WHO WOULD YOU WANT TO REPLACE YOU IN THE STUDIO?

TonyVazquez

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Well lemme see... my band plays some surf, garage-rock, and old school punk.
We also play some classic R&B covers (Otis Redding's "Midnight Hour")
and a cover of Ronnie Cook's "Goo Goo Muck"...
Who would I bring in to replace me in the studio?

For the classic R&B covers I'd have my drummer friend Alan Robinson
replace me, because he's well grounded in classic Soul music in and around
Otis Redding's neck of the woods. And he can handle the surf stuff, too.
We also have one fast "cow-punk" song somewhat similar to The Pogues,
my friend Al handled fast punk rock beats with me in our former
U.S. Army punk band The Virgin Boys during my duty service in Berlin;
so I'm confident he can manage the cow-punk song in my current band.

For the garage-rock and punk songs I'd bring in Anthony Martinez who is
formerly of Black Flag, and Pigmy Love Circus because he hits hard,
plays solid, and has a perfect meter for the fast tempo songs.

If neither of these two couldn't be available, I'd ask the Fleshtones drummer
Bill Milhizer to replace me for all the songs... I had the warm pleasure of
meeting Bill back in January of this year as he and I sat in with a legendary
local indie punk rock band from Troy NY known as The Lawn Sausages
whose drummer was recovering from a broken arm injury.
The show was already booked, and so he and I were asked to sit in;
and my drum kit was used for that occasion.
Bill is a Badass on the drums! And such a kind hearted personality, too!
Bill went on first for two songs, and then I followed after him for
the final two songs...
Bill Milhizer sat on my drum throne!!! He played my drum kit!!!
What an honor!!! Anytime he visits, my drums and everything on it
are all His to do as he pleases, all hands down!

I would proudly cede my drum throne and sticks to these fine drummers.
Without their influence and input into my development as a drummer,
and their friendship in my lifetime,
I would not be who and where I am in my town local indie rock scene today.
 

AaronLatos

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Fun thread.

Another related story:
Rakalam Bob Moses told me that on one of his large ensemble records, he was originally planning to conduct only, not play drums (he's as much a composer as he is a drummer, which says a lot about both). But, the night before the recording session... he had second thoughts, had the epiphany that he could conduct best from behind the throne, and decided that he really needed to be the drummer to make the (extremely expensive) session go its best. So he had to call up the drummer, who was also one of his best friends, and fire them the night before the session. Being? Jack DeJohnette.

Imagine that period calling up your best friend, who happens to be Jack D, and telling him is that for artistic reasons you're firing him from his session the next day, and replacing him with yourself! :) Jack understood, of course, being a consumate artist and composer himself, and they're still super close.

I think that was on the Elephants Dream of Music record.

Back on the original premise again- if it were happening today, probably Brian Blade, because I love to watch him work from up close. And, for the genres I get hired in most (slight left of center jazz and Americana), well, he's kinda the top of the heap. My band mates would be pleased.

That said, if there was room for any drum machine programming, I'd hire Phil Collins in a heartbeat. I love his feel, sound, and inventiveness, but most of all, I'd give my left (insert any number of body parts that come in pairs!) to watch him put together one of his off-kilter programmed patterns and weave a live drum set groove into it. I know he's had some health problems recently, but even in videos where he's grimacing and has a drumstick basically taped to one hand, the gentleman still kicks the &(#) out of any groove you put in front of him.
 

wflkurt

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You guys have some great stories! It's hard to say how I would have reacted when I was younger but right now I would say Carter McLean. He seems to have a great feel and sound going and is very creative. I am always one to learn though so I would probably beg and plead to be able to watch him record as I just love the process and it would be a cool experience seeing someone else do their thing. It would still probably sting a little though as I would hate to be left out of a great recording.
 

CC Cirillo

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I just realized I failed to answer my own question. For my current situation, Steve Ferrone. Something special in his feel would sit well with the originals band, and for cover projects he’d light them in fire.

But for my old funk band, as I struggled with nerves in the studio, Bernard Purdie would have been a good fit. Except on this one song that was not as funky, and Bernard hit it too on point. For that song probably Ringo. Except we’d see Ringo hit it too laid back. We’d fly in Pete Best, who’d nail it, and that’s the track we’d go with.

