The Drummer at the RIGHT gig

It has been over a year since Steve Moore became an overnight internet sensation on YouTube. The video of his wild drumming style (see below) has been watched over 12million (and counting) times up to now.

Steve’s talent is far from overnight and the result of years of practice. Now with an army of fans, he’s earned the respect of his fellow drummers (not to mention providing a few laughs) along the way. We caught up with him on a break from his hectic schedule.

mad drummer steve mooreHow has your life changed since the ‘Drummer at the wrong gig’ video?
I’ve been featured on Drummerworld, the front page of Yahoo two different times, the Modern Drummer Blog two different times, and was featured on the homepage of the Ludwig website, and Pro-Mark’s website. I was also featured in an ad in DRUM Magazine.

I played my first drum festival in Seattle at Woodstick. Then later flew toBelgium to headline the Belgium Drummers Festival. A few months ago, the Biography Channel flew me to LA for an interview, for a possible documentary, where I also performed at The School of Rock.

I also had the chance to attend NAMM in Anaheim CA, where I signed autographs beside drumming legends like Matt Sorum and Bun E Carlos, for Ludwig Drums. Meeting my drum heroes (and becoming good friends with many of them) has been amazing too.

I suppose the biggest “change” is finally having the credentials to get in touch with the people I want to get in touch with. A lot of people have no idea who I am…but a lot of people do. So if I send an email to someone I don’t know personally, they usually email me back right away, because they’ve seen the video. That would have NEVER happened without the video. As a result, I’ve met some fantastic people!

That’s really what it’s all about for me. I love meeting people, and getting to know them…

What are you up to at the moment?
I actually have a lot going on right now, for starters, there’s a “Mad Drummer Show” in the works. That’s really exciting for me, because it will give me the chance to tour internationally. Plus, it’s going to be a very large band and I think people will love that.

I’m also going to be involved in a few other projects next year as well, playing music that’s a little heavier.

A lot of people have been waiting for that, so I’m trying my best to make it happen. It’s just very challenging, as my schedule is smashed!

Do you have a regular traveling band?
Yes, I’m still touring with Rick K. & The Allnighters. Rick performs nearly 200 shows a year, so it keeps me pretty busy. Tour dates (as well as updates) can be found on my website:

Do you ever wake up and think the last few years have been a dream?
The wonderful thing is, just when I think it’s starting to die down, something else happens to shoot it right back to the top. Just a few days ago, Papa Roach tweeted about the video and had it on their website. So I dropped Tony Palermo (their drummer) an email to thank them for the kind words, and he emailed me back and said they (Papa Roach) are all fans of mine. So I’m driving up to meet them and hang out in just a few weeks. I’m really excited about it. Tony is a killer player. It just keeps getting better all the time!

Steve Moore 'The Mad Drummer'What has it been like to meet your drumming heroes?
It’s more rewarding than you could ever imagine! I could write a book on the people I’ve met, and how incredible they’ve been to me.

I remember meeting Mike Portnoy for the first time. He invited me out to see Dream Theater, while they were on tour with Iron Maiden.

I was sitting in the audience texting him about 10 minutes before he went on and my buddy asked what I was doing. I said, “I’m just texting Mike to see where he wants to meet after the show.” That’s when it hit me: “I’M TEXTING MIKE PORTNOY DUDE!!!” LOL

Another really special one, was Shannon Larkin. I opened for Wrathchild (Shannon’s old band) when I was around 17 years old. I idolized everything he did! So he invited me to a Godsmack show a few weeks back, and we hung out backstage for about an hour. That’s kind of like your local pasture talking shop with Moses after Sunday-School.

You have to understand, it’s not just about meeting “rock-stars.” It’s about meeting YOUR rock-stars. The reason I breath, is because of people like Mike Portnoy, Shannon Larkin, Marco Minnemann, Johnny Rabb or Thomas Lang. I have all their CD’s, all their instructional tapes, and I’ve watched them over and over…
These guys are everything to me. To gain their respect, is the greatest gift one could ever hand me.

How did you come to play drums in such a crazy way?
I’ve always loved watching drummers that were different in some way. I mentioned Shannon from Godsmack, as he was a huge influence on me. But there were many other drummers as well. Gene Krupa, Buddy Rich, Lionel Hampton, Louie Bellson, Keith Moon, and Tommy Lee, just to name a few. They all had an influence on my playing.

I also loved watching Ginger Baker. He didn’t really toss his sticks or twirl them, but he just looked very strange when he played. I thought Ginger was incredible, because you couldn’t really put a label on him. Was he a jazz drummer or a rock drummer? He was BOTH!

Carmine Appice was a very big influence as well. He was actually the godfather of most of that stuff. People just forget that…

Every band I’ve ever played in (with the exception of Rick K) was metal. So most of the crazy stuff developed in a very natural way. I didn’t spend hours in front of a mirror, or anything like that. I just play the way I “feel.” Some nights I might be a little more reserved, where other nights I may go completely bananas. It’s a very emotional thing for me. It’s not something I “try” to produce… It’s just what comes out when I play.

Steve Moore The drummer at the wrong gig interview

How often do you practice?
Believe it or not I don’t get the chance to practice very much, as I’m on the road so much. However, I “live” drums 24/7. I’m always watching an instructional video, or someone on YouTube. If I’m not doing that, then I’m reading Modern Drummer or listening to my iPod… But I’m doing something “drum related” 24/7.

When I do get the opportunity to practice, I usually end up just working on my feel. When I was much younger, I spent HOURS working on my feet and endurance. But over the last few years I’ve been focusing more on ghost notes, odd phrasings, or simply working on my “touch.”

steve moore mad drummer interview

I’m SOOO not into sitting at my drums and doing a 45 minute “drum solo.” Sometimes I’ll try and start that way…until I stumble onto a cool groove, then it’s all over. I’ll play that exact same groove for 30 minutes, just trying to make it feel as good as I can. Chops are great, but I want to hear the drums walk. You have to put something in there… It has to move you.