You know the deal, ask me a question (either through the email
in the contact page or on the guestbook and I answer it... just
check the archive first so I'm not answering questions about the
same thing over and over.
Date, November 29 2008
Name: Jordan Stoney (The Great White North)
Question : What do you prefer, nice clean perfect production on
an album with flawless playing or a raw gritty sound with fuckups
involved? personally I prefer raw and gritty cuz I think its more
"I agree for the most part, I guess it depends
on the music and what you're trying to get across with the album.
Sometimes making something really polished helps bring out details
and nuances you WANT in there, sometimes the raw side ads an element
that, even with things getting lost in the mud - so to speak-
is beneficial. Some of the classics (Beatles, Who, the Stones,
even stuff like the Beach Boys) are FILLED with mistakes and a
lot of times those "mistakes" are what give the music life. I
also really like Steely Dan, which is on the other side of the
coin, NOTHING was getting past Fagen and Becker.
It just depends on what you're going for. A lot
of people think that because of our Analog/Live recording stance
on the Zao FEAR record that I'm against pro-tools and clean recordings.
Not at all. It was just that record had to be made like that,
the previous Zao record was sort of the extreme end of the polishing/fixing
and everyone in the band thought it suffered for that, so The
Fear... was meant to sort of be the polar opposite. In the case
of that record I still stand by the production in terms of that
album. The production was written into the songs, so to speak.
Some of my favorite records would be considered
unlistenable by audiophile standards, but it's what gives them
their character. On the other hand, other favorite albums of mine,
I realize have been doctored to the point that they would be impossible
to do without massive amounts of studio trickery. I let the situation
and what type of record I want to make dictate whether it's "lo"
or "hi" fi. There's room for both. Variety is the spice of life
Name: Joe B. (Rhode Island)
Question: I 'm a drummer that has been thinking about making the
move to NYC. How do you survive as a drummer there? I know rent
is outrageous, but also, where do you practice? Do you have a
car there?? I guess as a drummer you would have too. it all seems
"When I first moved here I had a car, but
then I was on tour so much and finding creative places to leave
it (for free) and still avoiding tickets when I WAS home (you
have to move your car around constantly in NY for street cleaning)
it was just too much. When I got 300 dollars in tickets in the
course of a week I said "ENOUGH" and ditched it. It's usually
not a problem. Most clubs have built in back line and I'll just
use the house sets and I bring my cymbals, snare and pedal which
I just take with me on the Subway. Occasionally I have to take
hardware, I have a bunch of really lightweight stuff for situations
like this, and you learn to get by with very little.
The one or two cases where I've had to bring a
full kit, you just call a car service, request a van and they
come get you. You can usually do this for around (depending on
who you call and where you're going) for around 30-50 bucks round
trip. Which when you take into consideration, car upkeep, insurance,
gas, and parking tickets, for the few times I've needed it is
still cheaper than owning a car up here. Eventually my back will
give out and I'll probably go back to being a car owner, but for
now, I be creative and tough it out.
As far as practice spaces, your best bet is to just
look around for ads, there are plenty of "space shares" where
you can keep your drums and you get certain time slots that you
can use. There's about 4 bands in mine, I get a nice chunk of
time throughout the week and often times can use slots that other
people aren't using. It's not ideal but you make do. Conversely,
I'm able to find enough work in NY playing wise, that I'm always
at rehearsals somewhere or gigs. So even though I don't get as
much time in the room by myself to woodshed, I end up playing
just as much. It works out."
Jim S (Latrobe, PA)
Question:Any chance of a Crank Radio reunion? Miss the old days
of Illusions and the Derry Theater....
"Oh god, no. I don't even know which of our
bass players to ask, none of them are really around and that stuff
was so juvenile that I can't even begin to think about revisiting
it. Those Derry/Latrobe shows were good times though. I miss having
an outlet like that. Every show was different.
I remember the one time we came out and announced
our "new direction" and played a bunch of grindcore songs and
everyone just stared at us. I also remember a flier for a show
where somebody described us as "Faith No More without the keyboards".
So we showed up, played a big improvisation with me on keyboards
and then broke into a cover of Epic by Faith No More. Or playing
a Steelers fight song for 10 minutes? Or doing a Medley of the
Friends theme "I'll Be There For You" into "I'll Be There For
You" by Bon Jovi. Or doing covers of Six Pack by Black Flag and
Drink Fight and Fuck by GG Allin at a show with a bunch of Straight
Edge bands. Oh to be young and damaged again."
