Interviews

Joe Gorelick (Garden Variety, Red Hare, Retisonic, Blue Tip, 52X)

From the early to mid-'90s, Garden Variety was one of the best bands coming out of the New York City/Long Island area. Combining the rough-around-the-edges rock approach of the great Twin/Tone Records bands with the mathy and dissonant tendencies favored by many of the acts on Dischord Records' roster, the power trio released two excellent studio albums and a slew of 7" and compilation tracks during their five-year run.

Garden Variety's drummer, Joe Gorelick, is one of the era's finest drummers, playing with jazz-like precision, but attacking the kit like he was playing in a hardcore band. Gorelick also played in 52X and Dynasty Rocks—two polarizing bands in the NYC area—but more on that later. After that, he went on to tour with DC's Bluetip, and eventually became a founding member of Retisonic. These days, the drummer spends his time in Red Hare, a fierce punk act that also features members of the mighty Swiz, and Bluetip.

I spoke with Gorelick about his life in music, plus his career as an art designer, and his future plans...

Tell me about your upbringing. I wasn't sure if you were raised in Queens or on Long Island.

My parents were both fairly musical, as is my brother Hilly. They sang and played some instruments, they also did a lot of local theater. Both of them have big personalities and a lot of talent—my mother on piano and some guitar, and my dad was a bongo banger. I grew up partially in Flushing, Queens, NY and then we moved to Great Neck, Long Island. The family, in general, was very musical. I took up drums and guitar early on but gravitated towards drums, and my brother got into metal guitar and synths. More than anyone, I kept with it and kept playing.

Who were some of the early bands that got your attention as a kid? Were you drawn to the drummers from the very start?

Early on, I was into The Rolling Stones/Charlie Watts, The Beatles/Ringo Starr, and of course Rush/Neil Peart at probably at 7 or 8? We had family friends in Nyack, NY and every Sunday we'd go up to hang out and play. The father of the family had a cool LP collection, loads of country to hard rock, and even a few jazz oddities. I listened to all those records every Sunday. My parents also got me into older jazz, classic show music, and some classical. I guess Ringo got my attention first, when at a very early age my mom played me the famous live Beatles debut on Ed Sullivan at the Museum of Television & Radio, situated on 25 West 52nd Street. That video changed my life, as it did a zillion other people. I guess even in replay The Beatles and Ringo had a serious affect. When I saw [The Police drummer] Stewart Copeland for the first time, that was pretty much it. He opened the door to all these polyrhythms that most rock drummers had zero idea how to play or even think of. He and [Missing Persons drummer] Terry Bozzio blew my young mind apart. Even the idea of the drum set stopped being Charlie and Ringo and went to Bozzio and Copeland.

In terms of the local music scene in NYC/Long Island back when you were growing up, who were some of the bands that you looked up to?

I had no one to look up to. I was scared of NYC at that young age. I grew up when NYC was still very violent and really dangerous. Plus, I never had a cool older brother/sister or hip uncle to take me to clubs or CBGB's. If I had, I'd have definitely gone and seen Talking Heads and the Ramones, but instead, I learned about that stuff through lots and lots of reading and staying up late with the radio—WPLJ, WNEW-FM, and WLIR were stations I survived on. I can say that when Garden Variety started up, there were a few Long Island bands I loved at that moment. 1.6 Band was excellent, and there were a few others in there as well. Long Island was not a cultural haven, though... not until we started up with all those other great bands... we brought the culture to what was really a bar band wasteland.

SEE ALSO: 2016 interview with Brendan White (Bad Trip).

Did you play in any bands before Garden Variety?

Yeah, I was in metal bands as a very young kid and we won all these Battle of the Bands shows. It was all so silly, but what I loved was the brotherhood and the fast drumming. The Iron Maiden years of 1981 - 1984 were our base template, that and Metallica, Queensrÿche, and early Night Ranger. When I got kicked out of my first real band (for not being metal enough), it broke my heart pretty badly. I turned my back on that stuff a few years later and dove really deeply into punk, so deeply that I never returned to the land of metal. It comes out in my drumming once in a while, but the metal of 1988 was so incredibly lame and getting so hair band-y that I had really had it anyway. I joined up with a guy named Bob Hasbro—who had a cool little trio called The Hasbros—after meeting him at a local record store that a lot of other local musicians from bands like Das Damen and D Generation would also frequent.

