Joe Vitale: My Job is to Direct the Dynamics

Drummer Joe Vitale Reflects on Collaborating with Classic Rocker Joe Walsh
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Posted By Matt Wardlaw on Sat, Sep 12, 2015 at 10:31 am

Joe Vitale

Joe Vitale

Joe Vitale: “I started out with jazz guys and jazz guys used to drive big bands and I learned that years ago from my teachers that you have to be in the pocket, but you have to take charge and drive the band sometimes,” he says. “And then on into early rock ’n’ roll days, I noticed that people like Ringo, Keith Moon, people like that that really had a driving presence in the band and even though Ringo was pretty laid back at times, he did stuff that if you pull the drum tracks out of some of those songs, the songs go away.

“I learned that my job is more than just to keep time, it’s actually to direct the dynamics. [T]he dynamics are so important. A lot of bands just play at one level and the rock and roll stuff doesn’t always have to be on 10 — it doesn’t have to be that loud. It can come back and then get loud again.

“[Drummers] really are musicians — we understand the music and we’ve got a lot of control in our hands for what the band sounds like because I’ve heard bands that weren’t that great, but the drummer was really great, so the bands actually sound pretty good, but they’re not that good. So drummers are really important….”

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