Stephen Perkins' riveting work with Jane's Addiction and Porno For Pyros has made him one of the most respected and sought-after drummers of the 90's. He continues to play sessions, do clinics and tour with his new project Banyan, a supergroup featuring bassist Mike Watt, Geraldine Fibbers guitarist Nels Cline and Beastie Boys keyboardist Money Mark. Recently we caught up with Perkins and had the chance to ask him about his playing, including his innovative use of percussion add-ons with his drum kit.
GC: What's going on with you and DW right now?
Perkins: I Just confirmed a little DW clinic tour. We haven't really set all the dates, but I told them I was free at the end of May beginning of June to do maybe 10 to 15 clinics. Last time I did that was about 2 years ago for DW. I did about 11 cities in about 13 days. It was a lot of work, but it was a lot of fun. And it's a great challenge to show up at a different shop everyday with 200 drummers waiting to get impressed.
I've always entertained the thought of doing clinics but just last year I said you know what, I'll just start doing a whole clinic tour now. Because I've always done these little one-off's here and there. I was just on tour with my new group Banyan, and they sent me a set of the new double-chain pedals out there and I was kind of turned on by them. They're kind of quick, nice and smooth. DW is always throwing me new gear and trying to see what sticks; what I like and what I don't. And I'm finding, basically, that I like what they've got coming out. You know every year you go to the NAMM show and everyone's got new stuff, and you just got used to the old stuff. So I'm just always checking the new gear and I get a big thrill out of it. To go do a clinic tour is really quite an honor, to be sent out by DW, to represent their company, you know what I mean, and to play their drums. That's why I always like to get my hands on the newest of the newest gear and stay abreast of everything that's coming out of the company. I want to see what the future is.
GC: You play a lot of eclectic percussion. Tell me about your use of additional percussion instruments on your drumkit.
Perkins: I'm glad I've got that stuff on my kit (bongos, djembes and congas.) I try to take pride in not being a traditionalist: not using the traditional rhythms or not using the traditional ways of hitting the drum. Sometimes I'll use brushes or a stick on my bongos and I'll stay away from the normal tradition. At the same time it's a voice in my drumset, and I think that all these things help my playing. When you throw these things on your kit and you've got a hybrid of hand percussion and a trap kit, you can really come up with a more colorful pallet of music. I'm finding with the Udu drums, especially in the studio, you can get really nice bass drums sounds out of them and 808-like electric drum sounds. So I think that the trick is to keep your mind open to all options. Years ago, when I first got my set of bongos, I was like about 16, it totally changed my drumset playing because all of the sudden I worked better with my hands making melodies with these 2 little drums. So, when I got back to my drumset, I was more melodic. So I find a lot of the stuff from the percussion world helps you bring more melody to the drumset.
You know, God bless John Bonham. He was the most musical drummer with only a four piece, but then again you listen to Neil Peart, he had all that stuff to choose from and their different colors with the glockenspeil and the timpani and all those chimes. If those things are out there for your option, why not check them out, you know.
GC: What led you to invent the Go_jo? How is different than other percussion instruments?
Perkins: The Go-jo Bag is an invention that I came up with. The name of the company is Perkana Perkussion and the Go-jo bag is an instrument that has been quite popular with the music therapy world recently. I've been doing drum circles with handicapped kids. My girlfriend and I go to this cool camp up in Malibu and put on these drum circles for the kids. The Go-jo bag is a bag, a hand held bag with glass agate marbles inside. It's a mesh bag, but it's got a Velcro strap so you can strap it onto the back of your wrist, or the back of your hand, or even your ankle. A lot of these kids in the handicapped world can't hold onto an egg, or a tambourine, or a shaker, so we just strap these things on them, and there's really no technique. You can squeeze 'em you can shake 'em. It's a universal product as far as musical instruments because anyone can do it. I am finding quite a beautiful feeling helping these kids play and join the drum circle.
The Gojo bag was first invented for drummers as a beautiful shaker. You can shake it and stop it on a dime because you can grab the bag and stop the shaking. With maracas or an egg; when you stop, it still has that extra shake to go. So our first invention was the beautiful shaker, but a friend of mine who's got cerebral palsy, saw the bags and he kind of lead me to the decision: good right! this bag is actually something beautiful. I can help people. It's not just a musical instrument, it's actually therapy. So we've gone to these different places where music therapists get together to talk about it and talk about new instruments and ways of helping people and we're getting involved with these people. It's been quite a learning experience for me. Not only on the business side, but I'm actually being a music therapist and I'm helping people!
