The 3-minute interview with E. Doctor Smith

A San Francisco musician and a director of biodiesel nonprofit Green Depot, Smith is the inventor of the Drummstick, his not-for-sale signature percussion device. This year, he released Drummstick 2 on Edgetone Records, and played on a second newly released album called “Robert Anbian and UFQ: the Unidentified Flying Quartet.” Meanwhile, Green Depot is trying to bring a biodiesel station to the Bayview.

What is a Drummstick? The Drummstick is an instrument I invented in 1995. It’s a two-by-six piece of wood that has 16 triggers on it. It works just like an electronic drum kit, like the things Mickey Hart drums on, except instead of using drumsticks, I use my fingers.

Why did you invent it? I had a friend who was with a folk duo … they had opened for Béla Fleck and the Flecktones once. The Flecktones liked them, and they couldn’t believe that Future Man [the Flecktones’ percussionist] did all these things from a drum guitar with triggers all over it. They said, “Have you ever thought about making a drum guitar?” I tried to think about what it would be like. It took on a life of its own.

How did you get involved with biodiesel? My wife went to an Earth Day sort of thing in Potrero. We had thought about buying a Prius … but I hated therear window and I hated that I was still buying gas. We started doing some research [on biodiesel] and we found out about it, and we started looking for them, and we found ou they were really hard to find. But we found one in Oakland … and we got it. For the last couple years, I’ve been running biodiesel and driving it. It’s been wonderful.

kwilliamson@examiner.com


Check out more 3-minute interviews from our San Francisco newsroom.

Bay Area NewsLocal

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

Breed, Walton test negative for COVID-19 after exposure to the virus

Mayor London Breed announced Thursday she tested negative for COVID-19 after notified… Continue reading

‘No timetable’ for cable car return, SFMTA says

How the temporary absence of cable cars means more than just a loss of transit routes

As city schools weigh reopening, doubts about safety dominate conversations with teachers

‘If I don’t feel safe as an educator, how am I going to be prepared to teach?’

Supreme Court deals Trump a defeat, upholds demand for his tax returns

By David G. Savage Los Angeles Times The Supreme Court dealt President… Continue reading

Breed’s bond for parks and homelessness gains support as it grows by nearly $50M

Renovation of Chinatown’s Portsmouth Square added to proposal

Most Read