Hortus Animae

Grom

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GROM’s experience on drums dates back many years. Born in Italy from Italian parents but of international upbringing, he began playing at the age of 12, having developed an irresistible attraction towards the instrument during his general music lessons at junior high school.

His private lessons began with Carlo Bernardinello, a well known Italian jazz and Latin player. Grom’s lessons with him went on for 2 years, and built him a solid foundation of posture and basic technique.

However, although capable of playing many styles, it was Grom’s passion for the family of rock & metal music that pushed him to follow that particular style of drumming professionally. He took a break from his lessons with Carlo Bernardinello and decided to move forward on his own following his ambition for the next 6 years. He played in numerous local bands and started to gain a lot of experience both live and in studio at a young age. His first studio recording was at the age of 13 and first live show at the age of 12.

He spent the following 6 years studying from many different sources, amongst which there were various books and videos from many of the world’s great drummers. He put together various bands and gained the nickname ‘Grom’ from a music school colleague, which is polish for ‘lightning bolt’, emphasizing his speed, dexterity and power.

After high school graduation there was no doubt he was pointing towards a solid career in music. Grom followed his family all over the world and lived in places such as U.S.A, Dubai, Japan and others, before finally returning to Italy and joining the CPM in Milan, a notorious music school founded by the guitarist of Italian 70′s prog rock greats ‘PFM’. Here he began his professional training, learning under the experience, skill and talent of Sergio Pescara, his early mentor and amongst one of the most respected drummers in the Italian music scene. Drummer of prog rock band ‘Sine Causa’ and of Italian pop stars Gianna Nannini, Finardi, Righeira, PFM and Gianluca Grignani; his inspiration, professional experience, teachings and guidance, were of the utmost influence.

In 2000 From briefly moved to New York City to study privately with notorious Ark , TNT, Starbreaker, Alex Masi, Y.Malmsteen, James Labrie and Powerhouse drummer John Macaluso. Right after this period Grom was recruited by the Norwegian black-metal band ANCIENT. With them, he released 3 studio albums on Metal Blade Records, 2 official videos, and completed numerous European and international tours, playing in venues such as the main stage at Wacken Open Air in Germany as well as over 150 live shows worldwide (Mexico, Israel, South America, Scandinavia, Europe, East Europe and Russia). This gained him a good amount of press, exposure and experience in studio and on the road. Highly acclaimed for his work with the band, he embarked on numerous different side-projects and was highly requested as a session drummer in the rock and metal scene of Europe, cooperating with various recording studios.

He has shared the stage with acts the like of Lacuna Coil, Venom, Sepultura, Saxon, Stratovarius, Doro, Uriah Heep, Dimmu Borgir, Immortal, Clan of Xymox, Black Bomb A, Agnostic Front, Hypocrisy, Mayhem, Dissection, Behemoth, My Dying Bride and Illdisposed.

The album ‘Proxima Centauri’, his second with ANCIENT recorded and mixed at Andy Larocque’s Los Angered Studios and mastered at Sterling Sound in New York city, received great press and fan response and focused highly on Grom’s playing.

Most reviews and articles picked up on GroM’s drumming and as ItalianMetal Hammer magazine put it, “…Grom’s drumming is powerful and refined, way above average ! (Emiliano Verrecchia)”. After the well received ‘Proxima Centauri’ album, Grom re-entered the studio 2 years later, to record his third and most important album so far with ANCIENT, called ‘Night Visit’, still under Metal Blade Records, which took just under 2 days total drum recording time at Italian Mirage Studios and mixed at the famous Studio Fredman in Sweden, also including a video for the title track. This album clearly focused much more on how Grom was able to mix many different musical influences and drum styles, even light years apart, into one genre often difficult to manipulate. The international press widely commented on his performance for this album, writing lines such as, “The drummer Grom was a blessing for the band, I would call him the best metal drummer today. This man is a machine !” (Silent Stagnation), “Excellent drum parts by Grom !” (Concrete magazine), “Envision the beast starts with a crushing drum intro by Grom. His skinsmanship is really the highlight of this entire CD.” (Metal-Rules.com)…and many more, including a press article written about Grom being “Italy’s finest drummer”.

In 2001 he obtained an official endorsement with PAISTE cymbals and later on signed a deal with Italian stick makers IDEAS FOR DRUMMERS that produce his signature model stick.

