Our guest today is Dance Hall Doctors
Drummer, Billy Mason.
Ladies and gentlemen, on drums, Billy
"Thunder" Mason. If you have ever heard
Tim perform live, this nickname should
come as no surprise. Sticks in hand,
always at the ready, drummer Billy Mason
is proud to be a part of the McGraw music
Like many high school drummers, Billy
played in the marching band and the drum
corps. But it was in the blues clubs of
Los Angeles that he got his first real
taste of performing live. He and his
father would regularly sit in with
different blues singers, playing
throughout the night
Billy later moved to Dayton, Ohio, where
he finished high school and continued his
playing. He found work with local bands
and numerous studios. Rock clubs, country
projects, pop bands and the occasional
disco recording provided a lot of
experience in many different musical
After ten years of the club scene, Billy
made his way to Nashville. He quickly
found work with country artists Bill
Anderson and Paulette Carlson. Blues great
Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown called on
Billy's talents as well. But a chance
meeting through a local band in Nashville
would lead him to Tim McGraw. McGraw's
drummer was leaving at the time, and
"Indian Outlaw" was headed up the charts.
Darran mentioned the possibility of
working with McGraw, and Billy was more
than ready to step in.
Eight years later, Billy is thrilled to be
a part of the Dancehall Doctors. He still
screams at the top of his lungs in the
middle of their shows, and the excitement
of making the "thunder" is just the
same.Join us as he talks about life with
the Dance Hall Doctors, their new album
and swinging those Pro-Mark Stix!
We welcome Billy Mason!
Mason: Hello to everybody! It's nice
to be here.
GCS_Angel: Billy, could you please
begin by briefly telling us a bit about
your style of drumming?
Billy Mason: Very versatile drummer
- all styles of drumming. I think those
two things are very important.
GCS_Angel: How do you feel as part
of the Dance Hall Doctors?
Billy Mason: It's great to be part
of the band! It's a great, great
BBQChips: What's it like working
with Tim? Is he as fun as he seems to
Billy Mason: It's great working
with Tim - he is just great to work with
and he really IS a good guy.
Regina: It was said earlier that
you went to clubs with your dad. Was he a
Billy Mason:Yeah - my dad was a
drummer which is why I started playing
GCS_Angel: How have you seen
yourself mature while working with the
Dance Hall Doctors?
Billy Mason: I feel like I have
matured musically over the years because
of the association with Tim. He pushes the
band to continue to improve.
FancyPants: What's the writing
process like with the band?
Billy Mason: The band does not
write the music. We are given demo tapes
to learn. Tim has picked out songs that he
likes from a songwriter and we put our
input into it so far as our playing
Bethie: Do you think you would be
as accomplished a drummer today if you had
not started as a young boy?
Billy Mason: No. I think it is very
important to start early, but then it is
never too late to start either. I do think
it has helped me by starting young.
MediaGuide: Hi Billy, just curious
if we will see country music ever return
to its roots, seems like everything is
geared toward rock pop country fusion?
Billy Mason: I don't know. I think
Tim is trying to musically keep music
GCS_Angel: Are there certain areas
of the US or the world where you
particularly enjoy performing, and
Billy Mason: I enjoy performing
everywhere! It's a joy to be on stage no
matter where I am.
GCS_Angel: What is your advice for
Billy Mason: Listen to a lot of
Cys: Billy, tell us about your
sticks! What makes a good stick?
Billy Mason: My sticks are Pro-Mark
sticks. They are the Liberty Devito
sticks. The quality of the wood,
craftsmanship, the way they feel in my
hand makes them a good stick. Pro-Mark
feels the best, so far as I am
Regina: Do you know where the name
Dance Hall Doctors came from?
Billy Mason:It came from one of
Tim's first drummers. That's really all I
know about it.
GCS_Angel: Have you or do you have
any side projects where you had the chance
to explore yourself creatively?
Billy Mason: Yeah, I do a lot of
demo studio work. I do clinics and I also
do D.A.R.E programs.
GCS_Angel: Have you always been set
on being a drummer? Did you ever want to
pursue a different career?
Billy Mason: I started out wanting
to be a piano player, but my dad was a
drummer, so there were drums in the house.
I started playing those when I was 5 years
important is formal training to a
Billy Mason: I think it depends on
what direction that person would want to
go. I don't have any formal training. I
got my experience from playing in a lot of
|GCS_Angel: Who are the musicians
who have most influenced you over the
Billy Mason: Ringo Starr, Mickey
Curry, Bryan Adams, and, of course,
Liberty Devito is my idol. I even look
Regina: Did you previously play in
any bands we may have heard of?
Billy Mason: I played for Paulette
Carlson who sang for Highway 101 and
Clarence "Gate Mouth" Brown who is a blues
artist. Jill Anderson, Grand Ole Opry
Cys: You mentioned experience. In
your opinion is there a tremendous value
in *hanging* with other drummers? can you
tell us about that please?
Billy Mason:I don't think "hanging"
with other drummers is that important. I
think listening and watching other
drummers is more important.
Jason asks: What is the oddest
thing you've used to get a certain sound
on a song... like uhm frozen gym socks or
plastic milk jug?
Billy Maso: Jason, I have used
Pro-Mark tubes (they are like a plastic
hollow tube) when I played a club one time
because I was real loud.
tAiNtEd: Are there any artists that
you would love to play or tour with in the
Billy Mason: Before my drumming
career is over, I would love to play for
Barry Mantilow, Cher Bryan Adams, and Paul
McCartney. Oh! and The Osmonds.
Mercy: How important is the venue
when playing to a crowd?
Billy Mason: The venue does not
really matter; it's the crowd that
matters. It's nice to see the crowd
GCS_Angel: What's coming up on the
horizon for you, Billy?
Billy Mason: Tim's new album, and
we have a tour next year.
GCS_Angel: Unfortunately we are
almost out of time. Do you have any final
comments or insights for our audience
before we wrap up?
Billy Mason: Everybody just really
focus on what you are doing musically and
in life. Always treat the other person the
way that you would want to be treated. It
really affects your life as a whole. I
really believe in living right and working
Thanks to Pro-Mark when I play my drums
hard, they sound great! God bless.
GCS_Angel: Thank you Billy Mason! I
am so glad you could join us today here at
WWB and Pro-Mark's In Session!
Billy Mason: "You gotta
to purchase the
Mcgraw and the Dance Hall
To find out more about Pro-Mark Stix, go