Mike Semerau


BIO: December 25, 1979 (I was 4 going on five) was the start of my drumming career. I had gotten my first drum set; one of those Toys ‘R’ Us drum sets called “Black Magic”. I had only one cheap silver type of cymbal, which I could eventually fold up with my bare hands and put in my pocket. Of course, this was only after I had received my first real drum set on the following Christmas. I was now five years old and seriously getting into the whole drumming thing. It happened to be a 1950-60’s drum set made by Pearl. Baby blue with no bottom heads. At the age of 5 my mom had started lessons for me with a guy named Eric. He was in a local New Wave band called “Ghost Swami”. They were pretty popular at the time. I had taken lessons from him for about 2 years and my mom thought I would not stick with lessons so she had him stop teaching me. I fought back on that one.

I figured what I had to do was teach myself. I did this through watching and listening to the greatest drummers out there. Some examples are: Neal Peart (Rush), John Bonham (Zepplin), Buddy Rich, Gene Krupa, Simon Phillips, Alex Van Halen, Tommy Lee (Motley Crue), Peter Criss (KISS), Tommy Aldridge (Ozzy & Whitesnake), Philly Joe Jones, and the list goes on. I would learn certain things from my influences and then master them and rewrite it to develop my own unique style. I would flip through stations on the radio and follow along with the music. I used to sneak my dad’s Beach Boys tape and play along. I would play to Elvis and to the music my sister listened to.

I got into my first band at age 10. Unfortunately we could never decide on a band name. So we called ourselves ‘Rebellion’, ‘Dark Destroyer’, and ‘Fast Train’. It seemed to change week to week. I first played out in 1989 at 14 yrs old. I was actually helping out a friend’s band that had a show and just lost their drummer. I had to learn all their songs in 4 hours the day of the show. Believe it or not I did it. That was just a one-time thing to help out. Just after that I had joined ‘Judicial’ we had played out for about three years being the youngest band in Chicago. I was actually playing out-of-state shows by the age of 15! This is where my drumming career took off fast. Some of the other bands I have been in are: 9mm, Lorden Vein, Youth Cry, Outrage, Drought, Vu Ja Dae and my current band is unnamed thus far.

I actually never thought about teaching before, because I never thought I was good enough. A friend of mine that worked at Guitar Center asked me if I ever thought about becoming a drum teacher. I just laughed and said, “How can I teach if I am still learning?” But he told me that you are always learning something-new everyday. That is how I started teaching. I started out with about 3 students (currently teach 90+ students), made some cheesy business cards and passed them out at Guitar Center in Arlington Heights. I started off driving to students, but then business picked up and started teaching out of my house. If you have any questions or need consultation do not hesitate to call 630-427-0599

Website: mikesemerau.com