Tag Archive | Modern Drummer

Video Clip of The Week: “She Does” By Influenced

Earlier this week, I  attended a party at The Cutting Room and ran into my friend Billy Amendola, who I got to know during my 13 years spent writing for Modern Drummer magazine. Billy is not only a fantastic writer and editor, but he’s also quite an accomplished working drummer, having racked up a couple of dance hits during the 70s with the band Mantus, as well as playing drums on many of Debbie Gibson’s hits. Billy told me about a project he just completed called Influenced, featuring a song he wrote with a couple of his industry friends called “She Does.” He turned me on to the video, and I was instantly blown away by how much this track sounds like The Beatles.

Actually, The Beatles comparison is not at all surprising, when you consider that they recruited producer Mark Hudson for lead vocals. I remember having a ridiculous crush on Mark Hudson when I was probably 13, and he and his two brothers, Brett and Bill (father of actress Kate Hudson) had a summer replacement television series, The Hudson Brothers comedy variety hour. I even owned a couple of the Hudson Brothers excellent albums, which I absolutely adored because all of their songs sounded so much like The Beatles.

In his career, Mark has worked with huge hit makers including Ringo Starr, and I know Billy is also a huge Beatles fan, so, again, the similarity is no surprise. What’s also a standout on this track is how guitarist Vinnie Zummo (formerly with Joe Jackson) completely channels George Harrison’s Elmore James-influenced slide guitar.

The track was produced by Billy’s son, Matty, who I used to fondly refer to as “Matty’s Fro,” owing to his impressive Afro hairstyle! Matty has gone on to become quite adept producer and multi-instrumentalist in his own right, and it’s fantastic to hear father and son working together on such a solid track. Please enjoy!

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Gail in Print: Modern Drummer, September 2010 Issue

 

Yeah, it’s been a long time, as Robert Plant would say, but I’m finally back in the pages of Modern Drummer magazine with a full page profile piece on the uber cool John Boecklin, who plays the drums for Devil Driver. Jon Fishman of Phish graces the cover of the September issue, on sale everywhere Tuesday August 3rd.

Remembering Bill Miller

Bill M and Gail
Me with Bill at a Modern Drummer Party

On This Date, December 12th, in 2008, Modern Drummer Editor Bill Miller passed away after a long and hard-fought battle with melanoma. Bill was just 47 years old. I still miss Bill every day and I know that everyone at Modern Drummer does as well. He was not only a great editor who taught me so much about drumming and how to write about drummers, he was also a good friend. Rest in Peace, Bill.

Gail In Print: Modern Drummer, November 2009

MD Nov 2009 Cover

The great Brann Dailor of Mastodon graces the cover of November’s Modern Drummer, where you will also find my long-awaited article on Nicko McBrain of Iron Maiden. Out to subscribers now, on newsstands everywhere October 6th!

Gail In Print, Modern Drummer September 2009

MD Cover 9_09

Wow, September is a huge month for me in Modern Drummer magazine. First of all, I’m really excited about and proud of my feature on Jon Karel of the experimental mathcore band, The Number 12 Looks Like You. In my ten-plus years of interviewing drummers, Jon was one of my very favorite interviews. I predict we will see him on the cover of Modern Drummer within two years. Also in this issue, I’ve got an update with Sib Hashian of Ernie & The Automatics. Sib is perhaps best known as the original drummer of the legendary classic rock band Boston, so everybody knows his licks. Lastly, I have a profile with Eric Green of Riverboat Gamblers, a truly innovative modern punk band that hasn’t forgotten where the melody is. Their latest CD, Underneath The Owl, is one of my favorites of the year so far. Three great articles all in an issue that has Josh Homme and Joey Castillo (Queens of the Stone Age) on the cover as well as interviews with Bun E Carlos, Slayer’s Dave Lombardo and local hero Chris Pennie of Coheed and Cambria. Be sure to pick up a copy of September’s Modern Drummer, which you can find on newsstands next week!

RIP Bill Miller, Modern Drummer’s Editor in Chief

Me and Bill at the Modern Drummer Hang, 2006, at the Cutting Room NYC

Last weekend I was in a Duane Reade buying a “Get Well” card for my friend Bill Miller. Yesterday I was buying a condolence card for his wife. Bill, who was my editor at Modern Drummer for over ten years, passed away Friday night after a five year battle with Cancer. Bill had been very private about his illness and, even though a friend of mine at the magazine confided in me recently that Bill was back in the hospital and “probably not going to make it,” he really didn’t want anyone to know how sick he was. I’m so grateful that I had the chance to send that final card to Bill, because I know he got to read it before he passed, so at least he knew I was thinking of him. Just a few weeks ago we’d been on the phone discussing a feature he’d assigned me. I can’t believe he’s gone.

I started writing for Modern Drummer in 1997, after I cold pitched Bill on Johnny Kelly, the drummer for Type O Negative. I’d never written for a technical magazine before and didn’t know much about drums at the time except that they were round things that guys hit with sticks. But Bill and I had an immediate bond, and he assigned me short, a front-of-the-book piece about Johnny Kelly “on spec,” which I was overjoyed to do. I couldn’t believe I was getting a chance to get my foot in the door of a magazine like Modern Drummer. Bill will never know how much I sweated those 350 words, but he liked the piece enough to run it, and he continued to give me regular assignments for the magazine for the next eleven years.

Bill was just a fantastic person. He was not only an exceptional editor; he was a very good friend. Bill was always so receptive to my pitches (more than few times he let me write about personal friends who were drummers) and was consistently complimentary and encouraging about my work. And even though he asked me to rewrite pieces on a few occasions, it’s only because his standards for the magazine were so high, and his critical eye made me step up as a writer. Thanks to Bill I’ve had the opportunity to interview such fantastic musicians and wonderful people in my time writing for MD, and I have made more good friends than I can count. I owe him so much. I am sure that before he went he knew how much he was loved by everyone who knew him. Goodbye, Bill. I will miss you forever.