Everyone knows that most heavy music drummers simply hate studio sessions: they feel a billion times better when they’re able to pound their drums in front of a live audience. However, when the drummer is not just a regular guy but an unstoppable woman who has absolutely no mercy for her drum kit, things get even more exciting, which is exactly the case with our Metal Chick of the Month, the always fired up American Hard Rock drummer Samantha Maloney.
This blonde bombshell, who was born on December 11, 1975 in New York City, New York, but currently living in Valley Village, California, got her first drum set when she was only five years old, and I guess I don’t need to say how important that milestone was for the rest of her life and career. During part of her teenage years, Samantha studied percussion at Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts in New York City right before joining her first band, American Post-Hardcore Shift, with whom she recorded the EP Pathos (1994) and the full-length albums Spacesuit (1995) and Get In (1997). You can check her work with Shift on YouTube, as for example the good song Trudge.
It was after Shift that she became truly famous in the world of heavy and alternative music, when in 1998 she joined American Alternative Rock band Hole, from the always controversial Courtney Love, and started touring the whole world, including countries such as Japan and the UK, and appearing on TV, magazines, music videos and interviews. However, things got even more exciting for our hardcore lady in 2000, when she became the official drummer for American Hard Rock legends Motley Crüe and recorded with them their 2002 Lewd, Crüed & Tattooed DVD from the New Tattoo tour. This is where you can see Samantha Malone at her best in total synchronicity with Vince Neil, Mick Mars and Nikki Sixx playing classics like Kickstart My Heart, Girls, Girls, Girls, Home Sweet Home, Live Wire and Shout At The Devil, proving why the band chose her to join them at that time.
After leaving Motley Crüe in 2004, she formed a supergroup called The Chelsea with Melissa Auf der Maur (The Smashing Pumpkins, Hole), Paz Lenchantin (A Perfect Circle), and Radio Sloan (The Need), but they mysteriously played only one concert together before splitting the band, and also recorded the drums for Courtney Love’s debut solo album America’s Sweetheart, which I personally consider pretty decent musically speaking if you take into account all the complex and sometimes unbelievable issues Courtney has always had in her life and career.
Although America’s Sweetheart was the last full-length album with Samantha on drums, she recorded lots of other songs and singles with a huge variety of artists. For instance, in 2006 she was a guest musician in the album Impeach My Bush, by Electroclash punk artist Peaches, with whom she ended up touring in support of the album; in 2007, she released the single Happy For You with a project called The Ingenues; and in 2010, together with Billy Ray Cyrus, they formed a band named Brother Clyde, recording the single Lately. Besides that, she was also involved in numerous projects with artists such as Daryl Hannah, Eagles of Death Metal and Scott Ian (Anthrax), and managed for a period of time a Los Angeles-based all-girl teenage rock group called Cherri Bomb.
In addition to all that, Maloney has also a career as an actress: in 2008, she guest starred as “Sam”, Lou Ashby’s chauffeur on three episodes of the Showtime series “Californication”, and in 2006 she played the part of Maureen Tucker in the movie “Factory Girl”, not to mention she also added live drums to the score for the film Black Hawk Down in 2003 and is currently involved with a TV series called Next Great Family Band.
Among her biggest influences in music, we can find huge names such as John Bonham, Phil Collins, Neil Peart and Tommy Lee, and probably due to all the talent and energy those guys emanate while behind their drum kits Samantha decided to continue drumming instead of pursuing a serious basketball career with her college back in 1993. Fortunately, for the fans of good music, her biggest idols in life were not guys like Magic Johnson or Larry Bird, right?
Lastly, Samantha is a huge advocate of drummers, especially when a girl wants to follow this path. However, she said once that only being a good drummer is not enough: you must also have good business perspicacity to draw the attention of those who are looking for a drummer for their bands or projects. In order to do so, Samantha created a “list” of tips to help any drummer that’s starting his or her career, including creating a press kit so the others can actually see how the drummer sounds like; establishing a decent network with everyone that’s somehow related to the world of music, like employees from music stores, pubs and, of course, other musicians; and making it public that you’re available and what type of music you want to play, if you want to tour, among other details. These might seem very simple or basic tips for most of us, but if a successful drummer like Samantha is saying so, don’t waste your time and go invest in your career!
“Times are changing. There are more girls that are playing. I just think it’s ridiculous. Either you’re talented or you’re not. Either you’ve got it or you don’t. Either you’re a great drummer or you’re a good drummer. Whether you’re a guy or a girl….you’re good or you’re not. What gender you are? Who cares?” – Samantha Maloney