Elise keeping tempo in America

By Tema Hemi
  • Auckland

A New Zealand drummer who's widely regarded as one of the best in the world is back home. 

Wellington-born Dylan Elise resides in Los Angeles and is the drummer for legendary rock group Blood Sweet and Tears. 

Keeping time and tempo is what makes this drummer a star- but at the rear of the stage.  

Elise says, "I love playing drums, I like being at the back.  It scares me being on the mic having to talk to or address people.  I don't want to do that, I just want to laugh at the guy if he says something funny, from the back (laughs).  Drums is my thing."

A Youtube clip of Elise went viral with over seven million views not long after he moved to the US.

"If you put the best version of yourself out there, whether it's working hard, whether you dress well, you practice all the time, you're professional.  If you put that best version of you out there then it won't be long before you get a return on that and I found the same thing in the States."

Elise moved to the US in 2015 when he was asked to join Blood, Sweat & Tears, whose hits include Spinning Wheel and When I Die.

"I was starting to make some inroads, then the house I lived in burnt down while I was on tour so I had to start again so I had to move to LA and it's the same thing.  Its a bigger city with all these stars, with millions of musicians that move in and out of that city every day so you just join the back of that line and you work your way up and now I'm playing with some great people."

Elise has a message for any aspiring drummers, "Just find something you're into.  If it happens to be drumming then it's important to learn the basics.  Its important, if you can, to learn to read drum music and music.  Thats huge and if you can supplement that with natural feel and emotion that Māori have your gonna go really far."

Elise is due back in the States for another tour with Blood Sweet and Tears next week and hopes one day soon his band will tour down under here to Aotearoa.