For some people, their art is a means of escape, diversion, even therapy. For others, its away to find deeper connection to family, friends, inner strength.
For Terry Stirling, Jr., music has been a culmination of both. His path, though not linear and not always smooth, has led him to become an internationally respected drummer with chops noticed by the likes of Matt Sorum and Chris Chaney. By the time he was 21, he’d shared stages all over the world with bands such as Avenged Sevenfold, Korn, Motley Crue, Paramore, Rise Against, and Flogging Molly. In May of 2014, Viceroy Crux and its debut EP ROUND DICE has come to light.
Like many kids, Terry was introduced to classic pop & rock by his parents. The Beatles and Elvis Presley served as the soundtrack to his childhood. At age two, he was given a toy drum kit, setting his life’s stage. Throughout junior high and high school, he participated in the marching band, jazz band and orchestra as a drummer. Outside of school, healthy doses of punk rock and skateboarding were consumed. As a senior, Terry was awarded the prestigious Louis Armstrong Jazz Award and won the talent show after being persuaded to participate.
His first professional experience, after slumming the LA circuit with his own bands, was Drive A which released the album Loss of Desire on Adrenaline Records in 2009. In addition to working with Matt Sorum (Guns N’ Roses), who produced a few of the tracks, the band toured the country opening for Cheap Trick, all-star group Camp Freddy, and on fests like Rock on the Range. He later joined friends from Rufio to support an EP followed by a full length record released by The Militia Group and subsequently touring the world.
While driving home from a North America tour, the band’s bus was hit head-on by a car driver who fell asleep at the wheel. The guys were rattled but not seriously injured. The driver of the car was killed. Terry finished out his commitment to Rufio but left the band in 2011 to take a leap of faith. He relocated, enrolled in school, and started volunteering. “I wanted to immerse myself in an environment that was not familiar. The accident was like one of those holy shit moments. I could’ve been gone yesterday, so I’m gonna do something today to develop another part of myself.”
…One of those ‘holy shit’ moments. I could’ve been gone yesterday, so I’m gonna do something today to develop another part of myself.
Understanding the importance of a formal academic education, Terry is now in his 4th year of his finance degree and a Golden Key International Honour Society inductee. (Past notable members of Golden Key include Bill Clinton, Ronald Reagan, and Bill Cosby). He began donating his time after the accident in 2010. Every summer, he traveled the country with Living The Dream Foundation facilitating rock-n-roll dreams for terminally ill youth, connecting them with their favorite musicians for a day at rock festivals.
During this positive, but intense transition, Terry wasn’t really playing drums, but writing songs. The seeds for many songs were planted. After taking a couple lessons from local guitarist Ryan Bradley, a friendship developed. Tim Hockwald, a childhood skateboard and jam-band buddy, was brought into the mix. “I mentioned to Ryan that there was only one bass player for Viceroy: Hockwald.” By the time the trio’s deep appreciation and bond was formed, the Viceroy Crux EP was ready for release. Locked and loaded with the solid back beat of their childhood punk rock companion, Tyler Armenta, Viceroy has been churning about a bit of a buzz. The days ahead are looking bright for this band of brothers, and taking it another sunrise at a time seems to stand true.