2012 Drummie Awards

Once again, there's plenty of Vater presence in DRUM! Magazine's Annual Drummie Readers Poll Awards!







Runner Up: Vater Nisan Steart Model
Drummer of the Year
Runner up: Chad Smith (Red Hot Chili Peppers)
Rising Star
Ruunners Up:
Chris Dave (D'Angelo/Maxwell/Robert Glasper Expirement), Mike Johnston (mikeslessons.com) and Luke Holland
Runner Up: Virgil Donati (Alan Holdsworth)
Runners Up: Brann Dailor (Mastodon) and Matt Byrne (Hatebreed)
Runners Up: Chad Smith (Red Hot Chili Peppers) and Cora Coleman-Dunham (Beyonce/Prince)
Winner: Shannon Leto (Thirty Seconds to Mars)
Runner Up: Jay Lane (Primus)
Runner Up:
Chris Dave (D'Angelo/Maxwell/Robert Glasper Expirement)
Runner Up: Chris Layton (Kenny Wayne Shephard/Stevie Ray Vaughn)
Chris Dave (D'Angelo/Maxwell/Robert Glasper Expirement)
Winner: Jim Riley (Rascal Flatts)
Runner Up: Chris McHugh (Keith Urban/Nashville Session Artist)
Runner Up: Mike Johnston (mikeslessons.com)
Studio Drummer/Drummer for Hire
Runner Up: Nisan Stewart (Jay Z/Diddy/Jamie Fox)
Runner Up: Richie Gajate Garcia
Rising Star
Runner Up: Roland Gajate Garcia
Live Performer
Winner: Karl Perazzo (Santana)
Runner Up: Andy Farag (Umphreys McGee)
Runner Up: Andy Farag (Umphreys McGee)
Winner: Raul Rekow/Karl Perazzo (Santana)
Educational Web Site
Winner: Mikeslessons.com-MikeJohnston


Posted by Chad on Wednesday, July 11, 2012 9:19 AM

Jose Pasillas of Incubus now a Vater Artist

We are very excited to welcome Jose Pasillas of Incubus to the Vater Artist Family! Incubus is currently on tour in Europe before heading out for a United States Tour this summer. Jose is now using the Vater 7A in Wood tip.



Categories: Artists
Posted by Chad on Thursday, June 28, 2012 10:19 AM

Vater Artists Win in 2012 MD Readers Poll

Congratulations to all of the Vater Artists that placed in the 2012 Modern Drummer Magzine Readers Poll! You can also see the full results in the July 2012 issue of Modern Drummer, which is on sale now.



#3 Chad Smith (Red Hot Chili Peppers)

#4 Josh Freese (Devo/Weezer/A Perfect Circle) 


Mainstream Rock

#2 Chad Smith (Red Hot Chili Peppers)


Alternative Rock 

#5 Jay Lane (Primus)



#2 Mattt Flynn (Maroon 5)



Winner: Josh Freese (Devo/Weezer/A Perfect Circle)



#4 Chris Dave (D'Angelo/Robert Glasper Experiment)



#4 Jeremy Spencer (Five Finger Death Punch)

#5 Brann Dailor (Mastodon)



Winner: Jim Riley (Rascal Flatts)

#4 Chris McHugh (Keith Urban/Nashville Session Artist)



#3 Mike Johnston ( www.mikeslessons.com) 

#5 Jim Riley (Rascal Flatts)


Up & Coming

#3 Erick Slick (Dr.Dog)

#5 Chris St. Hilaire (The London Souls)


Educational Book 

#3 Jim Riley: Song Charting Made Easy 

#4 Ari Hoenig: Systems: Book 


Educational DVD 

#3 Virgil Donati: Double Bass Drum Freedom 


Recorded Performance

#4 Brann Dailor: The Hunter (Mastodon) 



Also, a big Congrats to Vater Slick Nut Cymbal Fastener Artist Mike Mangini for Winning MVP and Recorded Performance and taking #2 in Prog.

