Terry Bozzio with world's largest tuned drum set

Terry Bozzio with world's largest tuned drum set

Courtesy of Terry Bozzio

Many fans attending a Terry Bozzio concert are likely to think “Wow!” even before Bozzio steps on stage. Bozzio plays a drum set that has more than 100 pieces, and the kit has the distinction of being the world’s largest tuned drum set. These days Terry’s show is a one-man affair, but he has previously been a member of Missing Persons, Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention and UK to name a few; he has toured with stars like Jeff Beck and played on countless recordings for the likes of Herbie Hancock, Andy Taylor of Duran Duran fame, Don Dokken and Gary Wright.

Fans currently have lots of chances to see Bozzio perform as he’s in the middle of a nationwide tour that lasts through early October. One of his shows will be in the music theater at the Musical Instrument Museum (MIM) in Phoenix Aug. 17; the venue offers near-perfect acoustics and is a favorite of Bozzio’s and many other touring musicians. Bozzio took the time to answer a few questions for us by email; his commentary below is given exclusively to AXS.com.

AXS:  How’s your world’s largest tuned drum set coming? Have you added, replaced or tweaked anything lately?

Terry Bozzio: I’m tweaking every day! I’m adding new sounds, etc. all the time. 

AXS: Do you lose more weight playing a show with the big set than you would with a regular kit, or is it a matter of the energy dispensed is about the same regardless? Are there specific foods and drink that you need or prefer to keep your energy level up?

TB: I sweat a lot no matter what I play and seem to only lose water weight! The energy is always the same output of intent; there’s heat and burning even playing a laid back or soft part! It’s a mental place that it comes from and it affects the body. I have vitamins and supplements that I always take, and I drink zero sugar sports drinks for hydration. 

AXS: Tell us a little about your recent session with Walter Rodriguez and Luis Conte.

TB: Luis and Walter are dear friends and masters! I’m honored and so grateful to play with them. Pure love and everything I want to hear comes from them! We went all over the universe and probably played for three hours!

AXS: Considering your vast repertoire and your ability to improvise, do you generally have a set list for your live performances or do you wing it? Has every show on your current tour featured a different set lit?

TB:  I have a set list and structure. But I play/improvise differently every night. New parts come out of improvisation and are added, so the pieces tend to grow. There are many free sections where I wing it every night. Something different always happens. 

AXS: Your upcoming show in Phoenix will once again be in the theater at the Musical Instrument Museum. Have you ever asked to play any of the instruments they have on display there?

TB: MIM is a great place! I love checking it all out. Out of respect for the restoration department, I would never ask to touch anything! But I have played on the stuff you are allowed to play on.

Follow Terry Bozzio and find tour dates here.