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RUSH - Time Machine Road Crew Interviews RUSH - THE ROAD CREW INTERVIEWS

Lorne "Gump" Wheaton - Neil's Drum Tech

 
RUSH Time Machine Tour - Lorne Wheaton - Gump

Lorne "Gump" Wheaton

 
  I hope you have been enjoying my series of interviews with RUSH's Road Crew. I really can't explain how great an opportunity it was; everybody was great, John, Brad, Brian, David, and Scott.

The idea started when I was sitting with Howard at his PDI (Production Design International) offices in Markham looking at the blueprints of the lighting setup for the Time Machine tour. I have been lucky to know Howard for many years now and have done articles on him before. As I looked at the design I thought how many hours go into designing a show like the Time Machine tour, heck what about the effort on show day to get the show up and running. So I asked Howard if he would like to change the location where I interview him to venues during the tour, and expand the interviews to include as many of the other crew members as I could. He liked the idea and agreed.

Now I had to get the only other crew member that I know on board and I would get the go ahead from Pegi. As it turned out I met up with Lorne a few days later and he agreed. Kind of obvious since there have already been 5 previous interviews, but I wanted to explain why I have left the last two for Lorne and Howard.

I wasn't sure exactly what I would be able to do when interviewing Lorne but much to my amazement I spent two and half of the best hours of my life in Cleveland documenting step-by-step the setting up of Neil's kit. As I sit here typing up this interview I have a huge grin on my face, Lorne THANK YOU I owe you huge!

I hope you all enjoy this interview and pictures...


Lorne arrives at the venue around 11:00 am. His first task is to head to the Bubba Gump Room to set up Neil's DW warm up kit.

The next step is to setup the stage kit. What time he can start depends on the venue. Indoor venues often have a rolling stage. The stage can be rolled to the middle of the venue. This allows everyone that needs to setup on the stage to be able to start right away. If the venue does not have a rolling stage, they have to wait until all the lighting has been rigged and raised up off of the stage, usually around 2:00 pm.

On average it takes Lorne about two hours to setup the stage kit. In Cleveland they hired a local crew person to clean each piece of hardware before it was place on the riser. Once everything is in place they have to test the rotating of the riser to ensure that none of the video or audio cables get caught.

Next all of the cables for the V-Drums and midi-triggers are hooked up followed by someone from the sound crew (for this tour it was Anson Moore) who hooks up all of the audio cables for the mics.

The last task is installing the vertical panels on the drum riser. The video and power cables have to be hooked up to each panel and then lowered onto a clamp on the riser. There are two large screws located near the top corner of each panel that keep the panels secure to the riser.

The above two tasks are done by the sound and video crew... At this point the kit is ready to be tuned. Patches for the V-Drums and Samples are checked and loaded. All inputs from the kit are run through the monitor and FOH boards.

Soundcheck is at 5:00 pm... Any fine tuning is done... Dinner... Then the Show...

As soon as the house lights come on Lorne starts taking apart and packing up the kit. When John Arrowsmith is finished with his gear he usually lends Lorne a hand. Everything is packed and loaded on the trucks in about 30 minutes.


Here are a few other quesations I asked Lorne:

Lorne you are pretty close to the pyro and fireworks, do you have to wear anything to protect yourself?

I wear a pyro protective blanket.

What are your activites during the show?

I change all of the patches on the TD20KX (Roland V-Drum Brain) and the samplers (Roland XV-5080 Sampler). I also monitor everything that Neil listens to in his ear monitors (Lorne gets the same monitor feed as Neil). Keep an eye on him constantly through the show.

How often does Neil change sticks during the show?

Only when they are worn out. He will throw them to me between songs. I store them in my workstation.

How often do you chage the drum heads?

Different drums at different times. Main snares I usually will give 3-4 shows before changing. The 13" rack tom and the right-side 15" floor tom are changed more frequently than others.

Some other items Lorne talked about are the new Sabian Brilliant Finish Paragon Cymbals. In the past Neil would often break cymbals... part of the reasoning was in the cleaning of the cymbals. Everytime you clean cymbals you are actually removing part of the cymbal. Over time the cymbal becomes less flexable and more susceptible to breaking. The new brilliant finish provides more flexability and maintains it's shine a lot longer.

You can also thank Neil's training by Freddie, he now hits to the drum and not through it. This helps preserve not only the cymbals but the skins or drum heads as well.

I also asked about tuning the kit, does he use any tuning gadgets? Lorne tunes by ear only. He learned his tuning skills while teching for Journey's Steve Smith.

Finally I asked Lorne is he had any funny stories from the road (that he can share)... any favourite places you have been, activities?

Yes... tons! Where would I start. I do work with RUSH!!!!

 
 
RUSH Time Machine Tour - The Professor's Drum Kit Case

Case 125 - Contains Electronics for Neil's kit, Midi, Roland Samplers...

 
  Let's get into a little more on the techie side...

