March 25 - Mike Johnston and Jason McGerr
On Wednesday, March 25th, Mike Johnston makes his return with Jason McGerr of the band Death Cab For Cutie.
Mike Johnston began studying the drums at the age of 5. He spent the next 15 years studying privately with some of the greatest educator/drummers of our time including Pete Magadini and Steve Ferrone. At the age of 21, Mike and his band Simon Says received their first major label record deal to Hollywood Records and spent the next 5 years touring the world with bands like Filter. He received a gold record for his contributions to the Varsity Blues soundtrack and has appeared on The Late Show with David Letterman as well as on MTV's Fashionably Loud.
Mike currently runs the educational website www.mikeslessons.com where he offers pre-recorded video drum lessons as well as "LIVE" on-line drum lessons nationally and internationally. Every year he hosts multiple International drum camps at the mikeslessons.com facility.
Jason McGerr is a member and drummer of the band Death Cab For Cutie. He has worked steadily for years as a performer and educator. Jason is also a very involved session player, engineer, studio drum tech and side man working with independent and major label artists such as Tegan & Sara and Matt Nathanson. In addition to his busy schedule as a player, Jason has been a core staff member and private instructor at The Seattle Drum School of Music for the past several years. He holds a steady cliental of forty to fifty students each week ranging in ages 4 to 60 years old, beginners to advanced players, including local and touring professionals.
Jason's primary music education can be attributed to becoming a student at The Seattle Drum School in 1992 where he studied with owner Steve Smith. "Steve taught me a great deal about his many systems of independence. He also taught me how to teach myself..... And now I teach at his school because I believe in his curriculum". But before returning as a teacher he sought out further instruction in the area of technique from John Fisher, a North American Solo Drum Champion, and internationally honored clinician and performer from Vancouver, B.C. John was a member of the Shotts and Dykehead Scottish Pipe band lead by Alex Duthert through several World Championships. Jason studied with John consistently for 3 years and still visits him on occasion. Another teacher who has made a great impression on his playing style is Jim Kilpatrick from Glasgow, Scotland. He is the current World Solo Drumming Champion, holds 13 individual titles and 12 band titles as leader of the Shotts & Dykehead Pipe Band, 11 of which are consecutive. Jason attended one of his many distinguished schools that Jim teaches abroad and enjoyed some very thorough private and group instruction in Scottish Drumming.
March 31 - Nate Morton
Nate Morton is the drummer for the house band on NBC's TV show The Voice.
In 2005 and 2006 Morton appeared on the Mark Burnett's Rock Star: INXS and Rock Star: Supernova reality shows, as drummer for the House Band. During that time he has also appeared on two CDs, Rock Star: A Night at the Mayan Theatre, and Dark Horse, released by Ryan Star.
In 2004, Morton completed a national tour as drummer with the American Idol band. Before that, he was the drummer for platinum-selling, Grammy-nominated, singer-songwriter Vanessa Carlton. He spent two years as the drummer for Natalie Cole, toured with Chaka Khan, The Hippos, and Poe and performed with Madonna at the 2002 Grammy Awards. Morton is endorsed by Pearl Drums, hardware and pedals and as of 2015 percussion formally endorsed by RhythmTech, as well as Zildjian drumsticks and cymbals, Roland electronics and V-Drums and Remo drumheads. He's a graduate of the renowned Berklee College of Music, cites Animal from The Muppets as his primary influence and thanks his parents and his first drum instructor Grant Menfee for their early support of his musical aspirations. "The bottom line is I hit things with sticks for a living, and that's a pretty fun job."
Morton and the House Band toured the United States with Paul Stanley (from KISS) in October/November 2006 as well as Australia in April 2007.
In 2008 Morton performed on MTV's Rock The Cradle with Rock Star (TV series) House Band members Rafael Moreira and Paul Mirkovich. Outside of the studio he has also performed with Miley Cyrus and Rafael Morieira's band, Magnetico.