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Paul's Online Chat on the World Percussion Network - 7/11/99:

Jeff_Suthe: I would like to thank you very much for joining us tonight. I appreciate your hard work in getting this set up.
Paul Wertico: Thanks and "hello" to everyone!

Jeff_Suthe: What are your current projects!
Paul Wertico: Wow, there's an awful lot to talk about. Probably, it's faster to check my web site for that.

Adam_Brown: Hi Paul. What drum set books would you recommend?
Paul Wertico: What level?

Adam_Brown: Intermediate to advanced.
Paul Wertico: The DCI books are great, also Zoro's funk book is good. Anything that teaches styles and groove are good for proper development. Too much technical stuff can confuse students if they don't know how to employ it.

Paul Wertico: Also, please excuse my spelling, since I'm typing as fast as I can! I feel like Lionel Hampton, with his two-finger piano technique. I wish I had taken typing in school!

JonSinger: <laughs>

Jeff_Suthe: What is your current teaching load at NU?
Paul Wertico: I usually teach the sophomores, as well as anyone else that wants to study with me.

Jeff_Suthe: Strictly drum set, I assume!
Paul Wertico: Yeah, for the most part.

Jeffrey_L_: How often are you present at NU?
Paul Wertico: As often as I'm available.

Jeff_Suthe: What does a monthly schedule look like in your life?
Paul Wertico: Crazy!

JonSinger: Got family? (married? kids?)
Paul Wertico: Yes, and they always come first.

Jeff_Suthe: Are you in the process of doing another album(s)?
Paul Wertico: I just finished a new CD with my came out great!

JonSinger: How would you describe that music?
Paul Wertico: It's music we all wrote individually and I produced it as's not for the weak of heart!!!

JonSinger: <laughs> Wonderful!

Michael_Co: Hi Paul. We are in awe of your work with the PM group. We haven't had a chance to become familiar with your trio. Will you be playing in NJ?
Paul Wertico: I hope so, it's just a matter of booking a tour. NJ rocks for sure! Did that rhyme?!!

Jeffrey_L_: It depends where in NJ.
Paul Wertico: I haven't had a bad experience in NJ yet.

Michael_Co: We'd like to think so - saw you last year, 7/5 at Waterloo and Pat always says "there's something about NJ - or do you guys say that in every state!
Paul Wertico: We usually have great audiences, but NJ has a vibe.

Pat_Brown: Paul: Just a quick hello from Texas. Really enjoyed seeing you at FitzGerald's in Chicago. Great music. Killer musicians.
Paul Wertico: Hi Pat! Thanks!

Jeff_Suthe: Can you give us a short explanation about how you are hired or booked?
Paul Wertico: Word of mouth, usually.

Michael_Co: We were also really lucky enough to be present at the "Sessions" taping - how satisfied were you and the group with the outcome?
Paul Wertico: I wish they had included more.

JonSinger: Do you stress performing to your students?
Paul Wertico: I stress the things that I feel will help make them pros.

Adam_Brown: Do you prefer playing in larger goup situations or in smaller groups, like your trio?
Paul Wertico: Smaller allows more freedom, usually.

Paul Wertico: Hello...anybody out there?

Jeff_Suthe: People being shy tonight.
Paul Wertico: Why? We can do this in our underwear.

JonSinger: I'm curious about your backround, and what you've done with world music...(or anything outside the US).
Paul Wertico: I don't know if I can type that long. My web site at can answer some of those questions.

Pat_Brown: Paul: Elvin Jones told me that when he plays with new musicians, he just gives them a copy of the changes and trusts that they know how to play their instruments well enough to come up with something interesting. Is that how you work with guys that are unfamiliar to you?
Paul Wertico: I just try to be supportive and not get bugged if they're lame.

Michael_Co: Hope this isn't a dumb question, but during the composition of the PMG works, do you have free reign with the drum parts or does Pat or Lyle write the parts for all the instruments?
Paul Wertico: They're my parts, for better or worse. The new trio CD will have alot of how I play when I can do as I please.

Jeff_Suthe: When will it be released, label etc.?
Paul Wertico: I have to mix it yet and then shop it around, but I think that even if I had to put it out myself, it would be worth always comes first!

Michael_Co: Can't wait to hear it - we already thought you are a complex drummer.
Paul Wertico: Thanks Michael.

