Michael Arcane - Drums
I am Michael Arcane, drummer for the mighty Dead Syndicate. I am also the grandpa of the group, born in 1973, which makes me officially older than dirt. I was born in Rochester, Michigan, and shortly thereafter my parents moved me to South Bend, Indiana where I grew up.
South Bend is a great town, but overall it's pretty quiet. How's the Metal scene? Ummm, is there one? I got into metal later in my teens, mostly because there really was no access to good metal back then. Metal in those parts was Def Leppard. No, really. But, the demons in me sought out the heaviest stuff I could find, and I made my way into the realm of Metallica, Slayer, Prong, GWAR and Sepultura while I was in high school. Even then I had a strong attraction to the drums, but no way to act on it.
I graduated from high school, and decided to join the Marine Corps. That decision more than any other is responsible for the person I am and the life I lead today. It was mostly a great experience, but meeting my best friend and roommate Jay Nowak is the most relevant part of it to this band bio. Jay Nowak, of North Tanawana, NY was a deathmetal fiend, and the best guitarist I have ever played with. He was around when deathmetal was born…he played in a band in Buffalo called Vile Vindiction that shared rehearsal space with Cannibal Corpse when both were just starting. So while I was into stuff like Slayer, Jay introduced me to real deathmetal, like Malevolent Creation and Carcass and Morbid Angel.
Monterey California was my first duty station, and Jay and I became roommates by chance…a bunch of other guys wanted to exchange roommates to live with their buddies, and Jay and I were the leftovers, so we got stuck together. Ironically, we became lifelong friends who stuck together no matter what. Like I said, Jay was a phenomenal guitarist, and I'd always wanted to play the drums, so I spent almost every night of the week practicing drums at the base recreational center. And I sucked beyond belief! But I worked at it and improved until I got good enough that I warranted buying my drumkit. That's when I acquired the Black Morning Star, my Tama Rockstar DX kit which I have added to ever since.
Jay and I formed a band with some other guys, but it never really went anywhere. Although Jay and did write one incredible song, “Screams of the Burning Condemned” which I still think is mind-boggling. But, after a couple years, Jay got orders to Maryland, while I got orders to Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. We'd stay in touch religiously, but the music was put on hold.
It was while I was in Lejeune that I formed my first 'real' band. I'd played in several, but they all sucked and weren't very serious. I formed the deathmetal band Legion with guitarist Brian Birch and original vocalist Dennis Domagala. When Dennis got out of the Corps, he was replaced by front man Jay McCabe. We had no bass player, but that didn't stop us! The band was OK for the area (North Carolina having no scene at the time either) but our sound was a mish-mashed compromise. I was deathmetal, Brian was powermetal, and our styles always clashed. We all got along great, but after a while I just wasn't feeling it anymore, and we split the band.
And that was it for me, for drumming. I soon got out of the Marines, and moved to Indiana, and then here to the DC area. And for at least 5 years my kit was stacked in a corner…I often thought of selling it, but something made me hang on to it.
Well, I stayed a fan of deathmetal, and I went to see my friends in Divine Empire play a show here at Jaxx. I don't know why, but I got really inspired watching the drummers that day, and the local band Modulus was just cruching. Their drummer, I learned, was also a drum teacher of some note. So I said, why not, I'll take a lesson just for kicks. I took one lesson, which changed my playing forever. I am self taught, so I was doing everything wrong. I had to start from scratch learning to hold the sticks properly! But that kick started me.
I set the drums up in the dining room, and started to practice. And after a while, I got the bug to find a band. I hooked up with a few but nothing really clicked. That's when I answered John's ad, and the rest is history.
There's more to me than just metal and drums though. I am also a huge sports nut. I am a big fan of the Vikings, and I live for fantasy football every year. I'm also a lifelong Chicago White Sox fan…when they won the World Series, I cried a little bit. I'm not ashamed either! And my favorite sport in the world is ice hockey, and the Detroit Red Wings. I also play and coach ice hockey. I'm a goalie for a local men's team, much to Donny's dismay because of the injuries I've suffered. Hey, it's a man's sport!!!
I'm also a big car nut. I like classic cars like most other red-blooded Americans, but my passion is foreign exotics. Especially Lotus cars and other British marques. My pride and joy is Evilyn, my lovely red 1993 Lotus Esprit SE. Modified to the teeth, and fast as shit. Too fast, as is evidenced by my weeklong stint in the slam for speeding! I take her to car shows throughout the driving season, and I am a regular drooler at Ferrari of Washington. I just love the beuty and engineering that goes into these moving works of art.
I have been married for a couple years now (my 2nd go-around) to a wonderful little Polish girl named Kasia, who is my reason for being. She's immensely supportive of all my habits (well, not so much hockey, because of the injuries) and I am very thankful for her allowing me to pursue my dream.
And this band is my dream. It's always been my dream, and I can't believe I'm living it right now with the best bunch of guys. They are great talents, awesome friends, and they put up with my mediocrity on the drums, which is crucial! And I know how lucky I am that all the stars aligned to bring us together, because this band just feels right.
Now, onwards towards destruction!!!!!!!!