Speaker: Dan Lewis 00:00
Hello, and welcome to the first conversation of the series how amazing this conversation is with Seth Roush. He currently plays drums for Keith Urban. And he's been with Keith Urban for the last six years. And he also before that was with Little Big Town for four years before that, but he has played with a whole host of people across Nashville, which is where he's based. We catch up from… I'm in Wales, and he is in Nashville. It is currently COVID time here in the UK and across the world. So, as you'll hear from the conversation that where, you know, we're both at home right now. I'm at home from the cruises and, and he's at home. But we catch up about everything career advice, how he got there. It's a really, really incredible conversation, and I'm excited for you to hear it. Thank you. Cool. Thank you so much for doing this.
Speaker: Seth Rausch 00:52
Yeah, man. I'm sorry. It took so long.
Speaker: Dan Lewis 00:56
No, it's all good. So, guys, just…
Speaker: Seth Rausch 01:00
What do you do again? Like you told me originally, what?
Speaker: Dan Lewis 01:03
I play drums for Carnival Cruise Line.
Speaker: Seth Rausch 01:07
Speaker: Dan Lewis 01:07
Yeah. So, I finished my I did like some degrees and stuff in the UK. And then I because I want to basically do like the kind of thing that you do, you know, playing with a with a big artist, this side, of the world. And so, I was like, kind of in a really weird place. I didn't really know what I was doing after my degree and stuff. And someone that I spoke to suggested go into the ships, like they said, is really good for your, like playing and you're reading and stuff. And so, I applied for a bunch of ships. And I was fortunate enough to get carnival. And I've been with them the last year and a half. So, it's been Yeah, it's been great. It's been great killer, man. Yeah. How are you? What's new?
Speaker: Seth Rausch 01:51
Man, you know, not a ton of time, man. A lot of home time right now.
Speaker: Dan Lewis 02:00
Yeah. How have you been keeping busy?
Speaker: Seth Rausch 02:06
Just home recording, you know? Yeah, doing some recording at the house playing a little bit. My, family lives here and some of our buddies, we have a little band that we just have an outlet to go play a little bit.
Speaker: Dan Lewis 02:19
Speaker: Seth Rausch 02:20
But we're playing tonight, actually. But yeah, man, just sessions, just trying to stay creative, as much as possible.
Speaker: Dan Lewis 02:27
Yeah, So no news on any tour or anything like that at the moment?
Speaker: Seth Rausch 02:34
Not right now. No, we haven't seen anything definitive. It doesn't mean it's going to happen. We just haven't. I think they kind of just wrote the rest of the year off. And we're kind of waiting to hear what the game plan might be. Yeah
Speaker: Dan Lewis 02:47
Yeah, for sure. I think we're in a similar position. We're waiting for the ships to let us know when we're going to go back, so I just think everyone's in this position. So, are you playing live tonight?
Speaker: Seth Rausch 02:57
Speaker: Dan Lewis 02:59
Oh, nice. And you're based in Nashville, right? Oh, nice. Nashville is gorgeous man.
Speaker: Seth Rausch 03:04
Yeah, I'm about 45 minutes north of Nashville. Yeah, I'm from New York originally. But ever since I moved here. I've been in this area, and I just kind of stayed. I'm used to the commute.
Speaker: Dan Lewis 03:19
Yeah. Well, I mean, you've done a good job of, of getting work in Nashville anyway.
Speaker: Seth Rausch 03:25
Well, it's been 21, 22 years. One foot in front of the other.
Speaker: Dan Lewis 03:32
Which kind of leads me on nicely to my first question. I don't know if you've ever seen the Steve Jobs speech, when he says you can only connect the dots looking backwards. He does like a Stanford address speech. And he says, when you're in when you're in it, and you're going for it, you're kind of blind to what is in front of you. And then when you look back, you're like, oh, this led to this, which led to this, and now I'm not here, so I was wondering if you could talk me through your kind of dot-to-dot blueprint of how you went from New York to now. You've played with some of the biggest country stars on the planet.
Speaker: Seth Rausch 04:07
Yeah, just, family was musical. We moved to Nashville; my dad was really into songwriting. So, he wanted to relocate and, and so we came down here and really, you know, it's like anything else. It's just musicians, it's your calling card is your claim, and meeting people, and one person makes a phone call, and then that leads to another phone call, and then you're getting gigs along the way, and people get used to. For a long time, it seemed like I say a long time, time goes so fast, like, four years used to, that's not a long time. I mean, it felt like an eternity from ‘96 to 2000 I got my first gig and it was like, four years is like gone in two weeks. It feels like now. Yeah, just my dad had come down first and just started meeting players who were doing what I wanted to be doing. And one of the first guys that I met was a steel guitar player for an artist. And he introduced me to a really great drummer in town who had artists gigs, and was giving lessons and I just kind of treated it as being the eternal student, and just met with them. And we got together and I just wanted to keep learning.
Because, at that point, I was confined to my small town, and I had finally gotten out, and I just learned, naturally, organically by ear, I never really took formal lessons.
