About Mike Hetzel
Born in Milwaukee, WI in 1992, Mike Hetzel’s initial interest in music was sparked by his piano/organ playing father (also named Mike). Mike began his musical journey at the age of 3 playing the piano. At the age of 6, he discovered his true musical passion, drumming!!! His dad, banker by day, musician by night, was able to present him with many opportunities to play with experienced musicians in the Milwaukee area.
After attending a local drum competition in 1999 called “Thundering Drums,” Mike began taking private lessons from Bob Lalko. Mike entered the “Thundering Drums” competition the following year and took 2nd place in his division. After a year or so Mike switched teachers and studied with Jim Kube throughout junior high school.
Mike started going with his dad to wedding/party gigs when he was eight years old and became the de-facto sound man/“roadie.” This sparked Mike’s fascination with audio which eventually led to the Hetzel’s building a full-service home recording studio in 2004. Over the next several years they would record countless demos and EP’s with local Milwaukee artists, most notably producing two jazz LP’s with Rick Aaron, and two gospel LP’s with Elliot Hughes.
From grades 6-12 Mike took part in the percussion section in the school band program. In 2010 Mike was the recipient of the Louis Armstrong Jazz award from Menomonee Falls High School.
In 2010, Mike started a YouTube channel that features his drum cover/performance videos. Today that channel has over half a million views and several thousand subscribers.
Mike studied funk/R&B drumming with Jim Payne in 2012, as well as studying Pro Tools mixing and mastering with Jeff Baust through Berklee College of Music.
In 2013, Mike moved to Los Angeles to attend Musicians Institute where he received a Bachelor’s Degree in Drum Performance. During his time there he also received the “Outstanding Student” award. Mike had the opportunity to study with Devin Kelly, Tim McIntyre, Jason Harnell, Rob Carson, Chuck Silverman, Ian Robbins, Russell Ferrante (of Yellowjackets fame), and many others.
While Mike was at MI, he became one of the go-to jury/recital drummers and played on 30+ juries during his 4 year LA residency, which allowed him the opportunity to play all styles of music with hundreds of different musicians.
Mike played with numerous bands in the greater Los Angeles area including progressive metal bands "Shattered Systems" and “Initiator,” a Ska/Punk band called “The Gritty’s,” Styx tribute bands, "One With Everything” and “Rockin’ The Paradise,” and many other various sit-in gigs.
Upon graduating in 2017, Mike moved back to his home of Milwaukee, WI to pursue a career in audio production and drumming.
Mike has grown his studio business into a driving force in the audio industry, focused mostly on post-production mixing, working with artists all over the United States, such as Nik West (of Prince fame), Autumn Academy, Shayliff, Mile Marker Zero, Burning Red and many many others.
In 2020 Mike became the drummer of the nationally touring RUSH tribute/original band, YYNOT, be sure to check them out on tour!