GC: Does your approach vary from live to studio situations, both the equipment that you choose and your style of playing?
Perkins: Well, I think the first thing that you want to do when you get into a studio is to interpret what the situation is. You have to become familiar with the producer, the studio, the room you're using (is it real live, is it real dead.) You've got to listen to the song you're gonna work on. What's the tempo? What are the lyrics? What's the theme? I find that when I'm doing something that's real quick, I like to I use smaller drums. More notes? I'll use the smaller drum. Less notes? I'll use a bigger drum, you know let it ring more. Sometimes, when I bring in my 24" kick drum, I'm only gonna lay down a kick here and there. But if I've got a little 20", I can do a little flutter and you know you can hit every little note. It's important to interpret what's around you. In live situations, it seems that every room is different. If you're on tour one room's gonna be real loud, one room's gonna be real dead. So what you're looking for is a consistent drumset, you know? Something that's consistently punching every night. I think the most important thing on tour is to get yourself out of the cases, onto the stage and make sure it sounds good-right there. In a studio you've got the time to tune and play with the mics and placement, but on the road, you've gotta go right to it. I find, actually, that DW drums are very consistent on the road because you pull them out of the case and it takes two seconds to tune them up. They're not all warped and out-of-whack.
Changing the heads is quite important on the road because your constantly bashing through 'em and in a live situation, you want that consistent drum sound. In a studio you have time to finesse it, to pick and choose. I like to bring a bunch of different snare drums when I go into the studio, and a load of cymbals. Because, especially when the producer is in the room, he might hear something completely different than what you're hearing when you're in the drum room. You may pick up your favorite crash cymbal and he might say something like: "That sounds a little harsh under the mic. Do you have a thinner one, by chance?" And if you didn't bring a thinner one, then you're screwed. I like to bring a bunch of stuff. And in the studio I like to bring thicker drum heads, thicker cymbals, heavier cymbals, they last longer: less cracking, less breaking.
GC: What's the coolest recent addition to your kit?
Perkins: The DW Woofer (An 8"x22" bass drum sound enhancer designed to be positioned in front of conventional bass drums in order to amplify the drum's bottom-end resonance) it's quite an achievement to come up with something to improve the bass drum sound like that. It was like, oh, that's a cool idea and it actually works! But, what I find is it's a lot of fun in the studio because you have a lot of time to figure out where and when you need it. Live, I think sometimes some rooms might not need a big old boom sound, some rooms really do need it. You know it all depends where and when you're playing. In the Banyan tour that I just got off, some of the songs are real slow and fluffy and you can turn the woofer track way up. But some of the songs are real fast, and if you have the woofer too loud, you're not gonna hear all my base drum notes. So you have to play that game. But it's been quite exciting for all the engineers -you know I show up with the drumkit and they're all, "What the hell is that?" and I say "Yeah, wait till you hear it!"
It's been fun though to experiment with these new drums that DW is coming up with. All the smaller snare drums that are starting to come out and all the short stacked drums. And people are starting to mount their 18" floor toms and bass drums. Things are kinda cool, you know? Things are changing.
GC: You've been involved in a variety of different kinds of groups. How do you go from playing with Jane's Addiction, to world beat music, to Banyan to playing klezmer music?
Perkins: Oh, my klezmer band! Klezmer is a traditional Jewish music. It's almost like a real fast polka, but at the same time, it's got all these very intricate traditional parts to it that you don't want to mess up because you've really got to keep with tradition on this. I'm Jewish, and I had a bar mitzvah, and I've always loved this Jewish music but I've never played it. But I hooked up with some players from Moscow actually. Leo Chelyapov, he's a clarinet player from Moscow, he invited me to do the klezmer group and it's been quite a challenge because, like I say it's somewhat of a polka feel, but it's a high tempo and high volume. You're playing with an upright bass player, clarinet and sometimes acoustic guitar or violin. It's been quite an experience for me because I love the music, I've always danced to it, I've just never had a chance to play it. It's been great for me, like after a Jane's concert some kid who's all tatooed might give me a hug and tell me, "You rocked me, man you rocked me Perkins!" And that feels good. But after a klezmer show I get these old Jewish guys or whole Jewish families coming up to me saying, "Ay, it was beautiful. You moved us!" So not only do I get these great punkers into me now, I've got these Jewish kids into me and now I'm getting into the music therapy world. I'm trying to spread my wings as a drummer, to touch everybody. You know the older generation, the younger generation, the punk rockers, the kids in wheelchairs that don't get to listen to music that often... I want to touch everybody with my drums you know?
