This episode has been 2 years in the making. You think I’m joking, but it’s true. I messaged Brian around 2 years ago, we agreed to do this, and it’s taken this long for me to get it done! My fault, not his! 😬
Brian Beihl (yes, it’s a German last name) plays drums for Big Daddy Weave and in this episode we chat about drums, playing through pain, and daily disciplines that help him stay grounded even when he’s out on tour.
TIMESTAMPS[00:04:16] Early life and upbringing
[00:09:32] Musical Influences
[00:11:24] auditioning for Big Daddy Weave
[00:14:56] Playing Through Pain – what happened with Jay (Bass player)
[00:20:34] Ministering to others when you need ministering yourself.
[00:30:02] Porter and Davies drum throne
[00:31:21] What tech stuff are you using and why?
[00:32:55] How Brian’s using the SPD-SX on this tour
[00:35:42] Funny Ableton Story
[00:37:07] The worst mistake Brian’s made.
[00:40:42] Daily habits, disciplines.
[00:45:04] Brian’s key Scriptures that pertain to worship.
[00:46:36] Brian’s word of encouragement for worship drummers
Jon Manna: Welcome to Episode 27 of the Worship drummer podcast. This is Jon Manna your host.
Jon Manna: You are a part of a global group of Christian drummers who are continually striving to put the heart before beat. Why? Because we believe that worship is about the work of your hands and heart.
Jon Manna: Follow along online at worshipdrummer.com or you can always hit me up on Instagram @worshipdrummer. Thanks for listening and enjoy this episode.
Jon Manna: What’s up? Worship drummer fam. Hope everyone’s doing well. I’m stoked to present this conversation to you that I had with Brian Beihl. He’s the drummer from Big Daddy Weave, and we’ve been talking about doing an episode for about two years now. Finally, I kept my word and we actually did it. So I’m excited for you to hear this conversation.
Jon Manna: Just wanted to keep you up to speed on a couple of things. Check out worshipdrummer.pro and there you’ll find what I’m doing in the Worship Drummer Green Room where once a month we hang out with a guest worship drummer and you get to ask your questions directly to them. And we’ve had a great couple of months since we launched in January. We had Vincent Baynard and Luke Anderson from Elevation Worship, and then in February we had Andy Harrison from Planetshakers, along with Josh Ham, their bass player. And then in the month of March, we had David Whitworth. Stay tuned for the month of April, because on the 9th we are looking to host Dan MacMurray. So we’re gonna have a great time. It’s seven dollars a month. It’s a recurring subscription fee. Just so that I’m clear and no one’s caught off guard. It’s very clear in the description on the page. But the Worship Drummer Green Room is where it happens. And so I encourage you to check it out on worshipdrummer.pro. That is our platform for equipping you. And as well on Worshipdrummer.pro, you can buy our online course Mastering Modern Worship Drumming, which teaches you all about using the Roland SPD-SX in worship as well as with Ableton and how that all works together. So take a look if you’re interested, and I don’t want to delay this conversation any longer. So we’re gonna head straight now into the conversation I had with Big Daddy Weave’s drummer Brian Beihl.
Jon Manna: I just want to say a big shout out and thank you, Brian, for giving us the time today to chat. We’re honored to have you on the Worship Drummer podcast.
Brian Beihl: Man, it’s great to be here and honored to be a part of it and be just taking the time to want to do this, it’s great.
Jon Manna: For sure man. For those of you who may have missed it on Instagram, Brian did a takeover. It was from the time of this recording, what, about two weeks ago?
Brian Beihl: Yeah, it was about two weeks ago. Right around there.
Jon Manna: And I know that everyone loved asking the questions. You did such a good job with that, by the way.
Brian Beihl: Oh, thank you. And I really enjoyed.
Jon Manna: That was really cool. Funny thing about finally getting to do this face to face is I remember texting with you when you were at some like an awards show about two years ago and you sent me some pics that night to post on Instagram I was like, hey, we should do the podcast. And then time passed and maybe last year we touched base again and like just here and there. Then finally I was like, okay, enough talk, let’s do it.
Brian Beihl: Let’s make this happen. Yeah.
Jon Manna: So on my end, I’m just sorry it took so long, but I’m super stoked to get to chat today and share what you’ve been up to with Big Daddy Weave. But before we get to them, let’s talk about your upbringing and just tell us kind of the journey that you’ve been on from a kid to, you know, playing drums and how that evolved for you.
