Metal drummer recovers from 2015 bus crash
Holt — It’s a Saturday morning in June, and the sound of loud, rhythmic drumming echoes off the basement walls of Andrew Tkaczyk’s house in Holt.
Tkaczyk, 30, nods his head to the beat, keeping time as his arms, one of which is covered in tattoos, move, sticks in hand, from the cymbals to the drums. His right leg ends at the knee, his thigh resting on a pad that quickly moves with it, up and down, keeping time with the beat he’s setting.
Tkaczyk’s at home in his new digs after spending just over two years at his parent’s house in Charlotte, where he adjusted to life as an amputee and worked to recover from multiple bone fractures and myriad other injuries.
A horrific collision between his band’s tour bus and a semi outside El Paso, Texas in November 2015 left Tkaczyk’s body broken. In the aftermath, his and his bandmates’ music careers with globallyknown metal core band The Ghost Inside have been in limbo.
The drivers of both vehicles were killed in the crash. Four members of The Ghost Inside sustained injuries.
Tkaczyk lost his right leg from the knee down. He spent more than a year healing from rib and hip fractures, multiple vertebrae fractures and a minor head injury, as well as a torn rotator cuff and damaged ligaments and nerves in his right shoulder and right hand.
Tkaczyk’s return to drumming, and the reunion of The Ghost Inside in April, wouldn’t have been possible without the help of a device that his dad, Larry Tkaczyk, created that’s allowed him to play percussion without wearing his prosthetic.
The three-foot high, 20-pound creation connects a raised lever to the percussion set’s drum pedal via a bar connecting them. With it Tkaczyk uses his right thigh without the prosthetic to keep the beat while he plays.
In true metal fashion, it’s called “the hammer.”