Monday, March 7, 2016

Volume 14 - Mike DePetrillo

Volume 14 - Mike DePetrillo

Hello TC Fam,
once again we are brought together by the power of MUSIC & DRUMS. It's a beautiful thing.
This week I am privileged to bring you a drummer who has great passion and determination. Not just a drummer but a community activist. We have to remember music is power and with that comes a great responsibility. We should all be doing something to embrace our fellow man. Then to top it all off, he can throw down on the tubs. Mike has great feel and sense of the music, something that sometimes is lacking in heavy music but because he plays with other talented musicians, this is achieved.
He and his band DRYVR are definitely making a name for themselves and deservedly so. I was able to get Mike to take sometime out of schedule to Talk Chop with me and this is how it went down...

Name or Stage Name: Mike D.

Where are you from? Born in San Francisco California.

Now Living in Tulsa Oklahoma.

How long have you been playing? Have been playing pretty much my entire life...started whackin' on things in like 2nd grade.

What is or are your main genre of playing? My main genre is Metal / Hard Rock
Also do some Blues (my shuffles So Suck!!) and I also Play in a couple of Churches.

What drew you into the Metal scene? Metal grabbed me EARLY...the Passion, the Emotion, the Punctuation, the Amazing Release! ( You know the yell that starts at your toes and there's no way to stop it from comin out)

How did you get where you are now? The short kinda smart ass answer is I got to where I am with Hard Work.
I just refuse to give up EVER!!.... I freakin Love what I do!!, It's a huge gift and a privilege AND...It's the most fun S**T In The World...not to mention it's the Best seat in the house!!

What are your goals, short & long term? My goals.... I would think that most musicians want, from when they first pick up an instrument, is to make a "Living" playing music. So that has always been one of my goals for life...and I've done that some. Mostly been "Semi-pro" Keeping a "Day job"
But with jobs through out the years have always supported what I I've always been able to "GO" when I needed to. I've had the privilege of playing all over the Country (even got to sit in and play in Hawaii!!!) ...AND Getting to share stages and open for so many of my personal hero's and amazing Iconic bands.
The short version...has always been..."I want to be a drummer in an ACTIVE Metal Band"

Any artists you would like to play for, other than DRYVR? Man...Who I'd like to play for...actually never really thought about this....I think it would be with what opportunity presented itself, but off the top of my head. Some would like to sit behind...Jeff Scheel(Gravity Kills), Boston, Soil, Steven Tyler, Chris Cornell, Cory Taylor, Sammy Hagar, Heart, Rob Halford/Judas Priest, Phil Enselmo, Jesse (from Killswitch) Phil (All That Remains) LJ Witherspoon (Seven Dust) Corey form Living Color. 

DRYVR - Adam Raymond, Mike Depetrillo, Robin Schmid, Jude Wanasinghe, Nathan Laird

List some of your accomplishments: Accomplishments... Playing... With some Iconic Midwest act's Like N.O.T.A. and Blabbermouth, Pit Bulls on Crack and Lock-N-Load. Having had the privilege of opening for everyone form U.F.O. to Damage Plan (The video of Dime Bag playing my kit, and Vinnie Paul telling me I "kicked ass that night" is still surreal!!)
Closer to home...I Created an event 11 years ago called "Drum Day" started out trying to break the world record for the most drum set drummers playing the same beat at the same time, BUT when I found out about the "Food insecurities / Hunger problem in my City, the world record became second to the fact that (I knew I had to "DO" this and this is why it will be successful) We can help make a difference, We can Help our community and have it NOT be about money, but FOOD!! to feed our Brothers, sisters, children Our community. So We Charge every Participating drummer 10 cans of food (this year, our 11th year, It'll be 11 cans..."Because it goes to 11!!...LOL)
We don't charge admission for spectators. We ask that everyone just bring some canned food items to add to the "Pile" (which is the true star of the show) 100% of what we raise goes to the "Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma" So far we have put well over 28 TONS (50 thousand plus pounds) of food into the Food bank!!
(and as a bonus now, we are part of a couple world records)

Do you have your own band? Details…. DRYVR is my own Band. After Touring with Lock-N-Load for years, some of us reformed as Beyond What's Given, when that was ending I was Hired by Firstryke (Retrospect Records Artist) I parted ways with them after our Rocklahoma 2015 performance. It's hard to describe but I know you know what I'm saying, that there was just something missing, I needed ?? more.. So I called one of my ex BWG guitarists and told him we needed to do something. He actually had some "Dudes" he was playing with a little, they came over to the house, we played...DRYVR was Born!!!

"Cloak and Dagger" by DRYVR -

Your band DRYVR is really good. Talented musicians. Unfortunately we don't see that in a lot of Metal bands these days
what would you say are the keys to being a really good band in this genre? Being a good Metal band..or any genre for that matter , in MY opinion..."Give a S***!" and Want!! (and that's not always easy, this is the hardest business in the freakin' world and success is very fragile) We WANT this!! We very much want to try to be on or at the level of the bands we look up to. We know what entertains us when we're audience members. We want our Family to Rock, have fun and be entertained!! Without our DRYVR NATION we are nothing! The motto in DRYVR is (sounds silly saying it out loud...but) "Don't Suck and Have Fun" Nothing else matters!!! Not trying to be like, do takes all the pressure off... now it's a party!!! 

DRYVR - "Shadows Fade" Rocklahoma 2015

How would you asses the state of Hard Rock/Metal Music in today's music world? Metal / Hard Rock has been taking a beating in the last several years in my opinion, but I see things turning back around in the last few years (I'm So Happy!!) 

Do you play any other instruments? I used to play Cello (don't anymore) plink a little on bass, have always sucked at NO not really...I'm a Drummer.

What are your touring experiences, if any? U.S. Touring only. Short runs, I call em the "There and Back" tours. 

Tell us about your current set up & gear - heads and sticks included and why you choose these items? My Current set up, which just happens to be my dream kit, that I just got...Is The new PEARL Reference "Ultra Blue Fade" (I'm breathing heavy just writing this.) As a matter of fact my new Nitro Hot Rod will be making it's Debut Feb. 27th in Arkansas.
I'm so freakin' stoked. I've pretty much always been a 7pc. dbl bass man. My to other kits are a 9 and a 13 double, but I've eventually always re-configured into 2 kicks, 2 racks and 2 floors. With the new kit I'm going with 1 floor for now. I've always used Pearl Hardware and DW Pedals (In my opinion and experiences, best hardware and pedals ever!!!) I was endorsed in'99 by Drumframe (the rack system I use) another of the greatest pieces of drum hardware ever invented.(16...17 years later it's still kickin' A**!) I've been an Aquarian Drumhead artist since '93. Simply their heads are amazing, tone, tune-ability, durability... etc. I've been a Silverfox artist for 7-8 years now...(I use the "Boston Basher" model. they're in the 5b-2b range with a ball tip.) The BEST Stick I've ever used. Feel, Bounce, Balance, Consistent and they outlast every other stick!!! I've been a Soultone Cymbal Artist for 3 years now. Amazing cymbals, balls, cut, tone, not to wet not to dry, the tones are perfect for the music I'm playing.
I'm also proud to be an extended family member of and use..Stick Stuff Drum Stick dip, Cymbolt cymbal holders, Kelly Shu mic mount system, Coady Clutch (Now the Dixon Inventor series Magnetic drop clutch) Wornstar Clothing, True Tuner and Audix Microphones and if timing works out I'll be receiving my custom one of a kind SoCal snare drum in April. 

Mike @ Soultone Cymbals booth with Iki Levy (owner)

You mentioned, you were a Rep at the SilverFox Booth at NAMM this year, how was that experience? Getting to be part of the Silverfox team at NAMM was one of the biggest honors ever.
learning more about our company and people and getting inside stories. then being able to show, explain why and put the best drumstick into drummers hands was Awesome...and because I will always be a 17 year old wide eyed high school kid, I got to meet some of my drumming hero's!!! 

(This video is 4yrs old but still kicks!)

Do you have multiple kits and snares?
I do have several snares, woods and metal. Brass by far is my favorite metal and maple is my favorite wood. The snare I'm in love with at the moment and have been using mostly is my Pearl 8x14 Vinnie Paul Model which is signed on the inside by my hero himself. (he signed it at one of the Rocklahoma festivals, We were on the same bill as Hellyeah!!)

How would you describe your drumming style? My Drumming Style??...I've been told it's Vinnie Paul like...(when Pantera came into my life everything changed) I've always been aggressive, hopefully not to busy and tryin' like hell to put down a groove.

Mike & Vinnie Paul

Why the drums?
Why The drums....Because I have to!!

If you weren’t playing drums, what would you be doing? Not Playing Drums...I'd Be a Chef. (who plays

How has drumming impacted or changed your life? Drums and drumming have saved and given me a life.

