Danny Carey pays tribute to Vic Firth

Many of you would be aware that Vic Firth passed away on the 26th of July. Vic was best known as the founder of a company that designs and manufactures drumsticks, including those that Danny Carey uses.

Danny is one of their signature artists and his custom drumstick features “a cut-in design at the gripping area for improved comfort and a tapered butt end for improved balance”. I own a pair, and I’d agree they are a unique design, though a little heavy for my personal tastes.

Danny had the following tribute for Vic, which was posted on Toolband recently:

“The world has lost one of its greatest percussionist. Vic Firth, who was the principal timpanist with the Boston Symphony Orchestra for over 45 years, died on Sunday at the age of 85. Vic was a gentleman, scholar, and a father figure to me and everyone I knew that associated with him in the percussion world. His love and knowledge of drumming, stick and mallet making, and… cooking will be an inspiration for generations to come. Vic’s kindness and generosity always shined through. I knew I could call him at any hour and he would call back sharing his wealth of information and help me solve any problem I had come to him with. He will be dearly missed.”
Danny Carey

Danny Carey with his Vic Firth sticks

Danny Mandala video

There’s another Mandala feature video with Danny going about at the moment, which features Danny speaking about how he works these devices into his music:


Danny’s Glass Snare

An article on Toolband today reveals a new snare drum in Danny‘s arsenal, this time made of glass. The post reveals:

Aaron Harris shows me Danny’s new prototype GLASS SNARE while dismantling the drum kit that will be used during TOOL’S performance at the RIVER’S EDGE FESTIVAL on St. Paul’s Harriet Island SATURDAY, JUNE 23. Aaron will be Danny’s drum tech for the gig, so let’s hope the damn thing is shatter proof.

Let’s hope it’s stronger than your typical Radiohead stage! Here’s a pic:

In other news Blair posted some stuff about a thing called a Patuxent Monster. I’m sure there’s probably some kind of code hidden away in there somewhere – first one to decipher it gets a free months subscription!

Danny Carey with the School of Rock house band

I know you all love watching Danny Carey videos, and memphisdj emailed me a new one this morning, where Danny plays with the kids from the School of Rock house band:

Not a bad effort from all involved, and it was great to see Danny rocking out on a relatively small drumkit!

Update: According to Loudwire, Danny also offered an update on the new album:

While the group hasn’t fully returned to recording, he did admit that they “have he framework of at least five good songs,” and that they hope to finish their next album by the end of the year.

Danny Carey Interview in DRUMscene

I mentioned this interview yesterday, but this morning when I visited the local magazine emporium, I spotted a copy of issue 64 of DRUMscene featuring Danny and decided to grab a copy (it was only $10).  And I gotta say it was $10 very well spent, then interview is one of the best I’ve read, and Danny speaks extensively about where the new album is at, the Live DVD, recording/song writing techniques and more.

In fairness to the magazine and copyright laws, I’m not going to scan it for you guys, however here’s some of the highlights of the interview:

  • The loved the Big Day Out tour, it was a great break for them and they love the relaxed atmosphere that comes with playing in the tour. They the it off really well with the guys from Rammstein. The highlight of the tour for Danny was the Melbourne sideshow.
  • As of the time of the interview 4 songs are in the works, which Danny expects is about half the album. Danny seems keen to write shorter and more to the point songs this time round, but things seem to have a habit of growing!  So far the songs seem to be heading along the path set by Jambi.
  • Maynard is expecting to spend some time with Tool before the APC shows and has expressed a desire to be more involved in the writing this time round, as Danny suggested that Maynard found some of the complex rhythms of the last album hard to write for.
  • There will be no further tours until the album is released, which all things going well they hope is 2011. The plan is to be in the studio by the end of the US summer.
  • They are leaning towards using Joe Baressi for the album, but haven’t ruled out using David Bottrill. Depends on how the remaining song writing pans out.
  • Danny’s really keen on getting a Live DVD out, using the footage recorded on previous tours (he talks specifically about the 6 pro-shot shows). As far as he knows the others in the band are keen, but it is a lengthy process editing the footage.  Seemed pretty sure it would see the light of day eventually.
  • Currently in the Lamborghini CD player is the new Trans-am and Rammstein albums, as well as some old Jethro Tull.
  • He’s still keen on doing a drum workshop type DVD, and said he might do one this year if he finds the time.
  • Danny has taken up bike riding, loves Penang Beef Curry, Mexican food and The Big Lebowski

As I said, it’s a great interview, and I would suggest any Australians out there interesting in reading the whole thing head down to their local newsagent and grab a copy! Or you should be able to snag one online here.

