Halo Circus @ Soultone 10th Anniversary

How did the band form? 
The band formed in 2012, after Allison (Iraheta) had her solo release from her success of being top 4 on season 8 of American Idol. She had taken a hiatus from music and had met producer, Matthew Hager, and starting writing with him. I think they both realized they were writing "different" type of songs and had to form a band. I had heard the band was looking for a drummer. I heard Allison's voice and was blown away. I didn't realize until after the fact that she was even on Idol.. I don't watch the show really, but the bits that I have seen I did remember her and she stuck out to me. I remember thinking to myself at the time something like "that girl is freakin' awesome".. who knew later on that I would be in a band with her! ( that sort of thing has happened to me a bunch actually! ) 

As Indie bands, you have to hustle to make things happen... do you find it more rewarding when the band accomplishes one of the goals you guys set? 
Yes definitely... actually this tour that we are doing is from a completely new platform. We teamed up with Road Nation to make it happen. Basically all through social media and word of mouth. No booking agencies, no labels, no mangers.. just the band and the fans. Fans actually pick the cities they want us to play and contribute to get us there! I was shocked when we had 30 cities confirmed. For an indie band to accomplish that is incredible. 

Do you play any other instruments? 
yes I sing, play piano, guitar and bass. 

Describe your current set up & gear - heads and sticks...ect? 
My current set up is a Yamaha Stage Custom Birch kit.. lately I have been playing a 5 piece - 22" kick with a KickPort, 12" rack tom, 14" and 16" floor toms with a 13" Oak Musashi snare. I use Evans heads, I like the clear EC2s on my toms and the coated G2s on my snare. Always played Vic Firth 5A American Classics. Soultone Cymbals - 14" hi hats ( sometimes 13") 17" and 18" crash, 21" ride and a 12 FXO splash. I also use the Porter and Davies throne with vibration monitor from the kick drum. 

Veronica Bellino - Soultone Artist

VIC FIRTH: Performance Spotlight feat. Veronica

Do you have multiple kits and snares? 
I have 2 other drum kits and some gear from other companies that I have accumulated over the years before but because I'm endorsed... I should probably only list the Yamaha items though haha - I have a 14" Yamaha Birch snare as well, and a 10" rack tom that I add to my kit sometimes when I want more toms. 

Which wood shells do you prefer? 
My birch kit always sounded great... lately I have been into the Oak drums that Yamaha put out. Very deep, full sound but still good attach. They sound awesome. 

Do you have a “Dream Kit”? 
Not really... I was never one for big and flashy drum kits.. I'll add different sounds and colors depending on what I am playing, however I wouldn't mind having crazy looking chrome hardware like octopus tentacles swirling around the kit!

How do you describe your drumming style? 
This is a tough question for me! I try to play whatever the music calls for, but if I was just going to jam and do my own style, I probably mix funk with rock.. so lets call it Runk :) 

Why the drums? 
I actually started off on the guitar. I had a few friends that played the drums and when I went to their house I would sit at their kit and mess around. I could play beats right away, it just felt cool and natural. Just one of those things, you don't really know why, it just is. 

If you weren’t playing drums, what would you be doing? 
If you are asking what my alternative career would be if I wasn't a musician - not an easy answer, but there are things that could possibly satisfy that question. Actress, Chef, astrophysicist, fitness instructor, video editor possibly. 

How has drumming impacted or changed your life? 
I started so young.. when I first started knowing who I was and what I wanted, I realized I wanted to be a drummer and be on stage. That was pretty much it for me. I never stopped. It was always something that gave me hope, especially when people could see that I had talent and it wasn't just a phase or something dumb to do. There was always something to look forward to.. a show or writing new songs with my band, or recording songs on my own. I think it kept me in place.. I never did hard drugs or felt like I needed a crutch if there was something negative going on, because I guess music was that crutch and that therapy. It is such a huge part of my life now and I'm always looking to grow and improve.

