Moke Bistany - Last
updated - July 2007
Moke has teamed up with
former POM guitarist Jimmy
Allen and combined their talents into a new endeavour - Against
All Will. Since this update, Moke has departed Against All Will.
Photo courtesy of www.myspace.com/againstallwill
2007 - Moke has departed Puddle of Mudd. We wish him the best wherever
the road takes him. He was always very gracious and took the time to
meet the fans before and after the shows whenever possible. He was not
only great behind the drumkit but also as an individual. The
lucky fans who were able to see him play with Puddle over the last 18
months will miss him tremendously.
Puddle of Mudd fans arrived August 11, 2005 at the Roseland Theatre in
Portland, Oregon, they weren't sure what to expect.
Long time drummer Greg Upchurch had departed the band in early
2005 and the big question became, if Puddle of Mudd are touring, who's
question was soon answered on the opening night of Puddle's Sin City
tour in Portland and from behind the kit emerged a talented drummer
who has a long list of band credits including one with a tie to
Puddle's bassist, Doug Ardito.
'Moke' Bistany stepped onto the stage and remains the current drummer
as we close in on the end of 2006.
was born on July 9 in Peabody, Massachusetts and although he is
currently a resident of sunny California, he claims this Boston suburb
as his home.
people can pinpoint when their interest in something becomes so strong
that they decide to pursue it on an active level and Moke is no
different. At the
impressionable age of 15, with the music of Led Zeppelin, The Doors,
Rush, and Van Halen ricocheting inside of his head like a pinball
machine, it was the defining time where he would make his career
choice, one that would give him a notable portfolio of musical
time between baseball and soccer while at Peabody High School, drums
were his first choice while in the high school band.
Not one to be limited, Moke over the years has acquired a bit
of bass experience and also plays the piano by ear, all ingredients
that assist in the ability to evolve as a songwriter and player, using
all the tools one has to travel from A-to-B during the course of ones
first band was while he was in high school was called Prowler.
They worked the local Boston nightclub scene and had their
first gig at Narcissus and more were to follow at The Channel,
Celebrations, and other hotspots.
While many teenagers have side jobs to fund their band or
hobbies, Moke had just enough time for one of the most important
things to him at the time and spent all of his time outside of school
with one focus, music.
musicians veer away from the traditional education of music and skip
professional lessons, preferring to jump right in with both feet
gorilla style. Such is not the case with Moke, who from an early start
had some well known drummers inspire him as teachers to perfect his
craft. Rod Morgenstein,
whose credits include being a founding member of the Grammy nominated
Dixie Dregs, the Steve Morse Band, and Winger, became Moke's first
drum instructor. Morgenstein has an eclectic mix of music styles
ranging from jazz, rock, folk, and classical influences that serve him
well as a teacher, giving Moke a beginning background in several
second mentor was Jonathan Mover who has a long list of collaborations
with top artists such as Joe Satriani, soul singer legend Aretha
Franklin, and was on board with GTR as a founding member with Steve
Howe and Steve Hackett. While
an apprentice with Mover, Moke was able to learn an even wider
diversity of genre that in the end would make him a drummer that could
take on any challenge. Moke
was later taught by Gary Chaffee as well, who has a long list of
successful students including Steve Smith (Journey) and Vinnie
Colaiuta (Sting and Frank Zappa).
Lessons learned are long lasting and by staying flexible and
aware of the vast array of music available, it is a hands-on education
that can only prepare you for what is to come.
By surrounding himself with trainers who had taught him various
methods of drumming that are outside of the box the foundation had
been laid. Moke was
setting himself up for the bigger picture, a life-long career in a
field where satisfaction is paramount.
to continue his musical education at a school of higher learning, he
demonstrated a talent that was audible to the more refined ear than
that the average person during auditions at the prestigious Berklee
College of Music in Boston, and he was selected to receive a full-paid
drum scholarship. Though
this stint lasted only six months, it provided another notch towards
experience that would contribute to the drummer Moke has become today.
It's like a ladder, every lesson, every gig, every band, provides a
stepping-stone to tomorrow.
time had come for a more prominent move to gain mainstream exposure
which began in 1984 with a band named Tyrus with many bands in
between, including the Switzerland-based rock band Mud Slick in 1993.
Unknown to Moke, more mud would be in his future 12 years
joined the band Impelletteri in 1992, which was led by the band's
namesake, guitarist Chris Impellitteri.
