Alexander Siegel: The drummer behind Rowan’s rising band, Spud Mack

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Alexander Siegel is a 21-year-old business major in his second to last year at Rowan. Despite his conventional field of study, Siegel remains quite the opposite, loving music, and making a name for himself in the local music scene as the drummer of his band Spud Mack. Growing up in Monroe Township, New Jersey, Siegel was surrounded by music at an early age.

“My dad played guitar most of his life, so did his brothers, and they would play in my basement. They needed a drummer, and I’m still playing,” Siegel said.

Together, they would listen to the radio, and as Siegel got older his father introduced him to classic rock, eventually learning to play many of the tracks he heard.

Siegel took drum lessons throughout grade school, starting at only five years old. He loved the instrument for its versatility and later the on-stage atmosphere. These lessons helped shape and expand his taste in music and opened doors to different music programs and meeting other gifted players. At 10 years old he joined “Rockit!”, a music program based in Red Bank, New Jersey. It was here he made the lifelong friends that would eventually form Thelonious Funk, Siegel’s high school band. He also played with musician Zakk Wylde, the guitarist for Ozzy Osbourne, and founding member of the band Black Label Society.

“It was insane,” Siegel said.

Now a junior and jamming on stage with Tessa Wood, Hunter St. Pierre, Ethan Garcia, and Brad Mackenzie, Siegel couldn’t imagine life any other way.

“When you get to play with other people, especially ones on your level like Spud Mack it’s so much fun,” said Siegel. “Everyone in Spud Mack is my best friend at the school.”

At least for Siegel, writing drums is all about feel. Most of Spud Mack’s songs start with a guitar or bass part, and he’ll experiment with different grooves he’s learned over the years until he finds one that fits. Siegel plays a five-piece drum kit from maker DW Drums. Interestingly, in the studio, he’s the only member of the band who records their parts with others present, although their instruments are unplugged.

Siegel’s greatest inspirations have been Travis Barker of Blink 182 fame, Neil Peart of Rush, and jazz drummer Buddy Rich.

“My favorite thing about Travis Barker is the presence and energy he brings to the stage. As much as I like his actual playing, I think his stage presence is what separates him from other drummers,” he said.

Siegel switched to studying business from music industries since, in his own words, “It’s difficult to make money in the music business, so I figured I would just get a stable job and make music on the side.”

This doesn’t mean Siegel has given up on his dreams. When asked about his five-year plan he responded, “If all goes according to plan, Spud Mack will make it big in five years.”

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