Are you involved in the local music scene in your hometown, other than just playing in your band? 
Yes. I always try to support my friends, either going to the shows or jamming and playing with them spontaneously. There are plenty of jam nights in LA that have a huge following and are great to meet people, network or just hang and have a good time. 

Name 5 of your drumming influences? why? 
Dave Weckl - He is one of those guys I can watch play on his own all day. I love his dynamics, syncopation and finesse. 
Carter Beauford - LOVE his use of the hi hat. He won't just play the 8th notes or the 16ths, he breaks it up in a way that's just so groovy. 
David Silveria - Korn was one of my favorite bands growing up. David brought more to that band than just hard rock drums.. sometimes his drums sounded small, he used piccolo snare drums in certain songs.. for metal!! I had never heard that type of drum sound in a heavy rock band. It was so cool to me... a bunch of my drummer friends in high school would try to sound like David and tune their drums like his.. including me haha, I loved his little nuances with the cymbals and splashes as well. 
Sammy Watson - The Apex Theory was a huge influence.. the whole band had an interesting perspective on rhythm. Sometimes what what you thought was the downbeat was actually the upbeat. The guitar player would play polyrhythms over Sammy's grooves, all being super melodic at the same time. Sammy is just a beast haha.. what more can I say... he sort of has a "break beat' style, its very unique. I actually had the pleasure of meeting him at an event a few years ago.. super nice guy. Believe we had a 20 minute conversation before I even knew who I was talking to! I asked him what band he was in and when he said "oh it was called The Apex Theory"... my jaw dropped to the floor.. I felt so stupid, and he was surprised that I was a big fan of the band, I don't know why.. they were underrated I guess. 
Benny Greb - smooth as butter that guy 

Name an inspiring concert that made you want to go home and start shedding? 
I was very inspired by Blue Man Group, I loved everything about it

Would you say, sometimes we forget about these types of musical experiences because they're not the "mainstream"?
I can't speak for others, but I definitely don't rule anything out. Sometimes I get inspiration when I am driving. Everybody is different and get inspired by different means.. but I appreciate every kind of music or performance art. Just because something is not considered "mainstream" doesn't mean anything, really. 

How much time do you practice? 
It varies.. if I go practice at my drum studio I'm usually behind the kit for a few hours.. maybe 2- 3 hours at a time a few times a week, plus I keep a practice pad and foot pedal in my living room in case I get bored I'll start noodling with rudiments.

What types of things do you work on, in those sessions? 
If there is new music I have to learn for a gig then I will practice the material over and over. If I am just practicing on my own, I will play along with new music or songs that I like, practice different pocket grooves, and linear patterns between hands and foot. All different things. 

What other projects do you have going on? 
I have been working with Darryl McDaniels ( DMC of RunDMC) for a few years on his solo rock project. I play drums and sing. We also play all the RunDMC hits as a full on rock band! I have had a few cool new gigs this year such as playing a cruise with Orianthi. She's is freakin' awesome.. I hope to play more with her in the future. I am also playing in and producing a visual performance drum/cirque group. It includes 2 drummers, a fire breather, LED technology, and an aerialist. We will be launching the social media and a launch party in LA this summer. Also I am always working on songwriting projects, either for TV/Film or for artists. 

Darryl McDaniels (DMC) & Veronica

"Give Into Me" with Orianthi on the Rock Legends Cruise 4

Do you record drum videos of yourself? if so, how has it helped you? 
Sometimes. If there is a groove I want to remember then I will video myself playing it, or if I am preparing for a gig I may record myself playing the material to get a new perspective. 