Posted by Chad on Monday, June 04, 2012 8:55 AM

Kenny Do It AGAIN?

Vater Artist Kenny Livingston (Sugarcult/Good Man Down) is looking to embark on his 2nd Kenny Do It journey this summer, pedaling his beach cruiser accross the United States to deliver a message that is very important to him. Here is the info from Kenny as taken from his Kickstarter page:

My name is Kenny Livingston. At age 45 I can honestly say I have had the great fortune of realizing most of my childhood dreams. As a musician I’ve sold over a million records worldwide, been nominated for a Grammy Award and have traveled the globe many times over. Call it good fortune. Call it tireless pursuit. Chasing down and achieving what most write off as unachievable is a challenge that I have always embraced.

In 2010 I set down my drumsticks to begin work on what I consider to be my greatest undertaking. On July 24th, of that year, I began pedaling a simple beach cruiser bicycle across America to inspire my fellow Americans, through the power of example, in making a commitment to change the way we approach our personal health, nutrition and lifestyle choices. The 76 day (3,600 mile) journey was aptly named “Kenny Do It?” There was no real budget. There was no formal training. It was all fueled by heart and soul. A new path was set. A new chapter begun and a new challenge awaited…

So WHAT… people bike across America all the time…. While this is certainly true, most merely do it to prove to themselves that they can. That wasn’t my mission. Not even close…I did it in front of you and documented it several times daily to show to YOU that YOU can do it. All the while atop a $400 beach cruiser in surf trunks and a t-shirt. It was the common mans journey and an odd yet powerful visual metaphor to drive home the idea that change takes time and commitment. We all have the inner strength to affect change in a big way and while we may not all be Lance Armstrong, we all have our own personal Everest’s out there waiting. That is how Kenny Do It began. Then…it quickly evolved into much more…


Kenny Do It 2010 Route 


THE GROUNDWORK: During the 2010 pilgrimage I posted over 130 daily inspirational and educational webisodes. These were filmed from the many organic farms, orchards and grass fed ranches I visited to farmers markets, campgrounds and the road itself. Since completing the ride on Oct 7th, 2010, I have been approached by several independent film groups about creating a documentary around that first ride. I have always felt there needed to be more content…. Please take the time to visit www.kennydoit.org to see everything from the 2010 campaign. I would also encourage you to visit my You Tube Channel. 2010 was clearly the groundwork for something much bigger.


THE GOAL: I have my sights solidly set on taking the Kenny Do It campaign to the people once again this summer and enhancing the Kenny Do It visual experience with over 60 new health “topic” videos. This will be in addition to the roughly 130 forthcoming 2012 “From The Road” videos that will be posted throughout the journey. All of this new footage, in addition to the 2010 footage, will not only end up being the bulk of the forthcoming documentary, it will live on online for anyone to visit 24-7 for inspiration, information and education about healthy lifestyle choices and daring to dream.

THE FACTS: I have budgeted the 2012 endeavor many times over. This is, once again, a bare bones grass roots effort. The costs are a motor home, fuel, a driver, a videographer/webmaster, production, accommodations (campgrounds), and insurance. The gas and motor home rental alone are over a third of the budget.

THE OUTCOME: This really depends on you. Word of mouth was the most powerful tool in putting Kenny Do It on the map. In the end, there will be no Kenny Do It 2012 or documentary if the word isn’t spread and pledges are not made. I am committed to taking on this grueling physical feat that most half my age wouldn’t attempt, in order to get people to pay attention to the MESSAGE. Kenny Do It is already a channel. It should be a documentary. If you believe in the message that fuels this endeavor please pledge and pass it on. Thank you so much. I hope to see you out on the road.

