SRC's October 2008 premiere interview
was with none other than Todd
Sucherman. He discussed in depth his
DVD, projects, and gear.
Todd has stayed busy and even
expanded his involvement in the music
industry, producing 2 records for wife,
He also has been back in the studio with
Brian Wilson, has been working with
Spinal Tap, and Styx is currently touring
I recently caught up with Todd while Styx
was playing dates with REO
Speedwagon, and found that the
charming, down to Earth personality that
always shines through in his music,
videos and interviews was ever present
one on one. It was a thrilling experience
for me and my daughter, Kayla.
Todd, I want to thank you for doing another interview with me. The first time you and I did this was also the first interview I ever did,
and it was very well received. You were open about your equipment issues of past and your (then) current rig. In addition to gear
related questions you talked about your DVD. Has the success of that met with your expectations? Do you foresee another similar
project in the future?
Well, thanks. I'm glad you had some positive response and I'm happy to be here again. To answer your question, I suppose it has
surpassed my expectations. But in reality I had no expectations! Truly--I just wanted to present the DVD in a way no one had
before content wise and production wise. But to win Best in Show at NAMM and the Modern Drummer poll was really beyond
incredible to me. It's so gratifying to have received so many emails--FaceBook--Myspace notes from drummers all over the world.
It's great that my efforts are helping others and it's our duty to pass along useful information to others, and the next generation. The
feedback has been tremendous. It's my intent to begin another DVD project late in the year if all the stars align the way they did
Fill us in on the recent sessions you were involved in with Brian.
Well, I can't talk much about it because it's a work in progress. But the project was commissioned by the Gershwin family/estate
and it's all Gershwin material. It was a pleasure to be involved and am looking forward to hearing the completed work.
With Styx, while your drumming is very tasteful, you obviously are not a subscriber to the 'less is more' philosophy. How does that
contrast with your playing with Brian? Do you have to take a different approach mentally, or how do you prepare yourself for the
Styx is a very active gig drum wise. Almost on the fusion side of things mixed with how Simon Phillips approached things with The
Who. I think many people are surprised if they have a narrow reference for Styx --sadly it's often Babe or Mr. Roboto-- two songs
we do not play. I've had friends come to shows who have had that perception and are knocked out by the level of energy and
musicianship. They don't see it coming and we knock them squarely on their ass. But my work with Styx could not be more
opposite than with Brian. That is another animal altogether. I've groomed myself since I was a young boy to be to authentic in as
many genres as possible. It's like cooking. You need to know what the dishes are, what the concept is, what wine will go with it,
and then you provide and prepare the proper ingredients. I've played thousands of weddings and corporate parties and lounges,
bars, clubs with countless bands and musicians in my life. I have a concept of what works and what sounds good to my ears but I
wouldn't force my concept on anyone. I'm there to please my employers and I never loose sight of that. If they want my input and
ideas, I'm thrilled to share. But with Brian, he really knows what he wants to hear and will come up with some rather unorthodox
things that may initially strike me as strange, but they end up not only working but having a unique charm to them as well. My goal is
to always please the artist and or producer. If you leave people happy that you were there musically and socially, things normally
work out well and you'll be called again. But like anything there are varying degrees to what I'm saying. There are some times I'll
play it how I like it depending on the situation.
You obviously have several irons in the fire, and have taken on roles beyond just drumming. I am hoping to touch on most of that
here, today. I suppose that a good place to start is with your work with Brian Wilson. You have worked with him for a number of
years, now. Has it mostly been touring or in the studio?
It's mainly been for recording but I did do his first real solo tour in 1999. That was an amazing experience because it was the
beginning of a band that has lasted sans player here and there for the better part of 11 years. And I met my wife to be, Taylor Mills,
during that time as well. So to have that romance blossom with Brian's beautiful music as the soundtrack was really beyond words.
But my work with Brian has largely been in the studio. I did a few tracks on "Imagination," did most of "Gettin' In Over My Head"
and did all of "That Lucky Old Sun" which is a record I really love.