I heard you sing on the track "My Tiled White Floor" which is on Jeff Beck's Live album (2015) 
Great Voice btw! Do you plan on doing some more projects showcasing your vocals skills? 
Thank you for the compliment! I have written and sang songs for DMC's solo rock band. I play drums and sing the hooks in the songs we write. I sing them live at the shows as well, hopfully at some point there will be a release with the songs. My voice will be showcased on those for sure. I do have a song currently on itunes called "Under Water" that I released in 2011. Also I have a soundcloud page with a few songs that I wrote and produced. That link is

"My Tiled White Floor" (studio) by Jeff Beck

Do you prefer studio sessions, local live gigs or touring? 
I like them all! I do enjoy traveling to different places so touring might be number 1. 

Do you prefer being in a band (artist) or being a hired gun? 
Depends on the situation.. I only join bands if I really love the music and the people. Hired gigs are great if the budget is good and can be a lot of fun. I also enjoy playing with different artists and different styles so its cool to vibe with people you haven't played with before. 

Do you have a crazy or interesting gig you can share with us? 
One that definitely comes to mind is an EDM/Drumming group called Rhythm Monks that I did a few years ago. The audition was the most physically demanding experience I've ever had. It was a very high-energy show with 3 drummers
(it started with 2 drummers and a DJ). Anyway, the first day of auditions was the drumming day.. then the next day was the choreography day. So when I went through the choreography day.. who knew we would basically be mixing P90X with drumming! They actually told us during the audition that if we needed to take a break to throw up we can do so, then to make sure we come back to the audition room! We ran one of the songs over and over as they watch all of use thoroughly, there was about 10 of us all in the room performing the routine. We ran the routine as a group of 10, then they broke us up into groups on 2, and ran the routine again. I am in pretty good shape and am used to performance type drumming, which throws basic playing technique out the window because you have to use your arms more dramatically and raise them high in the air so people can see from a distance.. we call it "big arms." So, I am used to this type of playing, but let me tell you, I was sweating hard... there were a few bigger dudes at the audition that you could tell were having a bit of a hard time. So long story short, I made the group.. not only was the routine strenuous as hell, but on top of that, for the show we had to wear heavy masks! The front of the masks have LED technology and light up with different patterns... so they were about 5 pounds in the front, then we had to have a counter weight behind our heads that was a few more pounds so the mask wouldn't fall forward from its own weight. The show was about 45 minutes long.. and the first show I did there were problems with the power, so the show actually stopped during almost the end of the set. We were told that if there was any issues to just stand in a certain pose and wait for the sound to start again.. well when that happened it felt like an eternity. It was almost worse to stand there and do nothing in a costume and heavy ass mask rather than be mobile and playing the show.. at least your mind is focused on the show, and not how shitty you feel. Yeah so that ended up happening twice in the set, and the first time when it came back on, it brought us back to the beginning of the last track the we played! So we ended up being on stage for over an hour. I was so close to throwing in the towel and getting out of there, but didn't want to look like a wimp, especially on the first gig. I stuck it out and finally the show was over. I contemplated quitting the group after that, but the good thing is, after that, the production crew ended up reconstructing the masks so they were way more comfortable, and the show was diminished to 2 15 minute sets. Way better for the performers! The show was actually super fun when that happened haha!

What are your words of wisdom for your fellow drummers out there? 
Stay true to yourself and be real. Be professional and respectful, be on time, practice hard, don't be a diva. You will get more work and recommendations if you are a likable person as well as a great player. 

Any Last Words, Links, Hashtags and Thank You’s??? 
Thanks for reading! Anyone who would like to follow me on social media! -- 

FB: /


Big Thx to Veronica for doing this interview!
For a busy person like her to take the time and share with all us, it is very appreciated.
This is a very accomplished musician and a very inspiring one as well. As you can see, if you want a result of success, you must put in the hard work to go along with the talent.
You can tell that V has a tenacity when it comes to her career but she also knows how to embrace the moments and have some fun. Much respect to her and the musicians like her, who don't just sit around waiting for opportunities...they create them.

Now, I need you guys to hook up with Veronica on her soc. med. pages as well as Halo Circus. Pre-order their new album and go see them on tour this Summer!
This is another band that is making some noise and is going to do some things, don't be left out!

