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Rich Redmond

Interview by Dan Britt // August 28 2018
Rich Redmond

Ultimately, my purpose is to affect people in a positive way and to change lives. 

Rich, what inspired you to play drums? 

I think I was kind of drawn to it. I'm an east coast kid. I'm from Milford CT, and started playing in 1976. I love the energy and physicality of the drums. My first heroes were Peter Criss, Roger Taylor, and Carmine Appice. I started taking lessons and haven't stopped. It's a calling - A purpose. Ultimately, my purpose is to affect people in a positive way and to change lives. 

Did you have a drum teacher or teachers in Connecticut? 

Yes, my first teacher was a guy named Jack Burgi in 1976. He started me with some Joel Rothman books such as The Rock and Roll Bible. He taught me how to hold the sticks, how to read and some basic rudiments.

 Where there any favorite books you've had in your formative years of learning drums? 

Syncopation by Ted Reed, Stick Control by George Lawrence Stone, Master Studies by Joe Morello, Portraits in Rhythm by Anthony Cirone, some of the Fred Albright and Wilcoxon books, the Podemski book, Realistic Rock by Carmine Appice and The New Breed by Gary Chester.

You went to Texas Tech University for a bachelor's degree and The University of North Texas for a master's degree. Can you tell us about those experiences? 

I went to Texas Tech from 1988-1992. I studied with Alan Shinn. I was in "a million" ensembles every semester: concert band, symphonic band, pep band, percussion ensemble, jazz ensemble. It was incredible. 

At North Texas, some of the teachers I studied with were Ron Fink, Ed Soph, Henry Okstel, and Robert Schietroma. Our Lab band teacher was Neil Slater. It was a great time being in the world-renowned One O'Clock Lab Band. We recorded an album called Live in Portugal. Steve Houghton and Greg Bissonette were drummers in that band in the past.

 Your writings and website are very motivational and inspiring. I read that your Mom had books in the house that were very positive. Can you tell us about some of those authors and any authors you read today in that field? 

Sure. Napolean Hill’s The Law of Success; as well as Dale Carnegie, Tony Robbins, Zig Ziglar and many others. I’m always revisiting these books. The biggest section of the bookstore is self-help. As humans, we all want to improve and be successful. 

Right now, I'm walking the hills of The Ruoff Home Mortgage Music Center, an outdoor amphitheater in Noblesville, Indiana. We sold out this venue 7 years in a row - 2011-2018, with over 165,000 tickets sold. Pretty incredible! I’m very grateful. 

You just began the High Noon Neon Tour with Jason Aldean. How long is the tour and what are some of the cities you are playing in? 

From May to the end of October, we are playing around 42 cities, hitting Arenas and amphitheaters. We will be making our second appearance at Madison Square Garden, and our first concert at the new stadium, SunTrust Park, in Atlanta with Hootie and the Blowfish. 

You played on numerous #1 hits and with numerous top artists. Can you share words of advice you have for aspiring drummers and musicians? 

Out of all the people that own a drum set, probably less than .0001% get to play professionally. If it's your goal, write it down, talk to people who have done it. Go to cities like New York City, Nashville, and Los Angeles. Nashville is a hot scene right now. Of the graduates from Musicians Institute, Berklee, Miami, North Texas - most of them are choosing Nashville over the other cities as it's affordable, friendly and the music scene is thriving.

Can you tell us about your book Fundamentals of Drumming for Kids? 

It is a book I wrote w/ Michael Aubrecht. It won "Best in Show" at NAMM, and is an Amazon Best Seller. A lot of private drum set teachers and class room educators are using it. It goes into the history of drumming, note values, how to read music, and how to play my "money beats”. I’m happy with it and am glad it’s resonating with folks. 

Can you tell us about your Crash Course for Success? 

It's an acronym that stands for Commitment, Relationship, Attitude Skill & Hunger. I have clients such as Cisco, Johnson & Johnson, and Microsoft. It’s a high energy motivational event that I bring to high schools, music stores, and massive corporate events. Check out: www.crashcourseforsuccess.com 

You are incredibly busy, but when you get time, what do you like to do to relax? 

People are my passion. I surround myself with like-minded people. I spend time with friends and family, go dining, see films and great music, and I exercise and travel. 

I was talking to a woman recently, and she said that Jason Aldean has a unique sound, and it's more rocking and that it's more the country music she likes. Is that a direction he/you purposely went in? 

Music evolves! Jason is very unique, and he is in a lane all of his own. Together, we kind of rewrote the rules and paved the way for new artists to follow. Jason is the most downloaded male country artist of all-time, has sold over 10 million records, and we play for nearly 2 million fans a year.

It's always about the song. Jason chooses to record amazing songs that resonate with people from all walks of life. His audience consists of male and females, ages 15-50. That is nearly impossible to do!


You can visit Rich Redmond at the websites: crashcourseforsuccess.com, richredmond.com, and drumminginthemodernworld.com, and can follow him at Facebook.com/RichRedmond, Instagram/RichRedmond, Snapshot, Twitter/RichRedmond and Youtube.com/RichRedmond.


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About the Author
Dan Britt

Dan Britt is the author of Drumopedia, Rhythm 101 and the editor of Modern Drum Set Stickings (Cherry Lane/Hal Leonard). He is a PASIC 2012 artist, and has appeared on several regional New York TV shows, performed at the Cape Breton Int'l drum festival, and has been featured in the magazines DRUM! and The Black Page. Dan maintains a busy teaching practice in northern New Jersey. Dan can be reached at www.dannybritt.com



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