Question: I was listening to your sound clips and i noticed that
your drums sound different on almost every recording? How do you
get so many different tones in the different sessions?
"As I've stated before, it's just different
drums. I like to use what's there. It keeps me on my toes and
sometimes you get really good recordings out of really weird kits.
I've used my old pearl exports, I've used my Precision kit, I've
used an ACRYLIC precision kit, Old Gretsch drums (my favorite
to record with right now), old slingerlands, beat up 80's era
Tama drums, DW's, Ludwig Vistelites, an old yamaha kit with single
headed toms, you name it. I've used frankenstein kits that are
bits and pieces of everything. I've tuned snares down to the point
of the heads being wrinkled up, I've placed towels on the toms
and played that. Broken cymbals. Whatever works."
Name: Concerned (North Caolina)
Question: I'm really worried. You were in my favorite band-FATA..And
now your just making noise.
"Really? REALLY? I mean if you're referring
to the intro video... I would hardly call it "noise". (to be fair,
I have done some "NOISE" stuff in my time... but not enough to
warrant concern). After playing with FATA and doing pretty straight-forward
stuff, I am cleaning out the pipes by exploring some more "experimental"
avenues. But for the most part most of the projects I've been
involved with lately (Zero Spanish, Emanuel And The Fear, some
session work I've done recently) are actually some of the poppier
things I've done. All of the music I make isn't for everyone (heck,
my mother thinks Zao is "noise" to a certain extent). It's all
relative. Calm down. "
Date, June 23 2008
Name: Matt Nelson (Florida)
Question: Do you think that Matt Nelson was the best AND worst
bass player you ever played with? Do you think it's funny that
he gave up playing bass to sing in a Barbershop quartet????
"Ladies and Gentlemen, Matt Nelson. I played with him all
through college, both in Jazz situations and also he was the foundation
in the "drunken mess" that was Disco Bitch And The Funk Machine.
We OWNED the small college town of Indiana, PA. Disco Bitch was
a pretty straight-forward party dance band with horn section before
we joined. Some Parliament covers, Play That Funky Music, Jungle
Boogie, stuff like that also, a healthy chunk of originals. I
seem to remember us covering things like the theme from Sling
Blade.This wasn't your get up and play for 45 minutes and get
off... this was play for 3 hours and get everyone rowdy stuff.
They were great fun and I used to go and watch them a lot.
Then one day myself (on KEYBOARDS actually), and my long-time
musical co-horts Steve Moore and Adam MacGregor joined and all
sorts of new weirdness began. Not only was it still the same material
but we helped baffle but somehow entertain these ridiculous hippies/frat
people that came to see us. Never again are you likely to hear
covers of stuff like Groove Is In The Heart interspersed with
references to Iannis Xennakis and The Boredoms. We would "borrow"
stage banter from The Jesus Lizard's David Yow. Sometimes we would
wear costumes (once I showed up as a chippendale dancer and our
drummer was dressed as an elephant). Usually most of our clothes
would come off. It was 9 times out of 10 complete bedlam. H.B.
Culpeppers' (our regular residency in town) gave us a totally
open bar tab and I remember one night us running up a bill that
was close to 600 dollars. Pitchers of White Russians were the
rule, not the exception.
Anyway, with that out of the way, Matt was one of the first REAL
bass players I played with. And I learned a lot. I have an affinity
for bass players. A good one is an amazing experience to play
with, a terrible one can ruin a musical moment for me. I learn
something from every bass player I have ever played with. I played
with Matt probably more than any one bass player at this point
and learned the most. So... NO matt, you're not the worst.
As far as you giving up bass to sing Barbershop??? That's simultaneously
the most brilliant thing I've ever heard and the saddest (for
us drummers that is)."
Name: A Fan (Detroit)
Question: What are those crazy drums you're using on the Zao footage
from The Fear... they look crazy?
"They're not THAT crazy. Just mismatched. That kit is a result
of a raid on the drum room of Electrical Audio in Chicago (where
we did the record of course). The snare drum is a 1930's Brass
Ludwig snare. Thing is incredible. It sort of predates the machine
made polished rims that we're used to now. So the rim was like
a fucking razor blade. But damn, that thing is great. Plays great
and records great. I knew about that snare before I even got there.
I asked them if it was still there before we even started unpacking.
