Saturday, 16 April 2011

Jimmy Chamberlin on Drum Channel - theTitbits!

A very animated Jimmy Chamberlin joins Chad Szeliga, Terry Bozzio and Danny Seraphine in a round table discussion on Drum Channel.

Jimmy talks a little about his recent switch to the ‘Drum Worshop community’ he feels that DW will be able to support “the search for a better sound and evolution of the instrument and artist”. He talks a little about building his DW drum kit online initially; probably using this.

He talked about getting back his (don’t call it leopard) Jaguar print Zwan kit which was leant out to a drum shop, and having that set-up in his home studio at the moment.

A viewer asks; “Have any of you zoned out during a gig?”
Chamberlin: What was the question?

JC would, dependant on the gig and set list - ‘inadvertently’ skip a track or two if he didn’t like them; It was up to the band if they went with it or stopped... Maybe he really hated Starz:

According to Chamberlin shark fishing in Nova Scotia with Taylor Hawkins and Josh Freeze leaves the joints a little sore for a gig the next day.

The one that got away...  Chamberlin talks about shark fishing
A little talk around click tracks and maintaining a pulse through a fill. Jimmy went on to say “No clicks used in the Pumpkins and it certainly shows” but post Pumpkins he started to use one (in Zwan). He talks about ‘seeing time’ and a ‘having a clear musical picture in the mind’ about [how a fill should sit in a beat] before even playing it. He also goes on to say that some of “my favourite drummers are sloppy as hell, but as long as it sounds good [to him] and [the grove] has an emotional basis, it doesn’t matter”.

Chamberlin talked a little about recording some tracks for Mellon Collie at Pumpkinland and a little problem which occurred; apparently transmissions from a local taxicab company radios got picked up on their tapes.  He also talked about how in order to look at his drum parts in a different way when working with Flood, sometimes Flood would remove all of Chamberlin's cymbals in order to force him to approach songs in a different way.

In terms of practising; Chamberlin revealed that he is currently working on double bass playing and experimenting with Swiss triplets and poly-rhythms from African style drumming.  He started off using a couple of books; One on ostinatos, recommended by Bozzio and The Encyclopedia of Double Bass Drumming by Bobby Roninelli

Hope you enjoy the slide-show below;


  1. Thanks for sharing. At some point I'm gonna have to get a subscription to Drum Channel & check these out.

    Interesting to hear that he's working on double bass when he's (as far as I know) staunchly avoided it for so long. I went to a clinic once where he made a joke about double bass sounding like "the drummer is running down the street with the bass drums" etc.

    I'm sure he'll use it in a unique and creative way. The shit JC plays with toms + just a single pedal is such a blur that I bet a lot of casual fans just assume he's always used double pedals.

    Remember back on the JCC board where Jimmy explained where he'd played with the double DW pedal on "Quiet" wasn't during the intro like a lot of people assumed, but was like maybe a third of the way through the song. It was easy to miss--I thought it was on the "...boys to the bone" part, but don't really remember.

    Jimmy + African drumming styles = win, for sure. Jungle drums!

  2. Re: Quiet, I could never hear the double-bass on that track - even when JC explained the part he used it on (it was something like you said).

    As for the use of the double pedal in a creative way > this is what Jimmy said; "…I recently started playing double bass, for the first time in my life. So for me it’s like, the easiest way for me to approach it was to go and get some books. I got the, of course, the Ostinato which I’m struggling with now, which is great, but it’s really freed up a lot of brain space, musically and melodically. So I got the Bobby Rondinelli (sp) “secret to double bass heavy metal drumming” which is something which I would never play just out of my own brain. But it certainly challenges me, as an individual, to play something that’s out of the box; Which is like, ‘basic metal double bass drumming’ which is something which is really far away from who I am and what I listen to. But it’s fun. I’ve found that through those sort of simplistic combinations, that I’ve been able to bring those into my own repertoire and facilitate the existence of new stuff, through that kind of basic stuff.

  3. Thanks! Jimmy is amazing and only gets better & better.