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20 September 2022

"I tend to hit the kick a bit harder than a lot of other drummers, so there's gonna feel slightly different, and it might only be a tiny bit harder, or I'll try to play note length on a kick drum," - Grant Gerathy

About the 


Grant Gerathy is a seasoned drummer celebrated for his rhythmic prowess. As a member of the John Butler Trio, an Australian roots and jam band, he has left his mark on the music world. Grant's dynamic drumming style and creative beats are integral to the band's distinctive sound and captivating live performances.

The Production Talk Podcast - The modern way of producing music

In this episode:

  • How Grant learned to drum in a week

  • 7 gigs a week: no time (and no need) for practising

  • Grant's experience touring the world with the John Butler Trio

  • Recording with the John Butler Trio: keeping the right mindset in the studio

  • Grant's secrets for groove and getting deep into the pocket: the concept of note-length in drumming

  • Grant's home studio and remote drum recordings

  • Drum tuning to the musical key and intervals


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Disclaimer: The Production Talk Podcast is independent of (and not related to) my teaching responsibilities at SAE.


Jan 'Yarn' Muths or, in the studio


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Jan 'Yarn' Muths: Welcome to the Production Talk podcast with me, Yarn, of In this podcast series, we celebrate the modern way of producing music. We want to talk about all things related to songwriting, recording at home and music production. So, if you produce your music at home, this is the place to be. Please subscribe and recommend this podcast to all your friends. This is the Production Talk Podcast episode 61. Welcome back to another episode of the Production Talk podcast. At the beginning of this episode, I would like to acknowledge the traditional owners and custodians of the country that we are meeting on today: the Arakwal people of the Bungjalung nation. And I would like to pay my respects to elders past present and emerging. Jan 'Yarn' Muths: Today is another great interview and we are continuing a series of talking to phenomenal drummers. Today, with us is Grant Gerathy. Thank you so much for coming. Welcome to the podcast. Grant Gerathy: Thanks you. Thanks for having me, mate. Jan 'Yarn' Muths: How are you today? Grant Gerathy: I'm very good. Thank you. It's the first day of spring and the sun's out. Jan 'Yarn' Muths: Yes. It's a phenomenal day. Yeah, it's a lovely place to be here. So thank you so much for making the time to speak to me today. Look I guess there are lots of people who know you already very well, but there are also overseas listeners and you know, some in very far places on the earth to the few who may not know you, can you just quickly introduce yourself, tell us about the projects that you're currently involved with. Grant Gerathy: Okay. I'm a freelance drummer. I've played, been lucky enough to play with a lot of different bands all over the place. Grew up in Sydney, been in the Northern rivers for about 12 years now and been lucky enough to play in tour with some of my favorite artists and still continue as a freelance drummer and do a bit of. Grant Gerathy: Session work a bit of live, work, a little bit of production, and that's pretty much it. Jan 'Yarn' Muths: Can you please stop a couple of names? Grant Gerathy: Well, I've been lucky enough to tour with John Butler trio did five years with John and we went around the world, I think three times, maybe four times. Wow. And that was, that was pretty good. Grant Gerathy: Lucky enough to play with Pete Murray, occasionally and Bernard fanning and Bobby OU. I'm the official fillin for a lot of bands, which is a good, which is a very good place to be. Jan 'Yarn' Muths: Yeah. Yeah. Right. Cool. So you played with the John Padlet trio four, about five, six years or Grant Gerathy: five years. Jan 'Yarn' Muths: Yeah. And do I remember that correctly? Did you replace Nicki Bomba on the Grant Gerathy: Yeah. Yeah. Jan 'Yarn' Muths: He, he's an animal. Grant Gerathy: he's yeah. He's an amazing musician. Jan 'Yarn' Muths: And you took over. Wow. That's fantastic. Look let, let's talk about your early days. How did you start as a drummer? Do you play any other instruments? How old were you when you started Grant Gerathy: My mum's brother is a drummer and so it was always around. Grant Gerathy: And mum encouraged me to play instruments. She bought me a drum kit when I was 10. I played it for a week and it sat in the corner till I was about 16. And when I was 16, for some reason, I decided to play drums. Within a week. I could pretty much play basic grooves. So it was in there, but I just had to sit down and spend some time, but I always played a little bit of guitar, but you know, I call it drummer guitar. Jan 'Yarn' Muths: Yeah. Grant Gerathy: play straight a notes with