Thursday, May 3, 2007

Nick D'Virgilio

@ Spock's Beard
Instruments: Lead Vocals, Drums, Percussion, Guitar, Bass, programming and a wee bit of keys. Also if I feel really ambitious I will take out my trumpet that I played in Jr. High school and try to play. Except after about 5 minutes my lips swell up so much that you can't see my face anymore. I used to be able to rock Herb Albert tunes like it was nobody's business. Maybe my lips were not so big then :)

Hometown: I was born in Whittier but my home town is Hacienda Heights, CA

Musical Influences: Genesis, Zeppelin, James Brown, Stevie Wonder, Kevin Gilbert, Miles Davis, Louie Prima

Other Credits: Performed and/or recorded with Genesis, Tears For Fears, The Manhattan Transfer, Sheryl Crow, David Bearwald (David & David), and Kevin Gilbert.

Interesting Facts: When I was 4 years-old I wanted to be Donny Osmond.

Outside Interests: Baseball, golf, cooking, and changing my hair style at least once a week.

Kit: My main kit is a Mapex Orion Series 7 piece kit with gold flake paint. The number of pieces always changes though depending on the stuation but usually it goes like this:

22 x 18" kick drum
10 x 6 1/4" rack tom
12 x 7 1/2" rack tom
14 x 9 3/4" floor tom
16 x 13 3/4 floor tom
14 x 5 1/2" Maple "Black Panther" snare
10 X 5" Maple "Black Panther" snare

All the pedals and hardware are Mapex. I use Aquarian drumheads. On the toms I use the "Jack De Johnette"signature heads for the top and the standard "Classic Clear" heads for the bottoms. On the snare drums I use the "Texture Coated" heads for the tops and "Classic Clear" snare side heads for the bottoms. On the kick drum I use the "Texture Coated Super Kick" single ply for the beater side and a "Regulator" series head for the front with the small 4 3/4" hole.

Cymbals: I use the Meinl Byzance line of cymbals mostly but they make so many great cymbals it is hard to choose. The basic set up is:

20" ping ride, 18" medium thin crash,16" "Rakes" china, 14" thin crash, 16" medium crash, 14" heavy hi hats

I also am very into stacking cymbals to get that "Brufordy" trashy sound with absolutely no decay. You can stack anything really so that is what I do until I find a pair I like.

That is the basic set up I use a lot in the studio and live but I also have a set of Gretch drums I got when I was 15. Tony Williams yellow laquer baby! I love those drums. They really sound great. 22 X 16" kick. 8,10,12,14,and 16" toms. I had a matching yellow snare at one time but it got ripped off out of my truck along a whole other drum kit in Sacramento, Ca. a number of years ago. People that steal suck! I also have a set of 1965 Ludwigs that Santa brought me in my 4th year of life. How do you think Santa knew to get me drums for Christmas? He's good like that. I still play those drums all the time. They just have a great vintage sound. 20" kick, 12" rack, 14" floor, and a 14" steel shell snare.

That is my drum gear for now. I say for now because I am always adding to it. Like most musicians. I want to say thank you to my endorsement companies. They all make such fantastic gear and treat me so well. Please show them your support and click over to there sites and check them out if you haven't before.

Endorsements: Mapex Drums, Meinl Cymbals and Percussion, Vic Firth Drumsticks and Aquarian Drumheads =>>>>>>>>>>>

============ blogprock ============

Mike Haid @ Modern Drummer
Phil Collins began his successful musical career as the exciting young drummer for an obscure prog band from England called Genesis. He eventually worked his way out from behind the drumkit to center stage as the lead vocalist. As lead vocalist for Genesis, Collins matured as a singer and songwriter as the group developed into a multi-million-selling pop-rock group. Eventually Collins ventured off on his own as a solo artist and became an international superstar. So what does this have to do with prog-rock drummer Nick D'Virgilio, besides the fact that he was chosen to record drum tracks for Genesis's1997 album, Calling All Stations, once Phil Collins left the band

Over the past several years one group has been mentioned time and again as the most melodic and listener-friendly of all prog bands on today's scene. That group is America's own Spock's Beard, and their drummer is Nick D'Virgilio. Nick's solid pop groove, nearly perfect technique, and quality backing vocals have helped propel Spock's Beard to international recognition as one of today's top prog bands. His fine playing has lead the drummer to other work too, including artists like pop stars Tears For Fears and fusion-head Mike Keneally.

