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Thread: Andy Sturmer of Jellyfish: What Equipment?

  1. #1

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    Default Andy Sturmer of Jellyfish: What Equipment?

    Can't mince any words here: I think that the Jellyfish albums Bellybutton and Spilt Milk rank as two of the top twenty pop albums of all time. If you are not familiar with them, they were briefly prolific (if that's the word) in the early 90s and have a strong Beatles/Beach Boys/Queen vibe.

    My question concerns vocalist/drummer Andy Sturmer's equipment and his playing. I've yet to locate any descriptions of the kits he used in the studio or in his front-of-stage stand up performances, nor have I been able to find any articles or interviews with him on his work as a drummer. Anybody have any links?

    GeeDeeEmm

  2. #2

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    Default Re: Andy Sturmer of Jellyfish: What Equipment?

    All I could find was someone on another drum forum reckons he used a Ludwig Black Beauty at some point.
    Pdp LXE | Pearl ELX Export

    'Give me your fingernails, oh look, the moon' - Todd Sucherman.

  3. #3

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    Default Re: Andy Sturmer of Jellyfish: What Equipment?

    Thanks, Drumstix -
    Odd that there's such a dearth of information on Sturmer - he's a great drummer, excellent singer, and one heck of a songwriter. Wish I knew more about him and what he's doing now.
    GeeDeeEmm

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    Default Re: Andy Sturmer of Jellyfish: What Equipment?

    I must of missed most of the '90s music scene due to the overplay of grunge music in my radio market area during those days but this is a pleasant surprise. A first for me Gee! You're absolutely right about the Beatles/Beach Boys vibe. I was pleasantly surprised by this:


  5. #5

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    Default Re: Andy Sturmer of Jellyfish: What Equipment?

    Quote Originally Posted by late8 View Post
    I must of missed most of the '90s music scene due to the overplay of grunge music in my radio market area during those days but this is a pleasant surprise. A first for me Gee! You're absolutely right about the Beatles/Beach Boys vibe. I was pleasantly surprised by this:

    I stayed away from most of the grunge era also..............I'm still stuck in the 70's and 80's

    I like the album......................the Beatles/Beach Boys/Queen comparison is spot on. Good stuff

  6. #6

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    Default Re: Andy Sturmer of Jellyfish: What Equipment?

    Guys, you have no idea how happy it makes me that you enjoyed the Jellyfish offerings. Here's what I admire so much about the group:

    - Unashamed pop/rock format and themes. Practically everybody now ignores pop/rock as a vehicle for serious, sophisticated songwriting and superior musicianship. Many songwriters consider the genre as simplistic and cliched. And when said writers attempt to write pop/rock, that's exactly what they produce. But the pop/rock format offers the opportunity to utilize the most popular tool in songwriting: the "hook." Why does an artfully-constructed pop song ring true to most listeners? Because one can walk away from a first listen and still whistle the chorus - and that chorus resounds and echoes in our memory for days afterward.

    - Sturmer's songs rarely take us exactly where we expected to go, and in so doing, he stirs our curiosity and appreciation. Nonetheless, the chord progressions are comfortable and appreciated. "Whoa! Never saw that coming!" would be a typical response to the voyages that Sturmer provides for us. A perfect example is the guitar solo near the end of the song "She Still Loves Him." At first listen, I thought this solo was brash and out of context for the sensitive nature of the song. But further examination revealed it to be exactly the work that was needed. Like the guitar solo in Kerry Livgren's song, "Save the Children," this solo brilliantly expresses the pain, anger, and longing of the song's subject.

    - Smart lyric writing has always been the rarely glimpsed "dark art" of pop music. From the very beginning of the pop/rock genre, lyrics were used primarily to bridge a pair of "hooky" choruses. So, when a lyricist like Sturmer appears, those of us who love imaginative lyrics sit up and take notice. For instance, from the song "The Man I Used To Be":


    "I hope you remember me
    I was your daddy once
    Wearing the sailor cap and dirty nails
    To you, I'm just a picture on your mother's mantle piece
    Who chose to fight the good fight in time to fail

    Into battle, and in your shadow
    Your daddy loves you still
    Yes, he does

    I never thought it'd be so hard to see you grow so fast
    And turn into the man I used to be
    But I hope you have more sense than I in matters such as these
    Medals don't mean s__t when family is lost at sea

    Into battle, and in your shadow
    Your daddy loves you still
    Yes, he does
    Yes, he does

    I've saved every moment (that) I've reached out and almost touched you
    But they've all faded away
    Must be a bad memory"

    - No tricks, no popularity contest, no vocal gymnastics. Sturmer - in addition to being a super drummer - is also a very talented singer. He knows how to turn a phrase, and he knows what he is capable of as a singer. There are no ridiculous growling, grunting, slurring, or other vocal gimmicks detracting from Sturmer's very pleasing delivery.

    - Finally, this band is not ashamed to use blatantly-derived techniques from the bands they love. Beatles/Beach Boy/Queen layered vocal harmonies abound - and sound quite genuine and not contrived. Likewise, a diverse array of instruments and effects sound not the least bit pretentious.

    Hope you don't mind my becoming a music critic for a few lines. I'm unarmed in a situation like this, so I hope my insights have been of some use to you. Thanks again, guys, for the much-appreciated comments.

    GeeDeeEmm

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