Sunday, November 27, 2016

Volume 55 - Justin Mason

Justin Mason


Hello my drum brothers and sisters,
This latest edition of TC is taking us to the south and we're gonna rock out for a bit, kool? 
I met this kat on FB and I saw that he is a pretty busy young man. Playing in multiple bands and he is a family man. He's doing his hustle. So, I'm glad I get to expose a small portion of his Drum Life. Like a lot of us, Justin is working on a new recording projects with his bands, soon to be released. We were also able to touch on a subject that we don't really get into as musicians, it seems taboo to speak on publicly. So, let's see what Justin is Talkin' Chop about!

Name or Stage Name: 

Justin Mason

Where are you from? 
Originally Somerville, AL; currently Moulton AL

How long have you been playing? 
Almost 14 years

What is or are your main genre of playing? 
Rock, all types

How did you get where you are now? 
Well not to sound cliché, but hard work and dedication ha ha.

What are your goals, short & long term? 
Short term to get both of my bands EPs out nationally, long term, to have people around the world hear our music, both through CD and Live.

List some of your accomplishments: 
I have been a successful session drummer, a drum line teacher and mentor (probably what I am proudest of musically)

Did you grow up playing in marching band?
I did not. I actually took vocational class in school instead. I just happened across becoming a mentor.

Mentoring can be fun but it has a responsibility, How do you make sure you give them the tools they need yet, keeping them inspired?
Really it's about connecting with them personally, and appealing to their interests, while not selling them short of things they need to know, regardless of how 'boring' it seems to them.

So, you're in a couple of bands, correct? Never mind The Damage and Burning Bridges? 
Yes, Machine Gun Villains is becoming Burning Bridges at the moment

How do you work the two band thing? 
It is tough sometimes, but I've honestly been doing the two (sometimes it was 3) band thing a while now, so I juggle it well, I feel.

Are the styles of the bands different? 
Yes, NMTD is more on the metal end, Rage Against the Machine meets Breaking Benjamin, where Burning Bridges is more modern rock, with a heavier side at times, like a Hinder, Thousand Foot Krutch or Pop Evil style

As Indie bands, you have to hustle to make things happen... do you perform any other roles in the bands, other than drummer? 
I do. I book quite a few of our shows, and in Burning Bridges, I am the 'practice coordinator' so to speak ha. I also write a majority of the lyrics for BB.

Playing harder edge, music genres: How did you get into those styles? 
Well when I really started getting into playing drums, I was introduced to the band UnderOath, and that heavier style of music they played, really appealed to me. That's one reason, I guess, Aaron Gillespie is one of my main influences drum wise.

How is the music scene in your hometown? 
It is mostly metal to be honest. Sometimes it feels like if you aren't metal, or close to it, you may not succeed.

Never Mind The Damage - Preview of EP

What is the "one" thing you would change about the music culture in your city? 
I'd love to see rock start making more of a comeback. We have some friends in a band called 53 Judges who are an AMAZING rock band, raw and powerful, and I'd love to see more bands like them come out of the wood works.

Are you involved in the local music scene in your hometown, other than just playing in your band? 
Not really. I'd love to be more involved behind the scenes, but playing with two bands, and filling in with others from time to time, its hard to be.

Describe your current set up & gear - heads and sticks...ect:

I'm using a 6 piece PDP Concept series kit, birch. Sabian cymbals. I use Evans G2 clears on the toms when recording and EC2 Frosted live. Heavyweight snare head and EMAD 2 bass head. Coopergroove sticks and Sweet Spots Dampeners. I am an endorser for both of those products.

Is there one piece of gear you absolutely have to have? 
I guess a true 'go-to' is a good double bass pedal. The bass pedal itself I feel could always be a make or break component, it's so vital to the time keeping part of playing.

Do you have a “Dream Kit”? 
Not really. I do have a kit I would love to have to use for Burning Bridges though, a Bonham style kit with all concert style toms.

Why the drums? 
I always loved to beat on things ha ha. Before I got a drum set, my sister, cousin and I would perform Elvis songs on a hearth (which was our stage) at my Mamaw's house, and I would use whatever I could find to play drums on. There are still VHS tapes of our 'performances' some where, I'm sure ha.

If you weren’t playing drums, what would you be doing? 
Oh man, I don't know. Probably would be in an insane asylum haha. Drumming is a release for me creatively.

