9.3 Million and Counting – Synconation Chats with ‘Mad Drummer’ Steve Moore
Steve Moore was simply doing what he does, performing on drums with his band Rick K & The Allnighters. But it wasn’t just any performance. It was a colossal attack of the skins, a performance by a man possessed to entertain, the type of drumming that made The Muppet’s own Animal look lethargic . . . a performance that more than 9.3 (and counting) million people have watched. Most viral sensations become popular because they cross a certain threshold of humor and at times quirkiness. And although “This drummer is at the wrong gig” does elicit laughter, more than anything it’s the rush of seeing someone who goes all out, puts everything into his performance and doesn’t give a damn if you’re going to laugh . . . he’s there to put on a show. And though you may have seen a legion of great drummers, how many of them stand out so vividly?
Steve was kind enough to talk to Synconation about the aftermath of the YouTube video’s popularity, what he’s up to now and his performance style. And just in case you’re the guy that hasn’t seen it yet:
Is how you rocked out in the now famous YouTube video “this drummer is at the wrong gig” pretty standard for you? Did you always bring the thunder like that?
Yes, but not on every song. If I did it on every song, it would get old rather quickly. Besides, half of the fun of it is deciding when to go bananas. LOL
At what point did you realize you were a viral sensation?
I’m going to be as honest as I can with this question: As soon as the video started going viral, I began getting interview requests THAT DAY. My inbox exploded with over 5000 emails in a matter of hours. I was playing a casino in WI, and had been up for over 35 hours answering emails as quickly as I could type them out. I was absolutely exhausted, when Kevin Packard from Ludwig Drums called to let me know they were going to do a feature story on me.
After he congratulated me, I hung up the phone, walked over to the bed and just collapsed. At this point, I realized what was happening, and began crying. I was simply overwhelmed with gratitude (and still am). My parents sacrificed everything to allow me to follow my dream. My mother worked two or three jobs at a time, to save up enough money to buy me cymbals for Christmas. I’ve worked SOOO hard to offset that sacrifice. That one small moment made it all worth it!
What’s changed for you since the video?
My entire world has changed. A few months ago I flew to Seattle to play my first drum festival at Woodstick. And I’m flying to Belgium in April to play the Adams Drummers Festival. Last month I was at NAMM in Anaheim CA signing autographs at the Ludwig Booth. I’ve been featured on Drummerworld, the Modern Drummer Blog, the front page of Yahoo, and had an ad featuring me in DRUM Magazine.
I’ve also met dozens of my drum hero’s including Thomas Lang, Marco Minnemann, and Johnny Rabb. All of which I may be performing with in the near future… However, meeting Mike Portnoy (Dream Theater, A7X) has still been the highlight for me. He’s done a lot for me, and never asks a thing in return.
The best part of this entire experience has been getting to know so many people. If I have a question for Kenny Aronoff, I can drop him an email. If I have a question about double bass, I can call Derek Roddy on the phone. THAT’S INSANE!!! How many people can say that? It’s the greatest gift in the world, and I never take that for granted.
Who’s your favorite drummer of all time?
It’s so hard to name just one, but I would have to say Gene Krupa. He was the Godfather of everything. Gene “created” style.
If you could jam with any band, who would it be?
Dream Theatre or Avenged Sevenfold. I love progressive metal, it’s what I grew up listening to.
There is something so magnetizing about your carefree approach to playing, it goes far beyond being amusing and is actually kind of liberating. Is that just part of who you are, someone that “marches to the beat of his own drum?”
The funny thing is, I’m nothing like that offstage. I’m very analytical, cautious, and calculating. I’m very OCD as well. However when I play drums, that goes away. That’s the one moment of my day, where I’m not analyzing anything, and just enjoying myself. I obviously take FULL advantage of it. LOL
So many people are familiar with you now. What is the one thing you want everyone to know about you as a musician/performer?
I want people to understand it comes from a “good place.” Meaning, I’m not trying to fool anyone or show off. I do it because it makes people happy. People sometimes forget the point of music/entertainment. It’s not a race, sporting event, or competition. It’s about “connecting” with people, and making them FEEL something.
What’s your favorite “viral sensation” video on YouTube?
I don’t really have a favorite, but it’s definitely NOT “Fat baby smokes 40 cigarettes a day.” LOL
What’s next for you?
Of course I’m still extremely busy with my touring schedule with Rick K & The Allnighters, my clinics and drum festivals. However, as a result of the international response to the video, I’m very excited about a project I’m currently developing that will truly allow me to go crazy, and take that show on tour worldwide.
Steve jamming at Woodstick: