Dave Weckl: On Time
AAJ : Describe a typical day in your life when you are home.
DW : No typical days at home. Lots to do, catch up on, and make up for lost time when I was away. But I do get into a regimen when home. Every other day I get up and go directly to the gym, then usually back home for office work/email. If I have studio work I head there next. I usually try to finish by 8 or 9 pm so I can cook something and watch a movie. That's when it's pretty leisurely though. If I'm really working hard on a project with a deadline in the studio, I spend a lot more time there than anywhere else.
AAJ : How do you balance your home life and your professional life?
DW : The best I can.
AAJ : What is the most difficult aspect of your work?
DW : Being away from loved ones. And, the travel.... every aspect of it.
AAJ : When you are playing the drums live are there any significant differences between jazz, rock, fusion, or blues sets?
DW : Most of the music I play is either jazz/rock fusion, or occasionally straight-ahead jazz, or maybe a Latin jazz gig, every so often. So yes, the fusion kit is mentioned above. The jazz kit I will generally use a typical jazz set up, of small 18" bass drum, 12" and 14" toms and a snare, with less cymbals, but more rides than crashes. For the Latin gigs I use a timbale in place of the standard floor tom placement (and move it to the left side), and put bells and blocks all over the kit, and will also use a small bass drum.
AAJ : When I grew up people used to say that all jazz drummers could play rock but not all rock drummers can play jazz. Is there any truth to that?
DW : Maybe a bit. The guys who can really play rock (and that's all they do) are well-versed in doing that, especially from a dynamic standpoint. There are few or no subtleties when playing rock, whereas jazz is all about the touch and finesse of it. I guess you could say some jazz/fusion players can crossover to rock-oriented music a little easier than vica versa. But the other big aspect is feel. Jazz is based in 12/8, triplets; there just isn't a whole lot of triplets going in rock music, so that combined with the softer touch aspect I think makes it difficult for most rock players to play jazz. Then there's the whole understanding of the style and the vocabulary.
AAJ : It is not a secret that you are ranked as one of the best drummers on the planet. Have you ever found yourself in a position where the musicians that you had to take it down a notch or two because the skill level of the other musicians were not as high as yours?
DW : Sometimes, but that is just being musically responsible. And, if I ever have to take it down a notch it's usually in my soloing. But it has also taught me to be able to play things that are identifiable to others. I always tell my students, that if you are the only one on stage having a good time with and understanding what you are playing, there's a problem.