Sunday, October 8, 2017

Volume 63 - Mike Spencer


So back to Atlanta, GA we go...
Thx 2 our friend Andre Boyd, I was able to hook up with this talented young man, who is definitely on his way to doing some great things in this industry. Not satisfied with being a drummer on a gig, he has his eyes set on be involved in all parts of the production.
I dig it when we see katz getting into more than just being a side-man. We are more than drummers (don't 4get that)
With that being said, let's see what this musical entrepreneur is up to and how he is creating and managing opportunities for himself 

Name or Stage Name: 

Mike Spencer

Where are you from? 

Born and Raised In Atlanta, GA

How long have you been playing? 

18 years.

Do you have a genre preference? 

To be a great musician all genres need to be your preference, but if i had to choose, it would be pop music.

How did you get where you are now? 

Developing relationships. Being nice and respectful to anybody I work with.

Why the drums? 

I saw my Aunt and older brother playing the drums and having fun with it. Seeing my cousin Puncho Stewart and knowing how far he got with it was the icing on the cake for me.

Hold old were you when you first started playing at your father's church? 

I was 8 years old. Played my first Wednesday night bible study at my pop’s church

How would you describe that first time you got to play at church? 

A rush of energy mixed in with nervousness. A girl I had a crush on at the time went to my dad’s church and she was there and I didn’t want to mess up and embarrass myself in front of her

I read that your Aunt and your brother were big influences on you. What types of things did you learn from them and are you still using that knowledge? 

I learned the basics from my Aunt and brother. You can never go without using the basics first. I'm definitely still using all of that knowledge everytime I get behind a kit.

What are some of your goals, short & long term? 

Short term: I want to finally get on a major tour and share my gift in front of huge crowds of people. Traveling with my talent. Room service, and long rehearsals and getting comfortable with a show I can make my own. Long term: I want to build the company I have with my best friend. Its called Room 442 Productions. Its a company that does everything music. You have the 442 Band for live shows, Studio production, Backline Rental, Artist Development, Rehearsal Space ect.

You have a nice resume of artists played for, are there any gigs that stand out? 

When I Played For Chico Debarge. It was like my first big gig at the time. I was so nervous to meet him and play his music. But he was the most down to earth person. SO much that he walked past me a few times and didn’t even know it was him. He made me feel comfortable with everything that was going on. Treated me like he would one of his friends. I appreciate a boss such as him. SO when I got on stage, I had no nervousness. I played and smashed the gig and played for him a few more times after. Great times!

What are your touring experiences, if any? 

I have toured with number of bands. College tours, doing cover pop music for Frats and Sororities. That's pretty much it.

Doing the college tours, what was that like? How did you keep it fresh every night?
I like to change up my set ups quite a bit. Adding more interesting things to use to make the show bigger. More samples, more sounds coming from the drum kit. My thing is, if the space allows it, set it up. I also like to come up with new fills and as an MD of the band, I like to arrange more hits and breaks in the music to make it not become boring to me and the rest of the band and singers.

Describe your current set up & gear - heads and sticks…ect? 
I have a number of kits sitting in my living room as we speak. I have a Tama Hyperdrive, Pearl Masters, Sonor 2007, Orange County Avalon, Mapex Armory,, Pearl Export. And all of my configurations come in 10, 12, 14, 16 toms. I love Evans Hydraulic Series heads for my toms. The hydraulic blues, and reds really bring a warms and tone to my toms. I use Remo Powerstroke 77 Clear and Coated on my snares. Those snare heads bring the right amount of body and pop I needs for the Pop gigs and R&B gigs. My cymbals are strictly Sabian. I used to have variety of cymbals. But I recently sold a lot of them to go with just Sabian. A dream to be a part of that lovely company. I used DW 9000 Kick Pedal, and Hihat Stand. I Love Vic Firth 85A drumsticks. They make me feel really comfortable behind the kit. Makes me feel like I can do anything behind a kit. 

Good lord, why do you have so many kits, lol?

I like to get up in the morning and sip my coffee and choose whatever kit I want to play that day, LOL. But seriously. Some kits were actually designed for a certain sound. Some are used for church. Some are used for hip hop, and jazz. Its just about what kind of sound I am going for with that particular gig. I am a musician of all genres. I play everything. So when I get the call for a gig, I have the kit to make the gig more efficient. Like I have a lot of cymbals too. Do I use all of them at the same time? Heck no! But I have the cymbal I need for every gig that I do. I will never compromise my sound because of what I don’t have.

