Matt Cameron Interview: Soundgarden, Pearl Jam & Temple of the Dog


In this video by Rick Beato, he interviews legendary drummer Matt Cameron. Matt is best known as the drummer of Seattle-based rock band Soundgarden, as well as Pearl Jam. In 2010, Cameron was a member of both Pearl Jam and the reunited Soundgarden. Matt was also member of Temple of the Dog (with other Soundgarden and Pearl Jam bandmates) and Queens of the Stone Age.

Video text:

0:00:00 –>
hey everybody i’m Rick Beato today my special guest is Matt Cameron i’m just such a huge fan talk about the difference between playing with sound garden and with pearl jam and do you do anything different is your approach different well thank you for the compliments right back at you my friend great great channel you know i think the the overall approach to like performing recording learning songs songwriting is essentially the same you know with any kind of band i’m playing with or situation that i’m uh involved with i think the difference with soundgarden was that i kind of helped build it from from the ground up you know uh i kind of helped forge the sound of of the band and you know everything that it’s kind of known for um when i joined pearl jam this it was 1998 and they were fully established right legends unto themselves so uh i really tried to fit

0:01:00 –>
what they needed at that time um straight out just going straight out on tour learning a set you know just kind of being prepared for the gig and then eventually like you know the creative side kicked in for me like you know just bringing bringing in music and things like that which uh they were always just wide open to but you know i think the overall approaches is um is the same you know for uh for the way that i i i would approach a gig or just approach you know a situation where i’m going to be playing playing shows or recording or things like that just show it prepared and try to you know just just try my best and and you know tr trust my own instincts as well but uh but yeah but the overall approach is essentially the same you know what i mean is there anything that’s difficult for you to play if you’re playing in seven or playing in five is that something that just came naturally to you or these things that you over time you became really good at well i think there was an element of

0:02:01.5 –>
a natural ability that i kind of had at a young age i could play the drums pretty young it all sort of made sense to me somehow and then eventually it was just by uh all the music that i was listening to being exposed to as a teenager in my formative years probably um has something to do with how i eventually naturally be became aware of like you know just playing in on odd time signatures or trying to set up a section of a song that’s not in 4-4 right you know i loved like bill brewford and uh you know billy cobham like just like some of the great you know fusion players in the in the early 70s late 60s uh that that was a really huge influence on me so i think it was just you know just listening early on and then just like you know having these great opportunities to sort of

0:03:00.8 –>
venture into that that side of uh of my musical abilities and just the kind of music that i was naturally you know drawn towards and listening to and stuff like that what songs would you put your headphones on and play with when you were a teenager good question um is there are there any records that you would play yeah you know there god there was like i i remember listening to um queen not at the opera playing along to that roger taylor one of my all-time faves some of the steely steely dan albums like asia um and uh caves of altamira you know uh the royal scam um so some of those records for me early on were sort of like drum academy level um master classes of like how still are each guy sort of like had his own style yeah but like they were playing these these songs that were really technical um so i played along to some of that stuff for sure would you play along to steve gadd’s fills on asia no i i

0:04:02.5 –>
wish i could could have done that at that age uh i certainly i listened to them a lot i was like how does he do that how is he doing that like peg i would try to try to play along to that one just yeah that the you know like the ones that were just more groove oriented um so yeah the those records were were pretty big big influence on me and then you know i was just i was listening to a lot of uh did you listen to zeppelin and russia yeah so i listened i listened to a lot of uh you know like hendrix growing up when i was when i was a kid so a lot of mitch mitchell a lot of cream a lot of ginger baker um you know uh keith moon john bonham a lot of the british like the british guys initially made a huge impact on me um you know when i was 12 13 uh around that time when i was able to start you know you know i could play drums and i was sort of playing in neighborhood bands around that time are you taking lessons at the time i started taking lessons

0:05:00.8 –>
when i was around 17 after i played in like some bands and you know cover bands bar bands things like that uh i i decided to try to get a little more serious about it so uh i took some lessons from a gentleman named john santo okay san diego he played in the san diego symphony and he also played with the harry parch ensemble um oh yeah a uh american composer artist from the early 20th century who made his own instruments absolutely um he wrote these incredible operas so john exposed me to this really interesting weird avant uh side of music steve reich things like that so i got exposed to that stuff when i was like you know 17 18. and i think that that led me to appreciate you know i started listening to you know coltrane and miles and just like that whole side of music really just

0:06:01. –>
opened up a whole new area of just you know being able to focus in on you know what what makes a soloist great or what what makes a voice uh how that certain voice can sort of carry an entire piece of music you know with with all of us in the background helping it you know now as soon as you sat down you picked up your sticks and you played traditional grip just for a second that’s the first thing that you did yeah yeah i suppose yeah i think i like to come down and just like just kind of hit him a little bit soft and just you know just just like a little bit of a you know [Music] i always like to do a little swing thing when i first sit down so you’re a teenager you’re starting to play in bands and when you’re what 15 or something like that 14 15 yeah okay and you’re doing what kind of music oh gosh we were doing uh you know um deep purple kiss

