Author Archive:

120: Jose Medeles (1939 Ensemble, The Breeders, Revival Drum Shop)

Illinois native, Jose Medeles, made his way to California as a young man; and his stunning musical versatility served him well as he performed with everyone from Joey Ramone to Ben Harper. Jose gained international exposure when he joined Kim Deal in The Breeders. He is now the proprietor Revival Drum Shop, considered by many…

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119: Jon Szanto (Harry Partch Ensemble, San Diego Symphony)

Jon Szanto possesses a rare combination of rigorous virtuosity and emotional intelligence. These qualities have served him well in a 40 year career, spanning Harry Partch to the San Diego Symphony. Now contemplating retirement, Jon talks about why–even if he isn’t playing full time–music will always be fundamental to his makeup.

BNS: Stephen Perkins Answers Listener Questions

Stephen Perkins answers your questions about: acid, The Grateful Dead, Eric Avery, etc. Make sure to check out his full length episode; subscribe to The Trap Set on iTunes or your favorite podcast app.

118: Stephen Perkins (Jane’s Addiction, Porno For Pyros, Banyan, NiN, Infectious Grooves)

Jane’s Addiction rose from the LA club scene to become one of their generation’s most influential bands, due in no small part to the iconoclastic, tribal-influenced contributions of Stephen Perkins. Stephen tells Joe about growing up in Los Angeles, his tryout for Jane’s addiction, his love of the Grateful Dead, fatherhood, and more. Also check…

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117: Marian Li Pino (La Luz)

Marian Li Pino’s wild, inventive drumming has helped La Luz emerge as one of the most interesting rock bands working today. She tells Joe about her childhood in Washington state, feeling pressured to pursue something other than music, relentlessly searching for (and finding) the right band, and her love of rest stop pretzels.

116: Ian Chang (Son Lux, Landlady, Ex Reyes)

Hong Kong native Ian Chang grew up a voracious music listener. With a unique style metabolized from disparate influences and an innovative approach to electronic percussion, he is a harbinger of a new era drumming.

115: Ignacio Berroa (Dizzy Gillespie, McCoy Tyner, Tito Puente, Solo Artist)

Born into a musical family, Ignacio Berroa was a first call session musician in his native Havana, Cuba, before emigrating to the US during the Mariel Boatlift. Shortly after his arrival in NY, Ignacio began a twelve year association with Dizzy Gillespie, which led to gigs with a who’s who of jazz and Latin luminaries.…

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114: Butch Vig (Garbage, Fire Town, Spooner)

Butch Vig began his career drumming with various polka outfits and rock bands like Spooner and Fire Town. Also a prolific producer, Butch recorded Nirvana’s breakthrough “Nevermind”, along with landmark albums for bands like Sonic Youth, Die Kreuzen, and Smashing Pumpkins. Not content to stay behind the mixing desk, he also co-founded the massively popular…

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BNS: Damon Che Answers Listeners’ Questions

In this bonus mini-episode, Damon Che answers listener questions about his relationship with Ian Williams, the infamous “Pizza Incident”, underwear preferences, and his propensity for Sabian B8 Pros cymbals.

113: Damon Che (Don Caballero)

As drummer for the highly influential band Don Caballero, Damon Che established himself as one of the most unique and beloved drummers of his generation. But, in 2009, his “creative window” closed; and he stopped playing. He tells Joe about his musical roots, what he’s been up to during his hiatus, giving up alcohol, working…

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112: Charles Connor (Little Richard, Professor Longhair, Shirley & Lee, Sam Cooke)

As drummer for Little Richard, Charles Connor helped invent rock and roll. He tells Joe about working with legends like Richard, Professor Longhair, Shirley & Lee, and Sam Cooke. He also discusses working a day job at KROQ; marrying a woman 30 year after meeting her halfway around the world; his love of “material things”;…

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111: Live from The Drum Thing (Keltner, Hall, Gadson, Sclavunos, Drumbo)!

Joe hosts a live round table discussion featuring Jim Keltner, Bobbye Hall, James Gadson, Jim Sclavunos, and John “Drumbo” French. This episode was recorded live in Los Angeles at the release party for The Drum Thing, a fantastic book of photography focused on many of the world’s most interesting drummers.

