In an attempt to add "Guinness World Record Holders" to their burgeoning resume, Dale Crover and The Melvins will attempt to tour all 50 states (plus Washington D.C.) in 51 days. You read that right… 50 states, 51 days! And sharing Dale's whirlwind will be a trusty set of Tama Silverstars. You may have already caught some the previous testimonials wherein other artists have discussed the pro-level sound and durability of Silverstar, but this one has to be the Mother Of All Road Tests. Check back here regularly to Dale's tour blog to find out how Dale, The Melvins, and Tama Silverstar are holding up.

The tour kicked off September 5 in Anchorage, Alaska and will finish October 25 in Honolulu, Hawaii.


Welcome To The Tour!

posted on 9-17-2012


Greetings and salutations from the road! It's me, Dale Crover of the Melvins Lite. The Lite part being we have one less drummer than what has been our "normal" line up for the last six or so years. Also, with this version of the band we're playing with Trevor Dunn on stand up bass! We have a new record we've recorded with him called Freak Puke!

We did a test run tour with Trevor a little over a year ago to see if playing with a stand up bass would even work. It was then that we decided that it was indeed something cool, and that we should do a record breaking tour of the US. All 50 states, plus Washington DC, in 51 days. If we can accomplish this tour, we'll hold the record for fastest tour of the US + DC by a band in the Guiness Book Of World Records! Melvins have been a band for almost 30 years. Doing something different and off the wall is how we keep it fresh,yo!

I normally play pretty big drums, but I knew that for this line up and tour that I wanted something smaller in size. I needed a kit that was suitable for rock, as well as the brush work I've been doing on some of the new songs. I called the fine folks at Tama to see if they could help out. I'd already been drooling over pictures and videos of the new Silverstar Birch line on the Tama website, and knew that that's what I wanted. I was able to get a Sky Blue Sparkle, 18" x 22" bass drum, 10" x 13" rack tom, 14" x 16" floor tom and 5" x 14" snare. Sure enough, they sounded great right out of the box! Other drummers who have seen me play on this tour have said how surprised they are that I'm able to get such a big sound out of a small kit. Sure, it's the drums, the player and a soundman who knows a thing or two about making me sound great!

After a warm up show in Sacramento ('cause ya have to warm up before doing 51 shows in a row) we drove to Seattle and flew from there into Anchorage Alaska for the first of 51. We've never played in Alaska and weren't really sure what to expect. We had a great turn out and it was a super fun show. Since it was a fly in show I couldn't take the new kit. I was however provided with a nice set of Starclassics.

After Alaska, we flew back to Seattle. This is our old stomping grounds and we always have good shows here. Portland, OR too. Though the power blew out on the last note of the set because of a 3.5 earthquake 30 miles south of Portland. After being in both the Christchurch and Tokyo earthquakes last year, I'm over it. Unfortunately I live in California.

So far we are 8 shows/ states into the tour. Eastbound and down. Not only a long way to go, but a short time to get there (to quote the late, great Jerry Reed). Last night was at the Bluebird Theatre in Denver, CO. The Bluebird is a beautiful old theatre. We love playing places like this. It usually sounds awesome for band and audience alike. I wish we could always play joints like this. Though there is something to be said about playing a grange hall in Cheyenne. The audience two feet away. It really adds to the energy of the show! We're not big fans of playing places intended for sports. It usually sounds horrible and you don't quite have the connection to the audience. Luckily we don't have to worry about that. We know we're a weird band and will never fill the Enormodomes of this great country of ours. Ha!

We are now on our way to Lawrence, Kansas to play the Bottleneck. I'll be checking back in from time to time. Hopefully I'll still have some sanity left.

TTFN! -Dale Crover

Dale Crover From Cheyenne, Wy. 9-11-2012

posted on 9-18-2012


Tour In Full Swing!

posted on 10-3-2012


Hello again from the wide open road! We are now in the thick of our World Record setting tour, with 21 shows under our belts. That's 21 shows in a row with no days off! You don't really have days off when you're on tour anyhow. A day off for us usually means that we have a 9 to 12 hour drive to the next gig. We carefully planned the routing of this tour so we didn't have any monster drives. There will be a few doosies on this tour though. It's unavoidable unless we fly, and that would be cheating. Except for Alaska and Hawaii, of course.


All the shows have been going real well. The jaunt through the Midwest was good. We haven't been to the Dakotas for a long time, so it was nice to play a sold out gig in Fargo. After that we played an outdoor gig in Minneapolis. I'm guessing that if the gig was two weeks later we'd be shoveling snow to get to the stage! Great show though! I met a girl there who asked me about my new drums. Turns out she's a fellow drummer and Tama fan; she showed me her tattoo of the Tama logo on her arm!


The Silverstars are holding up nicely. Now that I've had some time with them I've found the sweet spots of tuning them. Some drummers tune to notes. I've found that each drum has a certain pitch that sounds the best for that drum. I don't tune the lugs across from each other to match pitch. I'll start with one lug and tune it to the two lugs on either side of it, and o that around the drum until they all match. Dig? I tune the bottom head slightly higher than the top. I learned this way of tuning from producer Garth Richardson, who worked with us on Houdini, Stag, and Stoner Witch. He liked the way I tuned my snare, which is crank it up and go.


The opening act on the majority of this tour is the LA brother duo, Tweakbird. I've helped produce two of their releases. After the first session we did, I said to the drummer, "I think you need a new drum kit." So, I sold him my kit from the early days: A John Bonham-sized Ludwig kit. I know, I know, I probably shouldn't mention a competitors name here, but this kit lead to the design of my first Tama kit, the Purple Behemoth!


I first started working with Tama in 1993. One of my first questions was "Do you still make the gong bass drum, and can I get one?" My first kit was a Tama Artstar Custom: 26" Kick, 16" Rack. 18" and 20" floor toms, 20" gong bass drum, and 8" x 14" snare drum, all in my own purple metal flake custom color. It was the loudest drum kit ever! The snare was super thick and sounded great! Unfortunately the snare was stolen recently in Dallas. If anyone sees it around the Dallas area, I want it back!


I hadn't planned on getting another kit since I loved the Artstars so much, but then Coady and I tried out the Starclassic Bubingas. Uh oh! We decided now that we had two drummers in the band, we needed matching kits. I decided for this kit I would go slightly smaller. I wanted a combo of the Artstars and an old 1940's be-bop kit I own. 17" x 24" Kick, 12" x 15" Tom, 15" x 18" Floor, 14" x 20" Gong Drum (with floor tom legs), and 8" x 14" snare. All in Egyptian Night Mist. Coady's is slightly different in size. Since he's left handed we jam the kits close together, making it look like one big kit. We still use these kits for the double drummer version of the band.


We are now on the East Coast. The drives are getting shorter for this part of the tour at least. Playing every day has not bothered us one bit. It seems like any other tour really, and by now we are a well-oiled machine! I hope you can come watch us tear it up when we hit your state!

-Dale Crover

Dale Crover On The Road in Columbia, MO. on September 14th

posted on 9-18-2012


Video courtesty of sickdrummermagazine.com

In The Home Stretch!

posted on 11-2-2012


Hello again from the 51/51 tour. So far so good! We've now done 39 gigs in a row and are in the home stretch. I don't feel any worse for wear than any other tour. Actually, with the East coast drives being as short as they were, we've all had plenty of sleep. Often times we wouldn't have to check out of our hotel until 1pm, and then have a short drive to our next destination. The tour looked a lot harder on paper. My biggest concern was that I'd have to wear stinky clothes, because I wouldn't ever get a chance to do laundry with such a rigorous tour schedule.


We played to packed house for our very first time playing in New Hampshire at the Dover Brick House. Great staff and enthusiastic crowd! I Hope we can make it back in less than 30 years next time. Portland, Maine was up next. We haven't been here since 1999. Our first time here in 1994 was when I bought my first gong. Big rock bands in the 70's all had gongs, a lot of times just for show. It was probably looked at as uncool to have a gong in the mid 90's , but I put it to good use! I miss having the gong on tour. We haven't really had room to take it with us.


The Paradise Rock Club in Boston is one of our favorites. Always a good gig! I jumped up on stage with Tweak Bird and did a song, and have been doing so ever since.The last time we played here Tom Hamilton from Aerosmith showed up. His son is a fan of our band and he brought Dad to the gig. It's always refreshing meeting musicians that you admire and have them turn out to be cool. The guys in KISS were really nice when we met them. We played shows with KISS on their first reunion tour. They're probably the reason why i play music. I was the right age to be fully impacted by the KISS craze of the 70's. I learned to play Rock & Roll drums from KISS Alive and Aerosmith,Toys In The Attic.


The last show in New England was in Pawtucket, RI at the Met Cafe. I wasn't expecting the club to be as nice as it was. Great place and sounded good. No Pawtucket Pete's on tap, but they did have a baseball beer called 'Gansett that I believe is served at Pawsox games. Or so the locals say. Next we played Toad's Place in New Haven. This is another place we've been to so many times I can't count. We had to deal with the dreaded "Disco Load Out" after the show. Meaning that the venue turned into a dance club after the show. Dozens of drunk college kids from Yale to deal with while trying to load gear out.. Money well spent on education by their parents I guess.


Next stop was Brooklyn at the Williamsburg Music Hall. Met up with Michael Parillo who did the cover story on me for Modern Drummer. He's been following the blog and wanted to check out the new kit. He agreed that I'm getting a pretty big sound out of the Silverstars. Also talked with Jay Weinberg. He filled in for his dad Max on a few Bruce Springsteen tours. I've seen video of him playing. He's good! Next day at the Hoboken show at Maxwells the house sound guy asked if my drums were Silverstars. Turns out he also has a set of Silverstars, so I did a quick interview with him about his kit. Also chatted a bit with Bob Bert. He's played drums with Sonic Youth and Pussy Galore. We played with Pussy Galore some years ago and I noticed he was wearing work gloves for drumming. That's how I got the idea of wearing gardening gloves. At the time the drummers gloves on the market weren't holding up for me. Also the dye was turning my hands black. I had to wear some kind of gloves because I was tearing my hands up badly. So bad that I had to go to the doctor for infection. I started using the new Tama gloves on this tour. They've been durable and there's no bleed from the dye. I sweat a ton and play hard, so I think that says something about the gloves.


Had a good conversation with Desi Kensel from High On Fire the other day. He just got a new Silverstar kit for himself and wanted to ask me how I liked mine. Desi is a great drummer. We toured with High On Fire in New Zealand and Japan, and were in both the Christchurch and Tokyo earthquakes. I still get jumpy whenever a large truck shakes the ground.


The last half of this tour seems to be going by quickly. Alaska seems like a million years ago. Soon I will be on the beach in Hawaii, Mai tai in hand.
I'll fill you in on the grand finale.

-Dale Crover

Back Home

posted on 10-28-2012


In Los Angeles we played possibly the strangest venue of the tour. It was at the HollyWood Forever Cemetery. There's quite a few old movie stars buried here; Rudolph Valentino, Peter Lorre, my hero Mel Blanc and Johnny and Dee Dee Ramone. It's definitely a first for us playing in a graveyard. It was a great home coming gig for us, but we're not quite finished yet.


We made it to the last show in Hawaii with out any problems. Our biggest fear would be to miss the flight, or have it cancelled. We'd have to start all over! Nice place to end a monster of a tour like this. I would like to stay and vacation, but after this many days in a row, home sounds like a pretty good vacation to me. I did have time to jump in the Pacific Ocean and stare at Diamond Head before getting on the plane back home. Any normal band would probably take a year off after a tour like this. If you haven't guessed by now, we're not normal! Since we already have the ball rolling we find ourselves in the recording studio two days after the tour. Time to put the Silverstars under the microscope for the final test. Our engineer Toshi is great with my drum sound. It takes minutes as opposed to hours to get a good sound. I'm not a big fan of muffling or putting tape on the heads to get rid of unwanted ring. You wouldn't tape guitar strings, would you? Ringing doesn't usually bother me, and if it's that bad I can usually get rid of it with a little tuning. We tracked two songs with the Silverstars. On one song I used brushes. The drums sounded great for recording. You can hear the Silverstars on the songs Romance and Timothy Leary Lives on our new record "Everybody Loves Sausages".


Listen to an exclusive track premiere: The Melvins, "Romance"
over at MSN Entertainment


I would like to thank Aaron and every one at Tama for their support! I've been an endorser with Tama for 20 years now! Thanks everyone!


-Dale Crover

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