0:07:01.1 –>
uh cream um then i you know when i was around 16 i i got in in a band in high school that that was a really good really good musician so we were able to play fm by steely dan and we played some almond brothers so uh i at that time around 16 17 i kind of like the musicians i was playing with they were a little bit better than the guys previously so i kind of got that experience of like playing with better better musicians and and how that can help the overall you know sound of of the group that you’re with or just the overall experience did you start thinking in different ways starting to play with a band and you start to play original songs tell me about the development of that yeah so that happened sort of early on with this group i was just describing uh i was able to i think um bring in more just of an overall idea

0:08:01.8 –>
as you as a music musician like even even though it’s on on the drums um uh i i was able to sort of contribute in a way that was more uh meaningful to me at that time and that’s something that i felt like i just wanted to pursue you know like just my own you know my own music or like tapping it or hooking up with guys that did sort of have their own like idea of what they what they want to do so i want to ask you about uh about the temple the dog record you guys did that where london bridge we did that at london bridge yes uh that was um late 89 early 90 i think is sort of that it was a very short time for a week it was it was probably like i just remember like we got together like you know ten days or something and then we recorded for maybe a week or something like that so i think you know after uh andy passed away

0:09:03. –>
um you know that that was the uh the reason for uh for you know the the the main impetus for for us doing the album chris had written these songs and you know sent the demos to uh stone and jeff and from there we just decided to you know get together learn those songs and more songs just sort of developed from from those jams uh but yeah it was pretty quick pretty quick uh you know just learning a whole bunch of music barely learning it and then recording it it was one of those you know what do you think about that about actually not being rehearsed and just kind of going in you just write the songs or you get your chris wrote the songs or whatever and you go in and you just play them of course it depends on the on the musicians right right for me personally it’s like if you can get the right group together that’s able to sort of like rise to that occasion

0:10:00.9 –>
then you can get performances that you couldn’t get if you were rehearsing it for two weeks straight you know i mean both both uh approaches um have their benefits obviously but for me as an as a performer and an artist sometimes it’s really nice to hear that off-the-cuff uh performance that you know of a musician who’s just learned it do you ever go back and listen to any of these old records um other than when i asked you to play some films i went down the list that you that you sent neil i certainly did uh is it weird to go back and listen to him you know it’s not it’s not really too weird for me okay it’s bittersweet because of chris obviously yeah um but uh you know i i always uh when i you know when i listened i listened to some of that temple the dog record you know uh today and last night and it still sounds really crisp it sounds really fresh yeah you know and it sounds it it gives me that same

0:11:01.1 –>
sort of feeling as as as when i made it like you know i i can i can fully get behind this you know yeah i listen to that music and it’s like yeah this has so much of me in it and so much of us in it and it’s like i’m behind this 1 000 you know and it still gives me that kind of just kind of vibe you know what is your favorite song to play off that what would be your favorite song like when i hear pushing forward back that i love the groove on that side yeah it’s such a such a powerful thought the one the one that gets me you know i really like um i really like your savior that was one that just came together and that’s what i wanted to ask you about is all the yeah all the fills yeah well i i listened to those pills and it’s like well who is that kid who’s this young buck that one came together pretty quickly late late in the session if i remember remember right yeah but um uh but uh you know you know we we did get to tour in 2016.

0:12:00.5 –>
it was a fantastic experience um and i just remember getting choked up playing you know like times of trouble and just some of the slower uh chris stuff where he really got to like stretch on a whole bunch of notes and uh you know just he would just like that voice would just fill up like madison square garden like playing that song was just like oh my god it got kind of weepy with chris being a drummer yeah would he ever say hey matt what about playing this or did he ever have any input in the drums he never said anything right i said nothing that’s actually what what kim told me he said matt that he said that chris never said anything to you about drums which was so mind-blowing uh i think it was partly mutual respect you know we both really loved what each other what each each of us brought to the table um but i think he just liked what i was doing like you know he trusted my

0:13:00.6 –>
instincts as a as a fellow band mate and musician and songwriter and everything uh no i mean no that never really happened you know uh but then again on you know conversely like some of his demos had hit you know him playing drums or uh it had some uh drum programming that i followed to a t because they were [ __ ] great parts yeah you know um for me it’s just all about like making sure the part fits the song to you know to the best of its ability um and some of his stuff that he came up with like you know for instance a song ugly truth on louder than love yep is a song he wrote top to bottom he wrote everything drum part everything that uh he did a demo on that uh that tune that i i just ins i loved immediately and so that’s an example of of me playing what he came up with okay so when he would come with a demo like that was is on a cassette would he play it for for the whole band or would he give

