“Never a prodigy, always a hard worker”
~ Paul Wandtke

Paul Wandtke on Evans Drum Heads

Paul Wandtke is currently drumming for the hit musical ROCK OF AGES.

The whole cast and band

The whole cast and band

Read about the full story via Paul’s March 2013 News Page or click “HERE”.

Paul most recently toured and drummed for Kill Hannah during Kill Hannah’s main support run with The Smashing Pumpkins.

Paul Wandtke is well versed in many music styles from rock, jazz, latin, top 40, world music, jam band and more. Whether a band leader is on stage or not, Paul makes sure to deliver a groove so inviting that the whole ensemble and audience is having a blast.

Paul is slowly becoming the who’s who in the industry having been to over 45 countries as a work for hire drummer and by receiving endorsements by some of the world’s top brands and manufacturing companies. On top of drumming, he’s recently launched an original music project called Dead Original. Check out Dead Original at

Paul Wandtke pronounced Want-key likes to be called P@ULE for short.

When Paul is not drumming he stays busy as a front man/guitarist both for his original project Dead OriginaL and his Nirvana tribute called Smells Like Nirvana

Paul Wandtke sings/plays guitar for the Chicago based Nirvana tribute called Smells Like Nirvana check them out at

Dead Original features Paul as the primary vocalist/frontman and song writer. His plans are to bridge the gap of nameless band’s since the 90’s by having a live group that utilizes real instruments and doesn’t rely on backing tracks and beat machines. He says he’s basically taking a Dave Grohl approach to whole process, as he’s a drummer that’s turning front man/guitarist.

Paul Wandtke is a dichotomy of rock star persona and music discipline; a must see drummer during live shows and performances. After a near death experience, reality hit and he decided to follow his dream and passion with drumming.

Paul was born and raised in Chicago , IL and began his drumming career at the age of eleven by performing around Chicago with numerous rock, punk and metal groups. Most notable while residing in Chicago is that early in 06′ Paul collaborated/rehearsed with members of the band Photobucket including frontman EDSEL DOPE and lead guitarist Virus in hopes of a new side project but the concept of the new group exhausted. Paul has performed/recorded in all types of musical settings including jazz, latin, blues, progressive rock, electronica, fusion, dance, punk, ska, musical theatre, but is best known as a rock/metal drummer.

Magazine Lessons:

SICK Drummer Official logo black and whitePaul is a freelance lesson contributor for drum magazines such as Sick Drummer Magazine and Modern Drummer Magazine. He just wrapped up a six-lesson series with SD magazine covering topics about the importance of reading drum notation and he just submitted a 1,500 word article to Modern Drummer tentatively titled “Drum soloing in the live rock/metal context” which will be published very shortly. Paul also is an avid drum instructor both when he’s not on the road and via Skype.

Cruise Ships:

In the past, between school and other events Paul would often be found on the waters playing for cruise ships. For instance, Paul was the showband drummer for Carnival Cruise line’s “Carnival Conquest Orchestra”. The Orchestra performed a total of six nights a week in the Toulouse Lautrec theatre. The shows included three Production Shows, two Big Band Sets and one excellent Motown set. The Toulouse Lautrec theatre holds over 1100 people, and the Conquest Orchestra performed two sets every night and that’s a total of 2200 people that would watch the group and Paul perform.


Prior to his studies at Berklee, Paul has studied percussion at the Joliet Junior College (an accredited school of NASM)and received his Associate in Arts from JJC. During percussion ensemble performances, Paul would often times be featured as a soloist artist on various percussion instruments including the xylophone, marimba, and timpani. Paul understands that both drum set and percussion can go hand in hand, that’s why he has studied both art forms.

During his tenure at Berklee Paul studied privately with Rod Morgenstein (Dixie Dreggs, Winger). Check out Rod’s personal thoughts of Paul’s playing at Other teachers that Paul studied with are Mike Mangini, Skip Hadden, Bob Tamagni, Larry Finn, David Weigert, and Tony Thunder Smith.

For Hire (if time allows):

To find out what Paul can do for your project, then check out Feel free to contact him via email or myspace to schedule an event or session.



  • Paul completed a 3 month tour with MTV2’s The Sammus Theory and is currently on the road with Kill Hannah.


  • Paul toured the states for 5 consecutive months with MTV2’s The Sammus Theory.


  • April: Paul is inducted onto
  • February: Paul becomes an official Vic Firth drumstick artist
  • January: Paul received an endorsement from Evans drum heads
  • Jan-March: Paul performed drums six nights a week aboard Carnival Cruises.


  • December: Paul received an Associate in Arts degree from the Joliet Junior College which is an accredited school of NASM.
  • October: Drum Magazine wrote a review of Paul’s drumming in their New Blood section.
  • September: Paul became officially accepted to attend the Berklee College of Music.
  • July: Paul became an official Trick Drum Artist.
  • Late June: Paul takes first place at the annual Heat Strokes Drum contest.
  • June: Paul performed drums on Chicagoland’s group “The BackSeat Pandas” in support of their five-song EP entitled “Black and White.”
  • May: Release of the 2007 Paul Wandtke Drum Performance DVD. Jan: Paul received the 2006 JJC Music Talent Scholarship from Joliet Junior College based on jury examination, academic performance, and over all participation in the fine arts department.


  • Early in 06′ Paul collaborated/rehearsed with members of Photobucket including frontman Edsel Dope and lead guitarist Virus in hopes of a new side project but the concept of the new group exhausted.
  • October: studio work for “A Texas Funeral” in support of their self-titled five-song EP.
  • Auditioned/performed on drum set for the “Bye-Bye Birdie” musical at JJC.
  • Auditioned/performed on the marimba for the JJC student Honors recital.


  • Competed in Guitar Center’s Drum Off and made it to the district final.
  • Auditioned and became enrolled as a percussion major at Joliet Junior College and ever since I have academically remained a GPA of 3.60.


  • East-coast tour with the Chicago land group “Numb” in support of their five-song EP entitled “High School Sweetheart”.


  • August: Modern Drummer magazine included me in their “On the Move” department.
  • Studio work for the Chicago land group “Else” in support of their five-song EP entitled “When Sun Sets Morning Fire”.


  • Studio work for the Chicagoland group Tremulous, in support of their album “Unbound Aggression”. They have since landed a record deal with Statue Records and received rave reviews in magazine publications such as “PIT Magazine” a publication which is located in Colorado Springs, CO.