Matt Penland, percussionist for the US Air Force Band and instructor/arranger for many world-class percussion ensembles joins Dan to discuss his process of developing himself as a player, how he learned to adapt to new concepts, and his experiences in new marching idioms.

Read the transcript of the podcast below.

Dan Schack (00:00:11):

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Dan Schack (00:01:42):

And we are rolling. Hi everybody. What’s up. Welcome back to that Dan band show. This is a podcast where we talk about of all things, marching arts, sometimes other things too. You never really know where it’s gonna go. I have a, the, a dope guest today. Honestly, it’s been a long time coming. I had to really wait to invite this person on even on my previous podcast, cause I just knew it was gonna be, it was gonna be a good one. So I’m I’m very honored and, and excited to welcome Matt Penland on here with us today, Matt, what’s up? How are

Matt Penland (00:02:17):

You doing so well, doing great,

Dan Schack (00:02:20):

Doing great. As always staying positive before we start rolling into what, whatever direction we kind of roll in. Just talk to the listener who might not know who you are likely everyone does because you’re band famous. But talk to us about who you are, you know, what you’re doing now, kind of what, what’s your story through the marching arts?

Matt Penland (00:02:41):

Well, my actual day job is I’m a member of the United States air force fan. That’s like my actual career. Outside of the marching arts in the marching arts, I’m a, a ranger I would say is like the first thing I should bring up. You know, at this point in my career, I’m an arrange for music, city, drum, core guardians drum, and Bule court and the Caballeros drum court. I’m on staff at George Mason university with Dan and Santa Clara Vanguard. I’ve been on staff there. This will be my 10th season at Santa Clara, Vanguard six season at George Mason indoor. Before that I marched tens for six summers in CI as a member at Crossman and Carolina crown fan regiment in Santa Clara. I think that’s it

Dan Schack (00:03:26):

Only a few few organizations. I, the, the first thing, you know, before we knew each other you know, pre George Mason, 2017 days, like I was definitely aware of, you know, who you were as a person. And I feel like it was, it was just like you were that next quad person that next generation who was just doing things that probably either hadn’t been done or you had put more time in than a lot of people, you know, I’m sure we, we have some people come to mind, like, you know, the Tim Jackson, I E days I with the three sets of quads for the godfather. And I’m sure there’s like a lot that I would miss. You know, if I was gonna NA just try to go down the list, but I, I just know for me, like in the age I was marching, it was like, you were that guy. So, you know, I feel like as a, as a player you’ve done something that has set you apart from, from others. And I, I would love to just hear, like, what has that been from when you started? Like, did you just commit more time in the practice room is the way you practiced different? Just talk to me about how you got to where you got when you were winning, you know, basic or DCI, so contest all the time.

Matt Penland (00:04:42):

Sure. I have to say that specifically that Tim Jackson Ola video, I think I watched a hundred times when I was coming up marching. Yeah. Yeah. Like that’s, I, you know, I idolized those people. You’re naming, you’re talking about like, you know, that lineage coming up and yeah, I guess that’s part of my answer is that I knew I wanted to do that so bad. Like my dream was to do solo competitions on quads. And I always was like, so drawn to the instrument and knew that I wanted to like, try to do something someone’s never done on the instrument. It used to be my goal when I was coming up with solos was I would always like start by writing solo by like on a piece of paper, writing all the things I like tricks or things I wanted to be in the solo, the where it’s something no one’s ever seen.

Matt Penland (00:05:24):

That would be like a thing on my to-do list that I’d have to come up with something new every time, because I felt like whenever I watched like Tim Jackson solos, he’d do something I’d never thought of. And I wanted to like, make sure I was on that level, you know? Yeah. I think in terms of preparation, I, I guess I would say that maybe I prep, you know, literally just the practice hours was insane. Cuz when I was in music school, I like to tell the story a lot. It’s true. But you know, I was an undergraduate music major. And when you do that, you go to the practice room every day and you’re like, you are on depending on what lessons you’re in, you know, I’m practicing Mamba for two hours. And I have my schedule mapped out in like concert drum for this hour.

Matt Penland (00:06:03):

And when I was in school, I would do like quads for two hours. I I’m talking about like seven days a week. Like it was on my list of instruments that I just treated like everything else, cuz it was almost like I was in lessons. I was in drum length, north Texas, every single semester for like eight semesters in a row plus marching drum war. So it was like a part of my life continuously on top of like Timoni and room and all these things. So I just treated it. I didn’t go in a practice room. I went outside of this music building where we, the drums, but I treated it like a daily thing and I’d warm up every single day, seven days a week. And I’d like be writing in my next solo where I’d be like trying to come up with the next trick pretty much every day until I aged out. I think, I didn’t think about that at the time, but it just built up gradually, gradually, gradually that I never had it down. There’s no, any like down months at all, it was just like year round, constantly.

Dan Schack (00:06:52):

That’s super wild. And I, I think maybe some of the, you know, approach you to hook to what it was gonna take to be a virtuosic player on, let’s say a marimba or conscious snare drum that those let’s say behaviors or approaches they’d follow through with the marching idiom. Cuz for me, I feel like I have such a vastly different experience with like my individual development where it was like I was in drum cores or I was like in my high school line or I was then marching, you know, indoor, whatever. But I was like drumming, like drum line stuff, exclusively with people, you playing on a drum like me and Tom Gasparini like we learned every rhythm X book that you could learn when we were at hurricanes. And like that’s what we did. And it was like, I feel like that led me down a different path in terms of, I mean I marched DCI. It’s like, I feel like I, I was good enough and fine to do at, but I don’t know that I went as deep as someone like you has where you really are paying attention to your sound. I don’t think I really know, knew what I sounded like maybe until after I aged out. You know what I’m saying with that? It’s like, it’s like, did you feel like there, there came a point where you were actually able to assess your own and playing on that higher level that maybe we assess now as the teachers?

Matt Penland (00:08:24):

Yeah, I mean, for sure, for me it was, I, I was that guy, you know, I March drum court in high school when I, I was marching cross and my first year at crown, I was just, I grew up in North Carolina just to like kind of middle of nowhere high school. I had a great percussion program there. We had a great drum line, but I was definitely like what you’re explaining. I would just learn every single blue devil’s quad break I could possibly find on online. And it was just all about the chops chops. And then, yeah, right when I got to north Texas, I somehow I got accepted into north Texas from my undergrad, which was like dream school for me. You know, you hear about, and before school even started, I’m not sure if I I’m sure I’ve told you this story before, but I auditioned for the, a line, which is like the U NT indoor drum line.

Matt Penland (00:09:07):

We were going to PC, we see it every year and that’s even before school started, I hadn’t started lessons or anything. I was just like coming straight off of Carolina, crown thousand eight. And you do an individual audition with Paul Reich for your audition. And I was like, he, he just said play anything, you know, or just play something from your show. Like, that’s fine cuz I know everyone just finished. So I just played the closer from Carolina crown cuz that’s thought all I knew, which is just like, Fortumo completely like in this tiny little, like it was an indoor, I just in this tiny percussion ensemble room. And I knew when little out of context that everything was just like a little, that’s just how I learned, you know, I said, I knew how to play and, and I’ll never forget that. Like he just kind, he didn’t say anything.

Matt Penland (00:09:50):

I finished playing, you know, I played it, well, no rims sitting, I playing all the rhythms. Right. And he just, he didn’t know who I was and he just kind of just noded his head. And he went like, oh, okay. He just kind of like showed your shoulders. Like, wow. Okay. That was like totally different style. But you know, I think you still could understand the potential there. Well clearly because he put me on the line, thank God. I was like the only one without experience in one of his groups before that he accepted. And I, that first semester where I was, I think, yeah, it’s hard to even explain in where it’s like the 180 shift that he gave me in during warmups and we were warming up and he would used to walk straight up to my drum and the whole rest of the room, cuz they all knew what he was gonna, they’d all sit down and wait and I’d be standing up at the drum.

Matt Penland (00:10:36):

I’m like me like a one-on-one 30 minute thing about like how to play eights, you know? And then everyone would stand up in plates again. It’s just like he could see that I had the potential, but I just had never thought about my sound. It was literally all he talked about every rep for like a month was like play it by yourself to okay. Nows the guy next to you, play by yourself. He was like a fifth year senior. Can you hear the difference? And I would just be like, oh my God, I’ve never even thought to get that in depth until you’re just like next to you. And you’re like, oh yeah, especially on quads. I mean like the sound of like the Renaissance’s head is so delicate and you have like so much to think about that. I think just flew over my head when I 16, you know,

Dan Schack (00:11:17):

I I’m positive. There was, I mean the level that you were probably processing being in crown in 2008, I I’m sure you were thinking like you, you were like, right. Like just dot. I mean, I don’t know. You’re probably like doing better than that, but like, I mean that’s how I felt a lot of times like, yeah. I mean you’re a 16 years old, like that’s,

Matt Penland (00:11:40):

That’s, that’s 18 the summer, but yeah. Still started music school or anything, you know, I was still just like and Crossman and that was it. You know who,

Dan Schack (00:11:48):

So, I mean, I think it’s, it’s not totally known to everyone the way that, like I think about this a lot, the way that, you know, we’ve, we’ve collaborated in teaching and, and all the conversations we’ve had about approach. But can you just talk to me a little bit about, you know, in, in a, in a factual way, not in a judgment based way, but I’d love to hear like, you know, what was the overarching philosophy that you pulled from that crown experience with more like the Lee Bedes Zach sch slicker and I believe Rudy was still there too, who was blue devils. And I think James spoiling was there too. So like what was cuz that those guys had different backgrounds too. So like what was the takeaway, like what was the identity of that group? From your perspective? Cause I, I have an opinion. I wasn’t, I was just watching. Yeah.

