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: 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 #3: 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 #4: 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 #5: 039: Glenn Kotche (Wilco, Solo Artist)
Best known as the drummer for Wilco, Glenn Kotche is also an accomplished classical percussionist and experimental composer. He talks to Joe about the internal workings of Wilco and how he strives for balance between his many creative pursuits and his family life.
Oct 14 2015
Rank #6: 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 #7: 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 #8: 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 #9: 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 #10: 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 #11: 150: Bill Ward (Black Sabbath, Day of Errors)
As a child in working-class Birmingham, the only career options presented to Bill Ward were working in a factory or enlisting in the military. Against all odds, he escaped that bleak destiny and co-founded the paradigm-shifting Black Sabbath. Bill tells Joe about his journey from choir boy to unhinged rock legend; the inner workings of Black Sabbath; his road to sobriety; fatherhood; learning to love himself; and why he is at peace with the world. This is a can’t miss episode with one of the all time greats! Stay tuned next week for a bonus episode featuring Bill's answers to listener questions.
Dec 13 2017
Rank #12: 035: James Gadson (Bill Withers, Marvin Gaye, The Temptations, etc.)
James Gadson is one of most prolific drummers in funk and soul. His singular style can be heard on seminal records by Bill Withers, Marvin Gaye, Charles Wright, The Temptations, and many other legends. He tells Joe his remarkable life story.
Sep 16 2015
Rank #13: 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 #14: 083: Mac McNeilly (The Jesus Lizard)
With a massive sound and a pummeling groove, Mac McNeilly served as the anchor for the compellingly bizarre, highly influential band The Jesus Lizard. At the peak of his powers (and popularity), he walked away from it all to focus on his family. He tells Joe about childhood chicanery; the machinations of The Jesus Lizard; and what he learned about his core identity after leaving the band.
Aug 10 2016
Rank #15: 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 #16: 087: Todd Trainer (Shellac, Brick Layer Cake)
Over the course of the past three decades, Todd Trainer has distinguished himself as one of his generation’s most unique rock drummers. Both visceral and sophisticated, he executes brilliantly composed beats with an instantly identifiable loping groove. He tells Joe about growing up in Minnesota; working in the school lunch line as a teenager; creating music with Steve Albini and Bob Weston in Shellac; his time working for a hair products company; and his current career as a drum instructor.
Sep 07 2016
Rank #17: 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 #18: 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 #19: 046: Bun E. Carlos (Cheap Trick)
As founding drummer of Cheap Trick, Bun E. Carlos laid the rhythmic foundation for one of the most influential and beloved rock bands in history. He charts the band's course from the Midwestern club circuit to international superstardom. He also tells Joe what he's been up to, now that he is no longer actively playing with the band.
Dec 02 2015
Rank #20: 169: Brad Wilk (Rage Against the Machine, Audioslave, Prophets of Rage)
Rage Against the Machine is an exceptionally rare band that managed to combine a radical, populist message with massive popular success. At the core of the band is Brad Wilk's drumming, which combines an explosive groove and hypnotic use of space. Brad visits The Trap Set to discuss: his formative love of Van Halen; Studying with David Garibaldi; the creative dynamic of RATM, Audioslave, and Prophets of Rage; playing flute; his family's roots in the jewelry business; parenting; a nine month love affair with cocaine; and his growing interest in meditation. Finally, he answers listeners' questions.
May 30 2018