Brian Beihl: Yeah, I mean, I started playing drums when I was right around eleven/twelve years old, and I first started out just getting a snare drum and abruption a stick to start with as I just learned how to play a groove with that, you know, at least learn how that all kind of works. And there was shortly after that I got a drum kit, my dad bought me, and I still have that drum kit today, which is awesome. And but yeah, I just started getting into that and playing in local church and little family reunions and just little things here and there. And I just remember playing …my cousin and I would get together and we’d be like, OK, what’s one song we want to learn and we want to play? We’d go into his garage and we would like try to learn it and, you know, play it. Yeah, I did that. I got into recording at an early age as well. So I was in a lot of recording studios growing up and around a lot of professional musicians. And so I was doing engineering. I was playing here and there. And then I moved to Nashville early 2000s by 2002-2003. And I was on the road with some country artists at that point. They were some 90s country stars. So I was doing that for about four years or so with them and playing around town, playing around the Broadway scene, downtown Nashville, playing in my church, playing with other worship leaders around town, traveling still, you know, from time to time, just kind of anybody that needed somebody to fill in or you know I had like steady gigs with people around town that I would kind of play shows with here and there, and we’d go do that.
Brian Beihl: And in the midst of all that, having day jobs to keep myself in Nashville, because I was like, I’m gonna make this this work. I need to be able to be in town. I need to be around the people where this is actually happening. And people see me and I can kind of, you know, be around those those people when gigs available, be there for that. And yeah, just got started playing, I started playing with Big Daddy Weavwe in 2013 when the drummer at the time he was kind of making some changes, getting into some other different things and they were holding auditions and our manager Jim and I were going to the same church and so that’s how I kind of learned about that. And through the auditions and everything ended up getting called to be the drummer for that gig. And yes, it’s been over six years now with Big Daddy Weave and it’s been awesome. It’s been a lot of fun.
Jon Manna: That’s really cool. And I don’t know if you mentioned this in the beginning, but did you grow up – you said you started playing drums around eleve/twelve – were you in church like your whole life or did your faith kind of develop after you were in your teen years?
Brian Beihl: Yeah. Yeah, I was kind of in church kind of off and on as a kid. You know, there were seasons of really heavy into church and there were just seasons where I wasn’t really in church as much. Still had a faith, you know. But yeah, I think there were there was definitely a time, especially when I got into the country scene and started playing with some of those bands and stuff. I did kind of stray away. I kind of you know, I got a little into the party scene, kind of thinking I was young and it’s like, oh, I think this is what everybody is doing. So you just kind of get into that and nothing crazy, but, you know, just being involved in that. But really, once I kind of met my wife, that’s when a real change happened. And we really started getting involved with our church and really kind of my faith just kind of grew even more from that, even to this point, you know?
Jon Manna: Yeah. Do you think there’s this pressure that exists for any musician, let’s say, that’s moving to Nashville, to to hit up a certain scene, meaning to trade their identity if they’re rooted in faith, to kind of fit in and find their footings in Nashville? Is there that kind of a vibe?
Brian Beihl: I think I think it was just I kind of got involved with some wrong people on my end, you know, and not necessarily people have to give up anything or anything like that. I mean, I know I know guys that are, you know, in these great country artist bands, I mean, big artist bands and stuff. And their faith is great, you know, and they’re walking with the Lord and they’re doing, you know, ministry at church and all this kind of stuff, you know? I just didn’t have that gauge of like, oh, wait, no, this is not what I need to be doing. You know, when it took a while for me to kind of get through that. Oh, I don’t need this. You know, I need to be here, you know? And sometimes that means it means making changes in and gigs or or something like that, too? So.
Jon Manna: Wow. And so since 2013, you’ve been with Big Daddy Weave. What were some of your I don’t want to just limit it to drumming influences, but some of your influences that shaped you to become the musician and drummer that you are today?
Brian Beihl: Oh, man. I listen to so much. Just different music, anything from from jazz, from like, you know, Frank Sinatra to the blues to, you know, contemporary gospel to even just gospel quartets and trios. I like I grew up with all that music. My mom was in a gospel group growing up. And, you know, just all this different music, it’s like rock and roll music and pop and hip hop and all these different things. But like players, obviously, Steve Gadd, Steve Jordan is a huge influence. I just love the way he plays. You know, and then you got artists. You know, Eric Clapton and people like that. You know, it’s just like these James Taylor and, you know, people that just write these incredible songs and they’re incredible musicians, you know?
Jon Manna: Amazing. Amazing. And with your time at Big Daddy Weave like, is this your full time thing? And has it been full time since 2013 for you?
Brian Beihl: It has, yeah, 2013. Yeah, that first tour starting with them. It was pretty crazy and it just became this full time, full time thing. And that’s really all that I do. I do some some session work here and there on the side at my home studio and do little projects for friends and whatnot. You know, when I can and and everything. But yeah, that Big Daddy Weave is my full time gig.
