First half of 2018 and second half of 2017 

I'm behind again with my blog entries, so here's a list of projects I've been involved in:

 

I got to score this incredible video for the New York Times - they wanted a 'Birdman'-style score with hits (on most of) the pop-up text. The video was featured on the front page of their website when it came out! Huge shout out go Little Girl and the Robot for connecting me.

 

I got to jump in and help out on drums on the season 4 of The Tom & Jerry show. Composer Vivek Maddala recently won an Emmy for season 3. Congrats!!

 

I'm featured in this Samsung commercial that's well on the way to get one million views on Youtube. I am also to be seen around the football worldcup games in this nationwide Volkswagen commercial. It's definitely surreal to see myself on 10+ screens during the halftime breaks when I watch a game at a bar. Don't forget the tweezer!

 

My presonal pet project Victory Kid released it's first EP Illenials plus it's first single of off it's second EP. You can find our music here and our music videos here. The releases have been VERY succesfull. We got featured on radio shows and spotify playlists, reviewed favorably by tons of websites, and even made it onto two different physical samplers. Here you can find a (very limited) selection of the press resonance. We also advanced all the way to the final of the Battle of the Bands of Vans Warped Tour.

 

My roommates band ZIBBZ were chosen to represent Switzerland in the European Song Contest - the biggest songwriting competition in the world. The popular Swiss magazine Schweizer Illustrierte did a homestory on them and I am featured in it as well. Check it out here!

 

I recorded drums for the indie movie Unlovable. It's a movie about a former sex addict that finds recovery in music, written by Charlene DeGuzman and Mark Duplass. The drums in it represent the emotional status of the lead character. It was a lot of fun coming up with out of the box drumming ideas to truly match her feelings! Unfortunately it looks like the movie got canned.

 

I joined Chris Freeman, founding member of queercore heroes Pansy Division, and Steve McKnight of Crywolf fame as well as GAYC/DC bassist Glen Pavan as a drummer for their new Hardrock project MARY.

 

I got to record an amazing EP that's being mastered right now with Art Rock band Lost Puppy. I'm very excited about how it came out and can't wait to share it with the world!

 

In fall 2017 still (wow, how long have I not updated this blog?!) I got to go on a Latin America tour with Pop-Rock band Heffron Drive. The band is based around the lead singer and the guitarist of All time Rush, Kendall Schmidt and Dustin Belt. It was amazing to visit and play in Argentina and Brazil with them, but the highlight was playing the Mexican music show Premios Telehit. It's an anual TV event similar to our MTV awards and it was broadcasted all over Latin America with a viewership in the millions. Check out one of the songs we played in my video section.

 

Also in fall 2017 I got to go on a North-American tour with Norwegian EDM artist and Grammy award nominee Coucheron. We played most of the set as a duo and then added on singer Felicia Ferraro for the last three tunes. This left me a lot of space for cool drum and bass beats and for playing with my electronic Roland toys!

 

I'm also very excited about the other projects I've been involved in, namely Prog-Rock band Magnetic South, an EP I recorded for up and coming artist Kanen Reuter and Joel Jarek DeGraff's Same Animal. I'm looking forward to play with Gingger Shankar in Fort Worth, Texas and with Victory Kid at Hemp Fest in Seattle this Summer!

What I've Been up to the Past Half Year 

What!? I haven't updated in half a year!? Time flies! Here's the highlights of what's happened:

The biggest developement these past months was that I joined Harrison Nida's (yet unnamed) band as a full member. I've been MDing and playing for him for about two years and have been very happy with the constellation. The record we've been recording has been coming along very nicely, too. It's co-produced, engineered and mixed by the amazing Allen Hessler, whose credits include work with Serj Tankian (of System of a Down), Goldfinger, The Used, Avanged Sevenfold, My Chemical Romance and many more. Further on we got Matt Appleton of the Ska band Reel Big Fish to play our horn section parts. It's the first time in a while that I have my own project, and it feels great! With the help of many of our friends we've already shot two full music videos and three lyric videos, which we are eagerly waiting to release. We finally have all the masters of the record and are currently forging a masterplan on how to best release it. It might take another few month, but get ready for 14 seriously awesome Ska, Pop-Punk and Rock tunes!

In March, I was cast to play drums in a major nationwide Coca Cola / McDonalds commercial featuring Mindy Kaling. It was a SAG job, which means I would get payed over and over for it, depending on how often they show the ad. People make thousands and thousands of dollars with this kind of work, so I was thrilled to get selected! After getting onto the huge set at Universal Studios, me and my fellow co-musicians were informed, that we will perform only in one of about six sketches, and that our sketch would be the very last one to be filmed. Impatiently we were watching one spot after the other being shot, the clock ticking on and getting dangerously close to 6 PM (since it was a unionized commercial we knew that they wouldn't go past 6). 5:30 came around and they still weren't done with all the clips that came befor ours. At 6 PM the directors Josh Gordon and Will Speck (who are known for such notable films as 'Blades of Glory') called it a wrap. I got payed very well for just waiting around the whole day. But knowing how much money I wouldn't make, now that I didn't get to play in the commercial, I was still rather... confused? Anyways, I'll keep at it! Here's one of the clips that did get made while I was waiting in the studio.

In April, I went on my honeymoon in Japan, which was absolutely amazing! I'm not trying to bore you with my personal life here too much.. add me on Facebook if you want to know more about that! So here is what happened professionally that month: Nitendae released her new EP, which I played drums on. With it, she got to be 'featured artist' on Itunes for a day. Congrats! You can hear some of the songs here. May took me to San Francisco to play at the Doclands Film Festival with Gingger Shankar. Throughout these month and up to now I also played the whole LA club circuit with Lost Puppy, culminating in a show at the famous Whiskey a Go Go opening up the Ultimate Jam Night. The band has been coming along very nicely and in June we did a live session at Soundcast Studios, which we're very proud of. You can watch it here in it's entirety. We're planning on recording a new EP this Fall, which I'm very very excited for!
Also during these months, I started playing around town with Mechanical Roots. It's a three piece rock band formed around the guitarist and singer Kevin O'Brien. After playing a few shows we headed in the studio to record our first EP. The studio of choice is owned by the Foo Fighter's keys player and had Taylor Hawkins' (Foo Fighters' drummer) drum set fully set up and ready to record. We cut the drums for the whole EP in two hours and the drums sound pretty cool! The record is currently getting mixed and should be ready for release in a month or two.
On the cover-band front I picked up a lot of gigs with Pop Vision, the band I used to play in Las Vegas with. It's a lot of fun, and they have an ever evolving setlist, so it stays interesting. I also played a few shows with Crowd Theory and a giant cancer benefit show with Body Talk. Further on I finally got to play with my friend Devin Tait in his Bananarama tribute band Boynanarama. Boynanarama features Chris Freeman, of Pansy Division fame, on bass. Another band that's gearing up to start playing showcases is the Magnetic South. And, last but not least, I want to mention Joel Jarek Degraff's band Same Animal. I recorded for him last year and now we started rehearsing with me filling in the role of the MD. I'm very much looking forward to see where we can take this project!!

​​The coming months are looking very promising. In October I'll start playing in duo formation with Norwegian EDM producer Coucheron. We will be hitting LA, San Francisco, New York and Montreal (CA). In SF we'll be playing the famous Rickshaw Stop. And in early November I'll start playing shows with the Indie-Pop band Heffron Drive. We'll be travelling to Brazil, Argentina and Mexico.

Pearl Drums, Clinic, Newspaper Articles and Exciting New Music 

It's almost April already.. time for an update!!

At the top of the year I played APAP ('the worlds largest performing arts marketplace') in NYC with Gingger Shankar and we got snowed in! Since I didn't have anything lined up right after it I enjoyed my snowday and went to central park to look at the frozen lakes. It was beatiful, and for the first time in a very long time I thought about moving to NYC. Then I got a cold and scrapped that thought.

