Deviant of the Day

In my mind, artists are the true foundation of our society. Deviant of the Day is a blog about these people. Creatives hold the key to unlock everything exciting and wondrous about this world. Painters, photographers, chefs, sculptors, musicians, tattoo artists, engineers, designers, etc…you all blow my mind. Let’s stick to our guns and never give up.

Deviant of the Day #39 - Jeff 'Rhino' Neumann

Jeff, or Rhino (as many people call him), Neumann has dedicated much of his life to his love for music.  Whether playing in a band, working for a band, or building custom drum sets for other musicians, he has managed to find a way to keep himself extremely submerged within his passions.  

My first memory of Rhino falls sometime within 1994-1995 at The Abyss, a punk/grunge/metal club that used to exist on Washington Ave. within the vicinity of downtown Houston.  In those days, for my friends and I, it was either "how in the hell do we get to Fitzgerald's to see 30FootFall?" or "how in the hell do we get to the Abyss to see Latch Key Kids?"  Rhino was onstage as the guitar player for Latch Key Kids, an H-Town punk gem in our eyes.  Well, later that year, we also found him working at the Bagel Express in our innocent little suburb town outside of Houston.  As you can imagine, our bagel connection became supreme.  We took hundreds…of old & stale bagels out of the back door dumpster...which we then used to fulfill some dumbass act of vandalism.  Anyway, those days are long gone, but over the last 15 years I have seen Rhino sporadically, working hard on stage, as I would cross paths with his gigs during my days of shooting live music.  I decided to get in touch and recently met up with him at Playstation Theater in NYC while he was rolling through with the Descendents as their tour manager.  I asked him how he got himself wrapped up in this whole tour manager thing. 

"I got a call from Damon from Fenix TX in 1998 to go out on tour, it wasn't for anything in particular. I just started doing work because they weren't doing anything. They were out on tour with Blink 182, Unwritten Law and Assorted Jellybeans. When we were in Las Vegas at the Joint. Mark Hoppus from Blink 182, who at the time was Fenix Tx's manager, called me in to the dressing room and handed me a bunch of contracts and said 'you're the new tour manager.'  That was 18yrs ago. I still have the pass from that day November 28th 1998."

Since, he has worked with tons of bands...Sparta, Alkaline Trio, NOFX, Bad Religion, Pennywise, and now as I've already mentioned, Descendents. 

Rhino is also the co-founder of Custom Drum Concepts (a Houston based custom drum company) and the backline manager of Soundcheck Houston, who provide musical instrumentation to touring acts that go through Houston.  They also do the backline for Lollapalooza, ACL, SXSW and other festivals.  Rhino is definitely a busy, busy man...but as he says, "Work hard, do the best you can and don't let anyone hold you back."  I happen to agree. 

Favorite quote:  "The show must go on. There are no sick days on tour."

Hometown: H-Town (Houston, TX)
Instagram: @descendentscrew 
Facebook: Custom Drum Concepts; Sound Check Houston

Playstation Theater, NYC - Descendents