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Artist Spotlight: MICHAEL MILEY # RIVAL SONS



If you put on a pair of headphones and listen to Michael Miley and his band Rival Sons, you will immediately appreciate this group of very talented musicians who have captured the true spirit of yesterday’s classic rock sound. Listen to any of Rival Sons tunes and you will hear the influence of many legendary classic and garage rock bands whose music has been on the air for over four decades.

Miley’s passion for the drums started at the age of 4 after hearing Phil Collin’s thunderous drum fill in “In the Air Tonight”. Michael’s father noticed his son’s interest in the drums so he taught him how to play Ndugu Chancler’s hypnotic drum groove on “Billy Jean”. When Miley began taking drum lessons, his teacher asked him what songs he liked and wanted to learn. Miley states, “When I said, 'Rosanna' and 'Wrapped Around Your Finger' my teacher said that it might be a bit lofty and far-fetched, but he wrote them down for me, nonetheless, after my unrelenting pleas. Stewart and Jeff hit my ears hard early on; thank God.”

Give us a bit of history on your previous musical endeavors.
I've been fortunate to work with a lot of heavyweights; especially on percussion. Santana, Ricky Martin, and Mickey Hart. I taught the Brazilian Samba Band at my Alma Mater California State University, Long Beach for 4 years. After college I signed a record deal with Bird3. Then I worked and recorded with Veruca Salt, Kelly Clarkson, Joe Firstman, Tony Lucca, Josh Kelly, and did a 5-year stint as the Carson Daly House Band drummer on NBC late night ("Last Call with Carson Daly").

What are your main influences in drumming & music?
Anything Jeff Porcaro, Elvin, Tony, Roy Haynes, Roy Burns, Blakey, Buddy, and Vinnie. Keith Moon, John Bonham, and Mitch Mitchell are essential to rock and roll. Keith Carlock is one of my current favs; talk about feel! Jazz, Funk, Blues, Motown, and Soul music are where I'm always coming from. Miles, Coltrane, Dexter Gordon, Bud Powell, Thelonius Monk. The Who might be my favorite rock band. And The Beatles are my favorite band of all time.

What’s your main advice to up-&coming drummers?
I always tell my students to LISTEN. Listen to anything and everything. Listen to how different guys groove and phrase within the same genre. In college, I studied Jazz like mad. I studied everyone's ride cymbal patterns - got crazy with it. You begin to hear the differences; similar to accents within the same language. The more you digest multiple approaches in multiple genres, the more well-rounded you'll be. Also, song structure will become second nature by osmosis; and, as drummers, that's what we're essentially here for: playing songs!



What is your current Paiste set up? Why does your current set up work so well in your current musical situation?
I love the 2002 Wild Crashes (18" and 19"). Since I don't play a ride cymbal (with Rival Sons), the bells are a big necessity for me to get articulated cymbal tones. I also play the 2002 Sound Edge hats (15"); crisp and beefy. Rival Sons grooves are dirty, sloppy, but precise, so I need that crunch and beef, which the Sound Edges provide. I also have a set of Giant Beats that I use in the studio, which are like warm butter timbre and record multiple styles extremely well; they're VERY versatile. And NEVER has a producer not asked about them; two that l know of, bought a set!

What has been your overall experience with Paiste?
The Paiste family is part of my first real endorsement experience. I've been with them since 2005 and have always been treated well and as priority; even as a newbie. In these 8 years, I might have cracked 3 cymbals; and I hit pretty hard. And, by far, best ping and shimmer in the business.



CLOSE UP QUESTIONS
First Drumkit: 9 years old, CB 700 w Schimitar cymbals.
First Paiste Cymbals: a vintage 22" 602 medium (bought used from Paiste artist Mark Romans then the first Giant Beat re-issues when they came out.
Heros: Bono and my mom
Hobbies: Rally cars, surfing, farming, and raising earthworms
Fav Movie: Braveheart and Idiocracy
Fav Food: Belgian Beer with Pizza Marguerite
Top 3 songs in my IPod?
1) Rachmaninov, Piano Concerto No. 3
2) Miles - Files de Kilimanjaro
3) Zappa - Shut Up and Play Yer Guitar

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