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Keeping the Beat

Canyon Tight End Mike Mitchell Plays Drums and Writes Lyrics for Three Bands

September 18, 1997|PETER YOON

Drum heads.

When he's not playing tight end, the 6-foot, 185-pound senior plays drums, sings backup vocals and writes lyrics for three bands.

He pounds out solos for Interfere, a heavy metal band; plays fills for Meadows, a soft rock band; and whacks out rim shots for The Circuit, a classic rock band.

All three groups play original music and while they usually play at parties and dances, Meadows played to good-sized crowds at The Whiskey and The Roxy on the Sunset Strip in Hollywood.

The bands take most of the gigs with hopes of attracting the interest of music agents. Sometimes, the attention they bring isn't wanted.

"One time the cops came to break up one of our parties," Mitchell said. "And they actually stayed because they liked the music."

Mitchell has been playing drums for 2 1/2 years. He owns two drum sets, with a third under construction. He practices in the garage of his family's Canyon Country home.

Complaints from the neighbors are fairly routine. "The cops up here know me on a first-name basis," Mitchell said.

During shows, Mitchell doesn't go for gimmicks--or rather, he can't afford them. "I just try and impress by my style of play," he said. "But when I get rich and have a few more drum sets, I'll probably light my set on fire after the show."

With a schedule that includes school, football, homework and band practice six nights a week, Mitchell would seem to be a prime candidate for burnout. To the contrary, Mitchell thrives on hustling.

"It's all about getting satisfaction," he said. "All of them are very much compatible. Everything gets my adrenaline flowing."

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