I was born on the 17th of June, 1984 in Jihlava, Czech Republic, but my origins are from the town of Hronov in the district of Náchod. I grew up in Hronov, spent my entire childhood and started my drumming career there. I come from a musical family. My father plays the French horn. He teaches wind instruments at the elementary art school in Hronov and he leads the school brass band. My sister also plays the horn, in the Karlovy Vary Symphony Orchestra. My mother worked as a music and art teacher at the elementary school of Žďárky (village near Hronov). I have felt an affinity for music since I was born. I was destined to become a drummer. I have been drumming on pillows, pots and lids since I was a small boy. 🙂
My first musical instrument was not the drums but the piano. I got permission to learn how to play drums when I was ten. I was fascinated by drums even as a small boy. When an orchestra or band played in our area, I had to stand near the drummer and watch him play. So, the choice to play the drums was obvious for me. Because my father leads and conducts the orchestra it was natural that my music career started there. Playing orchestral, film and swing tunes was a good start for me. It was a great way to gain experience and I am grateful for that till now. My father would take me as a stand-in drummer for his band that played at balls, weddings, parties, etc. Because of that I tried to play various music styles early in my life. We used to play from 8 pm until maybe two in the morning and because I was still a small kid I was nearly sleeping behind my drums. 🙂 I studied with various drum teachers from the vicinity of Hronov throughout my musical beginnings.
My teacher Miroslav Dewat from the elementary art school in Úpice ,Czech Republic is worth mentioning. I studied with him from the age of 12 to 15. At this age I started listening to bands like Metallica, Megadeth, Slayer, Death, Sepultura, Ozzy Osbourne, Guns’n’Roses and many similar metal and rock bands. I admired the technique of drummers such as Lars Ulrich, Nick Menza, Dave Lombardo and Gene Hoglan. I learned to play their rhythms and breaks. I collected all the metal magazines that were published in our country at the time. I longed to play something similar of course. After jamming with my guitarist friends and playing covers of Metallica or Megadeth I was asked to join the band INVASION TO PRIVACY from Hronov. With this band I was in a recording studio for the first time at the age of 13. After that, we recorded 2 demos in Dodo Doležal’s studio “Hacienda” in 2 years. I played my first rock gigs with this band. My clear vision to become professional drummer was not stopped even by the divorce of my parents who continued to support me. Around that time, I got the urge to play fast technical metal similar to my favourite band Death’s style. I founded a band together with my like-minded guitarist friend and called it ECLIPSE OF SHADOWS. We tried to compose songs in a similar vein. We managed to record a demo and play a few gigs.
When I was 15 I went to study at the conservatory in Prague. My musical development was enriched by jazz, funk, fusion, pop and many other styles. I followed drummers such as Dennis Chambers, Gary Novak, Omar Hakim and Dave Weckl. I attended their concerts, and I was inspired by them. I was practicing around ten hours a day. I was consumed by playing the drums and I put it above everything else. I always had a strong will to become a good and successful drummer and I have done my maximum. I gorged on drumming magazines, went to concerts of great musicians, listened to music of various genres and tried to learn from all of this. I used to wake up at six in the morning, arrive in the rehearsal room at seven and practice until nine o’clock in the evening when the rehearsal rooms closed. You have approximately three to four hours of lessons at the conservatory, so you have quite a lot of time to practice your instrument and it is up to you how you spend this time. I spent it practicing. I even considered dropping out of the school for one year and practicing one year non-stop at home. My parents did not allow it, so I finished my studies. 🙂 It was a time of extreme commitment and effort. Apart from playing the drums, I also had to spend some time practicing melodic percussion instruments such as the vibraphone, xylophone, marimba and timpani, because the conservatory I studied at is focused on classical music. I did not pass on playing in a symphony orchestra, for example the triangle. 🙂 I played in various bands in between. JUDAS PRIEST REVIVAL, DEKLARACE X or MAYDAY for example. I returned to the previously mentioned studio “Hacienda” with the Czech death metal band TORTHARRY. We recorded an album titled “White” and I played several gigs with them as a guest drummer. Unfortunately, I encountered problems with tendons and muscles in my arms as a result of the huge strain at that time.