Matt Penland (00:12:35):

I, well that, that year specifically, I mean I had a lot of fun that summer and like at that point I think crown 2008 was like the best drum and that group I’ve ever had. You know? So like for sure, I remember thinking that summer that everything was like so fun and everything was going great. Every time we like beat someone else in drums, it was like a huge new milestone. Like every show was just like something crazy and new. So at the, at the time everything was like amazing and it was definitely the best I’d ever played. And I could, I remember knowing that and like the hardest music I’d ever played and the staff was a lot of fun. I loved being taught by Rudy and Zach and James and like it was, I remember having so much fun all the time.

Matt Penland (00:13:17):

Like playing wise, I just remember, I think the har, like what I took from it was just like intense, hard work. Like we worked our free bus and even thinking back to it now, just like past the point of exhaustion, but like realizing, you know, at that age so that you can get results from that. And it’s not nothing. Cause we, by the end of the summer, I remember feeling so accomplished and maybe not realizing why, but it was just because maybe we weren’t the most talented players that, you know, they’ve ever had on that drumline. But we worked the hardest at that point, you know? And it was just like it was rewarding, honestly, that summer I’d say hard work. I guess if I had a single answer is what I took most away from that summer. What

Dan Schack (00:14:00):

Were they having you do in terms of like day to day? Like, are you talking about a lot of tracking, a lot of like point drill, a lot of like on the field reps? Like what, what type of beating are we talking about here?

Matt Penland (00:14:12):

Yeah, I think, you know, what I remember as a quad Drumm is that we only used stands for eight on a HYN because it was a mixed meter exercise. And that was the only reason only time ever, unless we were in subs like it spring training was the only, they had like subsections with stands. Other than that, it was like we played ACE and then they’re like, okay, put ’em on. Even for like double B, I think like every other exercise was in four, four, so we tracked it all the time. Or we did point drill. We did a lot of point drill. So like literally just physical, physical shape, I think it was probably in like the best shape marching and playing I’d ever been up to that point. I remember like we spent a lot of time focus on the marching obviously, but you know, maybe versus my experience at Crossman, it wasn’t highlight as much as it was that summer.

Matt Penland (00:14:57):

And I really got like a culture shock about how important it is and how strong you have to be. Yeah. I, I guess point drills on, I remember the most about like every single morning we played eight and that was the best part cuz we couldn’t marched to it. And then we picked up the drums immediately. Yeah. Thankfully we were playing on Yaha and not like the crazy Pearl right. And quarries like we would now. But yeah, that was the summer. I definitely learned about muscle groups and like how strong your legs have to be to March quads, you know? Cause we had some intense drill too at crown as you know yes,

Dan Schack (00:15:29):

Absolutely. Yeah. Lean was still there and I mean they were, they were peak drill sort of, you know, the new cadets new age cadets, something that just came to mind when you were talking was how football players have ballet as part of their conditioning. You know, I feel like the experience you’re describing is like the strength and conditioning part of your journey, where it’s just meat and muscle and stamina and you know, getting physically strong. And of course like you can’t get physically strong without getting mentally stronger too. I don’t even think that needs to be said, but that takes dedication on some level. So I think that there’s always, you don’t see a lot of people who have put that time into like put their bodies, right. Like, you know, cuz you’re, you’re doing a lot of running and that does take a lot of mental strength so that it, it elevates what you can withstand.

Dan Schack (00:16:22):

So it’s interesting because you go from this really like meaty, strong, like strength based experience and now you’re going into U NT and and fan I’m at the time with Paul. So like, I feel like this is the ballet. So like I want to, I wanna like hear because this is the like mind blowing stuff that like, I just feel like people miss and like I, my experience lacked was like, what was the ballet in that experience? Like what was that process of like you had built up and you have to almost like refine yourself to this thing that’s like accurate and musical. And like you’re thinking outside the box of like what can be heard or like what can be expressed from the marching side? Like what, what was that like those 30 minute one-on-ones in full rehearsal? Yeah.

Matt Penland (00:17:10):

The, the ballet lessons were just listening, skill lessons. I mean like a hundred percent. It wasn’t like, I don’t remember many moments where Paul Ranna came up to me and personally like Matt Penland, clearly you can’t, you don’t have the chops to play that. That’s never been the thing cuz I had so front lo so front loaded that my career as a high schooler, you know, all the way up to that point. So for me it was all about like, can you tune in your ears? Can you really find the exact volume that this guy’s playing with? The exact tone quality, you know, on that like on drum two, exactly. Perfectly clean before we move it around. It was like a lot of that you played together. Why is it not same in trying to evaluate that? Like in the moment? Yeah. And going into my first summer at, at fantom regiment 2009. Yeah. It was huge, huge learning experience for me, just standing next to I stood next to Dan rainbow that summer, maybe I would still say the best squad drummer I had ever seen in my life. Yeah. Just incredible. He didn’t do a lot of solos and things. So he, his name recognition isn’t there, but you should look him up. He’s on YouTube.

Dan Schack (00:18:12):

What years did he March those fandom lines? Cause he was in like the beast, like was it like 5, 6, 7, 8, 9? Like, what was that?

Matt Penland (00:18:20):

6, 7, 8, 9, 10 was the five years he marched fandom and he was section later 7, 8, 9, 10.

Dan Schack (00:18:24):

And I, for sure, like, I would say like seven and 10 who are like my, probably some of the best, best drum lines like that 2007 drum line is six and seven. Just like captures everything you can do in a group. I mean. And, and then 10 of course like, like I just feel like, you know, we talked about this, but like that’s seven line. Like they’re they play super loud. It’s, it’s just a crazy thing that they were doing. And like the, the chops of all those guys, like I, I just feel like those lines, like I really was so into that and that was like, for me, like the way they played, like so physical, like just a very express, like physical and expressive way. But anyway, I don’t wanna get off, off the rails, Dan rainbow, shout out. Yeah. Hopefully he’ll, he’ll hear this

Matt Penland (00:19:09):

Hopefully. Yeah. I just think that summer 2009, I, you know, I knew I had the chops to play everything, so I was, could I kind of, you understand you’re in that sometimes you’re like in the drum I section later, but you’re not the take you’re just there. Yeah. So it was like not a difficult summer for me, but it was a super high just like intensity learning experience standing next to one of the, like the best drum, never heard on quads and just like, he was a great section leader and really understanding and always so patient with me just like would lean over and be like, did you hear that? Did you hear that? And you just kind of check in with me. And then the longer in the summer, I remember just like having some like really amazing reps and I would think like, wow, I think I did it mess up at all.

Matt Penland (00:19:48):

And he would turn to me and be like, did you, that was so amazing that’s of that. Just like, it was like really not comforting, but just like, it was just nice to know that I was like actually developing my listening skills over the course of the whole summer, just because I heard I had something brought to sit next to for so long that he kind of forced into it and he had such high standards and obviously like the group as a whole was so good, it had high and me being in not a stressful position, cuz I was kind of in that middle ground of players that I could just like get cultivate that learning or that listening skill. Yeah. That maybe that year secretly was like, what made me the best player I could be was just that weird in between your people don’t remember 2009. Very much. We weren’t. I was gonna

Dan Schack (00:20:30):

Say, I was gonna say like, why, why is that year? Cause I, I obviously want to talk about 10 and 11. I feel like those two years with, with the, that team is like obviously really important. But like why is that year? Oh nine kind of like a standout in terms of like just not a super great year, but I’m sure you guys were awesome. I just don’t know like, cuz I obviously agree. I’m just not sure why. Yeah.

Matt Penland (00:20:53):

I, I mean part of it might have just been like the full core placement. I think we got ninth by the end of the season. So just we weren’t going on as late and things like that. I think drum line was great and the music was really cool. The drum break by some crazy fast single pass, you know, we were like working on certain skills squad line was really good. I don’t know. I think maybe not remember violin, you know, people maybe just remember the title, but I don’t know. It’s worth looking up. The, the definitely the percusion section was really good. The front ensemble, I remember that summer was like rock solids, so good. And Tyler, Sam had a crazy Tiffany, he should look up some pre this jazz movement and he had a solo walking baseline on Tiffany. So check it out. Shout out Tyler,

Dan Schack (00:21:33):

Tyler, what’s up? I know, I know he’s gonna listen to this one. So, so that’s a great transition into, you know, my first year at DCI was 10. So I, you know, when you’re not marching and you can definitely test this, but you’re not marching. You’re watching this stuff go down and you’re just like this drum, line’s awesome. This drum you’re like way more objective. And then once you get into it, at least for, you know, for me just like how, how I guess I naturally am and just like the groups I was in, like it went tunnel vision, you know, it was like, where are the? We’re the best, even though we’re not winning, we’re better them. And like, here’s why, and you just go into that mode. I’m definitely like that even as a, a teacher, as you well know.

Dan Schack (00:22:14):

But you know, like in 10 I was marching cavalier, which was Mike McIntosh’s first year and that was Paul’s last year at, at fandom after he had been there since 2003. I believe so that’s something like an eight year stint around there. So that was sort of the pinnacle maybe of what he was doing there, at least the end and that I was there for the beginning of, of Mike McIntosh’s thing and we ended up one and two at the end, but I just remember and that’s in drums and I just remember competing against you guys and we’re just like, I was just like, you know, it’s another year, it’s another poll year and like they’re good and clean, whatever. And then afterwards seeing the videos from finals, the tuning and what you guys are playing and just like the sound like it was so next level was that line just super stacked, cuz I know like Nick Taylor, you and you and Jonathan and Jared Kotz went that year and all the, there was just like a lot of dudes, like, is that just one of those like special years where like people accumulated was, did it feel different maybe because it was like Paul’s last year?