Later in January I went to NAMM, as I always do, and reconnected with the friendly people at Roland and VicFirth, who are so kind to provide me with the most awesome gear ever! And this time I made some new friends as well! As of this week I am officially a Pearl Drums endorser!! This is amazing news because I have played Pearl for most of my life as you might know, if you follow me on my social media (Instagram, Twitter, Facebook). The first really nice drum set I've ever owned was a six piece black to blue fade Pearl Sessions kit. I was 16 and I had saved up for it for a very long time. When the set arrived at A&O Sound in Frauenfeld (the store I ordered it at) it was so beautiful, that the store owner immediately ordered another one to keep on display. I still own this set to this day and still love it just as much! I think you can imagine how excited and honored I am to be an official Pearl artist now. If you scroll down you can see me proudly pointing at the freshly signed contract!

After playing some gigs around town and recording some pretty exciting music (I'm looking at you Nite N Dae!), I went back to Switzerland for my birthday and my very first drum clinic in the end of February. I've been wanting to put on a clinic for a while, and, with the help and excitement of Andy Leumann from Musik Leumann, it finally came together (see flyer below). It was a very happy gathering of around 40 drummers and intersted public, including some of my family and my first two ever drum teachers Albert Lottenbach and Carlo Lorenzi. I definitely really enjoyed the experience and will repeat it as soon as possible (likely later this year). You can see a little bit of one of my drum solos here if you're inclined.

It was my first time playing in Switzerland in about five years (time flies!!) and to honor the occasion the Thurgauerzeitung (my home state's newspaper) kindly featured an article about me which you can (or cannot, depending on your German skills) read below or here. The article focused on me playing in front of an audience of several hundered million for a TV program in India a few months ago. Or even more than 650 hundered million to be exact, if you consider the executive producer's statement in this article. I also wrote about this in my last blog entry which you can find if you scroll down past the picturs. Anyways, a huge shoutout is due to Markus Schoch for doing the interview and to Debra Mahijah for hooking me up with an amazing photo for it! A few days later I also got awarded a Brodworscht by a different newspaper, the Anzeiger (you can read it here or scroll down). Yes, Brodworscht means Bratwurst in Swiss German and yes, I get to pick one up at the 'Olma' State Fair in October. And a third time yes.. I believe it's an honor. Last but not least, the Rorschacher Echo did a really nice write up on the clinic itself, which you can read here. Thank you Res Lerch! Also a big shoutout to my dad, who scans and emails me all these articles. You're the best!!

After all that action I was happy to come back to LA and play my first few shows with the amazinlgy talented artist Lost Puppy. You can check snippet of our very first show (at the Viper Room) here. Since you read all the way until here you get to look at the pictures now. Behold!

 





Trip to India 

So last year was pretty crazy. I played so many awesome gigs with so many great artists.. and I travelled like crazy! I played SXSW in Austin, The Living Tradition Festival in SLC, The Anokhi Awards and the Reel Asian Film Fest in Toronto, the Lion's Festival in Cannes, France, had a residency at the Stratosphere in Las Vegas, recorded a killer album with Harrison Nida, travelled to Malaysia to play at the town hall of Kuala Lumpur twice, went to Switzerland several times and somewhere in the mix I got married to the love of my life, too! Needless to say that by December I was pretty happy with the year already. Little did I know that the biggest gig of the year was still ahead of me.
Gingger Shankar called me to see if I was down for an impromptu trip to Mumbai, India to play at the first installation of TED Talks there. I've been a huge TED fan for years, so I made myself available and a few days later we were on a plane to India. On a side-note: Said plane from LA to India stops only in Doha, Qatar, and that's one of the longest regular flights you can take (over 16 hours). The plane doesn't fly East or West.. it goes straight over the North Pole! Anyways, once in Mumbai we started preparing for our performance. The ten year old piano prodigy Lydian joined us for asong and we worked out an arrangement to showcase his incredible skills. The production of the show was huge. India's biggest TV conglomerate was behind it and they spared no expense. The estimated viewership of the program is at least 100,000,000 - and that's if it's rated low! It will likely receive several times more viewers. In spite of those enourmous numbers I'm glad to say that we got to play completely live and plugged in. We had only one take for each of the songs we played, but who needs more anyways, right? Everything went smoothly and I can't wait to see the show when it airs this Spring!

Well that was the last adventure of 2016 and now I'm looking forward to what 2017 brings! I've got a feeling I'll be back to India some time soon...

PS. Also in December I signed with Clayton Music Management. That's an agency that represents real musicians for extra/acting/modelling work for TV and commercials. Yay, I've arrived in LA!


 

New Website! 

Welcome to my new site!

As you can see I completely revamped it with a brand new design and photos by my dear friend, the extraordinarily talented Colleen Allison. It's been a few months since my last blog entry, so there's plenty to write about.

In August I recorded a full album for Harrison Nida with the amazing engineer/producer Allan Hessler at the Omen Room in Garden Grove, CA. I'm super stoked on it and can't wait till the album is completely done! It's expected to be released in Spring 17. After recording the album I went to Toronto with Gingger Shankar where she received the Anokhi Award of Excellence. We played two songs at the award show as a duo and had an incredible resonance (see video below!). Shortly after our Toronto trip we got to play two shows at the City Hall of Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia. It was my first time travelling to eastern Asia and it was an incredible experience. I really hope I get to go back in the area soon, there's so much to explore!

In September I played a few local shows with Backseat Pilots, Harrison Nida and a few other artists and I did a week long run with Street Drum Corps at a fair up in Tulare, CA. It was my first experimentation with playing street drums (meaning barrels, cans, bins and so on) and it was a lot of fun! As of September I'm also officially considered a Roland artist, which is super exciting! Roland makes the best electronic drums and drum samplers and triggers and it feels great to officially be part of this great company!

October was again a bunch of shows in and around LA with the usual suspects plus, for the first time, two College/University shows with Gingger. The first one was University of Fresno, CA and the second one was at Johnson County Community College in Overland Park, KS. We were received really warmly, the show in Fresno was even sold out!

All in all I just really, really enjoy travelling, especially while making music. These past few months my travel companions and I have met so many incredibly nice people that welcomed us to their cities and readily took their time to show us around town. We saw a 140 foot golden hindu statue, bat caves and night markets, had the best Chinese food in Toronto and the best Greek food in Fresno and now know what Halloween in Kansas is like. Now I'm looking forward to revisiting Toronto again to play the Reel Asian Film Festival with Gingger Shankar next week!

Here are a few impressions of the last few shows. If you want to see more videos you can always head over to my Instagram profile


