Following a failed trombone audition in middle school, I moved over to drums like my mother had suggested (her brother a drummer himself). Ever since I have not been able to put down the sticks.
Throughout my entire life drums have always been there. I was in jazz, concert, symphony, pep, marching, and recreational bands during my entire time in school. I was able to take the knowledge I had learned and apply it to my favorite genre: heavy metal and hard rock.
In 2011 I joined the band American Me (Rise Records) after pursuing several other projects that were successful....but didn't get where I needed to be. Directly after joining I was thrust into a campaign for a third full length album, European tour, national tour, and endless local shows. While staying active in that band (touring/releasing albums) I was able to form three other bands locally in Portland, Oregon: Sustainer, True Form, and Sacrificer. I've been lucky to be a part of a special Soundgarden tribute release as well that raised money for Suicide Awareness in the wake of Chris Cornell passing.
Not only do I drum but I also set up shows/manage/book/promote/generate media for nearly all my projects. If you visit those pages, chances are you're looking at something I designed.
My projects have been featured on MetalSucks.net, thePRP.com, Lambgoat.com, Alternative Press and several other news outlets.
My big passion now is Drumcan....my personal drum brand where I can cover songs, build an audience, and make myself a personal name with all the bands I am in.
Thank you so much for taking a look. I am available for session work, touring gigs, advice, and anything in between.
I am also endorsed by Diemond Star sticks and use them exclusively.
REVIEW: AMERICAN ME – III  – New-Transcendence
A “return to form,” for many bands, is both a blessing and curse–especially after returning from the brink of a breakup or while shaking the sleep of a deep hiatus. While being able to reestablish the same sound an artist may have worked hard to establish on past releases is promising, it’s understandable that at the same time, a lack of progression or an interruption in the natural pattern of advancement can be frustrating–for both the artist and the listener. American Me’s III finds itself in the midst of this quandary. While it picks up right where the band’s previous efforts left off, packed with crushing heaviness and contagiously catchy beatdown, there is little tangibly new aspects to the dynamic American Me have already established and used nearly to death.
At it’s core, III is an anvil-like juggernaut of metallic hardcore and beatdown. Fueled by political distrust and misanthropy, American Me have created a steam-roller of a release which, once it gets started, cannot be stopped. At the heart of the album, the drums maintain a heavy, deep pounding laden with furiously fast fills and drop-of-a-dime dives into skull-collapsing breakdowns. The heavy, low end provided by the drums is dog-piled upon by both guitars and bass work, which rarely rises from the subterranean depths at which they operate. All three of these elements combine to create a viciously heavy and in-your-face beatdown feel, with just enough technicality behind the drums and just enough occasional groove in the guitars to provide a metallic feel. While the instrumentation is a solid, driving factor, American Me’s real power comes from the visceral vocals and their volatile lyrics.
American Me use their vocals and lyrics to paint misanthropic, sociopathic and politically fueled images across their violent, devastating instrumentation. “Submissioner,” III’s second single featuring The Acacia Strain and Shut In’s Vincent Bennett is a thriving display of such an endeavor. While the lyrics are not fundamentally poetic, they are a well-organized and straightforward carrier for the hate and strife American Me aim to deliver. “Son of a Machine Gun pt. III” and “Narcota Night Life” are two more short, intense bursts of vocally-driven anger and anguish which nicely summarize III’s purpose as a whole: a short, furious, to-the-point skull-crusher of an album which punishes the listener before they can even realize what it is that hit them.
While III has a simple goal, and achieves it readily, it isn’t without it’s shortcomings–the most notable of which being just that. It’s an incredibly brief album. While it’s short length prevents the onset of the ever-popular plague of monotony, the incredible number of supporting vocalists and immense variation of track lengths already serves as an apt deterrent to boredom. Clocking in at a little over twenty two minutes, there is just no other way around it: American Me’s III, while a whirlwind of a release, still leaves the listener wanting. III’s other pitfall comes in the form of stagnancy, and really only applies to fans of Heat and Siberian Nightmare Machine. American Me have a tried and true formula of quick, hard-hitting beatdown-influenced hardcore: and while they certainly haven’t backslid with it, they aren’t taking much in the way of new ground, either. For all the time it took for their latest album to come to realization, there isn’t an enormous defining factor to separate it from their past releases. III is more of the same, even if “the same” is just what the listener might be looking for.
So while it isn’t a step or a leap for hardcore-kind, American Me’s III is a punctual, break-neck maelstrom of anger and chaos that’s sure to cure beatdown boredom. Loaded with visceral vocals, vicious lyrics, and intense, pummeling instrumentation, American Me provide a distinctly…well, American take on the metal-infused hardcore that might not be food for the mind, but is definitely fuel for the mosh.
