Paul Wertico - The Music Plays Me

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By Seamus Evely and Drumeo Gab. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

“I feel pretty fearless because of all the crazy stuff I’ve done. But it’s also just trust and life is life and you kinda just go with the flow. And that is what makes life interesting ya know? If it’s predictable then I think you lose the now.”

Paul Wertico is a performer, teacher, bandleader, and clinician. He is a seven time Grammy award winner, Readers Poll winner for Modern Drummer magazine and DRUM! Magazine, 2004 Chicago Tribune “2004 Chicagoan of the Year” among many other lifetime accolades. He is most famously known as Pat Metheny’s drummer for 18 years but should not be pigeon-holed into only that role. He is also a bandleader for his Paul Wertico Trio and improvisational trio Wertico, Cain, and Grey. He is highly experimental with his approach and the instruments he tends to use during his performances including bizarre cymbals, kitchen sinks, and other strange percussion instruments. Claiming that “music plays me”, Paul is a devout musician who lives for the moment of what music can bring.

In this episode, we will hear about many of his deep philosophies on performing on the drums, how the human element of imperfection brings out the real beauty in art, how we can become more confident and rooted in what we as artists connect with, and much more!

Paul endorses DW Drums, ProMark, Remo and Shure.

You Will Hear About….

  • Paul’s adventures in Russia, Spain, Italy and China this summer.
  • Paul’s high energy levels at the age of 66 even after recently needing surgery for two heart stints. He left for Spain three days later.
  • The time Paul flew a Robin aircraft as a reward for getting a fan an extra Pat Metheny ticket.
  • The grey areas in music and art that brings life and character to any given work.
  • Letting the music play you.
  • What a “front beat” is.
  • How we as drummers can tap into what connects us to our playing confidently.
  • Learning how to judge what your playing ACTUALLY sounds like while you play.

Why Should You Listen?

People should pay close attention to his philosophies about the relationship between life and the flow of it in particular. If there are musicians out there that have a lot of knowledge and understanding of vocabulary but feel like they aren’t allowing their creativity to flow out of them, you will find this episode particularly helpful. He also shares his perspectives on phrasing ideas with his coined term “front beat” and how that can bring forward a stronger sense of time and pulse within the music.

Beyond that, Paul is simply a nice person to listen to. He is incredibly thoughtful, filled with great stories to enhance his perspectives, and is incredibly experienced with this art form. He has been featured on many podcasts in the past, so if this episode interests you, I would recommend checking out any other podcasts that he has been a guest on.

Music featured in this episode:

“Another Side” - Paul Wertico Trio

A Slow Stroll Round a Black Hole

Ain’t No Thing

The Noisy Neighbour

O Man

“Short Cuts: 40 Improvisations” - Wertico, Cain & Grey

Exploring

The Creator

Always

In a Sea of Souls

Photo cred: George Burrows “Drummer Photographer”

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155 episodes