Danny Carey DRUMscene

Another Danny Carey “Documentary”, APC dates coming soon!

Update: It’s come to my attention that I’ve posted this already. It’s worth watching again anyway for good measure…

Aaron Harris tweeted today that he found a series of videos about Danny, recorded sometime around 1996/97. I haven’t had a chance to watch it yet (work has banned Youtube!) but I hear it’s worth watching! Here’s part 1:

And Part 2, Part 3 and Part 4

Speaking of Twitter, Maynard tweeted a little while ago saying that there really are some A Perfect Circle tour dates coming soon. Only US and Canadian ones though, so Europeans and Australasians shouldn’t get too excited!

Unseen Tool Documentary

Magnus posted in the Fourtheye forum a list of five Youtube videos from a previously unreleased (at least I haven’t seen it!) documentary with Danny Carey.  Danny talks about a range of topics from his influences, to gear and touring.  There’s also plenty of soundcheck footage included as well some cool live footage.  Here’s part 1:

Danny Carey Documentary

And here’s the rest:

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

There’s also a similar video (but shorter) with Adam Jones:

Danny joins John Bonham Tribute

Danny has been added to a lineup of drummers that will pay tribute to John Bonham at the Key Club in Hollywood this month.  On the 25th of September Danny will join the following drummers:

  • Frankie Banali (QUIET RIOT)
  • Bobby Blotzer (RATT)
  • Fred Coury (CINDERELLA)
  • Jimmy D’Anda (BULLETBOYS)
  • James Kottak (SCORPIONS)
  • Abe Laboriel (PAUL MCCARTNEY)
  • Khurt Maier (SALTY DOG)
  • Stephen Perkins (JANE’S ADDICTION)
  • Chris Slade (THE FIRM, AC/DC)
  • Simon Wright (AC/DC, DIO)
  • Zoe Bonham
  • Danny Carey (TOOL)
  • Deborah Bonham

Each drummer plays their own Zeppelin song apparently.  No word on what Zeppelin song Danny will perform, but perhaps it’ll be No Quarter.

You can grab tickets for this event at

Danny Collaborates with Brann Dailor

Mattia emailed me to let me know about the Guitar Center Drum Off Finals 2010, which will feature a collaboration between Danny and Mastodon’s Brann Dailor:

Guitar Center announced today that Tommy Lee and the Street Drum Corps’ Frank Zummo will present “Bezerk” – an exclusive project commissioned by Guitar Center, featuring some of today’s top drummers and artists – as part of the upcoming Drum-Off Grand Finals, taking place January 8, 2010 at The Wiltern in Los Angeles. Artists performing in “Bezerk” include Chad Smith (Red Hot Chili Peppers), Matt Sorum (Guns ‘N Roses, Velvet Revolver), José Pasillas (Incubus), DJ Aero, Sully Erna (Godsmack), Jay Weinberg, BANG! and others to be announced. Hosted by Stephen Perkins (Jane’s Addiction), this historic evening will also include a very special tribute to John Bonham by Jason Bonham, along with an exclusive collaborative performance by Danny Carey (Tool) and Brann Dailor (Mastodon).

These all-star drummers will all come together on one stage to celebrate the night’s main event: performances by the top five undiscovered drummers in the nation, who will compete in front of a capacity crowd and a panel of celebrity judges to see who will win a prize package worth more than $40,000 and the title of “Guitar Center Drum-Off Champion” – the nation’s top undiscovered drummer. Guitar Center will also induct drum icons Billy Cobham and John Bonham into Guitar Center’s Drum Legends as part of the evening’s festivities.

Tickets for the show are only $10, and are on sale now at

Find out more details Here!

Sounds like a fun night!