Grom has since established a strong session reputation, participating in numerous projects and live performances. He recorded and later officially joined, Italian prog-gothic / extreme metal band Hortus Animae’s two albums, signing a deal with Greek label Black Lotus Records and the later Sleaszy Rider Records/EMI, releasing a debut album which received an extremely satisfying response and sale quota, followed by a single in cooperation with roadrunner records vocalist Liv Kristine Espenaes (Theatre Of Tragedy, Leave’s Eyes) as well as 2005′s second full-length CD ‘The Blow Of Furious Winds’ which has now become a cult record in the genre.

In 2002 he briefly joined Italian cult epic heavy metalers Doomsword and recorded their 2nd album ‘Resound The Horn’, released under DragonHeart / SPV Records.

During these years he was constantly embarking in new projects and sessions. He was hired for recordings and performances with numerous bands, including ANDARK (2005/2006 shows), HATE PROFILE (Debut album – Cruz Del Sur Records / audioglobe), DEFIXIO (split album), THE K (promo 2005 + video clip) and PSYCHORDER (self titled EP), as well as numerous demo/promo recordings for various upcoming artists.

In 2006 Grom was recruited by Italian Metalcore act K-AGAIN (produced in 2002 by Logan Mader of Machine Head / Soulfly) for their full European tour and upon returning to Italy he entered the studio once again to lay down the tracks for their 2006 record ‘Waiting For’.

Amidst this, he travels to Rimini (Italy) to record the debut album of avant-garde technical metal band OPPOSITE SIDES called ‘Soul Mechanics’ (released by Spanish label Mondongo Canibale Records) in 2009.

He also cooperated on a regular basis throughout 2004-2006 with popular television channel ROCK TV, airing on SKY network, hosting various shows including his own weekly show and performing as a musician and focal point VJ.

In March 2006 he is named ‘Rock Drummer of the month’ on www.drumspotal.com where he also briefly conducted online drum lessons. In 2007 he begins writing regularly on his monthly column, ‘L.A. Confidential’, for the top Italian percussion magazine DRUM CLUB, in which he is also featured with a 3 page interview and photo-shoot on the February 2006 issue. Grom has also appeared on the U.S. DRUM! magazine as well as many other mags across the globe.

In the summer of 2006 following an ambitious career as a drummer, he definitively relocates to Los Angeles and attends PIT (Percussion Institute of Technology – Hollywood) where he studies under 3 times rudimental world champion Rob Carson, Fred Dinkins, Donny Gruendler, Glen Sobel (Alice Cooper), jazz legend Chuck Flores and Chuck Silverman among others. Here he graduates with an AA (Associate of Arts) in Drums and Percussion.

Briefly after his graduation he goes back into the studio to record OPPOSITE SIDE’s 2nd full-length album called ‘Lost Inside’, which is released by UK’s Rising Records in 2010.

In less than a year from his arrival in America, the U.S. government grants him permanent-resident status (EB-1 green card) for ‘extraordinary abilities’.

He quickly establishes a strong freelance career playing with pop-rock artist Rob Michaels, touring with Australian metal band POWERS THAT BE, with whom he also shoots the video-clip for the band’s single ‘Collide’ and a live album at the Whiskey (Hollywood). He plays and records for singer-songwriter John Paul, for whom he also shoots a video. He is featured on the cover of Los Angeles’ ROCK CITY NEWS magazine and in July records the debut album of extreme metal scoring project EGHRGORIUS. Shortly after, he tracks for the 2nd album of solo shred guitarist MIKE SHOUSE titled ‘Alone On The Sun’.

In the end of 2007, following a series of auditions, he joins upcoming LA rockers LAST EXIT and records their debut demo album at Scott Humphrey’s Chop Shop Studios (Motley Crue, Green Day, Rob Zombie…) in Hollywood. They play a series of successful shows around Los Angeles before amicably parting ways.

In early 2008 he is recruited by HOOCHIE-COO, one of the most in-demand professional cover bands in Southern California, lead by established guitarist Chris Houchin and Francesco DiCosmo (Evanescence, Thin Lizzy) on bass. With them he regularly plays a wide array of shows around the Los Angeles and Palm Springs area up until 2009.

Aside from top-40 and cover acts, during the course of 2008 he begins playing for award winning violinist / singer-songwriter ANTONIO PONTARELLI and records for various artists such as soloist guitar player RICARDO PERUGINI.

