Tama: A love story
So, I was trying to think of something to blog about today, since I seem to be in a writing mood. Well, I guess aside from “I really just want to nap it out” mood, I’m in a writing mood. Problem is, I couldn’t think of anything to write about. Thanks to Ms.Victoria, I have an idea! My love of Tama Drums. I’m sure nobody that will happen to read this will give one single fuck about what I’m going to say, but I find it my more than half my life love affair fun to write about.
So, here it goes, good or bad, this is my love story with Tama Drums:
I suppose that I could say that my love affair with Tama started along with my blooming love affair with heavy metal. My favorite drummer when I was starting my metal journey was Lars Ulrich. Yes, Lars fucking Ulrich. I thought he was a badass! The coolest thing I noticed though, were those badass Tama white shelled, black headed drums.
Holy SHIT those were badass, and I must admit, homeboy has lost a step and crutched onto his fucking china (which is a reason I will NEVER get that shit), but back in the day… 1987-1993, dude had it. Hell, I would have some big time fun right now if I had a kit like that. Double bass, 6 tom’d Tama, and about 5 Zildjian cymbals around me… YUM-thefuck-O! Anyway, where was I? Ah yes, my love affair with Tama. Well, yeah, that started it. As I started to pay more attention to drummers and what they were playing, I was finding that all of my favorite drummers were playing Tama. To name a few that I was rocking out to:
Vinnie Paul! (even though he switched to Pearl and now DDrum)
Songs I recommend to listen to of his: (with Pantera) Cowboys from Hell, Becoming, Revolution is My Name (with Hellyeah) Hellyeah, Goddamn, Rotten to the Core, Nausea (with Damageplan) Breathing New Life, (with Rebel Meets Rebel) Rebel Meets Rebel, Get Outta My Life, Time
Songs I recommend: (with Fear Factory) Demanufacture, Smasher/Devourer, Digimortal, Slave Labor, Drones (with Brujeria) Pito Wilson, La Migra, La Traicion, Marcha De Odio, El Desmadre
Songs I recommend: (with Dream Theater) Take Away my Pain, The Dance of Eternity, Finally Free, The Glass Prison (with A7X) Nightmare, Welcome to the Family, Fiction
So, yeah, as you can tell if you took the time to listen to some of the tracks I mentioned here, I was really influenced to rock out pretty hard. And, yes, my little fat nerd dorky ass was in band all through middle school and in the drumline/band in high school (snare line! Holler and whatnot!!!), so I wasn’t coming at my love of these drummers as some dickhead that didn’t know any better. Same goes for my obsession with Tama. I was playing Yamaha and Pearl in high school. If only Tama Marching Drums had come out back in the day! That would have been BADASS!! Check ‘em out if you wanna nerdgasm here —-> http://www.tamamarching.com/
Lucky bastards that get to march Tama. Anyway, now that I’m trying to let my jealousy subside, I can move along in my story. There’s really not much to say after I graduated high school and stopped playing drums for a bit. Not by any choice of my own, mind you, but my best friend (hell, dude is my more than a friend… I consider him a brother) Joe moved up to Salt Lake City. That dude was my musical connection. He played bass on his off time and in jazz band (where I was playing in as well), so after our jazz band practices were over, I’d get back on the set (I was usually happy playing toys and whatnot except when we’d play Beatles songs. I insisted on being on the kit for those) and we’d jam out Metallica, much the annoyance of our band director. We didn’t care. We had fun, and so did the kids shuffling through the band room. We had a wicked bad mosh pit going on playing “Fuel” once. That was my first taste at really playing more than marching/concert/jazz band for anybody, and getting that positive reaction to it really geeked me out. Well, yeah, Joe had to move way up north, none of my other friends played, so I was stuck. Life moved ahead, it was all good.
