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#90: Drummer Jay Lane | KEEPING A Dancing Bear Beat from Bob Weir to Primus

From the Hard KNock School of Rock to Dreadlocks and Birkenstocks

Drummer Jay Lane has kept the beat for the likes of Dead & Company, Rat Dog, Wolf Bros, Furthur, The Uptones and a bunch of Les Claypool’s projects like Primus, Sausage, and Frog Brigade. Is he the Pete Best of Primus? We’re going to find out.

Jay joins the pantheon of Nice Work! podcast guests who are drummers, including Logan Grimes from Midi Matilda, Ilan Rubin of Nine Inch Nails, and Ronnie Vannucci Jr. from the Killers. That’s a helluva percussion section for the Super Nice drum circle (eat your Mickey Hart out).

When we spoke to Jay he was speaking to us from beautiful Marin, California where does not live (he’s a lifelong San Franciscan)—sitting on Bob Weir’s deck. We had to ask what he was doing at Bob Weir’s house. The answer goes down every rabbit hole you might have hoped if you are a production geeking hoping for some insight into a symphonic album of Dead music—including one that has Bugs Bunny at the bottom.

Music education is endangered. And wow, if you can do anything to put music in kids’ hands you are making the world a nicer place. And Jay’s support of Blue Bear School of Music is just part of what him a super nice human who also happens to be a pretty damn good drummer. Teaching not just keeping the beat but also how their instrument fits into the band. Yes, there’s probably a larger analogy there.

We talk about all that and Jay gives us a pretty impressive list of drummers who you should check out. Including underrated tub masters who make you stop for a second and say something like ”Damn, that’s no drum machine,” such as Morris Day and Jellybean Johnson of the Time, Freddy White from Earth Wind and Fire, John ”JR“ Robinson, and legendary session musician and Jerry Garcia Band timekeeper Buzz Buchanan.

This episode is home to probably one of our more unusual challenges, but it could win you a one-of-a-kind original polaroid taken by Tod during his shoot for the cover of Primus’ “Green Naugahyde” album.

All this, and we also might have inadvertently reminded Jay he is paying for Spotify and motivated him to cancel it. His take: Porn websites are better about giving credit to the players than music streaming sites and apps. Looking at you Apple and Spotify (and, guys, please don’t take our podcast down, thanks).

And you heard here first. Jay is definitely coming out with his own album this year. Look for it on, uh, Bandcamp.

Some Things You May Learn About

>> How Jay met Bob Weir through doing a Levi’s commercial

>> Are drummers the most reliable members of the band?

>> Morris Day (leader of the Time) is a super underrated drummer

>> How to play wack-a-mole with an Italian conductor in an orchestra a la Carl Stalling

>> The three most dominant smells in a rehearsal space

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Ever been afraid to follow your true passion? The guests of Nice Work! have all been there, and they've all taken the leap of faith...and stuck the landing. Host Tod Brilliant is the founder of the Super Nice Club, and his guests will hopefully give you the power to make your world 10% nicer.

10% Nicer, That’s All We Ask.

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