Hello, Modern Drummer readers! My name is Michael McManus and I am a twenty-three-year-old drummer from Memphis, TN. First and foremost, I would like to say that I am honored to be writing something that will be featured on the Modern Drummer Web site. I not only thank the magazine for posting this, but I also thank you, the reader, for reading it!
I have been playing drums for twelve years. I joined my first band, Chosen View, when I was fifteen. We were given the honor of being asked to play several big shows, such as the 2003 Mid-South Grammy Showcase and Dick Clark’s ABC fiftieth anniversary of rock ’n’ roll special. We also opened up for national acts such as Breaking Benjamin. Shortly after the band’s breakup, I was asked to tour with Wind-Up recording artist Breaking Point. I played a number of shows with them, including a televised performance. We also flew to San Jose, CA, to play a show with Anna Nalick. This was what I considered to be my first “real” show out of town, and what a show it was! I had never played in front of that many people.
Shortly afterwards, Breaking Point lead guitarist and songwriter Justin Rimer was asked to coproduce the 12 Stones record Anthem For The Underdog, alongside Grammy-winning producer Skidd Mills. Moreover, I was asked by Justin to play drums on all of the demos, which was an incredible experience, as well as an honor—as some of you may know, 12 Stones’ singer, Paul McCoy, won a Grammy for his vocal performance on Evanescence’s “Bring Me To Life.” After the completion of the demos, I was asked by both Skidd and fellow producer Paul Ebersold (also a Grammy-winning producer) to play on many more demos and master tracks. These include bands such as Rev Theory, Grammy-nominated Christian group Pillar, Kutless, Fallbrooke, the Dares (Jive Records), and many more.
Master tracks I’ve played on include “Survive” by Sick Puppies, which is featured on their most recent album, Tri-Polar. I am also playing drums on the new record by Deepfield (who currently have a six-song EP out), and I’m playing on an album by a band called the Farewell, featuring Zach Myers of Shinedown. And I recently went on tour with a group called Ingram Hill, which was a blast.
I played on a record by a Norwegian artist by the name of Sáivu (featuring Richard Fortus of Guns N’ Roses). We recorded the majority of the material here in Memphis with Skidd Mills and then went on to do some additional recording in Nashville. My most memorable experience to date, however, came recently when Ted Millmoor (Sáivu) flew me out to Burbank, CA, to record some additional material with acclaimed producer/mixer Ben Grosse. His credits include Filter, Fuel, and Marilyn Manson, to name a few. It was an incredible experience.
As for my future plans, I will be graduating with a degree in music business from the University Of Memphis in May 2010 and will most likely be relocating to Nashville. However, I fell in love with the Los Angeles area when I went to Burbank. Therefore I plan to keep my options open, as it’s time to relocate and both cities have a lot to offer.
Since the day I was born, my mom has called me “the Hammer.” She gave me this nickname because she said that I came into this world with determination that she knew I would need one day. She was right. I use this determination in the music business each and every day in order to accomplish my mission of being the best and most in-demand touring and session drummer in both the United States and the world. Thanks for reading!
For more on Michael, go to www.myspace.com/mjmcmanusmusic.