Pete Parada

The Offspring

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My Dad was the band director of a nearby school in small town upstate NY. Though he was a multi-instrumentalist, his first love was the saxophone. Growing up in a musical home I quickly gravitated towards percussion. As far back as I can remember – I spent much of my free time building drum sets out of household objects. I was always trying to recreate the different sounds I heard on the records that played around me.


When I was four, my brothers and I pooled our money to buy what would be my first album: Kiss Alive 2. While listening to that record it became immediately clear to me: I wanted to be a rock drummer. That dream never faded.


I finally graduated from pots and pans to my first drum set when I was 11. Having no formal training I learned by playing along to my favorite records, emulating the drummers who inspired me. I never missed an opportunity to play in any type of band or show that would have me. While a lot of kids were out enjoying an active social life, I was in my basement obsessing over music, flipping through my record collection, studying every note, imagining myself as part of something so creative and powerful.

I realized I’d only ever be happy playing drums. Upon graduating from high school, I left Arkport, NY to study at Musicians Institute in Hollywood, CA. 18 years old and so far from home, I never wondered if I’d made the right choice in leaving. While missing my family was a struggle, my experience at MI was a revelation.


The time I spent at music school is where I really felt my playing open up and begin to develop. I went in passionate, yet mediocre: someone who could play other people’s music, but had very little sense of himself. I left transformed, with a new confidence in my own playing and creativity. Taking classes with greats like Joe Porcaro, Ralph Humphrey, Chuck Flores and Efrain Toro was mind-blowing for me. I spent every waking hour at the school, practicing, performing and soaking up as much knowledge as I could. The teacher I clicked the most with happened to be Ray Luzier (drummer for Korn, David Lee Roth, Army of Anyone). We actually ended up being roommates for a few years and he is still one of my dearest friends.


Graduation from MI felt devastating, like leaving home for the second time. I stayed in L.A. and spent the next few years working odd jobs to pay bills while playing with any bands I could find around town.


My first big break came in 1998 when I was asked to join the punk rock group Face To Face. Over the next six years, I traveled the world and recorded four studio albums, three EP’s and a live record with the band. With Trever, Scott and Chad, I boarded my first tour bus, my first international flight and had my first professional recording experience.


During my tenure with Face To Face, I also had a four year run with Saves The Day, a highly influential band from the post-punk and hardcore scene. I spent two years juggling both group’s crazy schedules and at one point played seven shows in three days over one weekend in England. During my time with Saves the Day, I recorded two studio albums and an EP.


At the end of this experience I was burned out and emotionally exhausted. I took a break from music all together and, for the first time ever, pondered whether or not music was still what I wanted to be doing.


I turned down quite a bit of work while figuring out what to do next. After a few months, a good friend recommended that I meet with The Offspring. In an instant we clicked both musically and personally. My passion for music was reignited and nearly a decade later I’m still just as excited. It has been a privilege to play the biggest stages in the world with them and record with legendary producer Bob Rock on the album “Days Go By” and the #1 rock single “Coming For You.” In addition to being a multi-platinum act, Dexter, Noodles and Greg K are three of the greatest guys I’ve ever known. I’m lucky to call them friends.


Over the years, I’ve also had the pleasure of working with a few of my all time favorite artists, including recording sessions with Rob Halford from Judas Priest, and Chris Shifflet from Foo Fighters, as well as tours with Devo, My Chemical Romance and Alkaline Trio. Some of my fondest memories are from the side projects and fill in work I’ve done.


I look forward to what the future holds as I continue my own growth and development through music.