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By Martin Popoff

"Yeah, I can do that to a certain degree," answers Rick. "Obviously, it's a constant learning curve. I'm learning new things about what I can do, sort of, every time I sit behind the drum kit. But things kind of developed on their own, whether that's sort of a natural progression whenever you lose the use of a limb, or in my case, you actually lose a limb. I think there's sort of a natural element that allows you to do that. Your brain kind of rewires you in a certain way. So there are things that I couldn't necessarily do before. Maybe I didn't even think about doing them before. But somehow my brain sort of rewired to the degree where I have enough independence from each limb, where I could really play things that I couldn't play before."

Have you done anything technology-wise to pump up your kit in the last five years?

"Other than new samplers... actually there are a couple of things. Jerry, the guy who works with me, he developed some pedals, because we could never really find pedals that were reliable enough. So he went out to the hardware store one day, came back one day with a bunch of angle iron, and put these things together, and they work better than anything I've used. So I guess he just had a sense of what I needed and how I play and made them right. And then Randy Hargis at Akai, he's been great. Every time there's new equipment that's available, he's really forthcoming, 'Try this out, try that out,' so now I'm using the new Z8 samplers by Akai. I think really it's more of a sound quality thing. If anything, we've tried to simplify the electronics as much as we can. I mean, really, it's as basic as we can get it."

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