Update From Vater Artist Tony Hajjar

Artist Update: Tony Hajjar (Sparta/At The Drive In)

After 11 years of continuous touring with At the Drive-In and Sparta what does a musician do for his sanity when he decides to take a break from the road? Well, that is up for some discussion.

Tony Hajjar decided to breathe for a second and start meeting with friends and feel out his options. Hisdream was always to compose for the movies in some kind of fashion. After a few months he got his chance and started composing with an acquaintance that had started a company called Sencit Music that worked on music for movie advertisement.

"Writing music for movie trailers is an interesting monster. Said Tony. Arrangements are set and where you can find your vision is within that arrangement."

"When you are working on music with a band you have carte blanche with anything within that idea. Adjusting to the world of movies took me some time, but i found my way of fulfilling all my passions within trailers."

"The only thing I really missed was working along side somebody because that is what I loved about bands. I was lucky enough to work with a person (Mike Zarin) that knew the business and how to write a cue. So I got a crash course and it has been really exciting to become better at this type of expression."

Tony Hajjar still finds time to play drums with projects and is starting to miss the road, but is really deep rooted in the studio and pushing himself to play other instruments and become a better composer.

"When I told Vater that I was taking a break from the band life and trying something else they were immediately supportive and sent me so many types of sticks and mallets that allowed me to come up with different ideas that helped shape many of the cues. I thank them so much for that support."

You can hear Tony Hajjar's music in movie trailers such as Iron Man, Robin Hood, The Town, The Expendables, Salt, Machete, and Inception to name a few.

Tony is also hard at work on an electronic project that will incorporate a different singer for every track.

www.sencit.net

 

 

Posted by Chad on Monday, February 28, 2011 8:13 PM

New Vater Artists

We are very pleased to welcome a few new artists to the Vater Family recently. We're honored that these drummers have chosen Vater as their stick of choice. More and more of your favorite drummers continually count on Vater's high quality to meet their demands on the road and in the studio.

Join us as we welcome the following artists to the Family:

Scott Travis (Judas Priest)

Shannon Leto (Thirty Seconds to Mars)

Mike Phillips (Janelle Monae)

Adam Coldhouse (Gold Motel)

Andy Reilly (Celtic Woman Tour)

Andrew Oliver (I See Stars)

Mike Kennedy (The Wonder Years)

Marc St.Sauvuer (Fang Island)

Jamie Perkins (The Pretty Reckless)

Jon Epcar (Carney/Spiderman: Turn off The Dark on Broadway)

Jen Lowe (Independent)

Mike Ambrose (Set Your Goals)

James Ulrich (Runner Runner)

Steven Adler (Adler's Appetite)

Steven Kopacz (Go Radio)

Rob Perkins (Michael Buble)

Grant McFarland (This of the Apocalypse)

Dennis Wilson (Every Avenue)

Rob Hammersmith (Skid Row)

Mitch Moulton (Bucky Covington)

Categories: Artists
Posted by Chad on Friday, February 18, 2011 4:37 PM

Vater Artists @ Modern Drummer Fest 2011

All of us at Vater are very excited to support Trevor Lawrence Jr. (Herbie Hancock/Everlast/Independent) and Jim Riley (Rascal Flatts) at the 2011 Modern Drummer Festival.

Produced since 1987 by Modern Drummer Magazine, the world’s most widely-read drumming publication, the Festival presents a roster of today’s top drumming talents, representing a variety of popular musical styles. Some offer solo “clinic” performances; others appear “in concert” with additional musicians. All share their talents in an educational and entertaining format that has made the MD Festival a must-see event for drummers around the world.


This years festival will take place on May 21, 2011 in Montclair, New Jersey.

 

Jim Riley Vater Artist Video Spotlight:




Trevor Lawrence Jr.

Jim Riley uses the Vater 5B and Sugar Maple Blazer (both in wood tip), Monster Brush, Slick Nut Cymbal Fasteners and Splashsticks


Trevor Lawrence Jr. uses the Vater Gospel Series Fusion, Splashsticks, Monster Brush, Retractable Wire Brush and T-7 Malllets.

For more info, please visit:  http://moderndrummerfestival.net/site/

Posted by Chad on Thursday, February 17, 2011 2:39 PM

Vater Artists on Warped Tour 2011

A handful of the bands have been announced for this summer's Warped Tour and already there's plenty of Vater Artists represented!