And so, I needed to hone in on the raw, kind of talent that might may have been there and just kind of, make sense of it a little bit, and then start to learn, how the whole system works. And it's similar to like, I played basketball and growing up, and it was a huge difference. From like, playing, on in the school yards, or not, even the school yards, like, just for fun out, and then trying to play organized sports, where there's a coach, and there's like, you got to follow plays, and it's not just, you're just, yeah. But anyway, yeah, just musicians, just meeting guys. And one thing led to another and, I was going to say, for a while, it was kind of like, well, we, we'd really like to get someone with experience, and you're kind of saying yourself, well, if you don't give me the experience, I'm not getting right. But little by little, yeah, stuff just start happening. And, one artist would, typically new artists would come along, and that would kind of end and something always seem to be there. A little bit better.
Speaker: Dan Lewis 07:38
So how did the Keith Urban gig come about?
Speaker: Seth Rausch 07:41
So most directly in 2013, I was playing with a band called Little Big Town.
Speaker: Dan Lewis 07:49
Yeah, they got really good, by the way.
Speaker: Seth Rausch 07:52
Yeah, they're amazing. spent four years with them. And in 2013, in the summer of 2013, we toured with Keith, we were the main support act. And we just, you're on the road with guys for six months. And so, our bands kind of became friends. And we would watch their gig and they were just a huge fan of the sound that Little Big Town had and what we were doing, and so they'd watch our show every night and so fast forward, the end of the tour comes in February of 2014. And that was that, we both kind of went about our business after that the tour was over. So, the year goes by, and I woke up one day and had a text message from the now new bandleader who was the bass player before Chris McHugh. Of course, I know you know his name. Was the drummer for many years and, and he wasn't there anymore. I mean, most of a whole year had gone by and when that change was made, Jerry Flowers, the bass player, new bandleader just, I was the first name that popped in his brain. So, he, he said, call me and so we talked a little bit and, I made a decision to make the move. And did do a little audition process as a formality, I think.
Speaker: Dan Lewis 09:32
Was that with Keith or with the band?
Speaker: Seth Rausch 09:36
That was basically with the band. Keith wasn't there? For the audition, they filmed it, yeah. We played through a couple tunes and, and it worked out.
Speaker: Dan Lewis 09:47
So, was that any like prep to that audition? Like, did you have the stuff in advance or did you just like you said, you kind of play through a few times.
Speaker: Seth Rausch 09:56
I want to say maybe I don't know if it was as much as two weeks, maybe a week. Okay. Gary threw me a couple tunes, three songs to listen to. And, and that's what we played. So, I just kind of shared it on those a little bit and then just went and played them. Yeah. So good. So, it worked out, man. Now it's six years later.
Speaker: Dan Lewis 10:22
Yeah. And so, the biggest shows, ever. Yeah. I think my brother was actually in. You did the show. I think was it last year? You did the show in Nashville on New Year's Eve? Yeah. My brother was there for that show.
Speaker: Seth Rausch 10:37
Awesome. Yeah. He did it for three years in a row. Maybe four? I don't maybe this year would have been four. Yeah, but definitely we did it three years in a row.
Speaker: Dan Lewis 10:51
So good. Well, he was there. Yeah, we went to we went to Nashville a few years ago, he was on our bucket list. We both love Jack Daniels and we're big country music fans.
And so, we did like the whole bucket and we went to the Lynchburg like we went to the factory and stuff. Awesome. Yeah, it was great. And my brother is like a much bigger country fan than me. And then he introduced me to it. And then I actually did an interview a few years ago with Jake Summers, do you know him? He plays for Luke Combs.
Speaker: Seth Rausch 11:25
I never met Luke Stromer. We back Luke up. He was part of a benefit concert that Keith. Yeah. So, I met him but I've never met his drummer.
Speaker: Dan Lewis 11:35
Yeah. he's, he's a nice guy. And he lives in. I think he lives in Nashville now as well, obviously, with the work. Okay. But yeah, so cool. So, dude was that kind of like always, when you move to Nashville, or like you as a person, did you always think I want to play for the biggest bands and artists? Or was it kind of like any work? Like, as long as I'm playing? that's all that matters?
Speaker: Seth Rausch 12:00
I knew I wanted to do it. I wasn't really quite sure. Where would lead me, I think, I just wanted to get a gig. I know, some guys love to just start a band. I just always wanted to I grew up kind of staring at record jackets. And I just kind of had this thing in my mind that I just wanted to be a hired musician. I think and I just, but I didn't know, obviously, there was always the desire and the drive to, get the better gig or the next gig or the next gig or whatever it was, but I, I just kept playing plan and keeping the faith, I guess. Well, it worked out.
Speaker: Dan Lewis 12:52
So, you know, I think you touched upon the fact that you moved to Nashville, and then you had a teacher there. So, did that teacher kind of take you through… do you read much with the job?
Speaker: Seth Rausch 13:04
I do a little bit. Yeah, a fair amount.
Speaker: Dan Lewis 13:06
Yeah. So, did he take you through that? Like those kinds of things?
Speaker: Seth Rausch 13:09
You know, what, a lot of it too, like I said, was honing. It was focusing more on reading. I mean, it was a huge amount of just learning everything new that I could, whether it was cool licks or figures, or grooves or whatever, to just keep opening my mind. But, but a lot of it was making sense of what my limbs were already doing that I had no idea, right? There were so many fields that I was feeling and things I could play. And if he just put it on a piece of paper in front of me, I kind of stare at it. And then he would play it and I went, oh, yo, I've done that a million times. And that’s what it looks like when it's…
I was just saying he was definitely responsible for, throwing me on a couple auditions. And then it ended up being, I did one or two little one off artists gigs that didn't amount to anything. But there was a band that he was playing with a country artist, and he had to leave the gig.
And so, he basically handed it off to me, and that was kind of the start of my artist’s career. So, he was definitely responsible for, being the guy who kind of put me on the first gig, I think.
Speaker: Dan Lewis 14:50
I think sometimes you need that push as well, right. Like I had a teacher who took me to my first open mic night, and like, it might have taken me a lot because you Yes, it was that thing of like, oh, going on. Ready, and it's like, I think it can it can go on so long that it just takes someone sometimes just be like, well, we're going to go tonight and you're going to go out and play live with a bunch of people even though you might not feel ready yet.
Speaker: Seth Rausch 15:15
Yeah, but I was hungry man. I was so hungry at that point because, I mean, I had done five or six auditions at that point. Yeah, from the Dixie Chicks when they were new. Gary Allen, the Wilkinsons. You know, at least two or three others. Yeah, a couple other people and nothing was coming out of it.
And it's crazy how, as time went on two of the main auditions that I did that did that I didn't get I ended up playing with those artists, which doesn't really happen all the time. But the Wilkinsons was one of them. And that was the gig that a handful years later, I ended up just taking over, but yeah, that was definitely the beginning of it, for sure.
Speaker: Dan Lewis 16:09
Okay, cool. And so you said that wouldn't let a big time did a four year tour, right? It's like four years. Four years? Yeah. Yeah. And then with Keith Urban, you've been with him for six years? And I imagine there's a lot of touring there as well, right? Yeah. So, what's the kind of process for like a huge tour like that, like with Carnival, we say two weeks before they fly us out to the studios, they send us like our material when we rmds and stuff. And then we'll have a month with theirs, that they've got this big rehearsal facility in Fort Lauderdale in Florida. And then you go there for the month, and you do nine to five rehearsals for that month. And then they send you to the ship for six months. So, like, so that's the kind of process there, but I was wondering what it was like for a stadium or arena tour or something like that.
Speaker: Seth Rausch 16:55
I'll tell you, man, not as much as you would think, I mean, like, for us, it seems like there's always new music to work up. Not all the time, but it usually seems to coincide with a new album, or new material or whatever. So, there's the musical side of it. But then there's the production side, so like, there might be a two-to-three-week block, where someone's kind of already designed the set in the field, in the show aspect of it. And, you know, like, people spend a lot of time on that, because that's what people are seeing, and then, we'll pretty much do like, it seems like a week, or at the just kind of rearranging the set, working on arrangements. And then just trying to do it to wherever the show, the production aspect is, is with the music, and then pretty much hit it, I would say not much more than few weeks, yeah.
Speaker: Dan Lewis 18:20
And so, would that be like, day rehearsals? or?
Speaker: Seth Rausch 18:23
Yeah, it'd be similar to a 9 to 5, or something like that. But there ends up being a lot of time where we're kind of just on call and ready, because we'll try to do something and then they'll have to tweak something with the set or the lights. And, you know, the good thing is that they're never really waiting on us too much. As far as it's about, like we have to just, it's not like it's pulling teeth to hash out. The musical elements. Yeah, pretty much. You know, yeah. We do what we do, and we'll take some direction from Keith, if he's hearing something that he wants different, but, it's not too extensive.
Speaker: Dan Lewis 19:14
Yeah, so do you. Do you still get any pre show nerves?
Speaker: Seth Rausch 19:20
Yeah, man, all the time. I hate it. But yeah, I mean, it's, more excitement. But yeah, I always have a little jittery, just, but it’s a healthy…
Speaker: Dan Lewis 19:33
You'd probably be more wired if you didn't, right.
Speaker: Seth Rausch 19:36
Yeah. But it's cool. It's kind of cool that that never goes away. But at the same time, sometimes I'm just like, man, just hang out. But it's just me. Yeah.
Speaker: Dan Lewis 19:50
So, what do you do before the show?
Speaker: Seth Rausch 19:53
We just hang, we put some music on and hang out and I'll throw some sticks in my hands, for a couple minutes. Yeah, don't get me wrong. I need to warm up more than I do. I really don't warm up too much. But yeah, I'll just, maybe throw in some earbuds and listen to a couple parts that maybe I want to work on for myself. Yeah. Show moments or, or whatever. But yeah, we'll just hang out and pop a beer and just get ready to go have a good time and play some music.