The rack tom is actually a Gretsch 14 inch maple floor tom. The
floor tom is an 18 inch red Ludwig Vistalite. I used two different
kick drums most of the record is with a 22" Gretsch (from the
same kit as the rack tom). On the songs Cancer Eater and There
Is No Such Thing As Paranoia I'm using a 24" Ludwig Vistalite
I love trying out different drums in the studio and usually try
not to record with exactly the same kit twice. I usually take
mine "just in case" but my favorite part of the recording process
is seeing what's sitting around and using that. Plus, engineers
know how to get sounds quicker off of drums they are familiar
Name: ;FL;AAOTHE (XSMITHTHSONX)
Question: ;HEY FOAGH! YOU FUCEN PLAY'A THAT SHITNE WITH FUCEN
FLY? MAN THAT FUAOGH NIC KID FUCER WE FUCEN TARMAL HI;A SOSH DOWN
AT FUCEN CONENLLELSVILLE FUCN S;AWOPMEET WHOA'ARS! THAT FUC!
"There's a beer in Western PA called Stoney's. This is the
Question: So will you ever play with Zao again???
"Absolutely. We're working on a record as we speak. And I'm
getting ready to go back to PA to do our first show in about 2
You're not THE ripper are you? I used to work at a record store
where one of the owners knew The Ripper... they used to make us
listen to Judas Priests Juggulator record all the time. On another
related note... one of the guys in From Autumn To Ashes knows
someone that has the Juggulator album art tattooed on his body.
I just typed Juggulator 2 more times than I ever thought I would."
Name: corbin (austrailia)
Question: is that the same set u used in all the fata cds?
"I used my Precision kit on the Live At Looney Tunes cd.
All of the other albums were Fran playing drums. I think he's
kind of like me and uses whatever is laying around."
Question: Here's one for Dr Gretz- What's the best compliment
you've ever gotten on your playing??
"True story. While sitting in a Winnebago in Nashville, TN
drinking honest to god moonshine out of a mason jar, Hank Williams
III told me I reminded him of a young Bill Stevenson (ALL, Descendants,
Black Flag). "
Name: concerned fan
Question: I heard From Autumn To Ashes broke up? Please tell me
this isn't true
"Ok, It's not true. "
Name: anonymous (Pomona, CA)
Question: What's Ghosts for Breakfast? Are you brining it it to
"New project. I'm calling it Punk/Jazz for a lack of better
description. Trumpet, Tenor Sax, Bass, Drums. I have the amazing
Nate Wooley on trumpet. Travis Laplante (from a band called Little
Women that will knock you on your ass) playing Tenor and Steve
Moore from Zombi on bass. I basically told Steve to turn on the
distortion on the bass and leave it on. There is an even balance
between tightly composed/rhythmic stuff and total free-improv
hell. We're doing the one gig for now and we'll see how it goes.
Hopefully I'll get to record the stuff and maybe do some more.
No plans on leaving NY as of yet. Who knows. Still to early to
Question:i have a question for you.. i saw that you are recently
playing drums with from autumn to ashes.. well francis has been
a big influence for me for the last five years. very good musician..
well i wanted to ask what its like touring with the guys? and
what are you views about life on on the road?
"Those guys are great. Fran is super easy to work with. He's
an amazing drummer and it's always a pleasure to play "his" stuff.
At the same time, he's never discouraged me from putting my own
stuff in there. I learned his patterns note for note for the most
part, but never really worried about the fills, I knew where the
fills were, but aside from some really signature ones, just went
for it. He was always fine with that. Those guys are super easy
to tour with, a lot of fun, they've been doing it for so long
there's very little bullshit. I've always watched other bands
that I've toured with and wondered how they manage to function.
There's some idiots out there.
As far as life on the road, I'm not going to lie. A LOT of it
sucks. I mean, the first time you go somewhere it's great. But
with few exceptions, it's all the same. You can't eat what you
want, or when you want. You have to scramble to do laundry (or
sometimes go without for a while), you can't even sleep when you
want. In the middle of a long tour you can kind of lose your mind
if you're not careful. It's all about routine and making your
life as comfortable as possible.
here is mine:
hotel lobby/free breakfast
if i can, i try to sleep in the van if we're driving that day
( or I'll zone out with my headphones on or read or work on music
on the computer)
get to the venue
(here's the fun part)
VANISH ---- I go away, I don't hang out backstage, I go for a
walk get away from the club, try to find some local cuisine, see
what's around do laundry. If there's nothing around see the part
about the van.