Remembering Clyde Stubblefield

Clyde Stubblefield was a towering genius whose drumming helped define modern popular music. He passed away Saturday at age 73, due to kidney failure. Unfortunately, Clyde died with no insurance; so a GoFundMe page has been set up to cover his funeral expenses. Joe speaks to Joey Banks, Clyde’s longtime friend and protege, about what…

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110: Martin Chambers (The Pretenders)

Martin Chamber’s deft, propulsive drumming style helped The Pretenders break out of the British punk scene to become one of the world’s best-loved pop bands. Martin talks to Joe about how drums just made sense to him, working with Chrissie Hynde, destroying hotel rooms, parenthood, the gift of hindsight and the tragic death of The…

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BNS: Martin Chambers Answers Your Questions

In this bonus mini-episode, Martin Chambers–of The Pretenders–answers listeners’ questions.

109: Jeremiah Green (Modest Mouse, World Gang)

Jeremiah Green’s brilliant style of drumming walks the fine line between chaos and control. He talks to Joe about challenging family situations; learning to manage depression; co-founding, leaving, and returning to Modest Mouse; and personal evolution.

108: Davey Brozowski (Modest Mouse, Black Whales, The Catheters)

Davey Brozowski’s versatility has led to collaborations with Black Whales, The Catheters, Modest Mouse, Danger Mouse, and more. He tells Joe about how he joined Modest Mouse; teenage tours; creating an artisanal soap company; and working with legendary drum builder (and past guest) Gregg Keplinger.

107: Joey Waronker (Beck, Atoms For Peace, Elliott Smith, Ultraista, REM)

Joey Waronker possesses a powerful groove and a gift for nuance and shading. These attributes–combined with a deep understanding of production and a knack for electronic percussion–are what distinguish him as one of the leading drummers of the modern paradigm. He tells Joe about growing up in a musical family; studying with the legendary Freddie…

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106: Coady Willis (Big Business, Melvins, The Murder City Devils, Hew Time)

Coady Willis has been busy for the past two decades, powering some of the heaviest bands to emerge from Washington State. He tells Joe about a corrupt martial arts instructor; tour adventures with The Murder City Devils; achieving a balance between self confidence and self doubt; forming Big Business with Jared Warren; turning off “the…

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105: Airto Moreira (Miles Davis, Return To Forever, Jobim, Flora Purim, etc.)

Throughout a career that has spanned over five decades, Airto Moreira has distinguished himself as an exceptionally innovative percussionist, singer, and composer. He tells Joe about his upbringing in rural Brazil, his early gigs on horseback, arriving in New York, recording the landmark Bitches Brew record with Miles Davis, collaborating with his wife–singer Flora Purim,…

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BNS: Carla Azar Answers Your Questions

Carla Azar answers listeners’ questions about PJ Harvey, Jim Keltner, Elvis Costello, and…paradiddles.

104: Carla Azar (Autolux, Jack White, T Bone Burnett)

Carla Azar has worked with everyone from PJ Harvey to Jack White, but her soulfully bionic style crystallized within Autolux, a trio she co-founded in 2001. She tells Joe about her childhood in Alabama, being mentored by T Bone Burnett, the inner workings of Autolux, acting in “Frank”, and overcoming tragedy by aiming for the…

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103: Mark Trombino (Drive Like Jehu)

Although they were only active for five years during their initial run, Drive Like Jehu was one of the most beloved and influential rock bands of the 90s. Mark Trombino’s grooves, which achieved a crucial balance between cerebral cleverness and visceral power, were–in part–the product of his obsessive nature. He tells Joe about how, after…

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102: Chris Wilson (Ted Leo and the Pharmacists, Hound, Open City)

Chris Wilson’s exceptional drumming helped establish Ted Leo and the Pharmacists as one of the most compelling bands of their generation. Chris tells Joe about listening to “Rhiannon” on the eight track in his mom’s Camaro, losing his father at a young age, learning to be less self-critical, and overcoming a guidance counselor’s low expectations…

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101: London May (Samhain, Reptile House, Distorted Pony)

While he was still a teenager, London May made his first recordings with Reptile House for legendary label Dischord. Soon, he joined forces with rock icon, Glenn Danzig, in the band Samhain. He talks to Joe about his childhood as a punk rocker in Baltimore; working with a young Dan Higgs in Reptile House; being…

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100: Joe Wong interviewed by Brendan Canty (Parts & Labor, Marnie Stern, Mary Timony, The Trap Set)

It’s Episode 100, and our first guest, Fugazi’s Brendan Canty, returns as guest host to extract the origin story of Joe Wong and The Trap Set. Joe talks about his childhood in Milwaukee; meeting his composing partner in the experimental theater scene; scoring for film and tv; and his time with artists such as Parts…

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099: Ernie Isley (The Isley Brothers)

By the time Ernie Isley joined his family’s band at age 15, The Isley Brothers had already made major contributions to popular music, penning “Shout” and “Twist and Shout”. A dexterous multi-instrumentalist and prolific songwriter, Ernie helped usher the group to new creative and commercial heights. He tells Joe about the band’s six-decade-long legacy, losing…

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098: Amy Knoles (Cal Arts, California E.A.R. Unit)

For the past four decades, Amy Knoles has pushed the boundaries of percussion and contemporary music in general. As the executive director of California E.A.R. unit, she has championed the work of living composers worldwide. She serves as a mentor to bright, young musicians at CalArts. As a composer, she stretches the limits of sound…

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097: Matt Tong (Bloc Party, Algiers)

Matt Tong’s inventively staggered grooves and unhinged energy helped launch Bloc party to critical acclaim and worldwide commercial success. He talks to Joe about how he developed his unique style, issues unique to half-Asian people, why he left Bloc Party abruptly, couples therapy, and overcoming creative fear.

096: Gabe Serbian (The Locust, Head Wound City)

As the drummer for The Locust, Gabe Serbian powered one of the most unique, frenetic, and influential bands to hail from the fertile San Diego rock scene of the 90s. Gabe talks to Joe about growing up in a suburban nightmare, discovering metal and punk, ditching school to play drums, trashing the house of an…

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095: Matt Cameron (Soundgarden, Pearl Jam, Temple of the Dog, Wellwater Conspiracy)

Matt Cameron burst onto the Seattle rock scene in the early 80s. His singular style combines brute force, exceptional finesse, and a keen compositional sensibility. Matt  tells Joe about his SoCal childhood; why–despite a lot of hard work–he considers himself lucky; his tenure with Soundgarden and Pearl Jam; his parenting style; and why he doesn’t…

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BNS: Matt Cameron Answers Listener Questions

In this bonus mini-episode, Matt Cameron answers listeners’ questions. He discusses Elvin, Tony, Gadd, spirit animals, rim shots, artistic instincts, musical confidence, click tracks, and more!

094: William Goldsmith (Sunny Day Real Estate, The Fire Theft)

As drummer for Sunny Day Real Estate, William Goldsmith was the emotional core of one of the most influential and enigmatic rock bands of his generation. He was invited to join Dave Grohl as the drummer for the first incarnation of Foo Fighters, but it wasn’t a good fit. William sits down with Joe for…

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093: Lol Tolhurst (The Cure)

As the founding drummer of The Cure, Lol Tolhurst developed a unique style that is sometimes wild and tribal, sometimes precise and machine-like. He tells Joe about growing up in postwar UK; his lifelong friendship with The Cure frontman, Robert Smith; developing the band’s sound through the process of elimination; overcoming addiction; and why he…

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BNS: Carmine Appice Remembers Buddy Rich (Bonus Mini-Episode)

In this bonus, mini-episode, Carmine Appice remembers his relationship with the great Buddy Rich. You can hear Carmine’s full episode by subscribing to The Trap Set for free.

092: Zach Barocas (Jawbox, The Up On In, Bells≥)

While most drummers strive to “play for the song”, Zach Barocas’s unique, innovative drumming is an essential element of the song. He tells Joe about growing up in Rochester, NY; the unusual way he joined the legendary DC band Jawbox; and overcoming struggles with addiction.