 
 Performance in Toronto, Drum Solo starting at 3:40
 
Soundcheck in Toronto

Performance in Kuala Lumpur

Soundcheck in Overland Park, KS

Update #20 

I just found out that my plane from Zurich to Los Angeles is eight hours late - it seems like Switzerland doesn't want to let me go. But I'm craving Tacos!! Anyways, I'm taking the opportunity to update my little blog. 
2016 has been extremely busy with music as well as with celebrating life. I've already played over 50 shows this year! And after two amazing bachelor parties (one in Switzerland and one in the States), and a ton of preparing, I finally got married in Arona, Italy on July 30. It was the absolute best celebration ever and I will be able to look back on this day with a smile on my face for the rest of my life. Thanks to all involved! I will continue to live and work in Los Angeles in case anybody was wondering.
Musically I've been getting more active with Gingger Shankar. On top of the Dance/Pop band that I've been a part of for a while now, she asked me to also play drums for her multimedia family-project NARI. We had some really nice gigs, headlining the Living Tradition Festival in Salt Lake City and playing the Musical Instrument Museum in Phoenix. We also played in duo formation for the first time at the Lion's Festival in Cannes, France, opening up for Carly Rae Jepsen, and it was an all around amazing experience. This month we'll play in Toronto, Canada and Kuala Lumpur, Malysia. I've never been to Eastern Asia and couldn't be more pleased to go there doing what I love. There are more concerts around the country and abroad planned for the rest of the fall with her. You can find all the shows here
On other news: I'm super excited to finally play on Harrison Nida's new record this month. It will be a high energy Ska/Pop-Punk/Rock fusion and I can't wait to get in the studio with him and the band! We've been arranging his songs and playing gigs for almost a year now and it has been very fruitful. Further on I've been getting more and more active with a cool band from Fontana, CA, called Backseat Pilots. We've played quite a few shows with great turnouts and I'm excited to see what we're going to do next!
Two of the cover bands I've been playing for are having an amzing summer. One of them, the Strange Days Doors Tribute Band, just came back from a run in South America. And the other one, The Old Fashioned, is currently playing for 2000+ people every night, opening for the Boys Like Girls 10 Year Anniversary Tour. Congrats to you guys!! Hopefully next time you tour I won't be in Switzerland getting married ;) Meanwhile Pop Vision is keeping their steady (and great!) gig at the Stratosphere in Las Vegas and I also got to play some fun weddings and a big Fourth of July celebration with them.
I'm super thankful that all the artists and bands that I'm working with have been so supportive of me being out of town for my wedding and other travels. I truly appreciate you guys! You know who you are!

An Update with Lots of Hyperlinks 

2016 has been a very busy year for me so far. NAMM was great, I had an amazing birthday party and I'm doing some amazing gigs in town with artists Harrison Nida, Backseat Pilots, Joel DeGraffe, Sands of Mohave and The Old Fashioned as well as increasingly more session work through the service "Beats to Go" that I co-founded with Stee Gfeller. The idea behind "Beats to Go" is to have a slender production company that can deliver drum parts and beats quickly, in an uncomplicated manner and with competitive pricing. So if you need music don't hesitate to hit me up, no matter where you are! 
  
While I love my work in LA I also like traveling to Las Vegas once a month to play a few nights with the top 40 cover band Pop Vision at the Stratosphere Casino. And this month I also got to go to SXSW for the first time to play at the Southwest Invasion Festival with Gingger Shankar and had the best time there! So cool to run into so many friends so far away from home! 
  
I'm extremely looking forward to recording a full length Pop-Punk album with Harrison Nida at the world renowned Westlake Studios in the upcoming months! My 16 year old self is doing a backflip! Also I'm getting more and more involved with Gingger Shankar's incredible multimedia project NARI for which I will play drums at multiple (film) festivals around the country starting April 8 in Sarasota, FL. And last but not least I just got accepted into the Street Drum Corps family and will start playing gigs with them later this year! 
  
So things stay interesting and very satisfying for me. I absolutely don't take any of this for granted and am very thankful for every minute I get to play the drums. Thanks for reading this and taking interest in my adventures!! Check out my Instagram if you want more regular updates.



PS: The manager of the International Fellowship House, where I lived at for my five semesters in Boston, started a helpful website for (prospective) international students in the USA. She did a little profile on me and got me to talk about some non-music related stuff for once. Check it out here!
 

An old year ends, a new year starts 

My second year in LA comes to an end and I can look back on some very cool things. I received my O-1 artist visa which is a great blessing. I got to fly around the country and to Canada to perform with Gingger Shankar and The Old Fashioned and work with a number of really cool artists and projects. I met many new friends and music lovers.. I'm very grateful for that. Those close to me know that I also had to fight with a number of things this past year. I had some form of tendonitis, an infected appendix, a broken car, a stupid law suit and other stuff. Everything ended up working out for me though and I'm glad to be able to say that the good things that happened in 2015 outweighed the bad ones!

