Music Lecturer Named to SPIN Top-100 List
Music Department lecturer Blake Fleming has been named to SPIN magazine’s list of the “100 Greatest Drummers of Alternative Music.” Fleming, who has taught advanced drumset at SUNY Oneonta for the past five years, sits at #72 on the list, which includes Sheila E., Bill Ward of Black Sabbath, Stewart Copeland of The Police, Dave Grohl of Nirvana and Foo Fighters, and the drummers of James Brown. In the section on Fleming, SPIN contributor Hank Shteamer describes the drummer’s “Most Booming Moment” as a “marriage of prog technique and post-hardcore fury.”
Fleming started drumming at age 8 and spent several years in fife and drumming corps, bagpipe bands, jazz bands and orchestras. His first band was Dazzling Killmen, which he co-founded at age 15. The Killmen toured the United States extensively, recording a handful of singles, two full-length studio albums and one live album. After a 1996 tour with the Japanese progressive punk band Zeni Geva, Fleming moved from St. Louis to New York City and formed the instrumental quartet Laddio Bolocko, which independently recorded and produced three studio albums and toured the United States and Europe numerous times.
After Laddio, Fleming moved to Los Angeles, where he co-founded The Mars Volta in 2001 and recorded their debut single for Grand Royal. He returned to New York to form Electric Turn To Me and toured the United States and Europe extensively. He rejoined The Mars Volta following drummer Jon Theodore’s departure in June 2006. After playing a sold-out arena tour opening for the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Fleming returned to New York, devoting his time to teaching and session work with artists.
Fleming has also composed soundtracks and performed for video artist Janet Biggs. Their collaborations have been featured at the Art Basel Festival in Miami, where Fleming performed solo drumset poolside with Olympic synchronized swimmers; The Gibbes Museum of Art in Charleston, S.C.; the Claire Oliver Gallery in New York, N.Y.; the International Video Art Fair in Barcelona, Spain; and The European Media Art Festival in Osnabrueck, Germany, among others.
In October 2009, Blake embarked on a two-week tour of the U.K. and the Netherlands, playing major festivals and appearing on the BBC and Netherlands television with NYC singer/songwriter Israel Nash Gripka.
Over the past 20 years, Fleming has taught more than 200 students ranging in age from 5 to 50. When he’s not teaching, he keeps a tight schedule of studio work and live performances, in addition to focusing on his new band, Future By Now.