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Glen Sobel: Hired Gun

Seamus Evely  /  UPDATED Aug 19, 2022

“You just keep working and you have short-term goals. For me, it was a very slow up-hill climb.”

Glen Sobel, an L.A. born and raised drummer, is a familiar name within the industry. He has held the gig with Alice Cooper for over eight years and has also been working with Hollywood Vampires, featuring Alice, Joe Perry, and Johnny Depp! That is quite a heavy list of names, isn’t it? Beyond that, he has also toured with Chris Impellitteri, Jennifer Batten (Michael Jackson’s guitarist), Tony Macalpine, Gary Hoey, Warner Bros recording act Beautiful Creatures (Ozzfest tour), Cypress Hill and many others.

Glen has a reputation of being a quick study. He can learn a whole set of live material in a day or track an entire album worth of material on very short notice. He has a method of creating a cheat sheet that has helped him achieve such remarkable results and maintain his successful career over many years. Two examples of where he was thrown in the fire were when he subbed for Vasco Rossi’s Matt Laug and also Tommy Lee of Motley Crue. Both of these gigs were sudden and forced him to learn and execute material quickly.

I was excited to speak to Glen because of his pistol hot reputation as a hired gun. It is a fiercely competitive career and Glen has proven his worth over and over again. I thought that having Glen speak about his expertise on the podcast would bring a lot of value to anyone who either is already slugging it out in this role or those who are just beginning their journey. There is a lot of useful and promising advice in this episode for our community.

In this episode:

You’ll hear about…

  • Glen’s first band ever, Bourbon Street
  • How deep interest and passion in something can lead to success over time
  • CBGs (Character Building Gigs)
  • When it’s time to move on or stay on board to see if what you envision becomes reality
  • The advice and mentorship that Gregg Bissonette has provided for Glen
  • How Glen prepared and executed some major sub in gigs (such as for Matt Laug and Tommy Lee
  • Glen’s neck injury several years ago and what he does now to preserve himself as well as future proof his career
  • If Glen couldn’t play drums anymore, what else he would do
  • If the rock n’ roll image is real or just an image
  • If there are too many samples in modern rock music
  • If typical bar gigs for 50 people are better or worse than playing sold out arenas with Alice Cooper

Why you should listen:

It’s a rare opportunity to have a lengthy conversation with one of rock music’s finest hired guns. I felt it was paramount to have him share his first-hand experiences so you can have a better vantage point to the real side of this industry. You could get caught up with dreams and visions of a life better than your own and maybe something like what Glen does is the answer…in your mind.

I wanted to both demystify this fantasy and also provide helpful tips for working drummers told through the vast experiences that Glen has had. I think that we managed to create a fine episode that will serve listeners on a very practical level.

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