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It started in 94, when I had just turned 11. An older girl on the bus w. huge cans inspired me to pick up Pantera's Far Beyond Driven. I can still remember that first spin in the livingroom, music more intense than my parents fighting.
Grew up listening to lots of classical and folk. i guess that's why my favorite bands often integrate many non-metal influences.
Top Metal bands: Pantera, maudlin of the Well, The Crown, Metallica (up until S & M), Manowar (up through Warriors Of The World), Confessor, Death/Ctrl Denied, TTD, Nile, Atheist, Fates Warning, SYL/DT, Spiritual Beggars, Emperor, DragonForce, Enslaved, Cannibal Corpse, BTBAM, SOD, Watchtower
Fave non-metal bands: Black Sabbath, (Dio) Rainbow/(Dio) Sabbath, Pink Floyd (don't care for the Wall or Final Cut), Buckethead (his shred is what got me into him but his best works are more soulful or ambient), Mahavishnu Orchestra (the DragonForce of the early 70s), Nick Drake, Camel
I started on guitar when I was 13, but switched to drums @ 16. I've played w/ several bands, a couple of which did shows and despite recording 4 seperate works, only BlackWatch's full length was released. I've left BlackWatch recently, and am taking advantage of the break to take drum lessons (finally) and try and work on individual songs w/ one or 2 others in a studio setting.
I'm very fortunate to practice across the hall from one of my major idols, Confessor/Loincloth drummist Steve Shelton. Seeing him play at Confessor's reunion in 02 made me realize there were no rules to drumming apart from if it works, it works. Great guys, Confessor, Im glad they put up w/ my incessant fanboy self.
Other major drum infl: Dave Lombardo, Nicko McBrain, Vinnie Paul, Igor Cavalera, Brain, Martin Lopez.
In addition, I also sing, although being one of the few metal drummers in town Ive yet to get a chance to front a band. Vocal infl: Sinatra, Speed, Danzig, Jim Morrison, Blaze Bayley, Spice, JB Christainsen, Eric Adams
I have minimal proficiency w/ guitar, bass and keys. I intend to build up my percussion arsenal to incl chimes, hand drums, latin percussion and eventually xylophone and hammered dulcimer.
A musical goal of mine is to start a band, taking a cue from motW (one of my favorite bands), and utilizing a wide range of instruments do something in the vein of a prog metal jam band. Im also wanting to do an epic, symphonic black metal project DEVOID of harsh vokills, as I feel it ruins most of the music I like.
Imagine Dimmu's Alt Lys Svunnet Hen from Stormblast sans Silenoz's crappy rasps, fucking majestic). I think more people would listen to metal and take it more seriously if musically brilliant bands didn't feel the need to fuck it up by giving any asshole a microphone. Sometime those vokills fit, but more often than not vocals (be they screams or cheesy power metal style or rapped) detract from my enjoyment of some of the most emotional and evocative songs ever heard.
I enjoy nature, the cosmos, aminals, leafy greens and reading (scifi, fantasy, humor, comics, history). I just finished Alan Moore's Watchmen, which if you saw Dark Knight you saw a preview for, and I urge all to read it (especially prior to the movie's release).