For Fans Of: Shinto Katana, It Prevails, Shai Hulud, The Acacia Strain
By: Connor Welsh/Eccentricism
American Me - Heat (Review) – Sputnik
Review Summary: Its so easy to differentiate between acts in such a flooded scene. All it takes is for everyone to stop bullshitting and make room for those who matter.
American Me showcase a refreshing listen in a crowded scene of intense hardcore. Although Rise Records has let loose a dozen new releases in the last few months of the same demeanor (Recon, For The Fallen Dreams, ADBOK), American Me sneaks in with a punishing 19 minutes of raw carnage.
The tough-guy hardcore on this debut is evidently in the vein of its predecessors. However, avoiding the chug-oriented masses in recent months, the group delivers a fresh approach to aggressive beat-downs. "Attribute Of The Strong" welcomes the listener to the field of American Me with a balanced groove and a solid assault on the ears. The rough production automatically triggers interest avoiding the polished production of current Zeuss-produced-quality-deathcore. Although quality production should never be shunned, nu-metal quality in hardcore (recent releases such as "The Respect Issue" and White Chapel's "This Is Exile" come to mind) is often distracting since the majority of the album revolves around pro-tools and leaves the weight of creativity for the computer. "Heat" proves American Me to be in full attendance and no overdubbed gang shouts and explosive analog bass are going to shadow the bands debut.
The musicianship of the quintet is as tight as any other band that spends 10+ months of the year on tour. Full of surprise squealers and guitars bending over backwards alternating from left to right, going back and forth by Phil and Brian Blade, the duo is able to showcase chemistry that hasn't been felt or heard since Converge's Kurt Ballou and Nate Newton premiered their home video footage on "The Long Road Home." A connection such as this develops only through time, shared experience, and an understanding focus of one common goal: CREATE PASSIONATE HARDCORE.
The lyrical content on "Heat" should also be made note of. With emo-psychology seeping into the seams of acts such as Misery Signals, Sky Eats Airplane, and yes, even Bury Your Dead, American Me is able to distance itself from the pack and derive its influence from a variety of topics. "Said Nothing Began Firing" is a perfect example that's based on an ancient office shooting ala-Wild, Wild, West style. Tony Tataje's capability to churn out bellow after bellow shocks even the most advanced listener.
Coming in at just above 20 minutes there's hardly enough time to conceptualize the effort. With each song clocking at or below two minutes its great to see the tracks roll one by one into a snowball masterpiece. From the contagious strolls through tough-guy city and into the depths of DUI HXC, American Me have a terrific tendency to leave a mark.
American Me, It Prevails tour (Europe) – Lambgoat
American Me, It Prevails, and Give em Blood are touring Europe this summer.
07/27 Martin, SVK @ Wlesefest
07/30 Stuttgart, GER @ Juha West
07/31 Mechelen, BEL @ Kamikaze
08/01 London, UK @ Barfly
08/02 Kent, UK @ Hevy Fest
08/03 York, UK @ Ous Fest
08/08 Bologna, ITA @ Freakout Club
08/10 Gleisdorf, AUT @ Kulturkeller
08/13 Poznan, POL @ Pod Minoga
08/14 Berlin, GER @ Miks
08/15 Kaiserslauter, GER @ Kramladen
08/16 Essen, GER @ Opium
08/18 Arhus, DNK @ Backstage
08/19 Oslo, NOR @ The Revolver
08/20 Stockholm, SWE @ Debaser
08/21 Göteborg, SWE @ Sticky Fingers
08/22 Hamburg, GER @ Logo
08/23 Wolfsburg, GER @ Juha Ost
08/24 Dessau, GER @ Destruction Derby
AllInMerch, MetalSucks & Metal Injection Proudly Present THE ACACIA STRAIN's No Way Out Tour – Metal Injection
We are so excited to be teaming up with our homies at MetalSucks and the fine folks at AllInMerch.com to present to you quite the killer tour package…The No Way Out tour featuring The Acacia Strain and on select dates Within The Ruins, Xibalba, Fit For An Autopsy and American Me. The breakdowns will be heavy and frequent!