my right hand and it's, it's pretty much, I got a good right hand from playing high hat for 20 years, but of course my left. Hand's pretty slack Jan 'Yarn' Muths: And you also sing Grant Gerathy: yeah. Sing. Yeah. Yeah. Jan 'Yarn' Muths: I've seen you sing background. Grant Gerathy: Yeah, sing background. And I've got. Couple of projects where I sing some lead as well to recording projects, but yeah, mainly backgrounds. Grant Gerathy: Yeah. Jan 'Yarn' Muths: Okay. So as a, as a drummer, how did you get from being, you know, a 16 year old drummer who had to learn how to hold the stakes to playing world tour with some of the biggest artists in Australia? Jan 'Yarn' Muths: I know there's, that's a huge distance you've traveled there. How, how do you get there? What were the milestones? What did you do differently than other drummers? Grant Gerathy: I think a lot of it was just the amount I got to play. I was lucky enough to grow and grow up in Sydney at a time when there was so many gigs, I, I played seven nights a week and quite often I was playing with musicians who were a lot older than me. Grant Gerathy: And they would, they would see that you sort of had something they'd be like, oh, this. Solid and they tack you under their wing and you really learn so much from playing so much with so many older people and so many different styles from rock blues, funk, soul, and, and also if I wasn't playing, I was watching amazing drummers people like Gordon, rich, Meister, Terra, PI Richmond Just there was Warren trout. Grant Gerathy: There was just so many great drummers in town. So you knew where you had to get to. Jan 'Yarn' Muths: Yeah. Right. And then you got, you know, inspirations and you practiced. Grant Gerathy: Yeah. And it's just the fact that I was playing for three hours every night. Yeah. It just, if you do that many hours, hopefully you get better. Jan 'Yarn' Muths: of course Jan 'Yarn' Muths: So in some ways, playing life sort of replace the traditional practicing at home for you, or is that all happening? In addition? Grant Gerathy: I was never a very serious practice. But I I'm very, very serious at practice, but I would always play records like for the first 10 years, maybe I was playing to midnight, all records and led Zeppelin records and Beatles records. Grant Gerathy: And, and that's still not much different to how I play now. You know, those drummers are, they just, they play grooves, they play the song and they stay outta the way. And I think that's still my biggest sort of influence those, those drummers, Rob Hurst Ringo John Bonham. Well, Al Jackson Jr. You know, they're, Jan 'Yarn' Muths: they they're all some big names similar. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Jan 'Yarn' Muths: Right. And tell us about your drum set. What instruments do you play? Grant Gerathy: I've always played Ludwig and I've been lucky enough to be a Ludwig and Dorsey for a little while now. Wow. Yeah, they're just, and funny enough, a lot of those drummers that I've mentioned or played Ludwig too, and my uncle played a Ludwig and when he passed away, I was lucky enough to buy the, that actual drum kit off my auntie. Grant Gerathy: And that's my main drum kit. It's a 1969 Ludwig. And it's he took it around the world playing on cruise ships. And then yeah, I haven't actually toured with that one, but it's my main studio kit. So it's done, it's done a few hours. That one. Jan 'Yarn' Muths: Nice. So what's it like to being endorsed? Do you get free stuff or how does it work practically? Grant Gerathy: Look, I I'm endorsed by Ludwig and Xian and Remo, and they've all been really, really good to me. I, I. I don't take the Mickey at all. If I need something, I get a endorsement rate, but they've all been really good to me. They'll often say try this out, or, but more often than not, it's more, if I need something I'll, I'm happy to pay for it, but I'm lucky enough to get a, to get a, you know, a discount. Jan 'Yarn' Muths: And did you approach them or did they come to you? Grant Gerathy: I actually can't remember how it Jan 'Yarn' Muths: happened. okay. Grant Gerathy: Yeah. I feel like, I feel like maybe maybe. A bit of both. Yeah. There there's, there's a company a shop called drum tech in Melbourne. And Frank was very helpful with introducing me to some people and a lot of the companies have similar distributors. Jan 'Yarn' Muths: Mm okay. Yeah, that helps. Of course. Grant Gerathy: but the stuff that I'm. That I'm endorsed for is stuff that I played from the start anyway. So not much changed really. Yeah. Right. Just nice. I got, I got fancier stuff than I had in the beginning. Yeah. So Jan 'Yarn' Muths: surgeon Remo and, and Ludwick, they are my favorite brands. Yeah. You know, I always loved surgeons. They're fantastic. You know? Grant Gerathy: They they're, they're the ones that work for me. I mean, there's, there's so many different, great, simple manufacturers, but Jan 'Yarn' Muths: Yes. Jan 'Yarn' Muths: That's Grant