This would all be well documented, so nothing could be left to conjecture.
 

Corbin L Douthitt

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I've been on both sides of this, sorta-

There was a young band in NYC I'd been a member of from their beginning. They had the benefit of a producer with a fair bit of industry cred. The bassist was out of town for a month or two, but we had a deadline to meet, so the producer had the guitarist and me go into the studio to track basics that the bassist would then track to.

We did it, then I left for a couple months in Europe with another band.

Well, the bassist came back, and they couldn't get her parts to lay right. Deadline still looms, and she's gotta leave town again, too- so producer books a session to do the whole thing live band.

But now the bassist AND I are both gone!

The producer asked for a reference from me, which was flattering.

I had a good friend from music school who had just moved to NYC. We'd been close, and had shared a practice room and many a late night, and I knew he could play his ass off. And, importantly, he was fresh to town and HUNGRY to work. I sent him some gig tapes to get him up to speed.

And you know what he did? He nailed the $### out of that record. Changed a couple of things, but on a few tracks, even for me it's hard to tell if it's him or me on it.

A bit bittersweet as the band didn't make a bigger splash or 2nd record, and I hold a lot of affection for those folks and that moment of life, but so it goes.


++++++++++++


On the other side... I've been the ringer before, a few times, and I'm not at liberty to disclose names but it can be a totally normal experience, or a totally weird experience. One notable one was for a now-famous country artist a couple years before they hit it big. They called me in to do one track, and replace drums on another. Problem was... the band hadn't been listening to the click, and this cat couldn't play to the click. So he was all over the place and I had to learn where he rushed and dragged, and smooth it out best I could... while on the clock at one of the bigger studios in Nashville.

I did alright, as the bandleader later asked for me to relocate to Nashville to play with them. Money with that gig wasn't really good enough to say yes. Should have done it, though, as today, money with that band is DEFINITELY enough to say yes, please, and thank you very much. :)
replace me? anyone that knows what they are doing and has better time in ALL ranges.. I have a top speed limit and a LOW speed limit..
 

JonnyFranchi$e

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y'all are way more virtuous than I am. The band replaces me right before a recording session, I'd lose it. Then they ask me who should replace me?

Nuh uh. I'm going full-dark on that situation.

Even if it's a one-off recording thing for another artist- I've done a few super lowbrow things like that - I'd be ticked that I prepped for it, cleared my calendar etc. To back out last minute is so Craigslist. Get whoever you want, dude, and pay me for my time you wasted

Ok, but if I was leading something and needed a drummer...

Has to be someone versatile who can SWING and play for the song while ad libbing with the band.

Carter Beauford or yeah Steve Ferrone is pretty fantastic. My first call though would be Randy Marsh from organissimo. I'm kind of a fan boi.

They could all hang with almost anything musically and they all seem like they'd be cool guys to work with.

And they probably wouldn't even get mad if I fired em last minute! Oh snap!
 

yetanotherdrummer

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I don't know, I would have been devastated.

I always wanted to get the studio experience, it never happened, but if it had and I was replaced it would have been so disappointing.

I did play in a band that had cut a single before I joined them, and it was embarrassing for me to sign the record for people when I wasn't even on it.
 

JonnyFranchi$e

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I don't know, I would have been devastated.

I always wanted to get the studio experience, it never happened, but if it had and I was replaced it would have been so disappointing.
Yeah dude - this is a better way of saying what I was saying. I LOVE the guys in the band, and we've always done stuff together. All of a sudden right before the exciting moment of going into a studio to record TOGETHER, AS A BAND, and I get dumped on the doorstep. With all my tough guy posturing..."devastated" is the perfect word.
 

mebeatee

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I did play in a band that had cut a single before I joined them, and it was embarrassing for me to sign the record for people when I wasn't even on it.
This happens a bunch as well....in my original post in this thread I mentioned being the tour drummer only, while another did the recordings. Par for the course in this instance...
So aside from signing things....sometimes I made up names....some festival promoters...this in Eastern Europe and Russia....took the band members names for the stage passes, etc. from cd credits....
A few times I had to assume that persons name for the day....as my pass would have the recording drummers name on it.
bt
 

mebeatee

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After posting in the love hate drum machine thread I figured this would sort of fit here as well.
Many years ago Scott Hull, the mastermind behind Agoraphobic Nosebleed, replaced drummer's period, live and studio.
I initially was intrigued by his concepts and complaints about drummers being too slow and not being able to play at a couple of thousand bpm's, plus there was a 3" cd with 100 songs in under 22 minutes??!!! Kewl!!
I'll leave a wiki link here and if folks are interested they can check out the you toob stuff, as a lot of folks can be quite affronted, shall we say. This is a family forum after all....and this stuff ain't for everybody.
bt
 

digitaltoast

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I've been on both sides of this. I have been "replaced" by Anton Fig, Cecil Brooks III, Jeff Watts, Purdie, Cindy Blackman, Tony Reedus, Eddie Gladden, and Steve Jordan. Never a problem, they had-have names and reputations and all played their butts off. I have "replaced" some guys as well. The most surprising one was when I did a singers record where I was replacing another drummer's parts, at first I didn't know who. But then I saw his name on the Pro Tools file screen. I was replacing Ari Hoenig's tracks, they used one of his tracks and the rest of mine. I love Ari's playing. Weird.

MSG
Now you have to be a great drummer if you’ve been in the situations for all of those guys to replace you!! But producers know how playing translates into recordings, or maybe they’re just trying to encourage and get the best out of the artist who’s name is on the record. As devastating as it could be, it’s also a great opportunity to learn. And if you think you can do better, prove it! Now that the number of tracks are practically infinite, not a problem put up your own money for the studio time and unless the higher-ups are simply star-struck, they’ll choose the best performance.
 

Gunnellett

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Ben White.

I'd love to see what cymbals he chooses.

And when Ben is really feeling the groove, he makes the coolest faces!
 
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Now you have to be a great drummer if you’ve been in the situations for all of those guys to replace you!! But producers know how playing translates into recordings, or maybe they’re just trying to encourage and get the best out of the artist who’s name is on the record. As devastating as it could be, it’s also a great opportunity to learn. And if you think you can do better, prove it! Now that the number of tracks are practically infinite, not a problem put up your own money for the studio time and unless the higher-ups are simply star-struck, they’ll choose the best performance.
Thanks., In most of those cases, it was a case of a bandleader (that I had been working with) wanting to record with one of his "drumming IDOLS" (Anton, Jordan, Eddie Gladden.) In a couple of the cases I knew the drummer, and they called me before the session to "get a handle on the situation, bandleader, and music." One was a case (CB III) where the producer was a drummer (and a good friend of the bandleader and mine) and there really wasn't enough dough for him and me. So he produced and played drums. (Which was fine, he later produced a record for me.) Purdie had a lifelong relationship with the bandleader when he replaced me, I had only been playing with Joe for a few years (and I initially got the gig on Bernard's recommendation anyway.) Jeff and Cindy? Well that was a no brainer, and in each case the leader wanted as many "stars" on the CD as they could get. When Reedus replaced me, I recommended him because I was out of town for the session, and I knew there would be no problems (there weren't.)

Devastating? No. Just business, I get it. "Think that I could do it better, and put up my own money to "prove" it?" No. This ain't track or football. Someone's band, music or recording session (in my opinion) is NOT the time or place to "see who can do it better" (no matter how many tracks there are.)

Here's how I looked at the strictly business side of it. I was working with these bandleaders, if their record was well received (because of some well known names on the cover,) there was more work and more $$$ for me to make. Also, I made what the drummers made (for the session) in probably 4-5 gigs, so yes they made more money for less work, and I made (about the same) money for more work (and made more money in the long run with even more gigs,) but we both made money, again strictly business.

In most of the cases the recording drummer asked me to stop by the session (which I always asked the bandleader about first,) and the drummer expressed their feelings to me, along the lines of, "Sorry they asked me to do the session, I know this is your gig." They had been through it, it's a paying dues thing. A few times the bandleader asked me NOT to stop by (again, fine by me.)

The end result was usually, more gigs for me, more income for me, a happy bandleader and producer, and a good recording. And a chance for me to start a professional relationship with a great drummer, which a few times resulted in a recommendation for a gig down the road. Everybody wins!

I don't think my career suffered because of any of the situations. Longevity, professionalism, consistency, creativity, musicality, that's what "wins the game" for me.

MSG
 


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