0:14:00.5 –>
you a cassette say hey come came up with this song what do you think yeah he would normally like get out to you know take this home and listen to this yeah it wasn’t like okay everyone sit down listen to my demo kind of thing yeah we were like jamming or learning you know 10 other things you know at the same time so you go home you’d listen to this and and what was what would be the first thing you think when you hear that song this song rules like this is going to sound so amazing in our band you know it was just that feeling of elation of like oh my god i get to play a song this good that you know it was always that kind of stuff with his with his demos i mean some of them not all of them you know flew with the band but it was always a joy to hear what he what he would bring to the table and ben and kim and you know i mean everyone everyone always had a really unique uh sense of songwriting you know and it’s cool when when when you get to play in bands like that where everyone is able to contribute in in in their own unique ways it doesn’t

0:15:01.6 –>
always work in all settings but you know if you can find that that right group that right combination then uh it’s pretty it’s you’re lucky you know you’re lucky for sure now when we talked last year i asked you about the drums on bad motor finger like jesus christ pose for example yeah and i said what’s up with the alternate takes because the drums and this is not anything about it just it’s a pretty radically different drum sound a great drum sound it takes that the room the room sounds yeah almost sounds like a different song so i wanted to say to people here that they should definitely go out and check out the alternate takes on that record because it’s a very different vibe all the songs have a very different vibe right i love the drum sounds i think that was at avast we were doing that those recordings yeah i’m not sure if

0:16:02 –>
that was a dad or something like that but um yeah uh that was a lot ra i think you know way before we recorded the uh the bad motor finger version of that tune but yes uh the way that the bad motor finger was mixed i personally felt like that you know the room sound got squashed quite a bit yeah we just went for this real pointy dry approach on all the instruments you know which i think uh it definitely works now but at the time i was like i think it works for me i just put it on the shelf it’s like okay i’ll come back to that at some point and i did and it sounds fine if you don’t for me if you don’t know that anything else exists that there’s another possibility you don’t ever think about it doesn’t even occur to you yeah right it’s like that’s the way that it’s meant to be but but as musicians like you know when we’re in that sort of like predicament where we do create this thing that we’re really proud of but it doesn’t come out like as expected like the end result or you

0:17:01. –>
think the end result could be much better if it just did this one other thing you know but that’s that’s okay that’s all part of like you know compromise playing in a band that you know like you know the you the greater good is is is the most important thing okay so as the artist you’re just like oh [ __ ] it could have done this you know what i mean if i were to ask you of all the sound garden records which one do you feel the songs and the sonics really were kind of what you guys imagined or what you imagined your own personality yeah not speaking for anyone else that was super unknown yes for sure that was super unknown yeah yeah because for me uh the way that it got mixed by brendan um he the drums just came up in the mix they just got louder and uh and i loved it immediately and the guys you know i think sound garden we just came from this um this different aesthetic you know this this sst records had a certain sound the subpop records had a certain sound

0:18:01.5 –>
um and a lot of times it just had to do it had to do with like the way drums were mixed or approached or recorded back in the 80s you know just kind of that early diy sort of you know recording methods that that we were just sort of dealing with back then um but when when that record got mixed uh i you know i i felt like personally the drums were a lot more hi-fi like absolutely the spectrum came out um my snare drums had a had a nice sort of place in all the songs and uh and i was able to really kind of zero in on um what kind of sound i wanted for each song so you know we got really anal with that record uh but um yeah i think it was definitely that that one for me there’s so many signature fills there’s so many signature sounds the snare sound like on black hole sun for example right i mean it really holds up to uh you know 30 years later yeah the

0:19:01.2 –>
thing is so high five sounding the whole record is is like that yeah what snare drums were you playing during that time period keplinger snares right uh for that particular song i was playing a keplinger snare which uh i don’t i think it’s it over here not one of those ones i think i see it you want to grab it yeah i use the the keplingers that thing looks like it weighs a ton does it it does weigh a ton i mean it really looks that that’s a seven isn’t it seven yeah yeah but this is my black hole son snare uh mailman like i use this a lot on super unknown and i didn’t really use it on tour it didn’t really uh is it because it’s a seven that that it’s hard it did that you feel when you’re playing it it’s more difficult to hear yeah you know i think it was snares it was more inconsistent live like you know through the pa and stuff like that yeah it worked great through a microphone but sometimes

0:20:00.7 –>
[Music] so it’s got it’s got that kind of long note sounds killer i love seven inch deep snares they sound so fat it’s got the great bottom end it’s tuned a little low i mean it would have been tuned up the bottom would have been tuned up but that’s just off the off the shelf there um but yeah that’s the that’s the black hole sun snare drum right there i want to ask you this i talked to your drum tech neil about this but use emperors do you lose co clear emperors i use clear amps on the on the toms yeah uh clear ambassadors on the bottom yep uh coated amp on the top snare yep and then the uh i use the ambassador td marching snare drum snare snare side head

