By Lisa Morgan
According to his sponsor, Spaun Drums, Steven Hall is “arguably one of the hardest hitting more precise drummers in the So Cal music scene.” Son to Steve Hall Sr. (aka “Ballsy Hallsy”) of local metal legends STORMER, Steven continues to build that legacy having toured and graced the stage with acts like Capitol Eye (Skunk Records), Ripsville City Hall, Thr3 Strykes and currently Se7en4. His most recent project, Drum Hall, another badge of honor to the family name, will be opening for Fishbone at the Date Shed, November 18th, a band noted by critics as “one of the most distinctive and eclectic alternative rock bands of the late ’80s.”
Steven Hall’s Drum Hall had their debut at the Rhythm Wine and Brews Festival in 2016. CV Weekly had the chance to catch up with Hall and find out how this new project that has been greeted with sold out venues and rave reviews came together.
Hall: “It’s kind of funny, actually. My friend since high school, Chris Cichocki, a well-known artist around the world who also works with the Rhythm, Wine and Brews Festival, asked me if I wanted to attend the show in 2015 with headliners Slightly Stoopid. We had been in a back yard, beer brawling, punk band called Crook together as kids along with Nick Flores (front man for Se7en4). As it turns out, I couldn’t go. But during that conversation, I threw out a suggestion; ‘Hey dude, maybe next year you can let me do a big drum circle at the entrance to the event when people are walking in.’ It was an idea I had that fed off of the concept of the Venice Beach drum circle I have been to on Sundays. As the sun goes down, 100s of people gather with drums and every kind of percussion. ‘That’s not a bad idea,’ he said. We didn’t talk about it again until two months prior to that next RWB Festival when he said that he got us a slot. I didn’t even have a name or anything put together for it…it was only an idea. Here I was, booked with a seriously big gig, and I hadn’t even started putting anything together. But I definitely had some ideas!”
“I called my friend, DJ Hellnaw, from Skunk Records and Capitol Eye. We got into a studio, started to work it out, and it really started to come together. About a month out from the gig, I reached out to all the drummers I knew – I even reached out to musicians that weren’t drummers, like Jamie Hargate of The Hellions who just has great musicality. We eventually pulled 12 other drummers together for that festival. Still, two weeks out, we still needed a name; we came up with Drum Hall.”
“That year, we included Katie Cathcart (Bridger), Josh Fimbres (Thr3 Strykes), Josh Hall (Thr3 Strykes), Jamie Hargate (Hellions), Steve Ussery, (Caxton), Bob Llamas (The Hellions), my buddy Park Romney, Cesar Hernandez (Pedestrians) who’s like a brother to me, and Trevino Martin DeBajo (Se7en4). We pulled a lot of people together including sound, and everyone really came through. I didn’t think that it could get better than that, but since then, we’ve played the sold out Open Desert Music and Photographic Arts Showcase produced by Chris Cichocki (a show that featured the music of four desert rock artists playing in collaboration with the projected images of more than 130 local and international artists in the Annenberg Theater), and opened the CV Music Awards.”
CVW: “What made you think of bringing a DJ into the drum circle concept?
Hall: “I wanted it to be a bigger party than Venice. So I thought, kind of like how I role through life in general, that adding a DJ would turn it up a couple more notches. Every drummer needs a metronome. Why not interact hip hop gangster rap, one of the best metronomes that I ever learned from, and turn it into a drum circle on steroids.”
“This show will include me, my brother, Josh Hall as DJ, Josh Fimbres, Cesar Hernandez, Park Romney, Brian Pelletier, Katy Cathcart, and newer additions Troy Whitford (The Sweat Act) and Jared Rice who joined us at the CV Music Awards at the last minute. My brother Josh will start things off as our DJ/hype man and I’ll join him on stage. It will be just the two of us for the ‘full Hall experience’ before the rest of the crew comes on stage.”
“I am really excited about this show. I’ve been a fan of Fishbone since middle school. Their drummer and I are both endorsed by Spaun Drums. I’m looking forward to meeting him, comparing drum sets, and getting to know him after all these years of being a fan.”
Drum Hall will be joining local band Spankshaft in opening for Fishbone at the Date Shed in Indio on Friday, November 18th. Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door. The show starts at 9pm and is open to adults age 18 and older. For more information, go to www.dateshedmusic.com.