One of the most influential drummers of all time, Steve Gadd set a new standard in contemporary drumming techniques and performance, and in doing so launched a thousand imitators. Recording so many legendary drum tracks like; " Aja"," Fifty Ways to Leave Your Lover" and "Nite Sprite", there is no drummer alive today who in some way has not been effected by Steve Gadd. His influence is still very much felt and can be heard in the playing of everyone from Vinnie Colaiuta to Carter Beauford. And still to this day there is no one who can get "inside" a tune and find the "pocket" quite like the great Steve Gadd.
Steve Gadd was born in Rochester, New York, April 9, 1945.
Steve's Uncle, a drummer in the army, encouraged him to take drum lessons at the age of seven; by the time Steve was 11 he had sat in with Dizzy Gillespie. Studied music at Eastman College, Rochester, playing in wind ensemble and concert band, and at nights in a club with Chick Corea, Chuck Mangione, Joe Romano and Frank Pullara. After college, drafted into army and spent three years in a military band. After the army, gigged and worked with a big band in Rochester. 1972, formed a trio with Tony Levin and Mike Holmes, going to New York with it. The trio fizzled out, but Gadd began to work extensively as a studio musician. He also played with Corea's first Return to Forever. 1970's and 1980's, toured internationally, recorded with Paul Simon and with Al DiMeola's Electric Rendezvous Band.
By the end of the 1970's Gadd was the most in-demand and probably the most imitated drummer in the world. In Japan transcriptions of his solos were on sale, and all the leading Japanese drummers were sounding like him. Chick Corea commented, "Every drummer wants to play like Gadd because he plays perfect . . . He has brought orchestral and compositional thinking to the drum kit while at the same time having a great imagination and a great ability to swing."
After graduating from Eastman, Steve was drafted into the Army. While carrying out his three-year tour of duty, Steve ended up playing drums in the military band. After leaving the Army, Steve began gigging with a big band in the Rochester area and in 1972, formed a trio with Tony Levin and Mike Holmes. It was after relocating to New York City that Steve became one of the most sought after studio musicians in town. It was as a studio musician that Steve came into his own and worked with such musicians as Chick Corea, Paul Simon, Donald Fagen and Walter Becker, Aretha Franklin, Carly Simon, Bob James, Nancy Wilson and Joe Cocker to name a few. In the 70's and 80's, Steve Cut five albums with Chick Corea, several albums with Al DiMeola including Al's Electric Rendezvous, and recorded and toured with Gato Barbieri, George Benson, Stanley Clarke, Steely Dan, Joe Cocker, Maynard Ferguson, Roberta Flack, Jim Hall and of course, Paul Simon.
In 1976 Steve became a member of the group Stuff with Gordon Edwards, Richard Tee, Eric Gale, Cornell Dupree and Chris Parker, while continuing his heavy schedule of studio work. Towards the end of the 70's, Steve had not only become one of the most in-demand drummers, but he had also become one of the most imitated, and revered drummers in the world.The 90's saw Steve become Eric Clapton's first call drummer, solidifying Steve's reputation as one of the most accomplished and skilled drummers of his generation.
Today Steve is just as busy as he ever was with one of the most intense recording and touring schedules in the business, spending time in the studio and on the road with Eric Clapton, Paul Simon and James Taylor.
Steve's influence on the drumming community can be heard in players from all walks of life, whether they know it or not. His feel, imagination, and abilities are the signatures of his trademark sound. Few others can manage to get inside a tune like Steve Gadd."
"To play the unplayed" - that is the self-proclaimed lifelong aspiration of drummer/producer Thomas Lang. Given his astonishing independence of limb and his stalwart dedication to improving his craft -- Lang's aspiration is more than well on the way to reality. Thomas Lang has dedicated his life to the exploration of all things drum. In addition to his relentless touring, recording and performing schedules, Lang's instructional DVD "Creative Control" (Hudson Music) is now the biggest-ever selling instructional DVD of all time and he has managed to find time to lend his expertise to Meinl Cymbals, the Remo Corporation and Sonor Drums to help develop new and exciting gear and drums accessories.
A native of Vienna, Austria, Lang took up drums at the tender age of five. Inspired by a televised performance of a heavy metal band, Lang assessed (quite rightly!) that he wanted to be a drummer when he grew up because, "the drummer looked like he was the boss -- AND he got to sit down!"
In addition to years of private tuition, Lang was formally educated at the Vienna Conservatory of Music. As the youngest student enrolled at the legendary institution, early on Lang received a diverse education in a multitude of styles including Jazz, Classical, Fusion and Big Band. After leaving the conservatory, Lang began working professionally -- slowly working his way through the European Pop, Rock and Jazz scenes. Working obsessively (sometimes with up to 15 projects simultaneously) Lang earned his stripes by working with some of Europe's most demanding recording and touring outfits including Falco, John Wetton, Bonnie Tyler, and many others (go to "tour history" for a complete list of credits).