And now it's time to kick off 2016! I've been working with artist Harrison Nida for a while now and put together a band for him, so I'm stoked to be starting to play shows with him in February. Also I'll be playing with Samuel Singz and The Wind Chaser Club. See schedule here. Further on I've put together a band for R'n'B singer Golden Boy. He is known for his work as a part of the Psych Ward Druggies and I'm excited to get in the rehearsal studio with him.
I'm looking forward to hitting up NAMM (thanks for hooking it up Igor Len and Roland!) and to putting on monthly jam sessions at my house (and possibly other places?) with my housemates Stee, Coco and Yves. Further on Stee and I geared up and started a (still unnamed) studio with the goal to provide professional drum recordings with competitive pricing. Website will be up soon!
Also I'm super duper excited to finally, for the first time ever, will be doing workshops and clinics back in Switzerland this year. I'm currently booking more dates, so please don't hesitate to contact me if you want set up an event with me too!

Lastly, Gingger Shankar just released a live recording of her song "Radio" through Roland Sessions. It's one of my favorite songs on her upcoming record and I love the live version that we did. Check it out if, especially if you're into Fusion!

 

A Broad Pallette of Challenges 

It's been a while since my last update. I just came home from the East Coast where I played a concert on the 22nd level of the Standard in NYC with Gingger Shankar and recorded for my friend Misha Danilov's big band in the brand new studios at Berklee College in Boston. I had a great time reconnecting with old friends in both those cities and hope to be back next year.

Before this trip it was business as usual: Playing a residency with Gingger in San Diego as well as shows in Santa Barbara and Los Angeles, working with new artists like Ted West and Harrison Nida, playing cover band gigs with The Old Fashioned and subbing for the "We Are The Tigers" Musical. Each gig I have provides me with completely different challenges. Harrison asked me to put a full band together for him, with Ted and the Old Fashioned I get to explore electronic and percussion playing, for the musical and the big band recording I had an opportunity to brush up on my reading skills (the two hour long musical I've played without a rehearsal and with only hearing the songs once beforehand.. so reading was key!) and with Gingger I get to venture out, jam and solo more than I've ever been asked/allowed to by any other Pop artist. I'm really happy to experience such a broad pallette of musical challenges.

Roland released one of the two live videos we recorded at their US headquarters earlier this year (see below) and Ayako Yamauchi has presented me with the results of our recording at the beginning of the year of which you can hear an (unmastered) excerp of her song House of Glory in my playlist (press forward in the music player until it shows up - it's song number four at the moment). For the rest of the year I'm looking forward to record and possibly tour with Harrison Nida, play more gigs in and out of town with Gingger Shankar and take on whatever other musical challenges come my way!



Soundchecking with Vivek Maddala for Gingger Shankar's showcase on top of the Standard Hotel in New York.
 
On top of the Standard with the World Trade Center in the background.

More Action With Gingger and The Old Fashioned 

I'm at Toronto airport waiting for my flight to Switzerland where I'm going to get my artist visa stamped into my passport and I have time to do an update.

I just played the wonderful Winnipeg Folk Fest with Gingger Shankar which was headlined by Wilco and Edward Sharpe and attracts over 80,000 people every year. It was our first public appearance in this formation and it was a full success! Our performance was filmed and will be available online in 3D soon. A few weeks ago we went to the Roland US headquarters to film live versions of her songs "Infectious" and "Radio" with her band. See photos below for some impressions. Next month we will play a Block Party in Fresno and hold a residency at the Bar Pink in San Diego.

Due to me having to go to Switzerland I won't be able to join Hear Kitty Kitty (who keep getting radio play in Japan and topping online charts on Reverbnation.com and Numberonemusic.com) on their US tour. Although there is a possibility that I can catch the tail end which includes Festivals in Las Vegas and Carson City. I'm also still playing at the Craftsman with the (IMO) best acoustic cover band in town The Old Fashioned every Friday night from 10-1. Come by if you can! Further on I started working with the up and coming artists Eleri, Ted West and filmed a music video for Oren Yaacobi. And the Janoskians tweeted about a drum cover of a song I did and it got almost two thousand retweets again!

And once again my home inspired a music video and a youtube video: Bastian Baker's new single Everything I do and The Zibbz using it as percussion instrument.