I started playing drums at the age of 2 years old, or so I'm told. Rumor has it you can trace my interest in drums all the way back to me banging on pots and pans at that age. I got my first drumset at the age of 8 yrs. old and have been a skinsman ever since. Like many young musicians my first exposure to organized music was through elementary school band where I blazed my way through every snare drum book they had. However, like many drummers, I had very little attention span for those books and drove my teachers crazy with the desire for more. At the age of 12 I begain taking lessons from Jay Cook via Ken Stanton Music. Through Jay I worked to develop basic independence and feel by playing along with records. I developed reading skills and drum concepts using Carmen Appice's "Realistic Rock" book.
It was also around this time that I was introduced to RUSH. Like many drummers, listening to the talent and skills of Neil Peart left me in a state of awe and wonder. That opened the flood gates to my appreciation for other drummers of such caliber like Stewart Copeland and eventually Mike Portnoy. It's guys like these who make a drummer sit down and work on nothing but chops for years.
Several years later Jay decided to move on from the teaching business and I was left without a teacher. I continued study on my own working on time and feel. When it was evident I needed more guidance for my playing I felt the pull of the force and begin to study with Master drum Jedi, Jerry Fields. Jerry's approach was slightly unconventional but exactaly what was necessary to bring my playing to the next level. It was also Master Fields who insisted on focusing on not only druming, but music in general. This lead to study of music theory, more melodic percussion and even some vocal training. His guidance brougt me to the understanding of the drummer as a musician. I also begain to learn basic guitar playing to further myself as a musician.
As my view of drums changed so did my influences. Around this time I also was entering high school and the inevitable, JAZZ BAND. So I did what any musician would do and learned about jazz. Cats like Tony Williams, Papa Jo Jones, Gene Krupa and of course Buddy Rich became a huge influence on my playing and a focus of my attention as far as Drums were concerned. However, my love and passion for rock and roll never did leave my mind. It was also around this time that I started to understood the less is(or at least could be) more philosophy. More than anything, I begain to understand how chops meant nothing without groove and worked to develop my own style based on that simple idea. My eyes were opened by drummers like Matt Cameron, Kenny Arnoff, Paul Gary, Chad Gracy, Shane Evans, and of course the monster John Bohnam. These were the guys who have(or had)chops, but more importantly have groove.
To this day, that is still my motto as far as playing is concerned. "Chops are only good if you know WHEN
to use them, and moreso, when not to." This is the motto I have given myself and is what I use to approach any performance. My two previous projects were the straight ahead rock of Go Lucky and the Soundgarden-esque Flutterkick. I'm also currently working on some tracks in the studio with Rooster (a side project for a few local musicians). Where I go from here isn't set right now, but regardless, music will always take me somewhere.
Here is a picture of a few of my favorite snare drums. There are 2 classic ludwig, 2 classic slingerland, and a 1 of a kind 12*5 from the custom company AHA drums. The scary thing, I do have several more snares. But, any good drummer knows, you can't have too many snare drums.