In addition to his work with other artists, Lang's 1995 solo release, "Mediator" topped the charts in Europe and garnered rave reviews for its innovative Jazz/Dance/ProgRock sound. Despite his grueling touring and rehearsal schedule, Lang remains committed to a rigorous daily practice schedule. "I religiously follow a constantly-evolving practice routine. It's not glamorous, but for me daily practice is a principle source of growth and inspiration in my playing," says Lang.
Lang's daily practice regime eventually became the basis for his 2-part series of instructional videos, "Ultamatives Schlagzeug I & II" which were originally released in 1995. Due to overwhelming demand, these videos were re-released on DVD in 2004 by Hudson Music (www.hudsonmusic.com).
In his quest to, "play the unplayed," Thomas has worked cooperatively with the research and development team at Meinl Cymbals to create, "Tom's Becken" -- a pitch-matched range of contemporary crash cymbals that provide acoustic and electronic drummers with modern sounds that resemble artificially engineered cymbal samples. Launched in 2002, "Tom's Becken" were so well received that in 2004 Thomas Lang worked with Meinl once again to design the "Fast Hats" (www.meinlcymbals.com).
In 2002, Meinl approached the Remo Corporation to produce the "Thomas Lang Practice Kit" -- a totally silent, completely portable practice kit. "When I travel its hard for me to keep up with my practice because I worry about disturbing people in hotel rooms, or backstage. Then, it occurred to me that tons of drummers must give up playing because it's too expensive or not feasible to keep up practicing. I took my idea for a totally to the guys and Remo -- and the rest is history," says Lang. (www.remo.com)
Presently, Thomas Lang lives in Los Angeles with his wife and identical twin boys. He is presently working on the highly anticipated follow-up DVD to "Creative Control" which is scheduled for release by Hudson Music in late 2006. Thomas is also working on various solo projects and is launching a music-inspired clothing line.
2009: Thomas Lang switches from Sonor to DW Drums.Thomas Lang currently plays also Meinl cymbals, Vic Firth sticks, Remo drum heads, Roland electronics, Gibraltar hardware, Hardcase road cases, AKG microphones.
Derek Roddy has forever changed the face of Extreme Metal drumming and, is fast becoming one of the more influential drummers in the world today. Derek is by no means the originator of the blast beat but, one of it's biggest pioneers and educators, propelling Blast Beat drumming to the forefront of modern playing, in ways no other Extreme Drummer had done before him.
A native of South Carolina, Derek grew up in a musical family and took to drumming at an early age - influenced by a variety of music. Originally inspired by his family, Derek was also inspired by drummers such as Buddy Rich, Gene kruppa, Billy Cobham, and Tony Williams, moving on to more commercial drummers such as Peter Criss, Tommy Lee, Eric Carr, Nicko Mcbrain, etc. Derek took an interest in metal music as a teenager, and began to hone his skills playing in bands and along to recordings.
Derek first toured at the age of 18 as the drummer for punk rock pioneers Bedlam Hour. By his early 20s, Derek was a working musician - playing in a variety of bands, teaching drum lessons and working in the music retail field to support his interests.
In 1996, he moved to South Florida and joined Malevolent Creation, with whom he recorded and toured. Over the next 10 years, he continued to record and tour with many ground breaking Extreme Metal bands - cementing his reputation as a phenomenal drummer in the Extreme Metal community. During this period, he produced his first instructional VHS for drummers, which went on to sell thousands of copies with virtually no promotion, advertising or help.
In 2002, Derek launched his own website along with an online discussion forum dedicated to drumming and related topics. His popularity continued to grow with the rise of websites such as YouTube, where fans often uploaded footage of his playing.
After parting ways with Hate Eternal in 2006, Derek broke new ground as a music educator. His 2006 instructional book, The Evolution of Blast Beats, was the first of its kind - documenting the history and composition of extreme drumming. In 2009, he teamed up with Hudson Music to release an instructional DVD titled, Blast Beats Evolved.
In a music industry battered by changing times and new technology, Derek's career has not only remained intact - it's flourished! Raw abilities, devoted fans and a do-it-yourself work ethic have enabled him to thrive without publicity from record labels, high-profile gigs or major media outlets.
Derek has become one of today's most popular clinicians - performing for audiences all over the world. In 2008, he was a featured performer at PASIC and the Modern Drummer Festival....and, has played on most every major drum festival worldwide.
He's inked major endorsement deals with Drum Workshop, Meinl, Vater Percussion, Axis Percussion, Shure, and Remo. His signature products include the Meinl Serpent's Ride, Axis A21 pedals and his signature model drumstick manufactured by Vater. Both his website and online forum remain active - while videos of his drumming continue to garner millions of views on the web.
Never one for nostalgia, Derek has formed a new band - Serpents Rise - and released their self-titled debut album through his website.
As an artist and educator, Derek Roddy continues to push the limits of today's music.