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"My uncle showed me some basics when I was a little kid. He gave me Led Zeppelin IV, the Pink Panther soundtrack and a couple of other things. Basically he said, 'Listen to these and try and play along'. That was sort of it. Later on down the road, I hooked up with a teacher named Freddie Gruben. Now, he's sort of a legendary figure. He's just an amazing teacher educator and person. He's an old jazz musician - he and Buddy Rich I guess were really close friends. He was one of those music teachers, you'd go over to his house, and there'd be a bunch of other students hanging."Over the past few years, Waronker has played drums for a wide variety of artists including Creeper Lagoon, Crumb, Cibo Matto, Beck, R.E.M., The Smashing Pumpkins, John Doe, Badly Drawn Boy, Idaho, Walt Mink, Semi-Gloss, Tracy Chapman, Johnny Cash, AIR and Elliott Smith. He also recently scored the independent movie Chuck & Buck and The Good Girl.
"When I first played with them at their rehearsal place, we didn't play any old songs. Peter [Buck] said, "I just wrote this song, it goes like this ... " and just played it. It was the most amazing experience for me. I just came up with a part for it and he was like, "That's cool, here's the next section." After a while we had worked out a rhythm track and recorded it. I'd always heard about this sort of mythical process, like wow, they write songs as a band. And there I was. That was enough for me. The next thing I knew I was doing a show with them, the Tibetan Freedom Concert, and doing more recording for 'Up'."
"I think I just kind of... well, I guess I am a session drummer by trade, yes. But I'm trying to do a lot more than that. (...) I'm sort of at a place now where I do more of my things and less of someone else's. Except, with certain people, it's kind of fun to pick their brain and see what all their ideas are. That's really cool. But generally, I try to do my own thing."Joey's sister Anna is former frontwoman of That Dog, co-owns the new Five Foot Two label with sister-in-law and Go-Go Charlotte Caffey. Anna also plays in Ze Malibu Kids, a sort of McDonald brothers house band, and has recently been involved with producing albums (Imperial Teen’s On) and composing for TV and film (Josie & The Pussycats and the Clueless TV series).
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