Contemporarily, he begins teaching classes and privates at Dave Janssen’s school of music in Simi Valley, CA. He also teaches for TakeLessons.com. He starts his activity as clinician and begins writing his upcoming instructional book “The essentials of heavy drumming” currently on a hold.

2010 brings a wind of change, or return. Reconnecting with his rock and metal roots he joins the well respected LA band TESTING TOMORROW which becomes his main group and with whom he records the EP ‘The Pull’ as well as the single ‘Deriva’. He records the debut solo album of Hortus Animae vocalist MARTYR LUCIFER released by Buil2Kill Records and continues his studio activity recording for numerous independent acts between America and Europe. In the 2nd half of the year we see a few album releases as well as a fresh collaboration with prog-folk-metal band SCARLET HOLLOW who self-release their debut album ‘What If Never Was’.

2012/2013 continues the active streak and sees Grom behind the drums once again for HORTUS ANIMAE’s reunion album ‘At The End Of Doomsday’. In late 2012 Grom begins recording what will be his biggest commercial alternative rock album ‘Tribes’ with his main band TESTING TOMORROW, produced by Steven Leavitt and mixed / co-produced by Rich Mouser (Oleander, Spock’s Beard, Dream Theater, Weezer, Corrosion Of Conformity…).

Active in the live, educational and studio scene, GROM can be found on numerous gigs in and around the greater Los Angeles area where he permanently resides.

DISCOGRAPHY & RECORDINGS:

ANCIENT – ‘Proxima Centauri’ (2001, Metal Blade Records)
ANCIENT – ‘Night Visit’ (2004, Metal Blade Records)
ANCIENT – ‘God Loves The Dead’ MCD (2000, Metal Blade Records)
ANCIENT – ‘God Loves The Dead’ PIC LP (2000, Sacred Metal Productions / Conquest Records)
PSYCHORDER – ‘Psychorder’ PROMO (2002)
AA.VV – ‘The Ultimate Collection’ (Sleaszy Rider Records, 2006)
AA.VV – ‘Death Campaign’ (Metal Blade Records)
THE K – ‘The K’ PROMO (2004)
DOOMSWORD – ‘Resound The Horn’ (2002, Dragonheart Records)
HORTUS ANIMAE – ‘Waltzing Mephisto’ (2003, Black Lotus Records)
DEAD CAN DANCE – ‘The Lotus Eaters : Tribute’ (w/ Hortus Animae & Liv Kristine – 2004, Black Lotus Records)
HORTUS ANIMAE – ‘The Blow Of Furious Winds’ (2005, EMI / Sleaszy Rider Recs.)
HATE PROFILE – The Khaos Hate Files (2005, Cruz Del Sur Records)
HATE PROFILE / DEFIXIO – SPLIT (2005)
K-AGAIN – ‘waiting for…’ (2006)
EGHRGORIUS – debut album (2007)
LAST EXIT – Chop Shop EP (2007)
JOHN PAUL – Singles (2008)
POWERS THAT BE (Aus) – Live @ The Whisky (2007)
JK KLEUTGENS – ‘Final Notice’ single (2007)
MIKE SHOUSE – Alone On The Sun (2008, Melodic Revolution Records)
OPPOSITE SIDES – Soul Mechanics (2009, Mondongo Canibale Records)
RICARDO PERUGINI – ‘Dragon Breath’ single (2009)
HEXFIRE – The Fire Of Redemption (2009, Nightmare Records USA)
OPPOSITE SIDES – Lost Inside (2010, Rising Records UK)
TESTING TOMORROW – The Pull (2010)
MARTYR LUCIFER – Farewell to graveland (2011, Buil2Kill Records)
TESTING TOMORROW – ‘Deriva’ single (2011)
HORTUS ANIMAE – Funeral Nation MMXII (2012, Thrash Corner Records)
TESTING TOMORROW – Tribes (2013)
HORTUS ANIMAE – At The End Of Doomsday “working title” (TBA)

VIDEOGRAPHY:

ANCIENT – ‘God Loves The Dead’ (2000)
ANCIENT – ‘Night Visit’ (2004)
THE K – ‘The Winner Loser’ (2004)
JOHN PAUL BAND – ‘Requiem’ (2008)
POWERS THAT BE – ‘Collide’ (2007)
MIKE SHOUSE – ‘Alone On The Sun’
TESTING TOMORROW – ‘Mama Knows’