Friday, November 19, 2010


The Serfers! Green On Red!
and now...drummer for Black Dynamite Sound Orchestra!
 SLIT: How'd you get involved in Tucson's music scene?

JW: I had traveled in the local circles of the more artistic and fringy types in Tucson. We shared the music and vibes from that time. Billy Sedlmayr was a major component. He worked at a store that we would hang at. There was a constant flow of music there. Anything we wanted to hear came through there. The origins of the punk rock scene were derived in part from the "Rocky Horror" crowd. Remember the message "don't dream it be it". It was a small city then as it is now. We smoked a lot of weed and partied together. A house party I had in the summer of 79' with my good friend Luke Hiller may have been one of the nexus events at the time. We had invited everyone we knew from the divergent clicks. The Pedestrians and the Suspects played in our living room. Shortly thereafter I moved to Southern California. I lived in long Beach but worked in Dana Point. Hitchiking every day down Pacific Coast Highway. I took acid one night and decided that a performance from the Suspects at the Night Train was all the reason I needed to move back to Tucson. Hitchiked back to Tucson. After the show Rich Hopkins had a party at his folks home on the north side. Dan Stuart came up to me and said. " I heard you play guitar, we should start a band". The Serfers were born that night.

The Serfers (1979): Jack, Dan, Van, & Chris!

SLIT: How did you get interested in drumming? Did you get tired of playing bass? How many instruments do you play?

JW:  The physical challenge always amazed me. I like a good challenge.    Tired of bass? That's not possible. I have spent so much time playing that instrument I feel I have a very intimate understanding of it. That instrument translates rhythm to melody. Sublime. One note can mean so much on Bass.                                                                                      

 Over the years of selling instrument for a living I have achieved the ability to play any number of instruments. I set a goal for myself years ago to preform live on all of the instruments one would use in a typical rock setting. Guitar, bass, keyboards, drums and sing not only background vocals but lead as well. I have accomplished this.         

Jack playing bass with Green On Red
I tend to focus on the one I preform with the most at any particular time. When I go out with Green On Red I will practice bass two hours a day. Playing along with a live bootleg, scales to a metronome and studying one of my favorite bass players pieces of work. Those favorites are in no particular order John Paul Jones, Dennis Dunaway and of course Geezer Butler.

SLIT:  How long have you been drumming? How did you get started? Are you self-taught?

JW: I bought my first kit in 1994. I owned a studio at that time and I worked primarily with bands that had never recorded before. Their equipment was always an issue. I had everything else and wanted to learn the language of drumming. It was my last frontier. I worked with a label out of Mexico City and did alot of rock in Espanol at the time. Metal and hard rock usually. I was also producing David Thumm at the time. He was the drummer from the fabulous Tex and The Horseheads. David was my first drum Guru. I then would play with anybody and jammed quite a bit. For the longest time I did not study. I never really studied music at all. For the past year I have been studying intensely with David Henderson. Dave has had a long run as a drummer. Trained and schooled beyond words. Played with the Knack , Unkle and most recently with Frank Black .

Black Dynamite Sound Orchestra...featuring Jack Waterson on drums!
SLIT: Who are you drumming for now?

JW: Currently I play with the Black Dynamite Sound Orchestra. This is a band that was put together by Adrian Younge. Adrian is an old friend and customer of my store Future Music in Los Angeles. He scored and edited a film that came out last year called "Black Dynamite". I played on a few of the pieces from that sound track which is available through Wax Poetics. When Adrian wanted to put a live band together he asked me to play drums. It's is a great group. I'm twenty years older than the next oldest member. Yes, this makes me the old white guy in the group.

SLIT: Fave music with drums in it? Fave recording of you drumming?

JW: I have to admit that I listen to quite a bit of old Funk and Soul music. Less and less Rock and Roll all the time. I would have to say that along side the new record we're working on and the theme for the upcoming Adult Swim adaptation of the film is a fave.

SLIT: How many bands have you drummed for?

JW: I have played drums with many people. As far as actual live ensembles it would be three.

SLIT:  Who are your drumming influences?

JW: Currently I'm obsessing on James Gadson. Phil Rudd is always an inspiration.

SLIT: Do you have favorite sticks? Fave-drum head? Any gear you like to use that drummer's might like to know about?

JW: I use the Hal Blaine signature stick from Zildijian. It's a wood tipped 7A that is shorter than the normal stick. I have a couple of vintage Ludwig kits. Those stay at home. I play a late seventies Rogers kit live. Always use the Remo Coated Ambassador heads for toms. Evans EMAD for the kick. The most standard of sizes 22,12,13,16. I use a Tama piccolo snare with the Black Dynamite Sound Orchestra. Early seventies Zildjian cymbals are in the mix. Kick drum pedal is a seventies Slingerland "Yellow Jacket". I had mine hot rodded by a machinist I know.

SLIT: Do you do drum solos? Do you play bongos?

JW: Drum solos are a bit Fay. Bongos are way too "drum circle" for me. Having said that, everything has it's time and place
SLIT:  What's your favorite drum? Why?

JW: The snare drum. Savor the ghost notes!

SLIT: Can you twirl your drumsticks?

JW: No. But I can break one into a sharp point and sick you with it!

SLIT: What's your position on drum rolls? fills? solos?

JW: Again, that's a taste thing. Rolls and fills are essential in drumming. Solos are for High School kids, Jazz people and Metal Dudes.

SLIT: What's the latest development in your life as a drummer?

JW: One handed roll. Relaxing......

SLIT: How is playing bass similar to playing drums?

JW: Being aware of the root. Playing to the singer. Serving the song. Showing up on time with your shit together. Remembering the Golden Rule.....Partying is a reward not a requirement!


  1. from high school jack was 1 of the kindest ,funny ,good guy .We took
    some very strang roadtrips out into the red rocks w/gabriel's "lamb lies down" 8 track of ramones and b.o.c.[wish it was "tyranny and mutation"
    but it was not .Jack has a big heart and the pic;s of him on skin's are great.
    Also heard "the slummers" a few days ago and it was really cool/funny
    you cant underestimate any of the serfer's /danny chris jack and van
    i was knocked out by more stuff then i cared to admit way back when ,
    then you all go seperate directions and i was apart by my choices .But for
    long spell i have memories and laughter and just glad some of us are still here,for those gone ,ya miss em.not profound ,or much els but
    ...dig em all .-thnx-billy s

  2. We're all your children Billy...

  3. we are children of the giant? ok i'm cool with that. jack, bravo my friend! best slit interveiw to date. no mention of your drumming duties in the DR. LOVE & BROTHER LUCIOUS REVEIW. 79/80 stay beautiful, vc