Category Archive for: Past Episodes

BNS: Brian Chase on Dave Sitek

In this Bonus Mini-Episode, Brian Chase talks about the influence of producer and longtime collaborator, Dave Sitek. Warning: This gets pretty nerdy!

043: Brian Chase (Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Drums and Drones)

Brian Chase is best known as the drummer for Yeah Yeah Yeahs; but he is also a prolific solo artist and has collaborated with everyone from John Zorn to Beech Creeps. He talks to Joe about his involvement in music at an early age, attending Oberlin, the origins and inner workings of Yeah Yeah Yeahs,…

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BNS: Mike Clark on Phil Collins and Brand X

In this bonus mini-episode, Mike Clark tells Joe about working in Phil-Collins-led fusion band Brand X. You can hear Mike’s full episode by subscribing to The Trap Set on iTunes, Stitcher, or RSS.

BNS: Howard Grimes on Bernard Purdie

In this bonus mini-episode, Howard Grimes of Hi/Stax Records fame tells Joe about being influenced by Bernard Purdie. You can hear Howard’s full episode, as well as Bernard’s two part episode, by subscribing to The Trap Set on iTunes, Stitcher, or RSS.

042: Howard Grimes (Al Green, Ann Peebles, Rufus Thomas, The Bo Keys)

Through his affiliation with both Hi and Stax records, Memphis native Howard Grimes has played drums on countless timeless, classic songs. He tells Joe about that drumming was his divine calling; and he charts his monumental career, backing Al Green, Ann Peebles, Rufus Thomas, and many other legendary stars.

BNS: Ndugu Chancler Bonus Mini-Episode: Billie Jean

In this bonus mini-episode, Ndugu Chancler tells Joe about recording Michael Jackson’s classic song, “Billie Jean”. You can hear Ndugu’s full length episode by subscribing to The Trap Set on iTunes or RSS.

BNS: John Stanier Bonus Mini-Episode: DJ

In this bonus mini-episode, John Stanier tells Joe about his time as a professional DJ. You can hear John’s full length episode by subscribing to The Trap Set on iTunes or RSS.

041: John Stanier (Battles, Helmet, Tomahawk)

John Stanier first burst onto the rock scene in the late 80s, as founding drummer of Helmet. He charts the course of that band’s decade long run, which included mainstream, multi-platinum success but ended in acrimony. He tells Joe about the musical evolution that led him to his current band, Battles; and he explains why–despite…

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BNS: Brendan Canty Mini-Episode, Flex Your Head / Rites of Spring

In this bonus mini-episode, Brendan Canty tells Joe about how he got involved with the DC punk scene; playing with the short-lived, but incredibly influential band Rites of Spring; and the genesis of Fugazi. Subscribe to The Trap Set for free to hear Brendan’s full-length episode. (He was guest numero uno.)

BNS: Reggie Watts Bonus Mini-Episode

In this bonus mini-episode, Reggie Watts tells Joe about writing music while on acid. Subscribe to The Trap Set for free to hear Reggie’s full-length episode (#40).

040: Reggie Watts (Late Late Show, Maktub, Solo Artist)

Reggie Watts talks to Joe about growing up in Montana, psychedelic drugs, the spirit of jazz, leading the Late Late Show Band on CBS, virtual reality, and returning to Montana to create Utopian creative compound.

BNS: Dee Plakas Bonus Mini-Episode

In this bonus mini-episode, L7’s Dee Plakas talks to Joe about touring with Melvins. Subscribe to The Trap Set for free to hear Dee’s full-length episode. (Also available: an interview with Dale Crover of Melvins.)

039: Glenn Kotche (Wilco, Solo Artist)

Best known as the drummer for Wilco, Glenn Kotche is also an accomplished classical percussionist and experimental composer. He talks to Joe about the internal workings of Wilco and how he strives for balance between his many creative pursuits and his family life.

BNS: Clem Burke Bonus Mini-Episode

Clem Burke of Blondie Fame tells Joe about how he got started in music and how he ended up playing Carnegie Hall at age fourteen.

BNS: Greg Fox & Kid Millions Bonus Mini-Episode

Greg Fox and Kid Millions call Joe to talk about their fantastic new duo album, “Losttime”. Subscribe to The Trap Set so that you can check out Kid’s full-length episode in our archives (Episode 3), and stay tuned for a new episode featuring Greg sometime soon.

038: Clem Burke (Blondie)

Clem Burke talks about the New York glam scene at Club 82, the punk scene at CBGBs, crafting pop masterpieces with Blondie, and the band’s rise to tremendous international success. He also discusses how he stays inspired and remains creative 40 years into his career.

BNS: DJ Bonebrake Bonus Mini-Episode #2

DJ Bonebrake talks about how X maintained creative control, in spite of signing with major label, Elektra Records.

037: Dee Plakas (L7)

Dee Plakas talks about discovering her natural gift for drumming, pulverizing the music world with L7, breaking up the band, and reuniting over a decade later.

BNS: Fred Armisen Bonus Mini-Episode

Fred and Joe pontificate over the nature of music and how it relates to cultural anthropology. Neither of them is an expert, so everything they think might be wrong. You be the judge.

036: Simone Pace (Blonde Redhead)

Blonde Redhead’s Simone Pace tells Joe about his mischievous childhood in Italy and Canada, studying with the legendary Alan Dawson in Boston, founding Blonde Redhead in NY, and managing his insecurities as an artist.

BNS: James Gadson Bonus Mini-Episode

James Gadson is one of the greatest drummers in the history of recorded music, but even he sometimes has an off day in the studio. He tells Joe about a time when he wasn’t at his best. Be sure to listen to Gadson’s full-length episode by subscribing to The Trap Set on iTunes or by…

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BNS: DJ Bonebrake Bonus Mini-Episode

DJ Bonebrake, of legendary punk band X, discusses his time as a Buddhist with Joe, who is just now exploring Buddhism. Be sure to listen to DJ’s full-length episode by subscribing to The Trap Set on iTunes or by visiting

035: James Gadson (Bill Withers, Marvin Gaye, The Temptations, etc.)

James Gadson is one of most prolific drummers in funk and soul. His singular style can be heard on seminal records by Bill Withers, Marvin Gaye, Charles Wright, The Temptations, and many other legends. He tells Joe his remarkable life story.

BNS: Venzella Joy Bonus Mini-Episode

Venzella Joy (drummer for Beyoncé) and Joe talk about their wonderful moms.

BNS: Steven Adler Bonus Mini-Episode

Steven Adler of Guns N’ Roses tells Joe about growing up as a “good Hebrew boy” and seeing UFOs. Be sure to check out his full episode at or on iTunes.

034: DJ Bonebrake (X, Orchestra Superstring, Bonebrake Syncopaters)

DJ Bonebrake (yes, that’s his real name) is the founding drummer of legendary LA punk band, X. He tells Joe about his tragic childhood, the early LA punk scene, and how he constantly broadens his artistic skill set.

BNS: Sam Fogarino Bonus Mini-Episode

In this bonus mini-episode, Joe and Interpol’s Sam Fogarino trade culinary tips and discuss the sometimes annoying foodie culture. Check out Sam’s full-length episode at (Past Episodes) or on iTunes.

BNS: Sheila E. Bonus Mini-Episode

In this bonus mini-episode, Sheila E. discusses her grandmother’s obsession with sex. Check out Sheila’s full-length episode at (Past Episodes) or on iTunes.

033: Venzella Joy (Beyoncé)

It’s not enough to merely be a great drummer if you want to play with the biggest pop star in the world. In addition to her unstoppable groove and technical prowess, Venzella Joy possesses an extraordinary combination of wisdom, humility, and confidence that enabled her to secure the drum throne in Beyoncé’s band. But as…

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032: Fred Armisen (8G Band, Trenchmouth, SNL, Portlandia)

You know Fred Armisen from his work on Portlandia and SNL, but before he was a comedy star, Fred was a working drummer. He charts the journey from his early fascination with music, to arty Chicago band Trenchmouth, to Blue Man Group, to SNL and beyond. Fred also tells Joe about what drives him to keep…

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031: Ron Lynch (The Tulsa Skull Swingers, Tomorrow!)

Ron Lynch grew up with aspirations to become a professional drummer. His aptitude for music earned him a scholarship to college, but his path soon led him to pursue comedy and acting. Ron developed his comedy chops as part of the Boston comedy scene of the 80s, that also produced Bobcat Goldthwait, Marc Maron, Louis…

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030: Todd Barry (The Chant, Crowd Work, The Wrestler, Louie)

Todd Barry is one of the greatest comics working today; but before he dedicated himself to the art of stand-up, Todd played in popular Florida band The Chant. Nowadays, when Todd isn’t busy filming comedy specials or acting in acclaimed films and TV shows, he finds time to sit in with bands like Superchunk, and…

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BNS: Jon Wurster BONUS Mini-Episode

In this bonus mini-episode, Jon Wurster discusses the influence of legendary producer and drummer Steve Jordan. Also included is an–until now–unreleased song by Jon’s early band, The Carneys, with Steve Jordan producing. You can hear a full-length interview with Jon at or on iTunes.

