Mike Byrne Leaves The Smashing Pumpkins

mike byrne

Smashing Pumpkins drummer Mike Byrne has left the band. Byrne had originally joined the group in 2009, when he replaced band member Jimmy Chamberlin.

Billy Corgan simply said about the event: "Let's just say that Mike, like Elvis, has left the building."

It was recently revealed that Motley Crue star Tommy Lee will play drums on nine new songs on the band's upcoming album, Monuments To An Elegy.

System Of A Down Drummer's Kickstarter

john dolmayan

System Of A Down drummer John Dolmayan launched a Kickstarter campaign today for These Grey Men, a project that will produce a star-studded covers album and tour. The album will include new renditions of songs by artists such as Radiohead, Outkast, David Bowie and many more, recorded by a band of all-star players (lineup to be announced) led by Dolmayan and his collaborator James Hazley, formerly of the band Cockeyed Ghost.

"I'm a huge music fan and have an iPod with over 10,000 or so songs on it that I listen to religiously," Dolmayan says. "I often rearrange melodies in my head or think about how much fun it would've been to play on some of my favorite songs. That ultimately led to the idea of a covers album. As for what it’s going to sound like, it'll definitely have a rock feel, but not limited by any genre restrictions. Listeners are going to hear a plethora of sounds and styles.”

The project sees Dolmayan offering various investor incentives, ranging from personal drum lessons and an opportunity to attend a recording session to a private backyard concert and a chance to guest-produce one of the album's tracks.There will also be a chance to watch the creative process in the studio via Skype, to own instruments used during the recording, and to receive credit in the album's liner notes.

Ulrich Accepts Ferrell & Smith Challenge

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Lars Ulrich has accepted Ferrell and Smith's drum-off challenge.

"It was a little lonely on the sidelines during the first drum-off," Ulrich said, "given the somewhat forced nature of the lookalike element between Chad Smith and Will Ferrell, when I’m TRULY the one carrying that dead-ringer gene around. As for any further drum-offs, I’m sure that with a bit of practice, I could give Chad a run for his money. But Will? That’s a whole different story. He rules the 'bad-ass drummer universe.' I mean, you’re talking about a guy who’s so next level, actually, so beyond next level, that he may just be completely unreachable! That said, I’m definitely up for the challenge… Bring it on!!!"

Last month, Chad Smith and Will Ferrell faced off in one of the most epic drum battles of all time. The dopplegangers then joined the Red Hot Chili Peppers (Ferrell on cowbell, of course) in a rendition of Blue Oyster Cult's "Don't Fear The Reaper" on the Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. It was a sight to be seen, to say the least.

Now the duo is challenging Metallica's Lars Ulrich to a second drum-off.

"Lars gets pissed because he gets mistaken for both me and Chad Smith," Ferrell says. "He can settle that score now, too."

No word on when or if this next battle will take place, but Smith has declared, "the gauntlet is down."

Those are some fightin' words.

Zakir Hussain: The Path Of Rhythm

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Zakir Hussain presents The Path of Rhythm with Steve Smith, Antonia Minnecola, and special guests, July 14-18, 2014 at Full Moon Resort in Big Indian, NY. This intimate event will be an immersive experience in music and rhythm for four nights and three days. For more details and to register, you can visit

Drumerica Contest Website Goes Live

Drumerica is launching the National Competition For Young Drummers website ( with complete information on contest sponsors, judges, prizes, and rules. The site will also feature a page with links to free downloads of Drumerica's official rock, pop, metal, jazz, funk, and latin play-along tracks. The tracks, provided by "Groove Essentials" (Hudson Music) and the "Progressive Metal" collection (, are great resources for entrants in terms of video quality and playing level.

Drumerica’s entry period runs from July 1 to August 1, 2014. The contest is open to boys and girls age 13-18 who are current residents of the U.S.A., and is sponsored by Musician’s Friend, School Of Rock, Crush Drums, TRX Cymbals, D’Addario, Modern Drummer, KAT Percussion and Desert Rock Sound Studios along with a dozen other top drum, accessory and media companies.

1st, 2nd and 3rd place “Drumericans” will receive nearly $25,000 in prizes and will be selected by judging panels made up of world-famous drummers and drum educators, including Kenny Aronoff, Gorden Campbell, Tommy Igoe, Arin Ilejay, Ray Luzier, Cobus Potgieter, Johnny Rabb, Kent Slucher, Steve Smith and Hannah “Ford” Welton plus the editors of Modern Drummer magazine and more.

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