Gerathy: that's the sound I'm used to. It's the sound I. There's a line of symbols called Kapes. I think that's how you say it. And that's the sound that I've had in my head my whole life. Grant Gerathy: So Jan 'Yarn' Muths: say, and I think we worked together once at a pub gig in Billy nudge at the beer garden. That's correct. Yeah. Yeah. That must have been five years ago, four years ago. Jan 'Yarn' Muths: I can't even say, but that was a relatively small gig, you know, maybe a hundred people. So you've played all the events. Small gigs like that to the big stages. What, what difference does it make in your drumming? Do you need to adjust your drumming to the size of the venue? Or is that replaceable? Is it always the same Grant Gerathy: in theory? It's the same, but obviously volume's different. Okay. And the musicians that you're playing with make a big difference. Grant Gerathy: Like, I, Jan 'Yarn' Muths: please explain that. Grant Gerathy: well, if you've got. If you've got players who are playing quietly, you can't play louder than them. And if you've got and also just where people sit within the music, if you've got a bass player that's laying back and a guitarist that's pushing, you've gotta somehow meet in the middle. You can't, you can't. Grant Gerathy: So if, if I've got a guitarist, who's laying back on the back. I'll I'll pull my snare back with them, you know, just be aware of the surroundings. Like it, it, the whole, I feel like a drummer needs to make the band feel better and you you've gotta take your own ideas out of the whole equation and just follow what the band's doing. Grant Gerathy: So if you, if a, if a band's sitting on top of a beat, like a, you know, a Azzie rock beat, you gotta sit on top of the beat with the band. If everyone's laying back, you can't be in front of them. You gotta lay back with them. And so sometimes the venue makes a difference and I'll, I'll sometimes I'll choose different drums because of the venue or the. Grant Gerathy: Which I think most musicians would do a guitarist would probably adjust their EQ or change the delay setting on their pedal. So it's kind of the same thing. Jan 'Yarn' Muths: Wow. Okay. And tell us about stage sound. You probably have played to, you know, any type of stage sound from phenomenal to probably also crappy on occasions. How do you overcome a bad stage sound? Jan 'Yarn' Muths: Is that the end of the geek? You know, does it all fall to pieces for you or is there a method to overcome it and, and still get a good show out of it? Grant Gerathy: You have to take that out of your head and just you, you can't use an, an excuse, like bad stage sound to have a pour for performance. You know, if you have to play quieter or play louder or use more visual cues, you, you do what you do to get through. Grant Gerathy: I mean, I've played I've I've. Sound where it sounds like a record. And I've had gigs where I can't can't hear the lead singer, but I can see what he is. You know, if the lead singer happens to be playing guitar, I can see what their right hand's doing. And sometimes it's literally a visual thing or, or playing from memory. Jan 'Yarn' Muths: Oh, wow. Grant Gerathy: And you know, you can wave your arms at the monitor guy for so long. And then there's a point where you just have to move on, look forwards and Jan 'Yarn' Muths: yeah. Jan 'Yarn' Muths: Right. Grant Gerathy: Be there to do one job. Jan 'Yarn' Muths: Ah, that will be terrible. Not, not being able to hear the singer. Grant Gerathy: It's rare, but it does happen sometimes. Jan 'Yarn' Muths: Yeah. Yeah. Grant Gerathy: And sometimes through nobody's fault. Jan 'Yarn' Muths: And do you prefer stage monitors or do you prefer your monitoring? Grant Gerathy: I prefer monitors, but I think. I love in ears for singing because this just puts your voice in your head. And it's also great for the fact, if the volume that I've played, some gigs, if I didn't have in ears, I would probably have massive hearing loss because if I'm playing the, you know, some of the biggest stages, your dynamic range gets pushed from five to 10, rather than two to seven. Grant Gerathy: Or if, if you think of it like a scale like that, and. Jan 'Yarn' Muths: so. Grant Gerathy: The good thing about in is, is that you can pick how loud you want. You want them to be, they they're, they're working as earplugs as well. And then I, I, I don't like, I don't like it too loud. I like it just comfortable. Okay. But I think wedges. Quite often, I think a band plays better on wedges. Grant Gerathy: I could be wrong, but I feel like you're playing to the environment a little bit more. And I mean, I've been lucky enough to have really good quality engineers with amazing engineers and, you know, we play well, but there's something about wedges it's having that air. Jan 'Yarn' Muths: Yeah, yeah, exactly. The physical energy that you get from it. Huh? Yeah. Yeah. Okay. And when you work with engineers to do the engineers feed some of the audience