Everyday 10-hour drum practices took their toll in the form of chronic pain in my wrists and both forearms. I had a few shorter resting periods without drumming. But in the end, I had to go on a half-year medical break. I underwent medical and alternative treatments and rehabilitation. Despite these problems I continued my studies and after four years I graduated from the Prague State Conservatory. I had to drum with bandages on my forearms for ten years from when the pain started. This is the reason why I am always wearing long sleeves in photos from this period, to hide the bandages.
All those problems with my arms hit me quite hard and I can say that they still affect me to this day. I was struck with psychological issues that manifested themselves in full force only after a few years. All the pressure, fear for health, non-stop worrying, problems from childhood… It all resulted in extreme sleep problems, anxiety, burnout and panic attacks. I have been fighting my mental problems since 2012. Only my closest friends and family were aware of this. Everybody who knows me as a smiling person full of energy would not think that most nights before gigs were sleepless, stressful and anxious for me. Sleepless nights were the worst. I was even thinking that I will end my career. I did not let it show at concerts, I was always professional and gave my best to the audience. But with all this pressure my problems just got worse. I was not able to sleep at all before many major and important events so I got depressed and I was on the brink of a nervous breakdown. Instead of feeling happy from all the beautiful concerts I was anxious. I felt negative energy and fear. I had my ups and downs and unfortunately my private life, which I wanted to finally start living besides drumming, suffered as well. I tried and continue to try to solve all this mess with the help of medical and alternative care. With relief I can say that thanks to quality treatment everything is getting better now. I love music and playing drums, I have always fought for it and I always will!
I was eighteen after the medical break and I started to play with various bands again. They included JESUS OM, jazz RED SOX TRIO, BON JOVI REVIVAL, PETR POLÁČEK & ILUZE, singer VICTORIA, a six-month engagement with the first Czech Superstar ANETA LANGEROVÁ and many others. I was involved as a guest musician or for recording the drums. An interesting experience was my job with a circus band “V CIRKUSE” in Prague in the Letná district. I have very fond memories of accompanying clowns, elephants, horses and lions. 🙂
At the age of nineteen I managed to win an audition for the revived legendary Czech band B.S.P. (Balage, Střihavka, Pavlíček). I went on several successful tours with them and we played at all the big Czech music festivals. This era was the gateway to becoming a professional musician for me. I was gathering experience amongst the best on the music scene. At that time, I started to play my drum solos during our performances; since then these solos have been included in the vast majority of setlists and this trend continues with all the bands I work with. A drum solo has become a fundamental part of each gig I play. The highlight of my time with B.S.P. was recording a DVD titled “Live in Retro Music Hall” in November 2006. With the singer, Kamil Střihavka, and his band LEADERS! I went on to play the drums with them for seven years. I recorded the album “365” with him and I have played hundreds of concerts with this band.
I played with Michal Pavlíček’s trio until 2019. Many interesting guests performed with us, whether they were musicians, singers or orchestras. Michal Pavlíček is a Czech legend and a world class guitarist in my opinion. I recorded a triple album titled “Srdeční záležitosti” with him in 2010. One of the most beautiful experiences was playing an anniversary concert with Michal Pavlíček and a symphonic orchestra and other outstanding guests at the Prague Sazka Arena (currently called the O2 Arena). The audio recordings received platinum sales and the DVD was awarded “DVD of the year 2006” at the “Anděl” Music Awards. Also, it is worth mentioning a sold-out concert at the Prague Congress Centrum named “Symfonické rockování”. It was a special event for me because the symphonic orchestra of the Prague State Conservatory participated – the same conservatory where I studied for six years. My collaboration with Michal Pavlíček developed not only on the concert stage, but also by performing in his projects, such as recording drum parts for scenic music, performing in the musical DÁMA S KAMÉLIEMI in 2008 and recording the album called “Sociální síť” released in 2015. The Album was a joint project of Richard Müller, Michal Pavlíček and Michal Horáček. I also played a few times with his band PRAŽSKÝ VÝBĚR. In February 2016 I played with the legendary Czech band STROMBOLI on their tour. In the same year I also played the entire three-hour anniversary concert of Michal Pavlíček called “Pět tuctů Čombeho” for his 60th birthday in the “Forum Karlín” hall in Prague which I consider a highlight of our collaboration. This concert is one of my greatest experiences as a drummer thanks to its programme, amazing guests, fantastic musicians and unique atmosphere. The concert was recorded by Czech Television and it was also released on CD. The last album recorded with Michal Pavlíček was named “Pošli to tam!” in 2019. I had to quit playing concerts with Michal Pavlíček’s trio due to time constraints in 2018. I have to admit that I miss the dynamic, emotional and inventive drumming with him, but due to my other projects it was no longer possible to continue. Michal Pavlíček and I remain good friends.
