Nov 30, 2023
Rock drummer Shane Webb continues his vibrant course of success, maintaining an emblazoned passion for his art.
What view could be better than from the front row of a rock concert? The perspective Shane Webb, aka T-Bone, gives leads me to wonder if the best experience could be from the seat of a drum kit. I was able to have a chat with Shane, who’s drumming career brought him that perspective with bands such as Puddle of Mudd, Shinedown, Tried by Twelve, and multitudes of others. Twenty-plus years after embarking on his drumming career, Shane is fueled by his experiences and maintains an emblazoned passion for his art.
Amidst captivating lights, vibrant sounds, and contagious energy emanating from lead vocalists, a drummer’s significance is often overlooked. Without these guys, rock shows would be haunted by a palpable void and undefined listlessness. The rhythm we all vibe to would be absent, as would those rich layers of texture and depth a drummer infuses
into each performance with his (or her) distinctive style, creative fills, and unique enhancements. This is why Shane says his journey—his mission—is still incomplete. He expressed repeatedly in one way or another his desire to create a true legacy in his artistry via his musical career.
Not only is it Shane’s mission to create such a legacy, but, throughout our conversation, I sensed his desire to pay homage to those who influenced and lifted his career, as well as to those friends whose journeys ended too soon. In an industry where rivalry and bitterness are frequently showcased both in the media and behind the scenes, Shane is seemingly in a place where he has realized grudges and animosity bare rotten fruit. Instead, Shane chooses to move forward by finding peace with those who didn’t believe in him and even with old friends, such as Fred Durst, who have fallen out of his life. At the end of the day, his motivation remains the same: Create music, create art. Webb is one noteworthy drummer who's doing just that.
Mixed Alternative caught up with him to get some intimate details about his career and catch the story behind his drumming odyssey.
MaM: Shane, with a drumming journey beginning at 12 years old, you've come a long way in your art. Can you share a pivotal moment from those early years that ignited your passion for drumming?
SW: I asked for a drum set when I was four or five. My father took me to some restaurant, and I remember watching this guy play the drums and I was just fascinated by it.
Growing up in Jacksonville, Florida, I used to go to the Coliseum to watch bands play. My first rock show was Ted Nugent when he opened for KISS, before they had the make-up. I remember looking at the stage, listening to the sounds and crowd, and immediately falling in love. I knew I wanted to do that … I had the bug.
I was a break dancer and R&B guy way before I was into rock and roll. Big time. … By the time I started to get into rock and roll, I wanted to be Eddie Van Hall. When I got to seventh grade, I had to choose an elective … I said I'd play in the band … on drums. And, as they say, the rest is history.
MaM: I’ve heard hints about some of your unique experiences, like sleeping on Dimebag Darrell's couch. Could you share that story, and do you have any other particularly unusual or memorable moments from your career?
SW: I have countless! As for Dimebag Darrell [of Pantera and Damageplan], I was on tour with this band called Operator after being in Puddle of Mudd. Paul Phillips, who also used to be in Puddle of Mudd, was in Operator. I believe Paul knew Vinnie Paul. Someone came on the tour bus to say Vinnie wanted to come pick us up that night. Of course, you hear that, and you're like, ‘Absolutely!’ He picked us up in his limo … Suddenly, we were at Dime’s house. … I ended up passing out mad drunk and woke up the next morning on Dimebag’s couch.
… I just walked around and touched stuff. I mean, when you watch the Dimevision videos, you see the stop sign he crashed his car into. I touched that thing on his wall. It was wild. It was crazy. Ms. Rita, his now-widow, took us to breakfast and told us all kinds of inside stories, like when Dime and Metallica used to hang out and where songs came from. She showed us his guitars. This man had to have at least a thousand guitars in his house. It was the craziest. Very intoxicating. Back in that time, we didn’t have cell phone cameras. One of my regrets is not having any pictures.
MaM: What's the mission behind your new venture in rock and roll, and what inspired you to embark on this new chapter?
