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 -

#DrummersSupportDrummers  #TalkinChop  #DrumLife


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