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Ryan Brown is the drummer for Dweezil Zappa, Keram, The Fuxedos, The Young Royals, and Black Belt Karate. Ryan is also an instructor at Musicians Institute in Hollywood, California.

Originally from Colorado, Ryan had a choice to pursue his music career either in New York or Los Angeles. Who knew that a 50/50 decision would bring him the fortune of playing his dream gig? In this episode, Ryan shares important knowledge that will help working drummers in their pursuit of a fruitful career, as well as the epic story of his Dweezil Zappa audition and how he channels the mega lineup of past Frank Zappa drummers in his own performances.


Key moments in this episode:


  • Ryan Brown talks about playing the Black Page with a Morfbeats Marvin.

  • Since 1999, Ryan hasn’t seen much snow since living and gigging in the LA scene. Ryan gives his thoughts on networking and how social media isn’t enough to seal that deal.

  • So how did Ryan Brown land the Zappa gig? It’s kind of a long story and it involves Pete Jones.

  • The story about the Dweezil Zappa audition process is unreal. Ryan shares the story about the stress that he endured capturing an opportunity of a lifetime.

  • Replacing Joe Travers as Dweezil’s drummer was no small feat. Ryan reflects on his first year as Dweezil’s drummer and how the audience received him.

  • Ryan talks about how he channels the many great drummers who held the Zappa throne into his own performances with Dweezil, and how he manages to inject his own personality into the music as well.

  • I asked Ryan who his favorite Zappa drummer is/was, and this turns into a story about how he found Zappa’s music as a young man.

  • Ryan is an only child, which happens to be something we have in common. We discuss and relate to each other over the virtues of being only children and how it affects us as artists.

  • Ever wonder what improvisation might be like in Dweezil’s band? Ryan breaks down the hand signals and some of the musical escapades that occur on stage.

  • Ryan shares his advice on making a good decision when you approach an intersection where more than one choice can be made.

Music Credit: Dweezil Zappa
Inverted Commas, I’m Sorry You Had to Hear That, Greasy Owl Bacon

Photo Credit: Seth Jacobson


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