Kenny Do It AGAIN Kickstarter Site
Kenny Do It You Tube Channel

Kenny with Sugarcult: Memory

Kenny with Good Man Down: This is Not a Rodeo

Posted by Chad on Wednesday, May 23, 2012 8:52 AM

Big Mike Clemons: My Story

Some people look at me now and don’t recognize the smaller, more healthy version of Mike Clemons. Others look REALLY hard as if trying to make sure that I really am “Big Mike” Clemons, the overweight drummer who’s toured with Usher, Israel & New Breed and others! But regardless of the initial looks, the next question is either, “how’d you lose all that weight?” or “are you sick?” While my journey towards a healthier version of my life came from the disciplined exercising and making healthier food choices, truth be told, the catalyst for this journey is that I was sick, but just didn’t know it!


I didn’t realize how sick I was until my wife noticed how much I was going to the bathroom. As far as the stereotype goes, some men have a hard time being convinced to go to the doctor; I realized I actually was one of THOSE guys. I ignored the problem and explained away going to the bathroom so much with the rationale, “well I’m drinking more water because I’m thirsty, so of course I’m going to the bathroom more.” But when I really got tired of getting up to go to the bathroom 3-4 times a night, I finally decided to listen to my wife and make the appointment.

I couldn’t believe it when the test results came back…I had Type 2 diabetes! Diabetes is a serious disease that can cause blindness, amputation of toes, feet, and legs, and even death, and I wanted NO part of that! I was like this is for real and I knew it was time for me to make a lifestyle change. In addition to taking my medicine, I started off with small changes to my diet. I ate less pasta, white rice, and for the most part ate less sweets. Apparently I wasn’t taking it seriously enough because when I went back to the doctor a few months later, my blood sugar levels were lower, but still not low enough. Months later I had another visit. I remember feeling horrible that day; light headed, sluggish, and soooooo scared. I said to myself, “ok that's it, I’ve got to do something different!”

That “scared straight” moment was my point of no return. I took it to the next level and did what I was supposed to. I was even more committed to eating right, I started working out and focused on my health and began losing weight and feeling better again. My next visit was better, I was doing well and was so happy. Then one day I ran out of pills and I “decided” I didn’t need them since diet and exercise seemed to being working out JUST fine. That was the wrong move. My blood sugar levels went up again! My doctor broke it down for me and my wife who there supporting me. He said, “if you don't do all you can and take your pills you will just make it worse on yourself.” His words affected me, but the fact that my wife was angry with me changed my life. Once we got home, we had a long hard talk.

She said:

“Listen if you want to die then do that on you own dime. You have a family that loves you and right now you are being selfish to think about yourself and not your wife, kids and other people that love you. You have to be an example to everyone and yourself. It's not our fault that you have this but you can control it if you do what you’re supposed to, so stop it and do what you have to do!”

That’s pretty much the edited version of what she said, but you get the point and so did I! Her words were the “tough love” and reality check I needed. She was right. If I eventually died because of complications from my diabetes, who would support my family, especially considering the fact that I applied for life insurance and was denied because my numbers were so high. It hit me and I realized how much diabetes could really ruin my life and that of my family if I didn’t get it in check. So I did.

Like a drug addict determined to get off drugs, I went cold turkey and stopped doing anything that could keep me from being the healthy husband and father I knew I was supposed to be. I had a boot camp approach and dedicated myself to a “lifestyle” rather than a diet or weight loss plan. I mean I went to the extreme on everything. I worked out at the gym two times a day, ate only brown rice and wheat pasta, if any, and no fried foods. Knowing my personality, the only thing that worked for me was to admit I was too undisciplined not to “cheat“ and eat unhealthy foods; I told myself if I ate anything bad I was going to die. Now for some people, that may have been too much, but I was on a path headed for an early death if I didn’t turn my life around with a quickness, and there would be no life insurance for my family. I had a second chance to change my life and I was going to make sure it worked!

Today I’m healthy, fit and still working on being the best I can be. It's not a diet, it’s a lifestyle change, and I’m VERY happy about how my life has changed. My family is proud of me too. My youngest son likes my muscles and thinks I'm the coolest. I don't force strict eating on my kids, but I give them healthy choices, cut down on things like fast food, and cook more at home where I know the quality of the food and how it‘s prepared. I want them to see healthy habits at home so they can live a healthy life and eventually teach their kids when they get older. My experience has taught them how food and health are connected, and gives new meaning to the phrase “you are what you eat“. Now I eat healthy so I am healthy!

I remember the days when I wasn’t healthy. I was fat. I was uncomfortable. I felt bad about myself emotionally and my body felt like a kind of prison. I know what every fat person goes through, feels, and struggles with. Even with as much career success as I had, deep down I knew I wasn’t living the life I was supposed to be living. If you have never been fat you might not understand, but I do. If you are dealing with obesity like I was, you can overcome it and make a lifestyle change to positively affect the quality of your life forever. It's a choice that ultimately only you, and you alone, must make.

It's a choice I had to make. I didn’t want to feel “sick” anymore or head down a path to an early grave…I didn’t want to make my wife a widow or have my kids have to grow up fatherless. A few years ago I was on that path, but now I'm in MY best shape ever and it feels WONDERFUL. I like me even more now, and want to inspire others who feel like they can’t get fit and live a healthy life. I think God let me learn how fulfilling life can be through this experience, and if you are overweight, I want you to experience that victory too. My life is changed forever and I am happy about it, so remember, the longer you wait to lose weight, the longer your new life is on hold…YOU CAN DO THIS!

-"Big" Mike Clemons 



Posted by Chad on Thursday, May 17, 2012 12:23 PM

Patty Schemel Documentary - Hit So Hard

The acclaimed documentary "Hit So Hard" The Life and Near-Death story of drummer Patty Schemel is being released April 13, 2012!

When Nirvana burst onto the national scene in 1991, the music they played spoke directly to a generation that had emerged from the Reagan-Bush years angry and disenfranchised. As grunge took off, the music industry was completely transformed in a way nobody expected... especially the young musicians who went from tiny shared Seattle apartments to international superstardom, sometimes overnight. Some handled it well... and some did not. Just three years later, the drug-related deaths of several prominent musicians, capped by the suicide of Kurt Cobain, closed the books on an all too brief era.

As the acclaimed drummer of Courtney Love's seminal rock band Hole, Patty Schemel was right in the middle of all of it. The openly gay woman who always felt "different" never dreamed she would be part of a multi-platinum selling band, touring with legends, or on the cover of Rolling Stone. Or that, thanks to drug addiction, she could lose it all. HIT SO HARD tells the story of Patty's rise to fame (and nearly fatal fall from it), with no punches pulled... and it's one hell of a story.

Told with insider interviews and stunningly intimate, never-before-seen footage shot by Patty and her friends (Patty was given a Hi-8 camera just before Hole's infamous Live Through This world tour), HIT SO HARD is not only an all-access backstage pass to the music that shaped a generation, but a harrowing tale of overnight success, the cost of addiction, and ultimately, recovery and redemption.

"Hit So Hard" Trailer:

Patty Interview about "Hit So Hard" 


Patty Schemel uses the Vater Power 5A  in wood tip
Please visit HIT SO HARD for mre info.

Posted by Chad on Tuesday, April 10, 2012 1:03 PM

Vater Artist Charli Persip to be honored with tribute

In his September, 2010 article for Musicians Local 802 News, Todd Bryant Weeks referred to Charli Persip as “The World’s Most Perfect Drummer” with good reason! “Persip’s technical mastery of the instrument…has allowed him the luxury of appearing in a multiplicity of settings with some of the greatest names in jazz: Dizzy Gillespie, Harry "Sweets" Edison, Harry James, Billy Eckstine, Archie Shepp, Benny Golson and Art Farmer, Sarah Vaughan, Dinah Washington, Eric Dolphy, Duke Ellington.” Now an octogenarian, Charli has not only played with every major name in music, but has led SuperSound his own big band for over thirty years, is the author of How Not to Play Drums (published by Second Floor Music and distributed by Hal Leonard), and is an in demand drum teacher, and he’s still going strong.



A tribute in honor of this legendary master drummer will be held at 7:30p.m. on Monday, April 30, 2012 at Saint Peter’s Church, corner of Lexington Avenue and 54th Street, New York, New York. Hosted by WBGO’s Rob Crocker, invited guests include musicians Ron Carter, Jimmy Cobb, Roy Haynes, Anthony Nelson, and Kenny Washington; writers Amiri Baraka and Nat Hentoff; and Martin Mueller, Director of the New School jazz program.

Charli started his musical career in and around Newark, New Jersey. A chance meeting with trombonist Benny Green resulted in Charli going on the road with Dizzy Gillespie, and that was the beginning of his star touched occupational path. Among his most memorable experiences during his rich, long career was his time with the incomparable Duke Ellington, who he felt was an incredible role model. Persip’s musical ability enabled him to defy stereotypical image of jazz drummers. At a recent presentation at the Jazz Museum in Harlem, drummer Kenny Washington said of him, “Persip was one of the black drummers that dispelled the idea that black drummers can’t read music.” During that presentation, Persip advised his audience about “…the importance of using your imagination to the fullest, and that listening is an art, not only as a drum accompanist but in life itself….And when dealing with an unruly audience, don’t be belligerent, just let your artistry quiet them down.”

As a jazz educator, he is said to be among the best. Since 1974, Charli Persip has been instructor of drums and music, for Jazzmobile Inc. – New York. He is currently a professor of jazz at the New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music in Manhattan, having worked there for almost two decades, and he has had a highly successful private practice for over thirty years.

Charli Persip is also a popular attraction at drum clinics, and gives lecture-demonstrations at the nation’s most prestigious schools, including Howard University, University of Massachusetts, Ohio State University, and North Texas State University. Just as Duke Ellington left a serious impression with Charli, he has had the same effect with his students. Jeremy Carlstedt, one of his former students wrote in his blog, “…I was lucky enough to study with Charli Persip and just like anything a legend shows you, you can replay the lesson over and over in your head and still learn from it.”


Who: Friends of Master Drummer Charli Persip What: Tribute for his 6+ decades creating music

What: Tribute for his 6+ decades creating music. 

Where: Saint Peters Church Corner of 54th Street and Lexington Avenue New York, NY

When: April 30, 2012 @ 7:30pm Cost: $20 suggested donation

Contact: Pamela Morgan – pemorgan@wim-n.com - 973-996-8342, or Silvia St. John - cancrizans@verizon.net - (845) 565-2578Who: Friends of Master Drummer Charli Persip



Posted by Chad on Monday, April 02, 2012 9:58 AM

Chris Knight Joins Vater

Vater is pleased to welcome Chris Knight to the Artist Family. Chris Knight began playing drums in church when he was 8 years old. This was a direct result of growing up in a musical home and having an entire family deeply rooted in music. In his teenage years, it had become a dream and passion to pursue playing drums for a living. After high school, Chris decided to attend Lee University in Cleveland, TN. While there, he performed with various traveling groups and began to get a feel for life on the road. Along with that, Chris had come in contact with session drummer and producer, Scott Williamson. It was Scott who took him under his wings and showed him the 'ins and outs' to being a professional musician... not just a professional drummer. In May of 2004, Chris received a phone call to audition for an artist in Nashville, TN. Chris took the audition, got the gig, packed his bags, and made the move to Nashville.

Chris is now an up-and-coming talent in the Nashville music scene. At only 28 years old, and only 7 years under his belt in Nashville, he has begun to make his mark. He has played a wide variety of Christian, Pop, and Country artists on the road and in the studio. His most noted artist gigs have included Grammy Nominated and Dove Award winning band, SONICFLOOD, and 14-time CCMA Award winning country artist, Carolyn Dawn Johnson.

