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#130 Nick D'Virgilio- Drummer, Specialist at Sweetwater & More!

#130 Nick D'Virgilio- Drummer, Specialist at Sweetwater & More!

On this week’s episode, is Nick D’Virgilio, often referred to as NDV, is an American drummer and multi-instrumentalist musician, best known as a member of the progressive rock band Spock's Beard. He was also one of two drummers chosen to replace Phil Collins in Genesis on the Calling All Stations album. He has also done session work with many artists including Tears for Fears and Mystery, and is an official member of Big Big Train. He is also the drum specialist at Sweetwater in Fort Wayne, IN.

Educational Spotlight for this week……

Percussive Arts Society has a solo artist competition for drummers between ages 18-30.

R.I.P. to Modern Drummer Magazine writer, Robin Tolleson. If you have checked out this publication, then you have probably read his articles.

The Iconic Recording for this week…..

Is “Soul Sacrafice” by Santana featuring Michael Carabello on congas.

Music News for this week…..

Fake Streams Could Be Costing Artists $300 Million a Year. As streaming platforms grow, indie labels are becoming increasingly concerned about how the numbers can be manipulated. The Music Industry Signs a Pledge Against Fake Streams. Spotify, Amazon, Sony, Warner, Universal and other major players in the music business jointly condemn streaming manipulation. McCormick and Grey Created a Barbecue Prototype That Makes Music While You Cook Burgers. If you would like to use Damon’s Spotify BBQ playlist for your next cookout, the link is HERE. Spotify Says They ‘Overpaid Most Publishers In 2018’ — And They Want Their Money Back. Also, Spotify Faces Backlash After Axing Its Most Beloved Features on Mobile. Cardi B has been indicted on felony assault charges in connection to the brawl that took place at a Queens strip club last year. Woodstock 50 Loses Its $18.4MM Investment; Downgrades Its Venue to 1/3rd the Original Size.

The song leading into the interview is called “Pantheon” by Big Big Train from the Grand Tour album.

Nick grew up in the L.A. area and went to the Dick Grove School of Music for college. Nick’s first teacher was the great Dave Garibaldi.

As a kid being self taught NDV got his first musical influences from his brother and sister. The Rover was the first tune he ever played to. The Battle of Epping Forest was Nick’s introduction to the band Genesis.

Nick’s first kit was a 1965 Ludwig Blue Sparkle, which you too can own if you can find a listing.

Nick also studied with the late Chuck Silverman who had a video called the Drumset Artists of Cuba that introduced the rest of the world to drummers like Jimmy Branly and Raul Pineda among others. Chuck also used to lead an educational group to Cuba.

Some albums to check out (per Nick’s recommendations) if you are interested in getting into Progressive Rock would be “Selling England by the Pound” by Genesis, “Aqualung” by Jethro Tull, “Kindness of Strangers” by Spock’s Beard and here’s Rolling Stone’s top 50 albums.

Nick is an accomplished multi-instrumentalist as well. One of the other instruments he is proficient in is singing.

Nick mentions being involved with Cirque du Soleil where he was the drummer for the Totem show for several years. If you are interested in auditioning for a cirque show, you can CLICK HERE.

Damon mentions the song “Everybody Wants to Rule the World” by Tears for Fears. As promised, here is a tutorial so you can learn the groove properly.

The band that Nick leads is called Big Big Train and they have new music out that you should check out. You can find more about the band and music by CLICKING HERE. Nick also has a solo album coming out in October which will be in conjuntion with Sweetwater so you can get all sorts of behind the scenes content as well.

Nick and the late Randy Pratt were responsible for turning the drum department at Sweetwater around to be what it is today. The Drum Month is coming up in July and there will be specials all month long for you to check out.

Sweetwater has a huge campus as well as an ampitheater, recording studios and music store.

Here is NDV doing one of the product reviews that Marcos mentions. Highly detailed and at the end, with music so you can hear the product in context in a musical situation.

Damon thanks Nick for interviewing him at PASIC which has helped show people an option for scaled down percussion set ups.

In addition to the outdoor pavilion on the Sweetwater campus, there is also the Clyde Theater and Embassy Theatre in town.

Tama, Ludwig, DW and Yamaha are all making lightweight hardware now. Honorable mention to the Tama Speed Cobra pedals.

When Nick had sponsors he used Mapex Drums, Meinl Cymbals, Aquarian Drumheads and Vic Firth Sticks and Mallets.

You can follow Nick on his Website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or check him out on a bunch of Sweetwater’s YouTube videos.

Damon mentions you can get your A&F drums engraved by John Aldridge who is famous for engraving Ludwig’s Black Beauty snare drums and more.

Last question is Pancakes, Waffles or French Toast? And Nick recommend’s Costco’s paleo pancake mix.

The song leading out of the interview is called “Theodora In Green And Gold” by Big Big Train released as a single

#131 Kevin Ricard- Percussionist for American Idol, The Tonight Show, Kenny Loggins & More!

#131 Kevin Ricard- Percussionist for American Idol, The Tonight Show, Kenny Loggins & More!

#129 Luis Conte- Percussionist, Educator, Author and More!

#129 Luis Conte- Percussionist, Educator, Author and More!