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Billy Ashbaugh

Billy Ashbaugh was born on February 25th, 1964 in Fredrick, Maryland. He began playing drums at the age of 5. By the time he was 18, he was playing professionally.

At age 23, he moved to Ft. Lauderdale, FL. After taking lessons from Ronnie Ciago, it didn't take long before he became an instructor himself. During this time, his reputation grew with local bands, in particular, the group "House Gigs".

In 1992, he was hired to play drums for Arista recording artist Snap. In addition to touring for the next two and a half years, Billy also recorded two solo funk-rock albums for Turbo B (lead singer/rapper for Snap).
In 1997 he received a call from former Snap manager, Johnny Wright, requesting he play drums for a new group he was managing called NSYNC. In the summer of 1999, he met Neil Giraldo, guitarist / producer / songwriter for Pat Benatar. Things clicked between them, and in February of 2000 he recorded 8 tracks for her new album. Later that year, Bob Gatzen and Billy came up with a new concept for Gatzen's next video in his "Inspiring Drummers" series. The video is scheduled to be released by Warner Bros. in the spring of 2001. As a follow up to the video's release, Warner Bros. will also release an "In Session" play along CD for drums, featuring music from NSYNC's HBO Live Concert Special.

In addition to promoting his video and play-along CD, Billy is also involved with a "Drum-Loop" CD project, as well as recording more tracks for Pat Benatar, and continuing to tour with *NSYNC. Billy also has backed artists such as Britney Spears, Jordan Knight, Samantha Mumba, and recorded tracks for Jive Record's new artist, Aaron Carter, brother of Nick Carter from the Backstreet Boys.
What prompted you to play the drums? Any early influences?
When I was young, I used to bang on pots & pans or shoe boxes all the time. My parents saw my interest and encouraged me to play the drums. I guess it was something that was just in my blood. Some of my earlier influences are: Rod Morgenstein, Terry Bozzio, Dave Weckl & Dennis Chambers.
Did you study percussion or drums with anyone?
Yes, Ronnie Ciago in the Miami area in 1989. I studied with him for about two years. From there, I started working a lot out of books.
What was your first gig like? Any crazy gigs ?!?!?!
It was in Jr. High at a talent contest. We did the song "Jane" by Jefferson Starship. I guess we did pretty good cause we won first place. This isn't really crazy, but in Brazil at Rock in Rio, there were over 280,000 people!! Looking out during the show and seeing an ocean of people was definitely an amazing feeling.
How did you get the gig with N*Sync?
I knew their manager, Johnny Wright, from a gig I did with SNAP back in the early 90's.
Do have any favorite snares or cymbals?
I'm currently in the process of building up my snare drum collection. So far I have almost 20 and I love them all. One of my favorite cymbals is a 16" custom Signature Heavy China that Paiste made for me.
Your video is awesome! How long did you get to jam on the new tracks before recording them?
In between the N*Sync gigs, I had about 2 months to work on the tunes
Do you play any other instruments?
Unfortunately I do not.
What music have you been listening to lately?
Lately I've been listening to: The Dave Weckl Band, Level 42 and Linkin Park.
Any words of advice for young drummers (and old!)?
Find a good teacher and study hard. Listen to all styles of music. Make sure you're always having fun at the gig, if you're not, it's time to move on.
What are your favorite Nsync songs to play live?
I enjoy "Digital Get Down" & "Gone"
Aside from music, do you have any hobbies worth mentioning?
Being a Daddy.
Anything you'd like to say?
Yeah, I'd like to mention that I have a video out on Warner Bros. It's called "Takin' Care Of Business" and it's meant to inspire people to pick up the sticks and get behind the kit. There's a CD with drumless mixes of 3 'NSYNC & 3 Original songs for playing with. The DVD will be available by December 2001. In the beginning of 2002, Warner Bros. will release an "Ultimate PlayAlong" CD w/booklet containing all of the music on the video. Currently the video can be found anywhere they sell Warner Bros. music videos or off of my website-www.billyashbaugh.com.

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