091: Adam Wade (Shudder To Think, Jawbox)

Adam Wade’s inventive, angular drumming first emerged in the early 1990s, as DC punk bands began experimenting with more complex, sophisticated song structures than their hardcore predecessors. Adam tells Joe about growing up in Greenwich Village; his time with two highly influential bands–Jawbox and Shudder to Think; how he evolved as a person when he…

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090: Carmine Appice (Vanilla Fudge, Cactus, Rod Stewart, etc.)

Carmine Appice first achieved mainstream recognition as the drummer for Vanilla Fudge. Over the subsequent 50 years, he has established himself as one of the most influential drummers in the history of rock. Carmine tells Joe about his time in a gang; collaborating with Cactus, Rod Stewart, and Vanilla Fudge; and why he was compelled…

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089: Laura Harris (Ex Hex, The Aquarium, Benjy Ferree)

Laura Harris’s powerfully lean style provides the perfect foundation for the expertly crafted, hook-laden songs of Ex Hex. She tells Joe about working at DC’s legendary rock club, The Black Cat; her time in Dischord band The Aquarium; and how she moved forward after the end of a creative and romantic partnership.

088: Greg Fox (Liturgy, Guardian Alien, Zs)

Greg Fox has worked with many of the most exciting groups to hail from New York in the past decade, and his unique style also lends itself well to solo percussion music. Greg tells Joe about his childhood in Manhattan; the benefits of working at the now defunct music hub Manny’s; the realization that not…

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087: Todd Trainer (Shellac, Brick Layer Cake)

Over the course of the past three decades, Todd Trainer has distinguished himself as one of his generation’s most unique rock drummers. Both visceral and sophisticated, he executes brilliantly composed beats with an instantly identifiable loping groove. He tells Joe about growing up in Minnesota; working in the school lunch line as a teenager; creating…

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BNS: Sly Dunbar Answers Listener Questions

In this bonus mini-episode, the legendary Sly Dunbar answers your questions about Bob Dylan, Serge Gainsbourg, his favorite studio snacks, and more.

086: Sly Dunbar (Sly & Robbie, Grace Jones, Peter Tosh, The Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan)

Sly Dunbar burst onto the Kingston music scene in the early 1970s. Along with his partner, bassist Robbie Shakespeare, Sly revolutionized Jamaican music and appeared on countless hits. As reggae music exploded in popularity in the 1970s and 80s, top international artists ranging from Dylan to Gainsbourg flocked to Jamaica, seeking the wicked groove only…

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085: Ben Blackwell (The Dirtbombs, Jack White, Cass Records, Third Man Records)f

Ben Blackwell first made a name for himself as one of two drummers for the Detroit-based band The Dirtbombs. He has also been active as a journalist, songwriter, and owner of Cass Records. He met with Joe at his office in Nashville, where he oversees vinyl production for Third Man Records.

BNS: Mac McNeilly Answers Your Questions

In this bonus mini-episode, Mac McNeilly answers your questions about The Jesus Lizard, prog rock, and working out. The topic of Phil Collins is also discussed.

084: Gregg Keplinger (WAH, Keplinger Drums)

When he was a young man, Gregg Keplinger sneaked into a coat room to hear John Coltrane play with Elvin Jones. He drew inspiration from that experience and developed a fiery, sensitive style of his own. Aside from his career as a drummer, Gregg is revered as a drum builder; and–due to his exceptional wisdom…

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083: Mac McNeilly (The Jesus Lizard)

With a massive sound and a pummeling groove, Mac McNeilly served as the anchor for the compellingly bizarre, highly influential band The Jesus Lizard. At the peak of his powers (and popularity), he walked away from it all to focus on his family. He tells Joe about childhood chicanery; the machinations of The Jesus Lizard;…

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082: Homer Steinweiss (Sharon Jones, Amy Winehouse, Bruno Mars, The Mighty Imperials)

As one of the funkiest drummers working today, Homer Steinweiss carries the torch lit by legends such as Clyde Stubblefield, Jabo Starks, and James Gadson. He tells Joe about growing up in Manhattan; his early love of grunge; recording with The Mighty Imperials at age 16; and how he came into his own as an…

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081: Sebastian Thomson (Trans Am, Baroness, Publicist)

Sebastian Thomson burst onto the scene as the drummer of the genre-defying band Trans Am. He tells Joe about growing up as a “super nerd” in Argentina and The United States; withdrawing from academia to pursue music; raging with Trans Am; auditioning for his current band Baroness; and why his playing is better than ever.