GC: What's your advice to a young drummer who might be trying to model their career on yours? Is there a "secret" to your success?
Perkins: Well, thank you. I find that it's a combination of many things. I've always been obsessed with my drums. I've always loved them so very much. I like to sit there and think about drums and clean 'em and play 'em and practice. And that's half of it. To be a great tennis player you've got to practice, to be a great basketball player you have to get on court. So as a drummer, you've got to sit there with your drumset and play your butt off. You know that's half of it. I think the other half is being surrounded by good people. When you're surrounded by negative people, or people that aren't interested in uplifting music, you're not going to go anywhere. You've got to be surrounded by people that care about the song, that care about it for the right reasons. You know it's not the record deal, because the record deal will come and go. You really have to care about the music and I think the record deal will come. But if you think about the record deals the whole time, they're gonna pass you up. You've got to really think about the music and who you're surrounded with. You have to be happy with the players you're playing with. If it doesn't make you feel good, then I think you're doing it for the wrong reason. So surround yourself with good players and positive people and get obsessed with it and practice a lot. I think if you're a great tennis player, and then you play with someone even better, you're going to get better. You've got to rise to the occasion. So when you're nervous to play with another player who seems to be a little better then you, you should go for it. You know, just take the challenge. Sometimes you'll find out that you can't pull it off but that's okay cause that's how you get further in the game. There's gonna be a lot of disappointments in this world and especially in the music business because you're trying to sell your art, but it's a business. It doesn't really make sense, the music business, but I think that if you bite into it real hard, you will get a piece out of it - you'll get some of it. But, like I say, the trick is be obsessed with your instrument, but at the same time, be surrounded by good people. Half of it is the music and half of it is the timing, the environment and who you're with. There might be some great players, but they don't really have the connections or they don't have the right moment. I think you have to find it. Don't get frustrated if it doesn't come immediately because that right moment will come, it's around the corner. Everybody wants it now and I think you can't want it now, you've just got to want it forever. You know, you've got to want it 'til the day you die. And another thing is that you can't believe what people tell you. Because, if people tell you, you're a great drummer then you'll start believing it. But, what if people tell you that you stink, will you start believing that? You know you've got to believe in yourself. Don't believe it when they tell you your great; don't believe it when they tell you you stink. Just believe in yourself because I've read reviews about my records that were just terrible, but I love the record, you know? And then a friend of mine says "Hey, that record changed my life it really saved my life one night!" And that critic didn't know nothin! Actually, that record was good, it actually helped people! So, I think, don't believe what people tell you, just believe in yourself and be surrounded by some good people. You'll know the right people because they'll be excited to play with you and you'll be excited to play with them and it will be a great friendship you know? When you get into a room with good musicians it feels really good. And when you leave that room you feel like you've accomplished something, and basically, all you did was make music. And music just goes into the air. It just disappears so you have to do it because you love it. As far as making it you never know...like the guy from the Sex Pistols, the singer, Johnny Lydon. He made a great big dent in the world of music, you know? He was in the Sex Pistols, but it's 1999. The guy still has to have a job, you know? He has to work. He can't survive off of a reputation, he's got to survive off of what he does today. So you always have to be hungry. I know there are young drummers behind me that can kick my butt, but are they hungry? Cause I'm still hungry. I still want. I want to bite into the music business. I still want to meet new players. I want to play with Flea! I want to play with Less Claypool! I want to play with Tony Levin, you know? I want to play with all these guys, so I'm gonna keep going, you know.
GC: Suppose I'm a drummer who's just getting started. I don't have a whole lot of money to spend, what is the first thing I should get?
Perkins: Well, I started, believe it or not, with drumsticks and a pillow. I played my pillow for about three years and it sounds silly, but it worked. Because, if you loved the pillow and play the hell out of that, you know when you get your drumset you're gonna get into it. But if you can afford it, get a snare drum because a snare drum you can practice your paradiddles, you can practice your rudiments and you can also get a real sexy sound out of it. So, I think a snare drum and a pair of sticks!
GC: Suppose I have a basic drum setup and I want to expand. What's the next thing I should get?
Perkins: A pair of bongos! It might seem like something you might not be that interested in, but once you get 'em, I think you'll unlock a whole new sound with your drumming: a more percussive sound and a more colorful sound As soon as I threw a timbale up on my drumset, I sounded like a different drummer! These things change you. So, I find a pair of bongos is really helpful because it's got two different tones to it. Also you get that therapy from hitting it with your hand or with your stick and it's still a nice powerful drum, but it's also got some really delicate sounds to it.
GC: Do you still have a drum-gear wish list?
Perkins: Yeah, I've always wanted to own a marimba or a xylophone, most likely a marimba. I've got steel drums here and I've got some little African xylophones made out of bamboo and wood and stuff...
GC: Yeah but there's nothing like a nice rosewood, 4 1/2 octave marimba!
Perkins: Yeah exactly! I've rented them at sessions before. I've always had a great time with them. I know it's seriously a challenge to learn how to play them correctly, but I would like to try it one day.
GC: How do you warm up before a performance?
Perkins: I spend at least 30 minutes to 40 minutes playing on a drum pad. I go through the normal rudiments, you know, flam-a-diddles, paradiddles, double-stroke rolls, single-stroke rolls. I do everything because by the time I get to the kit I want to be hot and warmed up. I don't want the first two songs to be my warm up. I don't like the feeling of almost cramping...at any moment: "Oh boy, I think I'm gonna cramp!" The trick is to keep your muscles loose and don't tense up, always relax. I think it's harder to relax if you're not warmed up.
GC: Are you classically trained?
Perkins: Well, I've been very fortunate with people around me. I took about 5 years from the Academy of Jim Engles who wrote some great drum books for the Pro Drum Shop. He passed away a few years ago. He was a great influence. And then my cousin who is a jazz drummer, he used to come over and show me a bunch tricks. And then I joined the marching band and jazz band. And then when Jane's Addiction started, believe it or not, all of the guys in the band are frustrated drummers. They all want to play drums and they had some good ideas behind a drumkit. And so everybody around me kind of opened my eyes. And now a days, listening to even a jackhammer or a bird you know, put that right into your rhythm, that stuff is important to think of. But as far as training, I like to get my eyes and ears on anything.
GC: What's your practice regimen?
Perkins: I practice everyday if I can. Sometimes I'll have some fellows come over and we'll jam out for a few hours and that's always real healthy. Sometimes I'll just sit back there and work on new ideas or work on parts that I was frustrated with or that I can't pull off yet. And then again I love to put on a Led Zeppelin record or a Police record or even The Who and play to a record because that speed is quite inspiring. I don't really want to play like John Bonham, but it's fun to play to those records. I think it's quite good to play to those records and spiritually it feels good, and as far as technique and stuff, you know, most records that you listen to are in time and it's almost like playing to a metronome. Almost. You get your time right and you get your dynamics nice and it helps you to play with other players even though there's no one else there.
GC: How about your song writing routine?
Perkins: I like to be surrounded by players when writing new music. I love bouncing ideas off each other. So when a bass player comes over we'll work on something and we'll tape everything. We'll go back and listen to it. We'll cut and paste and we'll carve. We'll hear melodies and harmonics that we can work with. But I think there's really no theory to it. It's good to be on the beach with an acoustic guitar and a bongo and write a song and it's good to be in a studio with a big Marshall full stack, a guitar wall and work on tunes. Anything goes on song writing. In my opinion, it's great to start from melody and rhythm, you know a drum and a voice. Guitar and keyboards and everything can be very important, but I think a voice and a drum is the basis of my existence.
GC: Do you have a home recording studio?
Perkins: Yeah, we've got a studio here at the house and the recording here comes and goes. I had Porno for Pyro's here last year as a band, but all the gear that we got as a band has moved out to Venice, California. So, my room is kinda left empty. I have lots of different frames and lots of different connections. When we record here at the house, gear comes and goes it's kinda like, you know, one day it's a big old set up back there and the next week it's gone. And that's been kinda fun because it's always changing back here, but it's always prepared because we have a soundproof room, we've got some isolation booths and we've got a control room.
GC: What's your most memorable studio experience?
