Stanton Moore (Galactic)

Here is my first interview ever for BackstageMusician.Com. Its with none-other than, fellow Bosphorus Cymbal endorser, Stanton Moore, one of my favorite drummers out there.

I’d like to start by talking a bit about your new DVD series “Take it to the Street ” I just recently picked up the one, A Modern Approach to New Orleans Drumming and find it not only very informative but really fun to watch. Great work! That’s saying a lot from me too. I’m a tough sell on instruction DVD’s.


AF: How did you decide what you wanted to include on both the A Modern Approach to New Orleans Drumming and A Traditional Approach to New Orleans Drumming?
SM: I had been developing that material for a while and had presenting it in clinics and lessons. It basically started out as a way for me to understand the New Orleans stuff more fully. As I got asked to do clinics and write colums I started to realize had developed a way of understanding some of the stuff that made it easier for people to understand. So I put in the stuff that made it easier to grasp, but I also wanted to put in stuff that was fun, challenging and creative as well.

AF: Did you watch any other instructional DVD’s for format ideas? If so…who?
SM: Not too much, I wanted to do something that was different. I had seen a few over the years, so I knew what I wanted to do to make it informal and organic.

AF: Of course on the DVD’s you feature your Bosphorus Cymbals (as a fellow endorser, nice choice! *wink, wink*). What turned you on to Bosphorus Cymbals?
SM: I saw an ad in modern drummer and happened to be playing LA during the NAMM show. I went and checked out their cymbals and compared them to everyon else’s. I thought then and still do today that they make the best cymbals out there.

AF: Being one of the big guns in the Bosphorus Stable of Artists, you have your own cymbal line out. Describe the sound and feel you were going for and what was the development process like.
SM: I like darker trashier cymbals and I wanted to have a vast pallet of sounds with just a few cymbals. So I started out by sending some of my favorite cymbals over to turkey for the cymbalsmiths to copy. I sent over a 22 in bos traditional, a 20 trad and some trad hats. I had them copy the weight and profile of those I then sent over a beat up old Zyn (a premier made zildjian copy). It was trashy as all hell and had different sounds in different spots. That’s where we started for the trash crash. I also sent over a zidjian pang to start with the pang thang. We went back and forth fine tuning from there for about 2 years. We finally did the skip lathing on the bottom as well. An unlathed cymbal is dryer and darker…so by leaving some of the underneath unlathed it left in some extra dryness and darkness while still looking like a regular cymbal on the playing surface.

AF: Okay here’s a short easy one. What was your first car?
SM: An old ford stationwagon

AF: Want another easy one? You got it! Your top 5 favorite movies…list’em!
SM: The godfather trilogy, the big lebowski, & the exorcist
AF: Nice choices! I’m a huge fan of mob movies and The Big Lebowski is by FAR an all time fave. Right there with Pulp Fiction and Boondock Saints in my book. But enough about me, this interview is about you!

Lets talk about touring a bit shall we?

AF: How do you warm up before each show?
SM: I don’t warm up all the time but when I do I have a few excersizes I’ve developed that I go through When I have time I like to play the rudimental ritual over left foot clave.

AF: What was your most embarrassing moment on stage?
SM: Uh, let’s no talk about that one
AF: Haha. Fair enough.

AF: Where do you want to tour that you haven’t toured yet?
SM: Hawaii, bali, fiji, thailand, mexico

AF: From your touring experience…what is the best IHOP and/or Waffle House in the country?
SM: Ha, no such thing
AF: Hmm…good point.

AF: What is your favorite late-night tourbus snack?
SM: pizza
AF: If you could tour with any of your musical heros (dead or alive), who would it be and why?
SM: Jimi hendrix, john coltrane, james brown, led zeppelin all for obvious reasons I believe…

AF: What is your biggest touring pet-peeve? (Mine is lack of touring. Haha!)
SM: Waiting around (which happens all the time) or incompetence.

AF: Name your top 3 all-time favorite albums (this is a tough one I know.
SM: The beatles white album, led zeppelin physical graffiti, john coltrane live at birdland.

AF: If you weren’t a drummer, what would you be?
SM: A restauranteur

AF: Walk us through a typical day of Stanton Moore (off tour).
SM: Wake up and shower. Practice if I can. Answer emails. Start running errands, do something fun with my daughter. Go for a run if I have time. Goto or cook dinner with my fiance. Maybe stay in and watch a movie or go see music or play a gig.

AF: Walk us through a typical day of Stanton Moore (on tour).
SM: Wake up, find out where the hotel is and how we’re supposed to get there. Take a shower, answer email. Exersize a bit, show up early for sound check and teach a lesson or practice. Go to dinner. Play the gig. Maybe watch a movie or hang after the gig.

AF: Walk us through a typical day of Paris Hilton (in prison).
SM: Wake up…[The rest of this answer stays b/t me and him. But believe was hilarious.]

AF: Okay…the real question 18…I really dig your kit setup. Would you mind telling us why you have what you have, and where you have it?
SM: The extra bass drum came from making loops with a 26 inch drum I had acquired. I thought it sounded awesome so I figured out a way to incorporate it into the gig. The pandeiro sounds like a floortom with jingles, so I can assimilate some of the Mardi Gras Indian stuff. The small snare is for some of the break beat stuff and also works as a small timbale. The phrase sampler allows me to loop myself and either save it on my roland SPS or I can play over it.

AF: What goals have you yet to achieve?
SM:There’s still lots of people I’d like to play with. Lot’s of music to make.

AF: The grand finale! What has been the most exciting moment of your career?
SM: Hmm, maybe Mace Parker smiling and giving me the thumbs up as he walked on stage to play with me. Or maybe having the album I did with Irma Thomas earn a grammy.
AF: Hmm! Yeah! I can see how that’d be a highlight! Congrats!

Well that wraps it up! If you’d like more info on Stanton Moore, visit the links below: