“I always knew I wanted to play drums, even as a kid. I would bang pencils on the desks in school until the teachers took them away!” – Ken K Mary
Ken Mary began his career as a professional musician at the age of age of 15 in Seattle, WA. Over the years, Ken’s resume and discography has grown to include an incredible and wide ranging list of artists and records that have been associated with his drumming, producing, writing and singing skills, and recordings featuring his talents have combined sales of well over 5 million copies worldwide. Ken has recorded and performed with Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees Alice Cooper, The Beach Boys, and Gene Simmons of Kiss. He has been a member of Fifth Angel, Alice Cooper, House of Lords, and Flotsam and Jetsam, toured with German metal legends Accept, and has appeared on recordings of multimillion selling artists including Don Dokken, Kip Winger, Jordan Rudess, Impelliteri, Bonfire, and many other artists including Bad Moon Rising, Chastain, and Northern Light Orchestra.
Ken is considered one of the top drummers in the world, with drumming influences that include a diversity of playing styles and drummers such as Buddy Rich, Louie Bellson, Neil Peart, John Bonham, Steve Gadd, and Tommy Aldridge. He began his drum studies with Seattle area jazz and fusion drum instructor Dick Stensland, who was so impressed with Ken’s natural skills that he taught him lessons for free when Ken was no longer able to afford lessons. Ken began playing drums with traditional grip, but plays just as easily with matched grip. His style can range from the very technical, to laying down a very solid groove and feel, to playing an almost “floating” jazz interlude. He is considered one of the early forerunners of very fast double bass drum fills that incorporate use of interwoven hands and feet, as evidenced by his early session work with Alice Cooper, House of Lords, and Bonfire. Mega-platinum Producer Michael Wagener (Metallica, Alice Cooper, Janet Jackson) states,”Ken Mary is a brilliant session and live player. Whether it is blazing fast and precise technical playing or just a great sense of groove, he’s your guy. One of the best.”
A review of the first House of Lords self-titled album in Modern Drummer garnered this glowing review of Ken’s playing, ”A major reason for their (House of Lords) originality, if not the major reason, is Ken Mary’s drumming. Unquestionably, he is the best hard rock drummer in America today. Nobody plays like Ken Mary” and further, “Want to learn something? See these guys live, buy this album and pay attention to Mr. Mary.”
Famed producer Andy Johns, who engineered classic albums by Led Zeppelin and the Rolling Stones, and who was famous for firing many famous drummers on his productions, loved Ken’s playing Bassist Chuck Wright recalls. “At the end of Ken recording a very Bonham inspired drum track for ‘Can’t Find My Way Home,’ Andy grabbed Ken, put him in a headlock (Andy was a very large man at 6”3”) and said to him repeatedly, “You and Bonham, man, you and Bonham.” Ken adds, “Since Bonham was an inspiration to my playing, and Andy had recorded him so many times, this was one of the biggest compliments of my life. That and the fact that he didn’t fire me! Lol.”
Ken was always interested in music production as well, and was fortunate to work with some of the most famous engineers and producers in music history. Along with the aforementioned legendary Michael Wagener and Andy Johns, he also had the opportunity to work alongside Mac (Queen), Mick Guzauwski (Christina Aguilera, Mariah Carey), and Desmond Child (Ricky Martin, Aerosmith) just to name a few. He established a world class SSL recording facility, SonicPhish Productions, in 2003 that continues today, most currently used to produce the new Fifth Angel album “The Third Secret” and much of the tracking for Flotsam and Jetsam’s “The End of Chaos” and “Flotsam and Jetsam.” A partial list of the companies and corporations SonicPhish Productions has worked for include RCA, MCA, Epic, CBS, Benson, Roadrunner, JVC, Atlantic, DGC, BMG, Relativity, Organic, Invincible, Reunion, Fox, Universal, EMI, Zebra, Provident, Reunion, Sony/BMG, Suburban Noise, BEC, ABC Family, Nuclear Blast and AFM Records.