I have kept on meeting with Michal Pavlíček and Kamil Střihavka on stage with the band SUPERGROUP.CZ. This band was formed in 2013 based on the votes of readers of the Rock & Pop magazine and listeners of the Beat radio. For one month, the readers and listeners voted for their favourite drummer, next month for the singer, then for the guitarist, etc. Final members of the band were Kamil Střihavka as the singer, Michal Pavlíček as the guitarist, Roman Dragoun as the keyboard player, Vladimír “Guma” Kulhánek as the bass player, Jan Hrubý as the violinist and me as the drummer. All of my band mates are Czech music icons. After a successful tour, we occasionally continue to play music festivals and headline concerts. The repertoire of this band is a mixture of the individual hits of its members and covers of world class bands completed with our own arrangements and instrumental parts. I get euphoric chills drumming with these legends, it is always a fantastic experience and great fun.
Since 2009 I have been a member of the metal band DYMYTRY. Originally, I intended to commit to a one-off contract for their debut album “Neser” and a stand-in at a few gigs. Instead, I have become a permanent member. We have already recorded several albums, made lots of music videos, released a DVD from a joint tour with Czech metal legends ARAKAIN, and our own double DVD “Živě 2015” which was recorded on our first big headline tour. I play nearly one hundred gigs per year with DYMYTRY. We have an incredible fan base in the Czech Republic which we call “The Dymytry Family”. We released an EP “United We Stand” in 2017 which is sung in English. DYMYTRY had sung exclusively in Czech before. The EP was followed by a successful tour with the German band HÄMATOM and sold-out headline indoor concerts in the Czech Republic called Monstrum. A DVD and a book were made based on the Prague Monstrum show and released in 2018. My diary fills up with gigs very quickly especially during the festival season. Two or three concerts in one day are no exception during summer. My personal record is four gigs in one day which has already happened twice, but it is really tough and at the edge of physical and mental possibilities… The stress from travelling to concerts, complicated logistics, great responsibility and extreme physical exertion… it did not help my mental state. It was one of the reasons why I quit a lot of my music side projects, so I can really focus on the things I want to put all my energy into. In 2019, Dymytry’s album “Revolter” was produced by a renowned German producer Kristian “Kohle” Kohlmannslehner. The Album went platinum and was supported by an indoor tour. Further concert activities were hit by the Covid-19 pandemic. We still played several headline open air concerts called “Monster Meeting” in this period and two live streams during the lockdowns. “Monster Meeting” concerts continued from June 2021, after another lockdown. At the same time, we were preparing our first album fully in English. Interestingly, our singer Protheus did not participate in this project. He expressed his wish not to be part of DYMYTRY’s “foreign missions”. He preferred to concentrate only on the Czech music scene and his solo activities. That is why a “worldwide” DYMYTRY line-up was formed with the German singer of Croatian origin Alen Ljubic. The first English album was released in January 2022 under the German label AFM titled “Revolt”. In the autumn of 2021, I went to the German recording studio Kohlekeller, i.e. directly to the headquarters of our producer Kristian Kohl Kohlmannslehner, to record drums for our next Czech album. The album “Pharmageddon” was released in February 2022 and was supported by a successful spring tour. This tour was followed by foreign concerts to support the album “Revolt”, along with the Swedish band Thundermother and live shows continued at summer festivals in the Czech Republic. In November 2022, we completed a European tour with the Finnish band Lordi. We played 21 concerts in Spain, France, Switzerland and Germany. We visited places where we had not been before so we gained a lot of new fans abroad. After this busy travelling month, we immediately moved on to the “Pharmageddon Tour” indoor concerts in the Czech Republic which met with a great response, and during the tour we also announced the biggest concert in Dymytry’s history – 24th November 2023 in Prague’s O2 Arena.
