Photo (as always) by the legendary Chris Davis

Shortly after returning from McTour in March I fractured the 5th metacarpal on my right hand, putting me in a cast for six weeks and leaving me with two options: whither away into a music-less existence or push through and find a way to play with one hand.

Thanks to some incredibly open-minded and trusting bandmates I had the opportunity to work my left side, keep earning a living, and endure an endless barrage of Def Leppard jokes (every one of which was unique and hilarious). At first it was disorienting, tiring, and frustrating because so much of my playing had been anchored by the constant beat-aligned motion of my right hand, but as time went on my body relearned how to feel the music and express what my mind was hearing.

The cast has been off for a month now but the experience has had a permanent effect on my playing. My limbs are freer and more independent, my left hand is stronger and faster, the feeling of the beat is more evenly distributed throughout my entire body and, most importantly, the choices I make are generally less note-heavy and dense (not always but, ya know, better than before).  I encourage any musician, drummers especially, to set aside a limb or two to see what happens. If you’re anything like me you may be surprised by how difficult it might be to play something relatively simple.

See below for a few videos of McTuff’s LoFi show in April to get an idea of how it sounded. Again, THANK YOU to all my bandmates and the many people who came out to support the music while I was crippled. Love you all!

Video shot by Mike Day