Category Archive for: Past Episodes

151: Chad Molter (Faraquet, Medications, Grass)

Chad Molter grew up playing bass, but he became picked up drums in a matter of months in order to co-found Faraquet, a DC-based band that merged proggy musical sophistication with the spirit of punk rock. Chad tells Joe about: yearning to leave his native Southern California; developing his self-taught, uniquely melodic style; hiking the…

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ML1: Laura Veirs + Carol Kaye (Beach Boys, Sonny and Cher, Frank Sinatra, etc.)

Over the past several months, Joe has been co-producing a new podcast hosted by Laura Veirs called Midnight Lightning. We’re excited to share the very first episode of that show, featuring Laura’s interview with the legendary bassist (and Joe’s bass teacher), Carol Kaye. The Trap Set returns with a stellar lineup of drummer conversations starting…

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BNS: Bernard Purdie Revisited

The Trap Set team is taking some time off to enjoy the holidays, so we’ve decided to share one of our very favorite early conversations with the inimitable Bernard Purdie. Originally aired two and a half years ago as two episodes, we’ve combined the conversation into one long episode for your enjoyment. For those of…

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BNS: Bill Ward Answers Listener Questions

In this bonus mini-episode, Bill Ward answers listener questions ranging from Black Sabbath to food.

150: Bill Ward (Black Sabbath, Day of Errors)

As a child in working-class Birmingham, the only career options presented to Bill Ward were working in a factory or enlisting in the military. Against all odds, he escaped that bleak destiny and co-founded the paradigm-shifting Black Sabbath. Bill tells Joe about his journey from choir boy to unhinged rock legend; the inner workings of…

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149: Bryan Devendorf (The National)

Despite a deceptively unassuming stage persona, Bryan Devendorf’s cleverly deconstructed beats are central to The National’s sonic identity. He tells Joe about: growing up in Cincinnati, straddling the worlds of punk rock and jam bands, parenthood, white privilege, self improvement, and the intimate relationships at the core of The National.

BNS: Billy Cobham (Mahavishnu Orchestra, Solo Artist)

This week, we’re hard at work on a new live episode and a special Episode 150, so here’s one of our favorite episodes, featuring the legendary Billy Cobham.

148: Aaron Steele (Chrome Sparks, Portugal The Man, Alice Smith)

Aaron Steele grew up in New York City, raised by two Panamanian immigrants who become pastors. His adventurous spirit, deep pocket, and attention to sonic detail make him one of the most exciting young artists on the scene. He tells Joe about: how Bill Withers was his “Beatles”; growing up a believer; becoming a skeptic;…

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147: Scott McPherson (Elliott Smith, M. Ward, Sense Field, etc.)

Scott McPherson’s seemingly effortless musicality has made him the drummer of choice for many of his generation’s greatest songwriters. He tells Joe about addiction and sobriety; working with artists ranging from Sense Field to Elliott Smith; creating his own company, Tackle Instrument; and the danger of getting what you wish for.

146: Dave King (The Bad Plus, Happy Apple)

Minnesota native, Dave King, grew up a voracious listener of seemingly disparate forms of music. This is reflected in his playing, which illuminates the through line between improvised music and punk. Dave and Joe discuss: getting pumped for high school wrestling by listening to Albert Ayler and Ornette; the band dynamics of the Bad Plus…

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145: Riley Breckenridge (Thrice, Less Art)

Riley Breckenridge dreamed of becoming a professional athlete, but after his prospects were cut short after an injury, he turned to drums. He achieved success with Thrice, a band that features his brother Eddie and their childhood friends from Orange County. Riley discusses the benefits and drawbacks about being intensely hard on himself; struggling to…

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144: Steven Drozd (The Flaming Lips)

Steven Drozd joined The Flaming Lips in 1991. His one of a kind drumming style fuses Bonhamesque bombast with a clever compositional sense reminiscent of Can’s Jaki Liebezeit; but his contributions to the band aren’t limited to drumming. Drozd plays most of the instruments on The Flaming Lips’ recordings and co-writes their songs. He tells…

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143: Jojo Mayer (Nerve)

Jojo Mayer visits The Trap Set and tells Joe about his childhood in Switzerland, artistic honesty, and pair discuss strategies for keeping existential dread at bay.

BNS: Fred Armisen on “For Drummers Only”

Fred Armisen stops by to discuss his new Netflix comedy special, “For Drummers Only”. The show is being filmed at the historic Great American Music Hall in San Francisco, this Thursday 10/19. Visit for tickets.