We sounded like Robyn Hitchcock/R.E.M./XTC and played a ton of shows all over NYC and beyond, plus wrote a lot of songs. We got nice reviews in local zines and in CMJ once or twice. I also did a fill-in tour with King Missile on their Atlantic Records debut, subbing for their drummer Roger across the U.S. in 1991 (during that summer), but for some dumb reason I decided to put my arm through a plate glass door right before we left for that tour. That was not good for me, or the tour.

The Hasbros in their rehearsal space in Queens, circa late '80s. (Photo: Facebook)

How did Garden Variety come to be, and who were some of the bands that inspired the early material?

I had been slogging it out with The Hasbros for a few years in many NYC clubs, and we were not really getting anywhere. Bob was fully invested in his upcoming law degree and possible new job (he's now a Queens D.A.), and though I was a serious design student at Pratt, I knew there was this punk calling for me in music and that I was not gonna just throw it all away. One night I was looking through a Long Island rag, the same type of magazine the Pixies famously found each other in, and lo and behold there was the perfect punk ad. It read something like, "Drummer wanted, must be into Soul Asylum, Squirrel Bait, etc." I was sort of shocked. Usually, ads in the time of 1990/1991 would have said things like "Spin Doctors" or other horrible bands of that era. I called them pretty frantically. The bands that made us "Garden Variety" were The Replacements, Hüsker Dü, Squirrel Bait, the Pixies, early Jawbox, Mudhoney, Soul Asylum, The Clash, Skunk, PiL, and The Police. Without those, we would not have formed.

SEE ALSO: Queens, New York: A Look at NYHC Ground Zero

I'm pretty certain I was at the first Garden Variety gig, which was at a Battle of the Bands type of thing at Our Lady of Lourdes in Queens Village. If I remember correctly, I was there because my friend's metal band was on the bill, and you guys stuck out like a sore thumb.

I'd rather not remember any of it, actually [laughs]. A few of my old Queens buddies from the metal days were there. Some of them were pretty surprised and even kind of liked it from what I remember. We played that gig because it was a gig. Not sure it was a Battle of the Bands or not? It definitely was a coming out party for me and the band. I was pretty fucking serious that this was the band I wanted to be in, to tour with, and suffer through thick and thin with. I was proud of what we were doing in the face of so much hardcore and metal. To this day, I feel like we did it before anyone, before Texas is the Reason and anyone else for that matter. We ate a lot of crap to keep doing what we were doing, but it was worth it.

The cover art for Garden Variety's Hedge 7".

For the first Garden Variety 7", Hedge, the band traveled down to Virginia to record with Don Zientara at his Inner Ear Studios.

Well, there is no secret that we three loved Dischord and half the bands on that label. We also wanted to soak up the flavor, the DC sound seemed appealing to us and correct for who we were and our dynamics. That's why we went to DC more than once. We truly loved the late '80s DC sound and the total aesthetic. Don was pretty famous and also seemed like the perfect guy, because he was sort of hands off—much like Steve Albini—he would offer suggestions if we really needed it.

That first 7" was funny, too, because I actually got very, very annoyed at Vinny from Mint Tone, who was kind enough to put out the 7" and came down to hang with us. I guess he was sort of pseudo producing it with us, but not in our minds. We had rehearsed a lot for this and I had a very cool drum part for the third song, which was called "On Track." Well, Vinny decides to stop the song during the recording and say to me (on mic), "Joe, what the fuck are you playing, man?" Well, see that's not the thing you say to a guy like me, because I truly thought about my drum parts with that band, and everything was recorded and listened to pre-recording. Vinny is a huge, huge dude, but I'll be honest, I wanted to try to clock him in the face after that comment. I did learn something about myself there, and that's that I don't need anyone telling me what or how to play something unless I want him or her to do so. In the years that followed, I got compliments on that drum part and have definitely forgiven our beloved big Vin.

1992 saw you guys releasing your self-titled debut album, which was released by Charles Maggio from Rorschach's Gern Blandsten label. How did you guys initially hook up with Charles?

Now that's the part I am a tad unclear on. I know this has been covered before in various zines in the past, but I'm sure Charles simply approached [guitarist, Anthony] Rizzo or [bassist/vocalist, Anthony] Roman or something like that, probably at a [Born Against drummer] Jon Hiltz basement show in New Jersey, and it went from there. Charles seemed like such a good dude, and to top it off a very, very open-minded, musical guy—which reminded us of the famous SST days when you'd have a Hüsker Dü and a Black Flag sharing space with Meat Puppets and Sonic Youth. So, my theory on Gern was that it was not only the right place for us, it was sort of a godsend at the time, as we had no real home. It was our mini-SST and our first real label with a full roster that we liked.

