Chris "CJ" (Drums)
CJ joined the High Tops gang in September of 2011. A drummer of many styles, Chris enjoys
playing Progressive Metal, Heavy Metal, Rock, Hip Hop/Funk, and Fusion. Since joining the
High Tops, Chris has been lucky enough to form strong new friendships with his band mates
and play around much of Western Massachusetts and Connecticut.
CJ started drumming at three years old when his brother, Ryan, began drumming for his
high school’s marching band. He would take lessons with Ryan throughout grade school and
eventually joined the High School Marching Band in 8th grade as a bass drum player.
He would eventually end up playing all three marching percussion instruments and even
became Co-Section Leader in his Senior year. Outside of Marching Band season, Chris was a
part of the Concert Band and Jazz Band playing Bass Trombone and the Indoor Percussion
Group. After high school, Chris attended the University of Massachusetts Amherst and played
with the award-winning UMass Drumline as a tenor player.
After a year in the UMass Drumline, Chris realized that his true passion lay in playing
drum set.He then began lessons with renowned artist and session drummer
Thomas Giampietro (Jazz Drum Set Professor at UMass Amherst) and local drummer
Ed Dupont (drummer for 80's cover band Aquanett).
Chris is now a full time "IT Guy" and also plays in three different groups (Moose and the High Tops, 7 Bridges Road, and a Heavy Rock/Metal Project (unnamed at the moment). He survives both jobs with the love from his wife Emma. "She encourages me everyday to be the best person I can be both at my job and with my music. I cannot ask for a better life partner!"
CJ's Favorite Drummers (Alphabetical order): Dave Weckl, Gavin Harrison, Heracio Hernandez, Jojo Mayer, Mike Mangini, Marco Minnemann, Mike Portnoy, Neil Peart, Ringo Starr, Scott Travis, Simon Phillips, Steve Gadd, Steve Smith, Terry Bozzio, Todd Sucherman, Virgil Donati, and the list could go on!
Some of CJ's Favorite musical groups in alphabetical order: 311, Alter Bridge, Black Sabbath, Dave Matthew's Band, Deep Purple, Dio, Dream Theater, Extreme, Extreme, Foo Fighters, Haken, Helloween, Incubus, Iron Maiden, Journey. Judas Priest, Kamelot, Kiss, Led Zeppelin, Opeth, Pearl Jam, Porcupine Tree, Queensrÿche, Soundgarden, Styx, The Beatles, Unisonic, and Van Halen.
"Music has been my passion for so many years, and it's what keeps me going! \m/(><)\m/"
7 piece Pearl Masters MCX (Maple) Drum set (Piano Black w/ Chrome Hardware)
Rack Toms: 8x6", 10x8", 12x9"; Floor Toms: 14x14", 16x16" ; Bass Drum: 22x18"
Snares: 14x5.5" Maple Pearl Custom MCX Masters Series, 4x5.5" Pearl Custom Poplar snare Limited Edition
Batter: Evans G2 Coated/G2 Clear
Resonant: Evans G1 Clear
Bass Drum: Aquarian Super Kick II, Pearl
Snare Heads: Batter: Evans Coated Heavyweight (batter)/ 500 Snare Side
Crashes: 16” HHX Stage Crash, 17” AAXplosion Crash, 17” HHX Stage Crash, 16” HHXplosion Crash
Hi Hats: Main-14" HHX Evolution Hi Hats (Dave Weckl), Aux/X-13” AAX fusion Hi Hats
Ride: 20” AAX Metal Ride, 22" HHX Evolution Ride
Aux: 10” Vault Mike Portnoy Signature Max Stax, 10" AAX Splash
China: 19” Holy China
Bass Pedals: Tama Speed Cobra Double Pedal, DW 5000 Single Bass Pedal
Stands: Tama Speed Cobra Hi Hat Stand, Pearl 1000/2000 series stands
Drum Rack: Pearl ICON DR-503C Drum Rack
Throne: Pearl D-2000 Throne
Vic Firth Extreme 55A Hickory L=16.5" Dia=.580"
Vic Firth Extreme 5B Hickory L=16.5" Dia=.595"
Vic Firth Heritage Brush (rubber handle)
Vic Firth Rute 202 (7: .188" + 1 .250" dowels)
Vic Firth Rute 606 (19: .125 dowels)
Vic Firth Rute 505 (31: .094 plastic bristles)
Stick Bag: Vic Firth Leather carrier, Vic Firth Dula Marching Snare Bag
In Ears: 64 Ears A6t monitors
Behringer Powerplay 1 Headphone Amp
Sennheiser E604 (Toms 8, 12, 12. 14)
Shure SM 57 (snare)
Shure Beta 52 (Bass and Floor Tom)