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:

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


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

Factory Tour Video

We have just posted a new Vater Factory Tour video. The video is a step-by-step overview from Alan Vater of the manufacturing process from the time it's a dowel all the way through being a finished drumstick in our warehouse.

See for yourself the hands-on care and quality assurance that your Vater sticks get every single day.


Posted by Chad on Wednesday, January 26, 2011 7:03 PM

Mike Johnston 2451 Videos

Vater Artist and Educator Mike Johnston sent us this video that breaks down all the specs of his new Vater 2451 stick models. Mike also answers a very common question: "What's the difference in Hickory and Maple drumsticks?"

Be sure to also check out the other 2 videos below explaining the 2451 models and the inspiration behind the stick name.

2451 Specs and Hickory vs. Maple Video:

2451 Video Part 1:

2451 Video Part 2:

Ask for the Vater Mike Johnston 2451 models and Mike's Speed Chart Posters at your local store today!



Posted by Chad on Tuesday, December 07, 2010 7:30 PM

Lennie DiMuzio publishes Tales from the Cymbal Bag.

Lennie DiMuzio, a long time friend of the Vater Family , has just released his book Tales from the Cymbal Bag. For over 40 years, Lennie has worked with the most famous drummers in music history and has been an integral part of their sound. Lennie shares his historical and hilarious stories of working closely with Buddy Rich, Gene Krupa, Neil Peart, Max Roach, Louie Bellson, Steve Gadd, Vinnie Colaiuta, Tony Williams, Chad Smith...and a ton more.

Lennie also tells some stories about his friendship with Alan and Ron Vater's grandfather, Jack Adams.

Tales from the Cymbal Bag is jam packed with hundreds of incredible never seen before pictures from Lennie's personal archives.

Tales from the Cymbal Bag is a great insight into music history that every musician should read. It's available now directly from .It will also be available from select five-star drum shops and other specialty retailers. Price: $29.99. Visit Lennie and Jump Back Baby Productions online at for more information.



Posted by Chad on Friday, November 19, 2010 3:19 PM

New Vater Practice Pack

New Vater Practice Pack! (VPP)

The perfect pack of essentials all in one convenient package for new drummers! The New Vater Practice Pack provides all the tools to get new drummers started. This unique pack includes a variety of free educational material that is perfect for drummers of any skill level.

Vater Practice Pack consists of:

2 Pairs Vater 5A Wood Tip Drumsticks

1 Vater Stick Bag

1 6" Chop Builder Practice Pad

Included for Free is:

1 Vater Rudiment Poster

1 Vater Mike Johnston "Speed Chart" Poster

1 Vater Drum Key

1 Vater Drumstick Key Ring

2 Issues of Modern Drummer Magazine (by mail)

1 Vater Sticker Sheet

1 Vater Product Guide

1 Vater Artist Poster (included while supplies last)

Ask for the new Vater Practice Pack at your local store today!



Posted by Chad on Thursday, November 18, 2010 12:50 AM

Mike Byrne cover story in Drum! Magazine

We are very pleased to have Vater Artist and Smashing Pumpkins drummer Mike Byrne on the cover of the December 2010 issue of Drum! Magazine.

Mike's cover story is a great insight into how the 19 year old got the Smashing Pumpkins gig, his background and how his sound and style differs from previous drummer Jimmy Chamberlin. Mike Byrne is definitely a name that you will be hearing much more of in the near future!

The December 2010 Issue of Drum! is on sale now. Also be sure to check out the new Vater ad in this issue on page 59. 





"Vater makes far and away the best sticks out there. The combination of perfect balance, excellent responsiveness and ridiculous durability makes me confident that every time I pick up a pair it's going to sound and feel great. The 5A wood tip is so well balanced it feels like an extension of my arm. It handles well at any dynamic level, and when I really need to dig in, getting that extra power is effortless. The stick practically does all the work for me!" -Mike Byrne

Posted by Chad on Thursday, November 04, 2010 11:52 AM

Artist Update-Nathan Walker

Nathan Walker has been quite busy throughout 2010. Nathan's been working with side projects, recording the new Lit album in Nashville and has begun teaching at southern California's "The Music Factory. As Lit continues work on their next studio album, due out in 2011, Nathan has been working with a group called The Cornfed Project. An in your face rock n' roll project to say the least. Check out the link below for more information on The Music Factory. Also stay tuned for more info on the new Lit album next year and check the Lit facebook for upcoming shows!

The Music Factory, LLC1125 Victoria Street - Suite C

Costa Mesa, CA 92627

Phone: 949.574.2187

Posted by Chad on Thursday, October 21, 2010 9:26 AM
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