What do Pablo Cruise and the Jennifer Lopez band have in common..... Drummer, Sergio Gonzalez!
The other day I had a chat on the phone with drummer, Sergio Gonzalez. He was humble, knowledgable and charming. Though he described himself as shy, I never got that feeling from our conversations. We met on Memorial Day when he played with Pablo Cruise. When they weren't playing, I managed to monopolize much of Sergios break time in conversation about music, and then we exchanged numbers to extend the conversation, as directly after the gig ended the band headed quickly to catch a plane back to LA. We then chatted on the phone and he agreed to an interview for The Music Soup.
In case you haven't read my Pablo Cruise blog...It was that day when Pablo Cruise began their set that I was completely blown away right outta the gate with their drummer, Sergio rockin out on the drum kit. I did not expect that at all. I was expecting a rather subdued drummer behind this vintage band. And when Sergio put his own big rock back beat behind the Pablo Cruise music, it just worked! And it definitley got my attention! So when they had a break, I knew that I had to find out where this drummer has been, and how he got to be so good. So I found out when we had this chat for The Music Soup.
Sergio got his start on the drums with pots and pans and cardboard boxes. Just like many drummers as young children do. He comes from a small town in Texas and he knew from a fairly young age he needed to move out to get anywhere in life. So he left the small town with a friend in his late teens to venture out in the world and see the big cities.
It was very apparent during that first set at the Pablo Cruise concert that this was NOT Sergios first rodeo. He's worked with many big names in the music industry. And it was pretty obvious from his playing. But what got my attention as we were chatting is his relationship with the new Foo Fighters drummer, Josh Freese.
Sergio began his drumming career with six years total at two Disneys. One at Disney World in Florida for three years and Disneyland in California for three more years in their main band. When he got to the California Disneyland he worked with Stan Freese. Stan had two sons. One is Jason Freese, (the keyboard player for Green Day) and the other, Josh, the new drummer for the Foo Fighters taking the throne of our dearly departed Taylor Hawkins.
Sergio told me the story of back when Josh was younger, his dad Stan brought him to Sergio to help Josh get better on the drums. And he did! Although Sergio wasn't his first drum teacher, he was definitley influential on Josh Freese' playing. Since then Josh has gone on to play drums for many great bands such as The Offspring, and Devo, and now his new gig with the Foo Fighters.
As far as Sergios' drumming career...aside from his present gig as the permanent drummer for Pablo Cruise...he has played with many talented people in the music business through the years since his introduction to earning a living from playing the drums as a young man at Disney. He has played with artists such as Keb Mo, Gavin DeGraw, Queen Latifah, Don Was and Jessie J. Sergio also played for the Jennifer Lopez band. And some of his favorite moments were when he got to play on Saturday Night Live a couple times.
Pablo Cruise is on a full tour at the moment. They are a very tight band with all fantastic musicians including two original members, Dave and Cory. They attract large audiences everywhere they play and are considered one of the top "legacy bands' of today. If you get a chance to attend a show I highly suggest you do, and when you're there, take notice of the guy at the back of the stage keeping the beat, superstar drummer, Sergio Gonzalez!
© Cheryl Alterman Photography 2023
© Cheryl Alterman Photography 2023