You hear his company’s drums and products almost daily on recordings, see them played by legendary drummers on awards shows and at concerts the world over, but Don Lombardi has turned his attention to a new venture, Drum Channel. Although Drum Workshop, or DW as many drummers refer to the iconic brand, may be the drum and percussion industries most regarded instruments to come along since Ringo sat behind a black oyster pearl set on his TV debut all those years ago, Lombardi says, “That educational passion is how the internet-based educational website came into being. I started teaching when I was 16 years old and did so while playing professionally for 20 years. During that time Drum Workshop began to grow and needed my full-time attention. Some 30 years later, I wanted to get back into education which has always been my passion”.
Lombardi was kind enough to chat with us for a few minutes between taping shows for Drum Channel and admitted, “The questions are little trickier to answer than one would think but I’ll give it a go.”
- One memory you have about the first gig you ever played in front of an audience.
The first gig I performed in front of an audience was at age 14 in a youth Dixieland Band at a club owned by Ray Bauduc, (a famous drummer) and I had to use his kit. I guess what I learned is that you have to be ready for anything.
- One item you can’t live without?
It used to be a drum set. I’m afraid now, it’s my cell phone. Not sure that’s a good thing.
- Best advice you have ever received about playing music?
Always try and play what you think you would like to hear. Some people may like it, some may not. Don’t worry about that.
- Where is music education going in 5 years? 10 years? 20 years?
In the upcoming years music education will continue but the numbers will continue to decline until we get music back into the school system curriculum, so kids can have the experience of playing an instrument.
- In your opinion, how will the internet and access to platforms like Spotify and Rdio change music and how artists deliver their work over the next 10 to 15 years?
The internet has already had a dramatic effect on the way artists deliver their content. It offers new opportunities with websites like Jammit.com; new business models with websites like Gigg.com and an educational resource like DrumChannel.com. Every generation has seen some degree of change they’ve had to overcome. I’m sure there will be new business models that will lead the way in future years.