Micheál is an Irish drummer. He has been playing drums since he was 10 years old. He began through a happy accident. He was attending a music school, and asked to learn the guitar. For some reason, the school didn't teach guitar, so he decided he would learn to play the drums instead. Fast forward 20 years, the word DRUM is tattooed on his right calf and drumming is how Micheál identi fies himself; his whole life revolves around how he can get to play more drums!
He attended the music course in NUI Maynooth, graduating with a first in performance as a percussionist in 2012, performing on drum kit, timpani, xylophone and snare drum. As well as that, in 2011, he attended Berklee College of Music, in Boston. He was awarded a place on the Deans List for academic excellence while studying in the college. He considers it to be the starting point for where his life has gone as a
In college, he formed Irish experimental group, Meltybrains? with some friends. They have gained a reputation in Ireland as one of the most powerful live acts on the island, with large over the top arrangements, ferocious drum parts, and high energy gigs. Micheál learned what kind of drummer he truly was by being part of Meltybrains?.
Alongside his time in Meltybrains? he has always been playing with his friend, Dermot Kennedy. Dermot has achieved worldwide recognition as a singer songwriter, and performer. Between 2017 and 2020, they have gone from playing to 350 people in their hometown of Dublin, to sold-out arena shows to over 30,000 people, sold out shows around the world, including in Radio City Music Hall (New York), The Wiltern (LA), The Ryman Auditorium (Nashville), The Hammersmith Apollo (UK) as well as countless other gigs. With Dermot's platform, Micheál was able to use what he learned being the drummer for Meltybrains?, which involved learning to trust himself, knowing how to deliver a performance behind the drums, and take that to audiences of pop music, around the world.
Deeply in love with old greats, such as Buddy Rich, John Bonham and Keith Moon, Micheál approaches drumming as a larger than life endeavor. Then, with the more modern influences, including fellow SONOR artist like Benny Greb or Jojo Mayer, as well as the likes of Mark Guiliana or Robert Sput Searight, there has been a love of the intricacies of what drumming can be. Paired with a deep admiration for these modern greats, is a fascination with electronic music. The likes of Jon Hopkins, or Moderat, as well as hip hop production from the likes of Outkast, have been major influences in what a drummer could be, to Micheál.
When he isn't drumming, Micheál can be found making his own electronic music. The ethos behind his solo work is making the music he wants to hear. Not having to be the drummer for other peoples music, he can really explore what he wants to say musically. However, he is truly at home behind a drum kit.
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Picture by Lucy Foster