SEE ALSO: 2016 interview with Al Quint (Suburban Voice Zine).

How do you feel about that album today? Would you do anything differently on it?

The record is still pretty good. I can say that because I am simply a fan of Roman and Rizzo and see the genius in what they played, and I am happy with what I added to that mix. And sure, had we more years under our belts and more money for studio time, it could have been just fantastic and better-recorded, but I still dig it for what it is. There is actually a skip on the CD version that drove me nuts for 20+ years and is about to be rectified with a reissue of the LP/CD—with a new mix, plus updated art by Rick Froberg of Drive Like Jehu/Hot Snakes/Obits. It was a good first LP, but I think we were really going other places with Knocking the Skill Level, and certainly the last 7". Our sound was going to evolve, for lack of a better word.

How much touring/gigging was the band doing after the album came out?

We played a lot of shows, anything we could get, actually, and there were a lot. We went around the U.S. and had Artie White/Phillie [future singer of Milhouse, Indecision, Concrete Cross] with us on one run, which was so funny. He made it a really fun (but tough) tour. We lost our van in Cle Elum, WA, which for poor guys was a huge loss, but you take the good with the bad.

Did you have any bands you felt a strong kinship with?

We were buddies with a ton of bands: Dahlia Seed, Angel Hair, Farkus Affair, 52X (which I also played in), Hell No, Texas is the Reason, Boys Life, Mineral, Christie Front Drive, Sideshow, 1.6 Band, Native Nod, a band called Nuisance from California, and we actually hung with Unwound once at Jon Hitlz's place and there were many, many more. Artie Shepherd from Mind Over Matter was good to us in that he made the Long Island hardcore kids understand we were "cool" and not some loser rock band. He went to bat for us on Long Island, and so did a few others.

SEE ALSO: 2016 interview with Tracy Wilson (Dahlia Seed, Positive No, Ringfinger).

In 1994, you worked with Vinnie Segarra's Mint Tone label again on Garden Variety's split 7" with Dahlia Seed. The song you guys recorded for that record is called "Parker," and that might be my all-time favorite Garden Variety song.

Well, that one was very rehearsed, as you might imagine. There was a lot going on with that song, mostly from a structural point of view. That recording was done with Geoff Turner at WGNS Studios, right next door to the Black Cat in DC, and maybe one of my favorite studio experiences ever. Everything just sounded so punk and tight in that main room and it was a fun, sunny, perfect, cool weather day—kinda reminded me of the weather I loved most, so the overall vibes were good. Geoff was studying mathematics during the recording and really just pushing buttons for us, not too invested in the session but just enough. I have video of some of the recording, actually. I think Roman was talking about Peter Parker, but you'd have to ask him. I honestly do not remember the lyrical base of that one. Roman liked to push himself to write in the studio—day of or right before recording vocals. Matt Sweeney of Chavez is much the same way, very last-minute guys. The ending of that one was us doing some early Unwound meets Sonic Youth's "Silver Rocket"-style barrage of noise and clutter. The fact that we got to split it with a great band like Dahlia Seed made it that much better. The 7" cover is a mix of 1950s diner style kitsch and (had we the money) was supposed to be a die-cut with little "Parker" being the 3D element.

How important was Andrew Ellis to the band? He was like the fourth member of Garden Variety!

I was working for some extra change during college at a video store in Great Neck and Andrew was there with me, working as well. He initially scared the living shit out of me because he was possibly the angriest person I'd ever met and seemed like such a mean guy. But I have a pretty decent pulse on people, so I prodded and found out he was actually a brilliant student at my same high school, and one evening I told him about my goings-on with Garden Variety and what the hell I was doing with my life. I was such a serious art student, too, so I wanted some "older guy" advice... he told me his incredible history of working at The Ritz in NYC as the main guy on stage crew, threw in some truly insane stories that would make your mind melt, and I was really impressed. I played him our 7", he liked it, and then I invited him to help Garden Variety. He went on to do a good job with our little band.