Perkins: Let's see...Well I'll tell you, playing in the studio there's so much to think about while you're in there. You have this idea that you want to make the perfect record and you've got the time to carve it, and it's gonna come out just right. And then again you want to catch that spark, that quick spontaneous combustion of a rock band, even though there's no audience there. So you want to be able to capture that live feeling with no one else there and everybody's wearing headphones, in different rooms it kind of makes it a little stale. I find that the best time I've ever had, besides making this Banyan record right here in my backyard - because that was an experience like none other. People would come by we'd just barbque food and take a jacuzzi and make music all day. But it wasn't really like a real recording session. But I think the most unique recording session I've had was the Porno for Pyro's. We rented a house for a full year up in Malibu and brought all of our recording gear up there and really had a year long party. It was a very expensive recording session, but it sure was a fun one. You know we spent a lot of money and a lot of time on a record, but we just had so many friends and so many good memories. And that to me is a great creation: good piece of art, good piece of my life.
But to me, going and doing a session when Rick Ruben, a producer, calls me and says "Hey, I need you to come on over to do a session. You're only gonna be here for 3 hours and you've gotta do it and do it right and you gotta sweat!" That to me is a great challenge: showing up with a bunch of strangers and you're there to save the day. You know they need a drum track. You know the drum track is the one their waiting for because that's what everybody builds off. So every time I go into the studio it's a great challenge to leave a great impression on the tape. Leave something that sticks. Leave something that makes people's butt moves for the next ten years. Every time I go do a session, it's a whole new experience. I did something with Tom from Rage Against The Machine and Layne, the singer from Alice in Chains. The bass player from Porno was on it also. We did a song for the movie called The Faculty: Another Brick in the Wall part two, and it was such a challenge to do a Pink Floyd tune. But when you got the guitar player from Rage and the singer from Alice... it was a lot of fun! At that time I thought wow, this is one of the best sessions I've ever been on! It was really exciting. A few weeks later I went and I did another session and that to me was a whole new world of excitement. It was another challenge, new people to work to work with and new plateaus to get to. I always want to get better in the studio, but I think the most memorable experiences I've ever had are really the good times, when people are having fun and the recording light is on. When you capture the spontaneous combustion, when you capture everybody going off and it sticks, you know, and that's your record.
GC: How about live? What's your most memorable live experience?
Perkins: Wow! Well, there have been some great moments on stage, but lately it's been great having my girlfriend with me. She's actually singing with Banyan, and to have her come out and sing while I'm playing my music is quite an experience. We live together, we do everything together and now she's on stage with me. That feels pretty damn good, but that's a very personal moment.
As far as drumming is concerned, I think one of highlights of my life with the drumset was just a few nights ago because Banyan has been doing these great shows. And everytime we do a show I find myself trying to get better. We did a month on tour six nights a week and on the last show I thought, "man I think I played better than I have in my whole life. I've reached a new plateau!" And that to me was quite a personal best. It's very exciting for me to feel like I'm playing my ass off and feeling very fluid, very even and very connected with my drumset. But when you're playing at Madison Square Garden or at Woodstock and all those thousands and thousands of people, all those great moments kind of combine into one big moment, one big great moment. You can't really put your finger on it because all of those people and all of that energy, it's like a big pile of money...where do you start? Do you grab the 100's or the 20's or the 50's you know...it's money you love it. The big concerts almost feel like that.
But the personal moments, like when my girlfriend comes on stage or I feel like I pulled off a snare fill that I never could before, that kind of stuff feels really good inside. Like: "Man, I tried that triplet years ago and I never could do it. Now I've got it no problem-finally!" That to me is exciting, especially in front of an audience, because I like to try things in front of an audience. It also may be scary, it's life without a net. You're trying something and if you screw it up, they're gonna see you. So, I like trying things in front of people and hopefully pulling them off. Those are really good moments for me.
GC: Do you ever shop at Guitar Center?
Perkins: Yeah! Ok, believe it or not, Dave Wiederman sold me my first drumset, my Ludwig, And that was 19...I can't remember... a long time ago! And I guess if you added up all the money I've spent there it would be a joke! I've spent a lot of money there, I love the place. And you know, it's funny because when you go to the NAMM show, it's like the world's biggest Guitar Center, but you can't play at NAMM.
GC: What do you like about shopping at Guitar Center?
Perkins: Well the fact is that they've got everything you need to choose from. If they don't have it, they'll find it for you. And as far as the prices, they've definitely got a system running with all the companies that makes the customers happy, which I think important. And the clinics are always there.
