I posted a little flyover from my 3/3 show but wanted to share a bit more about the gear I’m playing around with for 2018.
First off, great news that Impression Cymbals has a US presence again. I’ve been with them for 3 years now and have a wide selection of their Turkish made masterpieces. So far the very limited run I-Con series 15″ hihats and 20″ ride paired with a 19″ Traditional Crash/Ride are all perfect choices but I may add some efx cymbals or another washy crash soon.
The new music needs a different sound than my Taye Studio Birch so I’m giving the Yamaha Absolute Maple Hybrid kit a spin. I’ve never been a Maple drums fan but the Wenge in the middle of this shell does something magical and somehow the kit sounds like Maple and Birch at the same time? Sorcery. I’m using a Big Fat Snarebourine for a little extra snare chunk and an LP micro snare and click hihat tambourine for some spice.
Stickwise, Vic Firth has come out with this Modern Jazz collection and I’m loving the MJC3. It’s like an 8D but with an oval bead instead of an acorn and it feels perfect in my hands. I’d been an SD4 guy forever but for some reason I move to it for drums and away from it for sticks?
My new electronics rig is a work in progress but so far I’ve got all of the atmospheric vocal effects and additional keys/strings/blips and boops running from Ableton Live out of an iConnectAudi02+ to the house and also with a headphone mix to me via the amazing FutureSonics G10 in ear monitors. The iConnect has a software mixer that allows me a lot of control to route of out Ableton and even though were only using two right now we could easily push 4 and I’d still be able to have a separate stereo headphone mix. I love that lil robot! I’M also using a Keith McMillen Instruments Bop Pad as the start/stop controller and since it has 4 zones I can trigger a sound or two per song if needed. And it all fits in one case! wooo!
It’s been fun to jump back into music with an electronic component and our new set of songs definitely have alot of new colors and textures to make them come to life.
More experiments to come…..
Hey 2018 – how ya doin? Do you feel like the future? Our upcoming show with Bloodshot Record’s The Yawpers will be a first for DMC. Yours truly will be joined by his faithful robot trio of the KMI bop pad, IconnectAudio2+ and a Macbook Air with Ableton Live at the ready. New sounds, new colors, new concepts and I can’t wait to hit that stage!
My site has been a little neglected what with everything that happened in 2017 so here’s a little listicle of highlights and pics that made it a little better.
June 4 – We played The Brewtown Rumble in the shadow of the lovely Pabst brewery in Downtown Milwaukee. It was HOT! We did a second set without the suits and I put my hair up haha
June 10: I love the swirly stage at Company Brewing
(Thanks Luke for the backline drums which allowed me to fly in and just jump onstage and play)
June 30: We played Summerfest AKA The World’s largest Muic Festival as part of their Emerging Artists series (Ehson lounging backstage)
July 26: We played Chill on the Hill – it was a perfect night albeit a little buggy. Ignore my love handles and just enjoy this photo for it’s epicness.
August ?: Speaking of epic! I hate photos of myself but someone shared this online and I think I’m ok with it 😉
September 9: We played Rock the Green on a 100% pedal powered stage!
“Milwaukee’s Devil Met Contention, was the sharpest dressed band of the festival, with each of the members donning a matching dark suit. They brought their southwestern tinged tunes to the Pedal Power Stage, riding into their set with a unique sound and soulful energy. Lead singer/songwriter Ehson Rad’s deep vocals and storytelling helped lead almost the entire crowd at the festival at the time over to the Pedal Power Stage for their late afternoon set. Equal parts musically rocking and lyrically poignant, Devil Met Contention are a band on the rise who held the audience in the palms of their hands during their forty-five minute set.”
October 12: National Tastemaker 88NINE Radio Milwaukee included us on their Pledge Drive CD gift called “Live From Studioo Milwaukee, Vol.7”. Had we known at the time that we would end up rubbing shoulder with Old 97s, Aimee Mann, Robyn Hitchcock, The Magnetic Zeroes, Brett Dennen and Mike Doughty we would have played better haha!
November and December: we carved out a little bit of time to demo, track and produce two new songs for release in 2018. They’re definitely a move into new territory for us and I hope people will be into them as much as we are. I can honestly say this is the first time that I never once got tired of hearing the songs throughout the entire process which is rare I think.
Also, Daniel Holter is our new champ behind the board and its been such a pleasure to watch him work.
SEE YOU IN 2018!
…or so the saying goes.
DMC had been selected to play a showcase in town called “Tour Possible” in which each of the 10 bands played 3 tunes and the “winner” was to get a prize package of cash and gear to help them with future tour plans.
Two days before the show, my father had a stroke. I was able to find a great sub (Thanks Steve Vorass) who also looked great in my suit (ouch) and off I flew to Texas to do whatever I could. I’m lucky to have bandmates who are also great friends and their support means the world to me. My guess is I’ll be logging a lot of miles in the air the rest of the year and we’ll try and fit shows in where we can.
(Editor’s note 3/17/18 – yup! And still more to come this year)
It was a blast to be asked to play this show in which MKE bands draft other bands and then cover their music live. It’s a reminder of how much talent and variety there is in this city – and that people from outside of it may not know that it’s here. Our set was de/reconstructed hip hop from Vincent Van Great which means I had ALOT of fun playing drums. (and BTW thank to Nick Lang from Buffalo Gospel for letting me use his vintage Ludwig kit for that chunky thump.)
Abby Jeanne and her awesome band did a great take on our stuff and I really wish I had been recording it because it was <insert fire emogi x 10>!!!
Big thanks to our friends in Europe at the Troubadour Radio show! They put “Fuel the Lights” at #14 on their top Twenty for 2016. It is an amazing feeling to know that our music is making it’s way around the globe and that people are enjoying it.
(Plus my old Boss Michael McDermott made the list as well. Glad to see and hear him doing some of his finest work to date in 2016.)
Also thanks to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel for adding “Fire” to their “The 10 best Milwaukee songs of 2016” list.