Kenny Aronoff studio tour vid - my personal takeaways

Carlos McSnurf

DFO Veteran
Joined
Apr 19, 2013
Messages
1,849
Reaction score
167
Location
Finland
So people flew Aronoff in to play on one song. Where did he mention 'private jets'?
I've been doing this for 40+ years. Those occasions are very much the exception. As I say, despite a large number of great studio drummers in the UK and Europe, Mark Knopfler flew Porcaro in for the last Dire Straits album. It wasn't in a private jet and it wasn't for one song.
Apart from Covid, which has been a bolt out f the blue for everyone, most music industry changes have been more gradual. the switch from real playing to programmed software, the closure of many commercial studios and the refocussing on personal studios. The sad loss of income from recording to music piracy then low cost streaming.
If you find yourself out of time, it's because you are not paying attention. I must admit I missed the move to get in a band and stick with it at all costs. Until Covid this was the most important development of the last 20 years, as it was the only way to make consistent money.
Most successful freelancers have joined a paying band and stuck with it over a long time. Aronoff with John Fogerty for example.
What happens next (like 2022/2023) I don't think anyone knows yet.
I appreciate your posts, as clearly written from experience.

What happens next?
Focusing on festivals. I heard that this is where artists got the most percentage of earn. When covid ends I expect we should see a revival and spike on demands for live music festivals.
 

Whitten

Very well Known Member
Joined
Apr 4, 2009
Messages
631
Reaction score
1,165
I hear festivals are somewhat one sided, with the top few bands demanding big fees while the lower level bands are expected to play for 'exposure'.
In the end, I don't think the lack of income from recordings is sustainable. It is an artistic product, just as playing live is.
We don't expect actors to make tv and movies for no income, and only earn from theatre.
So I think the future is to reform the streaming services.
I don't think international travel will be the same as it was in 2019, with many flights and low fares. The discussion on climate change often focusses on frequent fliers. I know legacy bands and music dj's used to fly 4 to 6 times a weekend, while not earning big bucks. If frequent fliers are taxed that will become uneconomical.
 

853guy

Active Member
Joined
Apr 21, 2021
Messages
34
Reaction score
72
You aren't being accurate and therefore your argument falls down.
You can continue to frame and isolate this however you want, Chris. My main point still hasn't been logically refuted by anything you've written.

I'll end my discussion with you by quoting another well-respected session and touring musician that not only sums up my point perfectly, it actually strengthens my argument.

"Back in the day you could hide behind a drum kit and make a living. Nowadays you have to shoot selfie videos." Chris Whitten, Instagram, August 27, 2019

--

Personal note:

I first stepped into a recording studio with my band at the time to make an EP twenty-seven years ago. I then spent the next ten years playing for various people, as a live/session guy, but only as an amateur. By then, I had moved to producing and engineering, making albums for indie pop/rock artists. It was at that time I decided to build my own studio at our home, and go professional. ATC monitors, vintage mics and outboard, G&L and Dan Armstrong guitars, stop-sign Gretsch and keystone Ludwig drums. I went all in. I made a couple of albums I'm really proud of in terms of the music and sound.

Then the 2007 recession hit. We had over leveraged ourselves, had a newborn, and no options for recovery. We lost everything.

I learnt the lesson I describe above: If you rely on others to feed you, will you be able to put enough away when they can't afford to feed themselves, let alone you?

Since then, we've diversified, moved countries, learnt a second language and rebuilt a more robust income strategy. We're doing okay. We survived COVID. Have three great kids. Drive a Lexus Hybrid. Buy organic. Live among vineyards and olive trees.

I won't mention the hard work and sacrifices because every single person on this forum knows just how hard it is to make an honest, ethical living doing something you love - no matter how many private planes you once flew on - we're largely all in a similar boat, especially those of us in the creative industries.

Are we robust to the future? Probably not as well as we could be, which is why this year we're investing in two new ventures and will diversify further. I love playing drums, and I'm fortunate I get to still play music I love with people I love. But I'll never make it my profession. Given the volatility I've been at pains to make the main point of my argument has already caused me to adapt and change more than once, my children's children can't afford for me to take that risk.
 
Last edited:

Whitten

Very well Known Member
Joined
Apr 4, 2009
Messages
631
Reaction score
1,165
Yes, I have never said you don't have to skill yourself in different ways.
As I said, I started learning computers and DAWs in 1992.
The contemporary drummers who get equipment support (endorsing) are the ones with a large online presence - meaning being able to talk to camera and shooting videos (ala Aronoff).
I never had children - so that there is a major compromise I made.
I just don't see Aronoff as a salutary lesson to us all. I see hm as a success, enjoying what he does.
That's where we mostly disagreed.
Anyone who wants to make a living in music should watch his video. If you don't want to record for unsigned artists and don't want to make your own videos....it's going to be tough.
 

wflkurt

Deafus Maximus
Joined
Aug 5, 2005
Messages
9,920
Reaction score
1,571
Location
Chichester NH
I just watched the video and it is great. I admire everything Kenny has done and in my eyes, any day I get to sit behind a drum set, storage facility or not is a good day. I certainly have a lot of things that I could have probably done differently but in the end I chose the safer route of a job with steady income and benefits. I certainly don't do cartwheels on my way in to work but at least I have a few bands I play in regularly, I have my drum room and some half decent recording gear so I can feed my creative side. I started messing with home recording in the mid 90's but I let it slip away. I wish I had really kept up with all of that including computer recording software.

I have learned a lot over the years but after watching a video like this with guys that really know the gear, I feel like I know absolutely nothing. Not only that I would imagine that Kenny has to keep up with technology constantly. I'm sure it never ends. I also think it's great that he found the public speaking thing too. Clearly he's good at it, has had success with it so why not follow that? Between everything he does, he should have enough skill to stay busy for a long time.

I also appreciate hearing from Chris. I was in high school when that big Edie brickell album came out. That style of playing was a real refreshing change compared to all the hair band music that was around. The drums on that album really sounded fresh and organic.
 

AtlantaDrumGuy

DFO Master
Joined
May 10, 2012
Messages
4,527
Reaction score
698
Location
Atlanta, GA
At one point I thought the idea of self videos and drum covers were a little corny, but now I see it as almost necessary for marketing and self promotion as a drummer. I think Ash Soan does a great job of it. I do some here and there just to share with my Facebook friends (of course, I’m not making a living doing that). So for me, it’s mostly just for fun.
 

dsteinschneider

Well-Known Member
Silver Supporting Member
Joined
Jun 21, 2018
Messages
53
Reaction score
26
Location
CT
I can see if Kenny came to speak at one of the IT conferences I attend that it would be inspiring to hear how he puts himself completely into the job at hand.

Regarding private aviation - a relative used to fly us once in a while on small jets, maybe because we were crammed in with gear for the trip and they always wanted to depart before dawn I didn't look forward to it.
 

CAMDRUMS

Very well Known Member
Joined
Oct 8, 2013
Messages
1,455
Reaction score
448
Location
Beverly, MA
If that track isn’t a success (and I predict it won’t be) it certainly won’t be because of Kenny’s contribution. He’s bringing it!
Agreed, that was a mini-lesson on how to switch up beats for a basic rock song and nail it.
 


Top