Otis Brown releases "The Thought of You"

Otis Brown III – an invaluable sideman with the likes of Esperanza Spalding, Joe Lovano, Terence Blanchard, Oliver Lake, Somi, and others – has released his debut album, "The Thought of You",  via Revive/Blue Note, a new partnership between Revive Music and Blue Note Records.

Brown’s maiden voyage features an impressive roll call of artists including a core band consisting of pianist Robert Glasper, trumpeter Keyon Harrold, saxophonist John Ellis, and bassist Ben Williams, with organist Shedrick Mitchell and guitarist Nir Felder making special appearances. Singers Bilal, Gretchen Parlato, and Nikki Ross contribute standout performances that underscore the sentiments of the album’s co-producer, Derrick Hodge, who says, “Otis has become one of those drummers who once you hear him play, his experience becomes your experience in the moment.”

Everything on this record is a part of me,” says Brown of the 11-track set which features originals from Brown and his bandmates as well as unexpected covers. The album embodies the essence of what Brown holds most dear: faith and family. These themes run throughout from a stunning gospel medley featuring Ross to the reinvention of Shania Twain’s “You’re Still The One” – one of two dedications to Brown’s wife – which is given a complete makeover with a new arrangement by Glasper and a moving vocal performance by Parlato.

Brown’s “family first” philosophy shines through right out of the gate with the album’s opener “The Way (Truth & Life),” co-written with Glasper. The highly energetic and lyrical piece features the album’s core quintet which, with the exception of Williams, re-assembles their college jazz ensemble from their days at The New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music in New York City.

“The most special thing about working with Otis is simply the joy he gets out of playing music; it's all over his face like a little kid,” says Glasper. “People have lost that joy and take playing too seriously.” This point is well illustrated on “The Thought of You”; a jam session-like trilogy weaved throughout the album which opens with a signature vamp from Glasper and Brown providing a knocking backbeat before the group breaks into a glorious swing with Bilal, a vocalist of astonishing versatility offering a rare glimpse at his bona fide jazz chops.


Categories: Artists
Posted by Chad on Tuesday, September 23, 2014 2:48 PM

Matt Johnson Reflects on Jeff Buckley's "Grace"

We recently caught up with Vater Drumstick Artist Matt Johnson in Boston while he was on tour with St. Vincent. While Matt was here, we asked him to discuss his work on Jeff Buckley's "Grace" album as 2014 marks the 20th Anniversary of it's release. "Grace" was Jeff Buckley's only completed studio album to be released as Jeff died in a drowning accident in 1997.

In this video, Matt talks about meeting Jeff just a very short time before they tracked the album, and goes somewhat track-by-track to talk about his drum parts, the recording process for the album, how the drum set configuration varied, and how some aspects of his playing on that album were a result of, what he calls, "fear and stark terror" during the recording process.

 Matt Johnson reflects on "Grace":

Matt Johnson uses the Vater Sugar Maple Power 5B 

Posted by Chad on Monday, April 07, 2014 2:03 PM

Tim Alexander Makes The Switch To Vater

Vater is very excited to welcome iconic drummer Tim Alexander to the Artist Family. Tim was the drummer in Primus from 1989-1996 and 2003-2009. Fellow Vater Artist Jay Lane came back into Primus in 2009 until Tim’s return to the band in 2013.

Tim has also released 2 albums with Laundry and was also the first drummer in A Perfect Circle and can be heard on “The Hollow” from the Mer de Noms album. Additionally, Tim has also performed in the Blue Man Group as well as Maynard James Keenan’s project, Puscifer.

The first official Primus show with Tim Alexander back on drums was New Year's Eve 2013 at The Fox Theater in Oakland. The band performed their first set with the original "Suck On This" backdrop hung on the stage. For their second set, Primus performed the soundtrack from the 1971 film "Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory" in its entirety. 