In 2011, Václav Noid Bárta, guitarist from Dymytry, and I founded a band called NOID. The album “Rány” was released in 2012. However, after some time the band split up so that Václav Noid Bárta could devote his time fully to his musical, solo, composing and other activities. I have continued to work with him on a lot of projects though. For example, he invited the entire Dymytry line-up to participate in the recording of a single and music video for top Czech singer and celebrity Eva Burešová’s piece “Žena z oceli”.
You may have noticed me in the ELEISON band between 2008 and 2011. With the guitarist of this band, René Rypar (Portless, ex-Support Lesbiens) we founded a project called THE FUSE together with singer Michal Skořepa and bassist Marek Bero. We recorded a three-song demo under this name.
Michal Skořepa and I realized we were on the same musical wavelength at the time and it spontaneously inspired us to start new band. Michal also took up the guitar and while jamming together our first compositions and ideas for our band STROY were created incredibly quickly. We added bassist Marek Bero and recorded the singles “Forcing the Earth” in 2012 and “Down to the Mountain” in 2013. Marek later decided to move to London. After several rehearsals with other bassists, we invited Jakub Antl as our new bass player and member of STROY. You can see him in a music video for our second single “Down to The Mountain”. Together we recorded and released our debut album “Adam Reborn” in 2014. This album became the album of the year on some music servers in the Czech Republic. The video clip “Adam Reborn” became the video of the year and the band STROY became the discovery of the year at national music awards. In 2015, we placed third among bands from around the world at the international GBOB competition in Oslo, Norway. After this success we moved to the recording studio “11AD” in Los Angeles, where we recorded several songs with producer Alain Johannes (Soundgarden, Queens Of The Stone Age, Chris Cornell, Eleven, etc.). We composed and recorded four songs in one week. Those songs we released on an EP called “Like It Or Not”. I decided to leave the band in the beginning of 2017, because of my tight time schedule and personal problems. Two years later the band split up.
In 2014 I accepted an offer to play drums in the band of the famous Czech singer Daniel Landa. I did the indoor “Žito Tour” with him. I played at his “Velekoncert” (Grand Concert) for 50.000 people in Prague and recorded the album “Žito” in 2015. I met with guitarist Tomáš Vartecký again in Dan Landa’s band; in the past I had performed with him once at the WANASTOVI VJECY concert (a legendary Czech rock band).
I was a member of the prog-power metal project EPYSODE of Belgian composer and guitarist Samuel Arkan for a while. Many guests from the world metal scene appear on the albums of this band, e.g. from bands Evergrey, Pain of Salvation, Symphony X or Triosphere. This collaboration resulted in my drumming video “Epysode III”.
I played several concerts with guitarist Gus G.’s solo band (ex-Ozzy Osbourne, Firewind) as part of his European tour to support the album “Fearless” in 2018. However, this period was affected by my deteriorating health problems which led to leaving the band.
In addition to playing with bands, I also performed at music clinics and seminars. I created an instrumental project called the WEIRD EXPERIMENT!? with bassist Marek Bero Haruštiak in the past. I organized seminars with bassist Jaryn Janek (ex-Krucipusk, Kamil Střihavka, …) and guitarist Michal Skořepa for example. An unusual meeting with bassist Reggie Worthy (ex-Ike&Tina Turner) took place, when we jammed together several times as a part of his workshops held in Prague.