Speaker: Dan Lewis 20:32
So, you don't Yeah, so you do have a warm up routine? Or is it kind of like, you just…
Speaker: Seth Rausch 20:37
Not anything specific. I'll just run through some rudiments, you know, I'll put some earbuds in and just play random stuff over top of that. Yeah, there's like this thing going on at the same time. So, like, I can kind of just align my brain a little bit and focus on playing something that has nothing to do with something else. Brunch for sure. I definitely try to stretch out my forearms because they will get real. Sometimes we come out of the gate swinging for like, 12 straight minutes, without stopping.
Speaker: Dan Lewis 21:17
Because his music is quite upbeat as well, right?
Speaker: Seth Rausch 21:21
It is. Yeah. A lot of energy.
Speaker: Dan Lewis 21:23
Yeah. Which can get probably quite tiring. I imagine, especially like with the adrenaline of the show itself, right?
Speaker: Seth Rausch 21:30
There's definitely a huge like, you know, when you're done, and you just did that for two hours. It just doesn't stop. Yeah. When it's over, you feel like it felt like you just run ran a marathon.
Speaker: Dan Lewis 21:43
Yeah. So, like, how'd you wind down then?
Speaker: Seth Rausch 21:47
Depends what we're doing. You know, if we're traveling to the next city, on the bus, we'll just hang out on the bus for a little while, a lot of times, I would say over the past couple years, man more times than not, we're, we're flying in and out a lot.
So, we'll, we'll literally run off stage, our stuffs already loaded. And we're in the runner vans back to the airport. Just kind of get a little bite to eat and hang out.
Speaker: Dan Lewis 22:18
Nice. I guess the nerves kind of, you don't have nerves about the actual material itself, right. Because it's like, it's so well-rehearsed. I can imagine, like a lot of players that I played with, like some people, I play in bands, or some people who are really good crammers. So, they'll cram everything in the last minute. And then I've also worked with people who are like, in the middle, you know, they start out and then like, I'm like, the opposite. I have to work. As long as I can't like, the more time I get with stuff, like, the better I feel about it, you know. And so, I think sometimes I've seen people have more nerves, when they feel like they don't know the material as well as they could.
Speaker: Seth Rausch 22:55
Definitely, and I think the more like, touring yours are so great, because you're essentially rehearsing every day, and you get tighter and tighter, and, and the show aspect comes out and it just like is on autopilot. You're just going.
Speaker: Dan Lewis 23:16
Yeah, and do you keep? I know, some drummers will do like, not like completely different, but say they've got some room to open up. In some songs, they might do something a variation every night. But then I have also spoken to other drummers, I spoke to Dua Lipa’s drummer, I've done an interview with him. And he was saying he keeps it the exact same every single night for every single show, because, he doesn't want to throw people off. And if maybe Dua Lipa is used to hearing a certain fill for a certain, set it's like segue into another section. Like he doesn't want to let you know, mess with those sorts of things. So, what what's your kind of thought on that?
Speaker: Seth Rausch 23:53
Definitely not as hardcore is that I mean, I'm essentially, if you heard five shows, you would probably say that I was playing the same thing, but I don't think, if it feels a little different. And that's not so much. I mean, if it's a signature thing, obviously, it would have to be there. But yeah, there's definitely little nuances that might change. Yeah. And that's totally fine. Yeah, it's all in the realm of, of what the song needs.
Speaker: Dan Lewis 24:33
Yeah. So, what would a typical day on tour look like for you guys? If there is such thing.
Speaker: Seth Rausch 24:42
Like more touring? Yeah, not real exciting. I mean, just, we might check out the city we're in or go to the hotel. But essentially, there's nothing we can do until soundcheck at three in the afternoon. So, you know, and they're spending, they're loading in, they probably closed the last door on the truck at one or two in the morning from the night before. And they're loading in at six. And there's they're literally just setting everything up. And yeah, it's two in the afternoon, or three in the afternoon until. So, there's really, it's just keep yourself busy, trying to do something productive. And run to catering every 15 minutes and eat a bunch of stuff.
Speaker: Dan Lewis 25:30
Yeah, I've heard that. It's, it can be quite dangerous to these tours.
Speaker: Seth Rausch 25:35
Yeah. But it's cool. I mean, a lot of times, we're on tour we're in, in cool cities, so we can, you know, I'll go wander around a little bit.
Speaker: Dan Lewis 25:47
Would Keith find that difficult? Like, does he kind of do the same thing? Usually you find like, with the artists and bands when you get like an artist who's like, world famous, so especially if the band is in town. I've heard stories where the band are like free to kind of go and do what they want. But then the artist can't.
Speaker: Seth Rausch 26:07
He does a little bit, you know, he'll get out. He's not afraid to just get out. Yeah, he'll just he doesn't, very himself, he'll go to a local gym, and he'll do some exercising or go just explore a little bit. There's been a couple times on the road, where he'll just call us up and say, “hey, what are you guys doing tonight”? You want to just; we might be some little town and we'll just go to a bowling alley. And sometimes people, sometimes the town's almost so small and it's a day off maybe, or something. And it's just, sometimes what you don't expect to see is your best cover because people aren't really looking for it.
