2016 Winter NAMM Show Series


2016 Winter NAMM Series
dedicated to Nick Menza

We would like to dedicate our 2016 NAMM Show coverage to Nick Menza, who passed away due to heart failure on May 21, 2016.

Nick was playing a gig with his fusion metal band, near his home, at the Baked Potato in Los Angeles, CA when he passed on. We had gotten with Nick on a few other occasions for interviews and had become friends with this gentle, kind-spirited man, who was a monster on the drums. The son of a Jazz musician, Nick made sure he had a well-rounded musical upbringing, that spread to horizons far beyond the genre of metal you may know him for.

Nick had a great sense of humor, a thoughtful calm about him, and loved his two sons to the ends of the Earth. There was never a time when we spoke with Nick where the subject was not kicked off with how each other’s kids are.

Nick, you will be missed dearly.

Dan & Lori

Steve Smith

Steve joins us at the Sonor Booth to tell us about his two-year commitment to tour with Journey. He takes us through the process of relearning the music vs. the original process of when they wrote and recorded in the late 70s/early 80s; recording and touring with Neal Schon including the new instrumental album, “Vortex”; Steve also talks about his new book and DVD on Match Grip playing called “Pathways in Motion,” and also about his new solo release, “Groove Blue,” as well as a tip for choosing a drum kit.

Alan White

Alan White of YES joins us at the Ludwig Booth to talk about life in YES after the passing of Chris Squire and working with Billy Sherwood. Alan gave us a moment just before a signing function, so we’ll be getting together after the European tour to catch up some more!

A.D. Adams (Louis Prima Jr.)

A.D. Adams of Louis Prima, Jr. and the Witnesses joins us at the Vic Firth Booth to talk about performing timeless music, recording original swing music today, the importance of growing as a drummer, and more. You’ll see a clip of Louis and A.D. doing a drum duet on one kit!

Brad Wilk

Brad Wilk (Audioslave, Rage Against The Machine,. Smashing Pumpkins, Black Sabbath’s “13” & more) joins us at the Vic Firth Booth to talk about how the Sabbath gig for recording “13” came about and what that was like, and mentioned that he has a couple things coming up … that he can’t mention … yet. We look forward to getting with Brad again in the future!

Nicko McBrain

Nicko McBrain joinsus at the Sonor Booth during the Winter NAMM Show 2016 to talk about golf, his return to Sonor after 22 years, his new kit, the 2016 Iron Maiden Tour and a video game for 2016 featuring Iron Maiden’s mascot, Eddie!

David Segal (Can-Do Musos)

David Segal joins us at the Regal Tip booth to talk about playing drums with Arthrogryposis, which is the fusion of joints. In his case, it affects he wrists, but this sure doesn’t hold him back!

You will see some clips and hear David talk about why he chose drums, even being born with this condition, his love for jazz, meeting and getting to know Buddy Rich, and David Talks about his affiliation with Can-Do Musos.

Aric Improta (Night Verses)

You’ve likely seen his videos go viral on our FB channel and now Aric Improta, drummer of Night Verses and 2012 GC Drum Off Finalist (with an incredible performance) joins us at the Vic Firth Booth. He talks about how he stays in such great shape and gives tips for others; Building stamina for performances and pacing your energy, he has great advice on how to get the best results out of limited time to practice.

Aric also tell us what he recommends quick workouts that have impact; recording with his favorite producer Ross Robinson (Korn, Slipknot) and how he lived up to the hype! And Much More!

Igor Falecki

Igor Falecki joins us at the Vic Firth Booth where we talk about starting out at 4 years old at a drum kit, (and we have a clip!), as well as a clip of his video at 11 with Kamil Pyrek, at 10 on bass playing Billy Cobham’s “Red Baron”; Igor also talks about the process of recording on drum set with an orchestra, the project with “Cappella Gedanensis.” Find out what Igor’s answer is to A. Having a normal life as a kid, and B. “What do you want to do with your life?”

Emmanuelle Caplette

Emmanuelle Caplette joined us at the Vic Firth Booth to update us on her lessons site, talk about starting out at 9 in Drum & Bugle Corps and moving to the drum set at 18. Emmanuelle also gives advice for what is most important for all drummers of all ages and levels to become proficient in, and more! Her laughter is very infectious!

Jason Gianni

Jason Gianni joins us at the Vic Firth Booth to talk about his work with poly-rhythms and how they apply (or don’t) to drumming and music, his upcoming prog instrumental album, which also features him on piano and composition; Jason also talks about his work with The Collective in NYC.


World Famous busker Kafri joins us at the Vic Firth Booth to talk about his journey from basically being an unknown session player, to making people happy by feeding his musical soul by playing in the streets throughout Europe; his influences, why all drummers should dance, and more!

Jonathan 'Sugarfoot' Moffett Jr.

We had to sneak around a corner and do Jonathan Moffett, Jr.’s interview against a wall to avoid the mobbing over him at the NAMM Show! Dan asks Jonathan, “Of all the artists you’ve worked with (Elton, MJ, George Michael, Janet Jackson, Madonna …), who offered the piece of advice that stuck with you the most and what was it?”

The answer is not surprising! Jonathan also talks about where the ideas and ability to design his own unique kits and rack systems come from, what’s on the horizon for him. Jonathan also breaks down how he uses multiple bass drums on each set-up–and what inspired him to do it!

Bruno Valverde

We have interviewed Bruno Valverde (of Angra) in Brazil in Portuguese with English subs, and now we finally got to interview him here in the US in English! Bruno talks with us at the Vic Firth Booth about his new DVD, playing trad-grip vs. match, and how a drummer can decide what to use; Bruno also talks about working with Evan Marien, and MORE!

Suzanne Morissette

You may know her as “The Drumming Bride,” Suzanne Morissette Cruz joins us to talk about that viral video on Drum Talk TV that racked 7 million views in a couple moths (organically!) of her playing drums and doing a solo on her wedding day, in her wedding dress!

Suzanne is also a music educator and talks about how she began playing and how she gets all her students off to the right start. This interview has great tips for any music educator or student of any level. Suzanne also talks about her famous video and how it came about that she and her husband played with the band on their special day!

When Suzanne cites her favorite Drum talk TV video, which is from Barcelona, Dan explains what makes the contributing audience from over 100 countries so unique to Drum Talk TV.

Clifton Eddie (Fou Fou)

Clifton Eddie, aka “Fou Fou the Drummer,” joins us to talk about the good ol’ days of drumming and music at the Vic Firth Booth! Fou Fou started his professional career after returning from the Army in 1964 (after playing with the Army Band) and played the Apollo Theater at 21 years old, having joined Tommy Hunt of the Flamingos. He then joined the Dells in 1965 and was their original drummer and bandleader for 4 years. He went on to also play with Patty LaBelle and the Blue Bells, the Ojays and many more! You’ll find out what he is doing now!


We got with Italian drum brand RotodruM again this year and Fred York shows us what makes these drums some of the most innovative and versatile drums out there! Dan also talks with Matthew Pancera of CVL drums, who makes the one-of a kind shells for RotodruM. You have got to see and hear these drums! Matthew works with woods from Bubinga and Birch, to Chestnut, Indian Apple and more, including a shell blended with Ash and African Mahogany.

Alesis Kits!

In the market for electronic drums? Alesis gave us a tour of several electronic kits for any level of play! These kits are at a nice range of retail price points at $299, $499, $699 and Strike Series at $1,599 and $2,499

One of the new Strike Kits has 14″ snares and bass drums, and the cymbals are “Hand-Hammered Rubber”! You get a ride and 3 crashes, and 12″ hi-hats. The brain comes with an editor for Mac or PC so you can drag and drop your own samples and wav files and mp3 to use with the already robust library.

Alesis Sample Pad 4!

Here’s Tim Root of Alesis on the Sample Pad 4! This is a cool compact sampling device that comes with 25 of the top samples percussion sounds. You can also load your own samples via an SD card. Watch and learn more about this cool device that lists for only $179 USD!

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