When you're driving through a city and you need something where do you go? You go to Guitar Center! Man, every sound check: "Hey, we're making a Guitar Center run, who needs something?" Every sound check they're going to Guitar Center for something. I mean, it's just that it's obvious that you can fall back on that place. If you've been planning to buy something for a year like a lot of people do: "I'm gonna be getting a drumset, I'm gonna start saving!" You know you can work with GC and they'll cut you a great deal. But if you need something that moment, you can go to GC and they'll still cut you a great deal! It's a good store to go do some long term planning or you know: "I need a set of strings!" or: "I need a box of sticks!"
You can get a good kick out of looking around at the Rockwalk and all that stuff too. I like that they actually put these musicians somewhat on a pedestal and give them their props. It's cool when you walk in and you see Keith Moon's drumset. You know what I mean.
GC: You're going to be doing a drum clinic at Guitar Center Hollywood on June 30th. Do you enjoy doing clinics at Guitar Center?
Perkins: Yeah! I just finished one in Houston last year, which was the big Drum Off. It was me, Chad Wackerman and Jason Bonham and that was awesome! They set it up real fine and took care of us. Great food, great friends, lots of drinks, lots of parties. And the clinic had a great turn out. Everything I could've asked for, I got. To me clinics are really a drummer's phenomenon. I know there are also guitar clinics and bass clinics, but the drum clinics are happenin'! I really appreciate seeing a bunch of drummers get into one room. There's competition but there isn't much ego. A lot of drummers are into pushing other drummers to another level and I really do feel like drummers can group up and do something serious as a team. When you see a great drum circle, you just want to get off, you want to get into it. Clinics get all these drummers together and that's real positive. I think it's real positive to get people together and talk about music, and talk about drums. Guitar Center is a good place to do things like that which is nice.
GC: Is there anything else you'd like to add? Other current projects?
Perkins: I'm working on a book right now, a drum book with Hal Leonard. It's going to be a book with a CD and it's going to be a combination of me just going nuts and also trying to get serious and be focused at the same time. Just like every drummer, you've got a little bit of the animal in you and a little bit of Buddy Rich in you and you've got to do both. I'm doing my first drum book which I am very, very excited about. Also DW is starting to work on a video now with me and some other drummers and that's real exciting for me to be a part of. I'm just trying to keep busy. I just did a song with Sheryl Crow and that was quite exciting because it's a challenge to play what Sheryl Crow needs. As a drummer I'm more a tribal Keith Moon style and Sheryl Crow doesn't need that on her track, she needs something real steady and Don Henley style. So that was a good challenge to play with Sheryl Crow, I really enjoyed that. I'm looking forward to playing on other sessions. I have a dream to play with Peter Gabriel one day and maybe it will come true. There's so many great players out there that I want to get my hands on. In the meantime, I'm always being good to the earth like everybody should. Plant trees, recycle, you know what I'm saying? It's kinda tough as a drummer when you're playing with Oak sticks and I really think about that. My girlfriend and I spend a lot of time planting trees and cleaning up the streets around us. Because I just love the earth and, as a drummer, I feel so primitive and so primal that I want to be connected with dirt you know? I feel blessed that I get to play drums for a living and people like you and Guitar Center are interested in talking to me. I mean, I would be playing drums in my garage by myself if no one cared. I'd still do it. But it's good to know people care, and I'm gonna keep playing my ass off for those people.
I think about that when I see these young kids coming up, these 13-year-olds that sound like Dave Weckl already. I'm thinking "Oh God, now what?" But that's okay man because these kids inspire me. And now I'm gonna push myself to a new level because I see that these kids are behind me. Like Michael Jordan.
GC: We see them every year at the Drum Off, it's just amazing.
Perkins: Yeah it's unbeliveable what they're doing! And you know they're going to get away from that then find the big soul and they're going to play the big pocket and they're going to start playing so fast! But you know that they can do it. It's good to know these people are gonna go through that like we all did. You know, I wanted to be the fastest in the world, but now I just want to be the sexiest! I want to just lay down pockets that people move to. It's not about speed, but when you're 15, it is. And you see these drummers and they're amazing, just amazing, it's inspiring. Just like in basketball, the actual quality of play is improving. Just like in any sport, in any vehicle, any kind of medium, hopefully it's getting better! Hopefully the drummer of tomorrow will be kicking some ass and will do it for the right reason.