Getting to Know Drummer Music Director Michael Holowatch

Michael Holowatch:  The Drummer, The Producer, The Music Director

1. When and why did you start playing? 

I started playing as soon as I could pick up sticks and find things that made sound when I hit them with sticks.

2. Which instruments do you play? 

I play Drums, Percussion primarily. I also sing and play a little Piano.  My Drums are custom made for me by Bone Custom Drums (EU) and my Cymbals are Sabian.  The ONLY Sticks and Heads I use are Vater and Remo respectively.

3. What was the first tune(s) you learned?

Hall and Oats records

4. Which famous musicians do you admire?

Steve Jordan … Why?  Because he can do it all, drummer (Keith Richards/John Mayer), producer(Alicia Keys), music director(Grammys), songwriter(The Verbs)…  and best of all he has amazing chops and can solo with the best of them, but he knows better than anyone on the planet how to play exactly what’s needed to make the SONG great.

5. What’s your favorite era of music? 

60’s and 70’s Funk/Soul/RnB

6. Cake, Pie or Ice Cream? 

yes please!

7. Favorite non Network Show? 

The Daily Show

8. Best undiscovered band? 

Haiku Kabuki … A little group Veronica Puleo and I started.  Stay Tuned!

9. Describe your first instrument.

Basic, cheap student model steele snare drum with stand practice pad and case.  It had no name brand just a sticker that read CB-700, I assume that’s some sort of stock number.

10. Other instruments

Over the last 30 years I have accumulated 6 drum sets 20 snare drums and almost 100 cymbals as well as various hand percussion from all over the world,  way too many to discuss at detail.  Yamaha / Gretsch / Zildjian / Sabian / Slingerland / Vintage Ludwig

11. Were you influenced by old records & tapes? Which ones?

Frank Zappa / Joe’s Garage

He Could Go On Naming His Favorite Musicians For Days!

12. Who are your favorite musicians?

Prince, Miles Davis, Frank Zappa, Ron Carter, Tony Williams,  Elvin Jones, Art Bakey, Vinnie Colaiuta,  Stevie Wonder, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Herbie Hancock, Muddy Watters, John Coltrane, Grant Green, Steve Gadd, Flea, Mike Patton, Les Claypool, Shawn Pelton, Bruno Mars, Aretha Franklin, Maceo Parker, Bob Marley,  Sly Stone,  I could go on for days!!!!

13. Favorite Groups?

The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, R.E.M. The Roots, Radiohead, Nirvana, The Melvins, A Tribe Called Quest, Faith no More, Pearl Jam, Primus, The Zac Brown Band, I haven’t even begun to scratch the surface here either,  again,  DAYS!

14. Favorite CD’s?

Frank Zappa – Joe’s Garage,  John Coltrane – Interstellar Space,  anything by James Brown, P-Funk or The Roots,  Hoses of the Holy – Led Zeppelin,  Michael Jackson – Thriller,  Metallica – Ride the Lightning, Jane’s Addiction – Ritual de lo Habitual,  Nine Inch Nails – Pretty Hate Machine, The Blues Brothers Briefcase full of Blues,  Bob Marley Exodus,  too many to recall

Don’t Get Nervous … Get Prepared!

15. How do you handle mistakes during a performance?

Recover and smile!

16. Do you get nervous before a performance or a competition? 

No … because I’m always prepared and well rehearsed.

17. What advice would you give to beginners who are nervous?

Breathe … Rehearse/Practice … Solid preparation will chase away your fears.

18. Do you read music?  


19. How often and for how long do you practice?

At least 2 hours per day.

20. What do you practice – exercises, new tunes, hard tunes, etc.?

Yes, all of the above.

21. How do you balance your music with other obligations – mate, children, job?

Music is all of those things to me so it’s easy to balance.

22. Why do you like playing weddings?

Because there’s a different kind of satisfaction when you entertain a crowd at an event like a wedding. It’s special because it’s two families gathering to celebrate and there’s a camaraderie that just doesn’t exist at any other event.

23. Describe the perfect wedding set list.

Depending on the couples’ taste each set list will be different.  That being said, every set list should have a flow to it and peak at the end of the night with a final song that truly represents that specific couple.

24. Favorite Venue for to play Live Music Entertainment?

The Ebell Theatre Los Angeles,  The Stone Pony Asbury Park NJ, The Four Seasons Westlake Village,  Vibiana Los Angeles,  Malibu Rocky Oaks Estates,  The Mint L.A., Hotel Cafe L.A., House of Blues L.A.,  The Wiskey a Go-Go L.A. The London Forum,  The Jazz Cafe London,

25. Dream Gig?

Tom Petty, Bruce Springsteen

26. Name: Michael Holowatch

27. Website:

28. Training:

Early Private Lessons with:  Pat O’Donnel, Rick Dior, Tom Nichols and Jack Winters.

Studied Classical Percussion at William Paterson with Ray Des Roches

More recent private lessons with:  Ralph Humphries

29. Favorite place for breakfast – 

Granville, Studio City

30. Favorite LA venue to hear Live Music Entertainment?  

The Wiltern Theatre, The Mint, Hotel Cafe,  The Palladium, Hollywood Bowl

31. Why do you enjoy being a Replicas artist?

One of the most amazing things a musician does is communicate with other musicians in a beautiful language that has a positive lasting effect on everyone engaged.  Playing with many different musicians is one of the best ways we can grow as musicians and as humans.  I enjoy playing with The Replicas because it allows me the opportunity to play with some of the best musicians and coolest people I have ever encountered in my many years playing around to world.  Their attention to detail when it comes to honing their craft is as good as it gets,  and the personalities that keep us all smiling and having a good time are the glue that keeps us all together, on stage or in the studio rehearsing or recording.  They truly are like a second family for me and I love and appreciate every one of them.

If you would like to hear Mike play in person then call us at: 323.691.3883 / 908.420.5607

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