I would not call him the "fourth member" at all, he was simply a huge help to us in that we wanted to concentrate on being a good band and needed a real manager to do the hard work of booking and dealing with people, and Andrew knew a ton of people. He was well-equipped to help and he really did, until Roman decided to bow out of the band in 1996. Had Andrew and Roman kept to the program, there is no doubt Garden Variety would have made some good stuff happen. Andrew went from managing Garden Variety to a lot higher-profile stuff with Dashboard Confessional, Rocket From the Crypt, Drive Like Jehu, and a zillion other "emo" bands—most I do not really like or care to remember. He needed to make a career of it and he did, but we were his very first band. My best memories of Andrew were the non-band times. We were good friends and he took me to give Converse sneakers to Green Day, and watch Nirvana at SNL (I tried on Kurt Cobain's shoes pre-show, and also handed Grohl my drum key to tune his kit), and we also saw Springsteen do a tiny show with the E Street Band at Tramps in 1995... some good times.

SEE ALSO: The Dio You Don't Know

Headhunter/Cargo released the band's second album, Knocking the Skill Level, in 1995. The arrangements on that record are more complex than the material on the first album, yet the melodies are still really strong. What I'm trying to say is that the stuff is still catchy, even though it's a bit more technical.

Well, by 1994, we were into so many bands and sounds, so inevitably the band's sound was going to take a different shape. I was heavily following Chavez by 1993, Don Caballero, and so many other bands, so from a drumming perspective I was way past the fast Grant Hart thing and deeper into weirder, more robust rhythms. As a band, the songs became a tad more technical and complex, as you put it. The writing was also a little more as a band than previously. I feel Roman and Rizzo were really getting somewhere great in their partnership, and we were a tight trio at that moment. We actually were doing some demos that I thought were even better than the second record, but sadly never saw the light of day. Melody was always a thing for us, as far back as "Pretty Mouth," where I am singing the higher second vocal harmony. Roman has a very heavy melodic sense, as does Rizzo, and my own melodic senses are pretty strong, too; so it had to come through even if we were playing heavier stuff. I pushed for more harmonies in the vocal department, but that got pushed away sometimes. Either way, I dig the heavy/sweet thing we were doing.

Garden Variety, circa 1995.

You made a video for "Harbored," but were you happy with the way the label handled the marketing and publicity of the album?

We had some great people working with us at Cargo. Brian and others were really kind to us and wanted us to succeed. We were not exactly stars of the label. I mean, they already had Blink-182 and Rocket From the Crypt, so we were the little guys next to that stuff, and complete unknowns, too. I would have liked to see more done, but then every band says that. They did what they could. We did the one video by ourselves, actually. [Director] Matt Bass was a pal of ours and he did it with us in Valley Stream, Long Island. It was a super low budget affair, but I like how it came out. I have one VHS copy of it and that's it. The same one I put on YouTube. The slow motion section at the end is the best part of the whole thing, as far as I am concerned.

My old friend and former bandmate, Andrew Orlando, put out another killer Garden Variety song called "Tennille," on a split with Hell No, in 1995.

We kept recording 7"s at that moment and then wanted to include them on full-length records. So, it's just another song recorded and applied to a full-length later on. We were not prolific enough at that time, but as I said before, I think some of our best demo stuff was thrown out.

When and why did Garden Variety break up?

Long story short, Roman had had enough of Garden Variety by late 1996 and wanted to reinvent himself and the music he was making—hence, the formation of Radio 4. It was his decision to bust Garden Variety up and he came over to my apartment, which was across from his, and we discussed it for an hour or two. It broke my heart, but I understood his honest feelings and disassociation from our music. We had a rough last U.S. tour with Into Another, and the guys in my band were getting very tense and pissed off at everything, it was a bit of a powder keg. I think I was pretty disgusted, too, to be honest, and maybe it was all for the best. We could not break through the wall of whatever it was that was not yet happening for the kind of music we were making. "Emo" acceptance was only to come in like 2001? We were way too early. Texas is the Reason broke through later than us and god bless them for it, but we were doing that so much earlier and working our asses off to do it well. I guess if Jawbreaker and Seaweed and others broke up, so too would we—it was in the cards for bands of the ilk.

In the '00s you played in a band called Retisonic with Jason Farrell, who had previously been in Swiz and Bluetip.

First off, Jason and I played and toured together in Bluetip back in 1996 - 1997, which I joined right after Garden Variety was officially done. So, he and I were very good buddies way before Retisonic ever formed. The story goes that I was a pretty lost guy by 2000. I was doing great as a graphic designer, but musically I had tried a few things with various people and for some weird reason, nothing fully connected and it was getting me frightened. I was very, very down on myself and depressed, but weirdly, the one thing I was always doing was keeping in touch with Jason. Jason and I have a very special relationship, deeper than you can imagine, and that's why we successfully still rock together 20-plus years after I had to leave Bluetip. Basically, the woman I married I had sort of driven crazy during my long Garden Variety touring years, and I had a lot of guilt about that. Meaning, I was away so often on the road that when I suddenly joined Bluetip in 1996 after Garden Variety disbanded, I was then on the road yet again without her for 69 more days. I had no money, no ability to communicate, and it was terrible. She was left at home alone on Long Island, and with only one or two phone calls from me to keep us a viable couple.

