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Interviews With The Finalists of Guitar Center's Drum Off and Judge, Thomas Pridgen of The Mars Volta

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Last Saturday, Guitar Center held it's 20th anniversary Drum Off. Local and regional competitions were held in Guitar Centers across the country over the past few months. In the end six undiscovered drummers, the creme de la creme, made the cut and were flown to Los Angeles to compete against each other for $25,000 and a tons of other cool stuff. You know, sneakers, jeans, ad deals, drum sets, cymbals, things like that.

And who would be judging this competition? An assortment of the finest drummers across the land. Or at least an assortment of drummers who were willing to show up. They were as follows the honorable, Foo Fighters' Taylor Hawkins, Tool's Danny Carey, No Doubt's Adrian Young, Avenged Sevenfold's The Rev and session vet Kenny Aronoff. The night was hosted by Jane's Addiction drummer, Stephen Perkins, who did a stand up job and was not afraid to mock the tech guys who were unable to coordinate the dvd player.

I arrived early to talk to the finalists before their moment of glory. The poor bastards were put through a media ring circus. There were media groups from all over waiting like vultures to talk to them. We had roughly five minutes with each contestant, which is about enough time to shake their hand and ask them two questions. Most of the guys were buzzing with excitement and nervous energy. Here is a snapshot of some of their answers.