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Drum Dungeon Bio - ELIE BERTRAND
“There’s ton of amazing drummers but Carmine Appice has influenced me so much, from pretty much the first moments I first started playing drums because I bought his book and then got really interested in who he was and the kind of music he played,” said Bertrand. “He’s just such a versatile drummer and he specializes in rock and he influenced my playing and my stage presence. I owe him a lot so I’m really excited to finally meet him and see him play live.”
In addition to having role models like Appice, Bertrand credits her family with allowing her to excel in drumming.
“My parents are both musicians. My dad is a percussionist, and I guess I had a lot of energy so I needed something where I could kind of relax and get it all out and one of my uncles had a drum kit over at his place — he was kinda just keeping it for a friend — and I tried it and loved it, absolutely loved it,” said Bertrand. “I begged for drum lessons and my parents were very supportive and they were nice enough to get me a drum kit and get me started.”
Elie Bertrand, young rising drummer, picked up the instrument at the tender age of five. Coming from a very music oriented family, she explored many different styles of music but hard rock was her first love. After touring Canada over the past few years with different bands such as Montreal’s blues band Sensitive Shoes, percussion troop Insolita and Toronto’s hard rock band Scarlet Sins, sharing the stage with some massive acts such as DJ Champion, Kittie and Motley Crue, Bertrand now performs independently.
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I was born on December 25th 1989 at Granby’s hospital and I grew up in Chambly, a suburb of Montreal, Quebec. I began playing drums I was 5 years old. Both of my parents are musicians and they always loved to introduce my little sister and I to all the different kind of arts. They took us to tons of concerts, we would go to museums often and of course listened to a whole lot of music. Growing up I also took ballet for a while, I was part of a theatre company but really music was more my thing.
I had the chance to take drum lessons from the very beginning. In grade 5 up to secondary 2, I joined a music program where I would go to school in the morning and learn music during the afternoon. We had tons of different classes; we had choir, theory classes, music history classes, I was also taught to play flute, we had composition classes and tons of other awesome courses. I learned different styles of drumming, from jazz to latin, blues and pop but really my hart was always for rock music.
At 14 years old, I left the music program because I wanted to focus more on drumming. That same year I also joined my first pro band. It was a blues and classic rock cover band. We played everything from Joe Cocker to ZZ Top. I learned A LOT with those guys. They were all amazing musicians and I was just the little kid coming in the group. They really took me under their wing and taught me everything I needed to know to become a professional musician. Still to this day, I turn to them for advices.
During my last 3 years of secondary school, I was involved in every single music projects at my school. I played drums in every school shows and for my graduation year my best friends and I put together the award show at the end of the year. It was so awesome. I loved being part of all the aspects of the production. We had to audition all the musicians and singers, to choose the songs, to write the texts, develop the decor and the concepts, etc. It was a blast.
Those 3 years were also very important because it’s pretty much when my professional career began. I played tons of shows with a few different cover bands and I also joined a percussion troop called Insolita. I played different types of gigs; corporate events, festivals including Ottawa’s Winterlude, Mont Tremblant’s International Blues Festival and Montreal’s Jazz Festival, I also played a few TV shows including TVA’s On n’a pas toute la soirée and Vrak TV’s Karv l’Anti-Gala and tons of cool club gigs.
In July 2007 right after my prom night, I moved to Toronto to join a hard rock band called Scarlet Sins. We toured Canada together and played a couple of shows in the US. We played some huge events such as Hard Rock’s Pinktober show, the Sarnia BayFest where we were direct support for Motley Crue, we also played a Molson’s Mega Keg Party, St-Thomas’s Summer Blast, Seattle’s PowerBox Festival, Pearl drums’ Ultimate Drum Camp and we had the chance to share the stage with some massive acts such as Cryptopsy, Kittie, The Trews, Vixen just to name a few. The band got amazing reviews in multiple rock metals magazines and blogs all around the world. The first full-length album got onto the 2008 Grammy Awards’ short lists. We did all of that independently. Let me tell you that to this day this band was definitively one of the best experiences of my life.
In November 2009 after Scarlet Sins decided to go separate ways, I moved back to Montreal and ever since I have been playing independently with different artists. To know the latest about all my projects check out my website: www.eliebertrand.com