Do you have a “Dream Kit”? 
My dream kit has to be a Pearl Reference Kit. 10, 12, 14, 16 toms. I have seen so many people use those kits and the sound amazing when they are mixed correctly. And of course with the right tuning and heads. 

Rihanna x Mr.E. Worldwide - Same Ol' Mistakes (Cover)

How do you describe your drumming style? 
My style ranges from a lot of different influences in my life. I've watched and learned from many different people. So to describe my style, I would say that it aggressive and sure. Laid back when needed to be. But I always use my jazz style of playing with mostly everything I do. Now when i say Jazz, I don’t mean swinging every song I come in contact with. I mean, I like to approach every song with a level of tastefulness. Not using too much but just enough to make the song feel really good, and makes you want to stay in there for a little while. A lot of drummers I see coming up are killing chops but when you ask them to play a song, they have no feel. Groove is nowhere to be found. And you look at them as if you want to ask the question, "What are you practicing?"

You talk about "playing the song" why do you think so many drummers haven't grabbed that concept yet?
Here’s a good example. I was doing an audition about a week ago. I was hired to look at drummers for this particular band. So one of the guys that was auditioning came in and I asked him, Do you know Rock With You by Michael Jackson? He told me with confidence, Yes, I do know it. Ok play it for me, I said. Everybody should know that song and how to start it. He started that song and did not play the intro nearly as right as it should be. I don’t even think he even knew that there was an intro for that song that started out with a quick drum fill. I said that to say, that when some drummers listen to songs, they are not listening to learn the song, they are listening for a beat to play over it. Playing it their way. Even in Gospel, back in the day you could kinda get away with it, but now its becoming more controlled and you have to actually sit and learn these songs, and people want to hear the song, not your version of it. The artist that you are playing for wants to hear their song, not your version of it.

If you weren’t playing drums, what would you be doing? 

If i wasn’t playing drums. I would probably find myself designing houses and skyscrapers. I went to school and got a degree in Computer Drafting and Design. 

How has drumming impacted or changed your life? 

I was always thought that you had to work a 9-5 job to survive and make it in the world. But music has shown me that you can make it, have a family, and support them through your dreams. A lot of people were not afforded the opportunity to live a dream. I am grateful that I have had the opportunity to live a dream and make good money doing it.

Are playing music full time? 

Yes, I do play music full time.

Name 5 of your drumming influences? why? Todd Sucherman is one of my influences. He is majorly aggressive being his kit. He is very sure as to what he wants to do and he makes sure he is comfortable. 
Mike Clemons is another one of my favorites. Going from R&B and then hitting the gospel scene. He knows how to be discipline in both genres of music. He knows when to lay it back and knows when to come out. He is also aggressive behind his kit. 
Terry Baker taught me a valuable lesson. Bigger cymbals keep the gigs coming in. 
Chris Coleman is another influence I would love to have a sit down talk with and pick his brain. He fills up the music so much. His feel behind the kit is amazing. He makes all the music feel good. Something to dance to. 

Name an inspiring concert that made you want to go home and start shedding? 
I went to go see Snarky Puppy a couple years ago. That changed my life, but went to see them a second time a year later and made a decision to start practicing more to things that make me uncomfortable to get me out of a comfort zone.

The "Comfort Zone" what types of things take you out of your comfort zone? is Time Signatures, Tempos, Arrangements...???

I like to take artist songs and actually learn the songs. When I get that major tour call, I want to be ready to go. Have the discipline to sit down and learn what I am hearing. The challenge comes when you have to find sounds. Especially with this pop and R&B and other types of music with all the sounds in there. You have to find those sounds and play them. After I learn the song, I would take them and arrange them to be tasteful and put enough of myself in there to where it doesn’t take away from the show and make sure it something the artist would like added to their show. 

How much time do you practice? 

I take at least a couple hours out of my week to practice. I also have gigs that I do when I can get practice in. Using more of my pocket and making music fell better to play with other musicians 

What types of things do you work on, in those sessions? 

