My name is Scott Muzzey and I am a drummer.
When I was in the 4th grade, I had the opportunity to join either the school band or the school orchestra. So off we went to the introduction they had at my school, to sign people up for musical training. Initially, I was to play the coronet, as we already had one. My uncle’s old coronet. However, I was not really happy about playing said coronet. I wanted to play the drums, as I remember always watching Buddy Rich on the Johnny Carson Show. The drums excited me for some reason.
The people at the introduction to band had everyone try out their preferred instrument of choice. They had me play the coronet, so they could evaluate me. Their determination? I had messed up teeth (my mum was born and raised in Britain, so I blame my genes) and so the coronet was out for me. Actually, because every band instrument required one to blow into a mouthpiece or a reed, every band instrument was excluded from me being able to play it. There was one instrument however, that being the drums. Once I heard this, I remember thinking “don’t look too excited, don’t give it away!” I got signed up to play the drums that night. I think I even received my Ludwig Acrolite 14″x5″ Snare drum, stand, drum sticks & practice pad all in a case that weighed 200 pounds, or at least it seemed to weigh that much as a 4th grader.
What my first kit would have looked like.
I was taught 26 drum rudiments back in the school band, but I never once took a lesson for the drum set. I could read drum music, so I purchased a couple books and learned the drum set rudiments, so to speak. Everything I know on a drum kit, I taught myself.
I initially loved that drum kit. As a side note, I did hate the Paiste cymbals from the start though. I was used to Zildjians and these were a cheaper grade Paiste cymbals. To this day I still do not like Paiste cymbals.

I did not play the drum set much at first, until I learned to put headphones on and play along to albums. I remember At first I listened a lot to Steve Miller’s Greatest Hits to learn some basic beats. Then Van Halen. Then The Who. Then I found Rush. I was a hardcore Rush fan for the next 8 years or so. I played along to entire Rush albums, but then back then it was easier to do as there were only two sides to an album. We musicians got to be experts at putting the turntable needle down at the exact spot we needed.
I also did eventually hate that Ludwig 4 piece kit. Why? Because it was NOT a giant Neil Peart sized drum set! I wanted to be Neil. Every time I played 2112 or Hemispheres, I heard Neil’s concert toms and I did not have them. Seeing Rush in 1980 at the International Amphitheater (Permanent Waves Tour) did not help this situation either. Over time I did buy a set of Roto Toms to add and try to replicate Rush’s drummer.
In my town, it seems everyone wanted to be a rock star as we had more than our fair share of musicians. Mostly guitarists, which was fine by me, but also a few keyboardists and one or two bass players. There were a few other drummers, who kept me on my toes. On the street I lived, we had several musicians. So I jammed a lot with these people, and over time, that sphere of people I jammed with grew. I eventually started to jam with two brothers for a couple of three years in high school. We played parties and even had a gig at FermiLab.
When I was a senior in high school (I was 17), the unthinkable occurred. One night I was playing my drums in my mum’s basement. A good friend who was a guitarist had just left as we had been jamming. My mum had left that morning for Louisiana and my cousins wedding. I was all alone. I was playing along to Led Zeppelin’s Houses of the Holy and specifically “The Rain Song”. I stood up and my throne fell over, but I did not hear it as I had headphones on. I went to sit back down, expecting to have a drum throne there, but nothing was there. I fell down, which should have been relatively harmless, but this time I had left a drinking glass underneath my throne, and as my hands braced for impact while falling, my right hand landed directly upon the glass, breaking it.

I cut 5 tendons, a branch artery and my right carpal nerve. The doctors told me the only thing that kept the glass from severing my entire hand was my bones.

I knew something bad happened immediately. I could not move my fingers which is the strangest sensation ever. I also saw my blood pulsing out of me in time with my heartbeat. I was scared. I called my sister, who promptly called the paramedics and thus she saved my life.

It took five hours of emergency surgery to repair my right hand. It also took six months of therapy to learn how to use my right hand again. One of the things I did was start playing the drums as soon as I could. The therapists told me that was an excellent exercise as long as I do not over do it.

To this day my right hand is still better than my left hand, in both speed and dexterity.
After high school, I went to University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) and somewhat stopped playing. I also started working full time at restaurants about this time. The working kind of interfered with school, so I quit school. One day, the brothers who I had previously played with, called asking if I wanted to join their band. The band in question was a heavy metal band who played the local bars. One caveat, I needed a new drum set. So my mum once again came through. She co-signed for a loan I took out to buy my first “real” drum set.
I bought a 9 piece Tama White Imperialstar drum set with double bass drums. I bought Zildjian hi-hats, a ride cymbal and 3 crash cymbals. I bought hard cases for the drums and cymbals and a trap case for the stands. I loved that drum set. Unlike the Ludwig, I never stopped loving that drum set. I consider that drum set, my “first kid”.
I got a phone call from one of the brothers. “Do you want to start tomorrow?” “YES!” “OK, cool. One thing though. We are backing up Paradoxx in three nights at the Thirsty Whale. Here are the songs you need to learn. Can you do it?” “YES!!!” I played at the Thirsty Whale the next night and had my first taste of a Gene & Jude hot dog, my favorite Chicago hot dog to this day.
I played in the band, Hedstone, for 2 and a half years. We played out most weekends. We even had a “home bar” that we played at every month. Tony Labarbera, who booked the Thirsty Whale, produced two albums of local bands and Hedstone made it onto one of those albums. I can actually say I am on vinyl. Search on YouTube and you can find the audio.

In 1986, I got my girlfriend knocked up. I was going to marry her, and I needed to “buckle down” and get serious if I were to be a father, so I took a hiatus from the band. A hiatus that lasted almost 30 years. I got divorced a couple times and raised several kids during that hiatus. I regret nothing as I have the most awesome kids and now grandkids.
Sometime around 2015, a dear old friend who is one of the best guitarists I know, invited me to come over to his house and “make some noise” as he also had a drum kit available. I jumped at the chance as I had not played with another person in about 10+ years at that point. We made it an every other Friday night thing. Then another old friend who played guitar joined. The two switched off on bass. Then a singer and a keyboardist joined us. We now had a band. But best of all? I jammed with most of them back in high school as a kid, so I had known them for decades! Most of them had previously been in cover and/or tribute bands and they know what they’re doing.

So I am now back in! During the time off, I had thought a lot about drum things, such as grooving versus technical playing, and I had also taught myself other things such as the history of the drums and drum sets and how and what the various historical drummers played. I started listening to jazz and the blues and rap and all other types of music.

Recently I have been actively looking to get back into a cover and/or tribute band. Thankfully I know great people who networked me into meeting my current band, Nitrous Foxide. Come see us sometime, please! I am SO excited to be able to entertain people on stage. I love when the crowd starts to dance!

I have mixed all that I know about music, rhythm and drums, along with all that I have experienced, as well as all that I have learned, into the drummer I am today.