I started calling my drumming workshops and shows DRUMMING SYNDROME in 2012. In addition to classic seminars there are also concert versions. I have already played several tours and released the Drumming Syndrome DVD in 2012. The set list for these drumming shows consists of songs composed directly for this project, also of songs of my bands in instrumental versions, drum solos, as well as talking about my musical career, drums, my equipment and my experiences. I also continuously record new drumming videos for my YouTube channel. My two Slipknot covers have become particularly popular on the internet. This is the reason why you can often hear them at my Drumming Syndrome concerts. I published my drum videos “Truth Be Told” and “Dymytry Medley” on YouTube in 2016, which were followed by shooting many more videos, such as the movie soundtrack “300 Rise of an Empire”, “Sherlock Holmes” or “Slumdog Millionaire” in my drum arrangements.
My show at the Seoul drum festival 2017 in South Korea was based on drumming short samples of famous metal bands like Korn, Slipknot, Metallica, Disturbed, etc. The show was completed with drum breaks and solos. This performance has had a significant impact on the future setlist of my Drumming Syndrome concerts where I kept adding famous rock, metal and pop songs. The next tour of my one-man drumming show was called “Drums’n’Rock’n’Metal hits Tour”. I presented a special programme divided into two parts which included uniquely arranged rock and metal hits, drum solos, film soundtracks, unplugged parts and diversions into other musical genres.
In summer I move the Drumming Syndrome from theatres and clubs to outdoor stages, where the length of my solo performance stretches up to two and a half hours. I still tour various venues with this programme. I try to fit all these Drumming Syndrome shows, solo concerts, festival performances and other special events into my diary which is mostly filled with Dymytry shows.
In 2021 I recorded a 15-minute long Drumming Syndrome video called “Nu Metal Medley”. As the title suggests, I play my favourite Nu-metal songs from bands like Limp Bizkit, P.O.D., Linkin Park or Slipknot which I adapted and completed with drum improvisations and solos.
I play at major drum festivals all over the world. I would like to point out the “DRUMMERSDAY” festival in Holland, where I performed alongside leading Dutch and Belgian drummers in 2010 or “LA RIOJA DRUMMING FESTIVAL 2011” in Spain, where drum stars such as Ray Luzier (Korn), Chris Adler (Lamb of God), Chris Coleman (Prince), Tommy Aldridge (ex-Ozzy Osbourne and Whitesnake) or Brendan Buckley (Shakira) played. In 2012 I participated in the “MEIL DRUM FESTIVAL” in Germany where Matt Halpern, Benny Greb and J.P.Bouvet performed. In 2014 I took part at the music fair “MUSIC ITALY SHOW”. I attended the Meinl Drum Festival again in 2016, at that time it took place in Warsaw, Poland; I consider the 30-minute performance at the “Roma Theater” one of my greatest. A week earlier I performed at the Adams Drumworld Festival in the Netherlands, where I had the honour of playing just before one of my biggest drumming idols Dave Weckl. Another amazing experience was my performance at the Seoul Drum Festival in 2017 in South Korea. The reception from local fans during and after the show was fantastic, the stage was enormous, it was a great event overall. In the same year, I presented my drumming programme at the Namm/Musikmesse Russia music fair in Moscow, where I played three shows during the three-day event. Other drumming festivals with my participation include the Drumfest Slovakia and the Czech Drumming Festival in Vysoké Mýto. Soon after the Meinl drum festival in Warsaw I brought my Drumming Syndrome Tour to Poland with the support of Meinl Cymbals.
On October 30, 2022, I played Poland again – this time at the big Silesia Drum Festival in Chorzów. I met the world’s top drummers there and I had the honour of playing alongside drummers such as Chris Coleman, Virgil Donati, Kaz Rodriguez and Wiktoria Bialic.
