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Spill! PHILLY DRUM PROJECT Interview! They bang the drums: meet the new community inspired collective in town!

Philly Drum Project

Two things that I am constantly inspired and reminded about when it comes to this city are its sense of community, and its artistic start-up spirit--something that lies at the very heart of Philly's soul.  Philly Drum Project, a newly formed supportive, and creative, community meet-up and educational outlet for those interested in discussing and learning more about instruments, music, art, and more specifically DRUMS (sharing equipment, trading tips, etc.), was imagined with exactly this heart, and sense of community involvement in mind.

"Philly Drum Project is a percussive collective dedicated to sharing gear, lessons, beats and gigs, while emphasizing creativity, education, and community."

Join in! PHILLY DRUM PROJECT's next FREE monthly event will take place on Monday, September 10th, at Roosevelt's Pub (2220 Walnut Street, Philadelphia PA 19103) from 7-9 p.m. and is set to include a talk featuring Good Old War's drummer, Tim Arnold

At the end of September, Good Old War embarks on a full three-month long tour with NEEDTOBREATHE and others to play songs from their latest album, "Come Back As Rain".

".... Come Back as Rain showcases the delicately textured melodies and multipart harmonies that have become the band’s signature. Once again revealing their penchant for infectious folk-pop, Good Old War this time sharpens their sound by infusing Come Back as Rain with the same joyful passion they’ve ceaselessly brought to the stage."

We spoke with PDP's guerilla media planner, founder, and their main organizational/event set-er-up-er, and guru, Ryan Crump, to find out more about the collective and their objectives for the future of the group.  There have only been a few meets (usually at a rotating location) so far that they are calling "Beats, Brews, and Banter," but the reaction has been very positive; word is definitely starting to spread.

Past recent PHILLY DRUM PROJECT event meetups have included Lady Gaga's touring drummer "Spanky" McCurdy, as well as Kyle Pulley (The Headroom, studio), and Dr. Dog's Eric Slick!

Girl About Town: Who is Philly Drum Project and what can you tell us about your organization? What or who inspired you to start Philly Drum Project?

Ryan Crump: Philly Drum Project is a collective of drummers (we like to call it a  Percussive Collective) that exists to help drummers share our 4 most valuable resources: Gear, Lessons, Beats, and Gigs. The two contradictions that inspired me to start Philly Drum Project are 1.) wingnuts are expensive to buy on ebay, while everyone has an extra one in their basement. 2.) drum sets are too expensive for some lower-income kids, while a ton of less-than-ideal drum sets (such as mis-matching or aesthetically-displeasing drums) sit in garages without use. The idea started as a way to make better use of our physical resources, and expanded to include the intangible such as lessons, musical experiences, and gigs.

You have already held a few events. Can you highlight some of your favorite moments so far?

We've had four Beats, Brews, and Banter meetups so far, and the obvious highlight has been the variety of guests that we've had at our events. We've had guests that are best known for rock, jazz, recording, marching, and R&B, respectively (we had 2 guests one month). We've dealt with different points of view, such as: "Metronomes are essential for good feel," vs. "If there were no metronomes, we'd be a much more musical society," and "You need to be a solid drummer for your band," vs. "I don't care about just being solid; my uncle is solid and he can't even play drums. You need to have an individual feel and sound." Those are all basically word-for-word quotes from different guests, and I love that we're bringing such different schools of thought together to discuss openly. 

How can becoming a part of the collective benefit local musicians? Is it just for musicians?

Philly Drum Project benefits drummers because it provides the arena to share resources, and if you become a member (which is free on our website), you get awesome deals like discounted tickets to shows and clinics in Philly, discounted lessons from top educators, and discounted repairs from some local shops. It benefits other musicians because it gives them a look into the world of drummers, and because it is a hub of drummers in the city, which they can tap into if they are in need of band members. It is already interested some non-musicians, who came to see Eric Slick of Dr. Dog's clinic because they were fans of the band, and wanted to get a behind-the-scene look at the way the band writes, records, and tours. I would imagine the same thing will happen next week with Tim Arnold of Good Old War. Simply-put, who doesn't love to watch drummers?

When you are looking to be inspired, who is your favorite go-to drummer for technique or vision, and why?

We have just over 60 members, and if you asked them this question, you'd get over 60 responses (maybe even three times that), so in no way do I speak for the group. Personally, John Bonham is my go-to. He plays with such a free spirit and great dynamics. He blurs the lines between straight and swing in such a fascinating way. His drums on those Zeppelin albums sound huge, even without all the recording technology that we have today (ok, mostly because they were actually huge drums), and he definitely set a standard for rock drummers.

What can we look forward to at future Philly Drum Project events, and are you looking for volunteers/others to get involved in organizing events?

Yes! We have two big programs that we are looking forward to setting up; an educational program to take into the public schools, and a gear-sharing fairl. We need help for these! We also want to work with a business to provide rehearsal space after hours, and promote drum-focused concerts around the city. 

Philly Drum Project - web site / facebook


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