Brad Hargreaves, the veteran drummer from rock band Third Eye Blind, has been playing an interesting drum solo while on tour with his band. We caught a glimpse of this just a couple months back at Irvine Meadows Amphitheater this summer. After some research, we discovered that Hargreaves has a side DJ project under the name “Just Brad.”
In the solo we witnessed first hand, he looped in samples to complement which drum actions he makes. For example, a Jay-Z voice sample responds with “hi-hat” “snare,” and “bass” in coordination with the intention. See for yourself in the second video below (he performed the same solo when we caught the band in September). The sample dropping starts at about the 6:30 mark.
He discussed the project and his improvisational DJ set with Modern Drummer Magazine.
The “Just Brad” project started in 2009 and has gone off and on over the past six years while he toured with 3EB and his other band, Year Long Disaster. Check out the performance below. In the first vid, Hargreaves performs his DJ set. You can see more videos like this one on his Just Brad YouTube channel. Watch below and see his improvised set that he plays these days in shows.
Third Eye Blind was much more popular in the 90's after their hit debut album reached top 25 in the US Hot 100, with five hit singles. Their sound has constantly changed with the times, however. A few months ago, Brad spoke about this with the Miami New Times.
“Most Third Eye Blind albums are fairly eclectic sounding — there's acoustic songs, there's rock sounds, there's electronic stuff,” Brad said. “I think we've kept that formula going. Our new album, no one is going to mistake it for being a completely different band, but there's quite a bit of evolution on it. I think you can hear it on the first single, ‘Everything is Easy,’ and ‘Mine.’”
With a new album out, they're clearly going more electronic. In the past, the band has supported music from artists like Adventure Club and others, who remixed alternative rock songs (see tweet). Sometimes, Hargreaves plays dubstep in his DJ sets.
Currently, there are only a few drummers playing live drum sets in DJ/producer shows. Big Gigantic and Break Science are some of the most well-known that have made this their own in the EDM era. Some schools offer a course or masters degree in this now, like UC Irvine in Southern California. With so many artists who used to play in bands going to electronic music, who knows what this kind of evolution on the large scale will encourage. Time will tell.
Check out Brad's live set and DJ set below.
Just Brad DJ Set
Live Drum Solo 2012 (starts at 6:30 mark)
Before: Fan Video 2009