How has drumming impacted or changed your life? 
It's given me a reason to do something. And when teaching, it's helped me impact and change other's lives, which in turn, changes mine. It makes me happy to see a difference made by something I've done musically.

Are you playing music full-time?
Not currently, but hopefully, I will be again, soon.

Name 5 of your drumming influences? why? 
Aaron Gillespie, just the raw power and passion he has behind the drums. John Bonham, just the fluidity and poise with which he seemed to play. Jimmy Sullivan, the passion he had for every process of the music, not just the drums. Jim Riley, he's such a great teacher as well as performer. And as much as some people 'hate' him, Mike Portnoy, just the way he juggles 800 bands a year, and the different things he does from prog to metal to rock.

Ok, an interesting subject you brought up. Why do you think drummers don't like certain drummers? There seems to be a handful of guys or ladies, who people just don't like. your thoughts....
There are numerous reasons I'm sure. A lot of it I think is jealousy. The 'They hate me cause they ain't me' idea. We are so connected in today's age, we can voice our opinions with no true repercussions, regardless of the subject. So people will bash whomever they see fit for whatever reason. I also think some of it may stem from musical preference as well.

Name an inspiring concert that made you want to go home and
start shedding?
I saw the Newsboys at WinterJam one year after Michael Tate had just joined, and that was an amazing concert. Duncan Phillips jumped on a cocktail kit right in front of me in the middle of the concert and handed me his sticks afterwards, it was pretty cool.

How much time do you practice? 
Depends on the week ha ha. I'd like to say on average, whether its behind the kit or on a practice pad, an hour a day. Sometimes that 'hour a day' is truly 3 hours at once with a band but hey, whatever works, right?

What types of things do you work on, in those sessions? 
I am a self taught drummer, so when I was learning drums, I never actually was introduced to rudiments and the technical stuff of drumming, so I like to focus on rudiments and stuff when I get the time too. And playing to a click.

Do you record drum videos of yourself? if so, how has it helped you? 
Not really. I'm the 'don't like to hear my own voice' type. So I don't like watching myself on video ha ha. Though my goals for 2017 are to get back into doing cover videos and doing some play throughs, so I may have to change my mentality ha ha.

Do you have a preference between studio and live? 
Live, for sure. You get an immediate reaction to your music live.

Never Mind The Damage - One Step Closer (clip)

Do you have a crazy or interesting gig you can share with us? When I was with an old band, Sands of Life, we were playing a show, and in the middle of the set, I took a drink of water, and it went down the wrong pipe. So throughout the song, I'm coughing, and coughing, and coughing. I eventually coughed up the water all over my lap and drum kit. And the best part, no one knew about it til after the set when I was cleaning it all up. I can honestly say, grossest thing ever.

What are your words of wisdom for your fellow drummers out there? 
Practice, practice, practice. And always encourage each other. The drum community is a family, we aren't in competition with each other. Be supportive.

Last Words, Links, Hashtags and Thank You’s? is my artist page if you want to follow/connect with me. Thank you to Carlo Cooper with Coopergroove Drumsticks for the continued and amazing support. Thanks also to Scott Watts with Sweet Spots Dampeners.

Never Mind the Damage & Machine Gun Villains 

I want to thank Justin for sharing his drum life with us all.
Thx Kat!!
I see a lot of the same things in him, as I see in myself when I was coming up in the neighborhood. playing in different projects at the same time and pushing to make music happen.
Respect to all of us on the grind.

You guys make sure you stop by Justin's page and say 'hello' and offer your words of encouragement and support. And look for his bands new ep!


Would you like to be featured on Talkin' Chop?
Here's what you need to do..
1. Be a drummer, yeah that's pretty much it
Hit me up and let's make it happen

DeHaven -

#DrummersSupportDrummers  #TalkinChop  #DrumLife


DeHaven is sponsored by:

DRUMMER apparel & accessories

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Volume 54 - Kevyn Kelley


Hello my brothers and sisters. It's that time again, when we delve into the world of one of our own. From NY to OH to NV, this kat has crossed a nation and has a world of knowledge and experience.
Not just a drummer but a Songwriter and Producer as well. Bringing a full load of talent and creativity to his various projects.
Currently playing in a high energy power trio and producing hot tracks for some kool artists out of his studio in Las Vegas. Kevyn is bringing some serious grooves to the table and is definitely one to be reckoned with. With deep roots in the Ohio Funk scene, he is bringing his own brand of O.B.B. and we all can be glad about it.
So enough of the pleasantries, let's get dirty and funky. This is def something that doesn't need to stay in Vegas! We're Talkin' Chop with Kevyn Kelley!!


