Drummer and Musician

I Fell in Love With Drums

I’ve been playing drums since I was eight. My uncle who was a drummer would occasionally let me hop on his kit. Then, for one of my childhood birthdays back in the late 70s, he gave me a 45″ record of Fool in The Rain by Led Zeppelin. I was hooked! That’s when I fell in love with drums, and when John Bonham of Led Zeppelin became one of my biggest influences.

When I started secondary school (junior high), music was one of my favourite classes. I played for the official school orchestra and performed at national school competitions. Since then, I’ve played in a number of bands. I’ve worked as a stage and studio drummer with hundreds of bands, shows, and recording artists.

Concerts and Venues

In the 90s, my band at the time recorded a few albums. Some were produced by 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 CD.

Today, I’m a 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.

My Influences and Follows

My biggest influences include (as stated earlier) John Bonham (Led Zeppelin), Chad Smith (RHCP), Travis Barker (Blink 182), and Ian Paice (Deep Purple). Some of my current favourites include Ben Sesar, Cobus Poteiger, Alex Melton, Greyson “The Nuke” Nekrutman, Jeff Randall, and Anup Sastry.

My most current kit is a Mapex Studio Armory kit, my cymbals are Sabian, and my hardware is Pearl. Toms are 10″, 12″, 14″ and 16″ with a 22″ bass. I have several snares but my favourite is the Daisy Cutter 14″x5.5″ hand-hammered chrome over brass. My cymbals vary between Sabian HHX, AAX, and XSR.

Michel's latest kit (2019).
Michel’s latest drumkit (2019).

Recordings and Samples

Here are some recordings of my playing both in the studio and in concerts. The vary from traditional country to rock. They include Lorne Daley, Conspiracy, and Buried on Sunday.

Live Songs and Covers

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.