|Born||December 30, 1973|
|Genres||Progressive rock, experimental rock|
|Associated acts||The Mars Volta, Queens of the Stone Age, One Day as a Lion, Golden,, Giraffe Tongue Orchestra|
Jon Philip Theodore (born December 30, 1973) is an American drummer. He is best known as a former member of The Mars Volta and as the current drummer for Queens of the Stone Age. Theodore is also a member of One Day as a Lion and hard rock supergroup Giraffe Tongue Orchestra.
Known for his explosive, multi-textural playing style, Theodore was a member of both Golden and Royal Trux before joining The Mars Volta in 2001. Theodore remained within the band for five years, recording the band's first three studio albums, De-Loused in the Comatorium (2003), Frances the Mute (2005) and Amputechture (2006), before departing at the request of guitarist Omar Rodríguez-López.
Theodore subsequently formed a collaboration with Rage Against the Machine vocalist Zack de la Rocha, entitled One Day as a Lion, and performed on Incubus frontman Brandon Boyd's solo album, The Wild Trapeze (2010). In 2012, Theodore replaced his Mars Volta successor Thomas Pridgen in the supergroup Giraffe Tongue Orchestra.
In 2013, Theodore joined Queens of the Stone Age, replacing Joey Castillo,who left the band citing burnout from constant touring. Theodore contributed to the band's sixth studio album, ...Like Clockwork (2013), and joined them on their accompanying tour.
Theodore first started playing drums at the age of 15. He was soon involved with his high school concert band at Gilman School in Baltimore, Maryland, and took lessons on a full kit shortly after. It was at this point that he studied percussion and learned how to map arrangements; dedicated practice had already become a habit. He also listened to a great variety of music, growing to love the likes of Billy Cobham, Elvin Jones and John Bonham. He studied at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music in Ohio.
Around the end of his time in high school, he joined the band Golden and recorded and toured with them for ten years. He also played with Royal Trux for a year and a half. It was during this time that he met Cedric Bixler Zavala and Omar Rodríguez-López, who were performing their first gig with their experimental dub band De Facto in El Paso, TX. They became friends and the former At the Drive-In duo would later invite Theodore to join their Latin-tinged prog-rock band, The Mars Volta. Theodore was The Mars Volta's drummer from 2001 to 2006. On July 30, 2006, it was announced that Jon Theodore would be permanently replaced. He was quoted in Modern Drummer: "It was long overdue and unquestionably the best thing for everyone involved. We had a great run of things, made some decent records, blew it up for a minute, and had some really great times. But the life ran out of it. I’m currently working on some pretty sweet tunes for a new project. The details will follow once it takes shape." In 2012, Mars Volta bassist Juan Alderete stated, "I love Jon, and I do keep in touch with him. Jon was unhappy and when someone is unhappy, someone has to pull the trigger; and its Omar's band so he did just that. [...] They had to let him go because he wasn't into it as much as they wanted him to be."
Theodore has also completed a collaboration with Zack de la Rocha of Rage Against the Machine entitled One Day as a Lion. Their first EP was released on July 22 of 2008 In January 2012, he joined Giraffe Tongue Orchestra, replacing fellow former Mars Volta drummer Thomas Pridgen. He recently played as Dam Funk's touring drummer during his Fall 2012 US Tour.
A press release from the band Queens of the Stone Age revealed that Theodore will contribute drums on their upcoming album ...Like Clockwork. He also played with the band live at Lollapalooza the 30 of March 2013, which could be a sign of him being their new main drummer on tour.
Theodore draws inspiration from many different forms of music but those most prevalent in his playing are jazz, fusion, and rock. He has also touched upon another factor which adds to his individual style - "Then there's a whole bunch of stuff from Haïti because my dad's Haïtian. My favorite Haïtian drummer is this guy called Azor... ...The Haïtian music that moves me has the drumming from the voodoo rituals. It moves me because the patterns are connected to different spirits; it's a spiritual thing that is interconnected with dancing, sacrifice and devotion. It's fully passionate. There is nothing contrived about it."
