Equipment: Yamaha Oak Custom drums, Zildjian cymbals, Yamaha hardware and pedals, Remo heads, Vic Firth Rock sticks (wood tip), Audix mikes, and Shure e5 in-ears.
Contact: seandeel.net; facebook.com/seandeel; seandeelfoundation.org
Sean Deel is one of those players you can’t help watching … as in, all the head-bobs and other quirks of his performance style. Of particular note is the whip-like throw that allows him to hit left- and right-side crashes with his right hand on a single upstroke, thereby conserving energy and looking cool in the process (we won’t even hold it against him that he plays along to Nickelback on his demo tape). The other great thing about Deel is that he’s not just in the game for himself. He’s taught drum line at high schools for the last decade and recently put together a foundation to motivate beginning drummers. (He also has a drum tip of the week on his Web site.) Teaching by day in Roanoke, Virginia, he’s currently working on a drums-only solo release focusing on hand drumming, freestyle solo, and arranged pieces with him playing along to loops – there’s even a drum ’n’ bass track. A local radio jock recently called out Deel’s visually unique approach on the kit, but it’s not about attracting eyeballs, it’s about blazing trails in technique.