The Time Machine kit utilizes the newest in shell design from DW, Vertical Layering... This uses a mix of the standard horizontal layering with new Vertical layering which brings out a much deeper and richer sound.

VLT - stands for Vertical Low Timbre, the outer and inner most plies run vertically
X - uses cross laminated plies, reducing the tension on the shell resulting in a lower and more sustained sound
VLX - takes the cross ply technology a bit further, 6 plies of the 8 use cross layering and 2 use vertical, these are the deepest sounding drums DW makes and are recommended for large floor toms and kick drums

So what does Neil use:

The 8", 10", and 12" Rack Toms use X shell construction

The 13" Rack Tom, 2 x 15" and 16" Floor Toms use VLT shell construction

The Suspended 18" Floor Tom and the 23' Kick Drum use VLX shell construction

The 14" Snare uses VLT and the 13" Piccolo Snare uses X shell construction

Both Neil and Lorne say these are by the far the best sounding drums he has ever used... that is a pretty darn good endorsement I would say!


and for all of you sound guys or those just curious, here is the mic list for Neil's kit:

23" Kick Drum Near (inside the drum) - Audio Technica 2500 (Condenser)
23" Kick Drum Far (outside the drum) - Audio Technica 2500 (Dynamic)
14" Snare Drum Top - Audio Technica 23he
14" Snare Drum Side Stick - Shure SM 98
14" Snare Drum Bottom - Audio Technica AE 3000
13" Piccolo Snare Top - Audio Technica 23he
13" Piccolo Snare Bottom - Audio Technica AE 3000
Hi-Hats - Audio Technica 450
Ride - Neumann KM 184
8" Rack Tom - Audio Technica AE35
10" Rack Tom - Audio Technica AE35
12" Rack Tom - Audio Technica AE35
13" Rack Tom - Audio Technica AE3000
15" Floor Tom - Audio Technica AE3000
15" Floor Tom - Audio Technica AE3000
16" Floor Tom - Audio Technica AE3000
18" Suspended Floor Tom - Audio Technica AE4050
Cowbells - Audio Technica ATM4050
Close Hi-Hats - Shure SM 98
Left Side Splash - Shure SM 98
Right Side Splash - Shure SM 98
Right Side Over Head - Audio Technica 4060 Tube with Preamp
Left Side Over Head - Audio Technica 4060 Tube with Preamp
China - Shure SM 98

Special Thanks to Anson Moore from Clair Brothers for this information.

 
 
RUSH Time Machine Tour - Gump Land

Gump Land - Tools of the Trade...

 
 
RUSH Time Machine Tour - Gump Control Land

Contents of Case 125...

Roland A110 Midi Display... Roland TD20KX V-Drum Brains... X-Project Midi Interfaces... Roland XV-5080 Samplers...

 
 
RUSH Time Machine Tour - Gump Control Land Midi Interface

Roland A110 Midi Displays and V-Drum Brains...

 
 
RUSH Time Machine Tour - Gump Control Land Samplers

Two X Project...

Two Roland XV-5080 128 Voice Synthezier - Sampler Playback Modules

 
 
RUSH Time Machine Tour - Neil's Drum Kit - Putting Drum Riser on stage

Spider is up... Time to get the drum riser on stage...

 
 
RUSH Time Machine Tour - Neil's Drum Kit Stands

Copper Hardware in case getting ready for setup...

 
 
RUSH Time Machine Tour - Neil's Kick Drum In Case

23" Kick Drum in travelling case...

 
 
RUSH Time Machine Tour - Neil's Drum Kit Stands

Left side of the kit hardware... tom stands, Kat stand, snare drum stand...

Hi-Hat stand on rough-paper with little ridge to stop it from moving...

 
 
RUSH Time Machine Tour - Neil's Drum Kit Electronic Kit Stands

Right-side of the kit stands up... putting up stands for electronic kit...

 
 
RUSH Time Machine Tour - Neil's Drum Kit Electronic Kit Stands

Close up of the electronic kit stands with Steampunk features...

 
 
RUSH Time Machine Tour - Neil's Drum Kit Hi Hat Stand

Left-side close up... note outdoor water tap handle...

 
 
RUSH Time Machine Tour - Neil's Drum Kit Right Side Stands

Right-side close up... Cymbal stands, stands for electronic pads, Suspended 18" Floor Tom...

 
 
RUSH Time Machine Tour - Neil's Drum Kit Right Side Stands

Hardware almost completely setup...

 
 
RUSH Time Machine Tour - Neil's Drum Kit Ride Cymbal Stand Close Up

Ride stand closeup clearly showing Steampunk details... Clamp to hold the Neumann KM184 Mic...

 
 
RUSH Time Machine Tour - Neil's Drum Kit Ride Cymbal Stand Close Up

Close up of Steampunk detail on Electronic Cymbal Stand...

Tape holds the cable in place...

 
 
RUSH Time Machine Tour - Neil's Drum Kit Ride Cymbal Stand Close Up

Hold on... Time to spin the riser forward, then in reverse...

 
 
RUSH Time Machine Tour - Neil's Drum Kit Left Side of the kit with cowbells and Kat

Left-side of the kit... 8", 12" Rack Toms, mallatKat, fan, cowbells, left side 15" Floor Tom...

Notice that all of the rack toms are mounted except the 10" rack tom, any idea why?

The 10" rack tom sits directly over the hi-hats... cymbals go up last so it has to wait until the hi-hats are setup...

 
 
RUSH Time Machine Tour - Neil's Drum Kit Left Side of the kit with cowbells and Kat

Close up of the 8" rack tom and the cowbells...

 
 
RUSH Time Machine Tour - Neil's Drum Kit Ride Cymbal Stand Close Up

Left-Side well on it's way... Note little block for kick drum leg to sit in...

 
 
RUSH Time Machine Tour - Neil's Drum Kit Ride Cymbal Stand Close Up

mallatKat, Cowbells up... No 13" Piccolo snare yet... Both 15" Floor Toms in Place...

 
 
RUSH Time Machine Tour - Neil's Drum Kit Kick Drum Close Up

Close up of 23" Kick Drum... Beautiful...

 
 
RUSH Time Machine Tour - Neil's Drum Kit Kick Drum Close Up

Front close up of 23" Kick Drum...

 
 
RUSH Time Machine Tour - Neil's Drum Kit Floor Toms Right

Close up of right-side 15" and 16" floor toms... Note the little blocks to hold the legs stopping the drums from moving around...

 
 
RUSH Time Machine Tour - Neil's Drum Kit Floor Toms Right

Close up of the 16" floor tom and the suspended 18" floor tom...

 
 
RUSH Time Machine Tour - Neil's Drum Kit Floor Toms Right

Close up of the suspended 18" floor tom...

 
 
RUSH Time Machine Tour - Neil's Drum Kit front from left

Close up of the 12", 13" rack toms and 23" kick... Koogle in the background... "Papa that kit doesn't suck so bad!"

 
 
RUSH Time Machine Tour - Neil's Drum Kit front from left

Foot midi-trigger, DW 5000 Hi-Hat Stand, Kat moidi trigger pad, DW 9000 double bass pedal...

Audio Technica 2500 Condensor mic inside the kick drum... Stick holders near the floor toms...

 
 
RUSH Time Machine Tour - Neil's Drum Kit front from left

Front view... no V-Drums or cymbals setup yet...

 
 
RUSH Time Machine Tour - Neil's Drum Kit front from left

Rear view... no V-Drums or cymbals setup yet...

 
 
RUSH Time Machine Tour - Neil's Drum Kit front from left

Here come the V-Drums with shells... The shells where Gump's idea...

 
 
RUSH Time Machine Tour - Neil's Drum Kit front from left

Front view of kit with V-Drums... no cymbals yet...

 
 
RUSH Time Machine Tour - Neil's Drum Kit front from left

Rear view of kit with V-Drums setup...

 
 
RUSH Time Machine Tour - Neil's Drum Kit front from left

Side view of the kit... Wires for pads and triggers and mics are setup...
In this shot they are actually testing moving the riser... have to make sure no wires in the way...

 
 
RUSH Time Machine Tour - Neil's Drum Kit front from left

13" Piccolo Snare also in place... Testing of stage lights started...

 
 
RUSH Time Machine Tour - Neil's Drum Kit front from left

All Done... Cymbals up and 10" rack tom in place...

 
 
RUSH Time Machine Tour - Neil's Drum Kit front from left

David Davidian setting up video feeds and putting on the riser panels...

 
 
RUSH Time Machine Tour - Neil's Drum Kit front from left

Close up of one of the riser panels...

The bottom rests on clamps and the panels are secured with two bolts near the top of each corner...

 
 
RUSH Time Machine Tour - Neil's Drum Kit front from left

Looking through the kit over the ride cymbal...

 
 
RUSH Time Machine Tour - Neil's Drum Kit front from left

Close up of the right-side cymbal setup... Note the rivits in the one china cymbal...

 
 
RUSH Time Machine Tour - Neil's Drum Kit front from left

Another close up of the right-side cymbals... Little splash on top of the closed hi-hats...

 
 
RUSH Time Machine Tour - Neil's Drum Kit front from left

If only I was a little taller... Caught Alex's backline nicely in the pic...

I immortalized myself... Thats me on the video screen taking the pic... Notice the RUSHCON 10 T-Shirt...

 
 
RUSH Time Machine Tour - Neil's Drum Kit front from left

One last thing... The DW drum throne...

 
 
RUSH Time Machine Tour - Neil's Drum Kit front from left

Nice close up of the left-side of the kit... Note how close the 10 inch tom is to the top of the hi-hats...

 
 
RUSH Time Machine Tour - Neil's Drum Kit front from left

Notice the steampunk knobs on the top of the cymbal stands...

That's Neil's entrance way between the V-Drums... There is a little rubber mat that sits on top of the wires...

 
 
RUSH Time Machine Tour - Neil's view of the spider

Neils view of the spider...