Abe Laboriel Jr.
* March 23, 1971
United States
With a father who is an amazing bass player and a mother who is a classically trained singer and a self-taught pianist, no wonder Abe Laboriel Jr. has been banging on objects since before he could walk. In an interview with DW, Abe reviels:
"There are pictures of me at 18 months surrounded by my mother's pots and pans, holding wooden spoons, wearing head phones and making a beautiful noise. When I was four years old a family friend (Jamey Hadad) gave me my first drum set."
Abe claims that his many failed attempts at melodic instruments have given him an affinity for the simpler arts, such as cooking and drumming.

When he wasn't in a classroom learning his ABC's, he was sitting in a recording studio watching his father's sessions in action. By the age of 10, he was taking lessons from drumming ace Alex Acuna. During his junior year of high school, he attended the Dick Grove School of Music. The following year, Abe Jr. was honored by the National Foundation for the Advancement of the Arts and Down Beat magazine. Following in his father's footsteps, he earned a degree from the Berklee College of Music in 1993.

Abe Jr.'s first big break came when he was asked to tour with Steve Vai. As Abe told Modern Drummer:
"It was one of the first things I really did on my own, strictly on my own merit, and I can pretty much trace everything I've done back to that gig."
Since that time, Abe Jr. has toured and/or recorded with A-Ha, Vanessa Carlton, Kelly Clarkson, Sheryl Crow, Duran Duran, Melissa Etheridge, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Chris Isaak, Jewel, B.B. King, Jonny Lang, K.D. Lang, Paul McCartney, Liz Phair, LeAnn Rimes, Seal, Shakira, Sting, Scritti Politti, Michele N'dgeocello, Steve Vai, Big Mountain, Juliana Hatfield, Dianne Reeves and Joe Sample.

His drum work can also be heard on several movie soundtracks including Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker, Legally Blonde, Reality Bites and Treasure Planet.

Since 2001, Abe Jr. has been on one whirlwind ride after another. As he told Modern Drummer:
"I had just finished Paul McCartney's record when Sting called. I did the Concert for New York (...) and then the Sting tour started the following Monday. (...) Then I toured with Paul (...) I go from the biggest experience of my life to the next biggest experience of my life."
Abe Jr. also got to show off his singing skills on the McCartney tour by providing background and counterpoint vocals on such classics as "Eleanor Rigby" and "She's Leaving Home."

Having a gentle personality that belies both his size and aggressive drumming style, Abe Jr. "exudes a glow and inner kindness that is both spiritual and contagious." He believes that 90 percent of the key to success is attitude, and he attributes his confidence to the love and support he received from his family. As Abe told Modern Drummer:
"They gave me really great guidance, but allowed me to still be a goof-off and an individual. They helped me have confidence in being myself, not worrying about what everyone else might think. All that matters is what you feel about yourself. (..) Watching my father and the joy he has was always encouraging. To see somebody who was fully in love with what he does and fully in love with every moment was a great example and something to strive for."
It appears that Abe Sr.'s dream of encouraging the generations is being realized. Perhaps just perhaps father does know best after all.

After a lifetime of learning and absorbing the artistry of some of the world's most respected musicians (including mentors Jeff Porcaro, Chester Thompson and Alex Acua, as well as his "Bass Legend" father), Abe Jr. has truly come into his own aggressive and commanding style.
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