Tag Archives: Dayton

Ohio’s Ian Kaplan is arguably one of the greatest drummers in the nation

iankaplan
Photo Credit: Brooke Medlin

While the list of drumming styles goes on ad infinitum (Jazz, R&B, Folk/Country, Soul, Blues, et cetera), Motel Beds’ Ian Kaplan is arguably one of the greatest Rock & Roll drummers in the country. Obviously, music is inherently subjective and there is really no standard by which to fully measure this claim. Nonetheless, after repeatedly touring the nation over and witnessing a myriad of drummers, I really do feel it’s a fair assessment to make.

To watch Ian Kaplan play drums is a true joy. The Dayton, Ohio native possesses the perfect combination of playing to the song and laying low, while exploding in the most appropriate and skilled and entertaining ways. In a lot of bands, the limelight is understandably placed on the frontman. Nonetheless, while chords and melody and lyrics are requisite, Kaplan is a testament to the fact that a phenomenal drummer is vital to a phenomenal band. This can be heard when he plays with Motel Beds, Goodbye/Crusher, Lab Partners, or any of the many bands he’s added to over the years. When you match up pure skill, Kaplan is the cream of the crop.

Natural talent is clearly at play, however, Kaplan’s prowess is namely the result of an intense dedication to his craft. To this day, it seems few work harder at honing their skills and continuing to grow as a musician. I had the opportunity to speak with Kaplan before Donewaiting goes print-only this weekend. Thanks for making Dayton and Ohio proud, Ian.

Donewaiting: When did you start playing drums?

Ian Kaplan: I have been playing drums since age 5.

DW: What was the name of your first band?

IK: ”Naked Henry,” in Augsburg, Germany.

DW: What drummers have had the biggest influence on your style?

IK: Max Roach, Philly Joe Jones, Steve Gadd, Keith Moon, John Bonham, Aynsley Dunbar, Buddy Rich, Tony Williams, Joe Morello, Jim Keltner, Ringo Starr, Levon Helm, Malcolm Catto.

DW: Who is your favorite drummer of all-time?

IK: My favorite? Man, that’s tough. I guess I’d have to say Max Roach. He’s the king. Listen to anything on “Saxophone Colossus” or the “Freedom Now Suite” and try to reconcile what he’s playing against the time signature – then realize he’s playing quarter notes on the hi-hat while he plays these incredibly, beautiful, intricate phrases. If there’s a God and God is a drummer, He lived inside of Max Roach for a time.

DW: Has living in the Midwest and growing up in Dayton impacted your drumming style at all? I remember speaking with you about Brainiac drummer Tyler Trent and his influence on you at an early age. Are there any other regional drummers that influenced your approach to the instrument?

IK: Definitely has. Before I moved here, I hadn’t been involved in any sort of music “scene,” as it were. I was young and, even though, in Germany the drinking-age and, therefore, entry age to shows was low (16), there was little to no opportunity for kids my age, be they Americans or Germans, to really throw shows or have bands. Here, it was a completely different story. Everything I’d read about a city with a  community of like-minded musicians actually happened here and continues to happen. The first time I got to see some of Dayton’s bands, I was completely blown away. Tyler Trent definitely had a huge impact on my playing. I couldn’t believe how controlled and precise he is, but simultaneously seems as if he is having an out-of-body experience when he plays. The power and the visceral emotion he put into every beat really had an effect on me and I think it’s still reflected in my playing today. Over the years I met many other drummers in town, namely Matt Espy, who I briefly took over for in MiNK when he moved to Chicago, Matt Schulz who I replaced in Lab Partners, Jim MacPherson… the list goes on. All have become good friends of mine and I still think they are the greatest drummers in the world, no matter what. Seeing someone play and seeing how they do things vs. just hearing them is a completely different experience. When I heard what Tyler played on Bonsai Superstar, for instance, and then went to see Brainiac and watch Tyler reproduce what he recorded live really was life-changing. Tyler, if you’re reading this, thank you, again and again and again.

DW: What are your plans for the future?

IK: I guess, limiting this answer only to my musical life, I’d like to see Motel Beds blow-up and play festivals and make a go at playing music full-time. I still haven’t given up on that dream. If that doesn’t pan out, I guess balloon in size and become the world’s largest mammal. Or maybe both.

“Snowmen Losing Weight”: Noah Falck book release party Sunday in Dayton

Noah Falck releases his first book of poems, Snowmen Losing Weight, this Sunday, June 10 at Canal St. Tavern in Dayton, OH. He will be joined by a host of fellow poets and area musicians (see flier above).

Falck is an elementary school teacher in Northridge (the very small north Dayton hometown of Guided By Voices’ Bob Pollard). Along with a Pushcart Prize nomination, Noah’s poems have spread widely in journals such as Bat City Review, Boston Review, Columbia Poetry Review, Forklift Ohio, Greensboro Review, Gulf Coast, Kenyon Review, La Petite, and Smartish Pace.

Snowmen was selected by BatCat Press as part of their 2012 series. According to their website, “BatCat Press is fully staffed and operated by the students of Lincoln Park Performing Arts Charter School in Midland, PA. Submissions are accepted during our annual reading period and are selected by students with the help of members of the BatCat Press advisory board, a collection of writers, teachers, and administrators from across Western Pennsylvania.” Continue reading

Moon High & Human Cannonball played in Dayton’s Historic South Park District

 


Moon High

Human Cannonball & Moon High played Dayton’s South Park Tavern last Saturday night. The venue rests on the outskirts of South Park Historic District – the old company community of National Cash Register (NCR). The area – once known as Slidertown – was built up and beautified at the direction of NCR founder and hothead John H. Patterson. He’s a highly fascinating character that changed the world as we know it. Look into it sometime.

After Monkey With Bomb’s opening set (which I unfortunately missed), Moon High took to the stage, playing their lovely set of placid-folk-rock. Everything this band does is anti-pomp. It makes you feel like things are gonna be all right.

Human Cannonball is fronted by now-Columbus resident and Dayton native Jesse Remnant of Southeast Engine. The band is comprised of seasoned and spirited Dayton players. HC banged out a dozen or so pop-folk gems and duly wowed the crowd. At evening’s end, everyone was wanting more.

I took some shitty photos with my phone to post here. Also, as a disclaimer, I play with Jesse in Southeast Engine, but that band has nothing to do with Human Cannonball. More than anything, I want to support Columbus acts as they head to my hometown of Dayton, OH.


Jesse Remnant of Human Cannonball