An Argument


Today I got sucked into a controversial discussion, more like an argument, over this meme featuring a quote from Tony Royster Jr. If you follow Tony like I do you know that he currently serves the role as Katy Perry’s touring drummer. That’s a sweet and probably lucrative gig. Playing for superstars like this requires a strict adherence to the requirements of both the star and their musical director. It also varies according to the style of play. A sideman on a country gig has to play with a different approach than say a sideman serving a pop artist. No doubt Tony has to fit into Katy’s sound and contribute to her live show according to her tastes. Now there were some different understandings to this meme. Some people thought Tony was simply saying that ghost notes are prohibited. Some, like me, think he is referring to the possibility of them misfiring while trying to do ghost notes. Here is part of our discussion:

Playing for an artist as big as Katy Perry means you do whatever she wants. That’s what a sideman does. That comment means he is following orders.

No way is he doing what he wants. I’m surprised he would even take a gig like this when it prevents him from showing off his blazing chops.

Playing for an artist as big as Katy Perry means you do whatever her music director wants. That’s what a sideman does.

I’m not sure but in my place, ghost notes are a must for drummers in most of the genres. I hate that he doesn’t use them. Where is the solid beat that pumps up your heart rate?

IMO, these gigs require the highest level of ability and responsibility from a drummer. Tony is providing a service to a client. She just happens to be a huge pop star.

Katy’s drummer can be replaced by a computer. And, ghost notes are crucial. Her music is not. Besides, she’ll fire you simply for upstaging her.

Its simple. Tony uses triggers and they don’t handle ghost notes well. Anyone who has ever used them knows that.

Can’t you set the trigger sensitivity/threshold on this shit? Doesn’t he have the best gear money can buy?

I am actually glad she uses a drummer. She can use a recording very easy! Many pop stars like Pink and Carrie Underwood have awesome bands backing them.

So what are your thoughts?

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Filed under Drums and Drumming

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