Street Drum Corps: Frank Zummo Talks about the New Album, The Band, and Projekt Revolution

Street Drum Corps Projekt Revolution 2008The Street Drum Corps is a group of 3 drummers, two of them brothers, that came together by accident and formed the punk style drum group. The three hit the stage this summer with Projekt Revolution and have played with the likes of Adrian from No Doubt, 30 Seconds to Mars, and members of the Used just to name a few.

They are now on their 5th year as a band and have defined what the Street Drum Corps will be in 2009 with their new album. The new album is taking a completely different style from their 2006 release We Are Machines. The difference is each member has found their strength and adding some musical structure to the band. The biggest change are the added lyrics to their songs, their Projekt Revolution set is a great example of what to expect in 2009.

I just got off the phone with Frank Zummo, the main drummer, from Street Drum Corps. There is a lot happening in Street Drum Corps land. First off the guys are playing a last minute gig for the House Of Hype “MTV VMA Pre Party.”

In our discussion we talked about everything from the new studio album, touring, new drummers, and the iPhone.

What’s next now that Projekt Revolution is finished?

Frank: We are shooting for a spring release of next year for the new album. We had a couple tour offers for January and February, but who knows how long the recording process will actually take.

Street Drum Corps irvine projekt revolution

How is the new album going to be different from “We are Machines”?

Frank: Completely different. It’s going to be like the set of Projekt Revolution, which is a different direction for us. The first recorded we called our friends in to come and make the record. We played the first album on Warped Tour. We then came home from Warped Tour and asked ourselves how we can make this a band (more than just 3 drummers). We all discussed out strengths. I am solid on beats and drums, so I now play on a drum kit with all the crazy drum mixed in. Adams is best on keyboards. Bobby said that he wanted to sing.

We have a songwriting partner working with us. Drums are still the main rhythm because we are SDC, but we will have big great choruses.

We wanted to test what made people excited about the show. We saw that being a punk Adam and the Ants worked, so we played the material on Projekt Revolution. There is still going to be crazy drum pieces.

Adam Alt

Street Drum Corps irvine projekt revolution

Any friends participating on this album?

Frank: Not as of right now, no. We wanted to focus on us as a band. You never know, maybe some friend will be on the guitar.

What is the recording process like for SDC?

Frank: Completely different. We went to a junkyard with our producer and recorded beating on cop cars then made samples of it. There was not a real drum on the first record. Not even a cymbal. The second one had 3 pieces of a drum set. This one is going to be the full touring setup. We have no formula for writing and recording. It’s cool to have it like that.

Is there any improv in the studio or at shows?

Frank: Always improv at the live shows. We played 5 news songs and there is room in those songs to go off and do different things. Bobby would change words in the songs. I would do different drumbeats. I hate dead air between songs so I would just start beating on the drums. Even with Linkin Park we would improv. They would leave us on stage by ourselves and it wouldn’t be the same each night.

What are your favorite songs to perform live?

Frank: I love them all! I love playing the Tribal beats..playing on floor toms. The song we closed with called “The Little ones” was one of my favorites. It was theatrical and the crew would join in. I could beat the piss out of the drums.

Bobby Alt and Frank

Street Drum Corps Projekt Revolution 2008

What are you listening to now?

Frank: Right now I am loving MIA. We met with the producer of her album and he is really excited with what we do. I also listen to the new Portishead record, Death Cab for Cutie, Swedish artist, Lykke Li and Mötley Crüe. Tommy Lee is the best!

From your perspective, how would you describe the state of the music industry today?

Frank: Everyone says it’s horrible. I had records, then cds, and then iTunes came along. I love Technology! We have to evolve. (The digital era) creates less clutter. I couldn’t be happier. I still have a lot of belief because Interscope saw 3-bucket drummers and liked us. I never thought a major would get what we do.

There is a statement up on your MySpace that says you are looking for drummers. Can you tell me more about this?

Frank: We have other groups. They are Troops of the SDC. We send out groups playing on buckets. They went out and played Warped Tour this year. The groups play different sponsor booths, private events. We sent a group to Mexico and to some college shows. First casting is this month and both guys and girls are coming. Interscope is helping out in putting the casting together.

On a lighter note, if you weren’t in SDC what would you be doing?

Frank: I’d probably be in another band, or something in the music field.

You said you love technology, what mp3 player do you have?

Frank: I had an iPod then I just bought the new iPhone. I manage the band and am the production manager; the iPhone is my little hand-held computer. It’s great for music and my photos.

For more information and to listen to SDC visit their Official Site and their MySpace.

I’d like to thank Frank for taking several minutes out from the crazy SDC schedule to speak with us. We will be keeping everyone posted on the release date of the album and any tour dates posted for SDC.

Street Drum Corps Drop Beats on the Revolution Stage

Street Drum Corps
Verizon Wireless Amphitheater – Irvine, CA

Bobby Alt
Adam Alt
Frank Zummo

Street Drum Corps Verizon Wireless Amphitheater - Irvine, CA 8/10/2008

It was very apparent before Projekt Revolution even kicked off that Mike Shinoda and others expressed their excitement that Street Drum Corps was joining the bill when on the phone. These guys are wildly exciting onstage. It’s STOMP but with rock vocals. Actually members of STOMP, No Doubt, Bad Religion, Good Charlotte, and Atreyu (to name a few) have already performed with the Los Angeles based trio.

Need a taste of what they sound like? Check out their Myspace or their official site.

Look for an interview soon with the guys!

Update: The Interview is up with Frank (see link above).

Photos of Street Drum Corps at Projekt Revolution: