I champion a campaign called “Music Is A Sport.” It’s designed to encourage clothing corporations, and advertising agencies to develop and market products geared toward the needs of professional musicians and school band programs (marching band uniforms are the worst) similar to the way they market to athletes. We need clothes that look great onstage or on field, are breathable, wicking, and quick drying, and don’t stink.
Levis put out the “Commuter” line which has been a life saver for me on the road. Originally designed for folks that ride bikes to work and/or bike messengers, this clothing line is also tailor-made for drummers who deal with sweat drenched clothes every night on tour. Levis added a technology called Sanitized, which prevents bacteria from multiplying so you can maintain that fresh feel and smell when you put them on the next day. The fabric is also much more flexible than the normal denim. So much so that I actually buy the jackets a size smaller than I would normally because I really do not feel constricted when playing drums and I like that slimmer more form-fitting look. The pants are available in the 511 skinny model. The classic “5 Pocket Trucker Jacket” has not been altered that much, so you still have that classic look. For spring 2012 they are coming out with incredible new colors as well. I’ve made a TON of drummers aware of this line and receive nothing but thanks and praise in return.
2. Ludwig Drums
These drums feel like home. I’ve played them since 8th grade and as much as I love, and am a collector of all drums, there is just simply nothing like Ludwig. I started as a jazzer and most of my heroes like Max Roach, Roy Haynes, Vernel Fournier, and Joe Morello were playing Ludwig. As I got more into soul, rock, and pop I noticed that most of my favorite drummers like Al Jackson Jr., Ringo Starr, John Bonham, Alex Van Halen, Bun E Carlos, and countless others were rocking Ludwigs of all sorts. I’m honored to be representing them now and I’m happy to say they still feel like home.
3. Good espresso.
One of the benefits of doing what I do for a living is the extensive travel. However, it can be extremely taxing and rough emotionally, longing for home and family and the comforts we are all accustomed to when we are stationary. My pacifier is coffee and espresso. I worked in the crazy Seattle coffee world for many years before being able to support myself as a drummer. As a result, I’ve become a coffee addict and a tremendous snob. It takes a great shot of espresso and/or an amazing cup of coffee to make my “drinkable” list, and the café must have a great vibe and a knowledgeable staff. I recommend the following:
ESPRESSO VIVACE 321 Broadway East, Seattle, WA.
THE CONSERVATORY – 10117 Washington Boulevard Culver City, CA 90232
ABRACO ESPRESSO – 86 East 7th Street New York, NY 10003
John Wicks is a studio session drummer, producer, and songwriter based in Los Angeles. He is also the drummer for Fitz and the Tantrums. Their début studio album, Pickin’ Up the Pieces, released in August 2010, has received critical acclaim and reached #1 on the BillboardHeatseekers chart. They were heralded as a “band to watch” in an April 2011 profile in Rolling Stone. They have performed their hit single “MoneyGrabber” on ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live, on TBS’ Conan and on NBC’s The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, and have toured extensively in the United States and abroad. They are signed to Dangerbird Records.
As of May 2010, Wicks is also playing live and/or recording with B.o.B, Bruno Mars, Cee Lo, Meshell Ndegeocello, Chocolate Genius, Money Mark, Zack Hexum, and many more.