The Police drummer Stewart Copeland sang praises of ex-Slipknot drummer Joey Jordison, telling UG interviewer Steven Rosen:
When I got the Tama kit with a single bassdrum, I had to relearn how to do it on one foot. Once I’d gotten over a hump there, I was a whole better drummer.
Then years later, I saw Slipknot with Joey Jordison and the shit he does with his feet, I aspire to do with my hands and then I got me a double bassdrum pedal.
Are there other metal drummers out there doing that fast blastbeat stuff with their feet who interest you?
Those guys all seem to be in metal and I don’t happen to like heavy metal. For me it’s comedy music at my genial age . It makes me smile to hear the angry young men but that’s where you find the big chops on drums.
During the rest of the interview, Stewart also talked about his fondness of Tama drums, you can check out the chat below.
Talking about playing the drums, you’ve been a longtime Tama player going back to The Police. What was it about Tama that attracted you?
At the last NAMM Show Tama were there and I go down there every three or four years as a thank you to the Tama folks for looking after me. I made a little speech and all I had to do was walk to the microphone and say, ‘Ladies and gentlemen, Tama drums. 40 years. Any questions?’
Why have you been faithful to Tama?
When they first arrived, they were a revolution in drum technology. At that point, Japan had not established itself as the high-quality manufacturing nation it is today. That was the era of Rodgers, Slingerland, Ludwig and Premier and I was playing Ludwig at the time. The record company bought me a monster, Perspex Ludwig double bass drum kit. I was also earning extra money as a reviewer of equipment for Sounds.
So in comes this Japanese drumset with stands that are fully twice or three times the diameter of the little spindly Ludwig stands. The drums are like nine-ply and you hit them and it’s like boom. The sound was pumping compared to my Ludwig and the sound of the tom toms was amazing. I had them at a soundcheck at a Curved Air gig and I’m setting them up and kind of banging on them. The front-of-house guy [soundman] comes up and says, ‘Stewart, use these.’
You actually used Tama going back to Curved Air?
I didn’t but I pulled them out again and did use them. It was a single bassdrum kit and in fact I gave that drumkit to my son. I played all The Police tours with them, recorded the first Police records with them and they just went on auction the other day.
You thought the Tama set was way better than your Ludwigs?
They just sounded better and I could climb around on the stands like monkey bars because they were so solid. They also had innovative arm clamping systems so you could rig the cymbals wherever the hell you wanted. Somebody had thought about this design at that time rather than just the same spindly Ludwig stands.
That must have been a huge change for you.
Also they created the Octobans and the Gong Drum and these other percussive textures that were pretty unique. Occasionally I bang around on a Yamaha kit or another Ludwig kit but I get on a Tama kit and that’s my stuff. By the way, I play a different Tama kit everywhere I go. I have my Bubinga kit here in the studio, which never leaves and I’ve got my classical kit in storage if I’m playing with an orchestra in Los Angeles but basically my drumsets here are basically for use in Los Angeles.