DECIBEL GEEK: How did you first get interested in music?
ALEXEY POBLETE: When I was younger, I used to watch this music show called “The Naked Brothers Band” on Nickelodeon. And it really interested me because it was, like, this young boy band. And that’s why I wanted to play drums, so I asked my dad but he wanted me to play piano. Because my brother, he knows how to play piano, so my dad thought that my brother could teach me how to play piano. But I really wanted to play drums.
DG: What was it about the drums in particular that interested you?
AP: Because of the sounds. How you hit them. I really like the sounds that they make. It really interested me.
DG: So you’re a Rush fan?
DG: What is it about Rush that you like?
AP: The songs and the great drumming that Neil Peart does in it. And also because they’re, like, offbeat. And upbeat.
DG: Yeah, they certainly are offbeat! They’re a great band.
So, I know from that interview with Cassius that you mentioned your primary influences are Neil Peart and Eric Singer, who I’m a HUGE fan of. I love Eric Singer. And I think it’s really cool that you have a friendship with him.
By any chance have you heard an album called Seventh Star by the band Black Sabbath?
AP: No, I haven’t heard it.
DG: Eric Singer plays drums on it. Are you a fan of Black Sabbath?
DG: It’s definitely not a typical Black Sabbath album. It’s not as dark. There’s actually a ballad on it! But I think it’s a great album and it’s definitely worth checking out.
AP: Okay, I’ll check it out sometime.
DG: How would you say that you’re influenced by Eric Singer in particular?
AP: Because of his showmanship and how good he plays the beat. Like, with lots of passion. He’s very good.
DG: He certainly is.
Okay, let me think… I knew I should’ve prepared! I hope that doesn’t bother you.
AP: No, it doesn’t.
DG: So you’re 9 years old?
DG: And do you have, like, a manager? I assume that at this point, your parents are handling your business affairs.
DG: Just them?
AP: And my uncles.
DG: What do your classmates at school think about your drumming?
AP: They think I’m really cool and they always call me “the popular kid” because I play the drums and I’m the only one in my school who plays them.
DG: That’s great. What grade are you in?
AP: I’m going into 4th grade.
DG: What have your teachers said to you about your drumming and about it possibly becoming a career for you?
AP: They say that I’m gonna have a bright future. They like to watch my YouTube videos and stuff. And they know that Eric Singer and other famous drummers know me.
So besides KISS and Rush, what are some of your current favorite bands?
AP: Led Zeppelin.
DG: Yeah, I remember that you mentioned John Bonham in your interview on Creatures Of The Net. He was a fantastic drummer.
What other bands?
AP: Avenged Sevenfold and Motley Crue. I just saw Motley Crue on August 11th.
DG: Yeah, I saw your photos from that concert on your Facebook page.
DG: Oh that’s great!
AP: Yeah. I actually went upside down on it.
DG: That’s rad!
Are there any female drummers that you like? Or any female musicians?
AP: Cindy Blackman and Sheila E. I met Sheila E at NAMM.
DG: Oh cool! You know, speaking of meeting celebrities… I know for me, I’ve met a small number of celebrities throughout my life. And even though I’m 42 years old now, I still get starstruck whenever I encounter celebrities. Is that ever, like, a problem for you when you meet celebrities that you’re a big fan of?
DG: Well that’s good.
What music podcasts do you like?
AP: Rock and roll.
DG: Are there any that you listen to on any kind of a regular basis?
AP: Hard rock. And heavy metal.
DG: Are you familiar with the drummer Terry Bozzio?
AP: Yeah. I met him.
DG: Oh cool! Yeah, he’s a great drummer.
By any chance are you familiar with the drummer Vinnie Colaiuta?
AP: I’ve heard of him.
DG: Yeah, he and Terry both played drums for Frank Zappa, who is my favorite artist of all time. Speaking of which, have you ever listened to any of Frank Zappa’s stuff?
AP: No, I haven’t.
DG: Some of it is kind of risque. Actually, MOST of it is!
What are some of your favorite KISS albums and why?
AP: Sonic Boom – because of the songs. You know? Like “Modern Day Delilah”. There’s good drumming in it thanks to Eric Singer.
DG: What do you think of Van Halen drummer Alex Van Halen?
DG: Oh cool.
AP: Yeah. I was really young. Like 7, I think.
DG: You were 7 when you played those two Van Halen songs?
AP: I think so, yeah.
DG: Wow. Yeah, Van Halen with David Lee Roth is my favorite rock band. KISS are a very close second. But those are definitely my two favorites as far as rock goes.
Are you planning on actually writing songs at some point?
DG: So you want to write your own music?
DG: Cool. See, even though music is definitely my #1 passion in life, I never learned how to play an instrument. And even though I don’t really regret it, I just can’t help but have enormous respect for people who know how to play any instrument or can write music or sing. And on that note, best of luck to you and I sincerely hope that you have success in whatever you choose to do, musically or otherwise.
AP: Thank you.
DG: You’re very welcome. And thank you! I appreciate your time and your bearing with me. Even though I spend most of my free time on the internet, a lot of it is still new to me and Skype is brand spanking new to me, so I thank you for being my first Skype interviewee as well as my first de facto phone interviewee. Almost all of the interviews that I’ve done have been via email. Although it’s the easiest way to do an interview, I prefer this method where I can actually talk to people and ask follow-up questions.
So again, thank you very much for your time and I wish you the best of… well, EVERYTHING!
AP: Thank you. Thank you for having me here and interviewing me.