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Shannon Forrest with Toto

I reported back in January, that longtime Toto drummer (21 years), Simon Phillips, was leaving the band to pursue other projects. Keith Carlock took over the drum chair, however, due to scheduling conflicts with Steely Dan, Carlock was unable to perform with Toto for their entire tour. Enter Shannon Forrest.

With over 20 years under his belt as one of Nashville's top in-demand session drummers, Shannon Forrest has worked with such artists as Brooks & Dunn, Taylor Swift, Rascal Flatts, Carrie Underwood, Toby Keith, Faith Hill, Sugarland, Tracy Lawrence, LeAnn Rimes, The Chieftains, Michael McDonald, Willie Nelson, Alabama, Art Garfunkel, Ricky Skaggs, Trisha Yearwood, Blake Shelton, Martina McBride, Lee Ann Womack, Gretchen Wilson, Merle Haggard, Trace Adkins, and numerous others.

For the Toto tour, Shannon Forrest, who happens to be the sole exclusive artist for the Brady Drum Company, chose to use a BRADY Jarrah Ply drum kit with a hand-lacquered Red Sparkle finish mounted on a Pearl Icon rack. Drum sizes are as follows:

Rack Toms: 10 x 8 / 12 x 8 / 14 x 10
Floor Toms: 16 x 16 / 18 x 16
Bass Drum: 22 x 18
Snare Drums: 14 x 6.5 Marri Ply Fiddleback / 14 x 6.5 Jarrah Block / 10 x 5.5 Jarrah Ply

When asked about his background and what its like to sit in the legendary TOTO chair, Forrest says, "Jeff Porcaro was the most influential musician to me as a kid coming up. I was drawn to all the music he played. I was too young to know what I was listening to but I just kept picking his music out for the feel. There's NOTHING greater than feel. That's all I've ever cared about. I always thought about music and how it felt. Now that was groove for me. It was the simplest thing if you could just play a simple beat but make it feel great. That's all I was after. I feel grateful that I had exposure to that music because it turned into a career for me. It was like going to school on the groove."

"Playing with TOTO, there's expectations. But if all you're trying to do is copy the way somebody else plays you couldn't bring any energy. For me there's always been comparisons that are inevitable. I always feel really bad about them. I never make comparisons. Jeff influenced everybody. His groove was unsurpassed. These songs are supposed to sound a certain way. The (drum) part is so deep into the song that if you don't honor that part, it doesn't sound like the same song. When I'm up there playing the song, I'm not going "I want to sound like the originator of that part". I know that's unobtainable. So it's about honoring it."