Jeff_Suthe: Will you post some snippets on your website?
Paul Wertico: I'll have stuff on my site for sure. Also, the live webcast we did should be up shortly.

Pat_Brown: So, when you or one of the guys in the trio brings in a new tune, I guess it begins as a specific melody over structured changes, then you improvise as thing progress?
Paul Wertico: Yes, but I wrote three pieces that I wanted a certain "vibe" on and we just took things from there.

Michael_Co: With a family, it must be harder to take the time to tour, but would you be as satisfied recording as playing live? We'd really miss your performances.
Paul Wertico: Thanks...I'm just happy playing good music...period.

JonSinger: What things do you enjoy, outside of music?
Paul Wertico: Cooking, and especially trains!

JonSinger: Model trains, or train-trains?
Paul Wertico: All kinds of trains. We went to a railroad museum today and it was great.

JonSinger: What's the attraction?
Paul Wertico: Motion, energy, the movement, the sounds, the smells, THE NOISE!

JonSinger: Very cool! I remember being obsessed with trains when I was very young, now I'm 17, not as obsessed, I realize cars go faster most the time.
Paul Wertico: It's not just about speed...sort of like drumming!

JonSinger: The interest isn't about speed, but how about when you're getting to a gig in NJ?!
Paul Wertico: Good one!

Adam_Brown: How do you approach playing with another percussionist (congas, etc.)?
Paul Wertico: I approach playing with a percussionist with delight. It's like striking up a good conversation.

JonSinger: You play any non-drumset percussion on gigs?
Paul Wertico: All the time. I do alot of gigs on percussion, even though I'm sure most people don't know that.

Michael_Co: Did you always know you would be successful in music - were you very focused on music as a child?
Paul Wertico: I was always obsessed with music...I never thought much about the money.

Adam_Brown: Paul, which music schools would you recommend?
Paul Wertico: I really don't feel qualified to talk about that.

Michael_Co: While you're touring, do you get a chance to see much of the countries you're in?
Paul Wertico: Yeah, I always try to see where I'm at...that's part of the fun of touring.

Jeff_Suthe: Who were your major influnces?
Paul Wertico: Everybody that sounded like they loved the drums!

Michael_Co: Looking at some of your touring schedules (past) it doesn't seem like you have much free time.
Paul Wertico: It's a matter of how you use the time that you have.

Adam_Brown: Do you have any advice for aspiring drummers?
Paul Wertico: Just have fun, and if you want to play for a living, learn as much as you can about music and business.

Adam_Brown: What is the best way to get your foot in the door in the music industry?
Paul Wertico: Word of mouth is best.

Michael_Co: Is there any truth to the rumor of a PMG festival next year - in Ann Arbor? (from american garage; Elena is trying to arrange for benefiting alternative medicine study)
Paul Wertico: I don't know anything about a PMG festival.

JonSinger: Seems you seem to have an answer for everything so far, so I'll try this: What do think of artistic individuality? Should a drummer be "every drummer before him" or is there a point where s/he can really start to originate new things? (All the names that come up, certainly aren't sounding like the guys or gals who came before them.)
Paul Wertico: Just learn everything that you can and put it in a big stew that becomes "you", but always be true to the music first.

JonSinger: How do you know how to be true to the music? Intuition?
Paul Wertico: Knowing tradition is great, especially if you want to teach.

Michael_Co: Do you have a particular favorite drumming experience?
Paul Wertico: It truly gets more fun all the time...especially when you don't think you suck anymore!

Julian_Jeu: How did you land your sponsorships? Did you approach them, or vice versa?
Paul Wertico: A little bit of both. You have to have something to offer the companies, otherwise it's just a one sided arrangement.

Adam_Brown: What is the best way to get noticed from a company for endorsements? Word of mouth?
Paul Wertico: If you have a hot band, let the companies whose products you really want to play know that you're interested, and if you being an endorser can help them and you get a deal, be loyal.

Michael_Co: Do you explore the drumming of other cultures - for example, Japanese Kodo drummers? Would you enjoy collaborating with them or any other particular culture sound?
Paul Wertico: I love drumming and music from all around the planet.

Jeff_Suthe: Paul, do you have more time to spend with us or will you need to go now?
Paul Wertico: Thanks everyone, I think we're out of time. I hope to see you all sometime and please support the PAS...they're great! Thanks again! All the best!!!

Jeff_Suthe: Thanks again for joining us tonight.

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