Rank #1: 221:Danny Carey (Tool, Green Jello, Carole King, Zaum, etc.)
Danny Carey is the rare artist with a wildly ambitious imagination, coupled with the virtuosic ability to manifest his singular ideas. Joe joined Danny at his Hollywood studio for one of our loosest, most freewheeling episodes yet! Danny talks about: growing up in Kansas City; his love of basketball; how his Midwestern work ethic helped him assassinate his competition; his love of Bill Bruford, Billy Cobham, and Tony Williams; playing in a country band with Jeff Buckley; the origins and creative dynamic of Tool; and how becoming a father changed his relationship to time. As an added bonus, Tool bassist Justin Chancellor dropped by near the end of the chat.
Aug 21 2019
Rank #2: 230: Janet Weiss (Quasi, Sleater-Kinney, Wild Flag, Elliott Smith, etc.)
Janet Fucking Weiss! 2019 has been an eventful year for Janet Weiss. She left Sleater-Kinney after a twenty-four year run and soon after suffered a major car accident. Janet tells Joe about growing up in LA; discovering drumming in San Francisco; finding an artistic community in Portland; the creative dynamic of Quasi; the emotional vulnerability required to be a great collaborator; what she loved about playing in Sleater-Kinney; why she left Sleater-Kinney; and her hopes and dreams. It’s Janet Fucking Weiss, folks. Do it up!
Nov 20 2019
Rank #3: 270: Duncan Trussell (The Midnight Gospel, The Duncan Trussell Family Hour)
Today's guest is Duncan Trussell--comic, host of The Duncan Trussell Family Hour, and co-creator of the stunning new Netflix Series The Midnight Gospel. (Joe composed the score for the show!) Duncan and Joe discuss: meeting at just the right time; collaborating on the music for The Midnight Gospel; temporal neighbors; how certain childhood trauma can lead to a heightened sense of empathy; mystic searching; baby flips; and more! Make sure to celebrate 4/20 by watching The Midnight Gospel on Netflix!
During the age of social distancing, we're releasing daily episodes.
Apr 20 2020
Rank #4: 127: Phil Collins (Genesis, Brand X, Phil Collins)
"Come on Joe, give me your worst!" Phil Collins tells Joe about concert toms; navigating the world of massive fame; unearthing resentment towards his father, his instinctual approach to music; fatherhood; and socks. Then, Phil answers questions from drummers such as Matt Cameron, Aaron Steele, Jon Wurster, and Fred Armisen on topics ranging from Brian Eno to relinquishing the drum throne. This is a truly special conversation with one of Joe's favorite artists!
Jun 21 2017
Rank #5: 202: Ian MacKaye Pt. 1 (Minor Threat, Fugazi, The Evens, etc.)
As a member of bands such as The Teen Idles, Minor Threat, Embrace, Fugazi, and The Evens—as well as co-founder of Dischord Records—Ian MacKaye has been involved in the creation and dissemination of an extraordinary amount of classic recordings. Ian met with Joe at The Dischord House in Virginia for a wide-ranging conversation that lasted nearly three hours. In this week’s installment, Ian discusses: his childhood in the Glover Park neighborhood of Washington DC; his grandmother’s advice column; his love of Ted Nugent and The Beatles; how skateboarding informed his view of the world; discovering punk rock; his lifelong entrepreneurial spirit; co-founding Dischord Records; and how he often doesn’t listen to music for the lyrics.
Four years ago, we began The Trap Set with Fugazi drummer Brendan Canty. As we expand the show from drummers-only to all musicians, it only makes sense to begin with Brendan’s bandmate, Ian. Tune in next week for Part Two!
Mar 13 2019
Rank #6: 077: Stewart Copeland (The Police, Klark Kent, Animal Logic, Oysterhead)
Joe is thrilled to welcome one of his favorite drummers, Stewart Copeland, to The Trap Set. A founding member of The Police, Stewart is one of the most admired and influential drummers of all time. He tells Joe about how drumming made him a man; his father's background as a CIA agent; why he was largely unhappy during The Police's massively successful reign; his film scoring approach; and his parenting philosophy.
Jun 29 2016
Rank #7: 095: Matt Cameron (Soundgarden, Pearl Jam, Temple of the Dog, Wellwater Conspiracy)
Matt Cameron burst onto the Seattle rock scene in the early 80s. His singular style combines brute force, exceptional finesse, and a keen compositional sensibility. Matt tells Joe about his SoCal childhood; why--despite a lot of hard work--he considers himself lucky; his tenure with Soundgarden and Pearl Jam; his parenting style; and why he doesn’t think of himself as a rock star. This is a great talk with one of best drummers working today!
Nov 02 2016
Rank #8: 113: Damon Che (Don Caballero)
As drummer for the highly influential band Don Caballero, Damon Che established himself as one of the most unique and beloved drummers of his generation. But, in 2009, his "creative window" closed; and he stopped playing. He tells Joe about his musical roots, what he's been up to during his hiatus, giving up alcohol, working a day job, and returning to music as a session musician. He also tells his side of the now infamous "Bellini Incident" and reflects on the creative dynamic of Don Cab. Make sure to listen to his bonus episode next week, wherein he answers listener questions!
Mar 08 2017
Rank #9: 045: Matt Chamberlain (Fiona Apple, Tori Amos, Soundgarden, Critters Buggin, etc.)
One of the most compelling and versatile drummers working today, Matt Chamberlain has collaborated with everyone from David Bowie to Soundgarden; from Keith Urban to of Montreal. He tells Joe about the obsession with music that began while he was still in diapers, why he was compelled to seek musical mentors, and how he has come to embody the new paradigm of creative studio musicians.
