Fortunately, Alt didn’t listen and believed instead the adage that "variety is the spice of life." A drummer for bands such as S.T.U.N and Faculty X, Alt has taken his passion for drumming to new levels with Street Drum Corps.
A featured act on this year’s Warped Tour, the Street Drum Corps’ show BANG! is a unique drum performance that incorporates most anything you can hit with two sticks: garbage cans, buckets, pots and pans, satellite dishes and even fire extinguishers.
Alt has teamed with brother Adam Alt, drummer for Circus Minor, and Frank Zummo, drummer for theStart, for a show set to provide high octane adrenaline at a special side stage in Sponsor Village at the Warped Tour.
SDC also invites guest drummers to participate, with Adrian Young of No Doubt and Brooks Wackerman of Bad Religion having been part of the rotating cast of drummers.
Alt recalls how No Doubt’s Young fell right into SDC’s vision of experimentation, having played a recent gig together in Anaheim.
"Adrian brought a golf club to the Chain Reaction show. During the encore, I’m playing on this garbage can and I look up," says Alt. "There’s Adrian slamming the garbage can with this amazing Native American tempo – with his golf club!"
Having played regularly at Magic Mountain and most recently at the Warped Tour’s kick-off party, SDC has been getting attention from the likes of Modern Drummer and RollingStone.com. Yet the beginnings of SDC came from an unlikely place, far away from the eyes of the media.
"My brother and I always kind of jammed on hand drums and Latin percussion-style stuff," Alt explains. "But we thought, there’s got to be more to a band than the materialism and commercial aspect. There’s got to be a way to heal with our art.
"So Stephen Perkins, the drummer from Jane’s Addiction, with our friend Joey Klapparta started this thing at Camp Joan Mier," Alt continues. "For two summers we’d come down to this camp, every other Sunday, and play for 25 to 30 disabled kids. We would just drum and get into these rhythms, seeing people with cerebral palsy and Down’s syndrome trying to get out of their chairs and move. We were on to something and it really made us feel good."
Drummer Frank Zummo, a fan of SDC, soon entered the picture and added his vision by developing a more choreographed show and one that could be taken on the road. Zummo brought his past experience with a show called RePercussion – a street drumming team that utilized dumpsters and garbage cans – sponsored by Waste Management. SDC also worked with John Sawicki of "Stomp," a show that also utilizes percussion and performance innovation.
For Warped Tour, Alt says the group has developed a special show and hopes his fellow drum peers will join SDC onstage.
"The highlight will hopefully be to have Travis Barker (Transplants, blink-182) at a few shows, Bob (Bryar) from My Chemical Romance – whoever we meet. That’s what it’s all about; meeting people and having them come up and jam with us."
But for now, just jamming with his brother Adam and friend Zummo has been a dream come true for Bobby Alt.
"I’ve always wanted to do something with my brother. We both play drums, so this was the way to do it," explains Alt. "Life is about the journey, not the destination. It’s about living in the moment." And obviously for Alt, not just about doing one thing.
Street Drum Corps will be performing at the Warped Tour July 1 at Cal State University Long Beach, July 3 at Seaside Park in Ventura and July 6 at the Pomona Fairplex. SDC will also be performing at Magic Mountain from July 9-Sept. 4. For more information, visit www.streetdrumcorps.com or www.myspace.com/bang.