By Andy DoerschukPublished September 22, 2009
Smokin’ Jerome Flood II was only 17 when he was crowned Drum Off champion in 2008.
Got chops? Then prove it at Guitar Center ’s 12st annual Drum Off, which soon kicks into hyperdrive as store preliminaries launch on September 24 and close on October 15. After district and regional finals thin the herd, the Grand Finals will take place in L.A. in January ’10 with their winning cocktail of shredding and showbiz. There the most final of the finalists will share the stage with a host of legendary drummers while performing in front of a live audience and a panel of celebrity judges.
No pressure, though. For past Drum Off champions like Tony Royster Jr. and Cora Coleman-Dunham, the revered competition served as a springboard to the big show. Last year’s champion, 22-year-old Jerome Flood II, made his television debut on Last Call With Carson Daly following his dramatic Drum Off win in front of a live audience and a panel of judges that included Taylor Hawkins (Foo Fighters), Alan White (Yes), Thomas Pridgen (Mars Volta), Kenny Aronoff, Atom Willard (Social Distortion/Angels & Airwaves) The Rev (Avenged Sevenfold) and Danny Carey (Tool).
This year’s Guitar Center’s Drum-Off champion will win an impressive $40,000 package of prizes, including $25,000 cash; a Roland TD-25 electronic kit; a custom designed drum kit by DW, Pearl, Gretsch, Tama or Orange Country Drums; drum, stick, cymbal, drumhead, and Monster Energy Drink endorsement deals; and a VIP appearance at NAMM 2010.