Dan Schack (00:23:22):

Like what, how, why does 2010 stand out and it’s so in contrast to the year before it’s like pretty interesting actually, I don’t know.

Matt Penland (00:23:30):

I guess definitely the, there was a lot of the same membership from 2009. I like almost everyone that could, you know, return did almost like as a vengeance, like we can do better than this, you know? Yeah. We can, we can place better than this. And we, and I guess just, we didn’t know it was gonna be pause last year. I mean, even at the end of the season, I remember like thinking I was gonna go back to fandom camp in November, you know, and then we found out, you know, a couple months, maybe a month later yeah, definitely was an older group, I think, you know, with, with being section leader, lot of old, like age house in the Centerline and the, and the quad line was like 20, 21, 21, 20 year olds and all had crazy amounts of experience. The one like rookie on the quad line, Daniel Cannon had marched infinity or for like six seasons or something.

Matt Penland (00:24:22):

So he wasn’t really, yeah, he was very over. Yeah, he was really good. It was like just ridiculously stacked by coincidence. It just happened to work out that nobody really aged out in 2009. And Nick Taylor just like slid into the section leader role. You know, I, I do this a lot, but I do get like specifically, you know, his leadership was part of it, for sure. He just had like this crazy intensity, like what he wanted it to be and just never let it get below that. And he would really be vocal at it in an awesome way. And he was really just really well respected amongst his peers. I don’t remember many people, like nobody would like shrug him off or think he was being too intense. Everyone would kind of rise to the occasion and it just like worked really well. Right.

Dan Schack (00:25:03):

Nick marched, I think Nick marched something like, oh six, seven Boston, which are two at least oh seven, which is like, people don’t know, but those are like years Omar wrote and those drum lines were super sick tuning beats approach still, still relevant. And then he went on to March oh, eight blue coats. Right. Which is like, and dairy obviously. And then oh nine and then 10 obviously. So it was like he was bringing that quality through those groups and 10. Yeah. Like for sure there was, there’s the drum lines you feel where they’re like clean, but they don’t have the engine of the tempo. And you could tell, I feel like from him out there was like that drive of like, I can play not only in time, but like I can choose how I play and that brings the, it makes the sound just more vertical and more like predictable and like a machine. I feel like that was something that stood out with that ears. Like that drive was definitely in there. So it sounds like possibly related to that.

Matt Penland (00:26:00):

Yeah. And also like I would be remiss not to like say especially in the front ensemble as well. It was like just the number of vets, the number of like friendships and cohesion from north Texas. And we had for years, I mean, we spend a lot, a lot of time in full percussion ensemble, especially in 2010. I just remember like every block we’re in percussion ensemble or full ensemble, that’s it. So we’re playing together constantly doing standstills you like know each other’s parts, well may maybe it the summer. And we just had tons of time together that, that it got so cohesive by the end of the season that it was like never much of a question, you know, between the whole group.

Dan Schack (00:26:39):

It really shouldn’t be understated at all. Like the personality thing is just where you’re gonna go. It’s like your ceiling it’s and I’ve certainly talked about it on this and other podcasts, but just like all the talent in the world will never Trump people getting along. And I feel like that’s super important and everything I’ve ever heard about Paul especi is like, he really fosters the full percussion ensemble environment and the importance of like every role and even the way he writes and that Sandy writes, you just feel like there’s so much care put in at everything, everything matters. There’s not really anything that’s thrown away and that people it’s like weird because as you, you unfortunately don’t see progress ensembles play in, in a lot almost ever. That’s I know you all did, but

Matt Penland (00:27:30):

Yeah, that summer specifically the pit would roll to wherever we could. I’m not sure if we broke some rules on that, you know, or they didn’t have as many rules in 2010, but we used to walk as far as we had to. And we, it would just get arch on the pit and do one full run through. That’s always the last thing we did if possible, every show. And that was always aside from just like being hype at the end of the loss. So it was just like reminded everyone of what the full project was and what the goal was. And obviously had helped the front ensemble, like get some reminders about the part and stuff in their ears right before the show. Yeah, it was all that was always like such an invaluable resource it’s way harder to do now with the bigger shows and the bigger stadiums. But I miss being able to do that during warmups.

Dan Schack (00:28:17):

I mean, in high school, we used to do full band lot and it honestly, it’s just a lot of fun. And I do think like we get into the drum line zone where it’s like, it’s so separate. And I even think like some of the way things are designed, it’s not through the lens of like the percussion caption it’s through the lens of the drum line and the pit it’s, it’s not, this is the, a singular product and these voices add up to create a singular product. And that is sometimes because it’s normal that the drum line arrange is separate than the, than the front arranger. Obviously, if you’re married to the front arrange, it probably really, really helps a lot. I also think there are Rangers, like, you know, Tom Rarick of course. Who was like in your, is it unit? I don’t know what the right word is. I’m I apologize. Yeah.

Matt Penland (00:29:09):

He’s in the air force band. He was, he actually just, he just retired.

Dan Schack (00:29:13):

Oh, he did nice, nice. But yeah, one of the best judges and one of the best arrangers, but like, because he writes the front and the battery at blue coats, it just really works from the jump. I mean, there’s just something about it, you know, I wonder from your standpoint you know, as an, as an arranger now, like as your kind of main gig, do you feel like this experience in a more holistic ensemble has allowed you to take a different approach as a writer? Cuz I, I do think like it’s important to service the drum when you’re writing the drum on stuff. It’s like, I want it to be cool on its own. So it’s tough because you don’t want it to feel like it it’s not fitting, but also you, you want it to feel like it’s giving the drum line what they need. So it’s just tough to, to find how to do that.

Matt Penland (00:29:59):

I would say would really that last sentence you said, you just said is like what I’m constantly trying to thread the needle with that is like making sure the drum line is interested, especially if it’s like a high school group. I’m trying to make sure the kids aren’t, if it’s like a competitive high school group and they’re going to compete a boa that the program, coordinator’s not gonna come down on me and say like, yeah, I get what you’re doing, but that’s ridiculous is you’re just gonna, you can’t hear the woodwind to me from time to time just say yep. But yeah, it’s it’s a huge deal. I mean, I, I, I really try hard to like when I finish writing a section I’ll, you know, it’s a Bailey, I’m trying to highlight the full percussion and see what that sounds like together. That that’s more important to me than what the four or the three or four battery save sound like to me, to be honest nowadays, you know, cuz that’s, I try to think about like if it was a percussion ensemble piece, you know, would it be interesting, maybe that could be standalone and, and that would be cool, but yeah, it’s, I’m lucky that I write most of my music with Tyler salmons, you know, and we’ve been, he’s literally the best man, my wedding and we’ve been best friends for like 20 years, you know?

Matt Penland (00:31:03):

So that helps. We’re not married, but we talk so often we text, we like text back and forth about certain measures and things like that. Cuz we, cuz we know we have the same background, so we have the same goals in mind and that certainly helps. And there are a couple groups that I, a couple high school groups where I write the full percussion and that’s always like, yeah, I guess I certainly am trying to think about how it lines up all together. I never, I don’t think I ever just go through and just write the battery and just write the pit I’m I’m I’m like poking all over the place. And then at some point I just fill in all the gaps. Cause you know, in my head I know what I want the listener to listen to depending on the section, I’m not sure if it always comes across, hence threading the needle, but right. If I had, I, I have it jumping between sections often so that, you know, both get noticed, but it’s still a single product.

Dan Schack (00:31:52):

I wonder like it’s, it’s interesting cuz like, you know, I I’m writing now I’m I’m writing for hurricanes and I actually just finished season one of ever writing a full book, which is kind of crazy, but yeah, it’s cool. Like I of it I obviously like love drum line music and I’m capable of writing it, but I never, you know, Travis is my Tyler, so he writes, you know, and we have Paul. So like he writes, but like I obviously like can and, and like to do that and it’s been super interesting, like what, what comes out in the writing? You don’t always know where it’s gonna go and like where they influence comes from. And I always ask people like, where’s your influence come from? And it’s like, you kind of don’t know until you like get in there. And I was just like interesting to see what emerged out of just the process of writing.

Dan Schack (00:32:35):

It’s not like I sat there and I was like, I’m going to do this. Or like here are the exact choices I’m gonna make. It was just like, here’s what I feel like is flowing and feels good. And I guess my point is like, it’s interesting because like I obviously don’t have a, a musical background in the way you do even close. I mean, you have your masters and your bachelor’s both in music and your, your Virtuo understanding of keyboard playing. How do you feel like that affects your perspective on the drum line thing? Because I’m just like trying to see through your filter of being and your perspective. And it’s like, wow, like how does my masters in English affect my drum line? Right. You know what I mean? It’s like, it’s, it’s super like, we’re literally doing the same thing sometimes, but like how we go, how we got to it is pretty different on, on a lot of levels or like how we spend our time. So I just wonder, like, what do you think, like how like that keyboard knowledge, the concert snare, the just the percussion knowledge informs what you’re doing when you’re writing for a drum line.

Matt Penland (00:33:35):

Yeah. I, I guess the first thing, this is not direct answer your question, but the first thing I think about when you, when you say like, I do have two degrees in music, that’s all great. But sometimes even within the music community, I’m like a little, self-conscious like, well, I don’t have a composition degree. You know? Like I don’t really, I could, I, sometimes I wish I could like get another composition degree. So I would really help me understand some of the more intricate harms and stuff and be better at the, for ensemble stuff. But because I don’t have a composition degree, especially when I’m running keyboard parts, I’m approaching it like a hundred percent probably just from like how it feels, how it lays. Like probably I write two idiomatic, you know what I mean? Where I, I have a Maruba in my house and I’ll run to the basement and play it on the Maro and make sure I, it like feels like I’m a percussionist playing in a room solo, which probably limits me sometimes compositionally, but same thing, same thing on battery.

Matt Penland (00:34:28):

And especially at quad parts, you know, I I’m usually like playing every single thing I write right here in my bedroom to make sure it like feels a certain way as a player, just this feel cool is this sticking work. And maybe sometimes I over Ry or try that rather than like, let’s just play the rhythm that makes the, but I’m like really stuck on this Al idea cuz it feels so cool with this scrap round. You know what I mean? So I have to fit it in and those are also thankfully sometimes the responses I get from like Tyler would be like, yeah, for like his high school band show, I would be like, yeah, can we just do like weight less than notes right here? I, this drum break. And I was like, yeah, sorry you got me. I just thought it felt cool, but it doesn’t really make sense. You get too in your head about the playing part of it. So that’s something I, that could be that I like about my experience, but maybe takes me down too far down a rabbit hole sometimes. Hmm. You know what

Dan Schack (00:35:19):

I mean? Yes I do. I totally understand. And that’s interest thing and I, I mean, I really feel like the playability part, it does affect the cleanliness at the end and it affects the enjoyment. The player has. Like, I do think that’s something Travis has always done well is understand what feels good. Sometimes more than like, for me, like sometimes I like playing weird stickings and like, you know, for whatever reason, like that’s just what was embedded in me through like my experiences. And I think he has a great sense of like what feels really good. And what, what, what is player friendly? And I do think that that can matter more or less in certain situations like Tim Jackson, for example, he’s a hundred percent that like, that’s all, it seems like he is interested in doing is like unfolding these like ways your hands can bounce.

Dan Schack (00:36:10):

Like I never played a Tochu until rhythm the next 2011. And he would write, you know, right accent, a low left flam and then a right tap. And it would be like, and with the middle flam and I was like, what in the world? But then you realize it’s actually just a Swiss with like a displaced grace note. And it’s like, whoa, like you’re you wrote something that is like this, but what it does is make your hands bounce like this. And it’s like a whole new idea, like to get back to what you’re talking about with the, like the solo stuff. And I think that is a different corner of drumming. That’s like really special is like, not actually prioritizing just like how it fits in as musical and like brings the light motif back in or whatever, which is always dope. And that’s like, there’s so many great arrangers to do that, but there’s also like the, just the pattern and like the way that, like you’re saying with quads, like the around or the balance or the flow of it superseding like this musicality, like I think that can work and there is a place for that.

Matt Penland (00:37:07):

Yeah. I think, you know, as I’m still young in my arranging career, I would consider, you know, the thing that I’m always still trying to work on is finding when to do that. And when to, to bring back the light Motiva, you know, like literally I’m still really trying to find that 50, 50 balance in my own writing and in like my solo writing and everything, cuz yeah, there’s, there’s a time and place for both. You know, when I was in music school and, and you’re trying to pick Maruba solos, you’re like playing in a new solo every single semester or whatever in my head I would kind of, you could tell there’s like the classification of rehearsals that are written around a permutation that are like thematic written by ABA player. And then there’s like the most beautiful harmonies you’ve ever heard in your life. That’s written by like just a composer who has no percussion experience and they don’t almost lay well, but I would always like try to remind myself to go that direction because cuz of my really cuz of my marching experience, like this would be great and I could learn it in a week, but this isn’t gonna help me. I gotta like focus on the harmonies and the corrals and all the stuff that’s gonna feel awkward, but sound amazing. You know, I, I would try to steer that way when I had the options usually,

Dan Schack (00:38:16):

Which is honestly like not the most normal thing to do. And I feel like you, the, you clearly made some really like mature decisions as a student through your whole process. I think that’s obvious in how far you were able to get as an individual performer and how you’re able to now maintain that, which I think is something special to you as a teacher is like, you are still practicing. You’ve gotten yourself to a point where like it’s in there and it probably takes you like, you gotta warm up obviously, but I know when you, when you’re ready to go and you’re playing, you can still do the things, you know, at least from my perspective, but like you, and you’ll probably argument it, but like you can still get the down to happen. You know what I mean? Like that’s not, you know, we get old man hands or whatever. I feel like you have not gone through that process yet. And from my perspective though

Matt Penland (00:39:04):

Yeah, I, I, I would say that I, I guess if I’m being kind to myself, I’d say I haven’t yet either, but no, you know, I do practice quads a lot, cuz it seems like I end up giving like a odd clinic or some quad performance, like every year since I aged out. So I always have like a reason to keep practicing. Like right now I’m, I’m practicing quads every day because I have a pace clinic on quad drumming specifically and it’s a clinic slash performance. So I’m playing like 25 minutes of music. I’m literally like writing pieces of doing things and trying to stay in shape. But also I’m lucky for reforming arts job. I mean, I’m not like playing, you know, I’m not chopping out at work, but I am like touching drumstick and playing four parts like every single week. So it it’s never like disappears. I’m always keeping that bass layer at work to teach George Mason, you know, and demonstrate something. Yeah. At least I I’m never like, oh six I’m like I did this this morning. I just gotta play a different, I just gotta play something in the next level harder, you

Dan Schack (00:39:59):

Know, what are you doing for the, for basic?

Matt Penland (00:40:02):

Yeah. So for basic I’m presenting like a quad clinic performance, but the clinic part portion of it, I’m trying to focus on it’s called quad drumming from all angles. I’m just trying to talk about quad drumming from the perspective of a player, a teacher and a composer, since that, you know, those are the, my three real houses, the three real houses. But I just feel like I’ve had a lot of in depth experience in all three and maybe like planning to bring up common issues and like how would, how did I get through them as a player? What do I tell my students now to kind of Jedi mind trick them into playing well and how can you prevent those problems by writing something different possibly, you know? Hmm. Hoping to kind of cover all of those things in addition to just, I’m just gonna play and, and hopefully give some people, some ideas through my playing, I’m playing some of my own compositions and I’m writing like three new ones for the performance.

Matt Penland (00:40:54):

I’m gonna play a duet that I recently came out with with Kayley Brooke and yeah, to try to give like a wider range of options for quad drumming. And I feel like I wish people viewed quad drumming as it sounds like. So nerdy, but like just as an art form as an instrument, like use like concert stare drum and Maruba and vibes. And you know, like, like what I was talking about at the beginning where I practiced just like an or instrument in, in college was like the point of practicing room every day is you’re just like trying to master the instrument. Like I’m just trying to be, I’m an amazing, the best Marine player I can be. I, I feel like I approach quad that way and I don’t see everyone do that. They’re just like, okay, I’m just gonna be able to play this, but you don’t just have like a full understanding of the instrument as an instrument. And that’s what the highest level of players do is like, I can’t just play my exercise packet in my book. Like I have a full understanding of how to play every script you could possibly do or every crossover you could ever possibly do. And that was like always my goal slash still is with quads. It’s just to be like a virtuoso on the instrument period.

Dan Schack (00:41:57):

Right. I, I think first of all, I agree. I, I feel like when I was a, a member trying to make it, you know, like pre DCI, it was just like so much time spent drumming on a drum. It was just like, I want to be able to play everything and as fast as possible, not necessarily as quiet as possible at that point or ever while I was marching, cuz that’s not really a thing that people are asking me to do, but you know, it’s like, I, I feel like you’re trying to get to every corner I wonder. And you, you know, I, I, I don’t want to be apocalyptic, but like I’ve judged like three times now three separate occasions this fall, and I’ve seen about one to two quad lines in the fall. And like, you know, we’ve had some conversations just like behind the scenes about like it kind of going away as an art form because it’s so physically demanding.

Dan Schack (00:42:56):

And it’s difficult to, to do. And it’s like, I’m not concerned, but I just see a pattern of like, whether it’s less quad players, the people who are quad players, like can’t actually drum. Like there’s been a lot of that, like crown individuals, all right. Play eight flam drags on the two drum. Can’t do it. And it’s like pretty good players. Like people we’re considering like haven’t drummed on one drum. And I just wonder like, where is that going? How do we like make sure that the art form as you’re discussing it, you know, either gets revived or sustained because it is hard. Like, I, I just worried, like it’s not cool to get your beat any more, you know? It’s like, that’s not something that’s as popular. It’s not as acceptable. And I just want to make sure like amazing quad, like who’s gonna be the next amazing quad drummer, who’s that next generation. Because there’s less people that seem to pursue it.

Matt Penland (00:43:49):

Yeah. I’ve thought about this. Yeah. For countless hours. I, I mean, I will say in terms of high school drama, I, you know, and I’m judging too. I just, this past weekend and there’s a couple, I think of two groups with no quads and I get it. Like if you have to cut a section yeah. Cut, cut the quads for sure of the first, if you gotta do something I’m, I’m not like gonna lie and say, I did the same thing when I taught in Texas for a year. Like we didn’t have enough kids. Yep. But I mean, I do think if you have the numbers, it, it adds so much to the sound and it’s the whole middle range that you don’t have with the snares and base drums. You know, it’s important to have it in terms of the number of Quadros, this is such a kapa, but I just think there’s less Quadros in every drum line in the world than there are snare drummers. So there’s literally just less people to pick from at all times. So what do you say? Like, you know, there’s a certain percentage of snare drummers that probably can, are like really high level players, like say 15%, that same 15% of quad drummers, just literally a lower number of people. For sure. They always have trouble for finding harder time finding quads, like in drum core and WGI and getting people to commit. Cuz it’s just not as many people to pick from.

Dan Schack (00:45:01):

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Matt Penland (00:46:40):

Well, I think the notes end, just like, I mean you have to admit what you said. It’s just like physically challenging way easier. It’s just way easier to carry and yeah, I get it. I get it. Like I think that it’s a lot of when you first pick quad’s instrument, it’s either because you saw it as like a middle school kid and you thought it was the coolest thing ever or like you got told you have to play it cuz nobody there’s not room on the stair line and you just kind of, mine was a little bit like that. I remember thinking it was cool, but also there was like, there was two openings in the quad line when I was like a freshman. So that’s like what it was gonna be. And then I just continued on that path. But the physicality of it is, you know, it’s an issue that I think like drunk companies try to deal with.

Matt Penland (00:47:24):

I mean, that’s like a huge selling point, you know, on every single new like generation of quads, like Dyna seas spent forever trying to like, they like hauled out the LUS, use different types of metal to how can we get rid of as much weight as possible to a more accessible instrument and playing on stands makes it accessible. You know, that’s always fun and that’s like a good way to start. But yeah, I, I don’t, I haven’t found like an easy answer or, or easy solution to like, okay, you’re, you’re a freshman and you’re playing quads and here’s the first basics block. There’s like never any solution other than like presenting things to them that they know they need to work like physical exercises. They know they need to do and, and just make, make it abundantly clear that that needs to happen now. And you can’t, you can’t just like throw away your, your physical fitness, like you, maybe you could, as a snare drummer in high school, you kind of like figured out and you can make it work. You just can’t do that as a quorum. It’s just not an option. You’re gonna hurt yourself, you know?

Dan Schack (00:48:18):

And for the record, don’t do that for snare. Drumm either. I think I know, but I’m saying I

Matt Penland (00:48:22):

Feel like get away

Dan Schack (00:48:23):

With it. You can, yeah, you can. You definitely can. I mean, they’re not heavy and I cared a 13 inch snare Drumm met United and it was, oh, it was actually hard to March with cuz it was too light and I just love when you, it was, it was so light and like I love like quad drummers who learn how to hold the drums. Like there’s been some people like, and I’m sure you were like this, but like marching with Dean or like marching with like Alex Beltran and sorry, Dean Hickman, I should say. Yeah. Or outs Beltran. Like those are people who they learned how to hold those drums and they were better visually than the snare drummers because of that. You know what I mean? Like there are some like quad people that they learn how to own the weight of it. And they move like fantastically.

Dan Schack (00:49:05):

Like they get super strong and like, they’re just like the studs of the drum line visually. And I I’m so hype about that. Like that’s, that’s where I would be at as a quad drummer. And I think the another like solution that you would probably like agree with that’s within our means is not writing the drum line as like the snares, do the hardest stuff and play the most, the quads outline the snare part and do the next image out the bases play the least. And they’re the least important with the worst kids. Like that’s just a misfire. I feel like even like if I were a high school band director, I try to play students where they were most naturally acclimating, whether it’s size based, whether it’s like their ability to like play rhythms as a base drummer their touch on whatever.

Dan Schack (00:49:50):

But I wouldn’t, I feel like there’s a hierarchy even to the, the design level of drum lines and it trickles all the way down to now what we’re saying, which is like, it’s less cool to be a quad drummer than it is Ana drummer. Because like as Ana Drumm, you’re like I’m in the front and play the most parts. So I think if we, we look at how important the voicing of the battery is and we give everyone their due students will attracted to, to each of those things because there’s like a character trait that is required in all those sections.

Matt Penland (00:50:18):

Yeah. And let me just say, if there’s anyone listening to the podcast, who’s a band director. Who’s not a percussionist. I would, I, I, I wouldn’t say I put this into practice. Well, it depends on the group, but like, yeah, what’s the section you’re gonna hear no matter what they play, the freaking bass drums bases. That’s what you’re gonna hear. No matter what, in a band, you know, in high school band, what’s the section. That’s not gonna overpower the woodwinds, the quads, right? If you write it appropriately, you snare drum snares can play on the edge P and AMO and it’s still gonna get cut. Cause you can’t hear. But if you, if you need to keep time going and you need to like, not worry about the front to back timing, put the quads on spot or do some groove, find some way to keep them under the texture. Cuz they kind of blend in with that middle sound. There’s a use for all of them. And that’s a reason to have strong players in every section, snares are gonna be snares. You’re gonna hear the snares, no matter what they play, we get the, you know what I mean? And they have a time and a place, especially like timing issues. They will fix all that stuff. But sometimes playing the most notes. Yeah, I agree. It can go too far and send the wrong message

Dan Schack (00:51:17):

And it’s like the snares have certain pillars of what they can do. It can be dynamic to a certain extent we can be you know, we can use speed. And then of course like rhythm and timing, but there is that melodic part that just it’s so cool. Like I love quad writing. That’s simple. Like that’s some of the stuff like Mac wrote when I was in cavalier where it’s like, you know, bang, bang, like, it’s just like, what is the song? Like, I feel like when you can make it sing songy as a, as you know, playing quads or, or bass drum, when you get those moments where it’s like just musical and you can just, it’s more listenable. There’s not a lot of snare stuff. That’s just straight up. Like, this is cool. You know what I mean? It’s so too technical and requires so much like process and analysis. Whereas like if the like some simple quad stuff is just super cool, like that electric wheelchair thing is so iconic, like that one mute cart is just like, come on. Like it’s almost never, it’s like hard to top just that. Cause it’s so simple, you know? Yeah.

Matt Penland (00:52:28):

Yeah. The lot melodic possibilities of quads is what makes it unique for sure. I mean, I, this is like one of the topics I, I like to cover when I give quad clinics is like, when you’re writing quad music, you gotta decide if you want it to be visual or lyrical. Cuz there there’s two elements to quad drumming. It, it shouldn’t always be one way or the other, but you need to like always consider or both sides of that scale when you’re writing anything for quad period. Like any measure I consider that I, I mean I’m always in front of, you know, my computer airing it out and then I play playback and I realize like, well that sounds, I try to make it look hard. And it sounds so dumb. It’s like right, you gotta balance it on everything.

Dan Schack (00:53:06):

Right. And a lot of times I think it, it can work together. I think there, there is a cross section where it, it can be the both, but like for sure, quad drummers don’t like this, like, yeah, that’s that’s descending. But if, you know, if you’re on the inside, you don’t write that. Like there’s so many other ways to descend or to use the voicing. That’s more interesting. And just the open, like this is just not very, you know what I mean? And like, to be fair, we did do a lot of that cavalier. It was like simple tonal, you know, tonality and just up and down the drums. And that was just like what it was versus is thinking about the flow and thinking about, what’s not like it’s hard not to end down on the four drum. I feel like I found myself writing and it was always like going to the left. I was like, I really don’t want the quad line to constantly end just on the left side of the drums. And I know that’s like kind of the ING Don, but it’s like, it it’s so repetitive. How do I go and end up on the three and go that direction? I don’t know if that’s like a con, is that a common issue when you’re writing? You’re like we gotta use a three drum. How do we get over here? Yeah,

Matt Penland (00:54:18):

You nailed it. And I’m not even getting like that. The three drum is like a, I feel like it’s a joke, at least in Myer of friends that are quad drummers, that the three drum is just like the most neglected. But if you’re a quad drummer writing it, you, I, I definitely try to take the time to almost like tonic dominant type of thing where like, if I, if you know the phrase isn’t quite over, but there’s like some type of half peak I also on drum three to make it, you can hear it, you know, released down to drum four. That’s like really common technique that I use to, and it gives, you know, the players a full range of the drums more often. Cuz I agree. Like sometimes when I was a player I would always like roll my eyes, like, okay, cool. Drum four again 1, 1, 2, 2, 2, 2, 4, 4, instead of 1, 1, 2, 2, 3, 3 throw it’s like, all right, got

Dan Schack (00:55:02):

It. Right. You’re going instead of it. I, I wonder is that just, is it just something to do with like how you flow from the I’m confused as to why we don’t use the three drum? Is it just taboo? Like why is that?

Matt Penland (00:55:18):

I know, I think I, I mean, I think cuz the, if you’re like hearing the quads in the context of a phrase you’re using the drum work a couple times, so that just always sounds like, like that is the time, you know, that’s just how we tune the drums. That is the end. So it it’s a sense of like, there is no sense of resolution until you get to that drum four. And that’s, I agree with that statement. I mean, there is not a sense of resolution, but like sometimes you don’t need it to resolve, you know what I mean? Don’t we end, we don’t end every single thing on base five. Well you shouldn’t and opinion, you know, there’s time to end it on three and four and things like that for that same compositional technique, you know,

Dan Schack (00:55:53):

That’s definitely interesting. I’m gonna for sure steal that. Cause I had not thought about sort of like the pen ultimate versus the ultimate and the way you can tear that almost over time, like longer than just every phrase has to go all the way down or all the way back up. It actually doesn’t right. Because how many, how many phrase endings are you actually writing in a single movement? It’s it’s not that many, there’s like small ones or there’s more macro phrase endings. So that’s, that’s super interesting. I want to go back to something to totally wrap back, cuz I feel like this is part of your journey and it’s part of like the journey of marching and coming up through different groups and adapting. And just how you’ve been able to adapt to all these different experiences that you have and you’re succeeding at that transition from this super iconic line Phantom 2010, hopefully everyone that’s listening has gone and checked all of that out if they haven’t, they need to, and then they can watch cavalier 2010 after that.

Dan Schack (00:56:53):

But not first. But going from Phantom 2010 and then you’re, you’re one of the, the people who is in the transition when the Rex go to a Vanguard and you know, the, the transition was not as just perfect as it probably could have been. It’s not like, you know, came out and beat everyone’s as, as it was just another year, I feel like fandom had a very specific sort of orchestral sound with their brass that the Rex learned how to live inside of and then going to Vanguard, there’s like a different identity around just the design and the core. How much of a culture shock was it even though you had the same structure with the res and probably a lot of the same teammates, was it like a crazy transition now being in Vanguard, which is like such a different core and has, has deep roots in activity too?

Matt Penland (00:57:44):

I mean it was definitely a culture shock. I, I would say, I remember like the day that we found out about it when I was in school Johnson, Leon was like one of my best friends and we were drumming. We probably, literally, I think we were like drumming together, you know, like practicing that day. And we found out that that they were gonna switch chords. And at first I was just like, so excited to just try another place. They, you know, that was like, would’ve been my fourth or it was my fourth drum horse. So it wasn’t new, anything to me to come to new drum core, you know? Yeah. But it was just like exciting that I was like, you know, if I can make it work, I can go to California. And, and Vanguard had such a storied history that I know that you are the same as me, that you watch Vanguard like, oh four and oh three and stuff.

Matt Penland (00:58:23):

Oh yeah. Like, oh yeah. Idolize the, as groups, even though I didn’t really play in that same style, but just the thought of maybe being part of that legacy was so exciting. I think for everyone that was like the first thing all of us talked about was like, oh my God, we can like be part of that drum line legacy, which was already so, so storied. We gotta like take it really seriously and really like rise to the occasion. I think once, once we got with the group and, and started rehearsing like the, the winter camps, I hope this is a, like a, a let down answer, but it kind of felt same once we’re there. Like, you know, we had the same staff, we had Paul and Sandy still there in like the group, not like all the members were the same, but just like how we ran the group and the type of like the goals and the type of music.

Matt Penland (00:59:06):

See we playing it, it all kind of locked back in. It just seemed like the next season and we just need to be better than we were the previous season. Right. You know, that certainly was the goal is we were like comparing it to Fanm 2010 let’s we that’s our goal. We that’s the standard, you know, that was the best remind the previous summer let’s be that same thing this summer, you know, maybe we didn’t quite make it to that same level, but that’s certainly the way I treated it. And I think that most of us treated it that were carried over. You should check out Vanguard 2011 videos too, if you didn’t check those acts another year that I specifically remember the front ensemble was like just killer. The music was like they had some insane 16th out like crazy chromatic stuff that was so fun to listen to.

Matt Penland (00:59:46):

Like I had so much fun that summer playing in full percusion ensemble because of just like the percussion ensemble. It just felt like we were playing her progressional ensemble piece and being able to listen to the Q parts. We’d get me more hyped for our next walk bro, and stuff. Like I had so much fun doing that when you’re close enough that you can hear the full thing. Yeah. Versus when you’re on the move and you’re just stressed out about timing, you know, but like doing stand still on the pit, that summer was so awesome. I’ll never forget that

Dan Schack (01:00:12):

That year I feel like was kind of was just a strong year for a lot of groups. I think we, you know, we won and I of devs might have gotten second hard for me to say, you know, love the blue devils, but it all kind of starts to bleed together for me with what they do. And it’s always great. They always like throw something out there. Like what was that? But it kind of, you know, like it’s hard for me to distinguish year to year for some of that, especially cause I was marching. The cadets actually that was a super strong year. They won all, they did the angels, a demon thing and they, oh yeah, yeah. They, they did some really some really good stuff. So there’s some, you know, that was a, a strong year and I feel like some, like this is a moment where the wheel is like turning.

Dan Schack (01:00:54):

I feel like for just, just DCI drum line, because once you guys get off and rolling past 2011 and I think think 12 devs might have won the Sanford. But after that it’s been so dominant with Vanguard. I feel like this is like the best of, of all these different worlds with you know, with Paul and Sandy just doing their thing. So consistent with so much insight into what works and then with the visual team, Andy to and Bart and Michael Gaines and Scott coder. And that team is just wor feels to me. Like it works really, really well. I, I know Evan hasn’t had his chance to do his thing yet necessarily full, full out, but sure he is gonna nail it. He’s super smart. But it feels like, I don’t know, like you almost look back at those Phantom years and you’re like, I, I kind of like the way that the Rex even fit into van Vanguard now, like the contemporary Vanguard with the old cavalier team, it really works for me. I don’t know how you feel or, you know, I know it’s like apples to oranges, but what Michael Gaines, how he sets you guys up, it works like amazingly well.

Matt Penland (01:02:06):

Oh yeah. It’s amazing. I mean, I, I can’t like speak for the design team. I’m certainly not a part of that process at Vanguard, but I mean, the products that we get to teach and get to work with have, have been so much fun. You’re never like out on the field like, oh man, they didn’t, they really didn’t think this through this. Like it’s like never an issue. And you have no reason to question it because if you do, you’re probably you like on a meal break, you ask someone else. This had a reason for this, which had a reason for this. And you’re like, oh, nevermind, I get it. Totally get it zoom out immediately. Cause there’s a reason for everything, you know? And it’s fun to be a part of that, cuz it, I guess as a staff member, it lets you just focus on your one job. You know, my job is specifically the battery more specifically, usually just the quads depending on you know, the time. And it’s just like made it less stressful. I guess it’s the biggest impact it’s had on me. It’s just like makes it more fun to be a part of it and easier to focus thing, your single task at hand, cuz you trust everything above you is like working in total scene, which is a nice feeling. Right.

Dan Schack (01:03:06):

I think what is special too is just the way they funnel alumni in. So like, you know exactly what’s going on, you know, what’s coming, you know, probably the idiosyncrasies of, of the teachers around you and the leadership and you know how to fit into that. Because that’s your alumni group. So it’s like that’s the world you came up in. And to, to segue, you know, I think something that’s been super cool that I’ve obviously personally experienced is watching you get an independent world phase of your career with Mason. And I’m sure there’s been so many different, you know, layers to that from your perspective only some of which I’m aware of. Cuz I, you know, I only know what I know, but how has it been kind of, you know, transitioning from this, you know, this system that is so effective, you know, the, the re system and what you’ve done at DCI is just like UN speed unparalleled really. Now we FA we, she shift into indoor, which is kind of a new space. You did March independent world it’s it’s it’s list of demands tends to be different or come to different order. What was that transition like? You know, 17 was our first year, you know, we get, we kind of get rolling in 18, like it’s just, and you know, we, it took some years for us to kind of find our footing a little bit. But from your perspective, like how was it learning on the fly about independent world drum line?

Matt Penland (01:04:34):

Yeah, I’d say, I mean, I definitely had some missteps the first season, just like trying to like just weird logistical things, not understand, think how WJ rehearsals work, maybe, you know, or just like rehearsals and not used to that schedule. But I guess I think it, it just took me the hardest part was just like understanding where I fit in and what I can provide most. Now that we’re, this is year six, right? That now that we’re here, I think I, I completely understand. And we’ve the same team for a while, like eventually where I’ve settled into the group and what the best information I could provide at the time. And yeah, I’d say the last like three seasons has been totally comfortable knowing what I can and can’t do and like not overstepping my boundaries and just giving as much to this section or knowing when to step back.

Matt Penland (01:05:21):

I’ve gotten better at that at Mason specifically, because I dunno because of the way rehearsals are and the limited amount of time you have in Debbie, Jo, I know when to say something and when not to say something and it’s nice to be, it’s nice for me per role in indoor, you know, in terms of like the, the scheme of the staff than I am anywhere else, you know, at Mason, I I’m a certain thing at Vanguard. I’m certainly a certain, a different thing. And then with all of the design team, other level, so Mason’s somewhere in the middle and it’s fun to be a part of that in that role.

Dan Schack (01:05:54):

Yeah. I, I love when you’re doing the music on ensemble thing and I feel like, because you’re not necessarily in, on like the initial stage of somebody getting written, you’re able to see it. And it’s just very cart blanche in terms of what you’re looking for. It’s like the way you’re looking across the score and aligning things is so different than what I would be looking for. I’m like on level of like the way they’re performing it or the character, like just like trying to motivate the like energy of what the idea is supposed to be versus like making it sound exactly like it should sound. And I’m never able to get them totally there. That’s not necessarily where I, what I’m supposed to be doing, but I always love, like, I, I remember in 2020 after the rescue regional, oh yeah. We were doing the closer for the outlaw and I was like, holy.

Dan Schack (01:06:47):

Like, this is what this is supposed to sound like. You were just like, you were just rehearsing them in a very, like, I, I, I don’t wanna like, make it sound like you just make it simple for everyone. I feel, feel like some, for some reason you’re able to just be like, yeah, like here’s, here’s what it’s on paper. Here’s like that idea of pointing out voices and moments of alignment and bringing that out. I feel like has been so critical and I love just like getting in the room and playing together. I think that’s been such a major part of our process. Us all together is like, and you’ve always pushed that. And any chance you, you could get to say like, can we do music ensemble? Like, I feel like we’ve integrated that into our practice because you’re like, we need to play together more to understand our roles across the ensemble.

Dan Schack (01:07:34):

And you know, I’m, I come at this from a very like visual or like aesthetic perspective. And you’ve always come through with it, like this is, we can, we are not beholden to like the rules of what we learned or like how to like play it’s like, and something that I’ve been doing teaching is like, and this is like a dumb thing. But like, I think this is like a Matt pen with thing is like, tell me when you can’t hear this anymore. So I’ll just like play on a snare drum and I’ll like, play literally as quiet as you can play, go to the front edge. I’m like barely hitting it. And it’s, you can hear the drum. And it’s like, I feel like at Mason, what we it’s super, super cool. Cuz like, what we wanna do is take what you guys do at Vanguard and take what we do at crown and like merge them and like marry them and get like be the most musical drum line with their top and bottom dynamic range where we’re like, holy, they’re loud.

Dan Schack (01:08:33):

Holy. They’re, you know, like, and the aesthetic and the, the look and like the body part of it. And like, that’s obviously like so different than maybe what, you know, the priorities are with, with Vanguard or like with any outdoor group, honestly like the body things, not as important, but it’s been cool. Like, I, I feel like we’re like super fortunate to have this like different group groups of people like between you and Paul and me and Travis. It’s like so different in experience. And then we like come together and we’re like trying to like create this hybrid thing. And I like, I don’t know if we’ve done it yet. I would say, I don’t think we have. And, and when we do, I think it’s gonna be pretty special. I’m like definitely feeling like right now where we finally designed for the, that.

Matt Penland (01:09:16):

Mm. Yeah, definitely. I think outlaw was the closest. Maybe we would’ve gotten to that. You know, if the season had not been cut short, also let me just disclaimer that I, I do not, I do, I don’t feel comfortable like presenting or claiming that I’m like bringing the Vanguard technique to George Mason, like such team F for, I just like, I, I, right when you said that, I was like, Ooh, it feels like a lot of weight. That’s not, you know, I don’t claim to represent that in any way, a hundred percent, you know, but certainly it’s the way, the way that I teach and the things that I say and the things that I value come from that. So directly obviously, and, and so true that my background comes from music rather than visual in my experience in college. And it’s hard not to just like be so like singularly focused on those type of things.

Matt Penland (01:10:05):

And that’s like what I was talking about. Like I found my place in the staff at Mason to be like, I can present different ideas about music that other people hadn’t been thinking of, you know? And maybe the first couple years, I didn’t know that other people weren’t thinking about it. And then I say it and you and Travis are like, oh, that’s a great idea. Do it. I thought that, yeah. So then, so then eventually, you know, I got to the point where I feel comfortable being like, let’s try this try, let’s try this and focus on like the, across the score, like you’re saying. And I like feeling that role that that’s been fun.

Dan Schack (01:10:35):

Absolutely. I just think it’s imp important in any situation that there are counterpoints and I know this isn’t out, every group does it. And people probably think that we’re crazy. We’re they like maybe look at crown and they look like just, I’m not even like saying like the Vanguard thing, but they like, look at the groups that maybe we teach outdoors or like that’s so different. But honestly the reality is they’re not that different at a all. There might be certain facets that I really talk about a lot that you don’t find as like as much of a priority to talk about, but I think what’s underneath it, it, there’s probably like 85% is like, almost exactly the same. Right.

Matt Penland (01:11:16):

Like a better, like a analogy might be like, they’re both green, but they’re just different hues of green. Right. You know what I mean? Like it’s just like a slightly different shade, opposite sides of the spectrum are

Dan Schack (01:11:28):

Not at all. And honestly, a lot of the groups in DCI, like we’re, we’re all pretty much saying some, I I’ve, I’ve gotta think we’re all saying pretty similar things. You know, I think what I’ve learned is like, and we’ve all like, we all fit in because like, I’m not on the battery staff at Mason, but it’s like, I know how to fit myself into it without stamping out what each other person brings to the, like, could I talk about this? Could I talk about tempo? Could I talk about feel sure. But like, I think my role has been 30,000 foot. Like what kind of energy are you bringing? What kind of like individuality are you bringing? That’s so different, you know? And like, I think to go back to sort of your background and where you come from, it’s like, it’s awesome. Because your process of getting to where you got was so introspective and you’re, you’re learning about what you sound like and when you play.

Dan Schack (01:12:23):

And like, for me, like, I feel like I like drum line the way people like pro sports. Like what I liked about, you know, what I liked about Vanguard for like, it maybe wasn’t like the way they sounded in a way it was. And I didn’t know that, of course I like subconsciously loved how they sounded, but it was like the flow and the physicality and the look and the attitude. That’s why I like the NBA too. I do like the technical aspect of, of basketball, but I love the fanfare and the, the showing off part of it where like, people are, you see people go further, they push themselves past what they thought they were gonna do, because they have like a belief in themselves that can be coached into them. And like, I that’s what I really like about it. It’s not to say that I don’t love the musicality part.

Dan Schack (01:13:10):

It’s not say you don’t love that part of it. Cause I know you do those moments where they’re lighting up and like you’re playing at, at the best as you can. It’s so motivating and so inspiring as a teacher. That was the thing that got me into, it was like when I was watching, you know, Justin Lewis and the blue coats, it was like, he’s so cool. You know, I didn’t know how hard that was. I didn’t know what it took to do that. I was like, they look so awesome. And it was like, as simple as for me, it didn’t make me the most musical player though.

Matt Penland (01:13:39):

I think. Yeah. I agree. I mean, I love that like the total package is like the group that sounds amazing and has like this cool vibe or cool, like swag about them. And I remember as a player, when I was getting a really high levels of playing, I got some comments from just people or like friends or I’d watch my own videos of myself that I was just like boring or too stoic, cuz I was so focused on the music. And I think I eventually got comments that like, oh yeah, that’s a big difference. Now when I personally got to like another crazy high level of just musical treatment that I didn’t know was possible, like with my basic solo, I played it, my, my 10 solo, I just played it so many times. It felt so comfortable that it was almost muscle memory that then I found myself getting into it because I was just like excited I was playing it.

Matt Penland (01:14:26):

And I was like beyond the level of like small details. So as a teacher, that’s, that’s just like how I did it. So I usually approach those type of things. Like that’s the cherry on top, but in order to get to that place mentally, I try to encourage like all the drummers that is each like, you need to memorize the music. It needs to be so second nature. So then this will become second nature. Like the next thing that will happen is that you’re getting into you performing and you don’t even it. And then maybe I’ll make a comment about it and help you like stretch it a little farther. And we come from it, those opposite directions. But the goal is the same

Dan Schack (01:15:00):

A hundred percent. Yeah, I think that’s, that is how I feel too. It’s hard to perform authentically when you lack mastery or preparation. When you have that preparation, it’s gonna come out through your expression. You’re you’re gonna be able to feel that expression authentically and really versus, you know, we see people perform with a standard drum on and it’s PHY yeah. You know, they’re chat and it’s like, what’s, you know, it’s your you’re, you’re kind of, they flipped what is supposed to come first. And second, I so agree. I do personally like talking to students who are like not there yet about how they present themselves, because I want them to feel the pressure of what the expectation is at the highest level. Like when you get to that top level of drum core indoor drum line or even anything, the competence is so high, then style comes like the NBA players have this style when they take their free throw because it’s not cuz they’re thinking about it.

Dan Schack (01:15:58):

It’s cuz they’ve dialed in their technique so much. They’ve they’re now they get to dig into these corners that otherwise you’re just like it’s an accident. I think it becomes something that you can purposely demonstrate the way that great drum set players have a stylistic approach to their movement. And that’s, I love that about marching percussion or what I, what I want outta marching percussion is that natural expression. But man, I, I couldn’t agree more like any young student who’s putting that first, they are missing the boat I on what should really be happening. Because they’re seeing those drum minds that do that. And they think that it all just happens and it really doesn’t. And like I can even say from my experience, I was more of the like explosive performer, but like I was ticking a bit more, you know? So it was like, I was like, I, I looked really cool. I know that. But like was I the most consistent player? No, I was not. Yeah. And I think

Matt Penland (01:17:02):

I, I was the opposite as a member, you know, like I said, I was just like, as a young member, I was just staring straight ahead, but like trying to nail the part, but probably was so boring to watch in lot and things like that. And I think I, I figured it out as I get older that there, you know, there are those two elements to it. You know, I it’s important, especially for young players to realize, you know, the playing aspect is part of all of it. And a lot of times when I’m teaching like subsections, I’m like, Hey, we’re in subsections. Don’t need to stare straight ahead. Just look down at your hands. Cause right now we’re just focusing on this. The beginning part of the journey is what we’re focusing on right now. Let’s just like bring it down a notch. And then when we get with the full batteries, usually up another notch and then we’re in full ensemble like that progression. I found it be the most successful. It’s just to remind them the beginning of the day when we’re in subsection, you’re not worried about this at all yet. Let’s like build up to it. You know, it’s a, it’s a journey. It’s not like all at once. I just really like the words use authentic. It it’s, it doesn’t look authentic. If you try to do it all at once, that’s the perfect way to describe

Dan Schack (01:18:02):

It. It does not. And I mean, preparation is key cuz you can’t be thinking, you know, I’m mile per minute processing every partial and also having a feel. If you have done that work of preparing your hands and preparing the music you can discuss feel, and you can discuss larger components of music sync a and timing and that musicality, it’s hard to get into that, that super refined musicality place when they’re not playing the rhythm, you know, or if you haven’t prepared the music and it’s like, here’s the thing that comes next. The thing that there’s like layers to how far you can get. And, and think one thing that you’ve always brought is like, everything has a context. You can’t just be a robot about what you do. Of course like Matt Penland comes and he’ll say things. I’m like, yeah, that that’s what Matt would say here.

Dan Schack (01:19:02):

Like, and I definitely have the same thing where it’s like, we all integrate into a certain plug, which I think is like just great. And that’s exactly how everyone’s should come to collaborative teaching. But even as an individual, like I feel like when I started teaching, it was like, I’m me. And like, if you are not conform to that in every moment, like you are failing as a student. And the reality was like the opposite where it was like, here’s what they need. Here’s the type of teacher they need right now. You know, my standard is always where the highest, but I don’t always need to be like this, like this way. And sometimes you have to go softer. Sometimes you have to go harder. Sometimes you have to do more reps. Sometimes you have to do less. Like it’s just so context dependent. And I always felt like you brought that teacherly approach and checking all of us on like, Hey, like you don’t always have to just like be in one certain way. That’s

Matt Penland (01:19:57):

Just something I always think about my own teaching. Like trying to get better cuz I’m, you know, we’re both still young in our teaching careers. It’s just like, I have the opposite problem. And sometimes I’m like maybe too mellow for too long. And then I think of my head on a water break. Like man, they have no energy today. And then I’m thinking like, well maybe I don’t have any energy today. And I gotta like, you know, you gotta know when to do that. But definitely my personal forte is like trying to bring it back down to like the homeo sticks is calm. That’s what I, I find myself doing on like every step that I teach on is that I’m that per, which is fine. I love it. I love being that person. But it’s important for every teacher when you don’t have a staff of eight people to know that it’s up to you, maybe you have to fake it till you make it and you need to get hyped if you want them to be hyped and you gotta like get comfortable doing that sometimes.

Dan Schack (01:20:40):

And just who’s around you. I see like there’s teams out there where everyone is just, they’re the positive side of the magnet. There’s no negative, there’s no dichotomy. There’s no contrast. And it’s like, the kids are like, so revved up. It’s just like, it’s like a, a flat line. I feel like what you’re talking about, like being a dynamic teacher, if you express or if you expect dynamic results. And I, I feel the same, like, and this is so personality driven. Like I am just the way I am and like that’s pretty revved up. If I don’t check myself, I’ll just like spin out and be too fast and too loud and too crazy. And like, that’s not what I want out of the groups I’m in front of. I want them to express at all levels. Want them to sh to show contrast in what they do.

Dan Schack (01:21:32):

So it’s great. Like me and you teaching together, we’re probably like pretty like different people. Like our personalities are different, but like we have such a great contrast because you’re in there making things like, just like the clarity and then I’m in there, like kind of sometimes over Lee cerebral or like getting big picture and making them, you know, like whatever direction I could possibly go in. And I think that’s so necessary. And I always like loved, like the way you rehearse the group up top is very reminiscent of how I felt starting a crown, the professionalism of it all. And I’ve learned so much about if you come to the group expecting that they’re bad and that you’re fixing them, they will be that. I feel like you’re coming at it. We’re like, you are all at the top of this. And I expect you to understand the high levels of what we’re doing. And I’ll just like rehearse you like you’re in an orchestra and a symphony. And I gotta say, I think that work so much better. You’re not like preemptively, shaming the students. And like assuming that they suck. Right? Yeah.

Matt Penland (01:22:36):

I, I, you know, but that, that is a big, I’m a big advocate of that concept. Like don’t be on the meal break talking about how bad this kid was at the you’re not, I know that you’re the kids aren’t hearing it, but you’re, you’re putting that in your mindset and you don’t wanna, you want to be the conductor of a professional ensemble or you’re like rehearsing the best progression ensemble, like college in, in the nation. And, and what the, like the, you know, the professor’s role in those rehearsals. Like when I was at north Texas professor, Mark Ford is up there. He’s up there. He’s not telling you how to play the R bar. He’s just letting you know, Hey, from up here, it sounds like this. And you’re like, okay, thank you. Thank you for letting me know, cuz you, you just trust their ears.

Matt Penland (01:23:17):

So the, our role on staff, especially at the highest level is just like, Hey, trust me from the front. It sounds like you’re slower. Sounds like that role does. I’m assuming you think it’s clean cuz you should be trying every rep I’m letting you know, it sounds slow, you know, like see it that way. And it’s just more respectful and it makes them, I dunno, I feel like it, it gives them some empowerment that they have a reason very hard and it makes them trust you more because you’re just giving them honest feedback. We both want it sound the best it can be. I’m assuming you’re trying hard every time time, you know,

Dan Schack (01:23:47):

It’s such a cultural thing too. Like that, that idea of like the kids are them and we are us and it’s like us versus them or like us being mad at them for like not doing it. Like one the, the sooner as a teacher, you realize that every result that you’re getting is probably reflection of what you’re bringing to the table. The it’ll just be accountable. Like I blame myself for everything the students do. And when they achieve, I feel great about it. And when they don’t, I know that it’s likely what I’m saying, how I’m saying it or when I’m saying it so that I have control over what is happening. Like you’re saying like, as a conductor are sort of you’re mediating on their contribution. You’re not the one like clicking in their face or like, like making it so like they’re, they can’t be reliant on what you’re bringing to the table. They actually just need to be able to do it themselves with, with guidance. But it’s like such a teacher thing. Like I bet public schools way we’re honestly in drum core about like, oh the kids, you know, the kids are like this or the kids are, nah, it’s like, that’s such a part that’s like baked into teaching period. And it’s like, it’s pretty unhealthy. And it makes it a lot less enjoyable, honestly, when it feels like that. And I know that that is a thing that has been in drum core. It’s like for kids

Matt Penland (01:25:06):

And I’m not saying haven’t ever fall into that trap, but like I do try to catch myself, especially like in the last couple years, I just like, I don’t know if I had just like a certain moment or a point of reflection where I was just like, you would be so embarrassed if the kids are, you would be so like, you would never want the kids to hear this. So let’s not think that way it’s a team effort. Like the use of the words we and us have to be genuine. Like you have to actually like you are a part of their team and you’re just there to help them.

Dan Schack (01:25:31):

Yeah. Literally the language saying we are slow or we are fast as a quad line. Like that actually changes. Like you are slow, you are fast. You know, like I, I totally, it definitely resonates with me. And I think, you know, just being accountable and understanding when you’re in the line, you can’t hear what the teacher hears. It’s, it’s easy to get frustrated, especially over the summer, honestly, to just feel like it’s super stagnant and then realizing that’s part of it and rehearsing through it in a professional way is like so massive. Like every drum line hits that like three quarter place. We were like, oh, are we ever gonna get better? And you either like get worse or you like peak basically at the end. It’s like super important. You know, that like July time where you’re like, we suck, we suck at spend two weeks and we we’re totally gray.

Dan Schack (01:26:25):

And then like you hit the end of July and you hit the beginning of August and you’re either like you, you turn a corner or you kind of, you, you can’t maintain it. And it’s like, so dependent on the type of, I guess, attitude you bring to the students, you know? And that’s why I think, you know, we’ve had so much more success students coming back, higher levels of talent retention and the type of relationship we all have. Like I know the students at Mason, like just, you know, they are all about having you in there. They love getting taught by you. You know, I feel like I come at a different way, but I feel the same. Like, you know, appreciate, I guess you could say, like, I, I definitely feel like they appreciate what we all do cuz it’s different. And I think that’s super cool.

Dan Schack (01:27:10):

Like we have that type of different, you know, looking at the teams that a lot of groups have is it’s all alumni or it’s all people taught by the same person, but it’s like, we, we don’t have that. And I actually think it’s something that’s special about what we do for indoor. And it’s why I think maybe we’ve had a different identity than other groups. Because we’ve, we’ve gone through our hurdles, you know? Oh, like we’re not gonna say three inches. Like we all agree. That’s not making us better as a small example, even though it was like a huge example, not anymore.

Matt Penland (01:27:44):

It’s not a huge example. It’s fine.

Dan Schack (01:27:47):

Not for us. Yeah.

Matt Penland (01:27:50):

I think that’s all being phased out. I feel like in general, anyway, hopefully just in general in the activity it’s like gradually people are realizing that it’s easier way to teach it, but it’s not a more effective way to teach

Dan Schack (01:28:01):

It. Maybe this, you know, I wanted to get you on here to just talk shop because I feel like it’s, it’s super cool. It’s been very educational and you know, mind bending to like work with people like yourself that have just a different experience. I feel like it’s been super healthy. It’s been great for George Mason. It’s been great just for the, the organization to have my lines of different philosophies. And I I’m super excited that we were able to sort of put some of those conversations on the table for other people to hear, because you don’t know what you don’t know. And I feel like we have all learned quite a bit from each other. And it’s just been super dope. So I just want to thank you Matt, for getting on here. And I just I booked my hopes, tell this morning for your wedding. So I’m excited for that too next month. And we’re gonna have a great time. So and I’ll probably see you well, won’t see you this weekend, but I think the one after, yeah, the one

Matt Penland (01:28:55):

After. Yeah, thanks for having me. It’s awesome. Awesome. Digging to share with everyone. My experience working with George Mason too and getting to know you and

Dan Schack (01:29:03):

Yeah, it’s been great. Love it, dude. Thank you so much, everybody. We’ll see you next time. Peace, peace out everybody.

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