Chris remains a guitar favorite of Moke's to this day and when
asked to describe him, Moke comments that he is a phenomenal guitar
player who is fast, and impressive. Moke appeared on Impelletteri's
1993 EP Victim of the System under the label JVC Entertainment
in Japan. They weren't a
big breakout band in the United States at the time but had a
tremendous following in Japan. Ken
Mary had been the previous drummer and upon Mary's return, Moke was
once again available and looking for a new band.
pop in and out of your life unexpectedly and such was the case for
Moke, playing a two month gig in 1994 with Lenny Kravitz.
walks Cellophane in 1996 with Shannon Crawford who had worked a deal
to get a demo produced for his new band. Under the guidance of
producer Ross Robinson, a connection was made with Moke and a bass
player named Doug Ardito. Robinson
called Moke and asked him to come and jam with the band and was soon
on board with the fledgling project.
John Chase also joined as the guitarist rounding out the band.
They worked hard trying to make a name for themselves in the
music industry and for promotion at shows they would pass out a
four-song demo that included Standing In The Storm, Tamarak Tree,
Ride Thy Neighbor, and Down.
band began touring larger gigs to gain exposure and even secured a
spot on the inaugural Ozzfest tour in 1996.
Appearing on the second stage with Earth Crisis, Powerman 5000,
Neurosis, and Coal Chamber, it was their biggest gig up to that time.
Ozzfest had not grown to the monster event it is today, but in
1996 the audience count was amazing for an outdoor event with roughly
10,000 screaming, heavy metal and rock fans, it was absolutely,
freaking crazy remembers Moke.
gigs were to follow for Moke and his band mates as they went on to
perform at ESPN's Extreme Games at several of the program's
seven-stops in 1997 including Atlanta, Mount Trashmore in Virginia
Beach, and Florida. Cellophane
was also on tap for a few dates on the Vans Warped Tour that also
included the Nixon's and Sevendust.
luck continued and they landed an opening spot for a new up-and-coming
band, Creed, whose debut album My Own Prison was creating quite
a stir with rock fans in early 1998.
It gave the band a much-needed push to get their name and faces
out to the public and created a buzz about their own debut album.
It was while touring with Creed that Moke acquired his
nickname, which evolved from hanging backstage between shows Scott
Phillips and Mark Tremonti from Creed and band mates Ardito and Chase.
The popular "Got Milk" campaign was the beginning of
the banter that ended with "Got Moke" emblazoned on his bass
drum and the name stuck, he had been branded.
had also become a staple in the Los Angeles area performing at local
hotspots The Whisky, The Troubadour, The Roxy, and even scoring an
opening spot at a surprise show by Rage Against The Machine at The
Dragonfly. The show was
crazy Moke recalls, it was an unannounced show and by the time word
spread Rage Against The Machine were the headliners, 2,000 people had
shown up and were lined up outside, it was packed and out of control.
It was a good outing for the band and it worked to get their
identities out to the masses.
1997 MTV was launching a new summer program, MTV Beach House
which had it's first show filmed in Panama City Beach, Florida.
Cellophane were one of the guests appearing along with Fred
Durst and his band Limp Bizkit. The program was carried on the MTV
schedule and any publicity is good publicity.
Cellophane also had a brief blip of publicity in the popular
1997 Wes Craven film, Wishmaster.
In one scene as the character of Josh Aikman (actor Todd Crane)
is talking to Alexandra Amberson (actress Tammy Lauren), he is getting
into his red convertible, as he starts the car Cellophane's song Down
was playing on the radio for a brief 10-15 seconds. A band takes a hit
of promotion wherever they can get it.
had reached a recording deal and had been signed to Virgin Records,
and subsequently released their self-titled debut CD in the fall of
1997. With eleven songs
on the disc, Here We Lay, Down, No One In The End, Cut Away, I
Crave You Gone, Ride Thy Neighbor, I'm So Glad You Came, Home, Dress
The Day, Tamarak Tree, and Standing In The Storm, one tune
in particular garnered nation-wide radio airplay.
Down set the band's precedent and established their
genre of hard rock and full of grit, a sound that was on the edge of
avant-garde stylistically. A
promotional video had been shot for the band for this same song, and
for Moke's part of the performance, we witness a 007-ish persona as he
gives a sideways glance as if scouting for an unknown enemy.
continued to press forward with touring and despite their best
efforts, the band later disbanded and were not able to achieve the
success they had hoped for under the Cellophane name.
This was a band that was clearly ahead of their time.
Popular music was moving in a different direction at the time
and had they emerged on the scene five years later, they could have
quite possibly been a major player in the rock music scene.
2000, during the break between Cellophane and his next band, Moke
worked as the Music Director for rapper DMX.
