APPETITE FOR DISCUSSION
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SoulMonster
APPETITE FOR DISCUSSION
Welcome to Appetite for Discussion -- a Guns N' Roses fan forum!

Please feel free to look around the forum as a guest, I hope you will find something of interest. If you want to join the discussions or contribute in other ways then you need to become a member. We especially welcome anyone who wants to share documents for our archive or would be interested in translating or transcribing articles and interviews.

Registering is free and easy.

Cheers!
SoulMonster

2006.05.DD - Vic Firth Spotlight - Interview with Brain

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2006.05.DD - Vic Firth Spotlight - Interview with Brain Empty 2006.05.DD - Vic Firth Spotlight - Interview with Brain

Post by Blackstar Tue Feb 09, 2021 11:35 am



Transcript:
-----------------

Brain: Hey man, it’s Brain and I’m ready to go on tour here with GN’R. We are ready to rock the world.

So I got into the drums because my mom, actually, took me to the mall and I saw Buddy Rich absolutely shredding the drums to pieces, and I thought, “Man...” – you know, I knew right away that’s what I wanted to do.

So when I got into drums, I was in high school and I was pretty much like... either I was gonna pick the drums or skateboarding. Then I went to the park one day and I broke my foot skating; and I thought, “Oh man! Maybe I’ll just practice the snare drum.” So I bought Anthony Cirone’s “Portraits in Rhythm.” I just practiced, like, all day, every day, and I’d just, like, go around school and say, “Hey man, you play...” - you know, “I heard that you play guitar,” “I heard you played bass” - and we just gathered these guys together. And once my foot healed, I just started jamming with them.

It was weird, because when I first started playing with them, I had just only practiced on the snare drum for, like, six months. We were playing AC/DC and I could barely keep a 2/4 beat [...] and everybody’s just looking at me like, “Dude, man, that’s AC/DC! Come on, man, keep the beat, man! What the hell is wrong with you?” So I’d just sit there and put AC/DC Back in Black on all day and just, like, play to it and stuff.

So, you know, after I figured out how to play AC/DC and play in time, I was just playing around town and there was this band called Primus. And this bass player, Les Claypool, goes “Oh man, hey dude, I play bass. Come and play with me.” So I was just like, “Oh okay. Yeah, I’ll check it out” - you know, and he called it Primus. So I started jamming with him. Then, at that point, I was still skateboarding, and he booked a show at the Berkeley Square, and I think something happened when I was, like, in a competition skateboarding, and I couldn’t play the show. So he got Tim Alexander to play the show, and he actually took over the gig, and I went to this other band called The Limbo Maniacs, which was friends of mine from high school. So we started that, and then Tim decided to leave at one point – I think it was in, like, ’99 – oh wait, no, ’97 or ’98 – and so they asked me to rejoin. But I was actually in Primus before Tim, and then I went back in and, you know, just did the Primus thing for, like, five years.

Before I was in Primus, I was noodling around this, like, world beat scene - it was, like, afro beat, Zulu jive and that kind of rhythms - and they would influence it with rock. One of the guitar players was the editor of Guitar Player magazine, and he turned me on to this cat, Buckethead. He said, “Oh, Brain, dude, you and Bucket should get together, man, cuz you guys are both gone;” like, you know, we talked about weird stuff, and Bucket was in real weird horror movies and all this crazy stuff. So he introduced me to him and we became good friends, and he ended up playing with us on the Ozzfest; he came on tour and would sit in, like, on three songs. Then, from there, we were, like, playing and stuck.

I think we were touring Australia, and Bucket called me and said, “Hey, I’m auditioning for Guns N’ Roses, and I think the drummer just quit. Do you want to come and check it out?” I thought, “Wow, that’s pretty weird.” I never really liked to play Guns N’ Roses or really was into the band. But I’d heard about them, of course, and knew about them, because they were, like, the biggest band in the world at one point, and I thought, “I’ll check it out.” I’d heard that Axl guy was a total freaky, crazy – you know, just rips on stage and all those crazy stuff. I thought it’d be kind of a cool thing to try. So he actually got me in the Guns N’ Roses gig.

Yeah, my drum DVD. You know, a lot of people come up to me and say, “Man, I really like that DVD. It’s not like the other ones.” I remember my favorite drummers at one point were, like, Dave Weckl... I really got into fusion and that whole – I was always into Chick Corea because of Steve Gadd. And I started buying these drum instructional videos, and I’d be watching them, and I would think like, “Wow” - like, “Wow, he’s ripping, but, man, this is boring.” You know, I’d find myself fast-forwarding through them and just going like, “Uh, this is just... I wish something would happen.” I come from a skateboard background and skating, and all my friends were making these kind of avant-garde before – you know, just kind of like right when the handheld VHS tape came out; and I thought, “I’ll buy a VHS,” you know, “I’ll put a handheld and just make my own, and make it kind of skateboard, make it kind of this, like, loose, and kind of just like fooling around and having fun.” So I basically made the whole thing by myself or just with a friend. We just would sit there and fool around, and then we cut it together one day. We did it all by ourselves and we just basically... You know, I showed it to Warner Brothers and they were like, “Well, that’s not really like a Dave Weckl video or a Steve Gadd video,” and I’m like, “Exactly! That’s why I did it!” So they were like, “Oh, okay, I get it” and they put it out.” You know, since then I’ve been getting a lot of good response for it. I want to be making another one for DW this year, so look out for that psychotic.

I started using Vic Firth sticks the first day when I broke my foot and I picked up “Portraits in Rhythm.” And I just fell in love, you know, with Vic Firth, the sticks, because they felt like they are professional or something. Like, if you’re gonna get the best, this is the best. I don’t know why, I just get a feeling about weird stuff like that. Ever since then I was sold and, you know, now I’m using the 55A’s, which I love, because they’re a cross between the 5A’s and the 5B’s. I always felt like I was in between, and when they came out with that, I was like, “This is my baby.” So I’ve been using them on the GN’R gig and they’re killing. So come and check out the show and I’ll throw you one.    

So yeah, I’m getting ready to go on tour and I hope all you fans out there of Guns N’ Roses, Primus or whatever, Brain fans – there’s about six of them, I think – come and check out the show. We start here in New York and then we’re headed over to Europe doing all the big festivals – I think we’re doing some shows, Metallica, the Stones... and, you know, all the freaks out there. So come and check out the show, and love you guys.
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2006.05.DD - Vic Firth Spotlight - Interview with Brain Empty Re: 2006.05.DD - Vic Firth Spotlight - Interview with Brain

Post by Soulmonster Thu Apr 08, 2021 12:48 pm

Primus toured Australia in April 2000. This fits with Josh leaving in March. If we are to believe Brain's recollection, this means that Bucket was still "only" auditioning for Guns N' Roses at this time. Maybe Buckethead hadn't made the final decision to join? Maybe the band hadn't formally accepted him as a band member yet? Maybe Brain remembers wrongly.
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