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.