Vater Artists confirmed so far include:

Travis Roundtree (The Ready Set)

Mike Kennedy (The Wonder Years)

Tyler Minsberg (The Dangerous Summer)

Mike Ambrose (Set Your Goals)

Nick Pizzolato (Moving Mountains)

Jamin Marshall (Larry and his Flask)

Swav Piorkowski (illScarlett)

Aaron Flora (Hellogoodbye)

Steven Kopacz (Go Radio)

Dennis Wilson (Every Avenue)

Derek Davis (Big D and the Kids Table)

  

Keep an eye out on www.warpedtour.com for more Vater Artists to be announced to the band line-up soon!

Categories: Shows/Clinics | Artists
Posted by Chad on Wednesday, February 16, 2011 9:54 PM

New Artist Videos

We have been slammed here with editing tons of Vater Artist video features. These Vater Artists have been giving us some really great personal insight into their careers, musical backgrounds, influences, advice and so much more.

Below are some of the most recent features that we have posted. Keep checking back for more to come soon!

Part 1 of 2. Matt Abts (Gov't Mule)


Part 2 of 2. Matt Abts (Gov't Mule)



Part 1 of 2. Morgan Rose (Sevendust)


Part 2 of 2. Morgan Rose (Sevendust)


Part 1 of 2. Chris Johnson (Rihanna)


Part 2 of 2. Chris Johnson (Rihanna)


Will Hunt (Black Label Society/Evanescence)


Part 1 of 2. John Cowsill (The Beach Boys)


Part 2 of 2. John Cowsill (The Beach Boys)


Jeremy Colson (Billy Idol/Steve Vai)


To check out more Vater Artist Video features, Video Lessons and more, go to Vater's You Tube Channel: www.youtube.com/vaterpercussionusa

Posted by Chad on Tuesday, February 08, 2011 9:37 PM

In The Studio: Dave Krusen Looking back at Pearl Jam's "Ten"

We originally posted this feature about Dave Krusen and Pearl Jam's "Ten" album in 2009 when Pearl Jam re-released deluxe editions of the album. Since then, we have received tons of emails from people that loved the insight to the classic album, so we decided to re-post it! The pictures included come from Dave's personal collection and were taken while recording "Ten". 

 

In The Studio: Dave Krusen Looking back at Pearl Jam's "Ten"

Originally posted in 2009: 

 

 

 

Vater's Artist Relations Director, Chad Brandolini, recently caught up with Artist Dave Krusen about the re-issue of Pearl Jam's breakthrough debut, "Ten", eighteen years after it's original release. Dave spoke about the tracking, drum set up and the writing of what became an iconic album, selling more than 12 million copies.

Give a brief history of how you got involved and joined Pearl Jam.

I had friends that had a band called Son Of Man who used to play shows with Mother Love Bone, Soundgarden etc. They heard Jeff (Ament) and Stone (Gossard) were looking for a drummer for something new after Mother Love Bone disbanded. I called Jeff, who was in the phonebook and he invited me down to jam. We had a very cool sound from the get go. That was the beginning of Pearl Jam.

What was the songwriting process for this set of songs and how old where the songs when "Ten" was recorded?

Stone had a few songs, not sure how long he'd had them. Not long though. We started working those up, while Eddy was still in San Diego. I didn't even know they had a singer, but he was hard at work on lyrics down there. (I didn't ask a lot of questions). Then we started working on some ideas that Jeff had, things like that. Some stuff just came from spontaneous jams. The song "Release" was one like that, that came from a jam. It all came together quickly and easily from what I remember.
 

 

What was your drum kit set up like? Did it stay consistent from track to track?

Yeah it stayed about the same the whole time. The tracks, "Alive", "Wash", "Brother", "I've got a feeling" were all from the demos. That kit used on those songs was my kit at the time; a Tama Swingstar , 22x16, 11x12, 13x14, an old 5x14 Ludwig Supraphonic snare. Pinstripe heads on all the drums but an Ambassador on the snare drum. Sabian 18" crash, 20" Zildjian Scimitar Ride, 20" AA Sabian China and Paiste 14" 404 Hi-Hats that were cracked. For the record, I borrowed a Ludwig maple kit. 22x18, 11x12, 13x14 and a Noble & Cooley 5x14 maple snare. Cymbals were Sabian 20" AA Heavy Ride, 18" AA Thin Crash, 18" HH Thin Crash, 20" AA China, 13" AA Regular Hats and a 15" metal crasher. White coated Ambassador on kick. CS black dot the snare. We had coated ambassadors on toms, but switched to pinstripes.

