“May you live in interesting times.” – purported Chinese curse
Ryan Brown, drummer for Dweezil Zappa, found himself in Atlanta recently. And with a healthy dose of deja vu we found ourselves cordoned away in the tiny office of the local theatre where we first met about a year and half ago. Long time listeners will recall his interview (episodes 18 & 19) and subsequent mentions on other episodes. Plus, he’s a member of the much vaunted ‘advisory board’ of this very show. Needless to say he and I have become pretty good friends and when the opportunity presented itself to do a topic based show we jumped on it.
When musicians talk about bands that commonly write and perform in odd times a litany of jazz, fusion, and progressive rock bands come to the forefront. But for my money the Zappa family holds the patent on odd times. So, who better to discuss the topic than a guy who has had to play the Zappa catalog 339 times?
But before we get to the nuts and bolts of drum geekdom there was plenty to catch up on. These nuggets of brilliance include: BBQ (KC vs. Texas vs. Memphis vs. NC), the ghosts of theatres past, Los Angeles, custom snare drums (built by first time drum makers), dogs and drums named Harvey, road life (replete with 4am tacos), the median height of the Dweezil Zappa Band, Vinnie Colaiuta ‘phobia’, a Bobby Rock sighting, setting up Bozzio’s drums, and a chance encounter at Joe Rogan’s podcast location.
Of course we talk learning, counting, memorizing and practicing odd time signatures. We even discuss our favorite bands that specialize in this genre. Plus for you folks that want get the skinny on how to play/count/learn “Keep It Greasy” you’d better listen closely because Brown is telling you how it’s done right here. Then like Paulie on Goodfellas he’s turning his back on you. From now on when someone asks him how to play “Keep It Greasy” he’s simply says, “91”.
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