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Todd: So Tres, you are a drummer.

Tres: Yes, I am indeed. And for all that negative baggage that comes with that term, yes I am a drummer.

Todd: Wait wait, so you say that there’s negative terms that go with being a drummer?

Tres: Well sometimes when people hear “oh they’re a musician” you know, “oh you better watch out for them”. Yeah, it’s true.

Todd: OK. Well, what kind of drums do you play?

Tres: I grew up playing in punk bands, mostly because those were the only bands scouting for drummers at the time. However, what I enjoy playing is funk, jazz, blues and salsa, specifically Cuban salsa.

Todd: OK. Now, so for the different types of music that you play, do you always use the drum sticks, or do you sometimes just use your hands?

Tres: When I play on a drum set, I either use drum sticks or a bundle of sticks that are really small called hot rods, or brushes. Usually if I’m doing a jazz piece or a very soft acoustic set, I’ll use brushes. If I’m using other percussion instruments, for example a jimbei, then of course I use my hands.

Todd: What’s a jimbei?

Tres: Jimbei is a large drum that comes from West Africa. And you play with your hands using various African poly-rhythms. And lately, a lot of Western drummers have picked up the drum, and have fused Western rhythms along with African and Latin poly-rhythms. So it’s a very fun, but very difficult instrument to play.

Todd: What do you prefer, using the sticks, or the hot rods or using your hands.

Tres: Again it depends on the music that I’m playing. I enjoy playing in general. My preference would be playing the drum set with the sticks, just because I really love the more rocky-fusion-type-jazz, the more avant guard type stuff. And I also like salsa, which usually, you know you have your clave, which is a little wooden-like block. And your calmo, and you also have timbales, which are two drums that you hit on. Sorry for the bad description.

Todd: That’s OK. When you’re playing the drums, do you ever lose a drum stick?

Tres: I have in the past, yeah. Those question you’re asking are very very embarrassing for a drummer to answer. But yes, sometimes I’ve thrown them into the audience, usually on purpose. But occasionally, a drummer will lose a drum stick. So you usually have a pouch that you’ll put either next to your high hat, which are two symbols that you open and close with your foot, or next to a fore tomb which is the large drum that sits on the ground. So you have extra sticks that you can grab when you need them.

Todd: Sounds cool.

Tres: Very cool.