Wednesday, August 24, 2011

100 Drummers #4: Starring Marty Linville (Ttotals)

Long have I had a thing for drummers. Something about the way they sit, mysterious and enigmatic, behind their varying configurations of drums and cymbals, keeping time in a myriad of drummerly ways. Oftentimes, too, it seems that drummers are the forgotten member of the band, garnering less press than perhaps their bandmates do. But those intrepid keepers of the beat need love, too. In this series I want to fix this egregious, yet probably accidental, oversight, and bring to your attention some of my favorite keepers of the beat. And so, inspired by a line in the Dylan classic “A Hard Rain’s Gonna Fall,” I present to you, friends, 100 Drummers.

Last month I saw and became rather enamored with the savage sonic beauty that is the music of Ttotals. They're from Nashville, but you'd never think it given the lack of any semblance of twang. Instead, this duo trades on fuzz, drone, and volume. And I love it all. Drummer/knob-twiddler Marty Linville is one of those super trendy standing drummers, and is so badass he'll play through pain to make sure the kids are entertained. Read on for Marty's musings on drums, and as an added bonus, his pedal ponderings as well.


Fuzzy Logic: How old were you when you first picked up the drumsticks?

Marty Linville: The first time I picked up the drumsticks I was maybe 7 or 8. I picked them up to throw at another kid who was talking shit.


FL: Which drum is the best drum and why?

ML: Floor tom, portability.


FL: Who's your favorite drummer of all time?

ML: I'm cool enough to rattle off some jazz guys, or maybe Bob Bert, but I'm gonna tie with Keith Moon and John Bonham. KeithJohn MoonBonham.


FL: Singing drummers: On the cool side like Levon Helm or on the questionable side like Phil Collins?
ML: At karaoke, I sing "Against All Odds", and it feels like you and I are the only ones there, and you'd swear it was raining. So take a look at me now.


FL: Say you break a stick during a show and you have no spares. What do you do?

ML: Build a time machine and come back better prepared. Then use the time machine to warn the younger me to make better choices, although it's not likely I'd listen.


FL: Which pedal is your very favorite and why?

ML: The electro-harmonix memory boy self-oscillates, and therefore rules. Anything you put into it, it freaks out, and it allows for expression pedal control, so you can mess with it hands-free.


FL: Favorite chord?

ML: I like sixths, because they seem seductive and nonchalant at the same time.


FL: Who's your guitarist icon?

ML: They have this Wayne Kramer signature model Stratocaster. Now, Normally I don't go in for all that signature model stuff, but this guitar is like covered in an American flag glitter paint job, and it has an inscription that reads, "this tool kills hate," or some shit. It rules. $999.00 at sweetwater.com. I'm not sure if that answers your question, but there you go.


FL: With all the pedals out there, how do you decide which ones to procure?

ML: It's all about shiny decals and clever names.


FL: What's your dream pedal?
ML: My life is a crazy-ass dream. Sometimes I can't believe I'm alive. To answer your question, my dream pedal is the 80's Ibanez flanger my friend Derek modded to make it sound like a fucking UFO attack, son. I sold it years ago for, um, a stupid reason and I'd love to get it back. It's my Rosebud. I wonder if, on my deathbed, I'll moan, "yellow flanger" over and over, and no one will know what I mean.

mp3: Upon Some Action (Ttotals from the Ttotals 12")

[photo courtesy Ttotals]

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