After that first Bluetip tour, I told Jason I needed to stop touring and make some money for my marriage to not end. Sadly, I bowed out of Bluetip and he totally understood. I followed his career, as I too played music with others, and when Jason decided to come live in NYC in the early 2000's, we decided to do a great band. He had begun this thing right when Bluetip was ending, and when we got together and found [bassist] Jim [Kimball], it was a real musical unit. After that we got management, we played on TV, were featured on MTV, and a ton of other things. It was lot of fun and I miss that band sometimes.

One of the most unique things you've ever played on was the Retisonic 7" where you recorded two songs by Discharge, and one-and-a-half by Judas Priest. What was the genesis behind that record?

Jason, Jim, and I have decent taste in music. We like a lot of different stuff, and one band Jason loves more than anything is Discharge. So, we did those two tunes plus Judas Priest with no budget at all, just recorded it all on Rivington and Allen Streets in our little corner studio we shared with Rival Schools and a few other bands. The 7" is a tad sloppy, but really good and I dig it a lot. There is some very raw playing and production on there, and done with no budget—just our mics and Pro Tools. Even the art is both Jason and myself designing together. I recreated the Priest devil bird thingy and he did the cool 70's punk collage stuff, and then he put it all together. We definitely were tongue-in-cheek with that 7", but it's good!

The cover art for Retisonic's Judas Priest/Discharge 7".

Before I let you go, I have to ask you about 52X, a band you played in during the mid-'90s. My good friend Peter Ciccotto played bass in that group and I remember there was quite a bit of controversy around you guys, specifically Ruben Cano's lyrics and onstage banter.

That band brought out something in me that I couldn't explain. It freed me in a way, and I think Mike is a genius. A lot of that drumming, the fast changes, were all stream of consciousness playing and writing. Those guys approached me during my middle years in Garden Variety and wanted me to join them in this cause. I could not say no to them, and I'm glad I did it. I was very taken with Davis and Mike (the guitarists) and their energy and anger. I loved those guys a lot. Davis spent time with my grandmother and me one night and she really loved him, that's how close we got, and I miss Davis a lot. The final record was sinister, evil, and angry, and very San Diego 1994. It just never got mixed or mastered, so we remain with just the old DATs of a recording session that will never be any better, which fit the band just fine.

My take on Ruben's lyrics are simply that they were ridiculous and angry and not to be taken very seriously. I was shocked when kids were handing out anti-52X flyers. But the mid-'90s were all so PC and so silly—very hypocritical if you ask me. I come from the George Carlin approach to words: unless it's straight up racist crap, how can any words offend you when they are just words, not actions? He was talking about some chick who had wronged him and the title ["I Hope Your Pussy Explodes"] is definitely sexist, but if you took two seconds to get to know him, Ruben is just a regular dude. He was matching the insanity of the music with stop-you-in-your-tracks lyrics and onstage banter. Ruben was also drunk a lot of the time, it was the whiskey talking back then.

I think all that stuff got in the way of the music, because the band was pretty fucking good in my book. Andrew Orlando was going to put out a record called The Liver Damage EP from you guys through his Reservoir Records label, but it never saw the light of day. He told me that he had sold you the tapes back. What's the plan for that stuff? Will it ever come out? I hope you say, "Yes."

Andrew got really offended because—and I heard this later from Andrew—Mike was apparently calling his phone at 2:00am every night and demanding the record come out sooner. He got Orlando so angry that Andrew trashed the whole project, and that was that. Mike is a very funny and talented guy, but he had such a temper that it would find its way into wrecking a lot of what we built. That's the messed up thing about those times. Now, Mike is a family guy and more grounded.

SEE ALSO: 2016 interview with Andrew Orlando (Black Army Jacket, Reservoir Records, Monkeybite Zine, Milhouse).

After 52X broke up, some of the members started a new band called Dynasty Rocks which you eventually joined.

I became a member of that after the first recording was done with Rich Muller on drums. Not much to add other than we did many rehearsals, a lot of writing, some good demos, a few weird gigs, and that was that. Again, the guys were self-destructive. It was set to explode because that was the way those guys were. I could never trust we would even be a band in a day or two, depending on moods.