Tim Alexander is currently using a Vater Tim Alexander prototype stick model made in maple along with the Vater Vintage Bomber Beater, and various mallets and specialty sticks. 



 Vater Artists on Tim Alexander:

 "Pork Soda was my first introduction to Tim Alexander's playing, and up until that point, I was unaware of how creative one could be as a drummer. I spent many nights cobbling together the craziest f-ing kits as I tried to harness even an ounce of what that guy was doing." Miles McPherson. 


 “Listening to Tim Alexander is like perpetually being musically head faked, his playing is so creative and precise you never see it coming. It's what makes him a modern day legend.” Mike Byrne [Smashing Pumpkins]


 “Tim Alexander was one of my earliest and biggest influences. His playing has influenced a whole generation and he's extremely humble about that. We got to play in Puscifer together and it was awesome to not only work with him but to become friends. Glad he's on board with Vater!” –Gil Sharone [Stolen Babies]


 "I had the pleasure of watching Tim play from the side of the stage a few times and I was always impressed by his incredible chops..but he played for the songs too. Effortlessly marrying chops and musicality.  Welcome to the Vater family!” Joe Sirois [Mighty Mighty Bosstones/Roll The Tanks]


 "Every now and then a drummer comes along that, with their musicality and innovative playing, captures every musician's attention.....he's one of those drummers!" James Harrison [Drum Line Instructor: Boise State University]


 “A huge inspiration while I was growing up learning how to play drums. I was always analyzing his playing and his drum kit. He makes his grooves and fills extremely tasteful and makes such difficult parts look easy. He is one of the best out there and great addition to the Vater family!“ Nate Walker [Lit]


“A master of groove and truly one of the most unique drummers out there, Tim Alexander proves time and time again that anything is possible on a drum kit…all he needs is a pair of VATER sticks!” –Cyrus Bolooki [New Found Glory]


 "My teenage ticket to WTF is this!?…held together by one hell of a drummer that covered the full spectrum of sonic possibilities in a rock band. And the album covers had clay art which was cool! I had them all...cassette tapes at that time, that is."  -Tony Escapa [Ricky Martin/Independent] 

Categories: Artists
Posted by Chad on Thursday, April 03, 2014 8:49 AM

David Northrup Makes the Switch To Vater

Vater is pleased to welcome David Northrup to the Vater Artist Roster. David Northrup's skill and talent as a busy touring musician is matched only by his long list of recording credits and work that he has done with a multitude of artists over varying genres. Currently on tour with the Legendary Oak Ridge Boys, His long and versatile list includes work with Rock Legend John Waite, The James Brown Horns, John Mellencamp, Guitarist Les Dudek, and Jam Band Sensation The Disco Biscuits. Country Artists include Wynonna Judd, Travis Tritt, Joe Diffie, Doug Stone, Tanya Tucker, Jo De Messina, Pam Tillis, Ty Herndon, Lila McCann, Rebecca Lynn Howard and songwriter / producer Anthony Smith. Classic Country Artists include Lee Greenwood, Louise Mandrel, Connie Smith, Gene Watson, Jo-El Sonnier  and Deborah Allen.
Northrup is also a busy studio musician and producer in the Nashville scene as well as an international clinician. He has placed in the prestigious Modern Drummer Readers Poll two years consecutive being voted number Three Country Drummer and number Two Clinician of the year in The 2008 and number Two Country Drummer and number Two Clinician in the 2009. His debut instrumental CD "Shapes" produced by guitarist Shane Theriot, is due out early summer of 2014.

Television & Video Appearances
The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, The TODAY ShowThe 2005 Jammy AwardsDirect TV Freeview with Travis Tritt, The Jimmy Kimmel Show, The Late Late Show with Craig Kilbrone, GAC Grand Ole Opry Live, PBS SoundStage with Travis TrittThe CMA Awards,The ACM Awards and Farm Aid 2000 to name a few
David Northrup is now using the Vater 5A Stretch 

Categories: Artists
Posted by Chad on Monday, February 24, 2014 4:17 PM

Vater Artists Sweep AP Magazine Readers Poll

We were very proud and excited when the results of Alternative Press Magazine's annual Readers Poll results were announced late December 2013, as all top 3 drummers who topped the poll are Vater Drumstick Artists! The top 3 winners for Drummer of the Year, as chosen by Alternative Press Magazine Readers, are:



Luke's stick of choice: Vater 3A Wood Tip


Mike's stick of choice: Vater 2B Wood Tip


Christian's stick of choice: Vater 3A Nylon Tip


Posted by Chad on Wednesday, January 15, 2014 1:59 AM

Aaron Gillespie Switches To Vater

Aaron Gillespie was born and raised in Clearwater, Florida. At only 14 years old, he received a call from Underoath asking him to play drums for them. Aaron led Underoath for 10 years, including 6 albums, millions of records sold, 2 Grammy nominations and countless world tours. After much consideration he stepped down as the drummer of Underoath in April of 2010. Aaron fronts his rock band The Almost, which he started in 2007, and who just released their newest album, Fear Inside Our Bones this past June. He also fronts a solo band and released a solo album in 2011.

Aaron Gillespie is currently on tour, filling in on drums for Paramore and is now using the Vater 2B in Wood Tip




Categories: Artists
Posted by Chad on Monday, September 09, 2013 1:17 PM

Eric Kretz [Stone Temple Pilots] Switches to Vater

We are pleased to announce that Eric Kretz of Stone Temple Pilots is now using Vater Sticks! Eric Kretz and Stone Temple Pilots are currently rehearsing for their first tour with new lead singer Chester Bennington of Linkin Park, which starts on September 4th. Over their 20+ year career, Stone Temple Pilots have sold 40 Million albums worldwide, have had 16 top ten singles and are also Grammy Award winners. STP debuted their first single with Bennington, "Out of Time", during a surprise and unannounced live set at KROQ's Weenie Roast on May 18, 2013. STP will be releasing their first album with Chester Bennington in the near future.

Eric Kretz is now using the Vater 1A in wood tip
Stone Temple Pilots Fall Tour Dates:
Sep 04 Sands Bethlehem Event Center-Bethlehem, PA
Sep 06 Starland Ballroom-Sayreville, NJ
Sep 07 House of Blues-Showboat-Atlantic City, NJ
Sep 09 House of Blues-Boston, MA
Sep 10 The Paramount-Huntington, NY
Sep 13 OKC Downtown Airpark w/ Mötley Crüe, Hinder-Oklahoma City, OK
Sep 14 First Council Casino-Outdoors-Newkirk, OK
Sep 17 BB&T Center-Sunrise, FL
Sep 18 House of Blues-Orlando, FL
Sep 20 The Township Auditorium-Columbia, SC
Sep 21 Rockwave Fest w/ Jane's Addiction-Fort Myers, FL
Sep 24 La Hacienda Event Center-Midland, TX
Sep 26 Marquee Theatre-Tempe, AZ
Sep 27 The D Las Vegas at Fremont Street Experience-Las Vegas, NV
Oct 19 Loud Park 2013-Saitama-Shi, Japan
Nov 01 Hard Rock Live-Biloxi, MS




Posted by Chad on Monday, August 12, 2013 12:20 PM

Modern Drummer Readers Poll

Congratulations to all the Vater Artists who placed in Modern Drummer's 2013 Readers Poll.