Play the show
Drive to the hotel (or if we're unlucky drive all night, which
I usually do having slept all day and I HATE sleeping in the van
on an overnight drive, I'm afraid we'll wreck, I'm perfectly fine
taking the graveyard shift and driving all night downing coffee
and listeing to Coast To Coast AM or Carole King.)
It's great getting to play music every night for a living, but
too much road work A) saps your ability to make music with different
people -- which is something I thrive on B) eat decent food C)
enjoy the finer parts of life like a good glass of wine on the
couch with your wife and watching a movie. "
Question: What's it like working with Steve Albini? I hear he's
"I've heard them all: Elitist, Prick, Asshole, Audio Tyrant,
Noise Monger, you name it. He's great. Super-nice. Will tell you
lots of funny stories about all kinds of things you didn't know
about. Loves poker, baseball, will teach you how to play "cat
billiards" then kick your ass at it, keeps plenty of gourmet coffee
in the studio, even had an intern that made these amazing coffee
drinks for us that had maple syrup in them. All around great guy,
super easy to work with, not a "dick" or "asshole" in the slightest.
The most fun I've ever had on a session. Period. I think he's
an asshole when the musicians are assholes (which we all know
happens a lot). "
Date, April 17 2008
How's the foot? When are we gonna hear all this music you're working
"Foot is 100% better. Done. Healed. I got the cast off in
6 weeks and jumped right back into everything. At the end of the
day I got a lot of writing done, listened to a lot of music, read
a bit, and did way to much "not playing." On top of that I missed
probably my only chance to go to Austrailia. I did make it back
up in time to go to Japan so I can't complain.
This music you speak of (at least a couple songs) are HERE."
NAME: Roland (Pittsburgh)
What are your thoughts on the one handed gravity blast? Ever consider
putting yourself on sickdrummer.com?
"I'm familiar with the gravity blast. It's an interesting
technique but not exactly something I'm going to spend time on
perfecting. I use it sometimes in "improv-type" settings as an
extended technique, just another color option. I've never used
it in a "metal" context and have no plans to do so. It just sounds
silly to me. I'm not terribly familiar with sickdrummer.com. Why
don't YOU put me on? Bad voodoo to put yourself on something like
that. My self-promotion tactics online are delegated to this website
and the myspace page.
Aside from that it's up to the "fans" to give me that honor, or
the site themselves. I'm not THAT narcissistic."
Name: Britney (Indianapolis)
I read that you're not christian but you've played with Zao. Does
that bother you? Does that bother them? Why would you play with
christians if you yourself are not?
"Ahhhhhh, there it is, been wondering how long it would take.
Does it bother me that I've played with Zao? No, why would it,
I'm proud of that. Does it bother me that they're Christians?
I believe your personal beliefs are just that, personal. My opinion
on matters spiritual is nobody's business and I don't feel that
it has anything to do with what I do. I play with all sorts of
people that I don't align with for whatever reasons, I've played
with gay musicians and I'm not gay. I've played with sexists,
I've played with Christians, I've played with Jewish musicians,
I'm sure I've crossed some racists, who cares? I don't ask people
what their beliefs are when I sign up, unless it gets in the way
of making music or dealing with them on a day-to-day basis it's
not a concern of mine.
I don't THINK it bothers them. They knew my deal when they asked
me. I believe you can learn something from everyone and every
situation. I am not so close minded that I would turn down working
with a musician I admire for their personal politics."
Name: Matt (Cleveland)
Did you know someone flagged your wikipedia entry?
"As stated above, I don't really know anything about that
and I don't know who made it. I have my suspicions but needless
to say it was inaccurate on several accounts so whatever."
Name: Videodrome Question:
What have you been up to?
"Cleaning the kitchen, perfecting my martini, doing my taxes,
enjoying the nice weather and the time off."
Date December 2007
Name: Robert (New York)
So where can I get some of those early releases in your Discography?
Like Crank Radio or Napoleon In Rags?
"You can't. Those things are LONG out of print. I include
things in the discography if they were ever "officially released"
for sale or whatnot. I figure if it's out there, document it.
