Mike started to play drums when he was about ten years old. Practicing and playing at home was expanded with playing in a band at high school. He had weekly rehearsals from a piano teacher actually who also taught jazz at the local conservatory. During those high school years, Mike got influenced by a lot of musical styles: fusion, pop, rock, jazz.
After high school, Mike attended the conservatory in his native city of Tilburg/Netherlands. During that time he played in a couple of bands. Styles reached out from hardrock, crossover rap-metal to world music. That was besides the schoolwork which included jazz playing and improvisation, Latin and African percussion and classical percussion.
Teaching drums became a part of his work at the end of the school years. Along with playing nationwide in the Netherlands with Dutch bands as: Brotherhood Foundation,
Chillburn and percussion group Medicamento.
In 2005, Within Temptation asked Mike to be an additional percussionist for a couple of songs at a special concert in Amsterdam. There he was reunited with Ruud Jolie, Within Temptation’s guitarist, with whom Mike studied in Tilburg.
Two years later, Mike was asked again to play a couple of shows with Within Temptation, but now behind the drums.
Since 2011, Mike’s main gig is obviously Within Temptation… being a band member and recording and touring the world with them.
Besides Within Temptation, Mike plays in two side projects: Cloudmachine, a singer-songwriter type of band and Red Vultures, just straight ahead rock ’n roll.
What is it you like so much about playing Pearl Drums?
First of all they sound and look great! A lot of craftsmanship has been put in the making and designing of these drums and hardware. Futhermore my very first drum kit was a Pearl. I remember when I was a kid I got this Pearl catalog at the local drumstore, and I just kept looking at those drumset pictures over and over again. I especially loved the pacific blue colour of that time!
Which drummer/band influenced you most into playing drums?
That must be Wiliam Calhoun of Living Colour. Their mix of rock / hardrock / funk-style inspired me the most. Numerous times I’ve played along with the ‚Vivid’ and ‚Times Up’ records.
Who in your mind are the drummers of tomorrow, who has caught you eye ?
Hmm…to be really honest…that could be a student of mine!
His name is Iwan and is seven years old, great double-bass playing and he’s very fast. Last year he visited a big rock concert and was invited by the singer to do a little drumsolo!
What do you like most about being a drummer?
I like the fact that the drummer is the ‘engine’ of the band. Drumming is very energetic, blasting with two arms and legs, it’s like sports. It’s a great workout!
What is the worst thing to happen to you during a show?
Not very bad things have happened, other than:
- Losing a drumstick while playing a far too difficult drumbreak… stupid!
- Replacing a broken cymbal between songs when there is actually not enough time, therefore playing the next song without that cymbal… stupid!
- I started the wrong song, because I skipped one song on the setlist… stupid!
What do you practice and for how long?
At this moment I practice snare-techniques and double-bass techniques at home. I try to practice approx 90 minutes when I can.
What is your best advice to a young player wanting to make it in this industry?
Practice, practice, practice, play in as many bands as you can in every music style you like. And it sounds cliché, but following your dream and don’t let anybody tell you otherwise. Worked for me and therefore can also work for everybody.
If you had the chance to play drums for another artist who would it be?
The bands that I like nowadays are: Foo Fighters, Queens Of The Stone Age, Muse. So if they were in need of a substitute-drummer, I wouldn’t mind being on stage with them! Then after the show, back to my own band Within Temptation of course!