Children often make, career choices reminiscent of their parents, and Joey Waronker is no exception. With a family tree rooted in the music industry, perhaps he was destined to carry on the tuneful tradition. Joey, 32, is the grandson of professional violinist Simon Waronker who in the 1950s founded Liberty Records, which counted Eddie Cochran, Bobby Vee and Johnny Burnette among its artists. Joey's father, Lenny Waronker, made his mark as an executive at the Warner Bros label and as a producer of works by Randy Newman, Rod Stewart and James Taylon among other artists. Joey's mother meanwhile, recorded some pop tunes under the name Donna Loren, and appeared in beach party movies in the '60s.
Having more than one iron in the fire seems to be the Waronker way. Joey's CV is dominated by his work as a drummer and it includes long-term stints on the road and in the studio with Beck and REM, as well as recording sessions with the Smashing Pumpkins and critically acclaimed songwriter Elliot Smith, But in recent years he's also delved into production, working with such artists as the Eels and The Incredible Moses Leroy, and he's scored and composed music for movies, which include last year's Chuck & Buck and the forthcoming The Good Girl.
Did you ever have any formal drum training at all?
"My uncle showed me some basics when I was a little kid. He gave me Led Zeppelin IV, the Pink Panther soundtrack and a couple of other things. Basically he said, 'Listen to these and try and play along'. That was sort of it. Later on down the road, I hooked up with a teacher named Freddie Gruben Now, he's sort of a legendary figure. He's just an amazing teacher educator and person. He's an old jazz musician - he and
Buddy Rich I guess were really close friends. He was one of those music teachers, you'd go over to his house, and there'd be a bunch of other students