It was clear that Chiodos’ new drummer was destined for rock and roll greatness with a name as cool as Tanner Wayne. At the moment the 22-year-old is home in San Diego taking a break before a U.S. tour kicks off next week, and he wisely maximizes the down time. “You know, getting my cardio up and all that good stuff,” he says in a SoCal draw.
Before he laid down the parts on the Michigan-based band’s crushing new Illuminaudio, Wayne manned the throne in Scary Kids Scaring Kids, a cult hardcore favorite. Why leave such a cool band? “Scary Kids didn’t seem like much of a future,” he says. “The guys are great but I just knew I wouldn’t be happy if I stayed. Throughout my career, I’ve definitely been interested in what was bigger than what I was already doing.”
Wayne’s Chiodos connection goes back to 2007 when Scary Kids were invited to join them on tour. To escape Scary Kids’ fart-riddled Econoline van, he ended up hanging way more with Chiodos than his own band, “on their much bigger tour bus, playing video games, kicking it, whatever.”
What Wayne thought of as a casual bro-down was in fact a secret vetting process by Chiodos. Wayne might have guessed that, though, since the band had asked him to sub once before when Derek Frost departed, and then again when Frost’s replacement, Mike Cavoto, eventually bailed. Tempted as he was, Wayne was committed to Scary Kids. “That was a bummer but it was actually totally fine because we remained friends.”
Then there was a brief episode when Wayne thought he would replace Underoath’s Aaron Gillespie, who he filled in for when Gillespie got violently ill with Swine flu on the 2009 Warped Tour. When that didn’t happen, Chiodos pounced. “It was never really like, ’Hey, let’s play old songs and see how you do,’” Wayne explains. “It was more of, ’Let’s see how you do writing-wise.’”
Packing for a week, Wayne joined Chiodos in Michigan where the guys clicked while jamming out the riffs that formed the basis of Illuminaudio. After a night of drinking, bassist Matt Goddard clapped him on the back with the good news: “He was kind of in a buzzed state, ’Hey man, you’re in.’ And I’m just like, ’Thanks for saying that,’ but I need something more official than that. It wasn’t officially talked about, but I stayed longer than I needed to, so I definitely knew it was going to be okay.”