I like to work on my feel. Making everything very clean as I execute them. I’m not a great chopper at all. I am known for making my pocket work for me.

Do you record drum videos of yourself? if so, how has it helped you? 
I haven’t recorded any drum videos of me. I have a couple good friends that do it and they constantly push me to do drum videos. One of them even went as far as to even show me how to get started recording myself in logic. I know its something that will help me in the long run.

Mr.E. Worldwide - Secret Room (Live at 3 Shades of Soul ATL)

Have you been doing any studio work? 
Yes. My band, The 442 Band has just recorded some promo for our social media. And I always record for a band that I work with called Mr. E. Worldwide (above)
 I have done at least 12 records with them. I also do other sideline work in the studio for various artist in Atlanta. I have been told that my studio work is excellent. Of course, you are your worse critic.

Looks like you have a strong studio career happening. Are you enjoying that creative space? 
I enjoy my creative space in more of a live setting. Creating arrangements and getting everybody’s input to build a great show. I love being in the studio, but when I am in the studio I want the artist to be satisfied with what the music feels and sounds like other than myself being satisfied. Not saying that there is no creative space in the studio, but most of my studio time was with an artist that wanted something specific. 

Aside from playing at church, do you like doing the sideman gigs? 

I love doing sideman gigs. I helps with building connections wherever you are. I love doing sideman gigs more than I like doing my gig. Build relationships and your catalog for people to call if you need them. 

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

Yes! Me and my friends were doing the Jackson R&B Festival not too long ago, and we had the worst time preparing for it and everything. First off, the artist had a manager that knew nothing about music and would just talk to us and we had no idea what was supposed to be done. Keep in mind, we can’t reach the artist at all. So we get to our first rehearsal and its in a room where you can hear an echo from here to Texas. So we begin to do the rehearsal and we begin the track and the track has a live band already recorded into it. 

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

Study your craft and be the best you can be at it. Do whatever you can to develop good meaningful relationships with people that only want to see you succeed. Always do things the right way. Never cut any corners because it will always be something in the end to mess everything up. 

Last Words, Links, Hashtags and Thank You’s??? 
Let me first say thank you to DeHaven Carrington for giving me this opportunity, and Andre Boyd for the introduction. I Love to play drums and want nothing more than to be great and successful at it. You can find me on Facebook as Mike Spencer. My Instagram is mk_guts. Please find a befriend and follow me, inbox me. Ask questions. I’m and open book.

Well, there you have it peeps...Mike Spence in all of his drumming glory. It's always a pleasure to help promote katz who are really doing things and making it happen in various ways.
Mike, Thx so much for being a part of TC and sharing your drum life with all of us. Respect & Appreciation.


Remember, if you or someone you know needs some attention in the drum world...Hit Me Up!

DeHaven -

#DrummersSupportDrummers #TalkinChop #DrumLife


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Saturday, February 18, 2017

Volume 62 - Jason Eilers


Hello Hello Hello! I am back again with another drummer and his drum life. 
A kool young kat, who is making his way in the musicverse with his band and his aspirations. 
I dig finding these players who at the beginnings of their careers, their raw and full of promise.
Venturing into the world of hard hitting rock n' roll, is where we find this featured drummer, although I actually found him on Facebook, lol. Anyhoo, let's find out what Jason is up to and see if he has anything worth Talkin' Chop about ;)


Name or Stage Name: Jason Eilers

Where are you from? 
Band is from Cincinnati, OH. I am from Grant County, KY

How long have you been playing? 
About 13 years

What are the genres of music that interest you? 
Metal, Rock, Punk, Pop Punk, Metalcore, Jazz, Funk, Classical, Reggae 

How did you become a drummer? 
I think it started when I watched the Tom Hanks movie, "That Thing You Do." I was about 4 years old and the music in that movie and the story line just drew me in.

Why did you choose the drums? 
I think it was the easiest thing to do when I was little. I could just grab a pair of wooden spoons and play anywhere. 

What are your goals, short & long term? 
I think I've accomplished some of the things I've wanted to do. The biggest one would probably be to tour on Warped a few times. No matter what band I'm in, I wanna play and tour with my favorite bands. The smallest one is to play as many shows that I can.

