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Pat Mastelotto is a freak! Pt. 2

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  • Pat Mastelotto is a freak! Pt. 2

    Saw a hell of a show here in Wichita just last night at the Orpheum Theatre: The California Guitar Trio with special guests Tony Levin and Pat Mastelotto! When I first heard that they were coming to Wichita I was shocked. We just don't get too many quality concerts like that around here, so hopefully this is the start of a welcome trend!

    Good to see Tony again (I was at the Omaha and Chicago dates on his last solo tour). He's a nice guy and one of the best bassists out there, no question about it. Love those Funk Fingers! Tony gets a lot of respect from musicians, but I still can't figure out why more people don't seem to know about him. Good Lord, his discography is mind-boggling! He should be a household name as far as I'm concerned......

    Paul, Bert, and Hideyo (the Trio) were all really cool, both as people and musicians. They were formerly members of Robert Fripp's League Of Crafty Guitarists, so to say they have good command of their instruments would be a huge understatement. Their acoustic version of "Bohemian Rhapsody" was awesome! This was my first time seeing them live, and I was just blown away. Their repertoire was as intense and beautiful as you could possibly want. These guys deserve to be superstars--they're that good. If they hit your town, go see them. You won't be disappointed....

    And last but hardly least, the man I was there to witness: Pat! I got a bit of a rude shock when I saw his kit---no V-drums!!! AAARRGGHH!! He was playing a really nice black pearl 6-piece DW kit with Paiste cymbals (the best on Earth!). He wasn't totally bereft of electronics, however. Off to his left, he had an HPD-15 HandSonic, a Korg Electribe unit (which, I found out later, he never used that night), and a Boss SP-303 Dr. Sample. Pat was triggering the HPD-15 using a KD-7 (let's don't start that argument up again!), hands, and sticks. With the SP-303 he was usually laying down a beat with his right hand and pushing the buttons on it with his left.

    Pat is very skilled when it comes to incorporating percussion sounds into his playing. He was using lots of different types of specialty sticks (jingle sticks, Multi-Rods, shaker sticks, mallets, etc.) and hand percussion, including a piece made for him by Bill Saragosa that he showed me after the concert. It was a tunable metal piece filled with about a dozen bearings that resembled a cross between an incense burner and a lava lamp! He used it at one point in the show on his cymbals to create a very ethereal-sounding effect similar to wind and rain. I felt like a total moron holding the Saragosa piece because I had to admit that I didn't have the slightest idea how Pat did what he did with it .

    I've always absolutely despised the practice of stacking cymbals, but Pat had two Chinas that he stacked that just sounded brutal! The larger was mounted bell-up on the bottom of the stack, and the smaller was mounted inverted (or normal, to all us rock guys). Did I mention that Paiste cymbals are the best on Earth? Pat also had two rides set up to where one partially overlapped the other and he was at one point playing a pattern that involved bouncing his stick from the top bow of one ride to the bottom bow of the other. Way cool, and, by the way, did I happen to mention that Paiste cymbals are the best on Earth?

    Okay, this post is getting Tolstoy-length and I haven't even covered the good parts yet! I'm getting tired now, but I'll finish up tomorrow and let you all know some of the interesting things that Pat and Bill Munyon (Pat's tech--he also ran sound at the show) had to say about V-drums and V-drums.com!......

    TD-30 / SPD-SX

  • #2
    Still waiting!


    • #3
      So, what did he say?????
      You can't leave us waiting like this!!


      • #4
        Sorry about the late reply, fellas.

        So anyway, Pat thoroughly kicked ass at the concert, and, since we already knew the Trio and Tony Levin, I figured it was time to make his acquaintance. But before I did that, I decided I'd stop and talk to Bill Munyon (I hadn't met him before either) while he was breaking down the FOH system. Bill told me that the reason that Pat didn't bring his V-drums along on this tour was because of a problem with the customs manifest in Mexico City (Pat had just played some dates there with King Crimson). I asked Bill about V-drums.com and he said that he was familiar with the site and had done some lurking from time to time. Bill was a very cool, laid-back guy (he kind of reminded me of the actor Edward Norton) and was very helpful and patient in answering my questions. The main things I wanted to find out from him were sound reinforcement tips on using the V-drums in a live setting. I decided to sound out a reaction from him about a piece of gear that seems to be getting a lot of love on our site: the BBE Sonic Maximizer. Bill said that he knew a lot of soundmen that thought very highly of it, but also said that he "didn't really feel the need" to incorporate it into his or Pat's rigs. When arriving at the topic of Pat's signal chain, I was expecting this lengthy diagram that I would struggle to remember. Here's what Bill had to say: "I just run Pat's signal through a direct box and process it at the board with a (tc electronic) FireWorx and an M-3000 (also made by tc). The M-3000 is expensive, but it's worth it. That's pretty much it. I think the most important thing is getting a good direct box." Bill didn't recommend one outright (he said he was trying out some different models), but he cited the Countryman and JDI (Tony Levin's current favorite) active units as standouts. He also had a couple of funny stories about hanging out at Terry Bozzio's house in Austin (which is also Bill and Pat's hometown) and the recent Tool/King Crimson tour.....

        The first thing I asked Pat (he was very approachable and friendly) was if he had ever checked out V-drums.com. I told him I thought it might interest him to know that he was basically God squared on that site. He said that one of our members (I wonder who? Hmmm.....And no, it wasn't me) contacted him to try to get him to respond to one of our threads, but he thought that in the end it probably wasn't such a good idea. Oh, well. He told an amusing story about the Rembrandts (Pat was once in the band) and how they absolutely hated "I'll Be There For You" (the theme from Friends). It was getting late and it was a travel night for the band, so he asked me if I would like to check out his set and help him pack it away.

        "Um, okay."

        So here I am, Pat's roadie for a short while, lumping cases like a green 13-year-old while he spews forth all this great information about his gear. I asked him about what Bill Munyon had said about his "minimal" signal chain, and he agreed on the point about the direct box, but he also added that "I'm running most of the levels and effects sends onstage through my (Roland) VM-7100 (mixer). I use a lot of the internal effects patches on the VM." He asked me if I had the TDW-1 on my set, and I said that I didn't have the TD-10, but rather the TD-8 and the TD-6. He said that he had checked out both of those modules and thought they were "really cool". A real eye-opener came when he said that his current favorite drum module was the DM Pro! He said that the thing he liked the most about it were the cymbal sounds, which is what just about everyone else bags on! Both he and Bill were also very complimentary of the ddrum3 system (are you listening, Putt?) in terms of being able to get good sounds with a minimum of processing and equalization (I could have sworn he actually used the ddrum4....). Pat also said that even after all these years the Simmons SDS5 (are you listening, szvook?) is still one of his favorites and that he continues to use it regularly. He cracked me up when he told me how he liked to use his Boss SP-303 Dr. Sample (I used to have the SP-202--fun little unit) to sample Robert Fripp and Adrian Belew having arguments during KC rehearsals and play back the results onstage.....

        Some miscellaneous bits that kind of stuck in my mind:

        1. If I were a dishonest man, I would have been running through the streets of Wichita with Pat's Paiste Traditional series ride under my arm. Gorgeous cymbal.
        2. Although I'm sure they were top-quality, I couldn't help noticing how cheap-looking the cables that Pat was using to connect his HandSonic, Electribe, and Dr. Sample were.
        3. Does Pat use some cleverly engineered computer-age base to place his drums on? Nope, just a plain ol' piece of (dirty) black carpet.
        4. Speaking of black, Pat was wearing a pair of black Nikes just like I have! Yahoo!
        5. For the incredibly bored or curious, if you check out this link....

        ...and go down to the Wichita section, you'll see a picture of three bald men . These gentlemen would be (L to R): Bill Munyon, my brother, and, of course, Tony Levin. The two people in the background (I'm wearing the red polo) are myself and Pat breaking down his kit. The "local friends" Tony was referring to were us.....

        So there you have it. What a night! Did I have a little trouble sleeping, you ask?

        Is a bear Polish?



        [This message has been edited by Mick Wade (edited September 01, 2001).]
        TD-30 / SPD-SX


        • #5
          Great work Mick!

          I am sure this info will carry its weight for many to come.

          On the other hand - Simmons.......huh?

          As I have stated before.....it is still one of the best edrum systems ever build and I love having it along with my TD-8 - it’s a good combination to have.

          Well since I have pushed the outboard gear issue (particularly the BBE) enough to register with a few peeps here......I think I will start with “Simmons 101” next.



          • #6
            thanx, Mick killer story. I best go out and get active DI boxes. when i saw pat with david sylvian he had a silver yamaha set (fripp/sylvian, 10-31-94 chicago park west). for the dbl trio 6-95 bismark, he had a silver joe martari (sp). for 12-96 rosemont, he had a set of purple swirl JM-clay


            • #7
              Originally posted by cpgrossman:
              thanx, Mick killer story. I best go out and get active DI boxes. when i saw pat with david sylvian he had a silver yamaha set (fripp/sylvian, 10-31-94 chicago park west). for the dbl trio 6-95 bismark, he had a silver joe martari (sp). for 12-96 rosemont, he had a set of purple swirl JM-clay
              That's Joe Montineri, drum builder from Connecticut, who makes the most amazing snares...

              "Fry that sound effect, Moriarty, we're having it for breakfast"


              • #8
                That was me who contacted Pat. Oh well, I figured that it was worth a shot. With all of the posts about him on this site I figured what the hell, might as well ask the man if he'd like to comment. Besides it doesn't cost anything to ask. At least I know he got my message. Sounds like a really cool guy.