Danny Carey Drum Clinic Review

Danny Carey, along with Aloke Dutta and Terry Bozzio held a Drum Clinic in Kansas over the weekend, and Fourtheye reader Sniper36 was happy to share his review of the event:

So I went to the clinic from Denver, flew in Saturday and out Sunday. All in all it was worth it, but thats just me being optimistic. I did really enjoy it, however there were a few things that kinda sucked. First off, I was lucky enough to have absolutely nothing to do, so I got there early. Unfortunately, the show started about an hour and fifteen late. They said they were sound checking, and because so, the 1200 or so ppl there had to wait in an enormous line outside. since I got there early I was probably somewhere around #20-30 in line. Met some cool locals, and some cool out-of-towners.

Aloke was pretty entertaining. He seems like he has a good sense of humor and because so, he’s pretty goofy and funny. His fingers are amazingly fast, but the track he played as a bed to each of his songs was the exact same loop…very sleep-inducing. He and Danny then jammed together, did some trade fours which was again funny. Aloke would play something so ridiculously fast that he knew Danny couldn’t mirror it on a set, so he’d look at him like “Go ahead, try THAT!”.

Danny then came on and started playing right away. This was pretty cool, but it was just a jam. It was what any musician does when they sit down and just play what comes to mind first…but still on a “Danny” level. Then he spoke a little, saying that he was going to address some FAQ’s from his website (Compound Signatures, Polyrythyms, 4-way independence). He was really funny on stage, he seemed extremely nervous and humble, fidgeting with his mic stand and sticks,nervously laughing and saying, “I don’t really know if I should even try to address odd timing after Aloke just played” and, “I should probably leave the polyrythyms to Terry”. He played Jambi (odd timing), Then The Pot (Polyrythym). He was pretty rough around the edges during the songs. It sounded like maybe he couldn’t hear himself, or the music track enough. A few times he was pretty damn off. He also talked a bit about rudiments, and how his favorite is the swissy (swiss triplet). He said he probably overuses it in tracks like Third Eye, Aenima, Lateralus, Rosetta Stoned, etc. Then to demonstrate he played part of Third Eye, all of Rosetta Stoned, and all of Aenima. The drum breakdown in Rosetta is all Swiss’s on the hands, for those drummers who haven’t figured that one out yet (myself included).

He also explained Jambi a bit, saying that when Justin brought in the bass part it reminded him of Pee Wee’s Playhouse..makalaka hai maka hiney ho. Then Maynard thought of the genie, Jambi and started writing about making wishes. Go figure.

Terry was badass, but in another disappointment of the show, he didn’t have his personal set. He had a 9 or 10 peice DW that he called a “little hot rod”. After Terry, All three came out to play together, and that was ok. it was mostly Terry and Aloke though, since Danny played a basic beat with Rodz sticks. It def. didn’t seem rehearsed at all, as it just kinda fizzled at the end. I thought it would be cool to leave it open, but write an ending that would end the show with some energy.

Again, it was cool but those few moments when Danny messed up pretty bad were disappointing. He just didn’t seem “on” in those moments. He also seemed very clumsy behind the set, which is amazing to see someone tear it up like a master while at the same time looking clunky. He’s so damn huge that he can’t help but beat the living shit out of his set. The atmosphere was really cool and personal, Danny was so humble and nervous that it just didn’t seem like the same guy on stage at Tool shows. He stood up after Rosetta and said “Damn, I butchered that” and under his breath, “we didn’t tour enough this year”. Some one in the crowd yelled back “We all agree” and Danny shook his head as if to say “You’re telling me”. Danny’s dad and family were there as well, his dad rolled up in a caddy with plates that said “TOOLDAD”. Kinda cool.

There’s no doubt I’d travel to see another clinic, but I would hope he’d practice for a few days before it next time. Maybe his nerves are the reason he’s only done 5 or so in his whole career. Anyone else that went, correct me if I got something wrong. I apologize for the length, but there was def. some cool stuff I wanted to share.

p.s., to ppl looking to learn something, there wasn’t much. When Danny brought up 4-way-independence and polyrythms, he just said “I don’t really know what to tell you besides practice. You have to just put in the time in order to gain freedom”. He also recommended the books that are already on his website, The New Breed and either Advanced Techniques for the Modern Drummer or 4-Way Coordination, I forgot which. Any drummers without those books should run to the store before playing again, I’ve had them since I started playing 15 years ago and you can never really master them, as you can always add on to the lessons, and play faster.

Sounds like a good event!  If anyone else has anything to add, including pictures then let me know and I’ll happily post them.

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