Equipment: DW drums and hardware, UFiP cymbals, Pro-Mark sticks, Gon Bops percussion, ClearSonic isolation booth
Watching just one video clip of Dylan Elise (Google “Dylan Elise Drum Solo”) you may want to quit the instrument all together. That’s because Elise is good. Like, comically good. We’re talking one-handed snare rolls during soloing the full kit plus double bass—while-hat-chicking-and-stick-spinning kind of good. The New Zealand native, clearly influenced by Thomas Lang and Virgil Donati, has studied with some of his nation’s best instructors, taken awards at the 2004 National Drum Wars in New Zealand at age 13, opened for Tommy Igoe, and even done his own clinics. Stick tricks and other X-Games—style drumming is part of his generation’s vocabulary but when you realize that Elise’s brand of razzle-dazzle was honed from years of busking on the streets of hometown Wellington, the crowd-pleasing moves are second-nature at this point. We were just kidding about you wanting to quit. Elise is an inspiration, and if anything, this guy will makes you recommit to shedding six hours a day.