Drummer Pete Wilhoit of FYIIn 2004, after playing with the band Fiction Plane for a year, Pete Wilhoit was offered a position to be the only American member of the all-British band. FYI, Fiction Plane’s lead singer, Joe Sumner, is Sting’s son.

Originally from Indiana, Wilhoit grew up taking drum lessons from studio drumming heavyweights Kenny Aronoff and Shawn Pelton. Both drummers recommended Pete for Fiction Plane. “Each of them contacted me about the band,” Wilhoit explains. “So I drove to New York and auditioned for the gig.

“I think the guys in the band were surprised at how well we all got along,” Pete continues. “So eventually they made me a permanent member. I think what I bring to the band is a varied playing style. I’ve done all sorts of gigs. I have a jazz degree, and I was with a rock band called The Cutters for ten years. I think I bring a musicality and power to the band. I’m definitely a musician first. I help write the music, and I’m concerned with the song first and the drums second.”

Recently back from a tour opening for Sting, Wilhoit gushes, “It was amazing. Twenty-nine shows in twenty-five countries. Amazing cities, venues, and crowds. We estimated that we played in front of around 500,000 people on this tour. Olympic Stadium in Moscow was definitely a highlight, as was getting to play ‘Next To You’ with Sting and the band at the end of the tour.”

Wilhoit is currently in the studio recording with the band. “I think this next one will be a true ‘rock’ album,” the drummer says. “We’re going to lean into the guitar trio thing with full force.”

Robyn Flans