Your drums

Questions & Answers with the one and only Jon "Bermuda" Schwartz, Weird Al's drummer since 1980!

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Your drums

Postby WHiZZi » Wed Jun 04, 2014 11:05 am

Hi Jon,

I was wondering if you setup your own drumkit at a tour or that the manufacturer gives you a kit per tour? Assuming you have a drum riser where your kit is set-up, what do you do yourself if you arrive at a show location? Tuning the drums? Hanging up cymbals? Snare? or do you have minions/roadies for that?

Same question for recording, are you taking your own drums to a studio, setup, tune and mic-it up and then start doing the thing or are you using kits provided by the studio (apart from the breakables?).

Are you always recording the CD using a clicktrack or are you so stable in tempo that you can actually do without (which I highly doubt, because mixing the audio will be hell)?

Sort of in-line with this question, back in the beginnen I assume you had to drag your entire drumkit to every gig and set it up yourself. Can you remember when the moment was that you didn't have to do that anymore. I mean, when somebody (record label? sponsors? roadies?) basically picked up your kit, set it up for you and you only have to show up to finalize the set-up so the show could, theoretically, start?
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Re: Your drums

Postby bermuda » Wed Jun 04, 2014 4:27 pm

I typically bring my personal gear into the studio, and on the road. The only time I use "backline" is for occasional TV performances, and situations where bringing my gear is prohibitive, such as flying everything to/from Australia, and our European shows. Even while there, one source provided the drums for the UK, and another for the Amsterdam show. However I do bring my cymbals, electronics, pedal, and other personal items.

And yes, on the first few tours, we all handled our own stuff. Maybe by the 1984 summer tour, we had a few crew people to assist, but by 1987, I don't think we had to handle our gear at all. The stage manager handles the equipment set-up/tear-down, with assistance from the local crew at each venue.

We use a click in the studio primarily for editing purposes, and of course many of the parodies are seqeunced anyway, so they're in perfect time. But I also use a click when recording with most of my other projects, that's become very normal over the last 20-25 years.

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