On Drumming Vol. 2- Will Calhoun!!!
(Scroll to 2:40 for where the music starts)
I’ve often been asked if there was any one specific drummer that inspired me to want to play. And while my earliest recollections of, as a kid thinking “ooh, that’s cool” usually were based on hearing something like Wipeout, or In The Air Tonight, and other notable famous drum songs, the first drummer that I discovered that I thought “wow, I want to play like him,” was Will Calhoun. In roughly 1990, I went to my first concert at The Orpheum in Boston to see Living Colour. I was positively floored by the experience. I had only listened to albums and cassette tapes until that point and had no idea that music could have such a different dynamic in a live setting. The music that Living Colour performed was easily recognizable as the the material that I had almost worn out on my cassette player, but it was so much more interesting. The guitar licks had more energy, the vocals strayed here and there from the album melodies, and most importantly, the drums were crazy! Crazy in a good way. Will’s style combined a heavy, heavy rock groove, but also a serious funk element (even at high speed.) His playing was fierce. This was how I wanted to play!! In the years since I have learned to also appreciate subtlety, and groove and precision, and other elements to drumming that are somewhat the flip side of musical performance (and I think done a fairly job of mastering them.) But I have never wanted to lose that quintessential fierceness that I first saw from Will Calhoun, so many years ago. To me, this kind of energy, and balls-out playing, to a rabid audience, is WAY cooler than any big, overproduced stadium concert with video screens and lasers etc. And I try, to catch LC, anytime they come to town, because even in their 40’s, they still rock out harder than just about anyone I have ever seen. —Uncle Eb/John[Added: Will is also a tremendous jazz, world music and trance hip-hop player, (and a super nice guy, when I met him) but I chose to focus solely on what initially made me a fan.]