029: Jon Wurster (Superchunk, Bob Mould, Scharpling & Wurster)

Jon Wurster first made his name as the drummer for Superchunk, and over the past twenty years, he’s become of rock’s most in-demand and versatile drummers. He’s played with everyone from Bob Mould to Katy Perry, but his creative output isn’t limited to music. Jon is one half of the acclaimed and bizarrely hilarious comedy…

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028: Bernard Purdie, Part Two (Aretha Franklin, Nina Simone, Steely Dan, etc.)

In Part Two of his Trap Set Interview, Bernard Purdie tells Joe about how his legacy has been broadened by sampling, his solo career, and the sessions and artists that who took the music over the top. Also, he briefly addresses his controversial claim of playing on some Beatles recordings.

027: Bernard Purdie, Part One (Aretha Franklin, Nina Simone, Steely Dan, etc.)

In part one of a two part interview, Joe speaks to a true original, the legendary Bernard Purdie. They discuss Purdie’s early fascination with drumming, the tragic loss of his parents, overcoming alcoholism at a very early age, and his arrival in New York. Part two airs next Wednesday.

026: Steven Schick (UCSD, Bang on a Can All-Stars, red fish blue fish)

Steven Schick first heard music as a child on a farm in Iowa. Over the course of his 40 year career, he has become a renowned performer, educator, conductor, and author. He talks to Joe about cultivating financial stability as an artist, learning to be in the moment, and the symbiosis between teaching and performance.

025: Sheila E. (Solo Artist, Prince, E. Family)

Sheila E. talks to Joe about her legendary musical family, joining a gang, working with Prince, overcoming abuse, and helping youth through her Elevate Hope foundation.

024: Sam Fogarino (Interpol, Magnetic Morning)

Sam Fogarino was a productive, adult member of society before he gained notoriety as the drummer of Interpol. He talks to Joe about his creative role in the band, parenthood, the nature of ambition in the Indie scene, and drinking Vodka from the bottle with Josh Homme.

023: Danny Frankel (Lou Reed, Fiona Apple, KD Lang)

Danny Frankel began his career as the drummer for DC band Urban Verbs. After the group dissolved in 1981, Danny moved to Los Angeles and became an in-demand session drummer. He tells Joe about how his time with Lou Reed, Fiona Apple, and KD Lang. And he discuses how his mentor, jazz great Paul Motian,…

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022: Billy Cobham (Solo Artist, Mahavishnu Orchestra)

Legendary drummer Billy Cobham tells Joe about immigrating to the US from Panama, performing with his father’s band in New York City, co-founding the extraordinarily influential Mahavishnu Orchestra, making the jump to a successful career as a leader, and constant creative evolution.

021: Steven Adler (Guns N’ Roses)

As the original drummer for Guns N’ Roses, Steven Adler was the swaggering pulse of the 80’s Los Angeles hard rock scene. But as the band exploded, so did Adler’s addiction to drugs and booze and he was ejected from the band.  Steven discusses his difficult past, his lifelong relationship with Slash, and feeling better…

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020: Maya Tuttle (The Colourist)

Joe talks to The Maya Tuttle about growing up in the Bay Area, the nature of biracial Eurasian marriages in the US, drawing inspiration from Karen Carpenter, singing and drumming with popular band The Colourist, and the challenges presented by working as a professional musician. Photo: Joy Asico

019: Milford Graves (Albert Ayler, NY Art Quartet, Pharaoh Sanders, Anthony Braxton)

Joe talks to Milford Graves about exploring uncharted musical territory as an avant-garde pioneer; building a second career in medicine; supporting a family; and cultivating a multi-disciplinary artistic approach.

018: Kliph Scurlock (Flaming Lips, Gruff Rhys, Psychic Heat)

Kliph Scurlock was born to a musician mother and policeman father in Kansas. He tells Joe how he began his career with The Flaming Lips as a roadie and eventually realized his dream of becoming the band’s drummer for over a decade. He also discusses his controversial departure from the Lips and his continued musical…

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017: Victor Delorenzo (Violent Femmes, Nineteen Thirteen)

Joe talks to Victor Delorenzo about seeing Sun Ra perform at the Racine Zoo, entering the arts as an actor, co-founding the successful and incredibly influential Violent Femmes, and remaining creative and prolific as a member of several groups including Lorenzo Menzerschmidt and Nineteen Thirteen.