080: Richie Ramone (The Ramones)

As the third drummer for punk pioneers, The Ramones, Richie Ramone brought new creative energy to the band–not only as a drummer, but as a songwriter and vocalist. Frontman, Joey, once said that Richie was the best thing to ever happen to The Ramones. Richie tells Joe about being a bratty kid, touring with a…

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079: Amy Farina (The Evens, The Warmers)

Joe is joined by DC resident, Amy Farina, a drummer who possesses a supernaturally spacious groove, coupled with an inventive compositional aesthetic. Amy tells Joe about her childhood in Pennsylvania; her background in visual art; her tenure with bands such as The Evens, The Warmers, and Lois; her compulsion to work; and parenthood.

078: Ryan Rapsys (Euphone, Heroic Doses, Gauge)

Joe first witnessed Ryan Rapsys’s singular brilliance at a basement show in Milwaukee in 1996. Since then, he has considered Ryan one of the very best drummers of his generation. Ryan tells Joe about how he learned to play Rush’s 2112 as a toddler; how he burst onto the Chicago rock scene with bands like…

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077: Stewart Copeland (The Police, Klark Kent, Animal Logic, Oysterhead)

Joe is thrilled to welcome one of his favorite drummers, Stewart Copeland, to The Trap Set. A founding member of The Police, Stewart is one of the most admired and influential drummers of all time. He tells Joe about how drumming made him a man; his father’s background as a CIA agent; why he was…

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BNS: Stewart Copeland Answers Listener Questions

In this bonus mini-episode, Joe asks Stewart Copeland listener questions. He talks about group therapy with The Police, his recording approach, Klark Kent, and a famous phrase scrawled on his drum heads.

076: Damon Atkinson (Braid, Hey Mercedes)

Damon Atkinson is perhaps best known for his drumming with Braid and Hey Mercedes. His cleverly composed, crisply executed beats were essential elements of those bands’ formulas. He tells Joe about becoming fascinated with drumming while still a toddler; his punk rock roots in the northern suburbs of Milwaukee; how his DIY background served him…

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075: Edwin Bonilla (Gloria Estefan, Cachao, Celia Cruz, Arturo Sandoval)

Edwin Bonilla started his musical journey playing rock and R&B on drum kit, but as a teenager he transitioned to timbales, bongos, and congas. He developed an aggressive, hard-hitting style that brought him to the attention of legends such as: Celia Cruz, Arturo Sandaval, and Stevie Wonder. He is perhaps best known, though, for his…

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074: Jody Stephens (Big Star, Golden Smog, Those Pretty Wrongs)

Jody Stephens drummed for Big Star, a band that was criminally overlooked during its initial lifetime but eventually became monumentally influential. Jody tells Joe about how he fell in love with drums, why he studied accounting and marketing, his creative role in Big Star, and how he has stayed busy at Memphis’s legendary Ardent Studios.

BNS: Gina Schock on Edie and the Eggs

In this bonus mini-episode, Gina Schock talks about performing with Baltimore legend and John Waters collaborator, Edith Massey, in Edie and the Eggs.

073: Daru Jones (Jack White, Talib Kweli, The Ruff Pack, Rusic Records)

Daru Jones was born to two church music directors; and although he is rooted in Gospel music, he was also drawn to jazz and hip hop at a young age. He tells Joe about living in both the sacred and secular worlds; his genre spanning career; running his own label, Rusic Records; and how faith…

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BNS: Peter Erskine on Generosity

Peter Erskine talks about generosity among drummers and jazz musicians in general. Don’t be a dick, share your knowledge.

072: Gina Schock (The Go-Go’s, House of Schock)

Gina Schock moved from Baltimore to Los Angeles with the intention of becoming a rock star, and she soon fulfilled her dreams as the drummer of The Go-Go’s. Gina’s monstrous groove and distinctively catchy beats proved integral to the band’s iconic sound. She tells Joe about ruling the pop charts; moving forward after the band’s…

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BNS: Gina Schock Answers Listener Questions

In this bonus mini-episode, Gina Schock answers questions from Jon Wurster, Maggie Vail, Danny Frankel, and more!

