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It will soon be seven years since this famous gig of July 2008, and some people (like me) still get in touch with you to speak about it, don't you just get bored sometimes?

I never get "bored" of it, however explaining how the video went viral can be a little draining. You have to keep in mind, I've had to explain it thousands of times, so that part can be a little tiring. However, the entire experience has been fantastic. In fact, it CONTINUES to be fantastic. As you said yourself, it's not exactly "new" news, however people still seem to be excited about it, and continue to share it. So I'm still very grateful for it!

Can you briefly explain us how did you react to this whole story, at first and then with the months and years passing by?

It's very difficult to put into words, because it was (and still remains to be) a very emotional thing for me. I've prepared myself for many things regarding the music industry. However, the thought of preparing myself for a viral video never entered my mind. So the first word to describe it would be "shock." After that, the next word would be gratitude! This experience has obviously changed certain things for me regarding my career. More importantly, I believe this experience has also changed me as a "person." I hope it's made me a better person. I could go into great detail regarding this subject, but let's just say it's given me perspective on what's important. My story has helped to inspire a lot of people, which is a gift in itself. To me, my story isn't really about "me," it's about other people in the world who may be struggling or fighting for something. It gives them hope! Basically, if something like this can happen to me, then perhaps it can happen to them as well. It's nice to be somehow associated with that kind of hope.

Haven't you been just vexed sometimes to see that this video could give an image of you only being an entertainer, where as you're a great professional drummer as well?

I certainly appreciate you saying that. A lot of people might say I'm not doing anything special because I'm just keeping a 4/4 beat. Depending on your perspective, that would be correct. However, the song wasn't written in 5/4 time, it was written in 4/4 time. I also didn't play any double bass on that song. However, there was no double bass on the original song. What I'm saying is, I tried my best to play the song like the original. It's a great song, but it's not exactly a challenge to play! I think some people just miss the point. LOL One of my favorite bands is Testament. I'm a big fan, and would love to perform with Testament someday. However, I wasn't playing a Testament song... I was playing a ZZ Top song! Not much double bass in a ZZ Top song! LOL

What have been the most positive and negative consequences of this crazy viral video on your career and life?

I'll start with the negative, as I would rather end with the positive. Some people will never take me as a serious musician because of that video. That's OK, because it's not my job to try and convert them, or change their mind. You can't please everyone! There will always be someone to point their finger while saying "they" can do it better. However, it always seems like "they" never have any videos to share of their own playing!!! LOL

That being said, let's move onto the positive things. As a result of that video I been on TV, been in magazines, and played some really cool drum festivals. However the most important thing to me is, it's given me the chance to meet most of my drum heroes. I swear, I've met practically EVERY drum hero I've ever had. Portnoy, Luzier, Larkin, Minnemann, Lang, Lombardo, Hoglan, Rabb, Blackwell, on and on. I don't say any of that to brag, but you need to understand how important that is to me. I've modeled myself after these players my entire life. I've read all their interviews, and purchased their instructional videos and watched them over and over. So it's a indescribable feeling to finally meet them, and discover that they are a fan of my playing. It makes all the hard work worth it!

You're endorsed from skins, drums to sticks, was it the case before the video or did you get much more plans after?

To be completely honest, I had most of that before the video went viral. I've been with most of these companies for several years. A few new ones came after the video, but I basically stayed with the same companies, I just get a better deal now. LOL But you have to remember, I've been a working drummer for 20 years. It took a long time to build those relationships.

You even appeared in the mythical show The Office show, how did it happen, and did it give you the idea to become an actor as well as a drummer?

That was a blast! Everyone on the show was super nice to me, so it was a lot of fun. Basically they (the producer) just dropped me an email out of the blue. He said he was a fan of my playing, and asked if I would fly out and be on the show. So of course I said yes!

As for the acting question, I would love to be an actor. HOWEVER, it's very difficult. Actors work super hard. On top of that, they must have the ability to adapt to changes quickly, as things are constantly being rewritten. So I have a LOT of respect for everything that goes into it. From the production, to the cast. They earn every penny they make.

How and when did you begin to be interested in all these technical drumming tricks that you show all along your concerts? How often do you still practice today?

Basically I'm a "metal drummer." The band I perform with isn't a metal band, however "I" am still a metal drummer. But that's why it works! That's what makes it so funny. So to answer your question, it's just something I've always done. Even when I was 14 years old, I would spin my sticks, trying to emulate drummers like Tommy Lee and Shannon Larkin.

As far as practicing goes, I never practice the show stuff. But you have to remember, I perform almost 200 days a year with that band. So when I do have time to practice, I practice things I "don't" play with them. When I practice, it's usually trying to keep my metal chops from getting too rusty. I practice a lot of double bass, and endurance exercises. I'm not trying to imply that's what other drummers SHOULD practice, it just happens to be what I enjoy doing the most.

Did some of your band, and maybe Rick K, ever reproached you to steal the show? We can wonder that sometimes the fan should just look at you and don't care so much about the band itself...

That's a very good question. However, as I said, I've always done this. So it was pretty crazy from the first show I played with him. Granted, we've expanded on it over the years. But it's always been this way. Rick enjoys it, because "people" enjoy it. If people wanted to hear me sing "Somewhere Over The Rainbow" Rick would probably find a spot for it in the show. LOL Fortunately for me, they haven't requested that yet!!! LOL

Would you have an anecdote to share with us about this video?

My favorite story is about John Blackwell (drummer for Prince). I met John 2 years ago at the NAMM convention. After he realized who I was, he went crazy and asked me to stay there, because he wanted to introduce me to someone. A few minutes later he came back with Jonathan Moffett (drummer for Michael Jackson). When Jonathan said he really enjoyed my playing, I almost feel down. He was the drummer for MICHAEL JACKSON!!! That's about as big as it gets!

If you could be the drummer of any dead or alive band for just one session, who would it be?

That's such a difficult question for me, because I love so many different bands. I'm just a HUGE fan of music in general. But if I had to name one, it would probably be Pantera. Vinnie Paul (the drummer) played a huge HUGE role in my development as a drummer. Especially the way he approached double bass. So I guess I would say Pantera, because I think it would have felt very "natural" for me. I would also love to play a show with Motorhead!!! I swear I would play so hard, my arms would just fly off. It would be AWESOME!!! LOL

If you would have to leave earth and live on some secret planet with just one album, what would it be?

Queensryche, Operation Mindcrime

What are the two last best albums and live shows you discovered?

It's not new, but I recently got into Kill Devil Hill (with Vinny Appice on drums). However, Vinny isn't with them anymore. I also purchased a album (notice I said PURCHASED) by Iahweh. A drummer named Eloy Casagrande played on it, that's why I purchased it. Eloy is my new favorite drummer lately. The guy is just deadly, and he really inspires me to practice hard! BTW, It's soooooo important for people to purchase products, and not steal them. Otherwise the artist will not be able to tour...and YOU will not get the opportunity to see them. Record sales are tough now, so please do what you can to keep it alive!

As for best live show, I would say "In This Moment." I saw them a few months back, and I was speechless!!! GREAT band!!!



The original article was posted in French: