DudeThoughts: On the Importance (?) of Endorsements and Free Drum Stuff

Don’t knock it. It’s called a tour beard and it’s a time
honored tradition. Dudes! Good to be back! Let’s take some comments. OK, what do we have here, ::mumbling meinl
meinl meinl zildjian:: (do a bunch of Meinl comments aloud quickly, realize that’s all
there is, get increasingly frustrated with that, then FINALLY find the one that says
“Sad, he looks so much older now”) Ah here’s one, finally not about cymbals! [pops
up the sad older now comment] Yes. I am older now. And with age comes maturity. [leans over while straining and staring into
the camera, blasts boom city fart recording] Alright dudes, so, I’d originally planned
on letting these comments just slide into the ether, but the more they tossed me and
turned me in my bunk night after night, the more I realized there’s a whole depressive
chaotic universe in my brain apparently dedicated to this subject, so I’m going to use you
for therapy right now and talk it out. This is (I’m pointing and following with
my eyes) “DudeThoughts: The Importance…ehh(at the ?)… of Endorsements and Free Drum Stuff,
Dude” Let us begin, as we always do, with a disclaimer. …dudesclaimer (trailing off) I know I’m a little left of center when
it comes to opining on gear stuff. In fact I’m so afraid of the pursuit of
material belongings that I wear the same outfit every day and even when I’m offered so much
as a free poster for picking up my midnight release of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of
the Wild, I’m like, “No dude, if I cannot eat it or hit it with a drumstick or put it
in my Wii U and go on an epic Moblin slaying adventure then it is clutter, both to my physical
surroundings AND my mind.” So add that to the fact that I really, seriously,
don’t know anything about drum gear, and I’ll give you one last chance to click away
before I rot your brain with 4 minutes of nonsense. (stop music, pause for a bit and wait) Alright
let’s do this// So let me tell you the story of why you used
to see this one logo on my plates and now you see this other logo, and in the process
maybe we can extrapolate for some broader truths about what happens where art and commercial
interest collide. (drastically different angle) And by the way,
they were Zildjians. Why is it so taboo to be honest about what
you had on your riser for 16 years ’till you put something else on your riser? To me it’s not even that it wreaks of opaqueness
when we do that, I’m just saying there are clear videos of this long standing fact on
the internet, so I’m just going to own it right now and tell you they were tasty, really
nice sounding Zildjian cymbals. OK. I live in Nashville where about 300 million
studio records get made every day. And apparently there’s such a shortage of
drummers here that even I am getting called to play on dozens of these sessions every
year. And unlike most cities I’ve lived in prior
to settling here, it seems somewhat customary for studios here to have a house drum kit
for you in case you’re not one of the handful of first callers who have cartage, or you’re
just lazy, or if you’re me, both. So I develop this habit of only bringing my
cymbals and snare drums to sessions, right, I get in the booth at say, Station West studios
whose kit was thrown together by a well known Meinl artist in town, I throw my stuff up
on the stands, and we all collectively say, “You guys, let’s make a smash hit today.” (awkward smile and thumbs up) And sure enough, a few takes in, I’m hearing
from the control room, (different angle, or maybe from off screen while I act like I’m
hearing it) “Yo Harry, sounds great, we totally weren’t just discussing firing you
before I turned this talkback mic on, but, um, you got anything else in your bag for
crashes? Something a little warmer, a little darker?” (eyes wide open) So in a calm panic I reach
into the house bag, pull out whatever, throw it up, listen back, sounds the best I’ve
ever sounded in my life, and before I know it a year’s worth of sessions later I’m
playing literally none of my own cymbals anymore. Now in a world where we all play whatever
we want to play, that’s the end of the story; But we professional drummers have made a habit
of signing to “teams” and then competing loudly with one another in the magazine ads,
like my drum sticks are the Cavs and your sticks are the Warriors. Sure Durant plays Remo now, but won’t history
ultimately remember him for the records he made with Aquarian? Or will this horribly mixed metaphor just
make my head hurt? Let’s move on. Now make no mistake, we do this to ourselves. We’re apparently so eager to get free cymbal
felts, or to tell the girl we’re hitting on at the bar that we have a “Spirit Tone
Cymbal Endorsement”, that we will straight up marry a brand to do it in exchange for
hashtagging their name every time we eat a meal….Hashtag SpiritTone. (angle 1) And I know what you’re thinking
right now: LATER (angle 2, sideways hat, shoot this later)
“Maybe that’s what my love life is missing! I need a Spirit Tone endorsement!” (angle 1) And for you, my dude, I have great
news: I was watching the Usual Suspects starring
Kevin Spacey last night while scripting this video, and I got to thinking if (text: —>literally
has no discernible face) Keyser Soze ever became a drummer he’d need artist pricing
on cymbals, so I applied on his behalf to the Soul Tone
(I’ll overdub “Spirit” humorously later) Cymbals website, and I received this great
response back today: Dear Keyser Soze, We are happy to welcome you into the Soultone
Cymbals family! blah blah blah 70% off the list price!! GREAT DAY! Just for having an internet connection and
an undying dedication to the Soul (spirit) Tone product, Mr. Soze can get a china cymbal
for, hang on, let me do the math, (while on phone, pop up artist pricing on paper versus
Amazon), ahh crap it’s actually cheaper on Amazon. (already looking down) How about a pair of…. hi hats?! Ha-haaa!!! $44 off baby (show the phone screen)! This is a huge accomplishment in the drumming
career of Keyser Soze. He will, beyond any doubt, now be able to
leverage this deal by procuring an endorsement deal for the little felts he puts on his Soul
(dub) Tone cymbals, and I wish I were kidding, but seriously,
I have friends who have signed actual cymbal felt endorsement deals. I have a good friend, a flagship Evans Drumheads
artist, who has to photoshop the Remo logo off his snare head every time he posts a photo
from his studio. I have a mentor who headlines arenas and left
his favorite drums behind so a hipper company with a bigger social media presence could
help him push his new website. And why can’t I point the finger at any
of them for doing it? Because I’m just as guilty of doing you the
bamboozle. Three years ago, I signed an in ear monitor
deal to save a buck. I’m out now, but I’m embarrassed at how
long I stayed with a company I knew basically nothing about. Today I endorse a small handful of other companies,
and I’m telling you right now that I love this one, I feel indifferent about this one,
and I really wish I had never associated at all with this one. So that’s my confession. I am lying to you for profit. Most of us are. Maybe be careful taking drum stuff advice
from people who get their drum stuff for free. That includes me dudes. …….Haha… Now do you really care what gear I play? (laugh) Anyway, now I can really answer the question
that sparked this entire video, so here it is: None of the three companies I just mentioned
make cymbals. Those Meinls you’re asking about? I bought ‘em with my own dough right off
the shelf at Fork’s Drum Closet. Why’d I do it? Probably because I have the same radiation
sickness most musicians have from hanging around the nuclear wasteland that is the intersection
of art and consumerism: I have the gear-itis. (hand on heart) I believe that a shiny new
piece of gear will bring me the satisfaction of changing my sound right away. I believe that path to change is much more
instantly gratifying than the only other way I know to change my sound, which is to FOCUS
, , and work on my playing consistently for a long period of time. And how do you expect me to have time for
crap like that when I have hashtags to hashtag?! HASHTAG SPIRIT TONE! Hashtag later dudes. [clank]

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