Speaker: Dan Lewis 26:53
It's like hidden in plain sight, right? that's cool. And so, you obviously play you play in the studio as well. Right? So, you do studio session? So, what would they say if an artist came to you? And it was kind of like, do you do you deal with everything? Like, obviously a blank canvas when you go in? And then how, what's your kind of process for giving them the best the best product?
Speaker: Seth Rausch 27:20
Just listening to them, what they're feeling what they might want. It's kind of 50:50.
I mean, usually, they'll let you know, what they might want to feel or to be or whatever. And then you're pretty much just, starting off by playing what you feel. And if it resonates. Cool. And if it doesn't, then then you change.
Speaker: Dan Lewis 27:47
Speaker: Seth Rausch 27:49
But a demo and a chart, and then just go with what you what your instincts would tell you.
Speaker: Dan Lewis 27:57
Yeah. Because obviously, you're being hired for that job because of your playing style. Right. Otherwise, they'd have someone else there.
Speaker: Seth Rausch 28:02
Yeah. Most times, especially if there's a producer involved. He's all on you. Because he knows what he's going to get from you.
Speaker: Dan Lewis 28:12
Yeah. And so, kind of going back to the tour thing. Obviously, like, I'm assuming tour can be quite like Instagram. I know. Like, certainly with Carnival, you'll post or like your beach pictures and stuff. And your posts can like the best parts of your job, but then you won't post the times where it gets like, a bit tough on board. And, you've been away for like, eight months, so what would what would you say are some of the tougher aspects of tour?
Speaker: Seth Rausch 28:40
Just not being home. Yeah, like I said, this, this was a great move for me when I took the gig with Keith, because more things were streamlined. Yeah, I think that just comes from, you know, bigger budgets. Bigger budgets, allow more conveniences.
And it just is what it is. It's not taking anything away from anyone else, yeah. But the travels more streamline you can get to and from quicker and have more time at home, and other than a few long runs, for instance what you do, that would be tough, like being in the rock world, or the or the pop world where you're literally gone for six or eight months, and maybe you go home for two weeks and you're back.
Nashville, is they call it the weekend warrior stuff. It's basically your you don't really have to, unless you're with a new artist, that just can't afford to go back home all the time. And they keep you out on the bus for, three or four or five weeks at a time.
I have had some long trips with Keith. If we're out of the country. or making a trek, you know, somewhere where we just have to be out 20 something days. And most of the time, it's because we're out of the country. Yeah. But generally speaking, we're home quite a bit. I mean, there's nothing you can do about having a show on the same date as something that might be going on at home. But I mean, yeah, the hardest part is to travel. Yeah, yeah. I think that's really what we get paid for man. Playing is fun. It's nothing too crazy. It's nice. Not having to be gone for huge chunks at a time all the time.
Speaker: Dan Lewis 30:42
Yeah. Have you have you done that before?
Speaker: Seth Rausch 30:46
I'm not extensively. I mean, I've been in Nashville ever since I really started trying to play for a living. So, it's, there's been some longer trips, but it's nothing. It's we always come back home.
Speaker: Dan Lewis 31:03
Yeah. I was speaking to a guy once who did an 18 months tour.
Speaker: Seth Rausch 31:12
Yeah, it's great. I mean, our tour lasted six months, so yeah. But like a tour for us is Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Saturday, Sunday. Or Friday, Saturday, Sunday. Thursday, Friday, Saturday. And we'll be out for three days, and we'll come back home. It's nothing crazy. Most times most of the time. I never really toured with an artist. that was like, months at a time.
Speaker: Dan Lewis 31:39
Yeah. Because I think Yeah, I guess that's the side of the job that people don't see either. Right? Is like is the length of time away. And, and like you said, it's interesting that you touched on like that, kind of like that sacrifice aspect. We're very lucky that we get paid to play for a living. But it's also like, you met you, like you said, like, you can't help it if, like, your, I don't know, your daughter's birthday is on is on the same night as a show and they can't make it out or whatever. For us. It's like, if someone's getting married within eight-month block, there's no chances you're, you're going to make it.
Speaker: Seth Rausch 32:15
And over the years, man, it's definitely if there's one gig in a month, you're going to bet there’s going to be more. But I personally haven't given myself a great chance of not missing things, because I have a wife and six kids. So, there's always something to be missed. They’re understanding. I mean, it's just work.
Speaker: Dan Lewis 32:48
Yeah, for sure. And so, you've done along with, a lot of arena shows and tours and things like that. You've also done a lot of TV work, kind of what, what's the difference? Is that, like, there's obviously a huge difference there. What was that like?
Speaker: Seth Rausch 33:08
It's, it's somewhere between live and being in the studio. You have to pull this live energy, because that's what you're doing. But it's not like you're feeding off of a crowd. The crowd is in there. But, it's a weird, it's just a different kind of thing.
