Daru Jones Interview
Before I write the interview I must first give a huge thanks to Daru Jones and his assistant Kendra Ross. My flight and shuttle were late, without a mic (see my Jack White concert review for details) and yet they still worked up to the last second to make this interview happen. Daru made time literally minutes before the show and even made the tour manger wait (sorry) to give me sufficient time. His class is matched only by his skill and I cannot thank him enough.
For the uneducated, Daru is a drummer from Michigan (now residing in Brooklyn). He’s worked with greats like Nas, Talib Kweli, Raekwon and Esparanza Spalding to name a few. He’s also done some work with lesser known, but talented acts such as Curren$y, Black Moon Theophilus London (once again, just to name a few). He toured with Jack White’s all male band and this year became the sole drummer for him.
How are you?
I’m good man, you?
I’m all right now (I laugh). Sorry to be late, did I disrupt and preshow routines?
Nah I don’t really have any, we usually listen to music before.
Oh what kind?
Lots of hip-hop and rock n roll music.
You were with Jack when he had his all male/female lineups right?
Yeah I was.
Were you a fan of it? Not knowing if you would play that night?
Its what I signed up for (laughs). Its also good to have a day off between shows.
What is the best venue you played? And the most rowdy
Since we’re here I think I’d say Red Rocks (laughs), and the craziest had to be… Lollapalooza 2012. Wait ask the last question one more time.
Were you a fan of not knowing if you would play (with the all male/female bands)?
It would be kind of a bummer at times to not play especially if it was a cool venue like Lolla or Red Rocks ‘cause those are once a tour venues.
You’ve drummed for Nas, Talib Kweli (to name a few) before touring with Jack, What is the biggest difference?
Rock fans are crazier; they want everything signed (laughs). It’s bigger in a way.
Talib and Jack are both greats in their own regard. Did you notice anything about their similar about their recording style?Well With Talib I went in and recorded drums that they already had set beats for and it wasn’t as hands on. With Jack I was able to try out stuff and he would say yes or no.
So more creative freedom with Jack?
Who would win in a drum off, you or Jack?
(Laughs) No comment
Fair enough (laughs), who are some up and comers that you think people should be on the lookout for?
There is this kid from Brooklyn Joey Bad…
Yeah (laughs) I don’t use profanity but um I like him because he’s… paying tribute to a style that’s 90’s era. Most rappers try and get on what is hot and he is doing his own thing, but maintaining a classic feel.
For “Honey” you recorded with your sister, what was that like? Any sibling rivalry?
(Laughs) I initially wasn’t going to do it with her, it was supposed to be here solo project. I thought of some producers that could help her like Black Milk, Marc Mac (of 4 hero) and then I started doing some beats.
At this point the tour manager was telling Daru time was up and he had to go. He calmly told her he would be five minutes and we were almost done.
Oh shit, ok quick, how would you describe your drumming style? Whenever I see you drummer you’re really beating your drums.
(Laughs) I call it soul-hop a combo of soul and hip-hop. Growing up in Michigan you had to have… showmanship to stand out. All the greats have it in someway and I wanted to have my own.
Who is/was the most important drummer in your opinion?
I gotta say Vinnie Colaiuta. He had a great sense of showmanship and he worked with so many great and important acts.
Ok, last questions, Red or Green?
What is that?
Its our state question in New Mexico (laughs), which do you prefer, red or green chile?
Um I’m not too sure. I’m not a big fan of spicy (laughs)
No worries man (laughs) thanks again so much for doing this.
Oh of course man, thanks for doing it.