The name is Aviv Cohen, a 31 year California based drummer, Originally from Israel. Five years ago, Cohen decided to leave a thriving music career in his home town of Tel Aviv and move 17 hours of flight away and relocate to Los Angeles, in order to take it the next level.
Having played with some of the biggest artists in Israel, Cohen gained plenty of experience and today he plays drums for non other than ‘Air Supply’, one of the most iconic groups in Pop history, while still making time to produce and release music with his own Alternative Rock band ‘Drugstore Fanatics’ as well as working as a session musician in LA.
Play the Video for ‘Circus Dance‘ by Drugstore Fanatics with the Chords & Lyrics in Sync:
“I started taking formal drum lessons when I was about 14. For many years my older brother, who’s also a musician, turned me on to a lot of different types of music, so it just felt natural for me to start learning how to play an instrument”, says Cohen and lists legendary drummers Matt Cameron, Bill Bruford, John Bonham and Tony Allen as his biggest influences.
“At 19 I decided that from this moment on, I will only work in music-related jobs, even if it means not making much money for a while. I managed to score my first professional gig, playing for a rising local pop artist. After that first gig, things started rolling pretty quickly and within 6 years I’ve built quite a resume for myself and was lucky enough to have played with some of my favorite Rock, Pop, Reggae and Hip Hop artists in the country as well as doing my own projects. Those were amazing years playing with some of the best musicians I’ve ever met and really getting some education i would have never gotten anywhere else.
“I always knew I wanted to a build an international career and in the last couple of years in Israel, I’ve collaborated with a good friend of mine, Daniel Brecher on some music and we ended up recording an album and releasing it under the name Drugstore Fanatics”, He Explains, “That ended up being the trigger for me relocating to the states. We made an album we both really believed in and decided to pursue this project in Los Angeles while both of us wanted to branch out and let ourselves evolve musically regardless of our project”.
What was the Idea behind ‘Drugstore Fanatics’?
“It started with one or two songs Daniel had written and called me up to play drums in and slowly it became a collaborative effort where both of us were writing and producing everything together. We didn’t have any rules as to what we wanted the music to sound like. Upon our relocation to Los Angeles we recruited local musicians to complete the line up and quickly started to tour while working on new material as well.
“Our music was available for download on our site and it was gradually spreading all over the world. For our second album, we changed some thing up musically. We were in a different state of mind creating new music in LA (As opposed to doing it at Daniel’s parent’s basement) and were listening to a lot of different types of music so we created a much more eclectic sounding album which we were very proud of. By the time of its release, we’ve had thousands of downloads of the first album so there was a different starting point”.
And how did all that led you into ending up with a band like ‘Air Supply’?
“I was busy gigging and recording around town. Shortly after moving to LA I started getting into the whole South Bay thriving Reggae scene thanks to my friend Jonah David (former drummer for Matisyahu) who invited me to sit in during one of his reggae gigs, which lead to me getting acquainted with some of the local musicians. So for those next couple of years I played a lot of reggae as well as various other Rock and Pop gigs around the city, until ‘Air Supply’ were looking for a new drummer and the band’s keys player, Amir Efrat, who was also from LA, started asking around and two mutual friends of ours (with whom I played in town in different projects) recommended me, and he then also realized I’m the drummer for ‘Drugstore Fanatics’, which he was a fan of. Of course I said yes.
“Needless to say, I was thrilled. It was quite surreal getting that phone call. It’s been life changing. The band tours non-stop all year long, all over the world, playing in front of 2000, 5000 or even 10,000 people and it’s sold out practically every night. It’s nice getting to work on such a professional level with great musicians especially with how impressive the history and legacy of this band is. I’ve definitely gained a lot of experience I wouldn’t have gotten anywhere else”.