Name or Stage Name: 


Where are you from? 

I was born in Albany, NY but was raised in Toledo, OH.

How long have you been playing? 
33 years give or take.

Do you have a main genre of playing? 
No I like to much stuff it's crazy.

How did you get where you are now? 
Playing a lot of music over the years with different people made me come to the realization that I had to make a change and be me by playing original music only, so that road is now being traveled and I love it!

What are some of the goals you would like to achieve in the Music industry ? 
To produce, play and perform on as much stuff as I can. We are only here for a short of time so I would like to leave something behind worthwhile.

Artists you would like to play for? 
Already playing with them.

List some of your accomplishments: 
Some of my great accomplishments starting in the early 90's when playing with a local alternative band called Liberty Zoo we won battle of the bands and 91. From there I joined Cassiusslade with producer Sugapop that was a funky bunch of cats man. Then I did some showroom gig here in Las Vegas that was cool. So finally after playing so many gigs with bands in Las Vegas, I made the decision to concentrate back on writing performing and doing original music.

You are currently playing with the band Acid & Pearls, how did that come about? 
Well I met Jeau James the lead vocalist and guitar player some years ago at a gig in the Venetian Hotel. He liked the way I played drums and I digging his vibe. So some months later our bass player in that band had split and we needed someone to come in and play he did and eventually landed the gig. So, as we bonded as brothers on that gig, he disclosed to me that he was a guitar player and that he had these great original songs so, I was very interested in hearing what he had to offer. Being into recording in my own personal studio, doing what I do I always look for the opportunity to record people and mess with sound. I am a freak about that type of thing. So finally it came to the point where we both were no longer playing in bands on the strip anymore and we looked at each other and said Well, looks like it is time for us to move forward and do this or hang it up. So we got Scott Griffin on bass from the band L.A Guns and that was it.

Kevyn, Jeau and Scotty

Are you guys doing any touring or concentrating on local shows? 
We just got done wrapping up a five song EP for people to vibe on. We also are ready to get back into the studio and record another 10 songs at my place Funklab 2. We have talked about playing out live and doing shows for people just don't know when at this time.

Acid & Pearls jamz Rotunda

After listening to some of the bands tracks on Reverb Nation, I was really impressed with the overall vibe of the band and great energy in the songs. Was the focus of those sessions geared toward really capturing the live vibe? 
Yes, we were all in my room that I turned into my recording studio and we all play together the songs in real time. It was a real pleasure playing that way with these guys they are great musicians. One thing you should know is that two out of the five songs were actually played in real time without us playing to a click or on the grid in recording. I highly recommend that more bands start to do this, play using you're bands own internal clock. Music is not to be sterile but to be alive the push and pull feel is just a part of the musical experience so on tunes Rotunda and Rock Hard And Roll we rocked it to no grid.
*Listen to & Pick up their EP "You Need To Be With Me" here

Being in a trio myself, I love the space in the music and the magnitude of the dynamics. Do you enjoy being in that situation? 
Yes it is quite a experience.

How would you describe the live music scene, for original bands, in Vegas? 
It starting to make a comeback somewhat a lot of musicians who live here in Vegas play on the strip to make money so that they can live. So a lot of the original stuff are from a younger set doing they're thing. Vegas is a hard place to break out of when doing your own thing because this is a place where everything is a emulation you know. So it's hard to have people come out and support what you do when there is so many things to do in a city like this.

Tell us about one of your other projects, Galactic Kannibals, with bassist Traa, from P.O.D.
 WOW! Galactic Kannibals is some pure funk stuff! Can't wait for ya'll to hear that. Me and Traa Daniels have known each other for going on 30 years and we always wanted to do something outside the box and not rock. We are both from Ohio the funk state of the nation so the funk us in are dna. We have made characters for this project and its just going be off the chain. Looking forward to a 2017 release.

You guys also work on studio production for other artists, correct? 
Yes, me and Traa are producing rap artist Swish. That guy is the real deal red hot man. We have others to be announced.

How do you view your approach to being a producer, coming from a drummers perspective? Is it different than if you were a keyboardist? 
I think I rely really heavily on how things feel how the groove hits me with the other instruments. Just how putting the whole puzzle together feels, sometimes musically things may not be perfect but if it feels good I'll let it go whereas someone who is a keyboard player with music theory would not think the same way, but again it's all about the feel and everything having this organic nature to it.

Now, it looks like you have a busy 2017 coming your way, what other projects do you have in the works? 
Working on my own EP which will be entitled 3 new songs 3 new keys of noise. But may have to put it on the back burner because have to get ready to do Acid & Pearls stuff along with dates with artists Ladomour Diacriz.

So, what's your current gear set-up? kit, heads and sticks...ect? I play on a Sonor acoustic set right now as well as my Yamaha DTX 900 electronic kit. I use aquarium drum heads I love the new force 10 heads so much depth in the sound of them. I have been using Sabian cymbals since '96 and became endorsed in 2005 great company great sounding cymbals.

Do you have multiple kits and snares? 
Yes, I have about 7 snare drums 2 Yamaha DTX kits and a Sonor acoustic kit.

Do you have a “Dream Kit”?  
A DW drum set with custom finish that would be mad pimpin. They have some of the best finishes I have ever seen on drums.

How do you describe your drumming style?

O.B.B is my playing style Ohio Basement Beatz! man when we was kids me and my friend my best friend actually Traci Roberts we were going to the basement of our parents house and play drums as long as we could that's the way it was sometimes it was too hot to go outside so you put on your favorite Parliament Funkadelic record or Cameo record and you would play those grooves which you turned into them basement beats.

Speaking of Ohio, Ohio has brought us some of the most talented musicians and funk music of our time.
What is in the water in that state? 
That's hard to say but one thing is for sure there was a lot of time you had in your basement working on your skills and playing. So you listened a lot to funk records which was awesome.

Why the drums? 

Playing drums felt natural not forced just organic.

If you weren’t playing drums, what would you be doing? 
I have no ideal! HaHa...

How has drumming impacted or changed your life? 
Drumming saved me from a lot of things. It wasn't a great living environment growing up as a kid in my house, so when the family was in turmoil I would go downstairs and listen to music and dream about being the person performing it. So, when I realized I had the gift to be able to play and hold a groove it took me to another place a place of peace.

Are you doing music full time? 
Yes, original music only the filling of being free to create what you feel is beyond believable.

Name 5 of your drumming influences? why?
 *Diamond Williams
Larry Blackman
Dennis chambers
Mitch Mitchell
Stewart Copeland 

Diamond Williams is a kat that you only hear mentioned from Funkateers, yet his playing has been such an influence for so many drummers and so much modern music, people don't even know..... 
Diamond Williams to me as a drummer was the guy who had the most devastating right single foot technique on a bass drum I had ever heard. Long before I knew who John Bonham was of Led Zeppelin, there was only Diamond Williams. That's who I learned all of my foot technique from. He was the dude!
*For those that don't know "Diamond" Williams is the drummer for  Ohio Players

Name an inspiring concert that made you want to go home and start shedding? 

I don't know about any one concert but I can say they're have been many DVD drum instructional videos that have made me want to improve on what it is I do.

How much time do you practice? 
Not enough when you start producing and engineering you get behind a drums you lay down the grooves and then you spend a lot more time behind the computer and the desk but with things coming to completion soon is going to be time to sweat it out.

What types of things do you work on, in those sessions?Normally I sit and front of the TV with one of my Yamaha DTX pads and work on flams double strokes and singles just working my hands.

Kevyn - Solo

Do you sing and play? 
Yes, sing on Galactic Kannibal stuff but nothing else.

Do you prefer being in a band (artist) or being a sideman? 

Do you have a crazy or interesting gig you can share with us? 

What are your words of wisdom for your fellow drummers out there?

Stay true to who you are create a brand for yourself with what you do, things are changing in the world and if you want to be heard you have to do the right things to do so happy drumming!

When it's all said and done, what would you like your legacy to be? 
That guy who played for the songs and produced that funky stuff I'll be good with that man.

Last Words, Links, Hashtags and Thank You’s??? 