142: Lia Simone Braswell

Raised in Los Angeles by a musician mother and punk rock dad, Lia Simone Braswell was playing with adults when she was still a child. She tells Joe about joining her best friend’s dad’s band, her commune-like tenure with Le Butcherettes, her fascination with linguistics, and overcoming personal tragedy.

Remembering Tom Petty, Steve Ferrone

The music of Tom Petty has been an integral part of Joe’s life for as long as he can remember, so this week we’re revisiting our amazingly inspirational conversation with Steve Ferrone of The Heartbreakers. Also, Joe talks about the massive impact Tom and the band have had on his life and pays tribute to…

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141: Chad Smith (Red Hot Chili Peppers, Chickenfoot, Bombastic Meatbats)

Chad Smith’s unabashed hard rock style could have easily clashed with the funk-punk roots of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, but instead he proved to be the catalyst that launched the band to international superstardom. His muscular, yet articulate drumming evokes a cross between P-Funk and Deep Purple and acts as the perfect anchor for…

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140: Mark Guiliana (David Bowie, Brad Mehldau, Avishai Cohen, Donny McCaslin, Solo Artist)

A child of the MTV generation, Mark Guiliana grew up on Soundgarden, Nirvana, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Dr. Dre. He began playing drums relatively late in life, almost on a whim. But, his strong creative voice?inspired by a combination of post-bop heroes, glitchy experimental electronica, and the pop music of his youth?has established him…

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139: Louis Hayes (Cannonball Adderly, Horace Silver, Oscar Peterson, etc.)

Louis Hayes arrived in New York at age 19; and over the next 60 years amassed a staggeringly great body of work. His collaborators have included: Cannonball Adderly, Oscar Peterson, John Coltrane, and many more of the giants of modern music. Louis talks to Joe about growing up in Detroit, lessons in manhood from Papa…

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138: Shayna Dunkelman (Xiu Xiu, Peptalk)

Xiu Xiu’s Shayna Dunkelman uses her formal artistic training as a vehicle to explore the musical unknown. She tells Joe about being the only Indonesian Jew in Tokyo; her mom’s new age music career; her background in pure math; her interest in socialism; and why female musicians–and drummers in particular–have to be extraordinarily assertive.

137: Greg Saunier (Deerhoof)

Over the past twenty years, Deerhoof’s Greg Saunier has distinguished himself as one of the most fiercely adventurous, iconoclastic, and unique drummers of his generation. He and Joe talk about what it means to be a “good” artist; atomizing music; the cowardice behind the notion of “serving the song”; Laurie Anderson’s Creation Stations; and Wittgenstein’s…

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BNS: Mimi Parker Answers Your Questions

In this bonus mini-episode, Low’s Mimi Parker answers listener questions! She and Joe discuss Mimi’s winning bout with cancer, her favorite comedians, and the nature of personal responsibility. Make sure to subscribe to The Trap Set to hear Mimi’s full episode, along with our entire back catalog–all for free!

136: Viola Smith (The Smith Sisters, The Coquettes)

Born in 1912, Viola Smith rose to fame during an era when female musicians were often relegated to novelty status; but over a career that spanned 50 years, she proved herself to be a visionary far ahead of her time. She talks to Joe about her childhood in Wisconsin, why becoming a traveling musician distanced…

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BNS: Stephen Perkins Answers Your Questions

In this bonus mini-episode, Stephen Perkins answers listeners’ questions.

135: Ryan Sawyer (Zeena Parkins, Charles Gayle, Boredoms, At The Drive In)

Ryan Sawyer grew up in Texas, where he joined At The Drive In and played on the band’s first album. A long time resident of New York, Ryan has honed a style at the convergence of punk and jazz. His collaborators have included Thurston Moore, TV On The Radio, Boredoms, Zeena Parkins, Charles Gayle, and…

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BNS: Steve Ferrone Answers Your Questions

In this bonus mini-episode, Steve Ferrone answers questions from YOU, our listeners.

134: Roland & Steve Albini (Big Black, Rapeman, Shellac)

Roland, Steve Albini, and Joe discuss: Big Black, Shellac, the “Uberization” of the workforce, the Jungle of Life, and the one true God above.

133: John McEntire (Tortoise, The Sea and Cake, Bastro, etc.)

For nearly 30 years, John McEntire has existed at the vanguard of a modern paradigm of musician producers. He tells Joe about the impetus to start playing, his formative years at Oberlin, Bastro, Tortoise, The Sea and Cake, and how he has adapted to sea changes in the music world.

132: Pablo Rieppi (NY Ballet, Juilliard)

Born in Montevideo, Uruguay, Pablo Rieppi spent much of his 1980s adolescence in the Washington DC area. He tells Joe about his journey from Neil Peart devotee to Juilliard Faculty member (not that two things are mutually exclusive). Pablo tells Joe how he benefited from the naivete of his youth, and he explains why all…

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131: James Sclavunos (Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, Lydia Lunch, Sonic Youth, The Cramps, etc.)

James Sclavunos grew up in Brooklyn and dreamed of becoming an astronaut priest or an avant-garde saxophonist. Instead, he attended film school at NYU and became a part of the musical movement that would later be known as No Wave. He tells Joe about his relationship with Catholicism; cruising the Village in a sailor suit;…

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130: Susie Ibarra

Susie Ibarra filtered her innate creativity through the prism of jazz language to develop one of the strongest, most original voices in contemporary music. She and Joe discuss: Asian-American identity; being present; time management; and art as a vehicle for wonder, play, and joy. This episode was recorded in 2015 and recently recovered.

129: Sebastien Grainger (Death from Above)

Sebastien Grainger stops by The Trap Set and tells Joe about: growing up in Canada, the origins of Death From Above, learning to define himself outside of the band, his favorite singing drummer, and bread making.

128: Mimi Parker (Low)

Low’s Mimi Parker uses a deliberately limited sonic palette to create sprawling rhythmic landscapes. The master of nuance and shading talks to Joe about: growing up on a farm, meeting her future bandmate and husband–Alan Sparhawk–in fourth grade, her aversion to the spotlight, her secret desire to become a comedian, and her hopes for her…

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127: Phil Collins (Genesis, Brand X, Phil Collins)

“Come on Joe, give me your worst!” Phil Collins tells Joe about concert toms; navigating the world of massive fame; unearthing resentment towards his father, his instinctual approach to music; fatherhood; and socks. Then, Phil answers questions from drummers such as Matt Cameron, Aaron Steele, Jon Wurster, and Fred Armisen on topics ranging from Brian…

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BNS: Phil Collins Preview

In anticipation of next week’s Phil Collins episode, Joe is joined by Trap Set co-producer Chris to discuss why the Phil episode is a watershed moment for the show and why Phil is a singularly fascinating genius. This episode also features musings on Phil from Clem Burke, Fred Armisen, Stella Mozgawa, Seb Thompson, Butch Vig,…

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126: Steve Ferrone (Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Average White Band, Chaka Khan, etc.)

Steve Ferrone grew up in Brighton, UK. Although he studied tap dancing as a child, he began playing gigs as a drummer by age 12. He tells Joe about: his absent father; his angry grandfather; getting in touch with his racial identity; his big break with Average White Band; working with giants such as Chaka…

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125: Live from Milwaukee (Victor DeLorenzo, Dan Didier, Shane Hochstetler, Jon Mueller)

Late last year, Joe returned to his hometown and recorded a live episode featuring: Victor DeLorenzo (Violent Femmes); Dan Didier (The Promise Ring); Shane Hochstetler (Call Me Lightning); and Jon Mueller (Rhythmplex, Volcano Choir). This episode is co-produced by WMSE and Colectivo.

124: Leah Shapiro (Black Rebel Motorcycle Club)

Leah Shapiro’s bombastic energy and spacious sense of time helped launch Black Rebel Motorcycle Club to new creative galaxies, but her early years with the band were plagued with misfortune. She tells Joe about growing up with free spirited parents in Denmark; studying music business; losing her friend and mentor, Michael Been of The Call;…

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123: Jason McGerr (Death Cab For Cutie)

Jason McGerr fell in love with music at an early age, and drumming provided him with solace during a somewhat challenging childhood. He tells Joe about seeing Santa Claus; his teaching style; joining Death Cab For Cutie and helping propel the band to mainstream success; his quest for self improvement; and balancing his career with…

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122: Mitchell Feldstein (Lungfish, Arboretum)

Mitchell Feldstein’s deceptively simple grooves contain a universe of poetic nuance. He tells Joe about growing up in Philadelphia, losing his parents at an early age, joining the inimitable band Lungfish, earning a master’s degree in social work, being a “good nihilist”, and why he is no longer compelled to play music. Photo: Ben Clark

121: Jim Derogatis (Vortis, Sound Opinions)

A native of New Jersey, Jim Derogatis raised the cash for his first drum kit working odd jobs, such as scraping gum off of school desks. He is perhaps best known as a music writer; but Jim has also toured and recorded with bands for over 30 years. He tells Joe about his childhood in…

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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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