Frequently Asked Questions

Wow, it must be cool to pay the bills with drumming, right?

I wouldn’t know, but I bet it would be!

While drumming is my passion and will always be a big part of my life, it doesn’t fully pay the bills. Since I am a devoted husband and father, taking care of my family is the most important thing, so I do have a “regular” job. (You’d actually be surprised to find out how many of your drum heroes have regular jobs when they’re not on tour; I know several who do everything from bartending to painting houses when they’re not traveling the world with their major-label bands.)

So, what do I do? I am a graphic designer and web developer! It’s a great job where I get to be creative and work with lots of people from many different industries — everyone from the small business owner to the major corporate head honchos — and it keeps me grounded and pays me well. I work with a great team of people at Artmil here in the Tri-Cities.

Oh, you live in Washington? All the trees and mountains must be beautiful...

They definitely are…if you live on the west side of the state.   😉

However, I live in Eastern Washington — which is to say, east of the Cascade Mountain range. Rather than being a glorious, tree-and-mountain filled paradise, it’s more like the climate of the southwest (think Phoenix, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, etc.) However, because we’re so far north, we get the full range of weather here: cold, snow-packed winters as well as blazing, dry-heat summers.

So, I live in the Tri-Cities region — Kennewick, Pasco, and Richland — which are located in Southeastern portion of Washington State. (I live in Kennewick.) The three cities, with a combined metro population of around a quarter of a million people, are situated around the confluence of the Columbia, Snake, and Yakima Rivers; the presence of the rivers makes this area (also known as the Columbia Basin) a bit of an oasis.

This region is famous for the Hanford Nuclear Reservation, as well as technology and development companies like Amazon, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, and Lockheed Martin which are all major employers.

Another thing we’re famous for? Wine. Turns out our particular climate, being in the same geographic parallel as France, makes our corner of the country a prime wine grape growing region. As such, the I-90/I-82 corridor between here and Seattle is dotted with dozens and dozens of wineries (which are great for employment if you’re a musician!).

Got any hobbies?

Well, yeah, I have a few. Besides music and graphic design, I am also a major aviation buff. For most of my childhood, I was set on becoming a commercial airline pilot. At a time when I was strongly considering going to flight school and was beginning to save money to do so, 9/11 happened — and thousands of highly qualified pilots were furloughed, more than qualified to be hired back as soon as the industry recovered.

So, there’s that: I’m really into planespotting at airports, and have logged several thousand hours in flight simulators. I have planned for many years to get my pilot’s license, but, you know, it ain’t cheap. It’s on my bucket list, though. 🙂

Okay, music nerd: you into sports at all?

Surprisingly, yeah! I have been a lifelong Seattle Seahawks fan (GO HAWKS!), and have especially been thrilled by their performance the past few seasons. I’m a proud “12” and I try not to miss a game, if I can help it. (Fun fact: quarterback Russell Wilson actually played for the Tri-City Dust Devils, our regional farm-league baseball club, before he ever tried out for the NFL!)

Besides football, I am also a big hockey fan. We have a local WHL team here, the Tri-City Americans, and I have been a fan of hockey since the team first came to town in 1988. (I was 7 years old.) For the next handful of years, I played street hockey nearly every day, and knew all the players’ names by heart. In later years, as members of the Americans went on to the NHL, I got more interested in that level of play, too. As such, I’m a fan of the Montreal Canadiens (Go Habs Go!) and especially their goalie, former Americans goalie Carey Price.

Beyond football and hockey, I love baseball (Mariners fan, naturally) and basketball (not tied to any team after the Sonics left Seattle, though I’ll give it up for the Portland Trailblazers), and soccer (Seattle Sounders FC for the win!).

So, what drum books and methods do you recommend?

To be honest with you, I’ve read very few drum method books through from top to bottom. There are definitely some standouts — ones that I’ve studied on recommendation because they’re a classic or contemporary text worth working through — but there’s also a lot of “noise” out there: books and DVDs that were made less because the drummer is an authority on a subject and more because they’re looking for a quick buck and something to sell at shows and clinics. 😉

As for the ones I’ve checked out and used (and can personally recommend), they are:

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