Virgil Donati
Clinic Tour 2008

Virgil Donati, australiano di nascita, ha iniziato da piccolissimo a suonare la batteria ed è diventato un batterista riconosciuto a livello internazionale. In Australia, Virgil Donati si è affermato tra i migliori batteristi, sia turnisti che live, iniziando la sua carriera con i Loose Change e gli On the Virg, con i Southern Sons (un gruppo pop-rock) e molti altri tra i quali Tina Arena, Tribal Tech, Scott Henderson, Branford Marsalis. Nel 1996 si trasferisce stabilmente in America dove ha un’intensa attività produttiva. E’ stato per anni alla corte di Steve Vai, inoltre ha suonato con artisti come Planet X, CAB, Scott Henderson, Steve Walsh, Tribal Tech, Frank Gambale, Derek Sherinian, Mark Boals, Dave Stewart, Mick Jagger, Josh Stone, e altri ancora.

L’estrema velocità unita all’altissima tecnica, sia con il doppio pedale che con il singolo, gli permettono di suonare complessi ostinato ad altissime velocità effettuando in contemporanea dei solo con le mani. Virgil Donati può essere considerato l’inventore della tecnica del doppio pedale poiché è stato lui a inserire nel doppio pedale l’utilizzo dei paradiddles, colpi doppi e altri rudimenti.

A novembre abbiamo avuto la possibilità di spendere un’intera giornata con lui. Molto gentile, disponibile e disciplinato in tutti i suoi gesti, ci siamo presi una mezz’ora per intervistarlo davanti alla nostra telecamera.

Virgil was born and raised in Melbourne Australia. From the time he could barely utter a word, he keenly observed the regular band rehearsals his father held in the house. Virgil’s interest in music and instinct for rhythm had been apparent to his parents for some time. They began considering a musical path for him, and one month prior to turning 3, he found himself sitting behind his first real drumset.

Joining his first rock band and signing with his first major label at age 15 was surely the right choice for the young drummer. The band was called `Taste’. This was to give Virgil his early experiences in the studio, with three releases by the band. The relentless touring also allowed him to cultivate and improve his skills where it counts – on stage.

At the age of 16, Virgil turned pro to enable him to tour and focus on music, and has since devoted his whole life and soul to his art. The motivation has been his endless and restless pursuit to express himself through his playing.
At age 19 Virgil traveled to the U.S. to further study drumming, and also took classes in composition and arranging. Returning to Australia at age 21 his career was alight. He was in demand playing many genres of music, including jazz, rock, pop, theatre and studio work. He also worked with many visiting artists, including jazz pianist George Cables, vocalist Mark Murphy, Branford Marsalis and Kenny Kirkland, Melissa Etheridge.
His next taste of commercial success came in the early 90’s with Southern Sons. The band reached double platinum with their debut album. At the same time, throughout the mid 80’s and 90’s, Virgil’s interest in progressive music was exploited with several bands he initiated, most notably Loose Change, and later, On The Virg.

In 1996 Virgil uprooted and relocated in the U.S.A., in an attempt to expand onto the world stage. It has since proved to be a very rewarding and productive time. Recording and touring with the likes of Planet X, Steve Vai, CAB, Scott Henderson, Steve Walsh, Tribal Tech, Frank Gambale, Derek Sherinian, Mark Boals, Dave Stewart, Mick Jagger, Josh Stone, and many others, he continues to push the limits of the instrument to astonishing new levels.