Andrew is from Albrightsville, Pennsylvania. He is 21 years old and has been playing drums for six years.
The Mapex Interview with Andrew Merkle
Mapex: Tell us a little about your background.
Andrew: My passion for playing was instilled in me at a very early age, when I would spend hours in front of my Uncle Butch’s drum set. I would listen to him play until I fell asleep. I joined the marching band in the 7th grade at the great prodding of my two sisters and started out on bass drum.
I changed to the snare drum fairly quickly, but wasn’t satisfied with that either until I began experimenting with a drum set during my sophomore year of high school. I immediately gravitated toward the classic rock genre. Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, and Pink Floyd were constantly played in our house. I first heard Rush in middle school, and was immediately intrigued by their sound and I slowly but surely garnered an appreciation for progressive rock music. It all came together when I got to college and started my own original progressive rock band.
Mapex: Who are your favorite drummers or influences?
Andrew: My drumming style was originally most strongly influenced by Neil Peart, but I’ve since drawn influence from drummers like Benny Greb, Jojo Mayer, Gavin Harrison, and Carter Beauford. My two true heros are my Uncle Butch and my father, without whom I would have never picked up the sticks.
Mapex: What are you currently working on?
Andrew: I’m currently in a band called Eye on Attraction. You can listen to us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/EyeOnAttraction.