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White Wizzard Drummer Pulls Back Curtain on Metal Life at Berklee

“Being a metalhead at Berklee [College of Music] is not easy for sure,” newly minted White Wizzard drummer Giovanni Durst — who is no relation to Limp Bizkit‘s Fred, that’s for sure — told Noisecreep about being a metal musician at the prestigious Boston institution. “The ‘loud and proud’ sound is not really appreciated over there. But a metalhead at Berklee can still survive. I’m living proof. The secret is not to get stuck on a single genre, such as metal. Yeah, that’s it. Explore. That’s what the Berklee metalhead has to do: get involved in all the different aspect of music whatever … jazz, Latin or funk. Build a strong vocabulary on their instrument. Then apply those techniques to metal, without them seeing you do that.”

Durst also revealed that there are layers of depth to the school. “Lots of people make the mistake of thinking of Berklee as an ‘only Jazz music school.’ Well that’s half true, but the reality is way way far from that,” he said. “My experience at Berklee was amazing. I had the best three years of my life over there. I had the opportunity to study with top notch drummers such as Dave di Censo, Mike Mangini, Sergio Bellotti, Kim Plainfield and the list goes on. If your mind is set to become a professional musician and completely dedicate yourself to music, then that’s the right place to be.”

Durst only recently joined White Wizzard, but he couldn’t be more stoked, because “since then things have worked out perfect! The guys are all really cool people to hang out with.” The band will release their Earache debut, ‘Over the Top,’ in February, something that Durst is also beaming about. “For those who don’t know White Wizzard, if you are into [Iron] Maiden, Rush, the Scorpions, [Judas] Priest, then for sure you will fall in love with White Wizzard. The band’s sound comes straight out of heavy metal’s golden years: melodic, upbeat, fast and furious, all played with a smile on its face. I love it,” Durst said.

You can witness Durst’s skills during White Wizzard’s January trek across the U.S. with Korpiklaani. The band has Canadian and European dates booked, as well. “I wish we can play in Italy a couple of dates,” Durst mused. “Home sweet home!”

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