Yes, thx to all the people who have supported me, my family I love you and be blessed!

Another great drummer and all around talent. BIG Thanks to Kevyn for sharing a bit of his drum life with us. It's always nice to have a funk brother in the mix 😉
I am looking fwd to hearing more from your projects, especially Galactic Kannibal, that sounds insane!

I hope you all stop by his pages and drop a "hello" on him and show your support by purchasing the Acid & Pearls EP  #SupportIndieArtists and if you need some kool production work, hit him up!
Kevyn Kelley Facebook

Acid & Pearls

Acid & Pearls ReverbNation


Hey, did you like this interview and profile?
Well, if you want you or someone you know could be next!
Just hit me up and let's make it happen.
It's Free and you can use it for promotional purposes or just for fun.

DeHaven -

#DrummersSupportDrummer  #TalkinChop  #DrumLife


DRUMMER Apparel and Accessories. 

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Volume 53 - Darien Guy

Once again, I am proud to bring another drummer to the forefront.
A young man who is not only talented but focused and eager to help those who want to learn. Looking to do more than just be a drummer, Darien is positioning himself to be a strong businessman in the inner-working of drum companies and being an author. 
When you see young katz like this, doing what they do, you know the future is in good hands. So, let's not wait any longer...let's see what Darien is Talkin Chop about. 


Name or Stage Name: 
Darien Guy 

Where are you from? 
O'Fallon IL. Currently living in St. Louis Mo. 

How long have you been playing? 
21 years. Professionally since the age of 16. Starting touring in high school. 

What is or are your main genre of playing? 
I play all genres of music. I'm mostly known for gospel and orchestral/marching percussion. 

How did you get where you are now? 
I'm asked this question a lot, but to give you the best answer, it is just hard work and dedication. Being consistent and focused on my craft. 

What are your goals, short & long term? 
Short Term Goals, releasing my marching stick with Cooper Groove Drum Sticks. Release my joint book with Robb Ryan from Canada. Long term Goals, have my "Darien Guy Series Stick" in retail stores nationally/internationally. Being able to teach in other countries. Become session drummer. 

Do you have any specific countries abroad, you would like to teach in? 

I would love to teach in London, Italy, Africa. 

You don't hear a lot of players talking about Marching Sticks, let alone creating one what is your motivation behind this? 

Well here's a fun fact. I marched snare drum my senior year in high school. From there I played drumset in WGI and DCI. but I also taught different marching percussion programs when I wasn't touring. Playing with marching sticks helped out a lot when comes to my chops. Marching sticks are a lot heavier than drumset sticks. I have a lot love for marching percussion and Drumset. Creating sticks with Cooper Groove sticks has allowed me to be innovative. Creating the perfect balance between the two. I want people to try my stick as well as the Cooper Groove Sticks because they're a specialty stick. The benefits are endless. Decrease fatigue, stimulating pressure points. Memory grip, decrease shock in hands and arms. The list continues. If you have questions about my stick, feel free to contact me personally! 

Artists you would like to play for? 

Esperanza Spalding, Fred Hammond, Quincy Jones, Tosha Cobbs, Richard Smallwood,TyeTribbett 

I see you're involved with a couple of drum companies, please tell us which ones and how you got involved with them? 
I am at Cooper Groove, Marching Percussion Ambassador. I'm a Smyrna Cymbals USA Artist. I am also a artist of DGA-drum gear alliance. Sledge Pad Artist and in hopes to become a Mapex Artist 

I’m also happy to announce that I’ll be apart of INov8 Winter Percussion Staff for the 2017 WGI marching season! I’m truly honored to work with Dave Isaacs and the rest of the staff! I’m truly grateful to be apart of such an awesome team of educators. Great things to come for INov8 Percussion!!!

So, what are your duties as an ambassador for Cooper Groove? 
It's my job to spread awareness of the Cooper Groove Marching Percussion Products and educational resources. Teach clinics and other educational resources. 

Are you playing out with any projects right now? 

1. I’m working on a joint book with Rob Ryan. I am also working on a e-book for the Darien Guy Marching Series Drumstick. 
2. I’m also releasing a book on marketing strategies for the working musician.

Can you tell us more about your book with Ryan. What is it going to be about? 

I don't want to reveal too much information but, it will capture the interest from beginner to advanced players. Polyrhythmic based but also a few other surprises thrown in. 

