Mike G (US)
#Jenny O, Princess, AM and Shawn Lee
Paiste Artist Since Apr 2013
14" Formula 602 Classic Sounds Heavy Hi Hats (Blue Label)
19" 2002 Thin Crash
20" Formula 602 Classic Sounds Ride (Pre-serial)
18" 2002 Thin Crash
Mike Green is a highly sought after and respected freelance drummer in the Los Angeles music scene, who has played just about every type of gig in town. His natural gift for rhythm and self-taught skills, along with his beautiful singing, leaves Mike a favorite with a diversity of musicians.
Mike has worked with a wide range of celebrated and admired musicians, performing and recording both drums and vocals. He has toured and performed with Mike Andrews (film composer, ie, “Donnie Darko,” “Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story,” “Bridesmaids”), Princess (Maya Rudolph’s Prince cover band), John C. Reilly as Dewey Cox for the Walk Hard Tour, Willoughby (Gus Seyffert, bass player for Black Keys and Norah Jones), Bird and the Bee (Inara George & Greg Kurstin), The Belle Brigade (opening for K.D. Lang), Charlie Wadhams, Joey Dosik, and most recently, Jenny O. (opening for Sixto Rodriguez), and AM and Shawn Lee. Mike has also performed live with Dawes, Kris Kristofferson, Jackson Browne, Lucinda Williams, Jenny Lewis, and with piano and organ legend, Larry Goldings. Mike has done drum and vocal studio work for Sia, Priscilla Ahn, Willoughby, Charlie Wadhams, Joey Dosik, Gaslamp Killer (as the featured drummer on their recent single “Nissim”), and the following soundtracks: “Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story,” “Bridesmaids” (Mike Andrews), “Dealing With Idiots” (Jeff Garlin’s new film, scored by Larry Goldings), and “Hancock.”
After playing and touring with so many musicians of varying kinds, Mike has become a radically multidimensional player, a musical chameleon with an ability to tailor his playing transparently to a wide variety of styles and artists. He acknowledges his musical influences as stemming from a wide range of musical genres, including, but far from limited to, such artists as Jimmy Cobb, Billy Higgins, Mick Fleetwood, Paul Motian, James Gadson, Joey Waronker, Mike Andrews, Questlove, Vinnie Colaiuta, John Bonham, Philly Joe Jones, Boris Williams, Budgie, Daru Jones, and Jeff Porcaro. “So many guys, the list goes on and on . . .”
Originally from Wabash, Indiana, and moving to Anaheim, CA with his family at the age of 14, this guy is a bit of an anomaly in the professional music scene. He bought his first drum set at a garage sale when he was 18, and he would tap on it from time to time; but it wasn't until the age of 20 that Mike actually started practicing and taking drums seriously, with a whole new fascination. He credits this inspiration to an epiphany he had in a park in England, while traveling overseas. Since that time, he's been extremely dedicated, both to his playing and his singing.
Mike's first paid gig was at a coffee shop for 35 bucks, a sandwich and a salad. He'd only been playing four years. “Someone saw me sitting in at a jazz club and asked me to start doing gigs around town. I could barely play, but people said I had a good feel. It was really hard. I could play simple stuff and imitate stuff I'd heard. I got thrown into a lot of musical situations where I was in over my head. I'm glad people had faith in me! I feel really crazy blessed.”
Being self-taught may have more freely encouraged Mike to pursue his curiosity with cymbals and sounds. He is a modern and vintage Paiste cymbal enthusiast. He got hooked on vintage cymbals when he couldn’t find any cymbals that sounded like his favorite jazz drummers. “I’m a nut on tone, how it translates sonically, and I always loved the way cymbals sounded on jazz recordings. I wanted to know how they were getting those tones. I wanted to get those tones!” In 2000, he found his first Paiste 602 ride, from the 60's. “When I picked it up I said, ‘Oh my god, this is the one! This is the magic!’ I traded an old cymbal for it and I still have that 22 inch Paiste 602. It is a magic cymbal.”
These days, Mike has also been teaching himself to play the guitar. “I really wanna sing and play guitar. It’s fun and not as menacing as when I started drums and trying to be a jazz drummer. I love the finger picking. I wanna be a strumming’ rockin’ dude.” Aside from that, and touring and playing a ton, “I'm just taking it easy and looking for musical situations to help my spirit.”