back into your, your ears to get a bit of a sense of, you know, the size of the venue or Grant Gerathy: some engineers do some don't, it, it sort of depends on and, and sometimes you can feel a little bit isolated in, in ears, but quite often I'll just pop an ear out a little bit. Jan 'Yarn' Muths: Yeah. Okay. Yeah. Okay. Grant Gerathy: Cause you can, you know, you can push 'em right in if you really need to fill that tightness. Yeah. But you can also just sort of let a bit of the outside air in if you need. Jan 'Yarn' Muths: Have you ever been asked to, to play on a click life? Grant Gerathy: Yeah. Yeah. A lot. Yeah. Jan 'Yarn' Muths: Yeah. Right. How in this case you obviously use in ears so that the click don't wouldn't bleed Grant Gerathy: Yeah, that's right. Jan 'Yarn' Muths: Or do you use a bass shaker? You know, one of these Grant Gerathy: no, Jan 'Yarn' Muths: that you add to, to a seed, Grant Gerathy: I've always done it with in ears, but I I'm really not a fan of it. I don't, I don't mind if anyone else does it, Jan 'Yarn' Muths: yeah, Grant Gerathy: me personally. I just, I just hear, I feel like a band, a good band doesn't need. Doesn't need a click or track. Mm. I think Dave Grohl once said, why do you need a, why do you need a track when you've got a drummer? Grant Gerathy: Yeah. But you know you know, certain styles of music, some people do really use it well, but you know, I'm still a big fan of the rolling stones and fans like that. They just Jan 'Yarn' Muths: Classic Grant Gerathy: They've been just, you know, they've been doing it the same way for 50 years. Maybe Jan 'Yarn' Muths: Yeah, that's right. That's right. All right. Let's, let's talk about studio work for a moment. Obviously, you know, when you work in studios Jan 'Yarn' Muths: I, I guess you've worked in some of the biggest studios. There's always a bit of time pressure. Yes. Jan 'Yarn' Muths: And once time pressure kicks in and everybody's aware that, you know, every minute money is being spent, that can build up a bit of pressure. How do you keep your nerves and how do you stay relaxed in a, in an environment like this? How do you lay down really good takes? How do you get your mind ready to ignore all of this and, and actually play your heart and soul loud? Grant Gerathy: I think it's, you've just gotta stay on top of yourself. Like mentally just listen to what everyone else is doing. And don't just, don't think about it. Grant Gerathy: Just, you've got, it's pretty easy just to focus on one thing. So if you can just, you just gotta turn the world off around you Jan 'Yarn' Muths: you. Grant Gerathy: and, you know, counted in and you. The track, the one job is to get that track, right? And sometimes, sometimes you make mistakes. Sometimes you you know, sometimes you can get frustrated and, but it's just a matter of, we're lucky that we do it so often that we just know, we know where we gotta get to. Grant Gerathy: And we're honest with ourselves, you know, lucky that a lot of the musicians I play with are all of a similar level. And we just know that we have to get to that finish point. Okay. And, and producers and engineers will have good input and know how to what's the best way to say it. Know how to guide you. Jan 'Yarn' Muths: I see. Mm. So just quite practically speaking, you know, have, have you ever felt the pressure, have you been frustrated or, you know, annoyed in the studio, if things don't go as, as planned, how do you overcome that? Jan 'Yarn' Muths: If you notice that it's not the right mindset right now, you, you are a bit stressed. What do you do now? Grant Gerathy: Yeah, look, I've had, there's been times definitely where people have tried to explain part to me and somehow it gets lost in translation or they're speaking. One language and I'm speaking another language or, and often say, can you sing it to me? Can you write it out? Can you play it to me? That's, that's probably the only time where it really gets to that point. Grant Gerathy: Cuz you want, you wanna give them what they want. It doesn't matter what it is. If, if they want a certain thing, I want them to get what they want. That's, that's probably the hardest, most difficult thing sometimes. But you always find a way somehow. Jan 'Yarn' Muths: ways Grant Gerathy: Yeah. Just, you just gotta be open and levelheaded. Yeah. Grant Gerathy: Yeah, yeah. Right. Good. Jan 'Yarn' Muths: Well, it sounds like you, you managed quite naturally to, to do that. So it doesn't seem to be a big effort for you in, in the studio to, you know, get into the right mindset. Grant Gerathy: Well, it depends to what sort of sessions you're doing. Most of the sessions. I do. Jan 'Yarn' Muths: people Grant Gerathy: either have a fairly a, a fairly straight idea of what they're after, or they're just like, I want it to sound like the Beatles. Grant Gerathy: Yeah. And, and they're open to that. Yeah. So they're open to my interpretation of whatever they say. So it's different every time, but