Are you in a band? Are you a drum educator? Maybe a studio session player? or you do the "weekend warrior" thing?
Whatever your drumming situation...Talkin' Chop wants to interview you.
Contact: DeHaven


**On May 21st, 2016 we lost another great musician. 
Nick Menza - A drummer best known for his work with Megadeth. He also had a very kool project called OHM.
I had the pleasure of meeting Nick a couple of times via our relationship with Soultone Cymbals. I also got a chance to see & hear him play with Megadeth and OHM. All I can say is he was a really kool guy and very gracious with his time. He will be missed but his mark has been left and we are all appreciative of his work and influence. Prayers for his family at this time.
Rest Well my brother.

Nick @ Soultone 10th Anniversary with his band OHM.

I asked Veronica if she would like to say a few words about Nick and she offered this sentiment...
I would just like to say that the music industry has suffered great losses this year. Yet another has been taken just recently, Nick Menza. I did not know Nick well, but we had met a few times at shows and events. He was a super cool guy, my cousin actually used to work with Megadeth so he knew Nick pretty well. The Soultone Cymbals community is tight knit, so it definitely hits home. My condolences go out to his family and I know that his drumming resonated and influenced many people. Rest in peace, Nick Menza.

Thank you guys for reading and supporting this project!

#DrummersSupportDrummers  #TalkinChop  #DrumLife


Monday, May 23, 2016

Volume 33 - Drum DJ Chow?


So, I'm bringing something a little different to the table today.

Taking a trip to Singapore to find this artist who is putting a new spin on spinning. He studied at Musicians Institute in L.A. and took his talent back to the Garden City. We all like to get our dance on and Chow wants to keep the party moving with his unique brand of dance music and drumming. He puts on a show with with lights in his drums and stage production, so there is a visual component as well as the music.
I have only known a few guys who do this type of gig but they all do it differently and Chow is one of them. He took some time out of his day to discuss his work and his drum life, right here on Talkin' Chop


Name or Stage Name:
Drum DJ Chow? Or Chow

Where are you from?

How long have you been playing?
14 years 

What is or are your main genre of playing?
I try to play everything but my main focus or what I enjoy playing (at least to me) is Pop, Rock and some of the Singer-Songwriter stuff. I did spend quite a bit of time learning to play Fusion/Jazz and Church music in my earlier years of drumming. 

How did you get where you are now?
Long story short, I guess lots of hard work and meeting the right people. I’m really fortunate to work with some of the best talents both in Singapore and Internationally. I also think you need to be humble and real/genuine in building relationships with the people working in the industry. I can’t stress that enough. Having great character and attitude is a huge plus in the music business.

List some of your accomplishments:
Recipient of Musicians Institute Full Ride Scholarship and Outstanding Student Award (Drum Program) from M.I. 

Getting signed at the age of 19 with Yamaha Drums (Singapore) and Zildjian Company (International) just last year in 2015. 

I was also featured on local newspaper and Drum Talk TV

You are a Drum DJ. Tell us what that means exactly…
Its basically me spinning some music and playing my custom designed LED drums standing up at the same time!

How did you come up with this idea?
I was studying (sitting in the library when this idea hit me, no joke!) at Musicians Institute in Hollywood, CA at that time. I thought, why not try and fuse drums and music in one show - almost like a one man band. Of course, the custom design of LED lights idea came in to give an extra edge to the show. The core of it though, is the drumming and music. That’s the most important thing.

Drums are obviously a huge part of dance music but you don't always see acoustic drums in this type setting. Did you use electronic drums in the past?
I have always owned an electronic drum kit (Yamaha DTX900K to be exact) as majority of us Singaporeans live in apartments here. I use it more for teaching and doing basic sessions (drum covers and short videos) in my little home studio. But I have always liked playing acoustic drums so that has never changed.

You have really worked up your production value with acrylic drums and using lights in your drums. Do find that made a big difference in the overall show? 
Yes. I always feel that we should put up a show and give 110% to the audience. Ray Luzier (drummer of Korn) always says “Give the audience a show.” - that quote has stayed with me till this very day.

Bubble Glow 5K Run Highlights

Being a solo performer, is it more stressful to deal with all the business and music issues?
I feel like its easier but then again there are so many things to do. Paperwork, replying emails, setting up gigs and etc. I guess hiring a manager would be ideal in the future.

Do you play any other instruments?
Trumpet (was part of the symphonic band in my high school) and a little bit of keys. 

Have you been touring?
Not yet! I want to get this project out there though.

What's the overall music scene like in Singapore? It's actually not too bad as compared to 10 years ago. The scene is definitely growing and better music is being made here in recent years.

What kind of music are the people in to?

Mainstream Music (Pop/Rock, EDM & The Top 40)

Do people make request for songs when you're doing your thing or do they just dance and enjoy the show?
They just enjoy the show and dance.

Describe your current set up & gear - heads and sticks…ect?
Im using a 5 piece acrylic drum kit (with custom LED lights) that I bought off the shelf from a local drum store ( here in Singapore. I use all Zildjian cymbals, Vater Drumsticks, 64 Audio in-ear-monitors and Newfolder Cases.

Do you have a “Dream Kit”?
I’m constantly trying to add more stuff like adding Yamaha DTX pads to my Drum DJ set up (thinking about making it a Hybrid) but we shall see.

How do you describe your drumming style?

Why the drums?
I don’t know. I have always been drawn towards great groove, energy and rhythms. 

If you weren’t playing drums, what would you be doing?
No idea! Seriously!

Is the music business your career?
Yes. I also teach drums in the day ( at my home studio. Music is the center of it all. Can’t think of anything else I would be doing to be honest.

Are you involved in the local music scene in your hometown, other than just your project?
Yes. I do session work for various local artistes and bands when they need drummer for gigs.

Name an inspiring concert that made you want to go home and start shedding?
So many of them. I once saw Steve Gadd with his band at Catalina Jazz Club (Hollywood) and that made me go back to the school to practice for a bit. It also reminded me to always do your own thing, don’t let what other people say get in to you and do it to the best that you can be.

How much time do you practice?
I used to practice 3-4 hours per day while I was studying at M.I. It’s a little bit harder now as I have to juggle both gigging and teaching at the same time.

What types of things do you work on, in those sessions?
Rudiments, groove, time, reading, solo ideas, playing along with songs and more.

Do you record drum videos of yourself? if so, how has it helped you?
Yes. It has helped me a lot in various ways - to look at my body posture while playing (funny faces too), my mistakes and dynamics. I highly recommend drummers to record while practicing. It does wonders!

"Enjoy the Ride/Kyoto" Drum DJ Chow?

Have you done the band thing or being a hired gun for shows or studio work?
Yes. Not so much the band thing but more of a hired gun for shows and studio work.

Do you have a crazy or interesting gig you can share with us?
I once played in Church (about 8,000 people) and the bass drum beater came off in the middle of the first song. Needless to say I panicked and did my best to finish up the songs (using floor tom). It was an interesting Easter weekend..

What are your words of wisdom for your fellow drummers out there?
Productive practice. Set goals/check-list and write down what you have practiced for the day - you can then look back and see what you have accomplished in a month. Oh yes, always practice in various tempos. Tempos like 50, 100 or 140/150 aren’t the most favorable tempo to practice in.

Last Words, Links, Hashtags and Thank You’s??
Big thanks to all my sponsors Yamaha Drums, Zildjian Cymbals, 64 Audio and Newfolder Cases. You can follow me on the links provided below and I hope to see you soon! 