Jon Manna: Nice. And so when you were transitioning to become their drummer, like, what was the audition like? Was there an audition or was it just like, we like you, we want you? Did you have to read anything?
Brian Beihl: The audition process, yeah, they did not know me. I was kind of the oddball out of the bunch. You know, nobody knew anything of me. The rest of the guys, they kind of knew. There were three, three or four other guys actually on that audition as well. And they didn’t they didn’t know anything about me. They just knew I was kind of coming from a country world, you know, and they just that’s all they kind of knew. But, man, it was really cool, that whole process. The guys really had a great group of people around them to pray about the whole situation. They gave every guy that was auditioning their name. They gave their name to this group of people to pray over and just really kind of like, you know, are you hearing anything? Does the Lord give you anything about these people, you know? And Jay, our bass player, got a word, you know, like the person that you’re supposed to have is going to clearly highlighted, you know. And so they’re like, OK, well, what is this? What does this mean? So with everybody praying over these names, they would come back and say, well, you know, with this person, we see this or this person, we’re feeling this with this person this. And then come to me. And it’s like we don’t have anything for this guy.
Brian Beihl: So that was clearly a highlight. There’s something there. And then just through the audition as well, you know, because there were there were moments where they’re kind of like, you know, in the audition, like, oh, right. This guy, you know, it’s like, felt great, you know, doing this. It’s like, okay, that could be the guy. And then it’s like I come and do the audition. And it was like they said, it was just kind of this other thing that kind of happened, which was another like clear highlight that the Lord was bringing something to them and it ended up being me, which is a huge blessing, you know, and it’s like unbelievable that that happened that way, you know? And it’s just really cool. Like they were already kind of like discounting me because it’s like I’m not coming from the CCM world or, you know, any of that kind of thing. So it’s like kind of like this guy’s like from the outside, like coming in and, you know, but, you know, I feel like the Lord just really kind of put on my heart to get involved in ministry and be a part of that. And I remember telling my wife, you know what, I kind of felt like the Lord was calling me to be a part of that in some way. And so the Lord just really kind of orchestrated all of that and put it all together.
Jon Manna: That story is really cool because coming from your other country gigs, at the beginning were you like, what do you mean pray and asking like, did that come across as being a little foreign and weird to you?
Brian Beihl: It did because, yeah, no. I mean, I thought it was amazing because, you know, I had been, you know, even though I was playing some of the country gigs and everything, you know, at that point, I was really kind of involved in my church at that point, you know, and my wife and I were doing ministry together and doing those things. So I was kind of, you know, really familiar with all that. And that’s kind of what my wife and I did, and what we do with our church. And so when they were saying, hey, you know, we have this group of people that’s praying over this, it’s just like, wow. All right. That’s awesome. Let’s go with it.
Jon Manna: Wow. Which I’m actually happy to hear that because this is the first time out of like twenty four interviews where the process has seemed like in the Book of Acts it was good to us and the Holy Spirit. Actually kind of refreshing and cool to hear about that whole experience. So in 2016, we’re just chatting about this before we started recording or hitting record… in 2016, tell us about what happened with one of the members in the band and how that affected you guys as a unit.
Brian Beihl: Yeah, that was a really tough time. Jay, our bass player, early that year… we just started noticing that something wasn’t right and started getting somewhat sick and just little things kind of happening, which in March of that year he ended up having to come off the road. He was just in some pain and just a lot of discomfort being out on the road and everything. So I remember it was a show we were doing out in Kentucky and we go through the first half of the night and like the second half was the great start. He was just like, I can’t stand up there like I need to go lay down. So he, like, laid down behind the stage trying to play the show and was just fine, like you can’t do this. Like you need to go home, something’s not right. And come to find out he had battled diabetes and some different medications and different things that he had been on ended up causing a really serious infection in his feet. And so by the time he got in, get into the doctor and everything. It was really, really bad. They had to do a double amputation of both of his feet. And so he was off the road for quite a while, really trying to get better and just deal with all that, you know, and just the whole fact of like, OK, when I’ve got feet today. Now, all this has gone on. Now I don’t have feet. I can’t get around. It really took a toll on him and his family. It really kind of took a toll on all of us as a band as well, because we’re all praying and believing and all these things, and things didn’t happen the way we thought they would.
Brian Beihl: And, you know, and I mean, sometimes sometimes these things like this kind of happen, you know, and it really did. It just kind of took us to a place where we weren’t really communicating with each other because I think we were all kind of processing the hurt and the pain with all of that. So, yeah, we kind of got to a point where it’s like we just, as a group, just really kind of stopped communicating together on a lot of things just because we were trying to process all of this. And so it took a while. I think we’re still kind of dealing with some of the remnants of that, you know, just because we didn’t realize how deep that was, you know, and just what all it took. But Jay, I mean, he’s doing better He’s through the help with his doctors and his family who are out on the road with him now are helping him trying to walk and to get better and kind of get back to somewhat normal life. You know, obviously it won’t be completely like it was before, but he’s got prosthetics and he’s walking and, you know, getting around that way and still trying to get better to where he can go longer periods of time without being like with his wheelchair and all that kind of stuff. But he’s able to be out on the road and play the shows and do all that stuff now.
Jon Manna: That is insane. You mentioned that like you guys internally had to kind of stopped communicating as you were processing. Were you still are going out on the road. And trying, I say “trying” but ministering to others while you guys were kind of at that point of need as well.
Brian Beihl: Yeah, yeah, we were. You know, I was that was just kind of a hard time to go and minister to people, you know, but still trying to process like what just happened and what’s really going on. And, you know. Yeah. So that was really hard to kind of do that. And I remember Mike getting up, you know, and like, how am I supposed to go and like, you know, talk to people and do all these things when when this is going on with Jay and, you know.
Jon Manna: That’s his brother right?
Brian Beihl: Yes. Yeah. They’re brothers, Mike and Jay are brothers. And their dad at the time is, you know, like he was telling Mike you know, his story is not over yet, you know. And like you can go and tell this story, you know, sing about that and sing about, you know, the victory that that he is alive, you know, and he’s alive because of Jesus, you know, and we can kind of bring that into it, you know. But, yeah, it was I was a really, really tough time.
Jon Manna: And as you were going out to minister, sharing that story, did you see God do anything, like any powerful or special things throughout that season?
Brian Beihl: Yeah. I mean, there were there were a lot of things that happened, you know, and even in the midst of all that stuff going on with Jay, there were there were things we were seeing, you know, and I mean, just one story that I can think of off the top of my head is a guy came to the show and he had two kidneys that had kind of failed. So they had surgically implanted this third kidney to kind of help him along because he was going through all this dialysis and just all this different stuff. And so, I mean, even like Jay praying for him and all this kind of stuff and come to find out, this guy called like a couple weeks later and said, guys, you’re not gonna believe all of what’s going on. He said, but I actually have three 100 percent working kidneys right now, like God has healed through this. So he became a guy that like he was he had a you know, had this extra kidney and now he’s on the donor list to give a kidney to somebody, you know, kind of thing. It’s just like unbelievable. You know, kind of thing is like, God just healed him right there, you know, so we’re seeing things like that, you know, and just different things. You know, and obviously you like even in the midst of Jay having his struggle. And we’re all like, you know, in some way or another, having some sort of thing going on in our life as well. It’s like all this just kind of together. Like, how do we how do we do this as a group and how do we do this as a band, you know, and still go out and minister and do all these things. You know, It’s a tough thing. But you have to really rely on the Lord and rely on his strength to get through that. And not just the strength of yourself. It’s like because you can’t do it, you know, you can’t find the way to that.
Jon Manna: Yeah. It’s like finding the purpose in pain, right? Almost. Yeah. Which these are stories that you don’t really read about on the newspaper headlines, right.
Brian Beihl: Yeah. Yeah. You’ll never hear that.
Jon Manna: It was just fascinating to hear. So kind of being on the other side of this experience from 2016 with Jay, how has it evolved or shaped you guys as a band today. Like is there more purpose behind what you’re doing or maybe some songs on – you’re actually on tour now on the alive tour – like, has it brought some new inspiration into your message?
Brian Beihl: Yeah. Yeah, we are. So right now in the process of recording a new record and that album will come out in the fall this year, but our single that’s out now is called Alive. And that song was actually written by Zach Williams. And it was just an incredible thing. So Zach was on tour with us when all that stuff was really going on with Jay at that time. And, you know, telling us the story of how our song redeemed really kind of helped pull Zach from a place where he was back into ministry. I mean, he was on a tour bus in Spain with his rock and roll band and, you know, really not living the life of, you know, following Christ and all these things. But he was on this tour bus. And the Redeemed was on the radio, and he kind of heard it. And at that moment, he, like, went home, called his wife, and was like, I’m quitting my band and I’m coming home. We’re going to church, getting my life right. You know, that song really did a lot for him. You know, in that moment. And then he gave us the song Alive that he’d written and Mike shares it every night. You know, it’s really kind of like a snapshot of kind of like what we’ve been through as a band with Jay over the last couple of years. And it’s kind of like we’re coming through this dark season and we’re Alive, you know, in Jesus. And it just kind of like and that’s going to be kind of the tone a little bit for the album as well. You know, it’s just like these songs that were coming out of the season, just tough stuff, and just kind of like bringing new life into things. So it’s been a really, really interesting time. But Mike, you know, he’s been writing a lot and there’s been just a lot of stuff come through this. You know, I think will make it on the album.
Jon Manna: Wow. That’s so cool, man. As we talk about tour, what’s your set up and gear looking like on this tour that you’re on currently? I know we did the insta takeover, but for people that missed all of the visual, if you could walk us through the gear and then even down to the tech side of stuff and we’ll talk about that maybe right after. OK.
Brian Beihl: Yeah. So for gear, I’m using AJP drums. I’ve been playing them for about three years now. This kit is awesome. It’s kind of old school sizes. It’s a 24-inch bass drum. 12-inch depth and 13-inch rack, eighteen-inch floor tom. I’m using Black Beauty snare, kind of the standard. But I’m using all Sabian cymbals. I have two 19-inch crashes on my right side and I have a 22-inch legacy ride on my left. And for some people, it’s maybe like, that’s weird. But I’m I play open handed. I am left handed, but I play a right handed drum kit. So I do a lot of left hand lead stuff.
Jon Manna: So tell us how did that happen – that you decided to play open handed. So you play kick with your right foot. At what point growing up did you decide, this is how I’m going to do it?
Brian Beihl: It kind of happened that way because just figuring out like if I’m ever gonna sit in with a band, if I’m ever gonna be able to do anything, it’s like I can’t play left handed, you know, because I would have to change the whole drum kit around. But then I started seeing like there was a Nashville guy – played on a ton of records. You know, back oh man, 70s, 80s, 90s, his name is Eddie Bayers. And he’s an open handed guy. And like seeing him play it, like, that’s what I need to do. Like, that’s what I need to do. Just move ride over and just do it all that way, which I’ve found that it really is kind of a great way to play. It kind of opens you up a little bit, you know, to be able to do some really cool, you know, keeping like the ride and hat going, but then doing some cool tom rolls through there as well. without having to do all this crossover stuff. You know, and then obviously you see people like Carter Beauford and, you know, these guys that are playing open handed, you know, you’re like, OK, this is really, really awesome. So that’s how that kind of kind of started. And then kept it that way all this time.
Jon Manna: Nice! so do you lead your fills with your right or with your left?
Brian Beihl: It kind of depends on the fill. So a lot of a lot of you kind of start with the left, but then there are times that I’ll do things with the right hand, you know, to get started. That’s fine. And for a while this tour kind I changed it up because I usually had a 16-inch floor tom by my high-hat. And so then, you know, doing some of the the tom lead kind of stuff that way. But for this tour I kind of changed it up and I dropped the 16. I’m just using the two toms now. But yeah. So AJP drums, Sabian cymbals, using Remo heads, using I mean all the little gadgets and everything. I am using the Ahead Switch kick. Yeah. So I do use that which is pretty cool man. I remember when they were first starting that out and being a part of the whole Kickstarter thing and because I was like, man, this is actually really cool. Yep. Kevin Smith. Yeah. So I’ve been using that for gosh the last several years. And not so much on this tour, but I was switching it out quite a bit just because there were a couple songs that really needed this different kind of sound with the bass drum. So I would switch it out to this like a really puffy, you know, kind of bass drum beater, you know, and then switch back out to the felt, you know, for the rest of the set or something. But that’s a really cool thing to use. Also using the Porter and Davies drum throne, which I saw them at NAMM a couple of years ago, and that’s how I got kind of turned onto that. It’s a really cool system. I love it. It’s been great. Super, super reliable case.
Jon Manna: In case people listening aren’t familiar with the Porter and Davies throne, just kind of fill us in on what it does.
Brian Beihl: Yeah. So usually, especially for us, because we use in ears, there’s no monitors on stage, you know, for the drummer or whatever. You usually have a sub behind you to kind of feel the kick drum and the bass guitar or whatever. This is actually built into the seat. So the seat itself is a speaker. It’s all enclosed on the seat. And then there’s a little power amp that comes with it and it sits off to the side of the riser and then they just run a line from the monitor console into that power amp and then it just feeds the seat/the speaker there so I can actually feel the kick drum. So the bass guitar, whatever I want to have in there.
Jon Manna: Sweet. How much do one of those go for, do you know?
Brian Beihl: The last that I kind of heard? It was right around like nine hundred, I think, or so. Something like that. I think I got it for a little bit off because I got it through the NAMM at that time. And I’m not sure exactly what they’re running at the moment. I know they’re kind of catching on. So a lot of people are using them now.
Jon Manna: That’s sweet. And on to the tech stuff because you have a pretty cool setup. Can you walk us through what you’re using and why?
Brian Beihl: Yeah. So I’m using kind of a redundant computer system. And the reason I’m doing that is because I’ve had several times where the computer has failed or something has happened and the tracks just shut off in the middle of a show, which is never fun. So I have it now to where if something does go wrong, I can switch over to the other computer that we’re running. They’re running simultaneously. So if I need to switch it over, I won’t lose anything and it will just change over and pick up, you know, where everything kind of switched or whatever. But I’m using that I have two Motu interfaces that I use and then I’m using the Radial switcher, which is switching between the two interfaces and the two computers with that. And to do all the changing, I know a lot of guys use like the SPD or something like that to change between tracks or something. But I’m using the Looptimus pedal from Loop Community, and man, I love the thing. That’s been great. It has been kind of a game changer just to kind of free up your hands so you’re not having to hit a little midi keyboard or something like that. You know, you can kind of still keep your cymbal swell going and then use your feet to kind of switch the track or something like that. So it’s been great and I really love it. Really, really fun to use.
Jon Manna: That’s cool. You also I dsaw on your most recent picture on Instagram. You have the SPD-SX set up as well and your kit.
Brian Beihl: Yeah. I’ve just started kind of using that. Yeah.
Jon Manna: And to what capacity? How are you implementing that in your setup?
Brian Beihl: So there’s a few songs and a part one for our new song Alive. There’s just some drum loop stuff that I don’t actually play on the kit just for the sound that it is, you know, so I imported all the sounds into the SPD then play it on there. And then a couple other other songs throughout our set that just have certain little one-shots or different little things that I’m playing throughout the night. I don’t use it a ton. I know some guys, man, they’re using it on like every song and they’re running triggers and all this kind of stuff. We’re not doing any of that. This is very simple, very basic kind of stuff. Yes.
Jon Manna: I want to tell you, Aaron Johnson from River Valley Worship. He recorded a video. It’s actually on our YouTube channel. So the way he uses it, this is mind blowing, but he basically has all his samples in Ableton. So when you switch the track in Ableton, all of the samples automatically change to the next kit samples. And but it’s all being triggered from Ableton – the sample.
Brian Beihl: So yeah. Okay, man. Yeah. Like the next level. Yeah.
Jon Manna: So he filmed a twenty-minute video or so that walks through how he sets it all up and uses it, which like that’s like if you’re let’s say level one that’s level four.
Brian Beihl: Oh my gosh. That’s getting into some crazy crazy midi stuff and just all the technical side of it, it’s like, no, I just take it on plug it in, imported the samples, and there I go.
Jon Manna: No, it’s good, man. And where do you get the samples you’re using? Is it stuff that you guys create or is it stuff you’re buying from That Sound or where are you getting your sound?
Brian Beihl: Everything I’m getting is from our records. So I get one of the cool things is, so our guitar player, Jeremy, he’s also our producer. So I get all the I get all the sessions and then I can go through cut and do whateveer I need to ge the sound and put it into the SPD if I need it. So it’s kind of everything that’s on the record.
Jon Manna: Yeah, yeah. Yeah. So you you control Ableton, but are you the one building the sessions.
Brian Beihl: Yeah, yeah. I’ll build the session and put all that stuff together. A funny story: When I first joined the big getit they were running tracks. But it was. Just like kind of like a stereo kind of thing, you know, click like maybe click on one side, track on the other. And I remember it’s like, we want to get into Ableton and we want to do this. They were like, do you know anything about it? I haven’t used it, you know. I mean, I’ve kind of messed around here and there. And I just remember showing up to Jeremy’s house. And he handed me this box that had the Ableton software and a MIDI controller. He’s like, OK, here, go learn it and so I spent like the next couple weeks just like figuring out how to put samples in and do all this stuff. And it was really just kind of like, OK, I don’t know anything. So I’m just trying to figure it out on my own. And then just through the advice of other people and talking, it’s like, OK, I need to do this. OK. I’m doing this right. And kind of did it. It was kind of crazy.
Jon Manna: Amazing, man. Yeah. What I’m learning about Ableton is like there are so many ways to do one thing. Yes. And there’s no necessarily wrong way, per say. It’s like whatever works best for your setup, your environment. So it’s sweet and versatile all at the same.
Brian Beihl: Yeah. Yeah, absolutely.
Jon Manna: Question for you. What is the worst mistake you’ve ever made?