In interviews he regularly cites Billy Cobham of The Mahavishnu Orchestra as his main drumming influence: "My all-time favorite drummer is Billy Cobham. I love the way he plays... ...[his] playing is so natural, powerful and dynamic at the same time. I pattern a lot of stuff after him.". He has also been heavily inspired by John Bonham of Led Zeppelin: "He had one of the best feels in the history of rock... ...because [of him] I try and play with as much bombast as I possibly can."
Theodore has also mentioned the following drummers and musicians as influences: Elvin Jones, Keith Moon, Phil Rudd, Tony Williams, Sebastian Thomson, Tim Soete, Herbie Hancock, Doug Scharin, Joseph "Zigaboo" Modeliste, Mitchell Feldstein, Damon Che, Dale Crover, John McEntire, Ryan Rapsys and Brann Dailor.
Queens of the Stone Age
DW Jazz Series in White Glass
16x16 floor tom
18x16 floor tom
26x14 bass drum
Ludwig Stainless Steel Kit
16x16 floor tom
18x16 floor tom
24x14 bass drum
Jon has stated in interviews that he is still hoping to find a 26x14 stainless steel kick but also enjoys the punchier sound of his current bass.
Prior to the Stainless Steel kit he used:
Fibes Crystallite Acrylic Kit
16x16 floor tom
18x16 floor tom
Added to the kit were a DW Rail Mount + tom mount and kick spurs.
He uses a Ludwig LM402T chrome over aluminium snare drum with aftermarket die cast hoops.
Of recent times Jon has an endorsement contract with Zildjian cymbals. Like most artists his setup varies somewhat over time.
13" combo hats (e.g. K top over A New Beat bottom or A Quick Beat top over A New Beat top)
2x 19" medium thin crashes from any of the A Custom, Avedis or K lines:
For example, he has on occasion used two 19" A Custom Projections, on others a 19" K Med Thin Dark and a 19" Avedis Med Thin and on still others a 19" A Custom Projection and a 19" Avedis Med Thin. His Zildjian profile states he uses 2x 19" Avedis med Thin crashes.
21" Avedis Sweet Ride, sometimes with four sizzlers, 22" K Ride, or 22" Avedis Medium Ride
A "stack of totally busted stuff on a cymbal stand." On the stand are two hi-hats cymbals with holes drilled through them, a splash cymbal with a cracked bell, a Zildjian ZXT Trashformer and various, smaller shredded cymbals with metal washers. Switched to an 18" K China with QOTSA.
Pearl Eliminator single kick pedal (with surf wax for when he plays with bare feet), DW 7000 series Hi-hat and straight cymbal stands.
Remo coated Ambassador on snare batter, CS black dots on tom and bass drum batters, clear Ambassadors on bottoms of toms and on front of bass drum.
He has also used Powerstroke 3 bass batters (and, on occasion, as resonant heads, too) with a falam pad and coated Ambassadors on kits other than the Fibes.
Sticks: Jon is a Vic Firth endorser. He uses their American Classic Extreme 5B wood tip model.
- With Golden
- Super Golden Original Movement
- Golden Summer
- Apollo Stars
- Rhythm & Beat Jazz 12"
- With HiM
- New Features
- Five & Six In Dub
- Our Point Of Departure
- With Royal Trux
- With Will Oldham
- With Trans Am
- Illegal Ass EP
- The Red Line LP (2000)
- With Utada
- With The Fucking Am
- Gold (2004)
- With The Mars Volta
- Tremulant (2002)
- De-Loused in the Comatorium (2003)
- Live (2003)
- Frances the Mute (2005)
- Scabdates (2005)
- Amputechture (2006)
- With SaberTooth Tiger
- Death Valley b/w Love Money (GSL 12th Anniversary Single)
- Extinction Is Inevitable LP (2006)
- With Omar Rodríguez-López
- With One Day as a Lion
- One Day as a Lion (EP, 2008)
- With Holloys
- Art Wars (2009)
- Make It Happen (2009)
- With Brandon Boyd
- The Wild Trapeze (2010)
- With Puscifer
- Conditions of My Parole (2011)
- With Queens of the Stone Age
- Pitchfork: Rage's Zack de la Rocha Completes Solo Album[dead link]
- Golden's Page on Epitonic
- The Holloys
- The Mars Volta
- Him in Allmusic
- Jon Theodore In Taringa
- Zildjian Artist Biography