Instagram/Twitter: @isthatchow



That was pretty kool! Thx Drum DJ Chow!!
There are various ways to play drums and create a different platform. This is music and there is no wrong way to express yourself. Find your thing, work on your craft, have a vision and go for it!
My thx to Chow for sharing his drumming and dj'ing life with us.
I think he's gonna be a successful kat out there in the dance music world but it's also nice to know that he throw down in the studio as well...and he's teaching the next generations.
As always Big Props to all the music teachers!!! 

Are you a drummer with a unique approach or maybe you rock it traditional? It doesn't matter, Talkin' Chop wants to interview and promote you and your drum life.

Contact: DeHaven

#DrummersSupportDrummers  #TalkinChop  #DrumLife


Monday, May 16, 2016

Volume 32 - Brad Campbell

Brad Campbell

Work ethic, passion and talent are some of the essential tools needed to make it in this game and this kat has them in spades. His attention to detail is great and he has the "feel" to go with it. This is not always present in this genre of music but Brad is a different kind of guy and shows us, you can be aggressive but still be sensitive to the song and the other players in the band. His band Truth Untold are getting ready to drop their project soon and I highly suggest picking it up. There are some samples of what's to come here but I'll be honest with you, I'm ready for more! No more delay, let's see what happened when we started Talkin' Chop with Brad Campbell.

Name or Stage Name: 
Brad Campbell 

Where are you from? 
Jacksonville, AR 

How long have you been playing? 
For about 15 years now. 

What is or are your main genre of playing? 
Modern Rock/Hard Rock 

How did you get where you are now? 
I remember listening to "One" by Metallica and hearing the machine gun double bass blasts in the bridge of the song, and thinking "Ok I'm not sure what he did there, but i want to do that". I started picking up and learning any and every song I could possibly make my way through and did that for years, until I finally joined a band in junior high. From then it was just playing in bands and practicing as much as I could. Driving the neighbors and parents as crazy as possible. 

What are your goals, short & long term? 
Short term is to finish the album we are currently working on. Long term is just to get the music out for people to hear. I've always wanted to be the best drummer possible, to the point that if I play a show and I felt as if I wasn't the best drummer at the show, I'd practice non stop for weeks. 

Artists you would like to play for? 
I would love to jam with James Hetfield of Metallica. Sevendust would definitely be a dream come true. 

Your in a band called Truth Untold, what kind of band is this? 
I would say it is more modern rock. Nothing too soft, nothing too heavy. 

TRUTH UNTOLD "Silent Screams" (coming soon) 

How did you guys form? 
I was previously in a band with one of my best friend's who played bass. When that band ended I joined another band with our current singer. The 3 of us decided to form Truth Untold, and for a while it was just a drummer, bassist, and guitarist. Our singer knew a guy who played bass that was willing to make the switch to guitar and it ended up working out perfectly. 

Are you one of the songwriters in the band? 
We pretty much all are. I've always just had me and a guitarist writing songs in previous bands, but in this band everyone has brought something to the table. 

What would you say are some of your bands best qualities? 
We all bring very different styles and musical interests. This is the first band I've been in where everyone is hungry and actually gets along very well. We all just want to make music that sounds really good, and no one is really worried about being flashy or showing off skills to the point where it just kills a song. 

As Indie bands, you have to hustle to make things happen... do you perform any other roles in the band, other than drummer? 
Pretty much any and everything I need to in order to help the project move forward. I'm a big perfectionist when it comes to music. I'll put in extra time in the studio to make sure all the music comes out the best it possibly can. I'm not very artistic and can't create logos or art work, but I'll throw my ideas out to people who can make it happen. 

When do you anticipate the new album to drop? 
Definitely this year. Hopefully in the fall. 

In listening to a couple of your songs, "Pursuit" and "Time Will Tell" I noticed your feel is very song oriented, as opposed to just laying into the drums. Where does that come from for you? 
I try not to do too much , and have it end up not making very much sense. I tend to always follow the guitar for most of the song, and then do fills based around vocal melodies. I don't know that I've ever intentionally done this, it's just what I feel when I play. 

Truth Untold - Pursuit

You have even fills and great dynamics, is that just repetition in the practice room? 
Well thank you. I think everything with the drums comes down to how much time and practice you put into it. But a major factor is just how much I listen to music on a daily basis, and how I break every song down and try to take a little piece here and there and incorporate it into my style. 

Your drums are a distinct part of Truth Untold's sound. Is that your idea or was that a producer, saying "hey, give me some more tom fills..."? 
It was something I heard from the beginning. I've always been a huge fan of the low end sound of Toms and the Bass drum. I wanted to capture that element in our music as much as possible, and have that really stick out and pop. 
Having only 1 guitarist in this band leaves some space to play with other instruments a bit. I greatly wanted to fill that space with different drum components and have toms and bass stick out. 

Being that your in a relationship with Lisa, Do you think that helps the chemistry between drums and vocals? 
It surely doesn't hurt. There's still some building of the musical chemistry there, but it's allowing both of us to grow and expand.

Although there is a lot going on in the tracks, it's not cluttered. There is some great space. Is that something you guys concentrate on as a band? 
It really has been. That has been our mold from the beginning. We wanted to make good music that both musicians and non musicians could both enjoy and respect. Keep it simple, but add in some flavor and technical parts here and there as an accent. You lose musicians pretty quick if the song is too boring, but you lose non musicians even quicker if the song has too many moving parts. We wanted to find that middle ground.

Just listening to the bands sound, do you think you would ever incorporate electronics to your rig? 
We have played around with adding a keyboard. Even written some of the songs, originally, based around keys. Our hold up is, we like the number of people in the band currently, and don't really want to add another person. We could easily add keys, processing, electronics, etc on the back end and just play to a track live. But for right now with this first album, while we grow as a band, we decided if we can't pull it off or reproduce it live, then we don't want it on the album. Not to say we won't revisit that idea moving forward. 

Truth Untold - Time Will Tell

Can you list some of your accomplishments as a drummer? 
A previous band of mine won a couple battle of the bands, and were fortunate enough to be able to go to Atlanta to get one of our songs professionally recorded for free. We also hosted and headlined a show for local Police and Firefighters that were killed and injured after being hit by a car. We were able to raise a good chunk of money for the families. 

Do you play any other instruments? 
I do not. I just don't seem to have the patience for guitar or piano. Not for the lack of trying. 

What are your touring experiences, if any? 
No touring experiences. Something I would love to experience and look forwarding to doing. 

Describe your current set up & gear - heads and sticks...etc? 
Currently using ddrums, two bases with Iron Cobra pedals, 4 toms, and 6 cymbals. Evans heads and Vater Sticks. 

Do you have multiple kits and snares? 
I have a Roland Electric kit for practice purposes, but the ddrum kit is the main set up. 

Which wood shells do you prefer? 
I'd have to go with Maple. It just seems as though it has a deeper sound to it. 

Do you have a “Dream Kit”? 
Ever since i started playing I've always wanted Lars Ulrich's white drum set from the And Justice For All Tour. It was just so massive and endless. 

How do you describe your drumming style? 
Calculated is the best word I can sum it up with. I try to make everything I do make sense and have some form of meaning other than to just carry a tempo. I try to fill every bit of space there is with something, sometimes even to a fault. Overall just a full style with some sort of drum hook. A guitar and vocals can have a hook in a song that no one forgets. I try to have that same logic in on songs. I want to leave people with something they wont forget. 

Why the drums? 
It's just what stuck. I always heard a beat in my head, and was always taping and making noise. Being introduced to a double bass rhythm set it over the edge. 

If you weren’t playing drums, what would you be doing? 
That is a good question. God knows I cant sing. I would probably have spent more time learning guitar or piano. 