In the Spring of 2010, Chris got the call to hold down the drum chair for Grammy Award winning and Multi-Platinum selling artist, LeAnn Rimes. He described this as a "dream come true phone call". Chris has made appearances on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Opry Live, Ellen, Regis and Kelly, America's Got Talent, GAC, CMT, and more. Chris is currently on tour with Rimes as things ramp up for the release of her new record, "Spitfire".


Chris Knight is now using the Vater 2B Wood and Powerhouse models.


 "The biggest factor in a stick for me is feel... this is why I switched to Vater sticks.  The sticks just feel like an extension of myself... very comfortable in the hand, and they have a great and very consistent weighting.  If I'm comfortable with them in my hand, it propels me to play at my highest level. I'm also somewhat of a hard hitter, so I also need a stick that will hold up with all the touring and studio work, and these certainly do just that!  I couldn't be happier!" -Chris Knight


Categories: Artists
Posted by Chad on Thursday, March 29, 2012 1:05 PM

New Lit Album and Tour

Lit and Vater Artist Nate Walker, have announced a June 19th release date for their new album, "The View From The Bottom". the band's first studio album in 8 years. Lit will also be hitting the road April 25-May 16th, with another US Tour starting on June 28th that will include Everclear, Sugar Ray, Gin Blossoms and Marcy Playground.

Check out LitBand.com for updated news and added tour dates.


Nate Walker uses the Vater Power 5A in Wood Tip.

Posted by Chad on Thursday, March 29, 2012 9:25 AM

Dan Whitesides talks about The Used's New Album

Vater Artist Dan Whitesides of The Used took the time to write up his insight into the bands new album that was released March 27, 2012.

Our new album VULNERABLE comes out MARCH 26 it's our fifth studio album and my third with the band. Out of all of our albums I think this one might be my favorite for the simple fact that the songs are amazing. It's such an experimental album, there are so many different types of songs but it all ties in so well and It still has that classic THE USED sound. I think if you like THE USED then you'll love this album and if you don't like THE USED I really recommend checking it out because I'm guaranteeing there's a song in there for any music lover.

One of my favorite tracks is called KINDA TURNIN' ME ON. It has one of the coolest beats on the album; it's a beat that uses kick, snare, hi hat and floor tom to make one of the more original sounding beats on the album. You'll need to listen to it to hear what I mean. I'm a rocker at heart so all of the crazier jams are my favorites. KISS IT GOODBYE is another one that rules. That song stemmed from someone saying "play something sort of crazy" and that beat came right out and we wrote that song really quick.

I think this album is probably the most experimental album we've ever done. Some of the songs were written in our practice space as a full band, some were written on a keyboard, on piano, on acoustic and some we wrote in the studio. I think we work best when we mix things up and sort of keep things fresh. It was cool coming up with electro beats, jamming over the top with real drums and coming up with some interesting beats. It's also fun to just come up with a beat and then Jepha or Quinn will jam out to it and write something that fits well over the top of it. We really do try write in every and any way possible.

Vocally this album is one of the more positive albums we've done. There are definitely some super dark songs but we went in to this album on a positive note so we had no choice but to write a few positive songs.

I've played VATER drumsticks since I was a teenager, so basically since they started making sticks over 1000 years ago! I use the VATER MV-10 stick model.

I love VATER sticks because I'm a heavy hitter, their sticks are hard to break, they weigh the same and they feel solid when you're playing with them. I know that sticks and really any drum gear is expensive but VATER makes a great stick at a great price. I truly believe they are a stick company that really understands drummers and percussionists in general better then any other stick company out there. I'll always be using VATER... even when I'm 2000 years old!

VULNERABLE is available in stores and online now. A huge thank you to Chad Brandolini and to everyone at VATER for all their hard work and support over the years.

Thanks for your time,

-Dan Whitesides

Posted by Chad on Wednesday, March 28, 2012 11:15 AM
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