If you weren't playing for your band what artists would you like to play for? 
The Word Alive, The Color Morale, or Pierce The Veil. They've been some early influences in my music career.

Your current band is Sins of Motion. How did the band form? What kind of music are you guys doing? 
The band was formed when my rhythm guitarist and lead singer/lead guitarist got together and decided to form a band. I came in as a fill in during March 2015 because they basically went into the studio with no drum parts yet, so at that point, they only had a studio drummer, so I filled in the gap for a show they had. I eventually became the full time drummer the next month and thus, we are here, after a few line up changes. We would say that we play Heavy Rock/Punk/Metal. Kinda sound like Bullet For My Valentine, Escape The Fate, and A Day To Remember

Do you like being in a band? Do you guys have good chemistry? 
I love being in a band. We get on each others nerves, but its a nice, tight nit group.

"As I Am" - Sins of Motion

Are you one of the songwriters in the band? 
I take part in it sometimes. I usually write thoughts or lyrics onto my phone when they pop into my head, then I use them if we're writing a new song. 

As Indie bands, you have to hustle to make things happen... do you perform any other roles in the band, other than drummer? 
I book most of the shows for us. So I'm always usually busy.

Have you guys done any touring? 
Something might be in the works for April ;)

How is the fan base for the band? is it growing? are they dedicated?
Since we came back from hiatus, our fan base has increased with every show that we've played and with how we released a single last month. Improving our line up increased our fan base too because we'd have a lot of negative responses from the audience with our previous line up. Not going into details, but it needed a lot of work. So far, our fans have been pretty dedicated about coming out to shows we have. They always try to come out whenever they can.

Listening to the song "Mom (I'm Sorry)" I see you guys are really solid musicians and the recording is very good. Is this part of an upcoming album release? 
We decided for "Mom" just to be a single since we had to get something released from our new line up, but we are releasing an EP sometime in the next 2-4 months. 

"Mom (I'm Sorry)" - Sins of Motion

Does your approach change between recording in the studio and playing live?
We record on Pro Tools I do believe, so I usually record a demo version to give to our producer and he programs the drums into Pro Tools based off of that demo, but there's not really a difference between what I do live and how I record, besides stretching and warming up before I play. If there's a part I only play live, then I don't put that onto the demo. 

Playing with such high energy, do you do anything to help maintain your endurance?
Stretching a lot helps if we have long sets with intense songs. Drinking a lot of water before and during helps also. Just staying relaxed and hydrated has helped me keep high endurance. Adrenaline rushes keep me going too.

Describe your current set up & gear - heads and sticks...ect? 
Right now I have a Pearl Vision Birch 3 piece kit 8x12 rack, 16x16 floor, 18x22 kick. And with it I have a 7x14 SJC Tour Series snare, which I also call my baby, because it's precious. Cymbals I use right now are 14 inch Meinl MB10 Medium Soundwave hi hats, 19 inch A Custom Zildjian Crash, 21 inch Sabian B8 Pro Crash/Ride, 18 inch B8X China, and a Soultone 7 inch FXO Bell. I'm in the middle of getting an endorsement with Soultone, so hopefully I'll be using all Soultones soon. For drum sticks, I'm endorsed by XCEL and I use 2B sticks. For drum heads, I use Evans all the way around. G2 clears on my toms, a Heavyweight snare head, and an EMAD 2 on my kick. I use Tama pedals, and assorted cymbal stands for my hardware. I use Cympad cymbal felts. And I use a Roc-n-Soc drum throne.

Do you have a “Dream Kit”? 
I'm pretty good as of now. If I got a full SJC kit, then I'd be down for the rest of my life. 

What famous drummers kit would you steal, if you could get away with it? 
Buddy Rich, Gene Krupa, and Luke Holland. #freedrumlessonsforlife

How do you describe your drumming style? 
Loud. Very loud. Haha. I don't really know how to describe my style. I guess that's for other people to decide, because I just care about playing.

If you weren’t playing drums, what would you be doing? Absolutely nothing, haha. Drums are a big part of my life.

How has drumming impacted or changed your life? 
Other than playing in a band, I march on my high school's drum line and that has given me so much strength and confidence. Even though band camp kills me every single time. 

What kills you about band camp?
This past year was my first year on drum line and I marched tenors and I had a gock block attached to it. So it was a good 50-60 pounds sitting on my shoulders. So, on hot, humid summer days, it'd upset my stomach so much. I ended up throwing up 3 days in a row because of it. You could say I was beaten up pretty well.

What are you doing when you're not playing music? 
I'm always tapping on something, so I'm probably eating.

Are you involved in the local music scene in your hometown, other than just playing in your band? 
There is literally no music scene where I live. It's so boring out here in BFE. So I'm always traveling to Cincinnati to do stuff. I'm too anxious to be a promoter, so I try to attend as much local shows as possible. 

How's the scene in Cincinnati?
In 2008-2010, the Cincinnati scene was booming. After that, it pretty much went down hill. But, over the past 2 years that we've been in the scene, it's picked back up, especially in the past few months. Shows are becoming more packed and we've played some of those shows and it's pretty cool to see the scene being revived.

Name 5 of your drumming influences? why? 
Explaining this is going to be hard. But my top 5 influences have to be, Luke Holland, Josh Manuel, Chris Turner, Steve Carey, and Mike Fuentes. I love the drum parts that they portray and the technique they use is amazing, especially Chris Turner. That guy is literally a human metronome. But when this EP comes out, you will definitely hear my influences. 

Name an inspiring concert that made you want to go home and start shedding? 
Warped Tour 2016 was when I wanted to just go home and play so bad. But it was late, so I couldn't. 

Who were some of your fav bands from Warped Tour 2016? 
There were so many good bands that I saw. My favorites were probably The Color Morale, Oceans Ate Alaska, The Word Alive, The Maine, Mayday Parade, Issues, Crown The Empire, and Sleeping With Sirens

How much time do you practice? 
2-3 hours a day when I can get a chance to.

What types of things do you work on, in those sessions? Mostly rudiments and foot work.

Do you record drum videos of yourself? if so, how has it helped you? 
When I recorded drum videos from between the time period of 2011-2014, I posted them on Youtube and I watch them now and I realize that I sucked so much. They're actually still viewable, just look up my name. But later on after that when I joined SOM, I watched them to see what was good and what wasn't. So I was changing a lot of drum parts, hahaha. 

Do you have a crazy or interesting gig you can share with us? 
I have the typical band mate story for this. Okay, So, Sins Of Motion was slated to play at Reading Metal Fest up in Reading, OH in October of 2015, so I asked my (now ex lead singer and ex bassist) to get some of my stuff for me from our practice space in Lawrenceburg, IN. When they show up in Reading, they had brought everything, but my throne (or as some people call it, the drum seat). Every component of a drum set is important, but nothing is more important than the seat. And as expected, I start to flip. I think I ended up walking back to my car and just screaming and kicking everywhere because, I was really frustrated. So, what I ended up doing was try to find something to sit on and in the corner was these metal bleachers, usually used for little league baseball games or soccer games, and I sat on these bleachers and set my drums in front of it and for the entirety of our 30 minute set, I was sitting on these bleachers.

What are your words of wisdom for your fellow drummers out there? 
Learn technique asap! I can't stress that enough. I still struggle with it sometimes, but over the years, I can tell that my technique has gotten better. Not breaking as many cymbals, drumheads, drumsticks, anything basically. Yeah, you're going to break them because there's no way out of wooden sticks or 2 ply heads breaking, but it shouldn't happen at an alarming rate. Also, learn to play quietly before you play loud. Playing loud is so much easier than playing quietly.

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

My personal instagram is and my Youtube channel is

So, once again I am glad I was able to bring another great, young, drummer to light. Jason is a very enthusiastic kat and I know he is going to make a name for himself in this game.
I want to wish him and his band Sins of Motion nothing but success. For those of who were digging on their music please go and support these young men and their music. connect with them on Soc. Med. and Buy their single, go to their shows, if you're in the area.
Thx Jason!!!


Would you or some one you know, like to be featured on Talkin' Chop?
Well, hit up and let's make it happen. You don't have to be in a band or doing major touring, lots of studio work. You can be anybody with a heart for playing drums and is out their making music.
Let's help get you some more exposure and another tool you can use to make it happen.

Contact: DeHaven -

#DrummersSupportDrummers  #TalkinChop  #DrumLife


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