Chad Szeliga: Props From Peers

Chad Szeliga of Breaking Benjamin in Modern Drummer MagazineSince joining the heavy rock band Breaking Benjamin in 2005, just in time to record the platinum-selling Phobia album, Chad Szeliga has drawn lots of attention for his unerring control, power, and musicality—and not just from fans but from some of the best in the biz….

“Chad is not only a great drummer but a great friend. What makes him special as a musician is his undying devotion to the art of drumming. He consistently practices to make himself better, whether on or off the road, and it shows every time I see him.”
Barry Kerch, Shinedown

“Chad is a precise and very technical drummer—definitely a drummer’s drummer. He has incredible speed, but he also knows how to create space and let the music breathe.”
Neil Sanderson, Three Days Grace Advertisement

“I’ve always dug Chad’s playing. He’s one of those guys that plays very appropriately for the song. His dynamics are amazing, and he uses tasty fills when the song calls for it. He hits hard, too, and has a ton of conviction. He comes up with cool beats and rhythmic ideas that work over the music. Chad’s presence is felt when you listen to Breaking Benjamin.”
Jon Wysocki, Staind

“Chad Szeliga is one of the best drummers around right now. He has a different and tasteful take on rock drumming that really grooves.”
Joe Rickard, Red

“The first time I saw Chad play was back at a festival in 2005. I sat behind his kit and watched him, in awe. I was really impressed with his control of the instrument—so relaxed, so precise, and so musical. I’ve toured quite a bit with Chad over the years, and I’m continually inspired by the fact that he’s always so inspired. He’s just as interested in drumming and music now as he was when he started. He’s always working on new ideas and kit configurations. I’ll even sit outside his dressing room sometimes and eavesdrop on him as he’s warming up; it’s hard to go on stage after Chad has been up there. He’s one of the best drummers on the scene right now, plus he’s a terrific guy.”
Daniel Adair, Nickelback

“Chad’s well-constructed, head-bobbing rhythms, smooth transitions between feels, perfectly executed double-time fills, and scientific placement of splash and bell accents make for an addictive and approachable drumming style.”
Rich Redmond, Jason Aldean Advertisement

A Singer’s Perspective

Breaking Benjamin vocalist/guitarist Ben Burnley on what’s special about Chad Szeliga.

MD: Why was Chad the right cat for the gig?
Ben: We auditioned about fifteen guys, and Chad was the only one who sent us a VHS tape, not a DVD. I had to borrow a VCR from a friend to watch it because I didn’t even have one anymore. I always thought that was funny. Chad showed that he could play the songs, but he also did a few flashy things with his sticks that led me to believe he would be a good stage performer and not just some robot. The icing on the cake was that during his audition he was playing to a CD and it skipped, but he compensated and got right back on track without skipping a beat. I admired that he didn’t edit it out or redo it. That really showed me he had serious problem-solving skills.

MD: What does his drumming bring to Breaking Benjamin?
Ben: Chad has always demonstrated that he can play to complement the song, which is key. He has exhibited a very professional attitude on stage, and he gives his all every single night.