0:21:02.7 –>
which uh has it has a a lot thinner um bevel on the where it hits on the rim so you can you can crank it up super high yeah yeah that’s pretty much it and then i’ve got the power stroke clear power stroke on the kick zildjian cymbals since you know since day one yeah i’ve loved them since i was a teen vic first sticks yeah in yamaha you know yamaha pedals shells hardware let’s talk about drum tuning because your drums were always tuned really well and when i think about not always but okay on super unknown the drums sound phenomenal the drum tuning the toms are massive sounding yeah drum tuning is really an art how do you learn about drum tuning and what what did you tell me about your taste and drums where should drums be tuned do you have two heads the same pitch yeah how do you do it boy good good question this could be a whole youtube channel episode on just this go for it i’ll start it and other guys can can

0:22:01.9 –>
contribute but for me man it’s just like it’s just a taste thing it’s like what i loved growing up hearing records like i love mick fleetwood’s drum sound i love uh steve gad’s drum sound yes i love uh uh um lenny white strum sound you know tony williams like the open like that kind of era where the jazz guys were kind of like doing a rock tuning you know like that’s sort of the tuning that i [ __ ] loved billy cobham jack de janet uh and then from there it’s like you know stuart copeland had a really interesting approach to drum tuning that like you know where everything was just super high it was more of a jazz tuning yep but played you know really really hard uh so for me it’s just like all the the drummers that i loved trying to emulate kind of their sound and i think you know mick fleetwood has always been kind of a big guiding light as far as tom tom’s goes you know like because i i i tend to get a lower sort of california you know

0:23:00.2 –>
sound on on my tom tom’s like you know kind of don henley or um russ kunkel that kind of yeah that kind of sound um i’ve always been drawn to that uh that era of um drum sound just kind of 70s drum sound one reason i did get my keplinger snare in 1987 was because i just joined soundgarden and you need a song to project very [ __ ] loud band yeah and uh that that definitely got me over the edge you know as far as uh you know rehearsals or playing in bars and stuff like that so but yeah uh but the tuning um for me has just been evolving it’s still evolving as well because like this this kit with the wood hoops requires a little bit different tuning than like you know your standard die cast because why because these kind of soak up a little bit more of the overall um uh kind of low end it’s like uh they they it’s like they provide a lot more mid-range and attack but like the low

0:24:02.3 –>
end gets a little a little cloudy with these things so you have to kind of tune a little bit lower and it just i don’t know it’s just uh it’s a combination of of the drum and and what kind of heads and everything sometimes like if your drums are tuned really high in a hard rock setting like that that can really add more punch to how the drums are sounding live so i think for me it’s like i’ve always relied on you know having a good sound man and having my drums maybe down uh you know down a pitch or two i’m just trying to add to sort of like the mid-range and the low end of the band especially with sound garden like the kick and snare tone i think helped out with the overall sound of the band like that that gave a certain tonality to uh to the records and i was always like you know aware of that or conscious of that to try to add some extra notes in there do you think about the type fills you’re going to play because there’s so many signature fills that you have in so many of your big songs are there places where

0:25:01.3 –>
where you’ll say okay this is my spot i this needs a big fill here how do you think about this well you know what i normally don’t think too much about it once i’m there you know are you improvising in the studio typically i mean i’m normally improvising i think i’m the type of musician that just likes to be ready in the moment like to like have everything learned like i you know like i want to know where my spots are like you know if that opportunity does happen um but yeah man i don’t always kind of like think about it before i’m doing it you know or like there’s been a couple occasions where i’ve tried to work out some parts and things like that but i think for me it just it always kind of works best when i’m sort of in the moment and we’re all kind of doing a take together that that everyone’s getting off on you know what is one of your favorite grooves to play let’s see let’s take soundgarden first

0:26:02 –>
yeah well like you know um well like you know the the uh that the most well-known one is is uh is outshined yep so it’s like for me it’s like you know it’s like okay that’s definitely not 4-4 but i’m going to try to play it like [Music] i’ll try to have that give it that sort of feel but then i have to do that little hiccup no that’s right um and i sort of wait my whole thing is i just try to wait to the very last moment before i i play that turnaround note or just kind of give it more [Music] like there’s just there’s different ways that you can sort of how are you counting that tell me about that

0:27:04.6 –>
[Music] just you know chord notes pretty much that seems like a very natural state for you to be into kind of yeah that’s that’s you know just playing 4-4 for you right well for me it’s just it’s me you know the that kind of odd times signature groove it just has to have that [Music] you know just to kind of give it get give it that pulse um but like you know that that that turnaround note at the end can be kind of what whatev whatever it is you know sure that’s one kind of song that i really try to like keep you

