Drum­mer pon­ders next move after fire


A Kiwi drum­mer liv­ing in the United States is hav­ing to as­sess his fu­ture after los­ing ev­ery­thing in a house fire.

The fire de­stroyed the house Porirua-born Dylan Elise, 26, was shar­ing with others in Bos­ton, Mas­sachusetts, tak­ing with it all his pos­ses­sions, in­clud­ing a $30,000 drum kit.

Elise was tour­ing Cal­i­for­nia with 1960s jazz rock band Blood, Sweat and Tears, and his three house­mates were at work when their three-storey home was de­stroyed within 20 min­utes on Satur­day. Three cars parked in front of the house were also wrecked.

‘‘I came back and there was just noth­ing left,’’ Elise said. ’’It’s been pretty dev­as­tat­ing.’’

Now he is fac­ing the de­ci­sion as to whether to re­build his life in Bos­ton, or move to Los An­ge­les, where he also has friends.

The fire was so pow­er­ful it melted the forged me­tal cym­bals on his cus­tom Drum Work­shop kit.

‘‘Good qual­ity drums are ex­pen­sive ... It was my dream kit, ev­ery­thing ex­actly how I wanted.

‘‘It’s go­ing to be a long process get­ting things back to­gether.

‘‘We’ve been mak­ing light of it, but we have noth­ing.’’

He felt grate­ful the ex­plo­sion did not hap­pen 12 hours ear­lier when his flat­mates were home asleep.

Now they are sleep­ing on airbeds – ’’marae-style’’, he said – in a lit­tle apart­ment.

His house­mates were in­volved with the band and so was the home­owner.

‘‘I’ve kind of been adopted into this fam­ily ... it was go­ing fan­tas­tic. I’ve been in this band for about 18 months after mov­ing here in Fe­bru­ary last year.’’

Elise grew up in Porirua and took up drums at the age of 6. He was per­form­ing in bars by the time he was 12 and be­came a reg- ular busker in Welling­ton by 14.

He was a busker at the Welling­ton Sev­ens, and toured with X-Fac­tor fi­nal­ist Mi­hi­rangi Mihi.

‘‘I moved here in the hope of be­ing a pro­fes­sional drum­mer, moved here with no-one,’’ he said.

Tour­ing has taken him all over the United States, to Canada, and Mex­ico. The band is plan­ning to tour Aus­tralia next year.

The house­mates have started the long process of claim­ing in­surance. Fire of­fi­cers are in­ves­ti­gat­ing the cause.

‘‘We’re just stay­ing pos­i­tive. That’s all you can do,’’ he said.


Drum­mer Dylan Elise lost ev­ery­thing when the house he was liv­ing in in Bos­ton, Mas­sachusetts, blew up on Au­gust 27.

Drum­mer Dylan Elise be­hind an ex­pen­sive Drum Work­shop kit be­fore a gig with his band Blood, Sweat and Tears in Amer­ica in May.

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