Drummer and Musician

Michel Fortin drumming at The Brass Monkey in Ottawa (2021).

Yes, I Play The Drums

Since I was eight years old, my uncle would occasionally let me hop on his drumkit. One day as a gift, he gave me a 45″ record of Fool in The Rain by Led Zeppelin (this was in the late 70s when the song just came out). I was hooked! That’s when I fell in love with drums and when John Bonham became one of my biggest influences.

When I started secondary school in Quebec (similar to junior high) back in the early 80s, music became one of my favourite classes. I played for the high-school orchestra and performed at national competitions. Since then, I’ve been in a number of bands, performed hundreds of shows, and worked with many recording artists.

Concerts and Venues

In the 90s, my band at the time recorded a few albums with the help of a few famous producers, such as Jay Ruston (who produced for Uriah Heep and Steel Panther) and Leslie Howe (who produced for the early Alanis Morissette). That same band even played on The Tom Green Show when we released our second CD.

Today, I’m mainly a rock, pop, and country drummer. However, my repertoire ranges from old country to pop punk to heavy metal, and everything in between. I’ve played at a variety of venues, from private events to large festivals in front of tens of thousands of people. I’m particularly fond of playing for meaningful causes.

For example, I played at the H.O.P.E. SummerFest, raising money for the homeless and community charities. Another is an all-day rock concert for veterans, supporting and raising awareness for veteran issues such as PTSD and injury rehabilitation programs.

Michel Fortin playing drums in a high school band in 1983.
Playing in a high school band (1983).

One of my first bands when I was 13-14. We played mostly classic rock, like Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, Van Halen, AC/DC, The Rolling Stones, and the like.

Playing drums at small venues (Carleton Tavern) in 1997
Playing at small venues (Carleton Tavern, 1997).

This was when I was in a The Who cover band playing in a local pub (trying to be Keith Moon). Small venue. Big drums. Too much hardware. No space. Oh, dear.

Playing at a concert (The Brass Monkey) in 2016.
Playing concerts (The Brass Monkey, 2016).

The older I got, the smaller the drum sets became. Above, I was playing with an Eagles and Blue Rodeo cover band, but we also played tons of 70s classic rock.

Influences and Gear List

My biggest influences include John Bonham (Led Zeppelin), Chad Smith (Red Hot Chili Peppers), Travis Barker (Blink 182), Ian Paice (Deep Purple), and Ronnie Vanucci (The Killers). Some of my new favourites include Cobus Poteiger, Alex Melton, Greyson “The Nuke” Nekrutman, Jeff Randall, and Anup Sastry.

My drumkits tend to be either Pearl or Mapex. My current setup is a Mapex Studio Armory kit, either one or two up and two down.

  • 10″ and 12″ rack toms, 14″ and 16″ floor toms, and 22″ bass drum
  • Hardware is Pearl 900 series (pedals) and Mapex 800 series stands
  • Cymbals are Sabian HHX and AAX, mostly X-Plosion series
  • Pearl 14″ x 5.5 free-floating snare drum (either brass or maple)
  • Mapex Daisy Cutter 14″x6.5″ hand-hammered chrome over brass

Recordings and Videos

Here are some recordings of me playing in the studio, on stage, and at home, from the 1990s to 2022 (some were recorded during the pandemic lockdowns, in my garage, with just my phone). They vary from traditional country and classic rock to pop punk and hard rock.

Free The Puppies – Music4Vets Festival

Playing with Free The Puppies at a fundraiser for veterans. Songs are Rise by Muse and Good Times, Bad Times by Led Zeppelin.

Does Fort Worth – Nelson Colt

This is from a George Strait tribute show with Nelson Colt at local country fair. We were a full six-piece band. Love that fiddle!

Carry On (Wayward Son) – Kansas (Cover)

Recorded myself playing a cover of Carry On Wayward Son by Kansas during the pandemic lockdown. First take, warts and all.

My Sharona – The Knack (Drum Cover)

Another “quarantine cover” recorded in my basement with my phone. One take and no post-production editing or mixing.

Welcome to The Black Parade – MCR (Drum Cover)

Welcome to The Black Parade by My Chemical Romance. These covers are great but I can’t wait to play with a real band again.

Afterlife – Avenged Sevenfold (Drum Cover)

Afterlife is one of my favourites from Avenged Sevenfold (RIP Rev). This “lockdown” cover is raw. Just a single bass drum, too.

Semi-Charmed Life – Third Eye Blind (Drum Cover)

This one is a little different. I tried a drumless track from Guitar Hero. Again, one take and no embellishments, but pretty cool.

Learn to Fly – Foo Fighters (Drum Cover)

Recorded myself playing Learn to Fly by The Foo Fighters. This is one of my favourites. No mics, just straight off the phone camera.

Need a Drummer?

If you need a professional drummer for a gig or a recording session, I can help. My repertoire is vast and I can play classic rock, rock, pop, pop punk, folk, blues, and country music genres. I’m willing to travel if expenses are also covered. Contact me and let’s chat.