016: Stella Mozgawa (Warpaint)

Joe talks to Stella Mozgawa about her Polish heritage, her musican parents, how a benign lie became the truth, how she evolved beyond her competitive nature, and her creative collaboration in Warpaint.

015: John Herndon (Tortoise, 5ive Style, Isotope 217)

Joe talks to John Herndon about growing up on a commune; leading a musical movement with Tortoise, 5ive Style, and Isotope 217; his side career as a tattoo artist; and raising his kids in LA. Photo credit: Jim Newberry

014: Dave Lombardo (Slayer, Fantomas, Philm)

Joe talks to Dave Lombardo about co-founding the groundbreaking metal band Slayer, his experience as the son of a Cuban butcher living the American Dream, his Latin Jazz influences, and expanding his horizons with Fantomas, John Zorn, and Philm.

013: Hamid Drake (Don Cherry, Fred Anderson, Mandingo Griot Society)

Joe talks to master improvisor, Hamid Drake, about playing with Don Cherry, Fred Anderson, and Mandingo Griot Society, his evolving concept of meditation, being a “bridge”, and the inseparable nature of music and life. Photo credit: Jim Newberry

012: Lori Barbero (Babes In Toyland)

Joe talks to Lori Barbero about living on a houseboat, her time with the highly influential Babes In Toyland, and going with the flow.

011: Bermuda Schwartz (Weird Al)

Joe talks to John “Bermuda” Schwartz about Dr. Demento, his 35 year collaboration with Weird Al, and the meticulous effort that goes into re-creating the sound of the constantly shifting pop landscape.

010: Dale Crover (Melvins, Altamont, Nirvana)

Joe talks to Dale Crover about innate confidence when approaching the drums, his three decade–and counting–run as drummer for The Melvins, playing with Kurt Cobain and Nirvana, baseball, marriage, and parenthood.

009: John “Drumbo” French (Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band)

Joe talks to John “Drumbo” French about blazing a singular path with Captain Beefheart, slipping his under tyrannical rule, arranging the seminal album, “Trout Mask Replica” and learning many years later that his work truly meant something to people all over the world.

008: Jeff “Tain” Watts (Wynton/Branford Marsalis, Alice Coltrane, Solo)

Joe talks to Jeff “Tain” Watts about growing up in the Hill District of Pittsburgh, getting suspended from school for fighting, ascending to the top of the 80s jazz world with the Marsalis brothers, and playing in a band with Gus from Breaking Bad.

007: Patty Schemel (Hole)

Joe talks to Patty Schemel about drumming for Hole, addiction, recovery, and motherhood.

006: Butch Norton (Lucinda Williams, Eels, Tracy Chapman)

Joe talks to Butch Norton about his philandering father, his positive but limited experience with Scientology, and his career as drummer for Eels, Tracy Chapman, Rufus Wainwright, and Lucinda Williams.

005: Mike Clark (Herbie Hancock’s Headhunters, Brand X, Betty Davis)

Joe talks to legendary drummer Mike Clark about his time with Herbie Hancock, Buddhism, and how he came to invent his own unique style of drumming.

004: Sandra Vu (Dum Dum Girls, Sisu)

Joe talks to Sandra Vu about growing up as a first generation Asian kid in the Southern California hardcore scene, working as a drummer-for-hire in Dum Dum Girls, creating music for Sisu, and dating a fellow drummer.

003: Kid Millions (Oneida, Man Forever, Spiritualized)

Joe talks to Brooklyn drummer Kid Millions about prep. school, Oneida, Metal Machine Music, tuning drums with Brian Chase, and his solo percussion project, Man Forever.

002: Ndugu Chancler (Michael Jackson, George Duke, Miles Davis)

Joe talks to Leon “Ndugu” Chancler about his upbringing in Louisiana and Los Angeles, his time with Herbie Hancock, Miles Davis, George Duke, and the recording sessions for what was to become the best-selling album of all time, Michael Jackson’s “Thriller”.

001: Brendan Canty (Fugazi)

Joe talks to Brendan Canty, drummer of the legendary band Fugazi, about growing up in an environment of “benign neglect”, writing music in bands and as a film composer, and fatherhood.

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