Drummer Mike BennettWe weren’t kidding when we featured Mike Bennett in our On The Move section a couple of years ago. Back then, Bennett was occupied with a host of gigs in the LA music scene. But this year’s handed him the most important job of his life, as the touring drummer for actress and multi-platinum pop sensation Hilary Duff. And three key words are behind Bennett’s rapid ascent onto a major-league drumriser: patience, persistence, and percussion.

The twenty-six-year-old Bennett originally landed the Duff gig a year earlier as the band’s percussionist. Leaving the sticks behind for a riser full of congas and electronics, Bennett realized was literally inches away from the coveted drum throne.

“I’d been studying percussion, doing a lot of gigs playing as a percussionist, and that all came about because I was trying to be a smarter kit player,” he says. “I didn’t want to learn patterns out of books, I wanted to go to percussionists and learn to make wise decisions.”

Now perched behind his Taye drums and Sabian cymbals, Bennett’s role has expanded to merge the percussion of his former position with his current kit parts. “I realized that I should have a method to my own madness here,” he says. “So I’m using a lot of the Roland gear and technology to assist me in re-creating the essential elements of the percussion chair and merging the two. There’s a lot of planning. I’ve tried to eliminate any margin for error and keep it all under my control.”

Waleed Rashidi

This is an excerpt from the article appearing the September 2008 issue of Modern Drummer.