How has drumming impacted or changed your life? 
Its a stress reliever. By themselves drums can be the most annoying thing in the world. But when you start writing and get into a groove, there's just not much else that touches it. Its driven me to want to be the best possible. 

Is the music business your career? 
Its not. That's a tough gig to get into, and the industry seems so much difference and temporary than it ever has. 

Are you involved in the local music scene in your hometown, other than just playing in your band? 
Not near as much as I would like to be. I support, download, and get into a lot of local music, but I don't make it to shows like I would like to. 

Name 5 of your drumming influences? why? 
1. Morgan Rose - Sevendust is a huge one. His syncopation and rhythm is just out of this world. 
2. Danny Carey - Tool. His time signatures and style is so intricate. I've tried to pick a lot of his tom and double bass work up. 
3. Chris Adler - Lamb of God. Its never a dull moment with him. His cymbal work is great and fills every second of a song with some sort of fill. 
4. Matthew McDonough - Mudvayne. He never stops. Much like Adler he fills every second of a song with something. Very unique style. 
5. Dirk Verbeuren - Soilwork. Ive tried to mold my styling around the first 4 listed. This guy I cant even fathom mimicking. He has perfected his basic rudiments to a point where he hardly moves and produces some of the most technical stuff I've heard. 

Name an inspiring concert that made you want to go home and start shedding? 
Anytime Sevendust comes to town. One of the best live shows I've ever heard, and Morgan Rose always delivers. 

How much time do you practice? 
Nothing near what i use to. I try to get a solid jam in once to twice a week. I listen to music everyday of the week and take mental reps, breaking down every song on drums, every time I listen to it. There's songs I've been listening to for years that I still couldn't tell you the lyrics, or what the guitar is doing. 

What types of things do you work on, in those sessions? 
I might plug the headphones in and play to others music, or I might put on one of our songs and try to perfect the drums in any way. Anything to stay loose and keep at it. 

Are you doing any freelance work aside from Truth Untold? 
I am not. There doesn't seem to be enough hours in the days anymore. 

Do you record drum videos of yourself? if so, how has it helped you? 
I really haven't. I try to stay away from it. When I see myself from a live performance I pick it apart for weeks. Seeing what I can do better or change in any way. I'm my own worst enemy when it comes to stuff like that. 

Do you sing and play drums? 
HaHa, I do not. That's not something any one would want to hear. 

Do you prefer studio sessions, local live gigs or touring? 
Other than the loading in and out, I like live shows. The energy you get from that is hard to beat, even in a very small venue. 

Do like being in a band (artist) or being a sideman? 
I love the band aspect. Something you can call your own, and not something that you just feel like you walked into or are "just the drummer" in. 

Do you have a crazy or interesting gig you can share with us? 
Two that come to mind, nothing too over the top or crazy though. We played at a skate park once and the ramp was too short for my drums. Toms and cymbals kept falling off, people had to keep putting them back up and holding them mid song. And another time the guitarist had his amp go out mid song, so it was pretty much drums and vocals for the next 2 minutes of the song. 

What are your words of wisdom for your fellow drummers out there? 
Keep practicing and just keep at it. It's definitely not something that gets perfected over night. Its easy to lose the momentum or even just get lazy and stuck in a box. Before you know it, you are starting all over again. Every band can find a drummer, very few can find a good drummer that fits and adds a little something extra. 

Last Words, Links, Hashtags and Thank You’s??? Truth Untold-Pursuit Just thank you to Talking' Chop for this opportunity and thanks to anyone who reads this or supports the music.


Is this kat for real with those fills?!
I really dig this band and can't wait for the album.
I want to give a big thank you to Brad for sharing his drum life with us and introducing us to his band Truth Untold.
Please make sure you join up with him and them on their soc. med. sites
Support their music and their journey.

Are there any drummers out there who need some promo for themselves and/or their band?!
Hit me up and let's get this thing going!


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