0:28:00.9 –>
know i tried to keep my my part really constant and i think we were all trying to write like a really good sort of crafted well-crafted song you know um but uh on the on the pre-chorus there was actually one one thing that didn’t didn’t come through on the recording where uh it’s like you know no you know so on the recording i was doing this that’s just a little you can get in the headphones and the headphones you can hear you can hear that but it didn’t come through on the recording so there’s a little uh insider in insider knowledge for you there okay so is are there any other things like that what what are some things that you hear that you’re you say god i wish this that this came out more well on bad motor finger like there was a lot of symbol work that i felt just got a little bit uh you know just it could have been a little bit could it

0:29:00.4 –>
could have been a there could be a little more symbol work overall yeah like there was a song holy water where i thought i did some nice stuff on that one um but you know i mean what are you going to do what are you going to do i i can i know it’s in there if you put on the headphones it’s like okay there it is but it’s just one of those one of those uh you know things like we were talking about earlier just as a you know as a musician you want to sort of be able to put your stamp on it as much as possible um i guess part of that is like you know ego to a certain degree but uh for me it’s you know so i i think like i’ve always tried to make the like the overall thing better did you guys play with clicks ever um normally no okay uh we did on my uh recommendation for uh two songs on bad motor finger and then we did uh and then for most of king animal that was mostly click tracks um

0:30:03.3 –>
tell me about your relationship with click tracks yeah well you know after um well i had grown up playing to a metronome so i had no sort of like hang-ups with you know playing to a click track as a drummer uh playing sessions it’s it’s it’s it’s bread and butter of what you know what we have to do yeah we have to know how to do that without no complaining like like you know you can’t like make any complaints about that so you just have to figure out a way to make it musical which i kind of figured out early on but with soundgarden um there was a couple songs that i felt i just wanted to get that sort of machine kind of lock happening um and i wanted to make sure that my part was was was in that realm um we did that with kind of the first half of rusty cage and for uh room a thousand years wide when you say the first half did you turn the click off after the first half once you kind of established the groove right yeah yeah yeah and then no no what once uh once until we until

0:31:00.1 –>
we get to the the outro okay where it has the the tempo change yeah so uh and then uh that that was pretty much it you know we were we were just sort of uh playing along with each other um i would check my tempos after a take i would listen you know listen to a metronome and make sure i was sort of in the ballpark and so you would know what the tempo was though before going yeah we’d listen to the producer or the engineer what would play us okay here’s 114 here’s you know what whatever and so yeah we’d start to take that way do you tune your snare between every take uh i try to tighten it up yeah it might not be a re-tuning it’ll it’s probably just just to make sure the rim shots yeah wherever you’re doing your rim shots like these these three or four back here are the ones that you need to to look at after each take or two do you ever use a reference snare hit when you start a song just so you kind of have the idea of where the snare pitch is um you mean a recording yeah just like so

0:32:01.2 –>
you’ll hit the snare once so you’ll you’ll know what the pitch is when you start it so that you’re you don’t end up kind of over tuning it if you’re doing other takes yeah there’s a couple fleetwood mac songs that like i i would always listen to or a bad company you know simon kirk some of his that kind of crack um i want to make sure that it’s in kind of that higher that higher register and are you thinking about the pitch of the song too when you’re hearing these things or do you want it kind of to be you want it to have a tone but nothing that that is actually distracting from the music right uh pitch wise probably not as much as um just the overall like timbre of it like a wood snare uh versus a metal snare um i i think that’s kind of what i’ve always tried to uh i i try to fit that that hole but then again like you know so like this snare drum on black black old sun like most producers would just say oh god dude tape that up it’s too much too much but we were so that makes the song but we

0:33:01.3 –>
were so headstrong back then it’s like you know i definitely had some some conversations like that with with michael beinhorn but uh you know we i think we were able to kind of get a good instrument sound i was really into like getting my instrument sounding like good together like all the elements fitting and that was definitely a part of it uh but you know if we were like session musicians going in and playing a uh jingle no this would be out the window right yeah when you guys were recording it i had heard i don’t know if this is true that you did the drums on a two inch eight track is that is there anything or did you was that on a 24 track no yeah all 24. okay yeah uh but we had another 24 kind of slaves for vocals and uh guitar do you think that you need to have space in a song like zeppelin records can have really loud open drum sound sounds because the guitar sounds are really not as distorted as you think they are they’re hardly distorted at all

0:34:01.2 –>
that’s right and when i listen to fell on black days for example the guitars are beautiful on that but they’re not as distorted as you think if they were over driven more it would be eating up a lot of the drum sound yeah right yeah absolutely so how do you decide then if you’re going to play a metal snare a wood snare how do you think about that well that for that particular song i chose to uh uh play a brady snare drum which is a wood snare love brady snake brady snare for that one i wanted to try to have it just be a little more laid back kind of you know um maybe like you know not not croonery but just like more bality like yeah like how we would approach a ballad which is that how that song came out now that has it that snare right after the first chorus boom [Music] right into the second verse right now that’s something that you just that’s what you just happened to play right there pretty much yeah okay would it be different on different takes or would you just leave out of phil sometimes no i mean that was my that was

