The renowned, in-demand Spring Lake percussionist who likes to ‘take risks, jump off the ledge and even be chaotic’ hosts a CD-release show at Founders Brewing on Saturday.THE ARTIST: Drummer Scott Pellegrom
WHAT HE PLAYS: Prog-rock, fusion, jazz, funk
WHERE YOU CAN SEE HIM: 9:30 p.m. Saturday at Founders Brewing Co. in Grand Rapids
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Fans really need to know only one thing about Scott Pellegrom’s new studio album, “SuperNaturalBang”: It’s the product of a deep-seated, overwhelming passion.
“Music consumes my life 100 percent. It is my religion, it is my faith, it is my reason to be here,” the renowned Spring Lake drummer gushes. “Playing the drums and playing music makes me the absolute happiest. I can’t help but smile and play my ass off. I just love it.”
Not surprisingly then, the first album being released under Pellegrom’s own name is a compelling, genre-bending affair that features “a lot of talented friends,” including guitarist Kevin Kozel (who wrote the album’s two vocal tracks), vibraphonist Reese Gall, back-up singer Joe Sturgill and bassists Bernhard Lackner and John Supplee.
“I just wanted everything to be fun, original, honest and organic – very few edits,” the Spring Lake musician says of the project recorded in Grand Haven, by revered sound engineer Bill Chrysler. “I was able to take my time and just have fun with the record, and get weird.”
Pellegrom officially unveils the new album on Saturday night during a CD-release show at Founders Brewing Co., with Psychedelic Elephant Machine Gun and Plain Jane Glory also on the bill with the Scott Pellegrom Trio, aka SP3. The show starts at 9:30 p.m.; admission is $5.
IMPROVISATION FROM ‘A GUN FOR HIRE’
About 60 percent of the new album was “improvised using the structure of songs and ideas” from Pellegrom’s usual trio approach and it shows off everything from stunning prog-rock to jazz to world music to a jam band vibe, ignited by the drummer’s propulsive playing.
“We just wanted it to showcase all the different styles that we are influenced by,” offers Pellegrom, who years ago established himself as one of Michigan’s most-respected, in-demand drummers, touring the globe as a drum clinician and turning heads with his performances.
Raised on classical music and jazz, Pellegrom took up rock, metal and funk on his own. His career really took off in 2006 after he won local and district competitions in Guitar Center’s Drum Off, reaching the national finals in Los Angeles where he met other prominent drummers. That success – including being a nominee for best up-and-coming drummer by Drum! Magazine – opened the door to drum education clinics and solo shows across the globe. And he’s frequently worked as “a gun for hire,” playing for other artists.
(When he’s not touring, he’s teaching, fishing, “drinking coffee or working in the studio with producer-engineer Bill Chrysler.”)
He also developed the signature “Scott Pellegrom Crop Circle” cymbal being marketed by Toronto’s Dream Cymbals as part of its Re-FX series of recycled cymbals.
As he puts it, his journey as a musician has exposed him to the “very inspiring” camaraderie of music. And that inspiration often turns him into an intense, wild man behind his kit.
“It is very important to take risks and jump off the ledge and even be chaotic,” insists Pellegrom, who often uses various body parts as part of his percussion arsenal. “I also think it is very important for the music to have a lot of space, patience and consistency. It’s very much a Ying Yang thing.”
So, fans can expect nothing less than a pedal-to-the-metal display from the drummer at Founders Brewing on Saturday night.
“I’ve been called an alien, I’ve been called psychotic, a mad scientist or a magician when I’m playing the drums,” Pellegrom concedes. “When I get behind the drums, nothing else matters. I play for everyone and I play for myself, and just let everything out.”
VIDEO: Scott Pellegrom, “Experimental Creative Drum Solo”
Copyright 2015, Spins on Music LLC