A book on marketing strategies, What areas do you see musicians making the most mistakes? 
It's not that drummers or musicians make mistakes. It's more so, they're unaware of branding, marketing, advertising etc. with my experiences and education I've learned through my time in the business, It has allowed me to want to share and help drummers build their following and or brand. I'm very grateful to be apart of Symrna Cymbals and the other drum businesses I'm in. Taking the knowledge I've learned through my experience sharing with other is my life goal. So with my book it will give drummers and musicians a detailed outline of how to market their products, advertisements campaign strategies, building a membership list etc. I'm very excited to get it out and I'm looking forward to release it. If you'll like to get first shoot me an email at 

What are your touring experiences, if any? 1. When I marched WGI winter guard international with Gateway Indoor Percussion. I toured from 2008-2011 with that organization. 2. Toured with Colts Drum and Bugle Corps from Dubuque, Iowa in 2010 3. Clinic tour in 2016... cities were, Los Angeles, California, Chicago, Illinois, Jesup, Iowa, Sacramento, California 

So, with your clinic tour. How did you find that experience? Did you have a specific focus that you presented to the attendees? 
My clinic tour was great. I love teaching and expanding young minds. My primary focus was “ Finding the perfect balance between marching percussion and drumset” 

Darien Clinic WTHS

Describe your current set up & gear - heads and sticks...ect? 1. Cooper Groove Sticks 2. Symrna Cymbals 3. Mapex Drums 4. Sledgepad 5. 1964 in ears 

Would you consider yourself a gear junkie?  
Not really, lol but I do love my gear! 

Which wood shells do you prefer, and why?  
I prefer Birch, it leaves a very distinct sound in and out of studio. 

Do you have a “Dream Kit”?  
I love the sound of a Sonor or Yamaha kit 

How do you describe your drumming style? 
You can say my style is very versatile. I can sit in, in any genre and be comfortable playing their music. I challenge myself every 6 to 7 months striving to learn new styles of music. Opening up my mind to different rhythmic ideas is very important as a drummer.

Why the drums? 
Drums were my first love. Some of the musicians who inspired me were drummers. 

If you weren’t playing drums, what would you be doing? 
I'm pretty sure it would have to be something music related and the COO of a Cymbal Company, Symrna Cymbals USA 

How has drumming impacted or changed your life? 
Yes it has, it has allowed me to inspire musicians around the world. I'm very grateful to be in the position in life. 

Are you involved in the local music scene in your hometown, other than just playing in your band? 
I am an active musician for Enjoy and New Life in Christ. 

What do you enjoy most about playing at church? 
First, I'm a child of God, I love God because he gave me the gift to play drums and being able to share it with the world. I love playing in church cause it allows me to connect people with God through my music, my worship and praise. I grew up in church and my connection to Christ came through the connection of people. Playing in church allows me to be free, and being able to connect with God spiritually through music. Also, I love to see the talent comes from the church. Gospel music can be bit challenging when it comes to certain artist or musicians that are in the church. So to see up and coming musicians rise to the top, do to their background in the church gives me the drive to work harder. Because I was the kid who sat on the front row each Sunday looking at my cousin Mario Hubbard play drums, which has lead us both to do great things in life.

Name 5 of your drumming influences? 

1. Tony Royster Jr. 
2. Rob Woodie 
4. Mario Hubbard 
5. Calvin Rodgers 

Darien w/ Rob Woodie

Name an inspiring concert that made you want to go home and start shedding? 
After seeing Fred Hammond in concert with Calvin Rodgers on Drums. 

How much time do you practice? 
2 hours a day. 

What types of things do you work on, in those sessions? Independence, rudiments, articulation and grooves.

Do you record drum videos of yourself? if so, how has it helped you? sometimes in performances but mainly in my practice sessions. It allows me to see if my hands suck or not laugh out loud

Do you have a crazy or interesting gig you can share with us? 

I might have the opportunity to work in Shanghai, China with motive music in DCI fellowship. With this opportunity I'll be able to teach the marching percussion arts. 

What are your words of wisdom for your fellow drummers out there? 
Create opportunities for yourself on the business end of things. Make sure that your skill set is just as strong as your business model. Be open to ideas and connect with many drummers and companies as possible. 

Last Words, Links, Hashtags and Thank You’s??? 
I would like to thank Talkin' Chop for the opportunity to share my story my thoughts with this drum community. It is my job and my calling in life to share as much as I can with upcoming inspiring musicians.
Facebook - artist page

I really want to thank Darien for sharing a little bit of his drum life with us.
Having that strong marching background has given this kat a different perspective and develop his style and approach to drumming.
I look forward to seeing his progress and success down the road.

If you guys get a chance, drop by his website or soc. med. and say hello. For those interested in his new stick or his book (coming soon) or maybe you just have some questions, hit him up.


If you or someone you know needs a little free promo for their drumming career, maybe you're in a band or you work as a side man, play in church or a cover band? Hit me up and let's get you out there!

Contact: DeHaven

#DrummersSupportDrummers  #TalkinChop  #DrumLife


DeHaven is sponsored by:

Friday, November 4, 2016

Volume 52 - Go-Go Ray


Hey TC Family,
I hope this latest installment finds you well. And for those of you who may not be feeling great, I have called on the "Drum Counselor" to see if we can't help you out.
From the great state of Texas is where you will find our latest artist. A gentleman who has been working it for years and handling it like a pro. Genre after genre, Groove after groove, Go-Go is definitely a top notch talent and gives the gig exactly what it needs, with a little Go-Go thrown in ;)
So, if your feeling a little low have a seat or lay down and let the Drum Counselor help you get through whatever is troubling you, in your drum life.
Go-Go Ray is here to Talk Chop and we here to listen.


Go-Go Ray

How did you get the name 'Drum Counselor'?
I didn’t want to use the words instructor and teacher when I started giving lessons.

Where are you from?
Dallas, TX

How long have you been playing?
39 years

What are your favorite genres to play?
Funk, Fusion, Jazz, Latin and Rock

How did you get where you are now?
Lots of lessons, practicing, listening, networking and gigging.

What are your goals, short & long term?
Short term goal – Improve my musicianship every three months.

Long term goal – Always continue to play live and in the studio.

Artists you would like to play for?
Alice Cooper, Miles Davis, Michael Jackson, Oz Noy, Prince and Frank Zappa.

List some of your accomplishments:
1992 Guitar Center Drum-Off Winner, 2010 Roland V-Drums Winner, 2014 Project Backstage Drummer of the Year, 2016 Online One FM Drummer of the Year

You're currently playing with Samantha Fish Band, how did that gig come about?
Samantha was looking for a drummer. My name was mentioned to her. I was in a band hosting a jam. She played a song with me. She left a CD for me at Explorers Percussion. She hired me to sub for two shows. After the second, show offered me the gig.

Have you been playing a lot of blues gigs prior to this?
No. I was playing everything else except blues.

Listening to the music, you guys are cover a lot of ground within the blues, country, folk, americana vibe...How do approach those differences yet keeping it a consistent vibe?
I must play a certain way for each style. I’m allowed to make each style interesting without going overboard. There must be a groove that makes you move.

w/ Samantha Fish Band

With Samantha, you guys are doing some originals and covers live, are you also recording with her?
I haven’t recorded with her. I’m her touring drummer. I’m enjoying my position because it allows me to study the studio drummers the CDs.

Do you like being in a 3-piece band?
I LOVE it!!! There’s nowhere to hide in a trio.

"War Pigs" by Samantha Fish Band

You recently won the Midwest Music Awards 'Drummer of the Year' first off, Congratz on that! How does it feel when people appreciate your work in that way? 
Thank you!!! It’s very overwhelming. The fans made that happen in a huge way. I had 62% of the votes. I must practice MORE now.

Do you play any other instruments?
Yes, I do. Guitar, Bass and little bit of Keys.

What are your touring experiences, if any?
Billy Goat (1994-1997), Cameo – sub (2004), Mike Dillon’s Go-Go Jungle (2006-2009), Sister Hazel – sub (2008), Samantha Fish (2011 to present) and Anthony Gomes – sub (2014)

Playing with Cameo. How was that experience? I hear it can be a demanding gig for the drummer, since Larry is a drummer as well.
It was a GREAT experience. Larry is all about the groove. Strong pocket!!! When he counts off the song, his tempo is the law. 