071: Sara Lund (Unwound, Coryn Tucker, The Secret Drum Band)

Sara Lund plays drums with a mesmeric groove and enough bombast to make even the most angular rhythms feel compelling. She tells Joe about her childhood as the daughter of a folklorist and potter; the formative experience of seeing Sheila E. and Prince on the Purple Rain tour; discovering punk rock; navigating through difficult band…

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070: Kellii Scott (Failure, Linda Perry, Mark Lanegan)

Kellii Scott moved to Los Angeles at age 17 with dreams of rock stardom. He finally accomplished this goal as the drummer for Failure’s acclaimed 1996 album, Fantastic Planet. After the dissolution of the band, he stayed busy as an artist but fell deep into drug addiction and homelessness. He tells Joe how he got…

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069: Charlie Hall (The War On Drugs, Jens Lekman, Windsor for the Derby)

At various stages in his life, Charlie Hall has been a drummer, guitarist, keyboardist, teacher, and social worker. He tells Joe about his Muppet drum set; the inner workings of The War On Drugs; his fascination with group dynamics; and jazz hats.

068: Peter Erskine (Weather Report, Dr. Um, Stan Kenton, etc.)

Peter Erskine started his career with the great Stan Kenton, and his career reached new heights when he joined Weather Report in the late 1970s. He tells his Joe about his musical childhood, his time with several iconic artists, and his underlying artistic philosophy.

1999: RIP Prince / Sheila E.

Here at The Trap Set, there is no artist that is more loved an admired than Prince—who aside from being THE towering creative genius of his generation—was a phenomenal drummer. Though we never had an opportunity to have Prince on our show, we did have the honor of speaking with one of his closest collaborators…

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067: Poni Silver (The Ettes)

Poni Silver is the drummer for The Ettes, but her talents extend far beyond music. She tells Joe about her journey through art, dance, rollerskating, and fashion design. She explains how she learned to drum after only three lessons; why her parents were unimpressed when The Ettes played on national television; and how the band…

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066: Mario Rubalcaba (Off!, Earthless, Rocket From The Crypt, etc.)

Mario Rubalcaba began his professional career as a skateboarder for the legendary Team Alva. When the skateboarding boom of the late 80s imploded, Mario transitioned to life as a full time drummer. He talks to Joe about skating, knife skills, and life with influential bands such as: Off!, Earthless, and Clikitat Ikatowi.

BNS: Pete Thomas on Longevity and The Police

In this bonus mini-episode, Pete Thomas reflects on the longevity of The Attractions; and he tells tales of touring with The Police.

065: Dennis Davis (David Bowie, Roy Ayers, Stevie Wonder, George Benson)

A native of New York, Dennis Davis was immersed in jazz at a young age, and he made his mark as the drummer for groundbreaking, popular artists such as: David Bowie, Roy Ayers, Stevie Wonder, George Benson, and Iggy Pop. He talks to Joe about his mentorship with legendary drummers Max Roach and Elvin Jones;…

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064: Jeremy Barnes (Neutral Milk Hotel, A Hawk And A Hacksaw, Beirut, etc.)

Jeremy Barnes tells Joe about being the only male in his family not to join the Marines, dropping out of school, playing in the highly influential band Neutral Milk Hotel, falling in love with Eastern European music, and evolving as a multi-instrumental artist.

063: Pete Thomas (Elvis Costello & The Attractions, Suzanne Vega, Jackshit, etc.)

Pete Thomas began his career in the UK Pub Rock scene, but he is best known for his 40-year association with Elvis Costello. He tells Joe about stalking Mitch Mitchell as a teenager, his working relationship with The Attractions, drinking for maximum enjoyment, getting arrested, and the existential dread that plagues us all. This episode…

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062: Live from Los Angeles (Stella Mozgawa, Fred Armisen, Clem Burke)

Joe welcomes back three of your favorite guests for a live panel discussion about life, fandom and existential crises. All three guests were fans of each other and were excited to interview each other, as well as take questions from Joe and the audience. Warpaint’s Stella Mozgawa interviews Portlandia’s Fred Armisen—who began his career as…

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061: Barbara Gruska (The Belle Brigade)

Barbara Gruska tells Joe about growing up in a musical family, forming the excellent band The Belle Brigade with her brother, and developing meditative practices to keep existential worries at bay.

