Hello there, Modern Drummer readers! My name is Jen Ledger. I’m nineteen years old, and I’m from a little place called Coventry in England. I joined the rock band Skillet in January ’08 and I’m having the time of my life! Who’d have thought nonstop touring, rare showering, and living on a bus with a lot of stinky boys would be my thing!

It’s been truly a rollercoaster of exciting new experiences for me, a girl who used to get nervous just playing for 200 people at church on a Sunday. I had to come so far in such a short time.

I started playing the drums when I was thirteen. I really enjoyed it as a hobby and never dreamt that one day I would be able to enjoy it as a profession. Growing up, it was frustrating having everyone assume I would be awful because I’m a girl, and so a couple of times during my journey as a drummer I gave up. I decided I wouldn’t play anymore because my confidence could get knocked so low. However, as different opportunities came up (such as reaching the finals of “Young Drummer Of The Year U.K.”), I quickly became determined to work hard and see how far I could get trying my best and being myself. And here I am–in Skillet! 🙂

During the last two to three years, my mind has been transformed regarding what I thought of as good drumming. Before it was the flashy, fast, crazy fills that impressed and also intimidated me; it was these drummers that I always thought of as “good.” But I began realizing that if you can’t land on the downbeat and keep to the tempo, or you’re simply distracting everyone from the song, I’m not into it! I LOVE the sound of a simple solid drummer! Consistency, confidence, and feel is what makes me wanna move, and makes me wanna rock!

I feel truly honored to have had the experiences I’ve been able to have since joining the band. My first time out was playing to 20,000 on the Winterjam arena tour. Then I did two of our headlining tours supporting the album Comatose. I’ve also been able to play on Skillet’s first live DVD (Comatose Comes Alive), and recently recorded the new album Awake (out now) with the highly respected producer Howard Benson.

Another new experience to look forward to this week–my first ever-video shoots! We’re recording them for our newly released singles “Hero” and “Monster.” I’ve also had to learn to sing and play. You can hear me on “Hero”–that was another challenge! All that will be followed by a couple more festivals, a few days off, and then I’m so excited to be starting our own Awake And Alive tour this fall!

Overall, the past eighteen months have been bursting with exciting opportunities, and have turned my life upside down–topping it off with being asked to write for such a prestigious magazine’s blog section!

Take care.

Love, Jen