Things changed about 6 years after high school. By then, I had a shitload of interesting life experiences, and I had also finally been able to go up to Utah to kick it with Joe instead of him always coming down for the holiday season. His brother Dan was a drummer too, so one time, we went down to the basement of their parent’s house and jammed. I was rusty as FUCK! I admittedly sucked worse than I do now (that’s saying a lot), but it was fun just to play again. We thought drinking was a bit more fun anyway, so we only jammed about 20 or so minutes and went back to Joe’s house and got hammered… more fun times. Haha! But that really sparked my love back to my drums. By then, shit had settled down with Searchlight Needles and the band came back together from their lives’ journeys and they were playing again. Reverend Gonzo had asked me to join a few times, but each time I was broke as fuck (that seems to be the story of my life, by the way) and I’d have to turn him down. They didn’t gig much until about 2008. That’s when life changed for me as well. My mom was getting progressively more and more ill, and in June, she passed away. As fucked as that situation was, one good thing came from it. I was able to reconnect with our cousin, Peter. Dude was always into crazy music and styles, and I always looked up to him. I didn’t get to see him much because of his life travels, but he had calmed down and came over to the hospital to see my mom. We got to talking and he asked if I was playing in any bands. I told him the same tale of woe… I was broke, and now that I had friends in bands, I was fucked. Long story short, he invited me to play with him and his boss. They had a drumset. All that was missing was a bass drum pedal. I get one of those, and I’m in. Well, fuck yes! That was badass! I wasn’t going to turn that down. We first jammed out on a Saturday afternoon, and I’m pretty sure the other guys probably thought I wouldn’t be able to drum worth a damn. To be honest, I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to either. We were going to play 50’s-70’s rock, country, and tex-mex/cumbia/ stuff, which is what I grew up on, so I was down to play whatever they threw at me. Needless to say, I passed the audition, and I was in a band again. I took shit a bit more seriously by then, so I was saving up to get, what else, a Tama! Well, we were gelling as a band so well, the guys booked a gig and I was forced to get another drum set quick. No Tama for me. It’s all good! Nobody gets a Cadillac for their first car, unless they are fuckin’ Justin Bieber or somebody like that. I settled for a Mapex. It served me well. We played a lot of gigs and a lot of people loved us, but tensions between my cousin and his boss got the better of things and my cousin and I walked away. Again, I was bandless, but with a drumset.
Things weren’t looking much better in the Searchlight Needles camp. The band tensions were getting pretty bad there too, apparently. I went to a birthday gig on a February, got the birthday twink drunk as FUCK! (nothing beats seeing that idiot run to the bathroom to bark at the ants while the band kept playing! Hahahaha!!!!) and well all had fun. There might have been another gig or two, but their drummer finally called it quits pretty much. I had nothing to do, and had a drumset, why not, right? I had these assholes give me assurances that they were not cheating on their drummer, and when we first played together, magic happened. In another moment of admission, I had been to gigs and practices of these dudes and thought to myself, “Fuck man, I would love playing this song. I’d play this instead… I’d do this…” and now that I was getting the chance, shit was fun! Granted, I was crashing planes (aka not ending songs when I was supposed to), but what the fuck, man! I need to practice shit and gel before the real magic happens!
Well, fast forward to early this year when out of the blue, we decided to record the 10 original songs that we had. I had my drums all tuned up badass, aside from my snare that I could never really get right… and we recorded. That’s what you hear now on ourstage and my YouTube page. Sadly, I recorded on my Mapex, because again, I’m a poor son of a bitch. The dude that recorded us, Professor X, wasn’t happy with the sound of the drums, but worked some black magic on the sound, so I don’t sound as shitty as I should, but in retrospect, I hate the way I sound. During the mixing and mastering though, I got crazy and decided, fuck it! I’m getting the drumset I really want. By then, Tama had just released their new line, Silverstar. Reasonably priced, badass looking and sounding on the vids on the site… I couldn’t turn down the opportunity to buy them on credit that I was approved on with Sweetwater.
This was the best decision I’ve ever musically made. Well, that and joining the band. Heh. Right out of the box, they played fucking amazingly! Normally stock heads sound like dogshit, but even with Tama heads these things blew my mind. I couldn’t wait to play with the guys.
Our first practice with my Tama drums was crazy. I was actually LOUDER just with the quality wood that my shells are made of and the pure craftsmanship that Tama is made of.
So, now here I am, 7 months later… still madly in love with Tama. Even more so now. It’s like having that crush in high school and finally getting with that person when you’re damn good and ready years later. I’m glad I waited. I love the sound I have with them, and they are just going to get better whenever Drums, Etc. gets off their fucking asses and send me my Remo heads! That’s the only drumhead I will play too, by the way. I’m a man of principal. Until I die, or become too crippled to drum, I will only play Tama drums with Remo heads all while hitting Zildjian cymbals. Why, you ask? Because they are badass. That’s love.