How many tracks in total were recorded for the "Ten" session?

Whoa, not sure. A LOT!!! I do remember the 2" tapes we had finished, lined up against the wall. It stretched on for quite a ways. Maybe 20, 25 songs all together. Maybe more.Did the band track one song, complete it and then move to the next, or did you go through and record all the drum tracks in a row before the other guys put down their parts?We did most of the record live as a band. They did do some vocals, some solos, bits and pieces as overdubs. But, the bulk of every song was done before we moved on to the next.

Did the band track one song, complete it and then move to the next, or did you go through and record all the drum tracks in a row before the other guys put down their parts?

 We did most of the record live as a band. They did do some vocals, some solos, bits and pieces as overdubs. But, the bulk of every song was done before we moved on to the next.

 

Did you record to a click?

We started with a click for the record. There might be a couple that it worked on, "Jeremy" maybe. But for the most part, we'd been playing most of the tunes live, for long enough, that they had to breathe in order to work. I was pretty green back then and "Even Flow" suffered from too much fluctuation. But, "Alive", "Once", and most of the songs were just us tearing through them.

How many takes did you do for each song on average?

I think most of the songs were only a handful of takes. But "Even Flow"...like I said, it was really tough for me. I don't know why. Not sure why we didn't use that one from the demo as well, but I know it felt better.

How many days did it take for the drum tracking?

How many days for the entire album to be complete?Two weeks to do the drums. The whole album took about a month and a half I think.

"Oceans" has some cool percussive elements. What was used on that track?

We originally tracked drum kit on that song. Then I added three tympani parts. I remember we were all in the control room listening to the tympani part with the drums muted. Someone commented how cool it sounded like that, so we kept it that way. I'm glad we did.

Are there any songs recorded in the session that have never been released or surfaced on another Pearl Jam record?

Lost Dogs (released in 2002) has some great stuff from that session that hadn't seen the light of day. "Brother", the song being released as a new single as part of the re-issue of Ten, is on there without vocals. There's the Mudhoney tune we did, ("Touch me I'm sick"), a Free song, a Beatles tune. It's cool now to hear how we interacted musically. It was pretty damn cool!At that time, what were the expectations going into this album?Not sure what the expectations were. The band was trying to create a sound that was timeless was the feeling I had.

Did you ever imagine that the songs would still be relative all these years later?

We just wanted to make a great record. I remember how impressed I was with the songs, the sound coming back on the speakers in the control room. But I'm not sure any of us knew how they would be looked at down the road.

When writing and tracking "Jeremy", did you or the band ever think that the song and/or video would cause so much controversy?

I didn't know what the song was really about until after I saw the video. From what I remember about Eddy, he wrote that about what he was feeling. I don't think he wanted to create controversy, but he did want to talk about something that struck a chord within him. I think he's a great writer because he doesn't fear others judgment about such things.

How do you feel when someone says how much of an influence "Ten" made on the music industry or in their personal life?

I still get people coming up to me telling me how they love that record, and it's a great feeling! Mostly because I know how the records I loved growing up have helped me through tough times and how they made me feel connected to something. I love being a part of that, it's what I always wanted to do.

Looking back and listening to the tracks, are there any songs, if given the opportunity to go back, that you would play any differently?

"Even Flow" for damn sure! Other than that, "Breath and A Scream". I'm happy with most of it though.

If you had one song to pick from on "Ten" that you feel best represents you as a musician, what song would that be?

"Alive".

What was the concept behind the album cover and artwork?

I feel like it was unity. Jeff built this massive Pearl Jam wood cut-out. That thing we're standing in front of was actual size! Jeff's an amazing artist through and through.

Pearl Jam"s "Ten" is being re-issued in four different editions on March 24, 2009. Each version includes a digitally re-mastered version of the original album as well as a completely new remix of the set by longtime producer Brendan O'Brien, who did not work on "Ten" but produced Pearl Jam's subsequent four albums. Also Included are six previously unreleased songs.

 

Dave Krusen plays the Vater 5B in wood tip.

Posted by Chad on Friday, February 04, 2011 2:35 AM
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