If something is still around I include a link on where to buy
it... eventually I will get my P.O. Box set up so if there's something
that I DO have extra copies of... you'll be able to get it from
Question: I saw that you got married. Does your wife tour with
"No. She has her own job. Sometimes she comes out for a weekend
or so but even then, it's just to visit with me... not really
to be on TOUR. It's actually quite boring and I wouldn't want
to subject her to too much of the bullshit that I have to deal
with on a daily basis. Who wants to ride around in a van for a
month with a bunch of stinky dudes talking about Kiss and the
Mets all day? "
Name: Billy (Cape Cod)
Question: I really think it would be nice to hear some sort of
collaboration between you and Anthony Green. Not sure why exactly,
but i feel it would be extremly worth listening to.
"Who is this guy? Do you know him? What does he do? Hook
Name Josh (South Dakota)
Question: Saw you play recently in Sioux Falls with FATA, great
stuff.... couple of questions,
what is that thing you were fiddling with between songs?
how do you scream and play drums at the same time?
"1) That is a very rudimentary phrase sampler.
I load it up with little audio bytes to transition in between
songs and generally make noise. Fran (Fata's singer) doesn't really
like to talk much on stage, so instead of there being awkward
silences and "Hello Cleveland" type moments we fill
that space with things like loops of birds chirping, or recordings
of shortwave Numbers Stations or Dawson's Creek dialogue.
2) Very carefully."
Date September 2007
Question: So why did you end up leaving Zao??
"There really isn't much to tell that hasn't been stated
elsewhere. It came down to one thing and one thing only. I wasn't
convinced it was a band anymore. I felt we short-changed the last
album and gave up touring right when we were picking up steam.
We had a lot of really cool offers that were turned down for no
reason other than the other guys in the band didn't want to tour
anymore. This added on to the fact that I was now in a different
state made me question if it was worth me commuting back for random
one-off shows or recordings that probably didn't have a home (since
the Ferret contract had expired and was doubtful to be renewed
if the band wasn't actively touring). The reality of it was, I
didn't feel like I was going to get any solid offers for work
(since I wanted to keep playing) if I was still in the band, so
i "quit" to make it public knowledge. It worked. The
next day I got the offer to join From Autumn To Ashes and Zao
hasn't done a thing since I left. Which is a shame really... they
had a really long run and made it through some tough times and
things finally seemed to be rolling somewhat smoothly. Hopefully
they'll prove me wrong. Aside from that, I have nothing but love
for those guys and I wouldn't be doing the things I am now if
it wasn't for them getting me rolling."
Question: Have any tips on somebody trying to make it?
"You're implying that I HAVE. I've hardly "made it".
I don't even know what that means. Even if I was wealthy beyond
my wildest dreams and in all of the celebrity gossip magazines
I'd still be trying to achieve something more musically. It never
ends and I never plan on stopping. The concept of "making
it" eludes me because I feel like there is always another
level to reach... artistically that is. If anyone finds a way
to "make it" financially that will enable me to devote
more time and funds to the other side of it, feel free to drop
me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org"
Name: John Roman
Question: Get outta the shitter!
"No, John. That is where the magic happens. That is where
I learn things in books and magazines. That is where the inspiration
goes down. I'm gonna stay in the shitter for a while."
Question: What Five Albums changed your life?
"Well, I guess this would be different from FAVORITE albums.
These are just albums that once I heard them it effected the way
I looked at music and the kind of music I wanted to make. There
was no turning back after hearing these.
1) Beach Boys - Pet Sounds --- Yeah I know... it's a cliche at
this point. But that doesn't change the fact that this album showed
me that you can make beautiful melodic music that is also intelligent.
It's also extremely honest and at the same time not standard.
I liked the fact that they were pop songs that weren't played
by standard instrumentation and the harmonies, THE HARMONIES.
Voices of angels.
2) Igor Stravinsky - Le Sacre du printemps (Rite Of Spring) ---
Don't remember the exact recording (either Bernstein or Boulez)
but up until that point my only exposure to orchestral music was
Hollywood type stuff or the classics. I had no idea there were
people that were alive in THIS CENTURY making music this violent
that was being performed by orchestras. This led to me discovering
and enjoying the later-Romantic era composers, and all of the
20th century cats which got me into Serialism, Minimalism etc.
This was my gateway into orchestral music. Still one of my favorite
pieces of ANY genre.
3) Ornette Coleman - Free Jazz --- Like the above, this was my
gateway into the world of Jazz and Improvisational music. Up until
that point I was only familiar with big-band and more bop oriented
stuff. This had the same effect that Death Metal had on me when
I first heard it. It scared the living shit out of me. But these
guys weren't intimidating because they were amplified to 11...
no, these guys were intimidating because they were raising holy
hell with acoustic instruments and being beasts on their instruments
in totally un-pretentious ways. Again, this led me to go back
in Jazz history and pick up on stuff I missed the first time around.
