Hey! I’m John, I play drums with Fitz & The Tantrums. I’m also an obsessive record store “crate digger” and a wannabe music historian with a penchant for rare soul, r & b, early hip hop, jazz, disco, early Detroit techno, Bad Brains and anything with a Hammond organ.
Artists I’ve most recently played live or on record include, B.O.B., Bruno Mars, Cee Lo, Meshell Ndegeocello, Chocolate Genius Inc., Fitz & The Tantrums, RZA, David Byrne, George Clinton, Money Mark, Mike Watt, Heather Porcaro, Skerik, Sam Sparro, NASA, Gift Of Gab, Teddy Bears w/ Iggy Pop, Cory Chisel, Donovan Frankenreiter, Jessie Baylin, Joshua Radin, Zack Hexum, Soccermom and many more.
Here is what James Hale at Downbeat Magazine was nice enough to write a couple of years ago…
DOWNBEAT MAGAZINE “YOUNG DRUMS: 13 WHO WILL SET THE BEAT FOR THE FUTURE”Seattle’s loss is L.A.’s gain. After establishing himself as one of the most distinctive and supportive drummers in the Northwest, John Wicks has made the move south-no surprise, really, when you consider his laid-back style and its origins. “I was a Navy brat, so we moved a lot,” he says. “When my dad was stationed in New Orleans, my mother took me out to Mardi Gras, and I just fell in love with that sound. My parents were also really into Ahmad Jamal, so Vernel Fournier was a big influence. I loved him, along with Levon Helm and Paul Motian” With his mother’s encouragement, Wicks pursued private lessons with Dave Coleman Sr., a former Billie Holiday sideman, and attended Berklee for a very short stint before hitting the road and getting a real education. While in Boston, he took additional lessons with Joe Hunt, Alan Dawson, and a few with Fournier in New York. Wicks’ instrumental voice has a definite southern drawl, just slightly behind the beat, with plenty of room between strokes. As he likes to describe it: “I’m relaxed and take my time, the way southerners are.