Is the music business your career? Music business currently is not my full time career. 

Are you involved in the local music scene in your hometown? I am very active in my local music scene. Promotions, Local radio, putting shows and events together.

Name 5 of your drumming influences? why? 5 drumming influences...(only Buddy Rich, Cozy Powell, Neil Peart, Vinnie Paul, Chris Adler. Their timings, their patterns...what these cats do with a set of drumsticks in their hands behind a kit. (and there are so MANY more)

Was there an inspiring concert that made you want to go home and start shedding? Inspiring Concert...I already wanted to DO THAT before I went to my first concert.
So seeing someone like.. Early Dio, Ozzy or early Rainbow or early Metallica..just drove it home more.

How much time do you practice? I practice as much as I can, I actually started taking lessons a year ago with an amazing instructor named Brian Cupp. He is so freaking bad ass...his skill set, his chops, he will forget more drumming stuff than I will ever know.
But my playing has been pissin' me off for a while. Hard to explain..but I just needed and wanted more, like a wall or plateau or??....
So we started from the beginning with hands and pad and metronome...etc. (what is happening now because of this cat is making's so awesome!!)
But I'm playing with a band 4 or 5 days a week. So I'm playing songs more than I'm doing pad / homework.

What things do like to work on, in your practice session? I do rudiment and pattern work when I'm shedding, always trying to learn new patterns.
 Mike's New Kit

Pearl Reference Series in Ultra Blue Fade.
Maple & Mahogany
Rack toms 9x12, 10x13. Floor 16x16
Kick drums are 22x18.
*peep those bass drum heads. Artwork is sweet! Courtesy of Mat Donaldson owner of Drum World in Tulsa, OK

Do you record drum videos of yourself? why? how has it helped you? Have recorded videos off and on forever...actually got griped at for not doing more and putting them out there. But they have helped with Seeing and hearing things from the "Front" or Audience side, or the view my tech has. Has Helped with positioning, not make goofy lookin' faces....etc.

Are you a songwriter as well? I write a lot of lyrics and put together rhythms and pieces, arrangements. Some songwriting.

Being in a band, there is a certain dynamic that exist...whether it's songwriting, performance, marketing ect...
How do you guys deal with all of that, in order to further the band? WE ALL do Some of every aspect of keeping the ball rolling..and of course each member has their strong points...which each member uses!

Do you prefer being in a band (artist) or being a sideman? I've always preferred playing live local and touring.
I've had a blast being a hired gun, but I like being in a band more.

Do you have a crazy or interesting gig you can share with us?
The things that have seemed to gone not as planned more time than I can count are fog machines / hazers. More times than I can remember I've not been able to see my drums or the stage or the audience, or the fire alarm has been sounded. Ive said hello to dozens of fire men!! And for a while especially in Lock-N-Load if we weren't blowin club breakers...well something was wrong... LOL!!!

What are your words of wisdom for your fellow drummers out there? Words of wisdom.... Keep Playing... Never Stop Playing!!!!... 

Last Words, Links, Hashtags and Thank You’s??? I am such a kid with a new toy up there, it is such a privilege to get to do what I do... and so much fun!!!
and couldn't have done it without faith the support from my wife Diane for 22 years, family, friends an fans through the years and the fear of "What If" 
#dryvrband #silverfoxdrumsticks #silverfoxpercussion #aquariandrumheads #soultonecymbals #drumframe #pearldrums #stickstuffdrumstickdip #wornstar #wornstarclothing #cymbolt #kellyshu #SoCaldrums #audix #truetuner
Mike A. DePetrillo on Facebook

Hey, what did I tell you?!
Mike D. is one kool kat! Humble, straight forward and for real. There is no B.S. with this guy and he genuinely cares. He's like that really kool uncle, who is always on your case.
And as far as his band goes...They Kick Some Serious Ass! make sure you check these guys out. Support their efforts, stop by and say hello. 
Hey Mike! Thx so much my brother! It was a pleasure to share your drum life and I am def. glad are paths have crossed.
next time I'm in Tulsa, we gotta grab some grub and I gotta take that new kit of yours for a spin.

Don't forget.... if you would like to be interviewed on Talkin' Chop
just hit me up:


1 comment:

  1. One of THE COOLEST Interviews I'VE EVER DONE!!!!
    YOU ROCK!!
    Mike D. DRYVR