0:35:00.8 –>
my spot for like you know just just like a you know uh just count the band back in yeah just a total like on four yeah it would normally just be like yeah um i love those kind of simple fills like that i called it a non-phil phil well i mean al jackson jr you know like one of my all-time heroes howard grimes you know those guys it’s just all about uh the pocket and then like you know if they put in like a little a little accent like it’s it’s just it’s golden you know so i always try to pick my spots and for that particular song like that was a spot to like you know hit four so when you did down on the upside yeah where did you guys do did you do that who recorded that we uh we recorded that with adam casper right at litho okay studio litha where you were yesterday wow i did not know that yeah the start of that record was uh i think chris had had a whole bunch of

0:36:00.7 –>
demos that uh that no one had heard yet so he and i went in there for about three or four days at the beginning of the sessions uh in 96 i believe early 96. after about a week of that everyone came in and we just sort of like learned some of these these new songs that chris had written but that was the first time that the band hadn’t ever really like rehearsed before we went into the studio so it had sort of that um unfinished kind of quality but what we were talking about earlier of of like you know having a having a piece of music that you just have learned and then you put it to you put it to tape that can sometimes be really exciting and that’s that’s what that record was for me for sure when you joined pearl jam first gig you’re playing you’re basically playing in a cover band then right as a drummer you have to listen to the songs i learned 60 songs what’s that like to learn 60 songs a lot of the songs you you were familiar with yeah for sure right but what was that like was it

0:37:00.3 –>
man it was intense that’s that’s so difficult right intense yeah you know it’s like when i after i got off the phone with eddie and i agreed to do this upcoming tour i was just like i hung up the phone and just like oh my god what am i just agreed to just one of those moments of like uh okay i gotta get to work um you know not not not much of it was out of my wheelhouse right as far as how i approach like playing in rock bands and and i’ve known those guys forever so it was like it was actually pretty easy transition you know like you know personally and professionally and everything but you know i think i was still really the dust hadn’t settled for me with losing soundgarden um and i think i’ve just been the kind of musician that i just i just go full throttle like i just always i’m always moving forward you know and i think that’s just that’s how how i’ll always be the transition was was tricky just for me just because of you know yeah it’s like going through divorce or something like

0:38:00.6 –>
that uh you’ve been involved for so long now i know it’s it’s incredible it’s incredible yeah it’s just like you know yeah it it it is strange because like you know like half of your life you’ve been in pearl jam totally totally but you know at the same time it just feels like uh the the pace in which i’ve always worked you know i i don’t always like sit down and kind of ponder like hmm what have i you know what have i done you know i just i think i’m always kind of full throttle so when i do sit back and think about it it’s it’s incredible just like oh my god i’ve done so much great stuff i’m so so proud of it you know when you did your soundgarden reunion and you’re getting ready to do that and you hadn’t played the songs in years and years yeah it’s basically like the same thing right you go back to the record how does this go again who’s this guy pretty much were there any grooves that were kind of weird to play at all or not um some of the stuff from um like uh louder

0:39:02.6 –>
than love like some of the 80s era yeah the era stuff i definitely had to kind of listen uh because i was playing differently back then than than the way i ended up in in the 90s i was going to ask you about that tell me about that well you know i think i just hadn’t done um as much touring in the 80s i started touring in 87 with soundgarden and i think like just playing in bars clubs you know just rehearsing and you know wherever wherever we could like it’s just and writing songs getting all these songs together it was just kind of a different approach you know it’s just more like a singular like you’re like you’re hearing your part like in a room like oh there’s there’s kim’s part there’s heroes part you know and then once you start touring it’s just like all you know the the hearing aspect of playing in a band just gets gets it gets sort of distorted or like that just gets obliterated so you overcompensate and play louder and stuff like that so

0:40:01.2 –>
yeah so i i sometimes do miss that sort of like you know just sort of the quieter version of um of uh of of what we do is there a song in your set with pearl jam that is where where it’s coming up and you’re thinking feeling like low energy well just that yeah yeah that well yeah sure you’re not 25 anymore that’s right well you know there have been occasions like in the past the past couple tours where um you know like you i feel like i’m going past that point of exhaustion it’s like okay i’m tired but hey i have uh six more songs to do so you just gotta dig deep and uh take a sip of gatorade and you know hope for the best okay i wanna talk about repetitive injuries or anything if you’ve ever had anything like that you know i never i’ve had like a tendonitis on my elbows and forearm tendonitis but like any uh sort of like just immediate joint stuff i’ve been pretty lucky i’ve been i think i’ve been on a constant

0:41:01.3 –>
sort of like adjustment journey like as a musician as a drummer just throughout the years i i think i’m constantly trying to like relax uh adjust my grip get better posture always had great posture watching any of the old videos watching you now you really sit up it’s papa joe jones right that’s right just look at some of his videos yes papa joe jones it’s just it’s more it’s it’s a lot easier uh you know when you when you got everything kind of lined up it’s not as easy now that i’m almost 60 because this kind of music requires like a certain kind of energy you know and then energy a lot of a lot of times is is purely athletic you know so you know us us rock drummers out there in the world it’s like we got to bring this sort of athleticism to our to our gig and be you know be mindful of you know of the music that we’re that we’re playing as well you know that that’s that’s a big part of it so you have to stay uh you just gotta stay on top of it

0:42:00.2 –>
uh wouldn’t jesus was uh my take on um uh 50 ways to leave to leave your level okay uh [Music] okay so uh that was just sort of uh [Music] that was sort of my take on that on a steve gad i i would never have guessed that but yeah hearing them back to back and like yeah yeah i can see that yeah yeah that was it was it was my homage to uh to to the master how long does it take for you to come up with a groove like that well you know the the song was like uh the son the original song was just like a six-sided [Music]

0:43:12.4 –>
[Music] i mean uh parts of the song do go to that sort of like constant groove and um a lot of chris’s songs in six eight and three four just did have that release just that kind of driving you know uh you know downbeat kind of feel and i just i wanted to give it a little bit more of a lift with that beat let’s talk about burying the kick drum or lifting off the head yeah what’s your philosophy on that well i think i’m a high volume kick player so i naturally uh dig the beater in yeah um it is less dynamic obviously but uh i think that that comes from just you know playing playing gigs yeah live yeah

0:44:00. –>
i noticed though that when you do a gagong you there there there’s always the dynamics in those which which really makes gives it the groove and that’s really important right well i try to make sure that the dynamics are sort of like the right hand right foot um i like to try to add a lot of sort of you know grace notes in between notes just [Music] stuff like that you know is there anything that the young matt cameron could play that that you can play now or yeah the reverse are there things that you can play now that you couldn’t play when you’re younger well i think i have a little bit better taste now i think i’m trying to play less you know i’m trying to let the music do all the talking as opposed to you know a drum part or something like that um i think i had more effortless speed

0:45:00 –>
and power like when i was in my mid-20s you know like there was a sort of a strength thing that was happening back then that uh you know i just i didn’t have to think about so what you make up for now is your is the is the taste yeah right like like the the the playing less the um just like trying to relax more like making every note be consistent um the intent of each note like how just like what your intention is when you are playing um i think that’s been a really important one for me as opposed to just going balls out and you know trying to get through a gig or just trying to like you know get through the day or something like you know making sure that like uh you you mean everything you play you know or just making sure that there’s there’s as much meaning as you can give it um depending on whatever situation you’re in do you ever find that your your last floor tom you some gigs you could put your coffee on it yeah that you don’t feel like i don’t want to get around to that not you just

0:46:00.4 –>
play like some five piece kit but if it’s there and you’re feeling like oh yeah my back’s feeling good tonight right i’m gonna smash that thing a couple times i i think that that’s i mean does that change at all though it does from gig to gig right you’ll sometimes you’ll play it more than other games yeah you’re right you’re right um i try to play it i mean i try to get around the whole kit you know yeah i mean just it just feels really [ __ ] good um is it are you 12 13 yeah boys 13 12 16 12 13 16 18. okay yeah um and this is a 14 by by 24 um and uh yeah this is the the yamaha oak custom with uh with the the maple wood hoops that they made for me in the in 2008 i believe it was okay so i have a theory matt that yes i’ve always felt that 14 inch depth kick drums always sound the best no matter how big they are right and

0:47:00.6 –>
do you have a theory on well that that was the old ludwig uh size yeah in their rock kits that they used to make in the 60s and 70s and for me um just having like i mean i have muffling inside the inside the drum but for the traditional like wide open felt strip style tuning that bonham did yeah you know louis belson uh you know that kind of buddy rich sound where it is a little bit tighter and yeah and it’s and it’s a and there’s more of a bounce uh that’s where the 14 completely rules yeah with mine i still kind of have a traditional rock sound but it’s it’s a lot it’s a quicker note you know i mean because the air goes through it quick yeah so it’s a lot quicker punch it’s a lot louder on stage and um i i just like the way the way it looks and the way it records the muffling of your kick drum yes are you is it touching both heads uh i have one of these pillows that that touches both sides okay yeah i think for me like just playing gigs the sound man is and i are

0:48:01. –>
a little more comfortable with this sort of setup that’s like really quick efficient works great every time yep if i’m in in the studio uh i will definitely uh you know uh experiment with more of kind of wide open tunings and and the felt strip kind of philosophy that we were talking about earlier are there any sound garden songs that you use double-headed kick drums there has to be one good question i think i always had a hole in the front of every sg record okay but let me get back to you on that oh you know there was some b-side stuff some no okay yeah on on the on the main recordings no some of the b-side stuff yes did you ever have the front head completely off for anything oh on on louder than love terry date liked the he wanted me to take off the front kick drum head and i did

