Hi, I’m your session drummer, Dylan Wissing. I’ve been playing drums on records for decades. Here’s my story.
EARLY DAYS: Vaudeville and Vinyl
I started out as a baby banging on pots and pans with wooden spoons, which follows the family tradition – my great-grandfather was a drummer and songwriter in the circus and vaudeville, way back in the day. The music that was around me as a child had a big impact, and set me on the path I’m on today – Hendrix, Stones, Otis Redding, Ellington, Stevie Wonder, Sun Ra, Ohio Players, Pharaoh Sanders, EWF. I still have the old family vinyl, scratched and scribbled on.
LEARNING TO PLAY DRUMS: Southern Indiana and Salsa
I grew up in Bloomington, Indiana, learning how to play drums from session greats Kenny Aronoff and Shawn Pelton (my first experience recording was at Kenny’s home studio when I was 13). A stint in the Jazz Studies Department at Indiana University taught me how music works. Two years playing congas with a Salsa orchestra taught me what a groove is. And a bunch of weird gigs in the backwoods hills of Southern Indiana prepared me for the strange life of a professional musician.
JOHNNY SOCKO: Thirteen Years on the Road
Right after graduating IU with a degree in French (don’t be fooled – I’m a terrible French speaker), I hit the road with my ska/funk/rock band Johnny Socko for thirteen nonstop years. We headlined thousands of shows around the country and opened for the likes of Maceo Parker, the Dave Matthews Band, Phish, Fishbone. Kid Rock opened for us one night. Our music was on the college charts, heard by millions as the theme to the “Bubba the Love Sponge” show. I experienced just about everything you can imagine with that group, bad and good.
MOVE TO NYC: Subways and Airplanes
In 2003 I moved to Hoboken, New Jersey (one subway stop from Manhattan) to start the next phase. Worked with so many different artists that I can’t keep track of them any more. Lots of tours across the US and Europe – Brooklyn Indie with Skidmore Fountain, British Folk with Julia Jones and the BritBus Tour, Electro Pop with Setting Sun and Quitzow, Blues and Soul with Kirsten Thien. All kinds of crazy stuff – thirty hours of band rehearsal on one song for a billionaire’s private party. Drum duet with a tap dancer from Bring in ‘da Noise while the twins from Antiques Roadshow emceed. Playing “Friends in Low Places” as the writer sang with the band.
INDIE STUDIO DRUMMER: Ken Lewis and the Wall of Snares
Big changes in how music is recorded and sold were well underway when I first moved to NYC. I was fortunate to work as session drummer for one of the leading figures in that change, mega platinum-selling producer/mixer/musician Ken Lewis. Recording with Ken for major label and independent artists taught me an enormous amount about building up a huge range of feels, sounds and styles (hence the snare drum obsession). And the fact that recording sessions can now happen between any two locations in the world with an Internet connection was the impetus to start Indie Studio Drummer.
TRIPLE COLOSSAL STUDIOS: Hurricanes and Hit Records
In 2008 the first location of Triple Colossal Studios opened in Hoboken. The space was rough, raw, industrial, awesome. I cut tracks for Watch the Throne by Kanye and Jay Z there. Unfortunately, the studio was also directly in the path of Hurricane Irene, which flooded the place with three feet of water. Insurance allowed us to build the bigger, better, badder, higher elevation space we’re in today (musicians, insure your gear!).
Tracks for Kanye’s Grammy-nominated, platinum selling Yeezus and Eminem’s gold-selling ShadyXV came from here, as well as tons of tracks for independent artists, publishing houses, and ad agencies. It’s a great space to work and record drums, and I finally have a home for this mountain of gear I’ve accumulated over the years.
With Indie Studio Drummer, I bring decades of experience in recording and performing to YOUR tracks, using a world-class collection of modern and vintage instruments and recording gear. I look forward to making music with you!