Brian Beihl: Worst mistake. Oh, man. I would say starting the wrong song. I remember we were doing a service at Brooklyn Tabernacle in New York and I had the setlist, and I was going over the set list before the show. You know, making my notes and just, you know, for all my tracks, make it sure I had everything set up. And then for some reason, we get into the show and we get into the service. And I started kicking off the song that is a drum – the two songs that I was kind of getting mixed up. I kicked off the other one and they both have drum intros like lead ins and I start the song and I’m playing and I kind of look around and everybody’s looking at me and I’m like, what is going on? And I’m like, Oh, man, I started the wrong song. Luckily, they were both very similar tempos. So I was able to kind of shift my groove to kind of get us where we needed to go, to get us back into that song. It was just going like this mode of like, Oh, man. I started the wrong on.
Jon Manna: That’s insane. So while you’re playing the groove, you switched your Ableton track.
Brian Beihl: I had to, like, just kill the track or that song didn’t have a track, actually, but the other one did. So I just killed my click, started the other track to get us into where we needed to go.
Jon Manna: Yeah, that’s pretty insane.
Brian Beihl: Why is everybody looking at me right now. I’m like, oh, no, it started the wrong song
Jon Manna: The joys of teck, Right?
Brian Beihl: Oh, man. And you know, like sometimes it’s like, you know, the drummer’s got so much going on already and you’re trying to run tracks and cue people and all this kind of stuff, you know, it’s like, man, sometimes you just kind of forget and you just get lost for a second. You know, it happens.
Jon Manna: Fun times! Still on the technology wing in this conversation. What are some apps that are kind of your go to apps right now on your phone?
Brian Beihl: Oh, man. I use the tempo out a lot.
Brian Beihl: The frozen ape tempo app. That’s like kind of like my go to. I mean, that’s anytime I’m doing like a little acoustic gig or something like that. That’s always with me. It’s easier than carrying like a Tama Rhythm Watch or something like that. You know, it’s just it’s on my phone. I got it. That man, I’m not too into a lot of like apps. I mean there are some camera apps and like the, what is it like Word Swag. And there are a couple of other things, it’s like you can do all these cool like Instagram posts and stuff like that. I do some Instagram stuff for us – for Big Daddy Weave – I also do some stuff for my church as well. So, you know, kind of doing that, creating some of those posts. So those are kind of a kind of a few of what I get it to. You have a few games, nothing crazy. It’s just like like Word Scapes, you know, stuff like that. Nothing like fun. But to me is kind of fun it’s just like something that kind of like calms be down, you know.
Jon Manna: Yeah. No, it’s cool. And what is your daily routine look like? Like what are some habits that you’ve built in that kind of help you stay disciplined in what you do on the road or spiritually?
Brian Beihl: Yeah, it’s really cool. And we usually every day on the road, we usually pull into the venue, around 8:30-9:00 in the morning, depending on the drive the night before. Kind of like post up at a Wal-Mart or something like that, you know, until that time to come over to the venue. But we’ll come over the venue. I also am a tour rep for World Vision. So we do World Vision sponsorships at our shows. So I’ll set that up throughout the day. Usually at 10 o’clock in the morning, I go in. Set that up. Usually there’s my mornings kind of broken up with depending on when I wake up and get in and get that set and then lunch. But usually right after lunch I come to the hotel for about four hours or so. And that’s kind of my time to really just kind of read, listen to a sermon podcast, catch up on emails. You know, I have some some sticks in my bag. And you know I can practice a little bit or just warm up. So I’m at the hotel and then we’ll get back usually to the venue about 4:00 or so in the afternoon 4:30, And then we all get together as a tour – crew, band, everybody – at 4:45 every day, and we have a time of just prayer and devotion. And we’ll get together, we’ll share testimonies, you know, our life. But things like that. We’ll read scripture together. Sometimes we’ll listen to a podcast, a sermon or something like that. And then we’ll just kind of take a few minutes, you know, kind of ask everybody like, hey, is there something going on at home we can pray for? Anything we need to kind of remember in prayer, and then we’ll all walk around the room and we’ll pray for the room. We’ll pray over all the seats and just kind of, you know, just really welcome Jesus into the place. And, you know, just ask for him that just move and to do what he wants to do in this room, because it’s a different city every night and different people. It’s different issues, different things in that town, you know. So we just really ask as the Lord to come in and just to move and be very specific for these people here. You know, we’ll do that and then I’ll train my World Vision volunteers, usually around 5:30 or so. Dinner right after that. And then about 30 minutes or so to warm up before the show starts at 7:00. And once the show starts for this tour, it’s just us. We don’t have any opening artists or anything with us. So we’re kind of breaking up our set into the two halves. We’ll do about 45-50 minutes up front. We’ll have an intermission and then we’ll do about 40-50 minutes in the back half of that. And then after that, we’ll do a photo meet and greet time with people at the end of the night. And then we’re done. And then we’re on the bus and and heading over to the next city.
Jon Manna: Wow. So crazy. I love the part that the or the fact that you guys take time in the venue to walk around and pray over the seats. Yeah. To me, that’s like it just it’s not surprising. It’s just it’s special to me. Like that means a lot that you guys would do it. And. And I just, I’m at a loss for words only because it’s incredible that it’s not just a show you guys like take it seriously, from a spiritual perspective. Because people might think they’re coming for good music. Right. But at the same time, like you said, like every city represents different needs. Which is a good awareness to have. In what you do. What are some key scriptures that you kind of hold close to you when it comes to worship and what you do?
Brian Beihl: Man, I’ll tell you, kind of my life verse, and it was weird how it would just show up at the most random times. I mean, it’s like going over to somebody’s house and it’s on a pillow, on their couch. Or walking into some someplace. And it’s the scripture that’s on the wall. You know, it would just like show up in these random places. But it’s Jeremiah 29:11, you know. And I mean, I have it here, you know, just I mean, it’s like it’s always around me, you know. And it’s just that he knows the plans that he has for me, to give me a future and a hope. You know, and it’s just like to hold on to that, you know, in all the things that go on in our life, you know. I know that verse has been very significant in my life, just because my wife and I, we have been in a struggle to have a family for the last eight years so that verse has been something to hold on to for a long time, you know, and it’s just like, OK, I know I don’t understand all of this that’s going on, but that verse, I’m going to hold on to it, you know, because I know that you have something for me in my future. You know, there’s hope in my future. And I want to hold onto that, you know, as much as I can. So that verse, I mean, that’s that’s the one I would say man has been the one that I go to all the time. I mean, there’s you know, there’s other ones. But that one there is just kind of the main one for sure.
Jon Manna: I appreciate you sharing that. Jeremiah 29:11. As a word of encouragement. What’s one thing you want to leave with the worship drummers that will listen to this and whoever else might stumble upon this episode, that you just want to leave them with to remember?
Brian Beihl: Yeah. Man, I would say. To just be you. One, be who God has made you to be. Be a very genuine, very true, very pure, very honest person. Be very authentic in your worship. I mean, I think having that kind of outlook and having that kind of focus upon the Lord and just being just a true worshipper in that regardless of what you do. Yeah, I would say just just being very, very transparent and being very true and pure in your worship to the Lord. And then as far as like playing music and being a part of worship in your church, or with a band, or artist or something like that.. is it’s not a show one. You know, it is inviting the presence of Holy Spirit into a space that the people that are there can have an experience with Jesus, you know? And being aware of that. So it’s how you play the drums to help usher that in. And to realize, too, it’s like we, as musicians, we have a really like important key role in doing that. You know, I feel like music breaks down these walls and these barriers. You know, it just allows people to really just kind of engage, and sometimes they engage, but they don’t really know what they’re engaging. But we’re making that available for them. You know, it’s just the presence of Jesus in the space, you know. And we’re just we’re, you know, as musicians trying to be very just just transparent with that, you know, and just kind of like here. This is this is where your attention needs to go. This is where your your eyes need to be focused is right here. You know, don’t pay attention to what we’re doing. We’re just trying to be the vessel of the Holy Spirit and to and to deliver what he’s saying through us for you guys.
Jon Manna: Yeah, that’s good, man. That’s good. And if people want to track along with you on social, how can they follow you or find you?
Brian Beihl: Really easy! BDWdrums. That’s Twitter, Instagram. Facebook is just Brian Beihl, but I’m more on Instagram these days so you can find me there a lot.
Jon Manna: Well, there you have it, my conversation with Brian Beihl and you know, I have to say, like for everything that they’ve been through, I appreciate their heart all the more now, hearing this side of the story and how they are faithful to continue on with the mission and calling that God has given them. With that, I want to encourage you to be faithful to what God has given you to do as a worship drummer in your local context. Be a blessing. Don’t be a burden to your team. Show up on time, do the important things, be disciplined in your craft and honor God in all that you do. At the end of it all, we want to make sure that God gets the glory and that the name of Jesus is lifted high. Listen, thanks for listening to Episode 27.
Jon Manna: If this episode was helpful and of encouragement to you, I would simply ask that you would share it with other drummers or musicians that you feel would be encouraged and inspired by it. As you share it you help just spread the word about the podcast. And also if you would care to rate and review on iTunes, that also helps gain exposure for the podcast. I just want to say thank you again to the Worship Drummer family for all that you do. And remember, it doesn’t matter if you’re serving this weekend or not. Always put the heart before beat.
Jon Manna: I’m Jon Manna and this is the Worship Drummer Podcast.