Hootie Drummer Gets Quizzed

Charleston City Paper | September 20, 2005
It’s been over a decade since South Carolina pop-rock act Hootie & The Blowfish burst out of Columbia’s cozy music scene with Cracked Rear View — their debut on Atlantic Records that went on to sell more than 16 million copies and spawned the hit singles “Hold My Hand,” “Let Her Cry,” and “I Only Want to Be with You.”

Currently on a lengthy North American tour, Hootie officially release their fifth studio album this week. The 12-song Looking for Lucky is their first on the Vanguard label and a somewhat twangy departure from their crystal-clear guitar-pop sound that made them famous.

Lead singer-guitarist Darius Rucker, lead guitarist Mark Bryant, drummer Jim “Soni” Sonefeld, and bassist Dean Felber are due back in the Lowcountry next Friday for the annual Homegrown Concert on Daniel Island. In an effort to create an annual musical event in South Carolina aimed at helping school aged children, the Homegrown Concert has become an important event for the band and their fans.

“We’re all really looking forward to this,” says Sonefeld, speaking by phone from the band’s tour bus, somewhere in Ohio en route to Michigan. “Charleston is one of our favorite shows of the summer, for sure, because it’s a home town and it’s a great venue. I know it’ll be one of our top three shows of the summer.”

During our conversation, Sonefeld — a drummer who rarely shows off and clearly understands the importance of time and sticking to a downbeat — agrees to answer a few quick questions for the City Paper … specifically, 15 subjectively-scored, totally geeky “drum trivia” quiz questions. “Sure, man,” he says. “I might not score well, but don’t tell anyone!” What a sport. The results surely don’t reflect on his abilities as timekeeper with the band (correct answers below):

1. Why were drum sets referred to “trap kits” back in the day? [8 points]

Soni Sonefeld: Aw, man … because you have to sit down behind them, and therefore, you’re trapped and not allowed to dance or shake your ass like the rest of your band. [score: 2]

2. Which song on Looking For Lucky is in 3/4 time signature? [6 points]

SS: Oh, that’s easy. It’s called “The Waltz” … or “The Waltz Into Me.” We change the name every friggin’ time. [score: 5]

3. What is late Led Zeppelin drummer John Bonham’s drumming son’s name? [7 points]

SS: Um … Kid Bonham! No, Jason Bonham. [score: 6]

4. Name the famous big band drummer responsible for the tune “Drum Boogie.” [8 points]

SS: Well, I only know about three, so I’ll go with Gene Krupa. [score: 8]

5. How many kick drums did Alex Van Halen have in the video for Van Halen’s song “Jump?” [7 points]

SS: I’m going out on a limb here because I remember there were a bunch of motherfuckers, so I’m gonna say six. [score: 2]

6. Who filled the drummer’s spot with Led Zeppelin at Live Aid 20 years ago? [7 points]

SS: Was that Jason Bonham as well? Or the kid … was it Simon Phillips? Or Gene Krupa? [score: 1]

7. Under what name was sometime Clash drummer Terry Chimes credited on the band’s album sleeves? [8 points]

SS: Oh, that was Topper … Topper Headon, right? His nickname was “Fancy Dancer!” [score: 3]

8. Technically, how did Stewart Copeland of The Police hold his drum sticks? [7 points]

SS: Traditional. [score: 7]

9. As featured on the live album Exit, Stage Left, during what song did Neil Peart perform his lengthy drum solo at Rush concerts in the early ’80s? [8 points]

SS: Lemme see … it wasn’t “Red Barchetta,” it was … jeez, I only saw that friggin’ show a half dozen times … I dunno. [speaking to Mark Bryant] Dude what song did Neil Peart do the drum solo? Oh it was “YYZ!” Mark confirmed that earlier on, it was “Working Man” — as a side note! [score: 7]

10. Who quit R.E.M. in 1997? [2 points]

SS: The drummer! Bill Berry. [score: 2]

11. As far as traditional drum gear goes, Keith Moon of The Who rarely included this piece of equipment in his drum set. [8 points]

SS: A high hat? It’s a guess. I’m just thinking of old video footage. [score: 8]

12: According to the film, how did Spinal Tap drummer Joe “Stumpy” Pepys die? [7 points]

SS: I guess he was the one who spontaneously combusted. Or choked on his vomit … or someone else’s vomit? [score: 3]

13. Who’s the bandleader on “Late Night with Conan O’Brien” and what’s the name of his band? [5 points each]

SS: I know it’s the dude from Springsteen’s band. He’s so fucking funny. It’s the Jewish guy. Friggin’ Max … Weinberg! [score: 5]

14: What’s the name of the “Late Night with Conan O’Brien” bandleader’s band?

SS: They’re called the Max’s Philly Special Band. [score: 0]

15. As far as the makeup goes, what character was Kiss drummer Peter Criss? [7 points]

SS: Peter was the “cat.” I remember that, dude; he was my fucking favorite. [score: 7]

Total Possible Points: 100

Soni Sonefeld’s Score: 66

Drum Quiz Grade: D+


1. The term is abbreviated from the term “contraption kit,” which implied there were a number of percussion instruments assembled for the drummer.

2. “Waltz Into Me”

3. Jason Bonham

4. Gene Krupa

5. Four

6. Phil Collins (Genesis) and Tony Thompson (of Chic and Power Station fame)

7. “Tory Crimes”

8. “Traditional Grip”

9. “YYZ”

10. Bill Berry

11. The high hat

12. “Bizarre gardening accident (“best left unsolved”)

13. Max Weinberg

14. The Max Weinberg Seven

15. “the cat”��

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