And you're only doing a song or two. Most of the time. Yeah, unless it's a filmed concert of some sort. But, yeah, it's just a different energy. A lot of times the studios are there, like soundstage is really they’re in their cold. Yeah. It's like, it's just a different kind of mindset, especially when you're, like, “look at me, man, I'm playing” and it's,7:30 in the morning, every aspect is fun in its own way.
Speaker: Dan Lewis 34:19
Is it always live?
Speaker: Seth Rausch 34:21
Not always. It depends what kind of TV you're doing. A lot of them are live if you're doing a morning sharing stuff, I guess. Yeah, morning show or a late-night talk show or something like that. Yeah. But award shows could go either way. A lot of times we'll you know, we'll either record something and then played or own, those things are different because it's like, in two minutes, you're rolling stuff out and plugging everything in and if it wasn't, if something didn't work, you're kind of right now. A lot of times Keith will be totally live, his guitar and his vocals are always live. And then we'll just, get out there and make a music video.
Speaker: Dan Lewis 35:08
Yeah. And so, you know, throughout doing all of these, all of these shows something I love asking people if they've ever met their drumming like idols.
Speaker: Seth Rausch 35:21
I would have loved to have met my biggest one, but he died in 1998. Just a couple years after I moved to Nashville, which is Carlos Vega, right. Amazing drummer. Huge history. He had been playing with James Taylor for 10 years at that point. But yeah, I mean, definitely the next biggest one for me who, which is cool, because he would know me if he saw me. We've met each other a few times, and my drum tech and him our friends. But yeah, the first couple times I ever got to meet him. Steve Gadd was like, wow, yeah, it was awesome. Man, the first time I ever met him was actually at a James Taylor concert. We got to go backstage. I was with an artist. At that point, we were on tour with the Rascal Flatts. And the band playing before us. There was a band called the record. It was Michelle Branch and another. Another female singer and Michelle's husband at the time was Teddy Landau, who's Michael Landau’s brother. And those two guys along with Carlos made some rock records that were really good. And I was talking to Teddy one day and Michael, who also has been touring with James for a lot of years now, 20 something years. They were on tour that summer. And so, we got a hold of them. And we were able to go to a James Taylor concert and go backstage. And that was the first time I met Steve, in person. And he was super cool.
Speaker: Dan Lewis 37:04
Yeah. You can imagine.
Speaker: Seth Rausch 37:11
Yeah. Super humble. Just cool, coolest gibby. But then fast forward to now on the Keith gig and when at first, when we were on tour with Keith in 2013. Harry McCarthy, who owns Drone Paradise here in Nashville, is a longtime friend of Steve's in his tech Tour over the years along with Jeff Caro and Carlos Vega, and Don Henley, and everybody who have been in LA for a long time. But, but through Harry, I had weird hooked up and hung out with Gad a handful of times. You know, because they're friends. You know, we were out early, and we found out that Steve Gadd and his band, we're literally playing literally 30 seconds down the street. And so, I told area like, Man, you might want to call Steve because they're here. They're right up the street. And so, he did and, and we got to, you know, hang out with those guys that day and stuff. But yeah, Gad, for sure. Getting I would say he was definitely the biggest one alive today that I met.
Speaker: Dan Lewis 38:25
Yeah. Did you talk drums?
Speaker: Seth Rausch 38:28
No, not really. No not too much. Yeah. But, yeah, again, it's great, man. He. He was some of the first instructional videos that I had when I was when I was little.
Speaker: Dan Lewis 38:43
Yeah. I think I'd love to meet Steve Jordan. I think that'd be like really cool.
Speaker: Seth Rausch 38:50
Yeah, he's awesome, too. I just had the pleasure of doing a I don't know if you follow Gretsch. drums. Yeah. So, they do that generations series. And I just did the eighth episode a couple days ago. Oh, great. And they just pair you with whoever, you know. And so, when they called me to do it, it's just about taking a relatively not in terms of your musical career, a veteran and a newbie more about how long you've been with the company. And so, I you know, I'd been with him now for about 15 years. And just a handful years ago, they got JJ Johnson. And so, they teamed me up with him to say basically, like, Yeah, man, and that was really the first time I ever met him. And so, it was just two guys just not really interviewing each other, just talking. And we ended up talking for like, an hour and a half. And, but yeah, JJ is great, too, man. Yeah, that pocket. You know.
Speaker: Dan Lewis 39:54
He played on the John Mayer Where the Light is album, right? Like the live show that he did in Greek. That was him, right?
Speaker: Seth Rausch 40:01
Yeah, that was the one, wasn't it? where there were like three acts that night?
Speaker: Dan Lewis 40:07
I think so. I just remember it's called I think it's Where The Light Is DVD and it's got him. And I think Steve Jordan plays on that as well.
Speaker: Seth Rausch 40:13
Yeah, I think Mayer does like an acoustic set.
Speaker: Dan Lewis 40:16
Yeah, that's right. Yeah, he does it. Yeah. three segments. Yeah. He does the trio as well. Yeah, that's right.
Speaker: Seth Rausch 40:23
You know, Pino and Steve did the trio and then JJ was doing the deal in like the top 40. Yeah, yeah. It was nice. Oh, yeah. Really nice. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah, he was great. Cool, man. Yeah, that was cool. Getting me because I'm a huge fan of Tedeschi trucks too. And he's been doing that for 10 years. Check them out. Man. They're awesome. Derek trucks is Butch trucks’ nephew. I hope I don't get that wrong. But Derek, there's a connection between him and the Allman Brothers. I think his uncle was Butch trucks who was the drummer for the Allman Brothers. But he's in a meme. I mean, there's videos of him playing with the Allman Brothers when he's like, 11 or 12 years old. Yeah. slaying it? Yeah, check those, check those out. Well check this out. Yeah. And if I, I think I might have a cool, like, couple concerts, some I'll text them to you.
Speaker: Dan Lewis 41:27
Okay, cool. Thanks. Yeah, and so this is kind of going in a bit of a different direction. But um, there's like, for younger musicians. Now, I think when you're like, when you've been playing for a longer time, you kind of know why you are what you're good at. So, you know, the things to work on to make you better at the things you're good at, if that makes sense. You know, there's like a world of information out there right now you can get pulled in any direction, like I've sometimes struggled with and within drums that, like, you go on, you feel good about what you're doing the path of going down, and you look at Instagram, and then you see a bunch of gospel chops, and then you just want to do that, and then that pulls you in that direction. And then UK, do you know what I mean? So how would you How would you like kind of advice and address that for those players that are kind of in this?
Speaker: Seth Rausch 42:17
I would say if there's something that you want to learn focus on it, but never lose sight of the fact that you play the way you play, you can always get better within your playing. Maybe you want to improve your time, or your feel or whatever. But yeah, just be careful to never lose sight of the fact that you sound like you do. Because it's easy to want to just replicate. stolen, so or so and so or so. And so, you know what I mean? Yeah, and that's all great to a certain degree. Because the amount of I mean, you it's one of those things, you could never stop learning. Literally there's always more to learn. Don't let it drive yourself crazy, yeah, play like you play, but just make sure that your feel is good, and that you keep good time. And then and definitely just build off of that.
Speaker: Dan Lewis 43:30
Yeah. Because I think a lot of the time people don't see that the people who are like the best and that like, you know, the best of what they do. So, like ash stone is known for like his groove works, Steve Gadd, and, and then you've got like Aaron Spears, who is also a great groove on, but he's also known for, like, the chops and stuff like that. But I think what you lose sight of is like, when you get to a certain level, I guess within your own playing, it will be really difficult to try and do that, because like those people have spent years developing those skills, yeah, it's kind of like the jack of all trades, rather than like…
Speaker: Seth Rausch 44:05
Yeah, and I think at the end of the day, even though all those guys, it seems like this, you know, unattainable mountain of, of skill. You know, they're actually doing what comes natural to them in a certain sense, because that's why they're doing it. You know what I mean?
Speaker: Dan Lewis 44:32
Yeah. And your background has a massive influence on how you play as to right, so, I think, like Iron Spears, grew up in church and things like that, and that was that sort of culture. So, it'd be very hard to like, replicate that within your own playing. If you haven't had that experience.
Speaker: Seth Rausch 44:48
Totally. Yeah, you can't trade the you know, it's like the old you could play the blues. But those guys that were playing the blues, who were playing the blues, because they really experienced it right? Not just the style of playing. It's an it's a life experience, too. That's what it was originally.
Speaker: Dan Lewis 45:15
So, in a world of kind of, like unlimited possibility, you would just say, focus on the things that you enjoy, and kind of follow those pathways.
Speaker: Seth Rausch 45:23
Yeah, but definitely keep growing, try to always, you could sit down and just play the things that are comfortable for you over and over and over, but try to just pick something in. Because it's not really about doing it like anybody else. Just from a technical standpoint, maybe tackle that lick that someone's always doing or whatever. Because it's always going to develop and open up from you can your style, two guys can do the same thing, but it's going to sound different, so there's nothing Yeah, I mean, that's really important is just keep growing. But like, just keep learning something new all the time. Yeah, because a lot of the work gets done, when you're not behind the drums too. Yeah, it's up here. I remember when I was taking lessons and stuff, we would hash through something. And even if I didn't have a lesson again, for a month, it would fester. And I was actually learning by having it just be in my brain. And then all of a sudden, in a couple months, you're listening to a song, and you're like, tapping along, you get to, use it and feel it in terms of what in its context.
Speaker: Dan Lewis 46:52
Yeah. I think that's a step back the way we're looking at it, I think. And so, you have obviously work with a lot of musicians. throughout your time in all these bands, what is it that you look for and like, really admire in other musicians?
