I find it difficult to write a story about myself. So until someone else does, I figured I’d make a list of actual questions I get asked when I meet musicians and fans.
Q: Where are you from?
A: I was born and raised in The Netherlands, in a small town just outside of a major city called Leiden. I moved to New York City in 2004. I currently live in a small town in New Jersey, just minutes outside of Manhattan.
Q: How long have you been playing drums?
A: I started playing the drum set when I was 13 years old in 1992 (22 years). Before that, I played snare drum in a marching band for about four years.
Q: Who have you worked with?
A: I’ve played with hundreds of musicians. Some famous, some somewhat known, some unknown. Some I played with for years, both touring and recording, some only a few shows, some only a session. Some of the more known artists and bands I’ve toured with or have been an official member of (most also recorded with) include Lita Ford, Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal (Guns N’ Roses), Ted Poley (Danger Danger), Within Temptation and Epica. I’ve done recording collaborations with more artists than I can possibly list, but some of the more known ones include Tiffany Giardina (Disney), Shane Gibson (KorN), Chris Poland (Megadeth, Ohm), Milan Polak (Falco), Kip Winger (Winger) and Anneke van Giersbergen (The Gathering, Devin Townsend). Some of the more known producers I’ve worked with include P.J. Bianco (Jonas Brothers, Demi Lovato), Nick Sansano (Sonic Youth, Ice Cube, John Spencer Blues Explosion, Galactic) and Easy Mo Bee (Miles Davis, Notorious B.I.G., 2Pac, Wu-Tang Clan).
Q: Are you a metal/hard rock drummer?
A: I’ve always played all kinds of music ranging from singer-songwriter to rock, blues to metal, funk, R&B… It’s simply by chance that I’ve built a name in the hard rock genre and some of the most known acts I’ve played with are hard rock acts. I have always been very active in pop and especially the singer-songwriter genre. In fact, about 75% of what I do are pop and singer-songwriter gigs, while 75% of what you’ll see me do in the press, Youtube, etc, is hard rock. But I’m OK with that ;-)
Q: What’s your favorite music to play?
A: Good, honest music. I love playing heart-felt song-oriented music that can range anywhere from singer-songwriter acoustic stuff, up to high-energy pop and rock. I love a mellow singer-songwriter gig as much as a balls-out Foo Fighters type rock gig. I just really love the challenge of laying down a solid groove with just the right feel and sound, and play for the song. Nothing makes me happier than driving a well-written pop/rock tune “right to the bank” where both the band and the audience can’t help but at least tap their foot!
Q: Who are some of your favorite drummers?
A: In no particular order: Jeff Porcaro, Steve Jordan, JR Robinson, Chad Smith, Stewart Copeland, Bernard Purdie, Phil Collins, Al Jackson, Clyde Stubblefield, Dave Grohl, Alex Van Halen, Bruce Gary, Steven Adler, Matt Sorum, Clive Burr, Nicko McBrain, Tim Alexander, Dave Abbruzzese, Josh Freese, Cozy Powell, Roger Taylor, Kenny Aronoff, Hans Eijkenaar, Cesar Zuiderwijk, Simon Phillips, Phil Rudd, Keith Moon, John Bonham, Ian Paice, Tico Torres, Buddy Rich… To name but a few!
Q: What kind of music do you listen to?
A: All kinds of stuff. From Motown to obscure death metal. Important to point out is that the genres of music I listen to and the genres of music I enjoy playing are two entirely different things. There’s music I enjoy listening to that I’d never play, and there are genres of music I play that I wouldn’t necessarily listen to. This may sound odd, but some types of music I enjoy the most on a stage, playing it, experiencing the interactions, and being a part of it, while it doesn’t move me as much when listening to other people playing it. At the same time, there are styles of music I can’t even imagine playing (jazz and really deep Latin stuff, for instance), but I enjoy listening to. Some of my favorite bands/artists include (in no particular order): Foo Fighters, John Mayer, Toto, Pearl Jam, Iron Maiden, Miles Davis, Frank Zappa, Sting, The Police, Primus, Nirvana, Michael Jackson, Muse, ELO, The Who, Led Zeppelin, AC/DC, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Tim Christensen & Dizzy Mizz Lizzy, ABBA, Rush, Whitesnake, Deep Purple, Prince, Gavin DeGraw, James Brown, Genesis, Phil Collins, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Guns N’ Roses, Slayer, Pantera, A Perfect Circle, Mats & Morgan, Joe Satriani, Queen, Black Sabbath, Journey, a ton of 70′s and 80′s pop… This list could go on all day…!
Q: Will you play on my metal/instrumental/shred record?
A: I’ll occasionally do a session in these genres if the musicians involved are friends and the music is mature and composed well. “Metal” is a bit of a big umbrella, though. I definitely enjoy doing old-school Black Sabbath style groove stuff. But fast/death metal… I’ve done it in the past but I’ve never really enjoyed it. Just not my cup o’ tea :-)
Q: What are your rates for recordings?
A: This depends on a few things. If I know the people (either directly, or because they’re known, or through mutual friends) and I know it’s going to be a fun hang and great music, money becomes less important. Ditto when the band/artist is on a tight budget (completely indie) but has a lot of exposure, which means my playing will get exposure as well, possibly leading to more work. Secondly, it depends on whether the session will take place at my studio or a studio of your choice (and how far I’d have to travel), the number of songs, etc. Lastly, I do have my preferences as far as genres go. To keep an even spread of genres in my portfolio, I might do certain genres cheaper than others. If I’ve been doing a lot of sessions in a particular genre for a while, I might jump on a session in a different genre at a lower rate just because I’ll be happy to have some variation.
I generally don’t really set a fixed rate. Contact me, let me know what your budget is, and we’ll work something out!
Q: What gear do you play?
A: I am extremely fortunate to be endorsed by the following companies: Paiste cymbals, Vic Firth sticks, Q Drum Co., Ahead Armor Cases, Cymbag, Hansenfutz practice pedals, Carmichael Throne, Drumtacs and HD Custom Drums. For detailed information, see the Gear page.