Now D'Virgilio is itching to step out front and show the world that he too can sing, write a good song, and keep the groove in the pocket (just like his main inspiration, Phil Collins). With his brand-new solo debut, Karma (Inside Out Music America), Nick is ready to take center stage.

MD: Are you pursuing a solo career with your new release, or is this a personal goal brought to fruition?
Nick: Both. I've always wanted to do this, but for a host of different reasons I didn't pursue it earlier in my career. The biggest reason was that I didn't feel that my songwriting capabilities were where I wanted them to be. I've always been a fan of great music, and I always judged my songwriting against the bands that I respected and listened to. My songs didn't live up to any of them.

I've been singing since I was a little kid, and I've always been jealous of guitar players, because I've always wanted to be out in front of the drumset. It's funny because I've been playing drums all my life. I don't know why I picked drums as my main instrument.

I finally put some demos of my music together, and the guys at the Inside Out label in Germany said that they would set up a budget for me and release it if I wanted to put out a solo record. That was the big push I needed to finally go for it. I really do want to pursue a solo career. I want to sing as much as possible and get out from behind the drumkit.

MD: Does this solo effort allow you to do the things that you would normally not get to do in Spock's Beard?
Nick: Yes. Spock's Beard centers around Neal Morse. He writes the majority of the material and is the lead vocalist. So the music of Spock's Beard is really a sound that belongs to Neal. I wanted to do something different that didn't sound like Spock's Beard. I'm a big fan of many styles of music. Spock's Beard is a prog band, and I wanted to branch out and do a wider variety of music.

MD: We haven't talked about your experience of recording with Genesis. How the heck did that come about?
Nick: I heard from a few friends that Genesis was having auditions for the drum chair because Phil was leaving the band. At the time, I was touring with Tears For Fears and happened to be in London when I heard the news, so I found out where Genesis's management company was located and went there with a Spock's Beard CD, The Light, and told them I was playing with Tears For Fears the next night. I invited them to the show so they could see me play and said that if there was any chance in the world that I could get an audition, I would love one.

Well, I went through the whole TFF tour not knowing if they came to the gig or checked out my playing. Then I think it was three months after that when I got a call from Genesis's producer, Nick Davis, asking me if I could send a DAT with some more music so they could hear some different things. I did that, and they called back a few weeks later and said they wanted me to come to their studio, The Farm, for an audition. Needless to say, I was freaking out. Genesis was my favorite band in the world when I was growing up. I played to their records every day.

Anyway, I went on a short tour with Jonatha Brooke, and right from there I flew to England and did the audition. I played to all of the tracks they had put together for the new record, and they recorded what I played to hear roughly what I might do. I was there for three days, and then I flew home. I then got another call from Nick Davis a little while later, saying they wanted me back to do the record. As you might imagine, I was a very happy guy. I went back and recorded for about a week and that was that.

About being in the studio with those guys, well, it was amazing. They were very sweet. I almost didn't believe that I was on a Genesis record until I saw the finished copy. As I've said, Phil was my favorite drummer growing up, and to be on a Genesis record was exciting, fun, strange, and a little unbelievable. I mean, that was his band for twenty years, and there I was, doing his job. It was bizzare for me, but very satisfying.

MD: Getting back to your project, what would you like the listeners to come away with?
Nick: I'm hoping that when people hear my record they'll get a lot out of it in a musical way. But I'm also hopeful that drummers will get a lot out of what I'm trying to say as a player. =>>>>>>>>>>>

============ blogprock ============

Best drummer in the World 'Nick d'Virgilio'

============ blogprock ============

No comments: