meet the wolf
Before you meet the wolf, I first want to make a point on this blog’s behalf.
Every now and then I get bored with my blogs. And suddenly find them (me) self-involved. Too ‘me’. Or too ‘one-dimensional’.
Then it is time to go out, and seek inspiration elsewhere. I think it is good to focus on your own stuff for a while, but then comes a time when the pendulum comes back the other way, and I have to and want to look away from my immediate proximity, i.e. my own doings and thinkings.
I met a drummer via friend Janek Gwizdala, a while back. And meeting is an absolute exaggeration, because I met him only via facebook yet.
I think we started talking about a groove we both dig, from a band called “The Time” from 1984, that goes by the name of “777-9311”.
Steven Wolf, a.k.a. “Wolf”, is not on drummerworld.com. If you google his name, his website comes up, eventually.
When I started finding out more about what he did and does, I was amazed how often I had actually heard him play on records in the past already, not even knowing his name.
And if someone is easy and friendly to talk to on facebook, you do not assume right away that you are talking to an over the top gifted musician, producer and drummer, who has well made his mark already in the big music business.
When we chatted the last time, i decided then and there that this is the point I want to turn my attention to right now. And yours. The inspiring and spot-on creations of Wolf.
And yes, he also is an absolutely brilliant aficionado of capturing light bounced off of beautiful shapes, through glass onto the sensor of a dslr, but that is another story entirely.
Here is one video with him in, that I like a lot because it shows him in the hot seat.
The quality is not great (of the picture, that is), but I think we can see the amazing versatility that this guy has musically and technically.
He has recorded for platinum hits for the likes of Britney Spears, Katy Perry, Avril Lavigne, Pink, Alicia Keys,
Leona Lewis, Celine Dion, Kelly Clarkson, Anastacia, and many more, and also recorded for numerous top acts like Chaka Khan, Joss Stone, you name it.
He was touring lots (Hiram Bullock, Annie Lennox (Eurythmics)…), and then turned more into to producing and recording eventually, vanishing from the live scene almost entirely.
And yet here he is, breezing through odd-meters and accelerandos like it is nothing.
And that video shows the first time he read that piece of music, on the spot.
Even when the going get’s tough musically, his posture is relaxed but focussed, never losing his cool. A lot of great technique, experience and ability to concentrate can be seen in this clip.
Here is a clip I heavily relate to, shot in his studio. Especially the opening part – musicians around me sometimes think I am overly protective of my hearing. Ha.
Then the approach he has on music and tracking.
And when he is getting into James Brown / Chili Peppers, I am on my knees.
And the testament to being open to suggestions, trying new things, listen to a producers’ (i.e. non-drummers’) ideas and try them out. The best ideas for a fitting groove do not necessarily have to come from a drum geek…
That resonates with me ever since I got into electronica and the adaption of it to analogue instruments.
And then there was a recent video in a live-ish setting in a recording studio, with him playing brushes on a minimal kit, tracking for Joss Stone, enjoy.
For all of Wolf’s credits and bio, here is his website. Make sure you check the “audio” listing there.
This list alone shows the variety of his work and his versatility, and even more fun, you can listen in right away here!
(note: if you are reading this on a mobile device, please know that in order to hear these soundfiles, you should go back to this link via your desktop computer, having flash-enabled browser!)
I am glad to have found this inspiration, and I hope you can draw something from it as well.
If you find more of the rather rare footage on him on the web, please post it here as a comment!