At 21 I moved from Israel to Los Angeles to pursue my love for drumming. I was told I'm making a huge mistake, and that like all musicians I should expect a sucky life. I'm here to prove that when you follow your heart things do WORK OUT.
Over the last 3 years, I've learned, by ear, note-for-note performances by some of the most amazing drummers and bands to have ever walked this planet. Tool, Metallica, Pantera, Dream Theater, Rush, Slipknot, System Of A Down, to name a few. I realize now, this was the best school life could have given me. I've learned so much by simply playing to my favorite songs, and I was able to take my time and do this right, because you allowed me, you supported me every step of the way.
Now It's time for me to find my own voice, to take all that I've learned from the bands that I look up to and create something new.
For the longest time I was waiting for my big opportunity to come along. I thought that if I just keep doing what I love and keep working hard, this opportunity will just show up - but I've recently realized that there's no guarantee anything is going to happen unless you make it happen. So this is me making it happen.
My name is Meytal Cohen. Pretty common Israeli name that also just happens to sound like my favorite style of music. Coincidence? I think not. So yes, I'm from Israel. I'm the youngest of 7. I have 4 sisters and 2 brothers. My dad died when I was 7 years old, when a drunk driver crashed while he was standing on the sidewalk. My mom successfully raised us all by herself.
I started playing drums at 18 years old, despite the conventional "you're making noise, you're wasting time, you're spending money, and this will never mount to anything" sorta attitude I was getting at home. The same year, I graduated from high school and was drafted to the Israeli Defense Force (it's mandatory), I served my country for 2 years and was released from the IDF.
At age 21 I moved to Los Angeles to pursue my love for drumming. I attended the LA Music Academy, and while in school I managed to break my back in a car accident. I broke three vertebras, and had to wear a back brace for 6 months. I returned to Israel for the healing process, and within a year I came back to LA and later on graduated.
Everything that happened in my life made me who I am today, and I'm happy and thankful for all the experiences and people that brought me to this exact moment.
After school, it wasn't easy, like it never really is for a musician trying to make a living at it. I tried to find my place in the huge and scary music industry of Los Angeles, and I can't say I had much luck. In 2009, me and a few friends produced and recorded a metal violin cover of System Of A Down's "Toxicity". We shot a "music video" and put it up on YouTube. A few months later, the video already had 3 MILLION views.
After seeing the response to our toxicity video, I knew YouTube was an amazing platform and I really wanted to shoot more videos. So I decided I was going to shoot 100 drum covers and see what happens next. 3 years later, I now have over 120 videos, 65,000,000 views and 330,000 subscribers on YouTube, and 370,000 likes on Facebook. UNREAL.
So here I am today, living in LA doing what I love in the most unconventional way I would have ever imagined and It's all thanks to you, my followers, the group of amazing people that loves what I do. You've been buying shirts, sticks and posters off of my website which allowed me to keep shooting more and more videos while still being able to pay my rent. Your support made all of this possible! You inspire me to keep on, and dream big.
Recently, major labels have been taking a special interest in my channel and videos. Almost every drum cover that I upload is "flagged" and automatically blocked by them. Sometimes only for mobile devices (cause they can't run their ads on mobile), sometime for specific countries, and sometimes worldwide (like my "Nightmare" video, that got 1,000,000 views within the first month of upload, before it got blocked).
A few months ago I decided that I'm going to write and produce a full album. The first step was getting one song ready and see how it goes. And so "Breathe" was born. The first draft of this song (guitar and bass) was written and recorded by my most talented friend Gil Baram (The guitarist with the dreadlocks in the "Breathe" video, who also produced the "Toxicity" cover track). Gil and I have been friends on and off (cause we tend to piss each other off) since I was about 17 years old. We listened to the same bands, we went to the same metal clubs back in Israel, and so I knew I was going to love what ever he comes up with, and I was right.
Then I started thinking who should be the vocalist on this track, and It was SO important for me to find an amazing singer. For me, it's always the singer and the drummer that make or break a band (no offense to all you guitar and bass players - you're really important too) :-) I vaguely remembered this guy that emailed me a few years back, who sent me a sample of his singing and blew me away. So I sifted through 2 years of emails, trying to find his info, and I did - That was Eric Emery. Man, this kid can sing. And luckily he was totally down to sing "Breathe".
Eric then introduced me to the amazing Sahaj Ticotin (The guitarist without the dreadlocks in the "Breathe" video). Sahaj played a huge part in bringing this song to life: Together we wrote lyrics and produced the song. He recorded guitar, bass, sang background vocals, and I recorded drums IN HIS HOUSE - I have no idea how he made it sound so good. The amazing Dave Schiffman mixed the song, which truly is unbelievable since he actually worked with lots of the bands I cover (Avenged Sevenfold, Rage Against The Machine, System Of A Down, RHCP, and so many more), and Paul Logus (who has worked with Limp Bizkit, David Bowie, Killswitch Engage and Beyonce to name a few) did an amazing job mastering the song. Both Dave and Paul were extremely kind and supportive of my unique place in life and I can't thank them enough for their help.
I feel like I've assembled an amazing band and I will be truly blessed to be able to create a full album with these talented friends.
"Breathe" is, and forever will be the first song I have released to the world. I think the name of the song really fits with where I am in life at the moment. This path we choose as artists can get a bit overwhelming - not knowing if you're gonna have enough money to pay rent next month, and that tiny voice in the back of your mind that says "what if my family is right, and I really am wasting my time? holy shit what am I going to do then?!" I've learned that you gotta appreciate the adventure and just remember to BREATHE :)
The photo you see on the top of this page was created by the talented Michael Herb. Michael emailed me a few months back, and I was instantly in love with his work. In his email, he mentioned that he's based in Vegas and that if I'm ever in the area he would love to do a photo shoot with me! Funny enough, I had a rehearsal scheduled in Vegas a few weeks after, and so before I knew it, I found myself air drumming away, while someone is holding my hair up and spraying me with a very sticky liquid, in an alternative church in Vegas. I shit you not.
The meaning of the name "Meytal" in Hebrew is "Dew Water", so I think that the interpretation of this photo is just perfect. As soon as I saw it, I knew that I had found the one who was going to be doing the artwork for my album. We have been talking about creating a full blown art book of some insane shots, if my budget permits! Amen to that!
It's pretty amazing that I was able to shoot this Kickstarter video with zero budget. I'm unbelievably lucky and thankful to have such talented friends, whom without, I would not have been able to shoot this video: Director Lior Geller and Director of Photography Carlo Alberto Orecchia. craaaaaaazy talented ppl.
If I know you, and I think I do, you're probably wondering who's the cute Bass player girl - That's Amy Alison Clark. Girls that can seriously rock are so hard to find, so I was super excited that after a lot of searching, I was able to find Amy. Amy didn't actually record the bass on "Breathe", but you can bet she would have rocked it if she did. The video was shot at Musicians Institute Hollywood, who were awesome enough to let me shoot on their main stage - Thank You!
There's a lot riding on this one... This album needs to be amazing enough to stand on it's own. It needs to be so good that it generates enough momentum to Kickstart my career as an artist that has not just this one album, but many albums to come.
You are the reason why this is now possible, but the music needs to be the reason why it will continue to be possible.
From my first cover to my first original song. THANK YOU.
Risks and challenges
None.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (31 days)