Nov 25 2015
Rank #10: 118: Stephen Perkins (Jane's Addiction, Porno For Pyros, Banyan, NiN, Infectious Grooves)
Jane's Addiction rose from the LA club scene to become one of their generation's most influential bands, due in no small part to the iconoclastic, tribal-influenced contributions of Stephen Perkins. Stephen tells Joe about growing up in Los Angeles, his tryout for Jane's addiction, his love of the Grateful Dead, fatherhood, and more. Also check out Stephen's bonus episode next week, wherein he answers your questions.
Apr 12 2017
Rank #11: 014: Dave Lombardo (Slayer, Fantomas, Philm)
Joe talks to Dave Lombardo about co-founding the groundbreaking metal band Slayer, his experience as the son of a Cuban butcher living the American Dream, his Latin Jazz influences, and expanding his horizons with Fantomas, John Zorn, and Philm.
Apr 29 2015
Rank #12: 041: John Stanier (Battles, Helmet, Tomahawk)
John Stanier first burst onto the rock scene in the late 80s, as founding drummer of Helmet. He charts the course of that band's decade long run, which included mainstream, multi-platinum success but ended in acrimony. He tells Joe about the musical evolution that led him to his current band, Battles; and he explains why--despite his previous success--he was willing to start over and sleep on floors in order to help build the band from the ground up.
Oct 28 2015
Rank #13: 032: Fred Armisen (8G Band, Trenchmouth, SNL, Portlandia)
You know Fred Armisen from his work on Portlandia and SNL, but before he was a comedy star, Fred was a working drummer. He charts the journey from his early fascination with music, to his time touring and recording with arty Chicago band Trenchmouth, to Blue Man Group, SNL, The 8G Band and beyond. Fred also discusses the nature of his creative drive and his relationship with success.
Aug 26 2015
Rank #14: 107: Joey Waronker (Beck, Atoms For Peace, Elliott Smith, Ultraista, REM)
Joey Waronker possesses a powerful groove and a gift for nuance and shading. These attributes--combined with a deep understanding of production and a knack for electronic percussion--are what distinguish him as one of the leading drummers of the modern paradigm. He tells Joe about growing up in a musical family; studying with the legendary Freddie Gruber; his love of the punk label, SST Records; overcoming his neuroses through therapy; and working with artists like Beck and REM. He also answers listener questions.
Jan 25 2017
Rank #15: 094: William Goldsmith (Sunny Day Real Estate, The Fire Theft)
As drummer for Sunny Day Real Estate, William Goldsmith was the emotional core of one of the most influential and enigmatic rock bands of his generation. He was invited to join Dave Grohl as the drummer for the first incarnation of Foo Fighters, but it wasn’t a good fit. William sits down with Joe for an emotional, raw, and honest telling of his remarkable story.
Oct 26 2016
Rank #16: 114: Butch Vig (Garbage, Fire Town, Spooner)
Butch Vig began his career drumming with various polka outfits and rock bands like Spooner and Fire Town. Also a prolific producer, Butch recorded Nirvana's breakthrough "Nevermind", along with landmark albums for bands like Sonic Youth, Die Kreuzen, and Smashing Pumpkins. Not content to stay behind the mixing desk, he also co-founded the massively popular band Garbage. He tells Joe about growing up in Viroqua, WI; developing his musical ear; navigating through conflict; and creative reinvention.
Mar 15 2017
Rank #17: 055: Steve Gadd (Stuff, Paul Simon, Eric Clapton, Solo Artist, etc.)
For the One Year Anniversary episode of The Trap Set, Joe had a chance to speak to one of his favorite drummers, Steve Gadd. One of the most prolific and respected drummers of all time, Steve generously shares some hard-won wisdom about musical communication, addiction, recovery, and family. At age 70, he is still trying to achieve a difficult balance between touring, studio work, and his home life. He describes his goals for the future and reflects on what it means to, "get it right." Also: Friend of the show, Jon Wurster, calls in to wish the show a Happy Anniversary.
Feb 03 2016
Rank #18: 010: Dale Crover (Melvins, Altamont, Nirvana)
Joe talks to Dale Crover about innate confidence when approaching the drums, his three decade--and counting--run as drummer for The Melvins, playing with Kurt Cobain and Nirvana, baseball, marriage, and parenthood.
Apr 01 2015
Rank #19: 141: Chad Smith (Red Hot Chili Peppers, Chickenfoot, Bombastic Meatbats)
Chad Smith's unabashed hard rock style could have easily clashed with the funk-punk roots of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, but instead he proved to be the catalyst that launched the band to international superstardom. His muscular, yet articulate drumming evokes a cross between P-Funk and Deep Purple and acts as the perfect anchor for the bestial rowdiness of his band mates. Chad grew up in suburban Detroit, feeling like a square peg in a round hole. This unease led to misadventures in car theft, burglary, and even a stint in jail. Musically, he cut his teeth playing in countless Detroit clubs before moving to Los Angeles in 1988, during the Sunset Strip's heyday. He describes the immediate, explosive musical chemistry that has allowed the multi-decade success of the Chili Peppers. Chad also candidly discusses his evolution from living a “spiritually bankrupt” lifestyle to becoming a grounded, healthy family man.
Sep 27 2017
Rank #20: 203: Ian Mackaye Pt. 2 (Minor Threat, Fugazi, The Evens, etc.)
This Week: Part Two of our conversation with Ian MacKaye.
Four years ago, we began The Trap Set with Fugazi drummer Brendan Canty. As we expand the show from drummers-only to all musicians, it only makes sense to begin with Brendan’s bandmate, Ian.
Mar 20 2019