Okay, so last month Stephanie and I took a road trip north to Rochester, NY to catch the Old 97’s perform at the Water Street Music Hall on the banks of the Genesee River. While we were there, we thought it’d be fun to get to know our amazing drummer a bit better.

Being in the background, Philip doesn’t usually get to say much, but here he discusses his signature style, embarrassing moments and the hazards of sitting directly behind Rhett during a gig.


It’s kind of like attending a master class with a terrific teacher. Thanks again to Philip for taking time out of his busy day to indulge us.


  1. is that boy the coolest or what!!???philip rules!!!

  2. Excellent, and far more entertaining Osama 24/7. Plus, title taken from fav Old 97’s tune!

  3. I was at this show. I got to Hang out with at the Strong Museum of play with some of the boys. Great show, and great stuff.

    • 05/04/2011
    • Reply

    Thank you so much for this. I remember the first time I heard the live version of Time Bomb (the Satellite Rides bonus disc). I turned it up LOUD and kept thinking, Holy crap! There’s an actual *person* playing that! I was and continue to be amazed by it.

    There’s so much power is in Philip’s playing, yet he looks controlled and the playing looks effortless. And his style is so distinctive, yet it’s tight and holds everything together. Actually, a lot of what he says here explains why this band sounds so tight, I think–the reflection of Rhett’s strumming in his style and Murry as a “frustrated drummer.” They’re all on the same page, each technically excellent, and they play in a way that makes everyone else sound great.

    Thanks again for this. I’m going to share it with all the drummers I know …

  4. Yay!! I always find it funny when I am talking to others about the guys, they say they have never gotten the chance to talk to Philip. Other than Rhett, Philip is the one I have talked to the most. So glad everyone gets to hear Philip talk about his awesome drumming. Rock on Philip!

  5. He IS amazing! I feel smarter than I was 15 minutes ago. You’re the man, Philip!

    • 05/05/2011
    • Reply

    That was amazing!!!! Thanks so much for posting Marie. Next time, get him to whistle and drum at the same time. Just KNEW I heard “Sing Sing Sing” by Benny Goodman in “Four Leaf Clover”. Love that jungle beat!

    • 05/06/2011
    • Reply

    great stuff !!!

  6. The coolest thing about this interview is how much I would enjoy it even if I weren’t an Old 97’s fan. Makes me want to go out and buy a drum kit! Thanks Philip, and thanks to Marie and Stephanie for producing this.

    • So glad y’all are enjoying Philip’s drumming primer. It was a great pleasure and privilege to pick his brain. India, you’re right. He makes it look so easy, kinda makes me want to take up the kit. But that would just be ugly. Ha Ha!

  7. great you tube clip. The guys have always been great to talk with at the shows.

  8. Ironically, I stopped drumming (graduated) around the time I “discovered” the 97s. This makes me wanna find the stix again.

  9. Love that guy! He is very kind and can really play the drums!! Thanks Phillip!

    • 05/15/2011
    • Reply

    The comment about the drums being a “reflection of Rhett’s strumming style” has kind of changed the way I listen to the drums now. I never noticed how “rhythmic” Rhett’s rhythm guitar was or how closely Phillip matched that. Great insight into the band’s sound.

  10. If you’d like to ask Philip some questions, go to this thread in the forum:

  11. It’s not quite captured on the video, but Philip kinda has the deepest speaking voice of anyone in the band. So I always thought that if you didn’t know better, and were trying to guess the singer by the way they talked, he’d get most votes.

  12. So nice to meet you Philip! This interview was the BEST drumming lesson I have ever heard!!! Thank you so much for your great contribution to the Old 97’s. I look forward to seeing you and the band return to Pittsburgh (soon, I hope).

    Side note to my pal, Marie: Nice camera work, congrats on this great interview!

  13. Great interview!

  14. I now know about 100 times more about drumming than I did a half an hour ago, and it feels good. Looking forward to the Sacramento show!

Add a comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.