I’d had a tough week behind me and a trip straight to Madrid ahead of me plus a subsequent month-long European tour with Dymytry. During my forty-five-minute set, I didn’t feel at my best physically and mentally, but I tried to put as much energy into my playing as possible and push myself to the limit of my physical capabilities. I really appreciate the feedback I received from other drummers and fans, despite my great exhaustion, which I believe was not recognizable owing to my great self-denial and effort… Because of that, unfortunately, my feelings about playing the set were not so good and I did not enjoy drumming as much as I wanted to. However, the response and success at this festival was another wonderful experience and made my name more visible in the drumming world.
In 2021 I recorded the Drumming Syndrome performance for Seoul Drum festival 2021, which was held online due to the Covid-19 lockdown and restrictions. I prepared a new programme for a 20-minute video which included drum solos and covers of songs by Metallica, Slayer, Meshuggah, Linkin Park, Def Leppard and more.
The years 2020 and 2021 were affected by Covid-19 and related lockdowns and concert bans. This situation motivated me to shoot various videos, both from the studio and the rehearsal room and I became more active on Facebook and Instagram. I created a series of videos called the “Drum Cave Videos”, where I shoot covers using studio-recorded drum sound and one or maximum two static cameras. A series of videos called the “Drum Cave Phone Shootings videos” was recorded as well, where I play the newest releases of my favourite bands using just my phone in the rehearsal room.
During this period I founded a joint project with Slovak guitarist and producer Brian Bajak, which started with the single “After The Rain” in 2020. The music video for this song was adapted into a purely drum version as well. We released the song “Lava Lake” in 2021 and the songs “By The Sea” and “Osiris Cut Into Pieces” in the second half of 2022. The videos were also made into drum versions, and we are gradually preparing a whole album. The album release is planned for 2023. Brian will perform as a guest at my Drumming Syndrome shows from time to time where we will play our songs live.
Meinl Cymbals asked me to record a Christmas drumming video in 2020. The recording of “Last Christmas” was made, and I did not abandon this idea even in 2021, when I recorded the song “Home Alone”. I think this could become something of a new Christmas tradition, should I continue?
The year 2022 is special for my Drumming Syndrome project. It is exactly ten years since the first Drumming Syndrome DVD release, which was an important milestone in my career. There were plenty of events in those ten years, both in my drumming and private life. The first celebration of my drumming anniversary is the “Anniversary Drum Solo” video made in January 2022. The second major event was a Drumming Syndrome concert in my home town of Hronov, which took place on 3rd August 2022 in the Alois Jirásek Park. It was also exactly ten years since I played this venue for the last time, at the Drumming Syndrome DVD launch party with lots of guests such as Václav Noid Bárta, Dymytry or Stroy. This time I invited my Dad’s Youth Brass Band; I played with my Dad after more than twenty years. This performance has become truly unforgettable for me. It was an amazing evening with a beautiful atmosphere… Currently I am planning to release another Drumming Syndrome DVD. You can expect lots of videos and also extensive reading in which I will summarize not only the past ten years but my whole career so far. I am working on it!
The Drumming Syndrome merchandising has evolved and expanded over the years. I consider it an addition to my DS brand, which I can support and make more visible this way. It started with the production of five t-shirts, but today I try to come up with different designs and innovative types of goods with the help of graphic designers. You can sample a Drumming Syndrome coffee, wear a Drumming Syndrome sweatshirt and hold my signature drumsticks. By purchasing these items you are supporting my drumming activities, filming of videos and above all you are making my Drumming Syndrome passion more visible. Drumming Syndrome is my lifestyle which you can share with me this way. Thank you for that!
Regarding my educational activities: From the beginning of my studies at the conservatory, I started to teach drums privately and thus I gained the opportunity to pass my experience to others. From 2012 to 2017 I worked as a teacher at the International Conservatory in Prague. I established a drum school called the “DS Drum School” in 2020, which works both for those interested in single consultations and for regular students. However, my concert and drumming activities are currently very time consuming and there is little time left for teaching. So I teach sporadically. As part of my teaching programme I also organize seminars at music schools.
A little bit from my private life… I got married in 2018 and my son Adam was born on 24th April 2019. We often drum together and play around the rehearsal room. His drumming videos are getting more popular than mine. Haha