# 2 Gil Sharone [Stolen Babies]
# 4 Mike Byrne [Smashing Pumpkins]
# 3 Tony Escapa [Ricky Martin]
# 4 Brian Frasier-Moore [Justin Timberlake]
# 5 Brann Dailor [Mastodon]
# 3 Chris Dave [D'Angelo]
# 4 Lil' John Roberts [Neyo]
# 1 Jim Riley [Rascal Flatts]
# 4 Mike Johnston [Mikeslessons.com]
Up & Coming
# 2 Luke Holland [The Word Alive]
# 5 Roland Gajate Garcia [American Idol/Stevie Wonder]


Posted by Chad on Monday, June 24, 2013 2:23 PM

Chad Sexton of 311 back using Vater

Vater is pleased to welcome Chad Sexton of 311 to the Vater Artist Family. Chad actually began his career using Vater sticks (the 3A in wood tip to be exact). Chad and 311 are currently gearing up for their 11th consecutive summer tour,  "Unity Tour 2013", which will run from July 2nd-August 4th.

Chad Sexton is currently using a custom prototype model from Vater. Stay tuned for more info to come on that.



311 Bio/Highlights:

* 311 was formed in 1990 in Omaha, Nebraska by vocalist/guitarist Nick Hexum, vocalist/dj SA Martinez, lead guitarist Tim Mahoney, drummer Chad Sexton and bassist P-Nut. The band now resides in Los Angeles.

* 311 has sold over 8.5 million units in the U.S. alone.

* 311 has had 8 albums reach the Top 10 on Billboard’s U.S. Top 200 Sales Chart

* 311 has had 9 singles reach the Top 10 on Billboard’s U.S. Alternative Chart (including the #1 singles “Down”, “Love Song” & “Don’t Tread On Me” along with “Amber”, “All Mixed Up”, “Come Original”, “Creatures (For a While)”, “Hey You” and "Sunset in July")

* 311’s most recent album, Universal Pulse, debuted at #7 in July 2011 and was produced by Bob Rock (Metallica, Bon Jovi, Motley Crue, Aerosmith).

* 311’s sound is a unique hybrid of rock, reggae, hip-hop & funk. A balance of hard rocking anthems and melodic reggae grooves - with an underlying message of unity & positivity.

After years of incessant touring, 311 has developed a reputation as one of the most influential & most entertaining live bands in the U.S.

* With their celebratory live shows, 311 has earned a massive grassroots following. For the past nine years, 311 has headlined their summer “Unity Tour” in amphitheatres across the U.S.- drawing crowds of 10,000 to 18,000 people in Atlanta, Boston, DC, New Jersey, Los Angeles, St. Louis, West Palm, Charlotte, VA Beach, Denver, etc. The tour is consistently one of the largest modern rock concerts of the summer in the U.S.

* Past 311 tours have included an impressive array of opening acts. Bands such as No Doubt, Korn & Incubus all supported 311 on U.S. tours before they became headliners.

* Support acts on 311’s Unity Tour have included : Sublime With Rome, The Offspring, Snoop Dogg, Slightly Stoopid, The Roots, Papa Roach, The Wailers, O.A.R., Matisyahu and Ziggy Marley.

* 311 has always stayed true to their own approach and their underlying message of unity and positivity. That message still rings true for them today…in their lyrics and at their celebratory live shows. Singer Nick Hexum typically ends each show with the words, “Stay Positive and Love Your Life.”

* Every other year on March 11th (“3-11 Day”), 311 holds a special concert event that attracts thousands of 311 fans from around the world. The show includes an extended setlist (5 hours / 60+ songs) and state of the art production. Last time (March 2012), the band sold-out the Mandalay Bay Arena and tickets were sold to fans in all 50 U.S. states and 13 different countries. 311 fans traveled from around the globe to meet each other and to celebrate 311 Day together.



Categories: Artists
Posted by Chad on Tuesday, April 30, 2013 10:40 AM

Christian Coma talks Vater in AP Mag

Vater Artist Christian Coma of Black Veil Brides spoke to Alternative Press Magazine about his favorite gear...his Vater 3A Nylon Tip Sticks. Check out this feature on page 24 of AP's April 2013 issue.

Posted by Chad on Friday, March 01, 2013 9:46 PM
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