0:49:01.1 –>
and then he proceeded to put a cinder block into my remo drum set okay for that recording um i was you’re putting a what and where uh but hey came out good um he was going for a really kind of punchy just like just like all attack kind of kick drum sound that didn’t i i think it didn’t always fit the timbre of that record um but uh that was another situation where you know i was sort of that was my first major label our first major label recording so um but uh but that was sort of an extreme example of like there being no tone and just pure pure muffle so uh you know i i also think it’s it’s up to the individual player too like you know what what feels comfortable i mean for me it’s just it’s always really important to make sure my foot is sort of leading the pack you know um and i kind of do that just by sort of digging in and

0:50:02. –>
informing where everything else goes you know how do you want to be remembered as a drummer or do you want to be remembered through your the the records you played on or does it even matter to you well i mean i feel really fortunate fortunate to have been a part of so many really cool records a great music scene you know i feel really lucky to just to still be doing it you know um i don’t know i guess uh i guess like as a musician um you know i i think like i’ve always tried to uh you know be a complete musician as well as a drummer so maybe that would would be one thing i’m trying to not not consciously like i’m gonna do this kind of thing but it’s just sort of happened that way so maybe that i don’t know matt i really appreciate you spending time with me today thank you rick it’s a real honor

0:51:00.8 –>
to uh to sit here with you and talk and hear you play especially fantastic thank you so much thank you it’s a wrap nice dude oh that was incredible well thank you i hope i hope it wasn’t uh perfect playing and everything oh no that was phenomenal yeah i think i it i think i flubbed up on a couple of the playing things that are so funny i’ll fix it another just so we have it as a safety no i’m good okay we’re good yeah i asked him yesterday uh i forgot to ask him in the interview i said i said kim you got to explain something he’s like what why do you wah wow with your left foot when you’re right-handed he goes because i’m left-footed and i’ve said no way no he’s not that’s what he said is that not true he’s i’m left-footed i said what do you mean like you kick with your left foot he said yeah one of the many idiosyncrasies of my dear kim kyle that is so it’s so it’s actually it’s it’s so him and so and and it’s but it’s so strange to see i think he thought it was funny that i noticed that he huawed with his

0:52:01.9 –>
life but i just don’t know anyone that was with their left foot and he’s so known playing yeah and you have to put the wawa on the other side because it’s normally the first thing in the chain and it’s got to be a nightmare for your attack did you know this neil yeah left left foot and wawa yeah josh no for sure that’s crazy i mean that i mean that really freaked me out when i’ve every time i’ve seen him play it really it kind of unnerves me yeah you know he loves that weird guitar yeah he does things his own [ __ ] way man he does you know and that’s what i love about him it’s infuriating at times being in a band with him but that’s just who he is so i mean this his concept is so unique and then after meeting him in person it explains everything i love it

0:53:02.9 –>
i did a little clip with him uh just holding the phone and i asked him because i forgot yeah and and uh i didn’t know if he made that up or not because he’s probably not left footed right you know what i’ve seen him kick a ball with the right foot it’s like come on dude is there such a thing as being right-handed and left-footed there is actually okay there is there is he’s definitely right-handed he’s definitely right-handed exactly so so but it’s kim ju he just wants to be different yeah okay like i’m goofy foot he taught he talked about that i think he imagined skateboarding was yeah he was really good and right-handed so yeah but yeah so you think he may be he maybe he may have made that up right no knowing him he’s probably thought about that for his entire life

0:54:00.6 –>
i always think about these kind of things i always find this i never really noticed that man i never i always thought it was like right like you like a right-handed guitar player would always would do it with your right it just you figure it’s kind of natural to do that then he’s thinking he’s doing this i don’t think he used to always left-footed i think there used to be a right right foot scenario we’re gonna have to check the tapes check the tapes dude [Laughter] well he only used to play with like uh he played with the chorus pedal on all the time like pre pre-wawa um and it was crazy he played through a bass speaker uh yeah hiro made these like base speakers for everyone hey josh um i don’t i don’t even know he said this in the interview because he was talking about it at dinner the other night yeah about the chorus 100 of the time it was on and eventually like i think yeah i think once once chris started playing or he just stopped i

0:55:00.9 –>
forget what it was why do you play wawa with your left foot i’m left footed and i’m right handed oh my you can’t kick with your left foot yep and that caused that caused problems with skateboarding and big wheels when i was a kid it caused problems on the in the playground because people thought you’re having trouble kicking the ball because you’re using the wrong foot what hand oh right-handed guy you should kick with your right foot it was even more of a disastrous like i couldn’t coordinate running up to the ball and kicking it i go wait a minute like six or seven and i kicked with my left foot and it’s like there we go

More Articles

Free Drum Tabs and Notation

Beginner Drum techniques

Mixing Drums

How to Tune Drums