We're big fans of the Acacia Strain around these parts and can't wait to see them hit the road. Here is the current routing, with more dates to be announced soon:
8/13 – Chicago, IL – Reggie's Rock Club
8/14 – Indianapolis, IN – Emerson Theatre
8/15 – Nashville, TN – The End
8/16 – Atlanta, GA – The Masquerade
8/17 – Spartanburg, SC – Ground Zero
8/18 – Birmingham, AL – Zydeco
8/21 – Dallas, TX – Trees
8/22 – Houston, TX – Fitzgerald's
8/23 – San Antonio, TX – White Rabbit
8/24 – El Paso, TX – Tricky Fall's
8/25 – Lubbock, TX – Jake's Sport Cafe
8/27 – Mesa, AZ – Nile Theatre
8/28 – Santa Ana, CA – Constellation Room
8/29 – Los Angeles, CA – The Roxy
8/30 – San Diego, CA – The Epicentre
8/31 – Sacramento, CA – Ace Of Spades
9/2 – Portland, OR – Hawthorne Theatre
9/4 – Seattle, WA – El Corazon
9/5 – Boise, ID – The Venue
9/6 – Salt Lake City, UT – In The Venue
9/7 – Denver, CO – Summit Music Hall
9/13 – Toledo, OH – Rocket Bar
Members of American Me, Arsonists Get All The Girls, Those Who Lie Beneath, and More Team Up for Chris Cornell Tribute Album to Benefit The American Foundation For Suicide Prevention – Metal Sucks
Here’s a chance to get some cool music and support a great cause:
Portland, OR’s Rose City Collective was initially formed in 2015 to perform a benefit show for The Ghost Inside following that band’s horrific bus crash. Featuring members of prominent Portland area bands like American Me, Arsonists Get All The Girls, Those Who Lie Beneath, Across the Sun, and Sacrificer, the collective performed a benefit show which raised a whopping $2,000 for The Ghost Inside. Earlier this year, they did another show, this time in honor of Chris Cornell and Chester Bennington, which managed to raise $2,300 for The American Foundation For Suicide Prevention. Whether or not you appreciate the bands for which these musicians are best known, you can’t deny that this has been an excellent use of their status in the music community.
As of today, the Rose City Collective is no longer limiting its fundraising efforts to benefit shows: they’ve recorded a seven-track tribute to Chris Cornell, featuring covers of such Soundgarden classics as “Black Hole Sun” and “Outshined,” and will donate 100% of the proceeds, once again, to The American Foundation For Suicide Prevention. I say again: not a single penny is going into the pockets of these musicians. In a statement, the group says “we felt it was our civic duty to make this record.” There’s absolutely nothing in it for them, other than the satisfaction of helping those who need help.
Incidentally, the album is really good. Personally, I’m especially fond of the “Pretty Noose” cover, which utilizes female vocals and speedy double-kick drums to inject some new life into an old gem.
I strongly encourage you to buy the album, which is just five bucks. Whatever you were going to use that five bucks for, this is surely better. Purchase and stream links are below.
Sacrificer (I Declare War) Streaming Their Debut EP – thePRP
Sacrificer have released their self-titled debut EP. The group feature I Declare War vocalist Jamie Hanks as well as members of American Me and Those Who Lie Beneath.
Sacrificer (I Declare War) Stream Cover Of Slipknot’s “(sic)” – thePRP
Sacrificer, who feature I Declare War vocalist Jamie Hanks as well as members of American Me and Those Who Lie Beneath, have shared the following cover of Slipknot‘s “(sic)“. You can download it for free at Bandcamp and stream it below. The band said of it:
“This is a special Halloween treat from us to you!!! Slipknot has been a major influence on all members of the band and we couldn’t think of a better song to cover than the opening track on their debut full length which came out in 1999. We recorded this ourselves and mixed/mastered it as well while also putting our own spin on a couple of parts.”
Cory Lee of Paragon provides guest vocals on the track.
American Me Release “Anti Life Equation” Video, Fire From The Gods Vocalist Guests – thePRP
American Me have released a video for “Anti Life Equation” off their new EP, “Still Firing“. The song features a guest turn from Fire From The Gods frontman AJ Channer. Rise Records will release “Still Firing” this Friday, November 17th.
American Me Streaming New Album “III” – thePRP
American Me have launched the following stream of their new album “III“. The group enlisted a handful of guests for the release, including the vocalists of The Acacia Strain and It Prevails. Rise Records will release the album this coming Tuesday, August 14th.
American Me has debuted a new song and music video. – Lambgoat
American Me has unveiled a music video for "Anti Life Equation," a track from their new EP, Still Firing, which is available today (November 17) via Rise Records. The song features AJ Channer of Fire From The Gods and its video can be found below.
AMERICAN ME DRUMMER DUNCAN ALLEN INTERROGATED. – Capital Chaos
American Me is a metalcore band from Portland, Oregon whose music also featured elements of various genres of heavy metal and hip hop. The band was formed in 2006 and signed with Rise Records in late 2007 releasing three full length albums to date. The music is often described as “brutal hardcore” and is known for its fast pace and heavy sound.
The band’s first studio album, Heat, was released in 2008. The album received praise from reviewers for exhibiting a unique, heavier style of hardcore punk, combining hardcore punk and heavy metal with a slight hip hop edge. American Me returns again in 2017 with their new 3-song EP titled Still Firing. The song “Anti Life Equation” features AJ from Fire From The Gods.