What's your current set up & gear - heads and sticks...ect?
Yamaha Oak Customs Drums – 5 piece, Yamaha Hardware and Pedals, Paiste Cymbals, Aquarian Drumheads, Promark Drumsticks, Cympads, Humes & Berg Cases, Carmichael Drum Thrones, Sweet Spot Drum Dampeners, Sennheiser Mics, 64 Audio Earbuds and a Sennheiser IEM System.

Are you a gear junkie?
Uh oh!!! You know my secret. LOL! I’m trying to control it.

Do you have a “Dream Kit”? 
3 snares, 3 kicks, 3 or 4 rack toms, 3 floor toms, 3 gongs and LOTS of cymbals.

That's a kool dream kit idea, so what gig would you be playing this kit on?
Any gig that has the space for it. Ha Ha!!! I would use that kit in any situation. It would really come in handy for the end of the very last song of the show. LOL!!!

How do you describe your drumming style?
Groove with accuracy, feel and conviction.

Why the drums?
As a kid, I always thought the drummer was cool. Lots of movement and hitting things. I wanted to be a part of that.

If you weren’t playing drums, what would you be doing?
Delivering mail, selling insurance or performing autopsies.

How has drumming impacted or changed your life?
Drumming has allowed me to see the world, meet lots of people, stay in shape

Are you playing music full time?
I’m playing and teaching music full time. It’s a blessing.

When it comes to teaching, has any of your students played something that caused you to take what they did and use it?
Gregg Bissonette said "Good composers borrow. Great composers steal." I'm a great composer with my students. Ha Ha!!! My students are always playing something cool. I let them know when I'm using their ideas. 

Do you go out and support other artists, when your home?
Yes, I do. It’s always great to see the other artists perform.

Name 5 of your drumming influences? why?

Tony Williams – Bringing power to Jazz/Ride Cymbal patterns

Vinnie Colaiuta – Fearless, Technique

Terry Bozzio – Very creative

John Bonham – Single Bass Drum Technique, Power

Dennis Chambers – Accuracy, Speed, Grooves

Name an inspiring concert that made you want to go home and start shedding?
Dave Weckl Band, Prince (Sheila E, John Blackwell), Joey Heredia, The Bar-Kays (Mike Beard), Nerve (JoJo Mayer), Alice Cooper (Glen Sobel) and Vinnie Colaiuta.

How much time do you practice?
Not enough. I get to practice when a student misses a lesson.

What types of things do you work on, in those sessions?
Grooves, Fills, Warm-ups and Creativity.

Go-Go Ray solo - Beyond Failure Drum Tribe Birthday Bash 2013

Do you record drum videos of yourself? if so, how has it helped you?
Sometimes I do record videos of myself. It helps a lot. You see and hear what’s working for the music and things you should NEVER play again.

I saw your 2010 Roland V-Drums contest winning performance, really great stuff! a very kool and well put together piece. Do you do a lot of electronic drum work?
Thanks for the kind words!!! I’m not doing a lot of electronic drum work these days, but I hopefully that will change.

Go-Go Ray - Grand Prize Winner, Roland V-Drums Contest 2010

Do you prefer studio sessions, local live gigs or touring?
I prefer studio sessions and touring, but if I’m available for a local live gig, I will be there to provide a solid foundation.

Do you prefer being in a band (artist) or being a sideman?
Being in band allows for more creative input. Being a sideman allows you to play parts created by others. 

Do you have a crazy or interesting gig you can share with us?
I played a show with a display of potato chips behind me.

What are your words of wisdom for your fellow drummers out there?
Learn all you can, keep your mind sharp and never give up.

Last Words, Links, Hashtags and Thank You’s???
BIG thanks to God, family, friends, musicians and fans for allowing me to be me.

Thanks to DeHaven for this wonderful opportunity.


Does everybody feel a little better? I know I do.
I want to thank Go-Go for sharing his drum life with us. I really dig his versatility and passion. You can see and hear why people want to work with him and why he will never be outta work.
No matter the genre, make sure the groove is there. 
You guys make sure you stop by his Soc Med pages and say "hello". If your you're not busy, make sure you catch him with Samantha Fish or any other artists he's playing for, when they come to your town.
Continued success and keep it groovin' Go-Go!!


Do you know a drummer that should be interviewed for Talkin' Chop?
Maybe it's you!
Contact me and let's make it happen.

DeHaven -

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