Speaker: Seth Rausch 47:08
Just, definitely those guys that just want to do what's best for the song to get whatever point that is that needs to be conveyed. done in the best way possible? Yeah. Yeah. And I can't really say that I've experienced too many guys that aren't like that. But just guys that want to just be a cohesive unit and make the song at that moment be what it needs to be. Yeah. And make it feel the best.
Speaker: Dan Lewis 47:50
And is it also important that they, you get along with them offstage?
Speaker: Seth Rausch 47:55
I think so. Yeah. And I've never spent any extended period of time with anyone that you know, I mean, if there was anyone that you didn't get along with, I think it'd be hard to take the stage every night and want to like, put a smile on your face and go there. I've never experienced that situation of not really getting along with anybody.
Speaker: Dan Lewis 48:26
Yeah, I think I had this conversation with someone before. I just think it's like, the kind of assholes they kind of like fall off of the sides when you get to like, a much more elite level. Like, there's not really like any room for that sort of thing.
Speaker: Seth Rausch 48:38
Yeah, I mean, there's always some guys that have that thing about them. But I haven't I haven't really been around any.
Speaker: Dan Lewis 48:47
yeah. Like, would you rather work with someone who is like, shit hot, but they're just like, not great. Not nice to work with? Or would you rather work with someone who's like, the pro they can get through the charts, but they're just a much nicer, nicer person.
Speaker: Seth Rausch 49:01
I think at the end of the day, if you have to be around anyone for an extended period of time, definitely the nice person will go for anything. Yeah, long as you're getting your job done. I think. I think I've experienced more, with having issues with like, sound guys, for instance. He just, like, guys that want to just give you crap for like, tuning your own drums. Because it's going to like they're going to have to turn a knob again or something. [Inaudible]
Speaker: Dan Lewis 49:38
So, do you have a tech on tour? Do you have a drum tech?
Speaker: Seth Rausch 49:47
Speaker: Dan Lewis 49:48
And so, with a drum set, because obviously I've never had one hopefully one day, I'll have one. So do you. It's such an interesting process. Like I've heard some drummers will set up a kit in their house, and they'll tune it how they want it tuned. And then they'll have the drum tech come over and kind of like, bite and measure it up or whatever. And then so they'll just replicate that every night from that point onwards, that's like one process that's that old, I guess the only posts I've heard, but what's kind of your process with that,
Speaker: Seth Rausch 50:22
Harry's, he's done it for so long. He's had professional cartridge businesses where he's delivering, studio kits for guys and stuff. And it's just, there's nothing to it mean, if you were going for like, some specialty sound, where you wanted them tweak the way up high, like a jazz tuning or way low and dead and flabby. That would be some but attack at the end of the day is good, take notice of that. and then just, just keep doing it but I mean, all my stuff's pretty standard tuning. So, there's more, more about setting up and positioning and stuff, yeah.
Speaker: Dan Lewis 51:22
So, will you do like an initial setup? And then he'll just replicate that for every night of the tour?
Speaker: Seth Rausch 51:29
Yeah, like, if we change the setup, we'll get together one day, and we'll just set up.
And then he'll kind of mark out the carpet, right? there'll be some times where, you get the deception of a new head, or man, that sounds really nice. And then, as soon as you sit down and start playing it, you're like, I knew I was going to do this and it wasn't tight enough, like motion to write up and it's, but yeah, it's all pretty standard. I mean, Harry's is awesome. The drums are always, they sound great. And the position is, and really soon as you spend time together, we've been together for six years. So, they your setup ends up becoming their setup. They know exactly what they want to feel and see, angle wise. Yeah, after they do it, 100 times. It's like, but Harry's amazing, man, he's the best.
Speaker: Dan Lewis 52:23
Yeah. That's great, man. And one last one. This is kind of the one I always end with what words your advice for, like younger musicians kind of wanting to go into a similar thing of you? What would you What would your advice be for them?
Speaker: Seth Rausch 52:43
Just Play, play everywhere that you can with as many people as you can. Just start your network, let your playing be your calling card and never let your own ego get in the way, man. Like, just play and be cool. That's it, man. Just play. Just share the music and be open to suggestions. And just keep playing and growing. You know? Yeah. Because there's always someone above you and someone below you, man. That's Yeah.
Speaker: Dan Lewis 53:23
Yeah. Well, thank you so much, man. Great advice.
Speaker: Seth Rausch 53:27
Thanks for having me.
Speaker: Dan Lewis 53:28
Thank you for such a great interview, man.
Speaker: Seth Rausch 53:29
Definitely keep in touch too. I'll send you anything cool that I think you might enjoy. Live stuff.
Speaker: Dan Lewis 53:37
Yeah, I'm going to check out your, your Gretsch thing with JJ. got a couple days ago. Yeah. Well, when it's released, I'll check it out. But yeah, let's keep in touch. And if you're because I'm, yeah, I'm in the US probably like 10 out of 12 months of the year. And I usually have like, maybe like two- or three-weeks post contract where I'm just kind of like, doing nothing. So, I think I'd love to come back to Nashville. So, I'll definitely…
ELITE SEAT GUESTS