4) Napalm Death - Harmony Corruption --- I'm not gonna pretend
I'm cool and claim that I got into them with Scum, because I didn't.
And even though I had already heard, and worshipped at the alter
of Slayer's Reign In Blood, this was the first DEATH METAL record
I had heard. It was the most alien sounding music I had ever heard.
When I used to look at metal record covers in the local Camelot
Music, I always THOUGHT this is what these bands would sound like
(as cool as they were, Iron Maiden's music never matched up with
the cover images for me) THIS was what I had envisioned. I take
death metal very seriously by NOT taking it seriously.
It is a valid form of music that at it's best, has NO sense of
humor about itself (even when it's obviously very funny). The
best death metal is very serious, and that is what kills me every
5) John Zorn- Naked City --- I slept on this one. Didn't get into
it until about 3 years after it came out. I wasn't ready before
that... at this time I had already absorbed everything mentioned
above. The first time I heard this record I thought, "Okay,
so it IS possible to have the touchstones I have musically and
put them together and make it work". This record probably
fucked me up more than anything else because it led me down paths
I NEVER would have gone down otherwise. The result of this record
was me getting into a lot of the downtown NYC scene as a result
of seeking out this John Zorn character that had produced this
monstrosity. I can't really listen to this record anymore (i prefer
where they went after it, both with the band and with the players
other projects) but I would be lying if I didn't admit that it
was a key in my musical development."
Question: Care to inspire me with some wise saying?
"Re-invent the wheel."
Question: Your listed on the From Autumn To Ashes album and in
the Deth Kult Social Club video... but why aren't you in the Pioneers
"The band's singer left halfway through the recording of
the Holding A Wold By The Ears album so Francis Mark (the drummer)
took over on vocals full time on the record. When it was done
they decided to get a drummer so Fran could be the full time singer.
I auditioned for the band about 3 weeks before a 10 week tour
was starting. We filmed the Deth Kult Social Club video at my
first show (about 2 weeks after my audition) at the Crazy Donkey
in Long Island. Having just moved to NYC I had several gigs lined
up (one of which was a recording session with the band Creation
out of Conneticut.) A few days before we left for tour the FATA
guys called me and informed me of the Pioneers video shoot. Alas,
I had the recording session already booked. I don't cancel gigs
for "better" gigs or whatnot. It's first come first
serve, regardless of fame or fortune, or whatever. If I commit
to a project I will see it thorugh regardless of what else comes
up. So I explained this and they understood. So they filmed the
video without me and I did the Creation session. I don't regret
it for a second. It's just the way it is. As far as me being listed
on the liner notes of Wolf, that was very nice of them and a nice
treat when I saw the album art layout. I never expected that and
never would have asked. But no, I don't play on that album even
though sometimes people think I did."
Name : Michael
Question: What's going on with this solo stuff you mentioned in
"A few things.... there is a suite of solo drumset pieces
I've been working on, roughly 32 "mini-movements" focusing
on different combinations and extended techniques for the drum
set. I've also been doing some more "electronic" type
of pieces on my computer. A few "film-music" influenced
pieces. And I'm also working on a "one man band" type
recording, which is sort of lo-fi psychedelic "pop songs"."
Question: My bandmates are trying to get me to use kick drum triggers...
do you use them? any thoughts?
"Not a fan. The line of thought behind triggers is you can
use two kick drums and have them sound consistent (not having
to worry about matching microphones or tuning) and have them cut
through the mix. I only use one kick and I use plastic beaters
with a remo falam pad on my kick head. I also keep it pretty muffled
because that's what the sound guys like to work with (plus when
I'm doing faster double bass there's no room for the bass drum
rigning out.) So, it's never really been an issue. There are some
"metal dudes" that insist that you HAVE to have triggers.
I say no. In fact, I had the pleasure of watching Slayer play
from backstage recently and Dave Lombardo not only didn't use
triggers he was using the FELT side of the beaters and it sounded
incredible. You want to tell Dave Lombardo that he isn't playing
metal right???? I don't think so. On top of that, I've seen more
bands where the triggers are LOUDER than the kit.... so unless
you have your own front of house guy, you are at the mercy of
the house sound guy and it could work against you. I'd say ask
them WHY they are asking you to use them and maybe rent them or
borrow them from someone to try it out. But you don't NEED it.