060: Dennis Chambers PT. 2

During Part 2 of Joe’s conversation with legendary drummer Dennis Chambers, Dennis talks about his recent brush with death and his subsequent recovery. He also assesses the legacy of his influential body of work.

BNS: Steve Gadd on Stuff

Steve Gadd discusses Stuff, an incredible band he co-led with other NY studio luminaries in the 70s and early 80s.

059: Dennis Chambers Pt. 1 (Parliament/Funkadelic, Mike Stern, Santana)

After a recent, life-threatening health scare, drum legend Dennis Chambers met with Joe for a revealing, comprehensive conversation. Dennis opens up about  his mischievous childhood in Baltimore, how he fell in love with music, his time with Parliament/Funkadelic, his obsessive drive for greatness, the legacy of his groundbreaking instructional videos and, of course, his near-death…

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058: LIVE in Portland with Janet Weiss (Sleater-Kinney, Quasi), Tim “Spit Stix” Leitch (Fear, Nasalrod), John Moen (The Decemberists), and John Sherman (Red Fang)

Joe traveled to Portland, OR, to record the very first live episode of The Trap Set at the world-famous Revival Drum Shop. Four of Portland’s finest drummers–Janet Weiss, Spit Stix, John Moen, and John Sherman–shared their remarkable life stories. This is the first time all four drummers had been in the same place at the…

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057: John “Jabo” Starks (James Brown, BB King, Bobby Blue Bland)

Jabo Starks is a stylistic chameleon who can jump from hard-driving blues shuffles; to latin-infused backbeats; to sophisticated, syncopated funk jams. His addition to James Brown’s band in 1965 was crucial to the leader’s evolution from traditional song forms to his own, wholly unique style. Though he is most closely associated with James Brown, Jabo…

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BNS: Fluke Holland on The Sun Records Sound, The Million Dollar Quartet, and The Man In Black.

In this bonus mini-episode, Fluke Holland tells Joe about his signature drum sound; playing with Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins, and Johnny Cash; and why Cash chose to wear black.

056: Clyde Stubblefield (James Brown, Whad’ya Know)

As a member of James Brown’s band, Clyde Stubblefield’s ingenious drum patterns came to define the funk genre. Years later, Clyde became the most sampled drummer in history, powering hits by everyone from N.W.A. to Kenny G. Yet, despite his monumental contributions to music, Clyde’s name doesn’t even appear on the majority of the records…

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055: Steve Gadd (Stuff, Paul Simon, Eric Clapton, Solo Artist, etc.)

For the One Year Anniversary episode of The Trap Set, Joe had a chance to speak to one of his favorite drummers, Steve Gadd. One of the most prolific and respected drummers of all time, Steve generously shares some hard-won wisdom about musical communication, addiction, recovery, and family. At age 70, he is still trying…

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054: Dan Didier (The Promise Ring, Maritime)

Dan Didier is best known as the drummer for the highly influential bands The Promise Ring and Maritime. He tells Joe about falling out with his longtime bandmate and best friend; achieving balance between family, music, and a creative day job; and his zen approach to life. 

053: W.S. “Fluke” Holland (Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins, Million Dollar Quartet)

When he was asked by Carl Perkins to join his band, W.S. “Fluke” Holland had no drumming experience whatsoever. Within the first year of picking up drum sticks for the first time, Fluke was recording genre-defining hits with Perkins and The Million Dollar Quartet. He even thought of retiring from music at the age of…

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052: Tony Allen (Fela Kuti, Afrika 70, Solo Artist, Rocket Juice and the Moon Team)

Tony Allen is inarguably one of the greatest drummers ever to pick up sticks. Brian Eno famously cited him as one of the most important drummers on the planet, and it isn’t hyperbolic to say that he is simply one of the great musicians to emerge during the 20th century. Tony tells Joe about his…

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BNS: George Hurley on Influences and Origins

In this bonus mini-episode, George Hurley tells his drumming origin story and talks about musical influences. He also discusses parallels between jazz and punk rock. Check out George’s full-length episode by subscribing to The Trap Set on iTunes, Stitcher, or RSS.