A few years back you joined your former Retisonic bandmate Jason Farrell in Red Hare, a group that also features Shawn Brown (Swiz, Dag Nasty) and Dave Stern (Swiz, Bluetip). How did that project get started? I know you guys are pretty spread out, geographically speaking.

Very simply, Red Hare is Swiz with me on the kit. But, I don't think we sound like any of the post-Swiz bands at all and so, to me, Red Hare is brand spanking new. I really feel that way. The band started with a simple situation. Jason was going to have Alex drum on it just like he did with all the other ex-Swiz bands, but Alex didn't dig the early Red Hare songs and was in his own band in DC. I saw genius in those new tunes and wanted to do it, so Jason and I got together and played and it was awesome. I had some of our demos and was using an electronic kit to go over drumming ideas and arrangements for a full year in my apartment, so by the time we actually played, the stuff only needed a little tightening and tweaking. We are well aware of our geo-limitations, so we work around it. I came up with quite the plan, actually.

A few years ago, I became the Global Creative Director for a big PR firm in NYC and needed a West Coast designer. I put two and two together and figured I could hire Jason full-time as my West Coast lead, and that way when he had to fly to the East Coast or I to the West Coast, we could spend evenings recording and rehearsing Red Hare material, and that is exactly what happened. It's been a great situation, and though we have to wait for the other two, we still get a lot done. Now that Shawn is back with Dag Nasty, it's tougher but still happening. Just the other night, Jason used my Pro Tools rig to record Shawn's vocals for the next LP. It's happening!

So, it sounds like the status of an upcoming Red Hare record is really good right now.

The status is very, very good! We have a brand new LP coming out on Dischord soon (that I am in love with), and more songs to use later. One of our songs from the first LP, "Be Half," was just in an Ethan Hawke indie film called 10,000 Saints. Our recent 7" sold out multiple times and was repressed three times on various colors.

SEE ALSO: 2015 interview with Rich Hall (Booking Agent, Painter).

As you previously mentioned, you're a graphic designer by trade. Tell me a bit about that. I know you've done a lot of music-related projects through the years.

Well, as I said, I became the Global Creative Director for a NYC PR firm a few years ago. I've won awards for my work over the years and have gotten to do things like direct Robert De Niro, work with Wynton Marsalis, Paul Simon, Morgan Freeman, Lynn Goldsmith on a Police book, Billy Duffy of The Cult for a Nokia spot, etc. It's been hard work and sometimes very painful, but worth it. I also get to hire a lot of old friends to do work for me. Erik Denno, from Kerosene 454, I hire all the time for design work and photo/video projects.

As far as music, I've begun many projects that should have done better, but never got off the ground for one reason or another. I toured with ex-Shift guys in Big Collapse. I played in a band called Saint James Stars with old Pratt buddies; and another band post-Bluetip called Sugar High with Scott [Weingard] from Texas is the Reason, Matt from The Stella Brass, and Mark [Holcomb] from Shift. I also started cool bands with guys from Merel and 1.6 Band. All good ideas, but we never made them fly fully.

Hot Rod Circuit album cover art by Joe Gorelick.

Do you have any other musical projects you're working on?

Yes! Jason, Jake, Dave and I are getting a brand new 2017 Bluetip record happening, and we have a ton of songs, I mean a ton. We also have a Retisonic LP begging to be finished from years of work.

Gun to your head, what's your all-time favorite drum part?

Well, I'm giving you five answers:

  1. Chavez, "Top Pocket Man" (drummer is James Lo). James is a genius and here is proof.
  2. Paul Simon, "50 Ways to Leave Your Lover" (drummer is Steve Gadd). It's one of the best drum parts ever constructed.
  3. Tie: The Police, "I Burn for You" and "Murder by Numbers" (drummer is Stewart Copeland). Genius playing and overdubbing on "I Burn for You," and "Murder..." was a first take!
  4. Sonic Youth, "Schizophrenia" (drummer is Steve Shelly). This is beautiful and sympathetic drumming, gorgeously woven parts, and all the while punk as fuck.
  5. Missing Persons, "Mental Hopscotch" (drummer is Terry Bozzio). This one has texture and a very thoughtful use of cymbals and bell of the cymbal, with an amazing snare sound and an incredible, driving rhythm.

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Head to Red Hare's Facebook page to keep up to date with the band's upcoming record.

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