New York, NY (September 24, 2009)–Recording artist and founder of Thwak! Music, Tony Verderosa, appeared in a performance with Katy Perry and Aerosmith’s Joe Perry at the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards (VMA).
Verderosa, a classically trained drummer, percussionist and electronic music pioneer, doubled as the live drummer and music director for the collaboration, an cover of Queen’s “We Will Rock You.”
According to Verderosa, “As musical director and drummer, my job was to make sure Katy and Joe were comfortable with the grooves and the arrangement. The producers also wanted to add some other elements, so I added percussionists to play timpani and concert bass drums as well.
“I was a good fit for this assignment, because I have experience performing live on stage with drums and samples, creating live remixes, triggering vocals and more. I am very comfortable taking the production values from the studio and adapting those to my live drum kit. There was lot of pre-production work in terms of creating the loops, pitching the key up slightly, adding some cool layers and grooves to blend in with the main loop from ‘We Will Rock You,’ then mapping it all out on the kit and rehearsing everyone to create a tight arrangement.”
Regarding the technical aspects of the performance, he says, “This is probably the most famous drum beat in the world, and we wanted to bring something new to the feel. To produce a remix in the studio and then play it live, I need a Drum Triggering Module and also a sampler. Fortunately, Yamaha has created a new drum module called the DTXreme 3. It has 500 MB of sample memory for my loops and vocals, and the triggering speed is insane. I have the whole show saved on a small thumb drive. All of the pre-production was done in Cubase 5.”