SW: Not having done it the full way [inspired me]. Lots of people say I have really done it, but, for me, the mission hasn't really fully been accomplished yet. I’m 51 and still learning how to navigate things. Thankfully, I have Jason, who became my manager in the past six months or so. He is actually my best friend from high school who was around when I ran away to do all of this at 15.
MaM: Can you expand on your leaving home at 15?
SW: I always had this blind faith I’d already made it. I just had to go through the motions. I always knew I was doing it, with or without people's help. I lived with my mom and stepdad. It was rough at the time. We are all good now, and they have helped me tremendously. Long story short, one night I crawled out the window at 1 a.m. I said, ‘All right, bye. I'm out.’
Music is my medium because I am an artist. I am an artist first, songwriter second, and then a musician.
MaM: You mention being a songwriter, so you’ve elicited my favorite question: What comes first, the chicken or the egg?
SW: Probably the music. I hear music in my head. I still play guitar (bass) and a little bit of keyboard. I have my studio set up here at home. … Lyrics and melody usually come second. Occasionally, I have vocal ideas first. Those take a little longer. It’s writing backwards for me.
MaM: You've played with various bands, including Puddle of Mudd and Shinedown. How did you become friends with Fred Durst, and what was it like collaborating with him?
SW: We would not be having this conversation if it wasn't for Fred Durst. I did the hard work, but he was the person who stuck his neck out for me. He believed in me and saw talent and drive in me. I met Fred around 1993. Fred has done tattoos on me, I toured with him, we wrote together, and we have been in bands together. Fred always saw talent.
He called me in 1997 and said, ‘The record company wants somebody to video the day in the life of the band, and you're the first person I thought of.’ I said yes, but then he said, “Here's the only thing… you’ve got to leave at nine o'clock tomorrow morning.”I went to my job, and … They didn’t understand I was letting them know I was going on tour. I don't think I did anything significant … but we always stayed in touch. Puddle of Mudd was signed to his record label, and he called me up to audition. I learned the songs, flew out to L.A., and I had the gig. … That was all because of Fred talking me up. We’ve had some rough patches, but we’ve never gone toe to toe. Unfortunately, we don’t talk now, but I owe so much to that guy. It's 20-something years later. I don't hold grudges.
MaM: Looking back, what kind of advice would you give to a young teenager when it comes to music?
SW: Just stay true, man. Stick to your guns. Work really hard play, play as much as you can, and be there for other people. That's something important to me.
MaM: What should our readers look out for next from you?
SW: I have a back catalog, and I'm a writer. I like to write, and I want people to hear my new stuff. There is just so much stuff people haven't heard that only I have ... old Shinedown demos, old Puddle of Mudd demos.
I was in a band with my best friend [Brad Stewart’s brother] Mark Stewart and Nolan Neal called Tried By Twelve.
Nolan was on America's Got Talent and The Voice. He had more record deals than anybody I've ever known and was the only artist to get signed with Virgin Records … [a] sight unseen. Unfortunately, Mark died in 2015 and we lost Nolan last year.
That was a huge deal, and I still have those songs. … I don't want to just put this stuff out there. I want to protect … integrity and these boys. They were my buddies. As I said, it's a very touchy thing. I have to release these songs in a very sensitive way. We don't know if we're going to do it as an album, an EP, or just one song at a time.
I'm also working on a way for me to release some of these old Puddle of Mudd demos. They need work studio-wise. I also have my solo material. I've been writing songs for a long time, and I have several of my own solo songs where I play most of the instruments. I had a talk with Bob Marlette, the producer of Seether and many more, and he is willing to work with me on a song I'm writing. Very excited about that.
When Shane isn’t working on building connections with his local community in Jacksonville, he can be found in his studio playing his drums, bass, and keyboard. As we wait to hear what he will release from within his vault, stay updated by visiting his website at www.ShaneWebbDrummer.com.
Erica Machen is a beast when it comes to consuming, writing about, and reviewing music. Got something for her? Reach out to email@example.com.