I know I’ve madesomesnarkycomments about splash cymbals in the past. This is why I feel I must explain myself before posting today’s loop. You see, there are other ways to utilize splash cymbals besides highlighting DX-7 solos in bad fusion jams and recording prog-rock concept albums.
This is a trick I picked up a few years ago while hanging out at Wally’s on “funk night”. One of the house drummers, Charles “The Dog” Haynes, would often pull out a splash cymbal in the middle of a song and place it directly on the snare drum, completely changing the sound of the backbeat. By hitting the splash with the shoulder of the stick and really laying into it, Charles was able to produce a piercing, almost bit-crushed sounding snare. If only splash cymbals always sounded this manly.
Today’s loop takes The Charles Haynes Splash Method™ and combines it with a jingle stick in the right hand and a floor tom hit (covered with a t-shirt and soaked in sub-bass) on the “and” of 1.
Some things are better with a little dirt on them. Whenever I buy a new pair of white sneakers, I feel the need to step in a some mud. Steaks seem to taste better when cooked on a grill that hasn’t been totally scrubbed down. But you also have to be careful. Sometimes making things dirty can go terribly wrong.
I first discovered The Eels while on tour a few years ago. We were zig-zagging our way up and down the West Coast and the album, Souljacker, was put into heavy rotation. I was immediately drawn to the interplay between dirtiness and lushness in the production. Not only from song to song, but within the tracks themselves. Clean, acoustic guitars intertwining with fuzzed out bass. Expansive strings arrangements bumping up against distressed vocals. Dirtiness and pureness living in perfect harmony. Much like 5 dudes traveling inside of a smelly van littered with In-N-Out remnants.
For this track I held a jingle stick in my right hand and went for a wide open, ringy snare sound. To dirty things up, I bus’d all of the drum tracks to an aux tack and inserted Logic’s guitar amp plug-in. With clean drums on the original tracks and the “re-amped” drums on the aux track, I was able to mix to the desired dirtiness. Who wants to FedEx me a double-double, animal-style?