In the hundred or so years since our instrument was invented, the art of playing it has evolved significantly. And so has the way we teach it. Few people understand drumming history more fully than this month’s cover artist—and no one has shared that knowledge more widely and with more enthusiasm and success.
For twenty years, the time he’s put into improving the things that he does with his hands and feet has continuously elevated the music of Symphony X. Recent events have found him working through matters of the head and heart as well, raising his craft in new, unexpected ways.
During most of the year, Jeff Plate and John O.Reilly are busy with numerous projects. Plate is the drummer for the veteran hard-rock groups Metal Church and Savatage, as well as a cover band, Rust; he also teaches. O.Reilly, whose résumé includes stints with the classic-rock heavies Rainbow and Blue Öyster Cult, is the operator of the Stanley Spector School of Drumming and the author of a new book and online magazine.