Shad Wilhelm is the prolific drummer of the Alpine Camp. He took a moment here to introduce himself. Please find his thoughts below:
When did you pick up your first instrument?
Probably my mothers clarinet. I remember finding that as a kid and learning to put it together and make the loudest, most disturbing noise I’d ever heard. “What the…?!” Seemed pretty clear woodwinds weren’t going to be my thingI did get a “kids drum kit” when I was about 4. The drums were tiny and had paper heads. I think they lasted until 8:00 or 9:00 that evening, and any mention of the words “drum set” to my mother were immediately dismissed.
When did music become a part of your life?
Officially, third grade. I began taking piano lessons. Hated it! Lasted three years. Probably should’ve heeded everyone’s advice and kept playing, but I’ll deny that if you print it.
Who are your musical heroes?
Sting, Stewart Copeland, Peter Gabriel, Tori Amos, Vinnie Calaiuta (Sting), Danny Carey and Maynard James Keenan (Tool), George Winston… I could go on and on.
How many bands have you been in and what were they like?
Oh boy! Well, concert, symphonic, jazz, marching and orchestras bands in middle and high school, all on trumpet. Two rock bands on drums senior year, a band in college. Once in L.A. I played with a rock/metal band, co-formed a folksy, female fronted band, got into a hip-hop/alternative band before working with a power rock group that ended up getting a deal with Atlantic. Now…
How many bands are in you now?
I’m working full time with 5 bands (1 new metal, 1 throw-back metal, 1 rock, 1 Americana – heh heh – and most recently a group aptly called baroque metal); and I sit in with a couple of different artists when they have gigs requiring full bands.
Tell everybody about your musical endeavors both past and present.
Serious groups: The hip-hop/alternative band called Jesus Wore Dickies. That gig taught me to play live to a click and introduced me to grooving with a d.j. Very cool group of talented musicians with a cult following out of Long Beach. Next was a band called Operator with actor Johnny Strong on vocals. The band got a deal with Atlantic but was then fired in order to put Johnny with guys already on the label. Now I’m working with a band called Heaven Below that has gotten some attention for a Rush cover that we did (Subdivisions) that we were able to get William Shatner to put his voice on. Pretty cool, really. The singer of that group is now working with Lita Ford and putting the finishing touches on the next record, which will be the first with my playing on it. We have some “special guest” appearances that could make for a pretty interesting release. And of course there is the incomparable, The Alpine Camp, who is poised to take the world by storm.
How did you link up with The Alpine Camp?
That would be your fault – haha
How do you like playing with The Alpine Camp?
Love it! There is a freedom to the format that is so refreshing, and improvisational aspects that really bring back the joy of playing for me. Given all the metal and rock I’m doing allows me to really appreciate the more subtle aspects of Alpine, and the boys are always so very entertaining.
Do you play other instruments?
Tiny bits of piano and trumpet.
Give me a breakdown of your gear.
My full kit is a Yamaha Maple Custom Absolute with a Gibralter rack and mix of Zildjian and Paiste cymbals.
What is the gear that you use on stage?
With Alpine I typically break that down to a 4 or even 3 piece kit – for now anyway.
What is your favorite gear that you don’t use on stage?
If I had my way (i.e., more mullah), I’d have all Paiste Signature Series cymbals. They sound amazing!
What are your favorite venues that you’ve played.
House of Blues Sunset was pretty awesome to play. Really enjoyed The Grove of Anaheim and this amphitheater I played in Texas opening for Sammy Hagar, mostly for the crowds. The more the merrier. Playing the Viper Room never seams to get old either.
What are your favorite venues to experience live music in LA?
The Greek Theatre. LOVE that place! Really, really want to play there one day. Viper Room is awesome as well for seeing a band, because you get that big venue sound in a very intimate setting.
Please include anything else you would like people to know about you.
Eh, I’m just a small town Ohio boy making his way in this crazy, beautiful, twisted, concrete jungle by the sea.
Thanks a lot man, I hope we can catch up soon.
Thank you Shad for your hard work, professionalism and endless talent. We can’t wait for the camping show!