yeah. Okay. Yeah. Good. Does that, does that answer that? Jan 'Yarn' Muths: Yeah, I guess Grant Gerathy: so. Jan 'Yarn' Muths: yes. Thanks for that. Let's talk about grooves. So. You mentioned earlier that as a 16 year old, you learned, you know how to play the drums within a week or so if, if we rewind it back to that 16 year old grant and you played as simple, you know, four, four straight beat, it would probably sound very different to what I would play today. Jan 'Yarn' Muths: I'm an okay. Drummer, not good or what you would play today, but it could be the same notes. Can you explain that to us? What. Beat actually work really well. You know, even a simple beat if, if played by a good drummer or an experienced drummer like yourself, there's certain magic about it. What is that? Grant Gerathy: A lot of it it's, it's like someone's accent or punctuation in their voice, like you and I talk very differently, but we're talking the same language. Yeah. So you and I could sit down and play. Kick on kick on one and three snare on two and four, and it's gonna sound different because we're different size and shape people. Grant Gerathy: We've got different ears, we've got different hands and you could have a click track going at 120 beats per minute. And technically it's, we're both playing in time with the click, but it's gonna feel different. And Jan 'Yarn' Muths: And Grant Gerathy: dunno what that always is. I, I tend to push the kick a little bit and pull the snare back a little bit. Grant Gerathy: But not always. And there's also like there's, there's so much subtlety in the way that you can play a high hat groove. There's difference in the balance. So I tend to hit the kick a bit harder than a lot of other drummers, so there's gonna feel slightly different and it might only be a tiny bit harder, or I'll try to play note length on a kick drum where other people. Grant Gerathy: Oh, or I'm aware of the note length when I play a kick drum. So if I'm going, you know, kick snare, kick, kick snare, I'm thinking of those kick drums as, as all being different note lengths. And so there's that plus it's just the natural feel that. It's like the way I walk or the way I talk. Jan 'Yarn' Muths: Can you explain that note length a bit more for me? I'm not sure if I get this, you know, a kick is just a transient and it's got a bit of a sustain. Is, is that what you mean? The, the ring of the kick. Grant Gerathy: Yeah, there is. And, and even if you put a, put three pillows in the kick drum, you still can control the length of the kick a little bit Jan 'Yarn' Muths: through playing Grant Gerathy: playing. Yeah. Grant Gerathy: And it's something. I didn't realize I was doing just by the way you, I mean, my foot's sliding up and down the pedal board all the time, but it's also how hard you hit it. How, how far you let the beater come back? Oh, wow. Sometimes you almost hold. I mean, I bury the beater, but sometimes it comes off a whisker. Grant Gerathy: Yeah. And it's a bit like the snare drum, you know, I, I, if you're playing big two and four with some ghost notes, the two and four are almost like a quarter. And then the ghost notes are the divisions of the coordinate of of 16 or something. And so they, they're kind of shorter notes. And technically, if you look on a screen, they look the same, but the transients do look tiny bit different when you're playing, you know, long, short, long, long, short, it's it, it, it actually does look different on the transients on the computer too. Jan 'Yarn' Muths: I've played the drums for many years of my life. You know, I'm not an active drummer anymore, but. I've never once thought about note length in that way. That's, that's absolutely mind opening to me right now. I would always assume that note length is something that guitar players can do and piano players can do to some way, but drummers well, that's eyeopening. Grant Gerathy: while we're playing with the, if we, if we're playing the same, oh, quite often, we're playing the same pattern as a bass player. Grant Gerathy: So if with that groove that we're talking about, you know, long, short, long, long, short, if a bass player is going, boom, boom, boom, boom, boom, boom. We we've gotta match that. And. I know we can't technically hold the kick drum for that long, but there is a, there is a long note and a short note that you can get outta the same drum. Grant Gerathy: Okay. Or the feeling of it too. It could, it could all almost also be where it falls within the, the grid, so to speak. Jan 'Yarn' Muths: Yeah. Yeah. Right. Grant Gerathy: But it's, it's not, it's not all, yeah. It's not all staccato. Jan 'Yarn' Muths: Yeah. Right. Look later today, I'm gonna get some time on the drum set and just give that a shot. I've never considered that. Grant Gerathy: Give it a go. Jan 'Yarn' Muths: would, I would definitely try that. Grant Gerathy: Think of a classic country. Americana country beat. Jan 'Yarn' Muths: yeah, Grant Gerathy: They're not all the same length kick drums. Yeah. Right. Yeah. Jan 'Yarn' Muths: Fantastic. What is the right amount of, of drum notes for a song? Should, should it be busier? Should it be minimalistic? How, how do you know what is too much? Grant Gerathy: It's how long is a piece of string? Grant Gerathy: Yeah, of course. Every song's different. Yeah. I I've done songs where. Play the one groove for the whole song, without him in a symbol hit. And then the other day I played on a track and he said open up in the bridge and I've done more drum fills in that bridge than I've done in songs in the last 20 years. Grant Gerathy: And, and it sounded great. He, he sort of said to me, in between the vocal phrasing, I want you. Play a triplet then, then to do something, Stuart Copeland dish in this section. And, and when I'm playing it, I was like, wow, that's a lot of notes, but listening back, he had a great vision and it sounds really good, so it's not right or wrong. Grant Gerathy: And, and there's some players who, someone like David Garabaldi, who is almost playing 16th notes the whole time. But it's the grievous music you've ever heard. And there's other people who literally Steve GA will play a swing beat, and literally just play coordinates only. And it feels like it's swinging harder than anything you've ever heard. Grant Gerathy: So Jan 'Yarn' Muths: I Grant Gerathy: don't know. I don't know what the answer is, but okay. I, I think a good musician will play what's needed for the song. Jan 'Yarn' Muths: Yeah, right. So it really depends on what you play into, you know, the, what, what the other musicians are doing. Grant Gerathy: That's right. Yeah, Jan 'Yarn' Muths: yeah, yeah. Right. Grant Gerathy: like, like tower of power, like Dave Garabaldi and Roco, they, they were literally playing 16th notes the whole time and that's some of the grievous funk music I've ever heard. Grant Gerathy: Yeah. Jan 'Yarn' Muths: Well, I guess not all of these notes are played loud. Grant Gerathy: Yeah. There's, Jan 'Yarn' Muths: there's probably lots of quiet notes. Eh. Yeah. Cool. Well, that that's really cool. Is it different in a studio than, than live? Do you sometimes play a bit, a few more notes, live a bit more energetic or do you try to really copy the exact performance from the studio when you, when you play a show? Grant Gerathy: when you, I, I think once again, it depends what, what the song is, but yeah. Grant Gerathy: Live songs tend to be faster and louder and Visier and, and more energy. Yeah. And it, and also depends if you're playing through a big PA, I was lucky enough to work. A really, really talented engineer, Colin Ellis. And he would just like, be like, mate, just play coordinates the, when the big stages. That's, that's all you're gonna hear. Grant Gerathy: If, if you play too much, it it's kind of disappears. And you, you hear bands like green day and ah, I don't know. You say, say green day, they've gone from being a sort of punk garage punk band to a stadium band and then new songs. They're, they're very, very sparse and simple. But they sound amazing in a stadium. Jan 'Yarn' Muths: Yeah. Right. So it's sometimes also about the notes who don't play. Yeah. Yeah. Grant Gerathy: the police were, were, you know, some of the Stuart Copeland stuff was really busy, but very busy. It, it, it translated. So, yeah. I don't know Jan 'Yarn' Muths: That's true sponsors Grant Gerathy: for courses and there's always gonna be an exception to the Royal. Jan 'Yarn' Muths: Yes, definitely. Nice one, I guess, you know, it really depends. What you get back from the other musicians as well. So, you know, if, if they leave a lot of space, do you sometimes feel like you need to step in and, and fill it or, you know, do you step back when they play busy stuff? Grant Gerathy: I, I don't know if it's actually a, if, if it's a conscious decision. Jan 'Yarn' Muths: Okay. Grant Gerathy: I think a lot of the Jan 'Yarn' Muths: it's yeah. Grant Gerathy: Some some so often, like if it's as vocals, the vocals will dictate a lot of what's going on. Jan 'Yarn' Muths: going on. Yeah. Grant Gerathy: And the song will dictate. So often you hear a song and you just, you just know how it's gonna sound at the end or you've got a fair idea. It might change, but a lot of songs will just tell you what to play. Jan 'Yarn' Muths: Wow. Okay. That that's really good. Can you tell us a bit more about your studio work? Do I remember correctly that you are available as, as a studio drummer, that people can book you? Grant Gerathy: That's correct. Jan 'Yarn' Muths: And they can send you let's say their, you know, guide tracks and then you record drums and send it back online. Grant Gerathy: Yeah, that's correct. Grant Gerathy: I've got a little setup and I do remote stuff. Yeah. And as well as you know, I can do face to face as well. Jan 'Yarn' Muths: Fantastic. So do you walk from home or have you got a, a studio for Grant Gerathy: I have have a studio at home. Yeah. I was lucky enough to, Jan 'Yarn' Muths: are you happy to share what the studio looks like? What, you know, drums, what gear, what, what devices one would find in there? Grant Gerathy: Yeah. It's. It's a tiny room. It's a 90 style house with a three meter by five meter garage attached to the house. And. It's basically, you know, it's, that's a small studio, but I've got some reasonably good PREMs and reasonably good microphones, and I've learned how to make the room sound good. A lot of it I've you spend a lot of time in a room, you'll know how to play into it. Grant Gerathy: And you start, if it's funny, you start hearing reflections or resonant frequencies. And the next thing I know, I'm sticking mattresses on the wall and pillows and all right. Yeah. There's something going on. Right corner. And eventually you, I build something more temp, more permanent, but yeah. And playing to the room, you know, you can't, Jan 'Yarn' Muths: Right? Mm. Grant Gerathy: sometimes some, some rooms you gotta play the symbols loud. Grant Gerathy: Sometimes you gotta play them gently and Jan 'Yarn' Muths: yeah, Grant Gerathy: But I'm lucky my small room is quite balanced for what it is. Jan 'Yarn' Muths: oh, that's fantastic. And when you do remote work obviously it's hard to communicate about a take and get feedback from, from your clients. Do you just give. Different takes of different energy or do you get really clear idea? Do you ask a lot of questions front or how, how do you get it? Jan 'Yarn' Muths: Right. Grant Gerathy: I, I try to find out their vision and most people are, most people these days understand a lot of different instruments. I think it's just the nature of it because, because people can get on a, Jan 'Yarn' Muths: program Grant Gerathy: and get easy drummer or something like that, they'll often have a pretty good idea. Grant Gerathy: Yeah. And and they might go, it might. Like, oh, just a drum fell into each chorus, or sometimes I'll tell you, I want the drum fill into the chorus to be pat boom, be Debbie burn or something like that. but yeah, Jen, most people tend to know what they want. Yeah. Jan 'Yarn' Muths: Okay. Grant Gerathy: I'll take notes and hopefully get it right. Grant Gerathy: Yeah. Sometimes I'll come back with edits and that's cool. Yeah. Jan 'Yarn' Muths: and do you cover a range of different genres or do you specialize in, in specific styles? Grant Gerathy: Yeah. I mean, I throw my hand at anything, but I, I'm not a great jazz drummer. I've done a lot of jazz gigs, but I'm not a jazz drummer. That's something that takes a life, you know, that you can, people commit their life to that style of music. Grant Gerathy: And, and I love listening to it. Love playing it, but it's, it's just, it's more the rock funk, soul country, Americana stuff that I think. Jan 'Yarn' Muths: I. Grant Gerathy: I would say I'm, Jan 'Yarn' Muths: It's a Grant Gerathy: I've spent more time doing. Yeah. Jan 'Yarn' Muths: Yeah. Yeah. Cool. And when you work at home, you obviously gotta operate the recording system, your computer, I guess. Jan 'Yarn' Muths: Yes. And the drums all at once. How does that work for you? Grant Gerathy: you? Well, I I'm lucky enough. I used to drag the mouse and the. You know, just the Bluetooth mouse and keyboard over to the drum set, but I've even stopped doing that with, with pro tools. I just do a pre-roll of eight bars and get there and yeah, right. Grant Gerathy: Yeah, jump in. Jan 'Yarn' Muths: Okay. So it's just a bit of walking for and back. Grant Gerathy: it's only a five meter long RO room, so it's it's yeah. It's not so bad. Jan 'Yarn' Muths: Okay. And then with, you know, finding a sound, you probably had to record something then readjust your input gains. Jan 'Yarn' Muths: No record again until you had the settings, right. Or Grant Gerathy: that's where it takes a bit Jan 'Yarn' Muths: of time. Yeah. Yeah. And, Grant Gerathy: and listening to the, does the snare, you know, does the snare or do the Toms fit the key of the song sometimes? Oh yeah. Sometimes it's not important. Oh, I mean, it it's always important, but I know there's a, there's a guy that I've done some tracks for in Germany and he's very particular. The pitch of the snare drum to the song. Grant Gerathy: He's like, I don't want it to be the same key as the same pitches, the tonic he's like, I want it to be a third or a fifth. And and I spend a lot of time with him cuz he, he knows exactly what he wants. Jan 'Yarn' Muths: Yeah. Right. Grant Gerathy: But, and Jan 'Yarn' Muths: you tune your snare to a musical pitch. Grant Gerathy: It's not very often. I do Jan 'Yarn' Muths: that. Yeah. Right. Grant Gerathy: it's more I'll play and you can just hear the overtones cause there's kind of three, there's kind of three pitches to a drum. There's. There's like the main fundamental, I guess you'd call it. Yeah. And it drops a third or whatever it is. And then there's a overtone. So it's, I guess you just gotta listen to all of those and you, you feel it when it's wrong. Jan 'Yarn' Muths: Yeah. Yeah. Right. Nice one that reminds me of a chat hat with James ly about, you know, EDM music. And he's really big on getting the kick drum and the bass tune perfectly. Grant Gerathy: Yeah. Yeah. Jan 'Yarn' Muths: In EDM it's, it's absolutely critical, but it's actually interesting to see that that's even applies to snare drums in, in different genres. Grant Gerathy: Mm. I did a session when I was maybe 19 with a really, really experienced engineer who happened to be playing keyboards in that, on that session. Grant Gerathy: And I was writing the floor, Tom with the song and he said to me, oh, grant feels good mate. But I think the floor, Tom. Isn't in tune with a song and I'm like, what do you mean? And then once I was aware of that, I was like, of course. Yeah. It's a, it's, you know, there's a, there's a pitch on a floor, Tom. Yeah. Grant Gerathy: And if it's a semitone out from the, from the band, it's like, it gets pretty ugly. Jan 'Yarn' Muths: Okay. So how do you do that practically? So you start tuning until it's right, but you know, what if the next song is then in a different key Grant Gerathy: then I'll adjust it. There's little tricks, there's little cheats with drums where you can sometimes drop one Lu or even loosen the wires on a snare and it will change the pitch slightly depends how close you are. Grant Gerathy: Yeah. Wow. Yeah. Jan 'Yarn' Muths: that's another eye opener for me. I've never understood that at all. How, how you can tune drums to a pitch. And, you know, when I change the tuning of my kids, that's usually, you know, a couple of hours of a mission to get a drum set tune, but how do you do it quickly? Jan 'Yarn' Muths: That's Grant Gerathy: Just time. It's a bit like it's a bit like it's a bit like you, you, EQing something you've done it so many times. Grant Gerathy: Okay. I've seen you do it. And with, while you, while you're having a conversation, it's, it's so ingrained your ears are so tuned to it. Yeah. From years of doing it, but. Sometimes it takes a minute. Yeah, yeah, yeah. And some people have, some people have better pitch than others. Some, some people will point out to me, Hey man, that something weird going on with the tuning of those drums. Grant Gerathy: And I'm like, okay, you trust them. Yeah. Yeah. Jan 'Yarn' Muths: Yeah. Right. And do you then tune the, the Toms in relation to each other? Do you choose intervals deliberately? Grant Gerathy: Yeah. Yeah. I generally sort of go one through five, Jan 'Yarn' Muths: Mm. Grant Gerathy: but I, I usually just play two times unless someone asks me one up one down, Jan 'Yarn' Muths: Yeah. Grant Gerathy: but. Yeah. I mean, it all has to be relative to the song. Grant Gerathy: Yeah. Yeah. Jan 'Yarn' Muths: that makes sense. Yeah. Wow. Oh, look you dropped so many knowledge bombs on me today already. Literally I learned so much about drumming from you. That is absolutely ridiculous, man. I, I thought I knew, but obviously I don't. That's really, really good. Jan 'Yarn' Muths: Look, if people wanted to reach out to you and book you for live shows for studio recordings where should they go? Grant Gerathy: If you go to my Instagram, unfortunately my website's down at the moment. It'll be back up soon, but Instagram's the easiest place to find me. My handle is cruise the day money by night, but if you type in grant Garroth, it'll come up on Instagram. Or my email address is grant drums at Hotmail. Jan 'Yarn' Muths: Okay. Look, I put all of these things into the show notes. So say that yeah, at the end of the episode, just scroll down, click the link and you'll find grant. Thank you so much for. Blowing my mind today. thank you. Fantastic. It's great to have you. Grant Gerathy: Oh, thanks for having me, mate. It's a great podcast and I'm stoked to be involved. Grant Gerathy: Thank you mate. Jan 'Yarn' Muths: This was master drummer grant Garroth on the production talk podcast. Well, I hope you enjoyed this interview just as much as I did. It's quite amazing how much I learned today. So thank you, grant for sharing your wisdom with us. If you want to find out more about grant or listen to his music go to the show notes and click the links to his website and social channels. Jan 'Yarn' Muths: And if you enjoy this episode, please go to your podcast application and give us a review. Five star rating would be very, very much appreciated. Thank you so much. If you want to get in touch with me, you can of course visit my website mix, Dou, where we offer studio recordings. And of course, worldwide online mixing for anybody who needs a little bit of help pushing their projects across the finish line. Jan 'Yarn' Muths: This is all for today. Thank you very much for tuning in stay tuned. Next week is another very exciting interview coming up. We are going to speak internationally to one of Europe's biggest touring artists. This is all for today. You have a great week. Talk to you soon. Bye for now.
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