Having been a drummer for over 20 years, I’ve been with several bands. The most important one, was a Brazilian rock band called “Exxótica”, an influential band throughout the 2000s. As their drummer, I recorded two albums: “III” and “IV”. Both albums reached gold status in Brazil: 50 thousand copies sold.
In my first year at Berklee College of Music (more on that later), I started “One Way Circus” with three of my best friends at the time, Matias Rengel and Carlos Morales on electric guitar and Jhonatan Szpekman on bass and vocals.
My musical tastes were heavily influenced by my parents (thank you mom and dad for listening to the best rock and roll), and were crucial for my development as a drummer. Bands like Queen, Pink Floyd, Rush and Led Zeppelin were my childhood soundtrack, but Michael Jackson was the one who made me buy my first albums (vinyl at the time).
When I was about 15 years old, I met Helton “Geléia” Negrini, who was a drummer in his own band, and they played a great concert at the summer camp I used to go to for vacation. Me and him would walk around, he’d play guitar and I’d sing (I was a singer long before I became a drummer) every day.
On this gig, I had my first experience as a roadie, and he taught me a song on the drums, by a very famous Brazilian band at the time, “Mamonas Assassinas”. He insisted I should study and learn drums, he thought I had a knack for it.
At the time, I actually wanted to play guitar, but that experience opened my eyes to the magical instrument that is the drumset. As soon as I got back from summer camp, I started taking lessons.
My first music school was a small neighborhood school, and I had a few problems with my teacher, since he was jazz player. I’d listen to Green Day, Black Sabbath, Metallica, and he wouldn’t like that very much. One time he almost didn’t let me in the class because I was wearing a band t shirt.
Nevertheless, he made sure I learned how to read music, which was of course, very important.
Soon after, I changed schools, and each different teacher and their different methods made me want to learn more and more. Lael Medina, one of my teachers, had me watch some famous drummers on tape and get their tricks, this was so cool. I still use a lot of those.
Because of this, I started buying instructional video tapes. My interest in the history associated with not just drums, but the rhythms and genres in general, helped me to become a better drummer.
So I finally decided to study music outside Brazil, because that is not the place to Rock and Roll. I applied to Berklee College of Music, in Boston, MA.
I started having lessons from Alaor Neves, who is a great Brazilian drummer who had been to Berklee. He was the one who influenced me the most, out of all my teachers. I was his student for quite a long time. We played together in a few events, including his own “Toca Tambor” project, which involved gathering about 100 drummers and play pieces specifically written for groups of drums. I co-wrote a few pieces. We are still friends to this day.
Now, because of Berklee’s prohibitive tuition costs, and having failed to obtain a scholarship, I didn’t make it to Boston just then. As an alternative, I set up my own project studio in São Paulo, designed by Ricardo de Marino. To learn how to operate all the gear, I went to the great IAV (Instituto de Áudio e Vídeo), a very well known audio school in São Paulo.
10 years later, after recording, working with a few bands and doing some jingles and dubbing for TV and movies, I decided to try Berklee again. I sold everything, took the test and got accepted.
I had classes with some of the best in the business, majoring in MP&E (Music Production & Engineering), including drummers Rod Morgenstein (Winger), Bob Tamagni, Steve Bolognese (Primal Fear) and Dave Vose. As for the audio side of things, there’s a long list of awesome people: Stephen Webber, Jeff Largent, Sean Slade, Enrique Gonzalez Muller, Leanne Ungar, Rich Mendelsohn, Chad Blinman, Ted Paduck, Alex Rodriguez, Michael Abraham, Jonathan Wyner, Sean Neville, among others”.
Now, after a few misadventures and having to leave the US in a hurry, I ended up in the UK, where I play in TARGET, a function band constantly touring these beautiful lands. I’m also graduating from Leeds College of Music and teaching drums for Learn 2 Rock. Phew!