051: George Hurley (Minutemen, fiREHOSE)

George Hurley drummed for Minutemen and fIREHOSE, two of the most influential and beloved bands to emerge from the Southern California punk scene. He tells Joe about how he gravitated to drums, taught himself to play–practicing ten hours a day, was freed by punk rock, and hooked up with bandmates, D. Boon and Mike Watt.…

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050: William Kuehn

William Kuehn began his career in Madison, Wisconsin, as the drummer for the beloved emo band, Rainer Maria. A Wisconsin native himself, Joe played some of his earliest shows opening for Rainer Maria, so he and William have known each other for about 20 years. William charts Rainer Maria’s history, and he tells Joe about…

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049: Kiran Gandhi (MIA, Madame Gandhi)

Kiran Gandhi drummed for MIA while also earning her MBA at Harvard. She also recently made international headlines for running the London Marathon while bleeding freely. She discusses the impetus behind this action, and she also tells Joe about how she plans to integrate her business training and feminist activism with her creative life.

BNS: Bob Bert on No Wave, Bad Moon Rising, and Steve Shelley

In this bonus mini-episode, Bob Bert talks about the No-Wave scene; the legacy of Sonic Youth’s classic album, Bad Moon Rising; and his relationship with his successor in the band, Steve Shelley.

048: Joe Plummer (Cold War Kids, The Shins, Modest Mouse, Hew Time)

Over the last decade, Joe Plummer has been the drummer of choice for many of the West Coast’s most popular and acclaimed rock bands. He talks about growing up as the youngest member of a giant extended family and what he’s drawn from his experiences playing with Cold War Kids, The Shins, Modest Mouse, and…

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047: Bob Bert (Sonic Youth, Pussy Galore, Lydia Lunch Retrovirus)

Bob Bert first gained notoriety as the drummer on Sonic Youth’s early records. Next, he played with Jon Spencer in Pussy Galore, and he currently works with Lydia Lunch in Retrovirus. He talks to Joe about how he discovered punk and no wave, how his background in visual art informed his musical concept, and he…

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BNS: Bun E. Carlos on finding a singer and Live at Budokan

In this bonus mini-episode, Bun E. Carlos talks about Cheap Trick’s search for a singer and the band’s classic album Live at Budokan.

BNS: Matt Chamberlain on musical obsession, Jack Dejohnette, and recording process.

In this bonus mini-episode, Matt Chamberlain talks about his obsessive quest to become a great drummer; working with legendary teachers such as Jack Dejohnette; and how he broke through and became one of his generation’s most admired and prolific drummers.

046: Bun E. Carlos (Cheap Trick)

As founding drummer of Cheap Trick, Bun E. Carlos laid the rhythmic foundation for one of the most influential and beloved rock bands in history. He charts the band’s course from the Midwestern club circuit to international superstardom. He also tells Joe what he’s been up to, now that he is no longer actively playing…

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045: Matt Chamberlain (Fiona Apple, Tori Amos, Soundgarden, Critters Buggin, etc.)

One of the most compelling and versatile drummers working today, Matt Chamberlain has collaborated with everyone from David Bowie to Soundgarden; from Keith Urban to of Montreal. He tells Joe about the obsession with music that began while he was still in diapers, why he was compelled to seek musical mentors, and how he has…

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BNS: DH Peligro on DK Breakup and Sexual Exploits

In this bonus mini-episode, DH Peligro talks about his early sexual exploits and the original breakup of Dead Kennedys. Check out his full episode by subscribing to The Trap Set on iTunes, RSS, or Stitcher.

044: DH Peligro (Dead Kennedys)

DH Peligro’s explosive groove propelled punk standard bearers, Dead Kennedys, into the stratosphere. He tells Joe about first being exposed to music in church, his time with the iconic DK, his brief stint in Red Hot Chili Peppers, and his struggle to achieve sobriety.

BNS: Glenn Kotche on Songwriting Standards

In this Bonus Mini-Episode, Wilco’s Glenn Kotche discusses standards and expectations when it comes to songwriting. He also shares what he has gleaned from spending time with Neil Young and Jeff Tweedy.

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