Mostly Organized Sound
by Jody Daub
I began playing drums as a teenager. My first drum set included a marching band snare drum I had on loan from the local Pipes and Drums outfit, and the only other drum I had was an old oil drum, half-filled with ashes from our wood-burning stove, which I used as my ride cymbal. To my left I rigged one of those steel mesh campfire toasters you had to hold over the fire, as this was the only thing in the basement that made a suitable PFFT! sound. On the coffee table in front of me I stacked of 9 or 10 volumes of our almost-never-opened Encyclopedia Britannica for the toms. It was brilliant. I annoyed my parents for days playing along with I Can See For Miles. When a musician friend of my brother visited, he promptly grabbed me by my collar and introduced me to some future bandmates, better music than I was used to, and a real piece of shit drum set that was only a slight improvement over the oil drum and encyclopedias.
I studied music at uOttawa. My high school music teacher studied under John Wyre, one of the founding members of the world renowned percussion ensemble NEXUS. He convinced me to major in Performance (percussion). I did well at the performance part, but I was never good in a classroom setting and really didn't like school all that much. However, the benefit of being exposed to so much music cannot be calculated
My high school music teacher also turned me on to Frank Zappa. This, arguably, was more impactful than studying music at a University. When I was 19 or 20 I heard Jazz From Hell. It wasn't my first Zappa, and wouldn't be my last. But I think it was the most important. Aside from the sound of the record, there was one component that changed everything for me: He made that stuff all by himself. Without a band.
All of a sudden anything was possible. I just needed some technology. My first piece of gear, long gone now, was a Korg M1. It wasn't a Synclavier, but it made sound and allowed me to write and record original music. If Zappa can do it, I can do it. Right?
My tools, my rules.