This is where his versatility and his love of music across
several spectrums came in to play, all the diversification in the
early days had landed him a position that could only create even more
on the job experience and in the end make him an even better musician
in the long run.
2001, OTEP was the next progression. OTEP had been put together with
Moke's assistance in less than two weeks and by the end of six months
the band had landed a record contract.
Front woman Otep Shamaya leads this hardcore metal band as
their vocalist, who echoes lyrics from a deep, dark, dungeon-like
place. Classified as nu-metal
by some, their sound was not tame by any stretch but along the same
grain as Nine Inch Nails. During
Moke's time with OTEP, he appeared two of their albums. Jihad
EP (2001) featured five songs, Possession, Lord Is My Weapon, Germ,
Fillthee, and T.R.I.C.
A full-length album, Sevas tra (art saves), soon
followed in 2002 with the track list Tortured, Blood Pigs, T.R.I.C.,
My Confession, Sacrilege, Battle Ready, Emtee, Possession, Thots,
Fillthee, Menocide, Jonestown Tea, and a hidden 13th
song. It was while
performing with OTEP, that Moke earned his Three-Time-Ozzfest-Veteran
status by appearing on the second stage in 2001 and in 2002, an
achievement no one else in Puddle has matched to date.
California band HED (pe) had it's roots going back to 1994 and had a
long history before Moke joined the band as their drummer in 2004.
The HED (pe) name has evolved through several changes, pe
meaning planetary earth, planet earth and later being shortened to pe.
During Moke's time with HED (pe), he appeared on the album Only
In Amerika in 2005, which featured the songs Foreplay,
Represent, Truth, Wake Up, Ware, Box, CBC, Voices, Raise Hell,
Amerikan Beauty, Chicken, Daydreams, Not Ded Yet (sic), and an
untitled 14th track. He
was also on their next album Back 2 Base X with the tracks Listen,
Novus Ordos Clitorus, Lock And Load, White Collars, Get Ready, Sophia,
Peer Pressure, Beware Do We Go, Daze Or War, Sweetchops, Soitbe, Let's
Ride, and The Chosen One.
Included on the Japanese and Australian version of the disc was
the bonus track Niteclub In Bali.
of Mudd 2005 to early 2007
fans were left wondering the status of the band since Upchurch's 2005
separation from the band. Early
on there weren't any official comments on who would fill the seat, but
Puddle had plans, the fans just didn't know it and they had to wait it
familiar face and former Cellophane drummer would soon be seen be
appearing on stage as the new percussionist.
Moke had been doing a few tracks in a Malibu recording studio
with long time friend and former band mate Ardito and songwriting came
relatively easy, completing one track in 15-20 minutes, the old flow
between Moke and Ardito had not been lost, and in the end two songs
had been recorded. It was
at the invitation of Ardito that Moke was invited to do a jam session
with Wes and Doug. The
band had been scheduled to do a few shows beginning in August for
their Sin City Tour and a few radio festivals.
It wasn't a matter of trying out, everyone just had the vibe,
it was like being on the same page, and a good fit between the
players. It was while Moke was still with HED (pe) that he started
doing double duty with Puddle and soon it was decision time, with
Puddle being chosen.
was with Puddle on New Years Eve in Times Square 12-31-05 that MSN
caught up with the band for a few quick comments on what to look
forward to from Puddle in the upcoming year and Moke says he,
"hopes for a great album in 2006."
When asked what was it like to play for the largest audience
ever, "It was cold and awesome," Moke replied and added,
"It was off the hook!"
delayed from the hoped for 2006 release, the fans wait for the next
Puddle disc and a full course tour of the United States and abroad.
While we wait, it gives us time to learn more about the new
players in Puddle of Mudd, one being the drummer, who is talented and
fan-friendly, while having a serious side as necessary but never
forgetting to be humble and gracious.
has come a long way in his journey as a musician.
A milestone in his career occurred not long after he moved to
Los Angeles when he participated in the Southern California Division
of Guitar Center's Drum Off. With
over 3,000 contestants, he emerged as the winner and as a bonus
besides the recognition included a sweet cash prize, a plus for any
musician. Moke's current
drum set up includes Yamaha Drums, Sabian Cymbals, and Vic Firth
advertisements have been featured in past issues of Modern Drummer for
Yamaha and Vic Firth.
Moke's first appearance as the new Puddle of Mudd drummer in mid-2005,
he has worked hard and steadily to keep the fans confident that he
will deliver the old songs as well as the new tunes with what Puddle
fans have come to expect. It's
not easy to be the new guy, you are trying to find your fit with the
band, and you hope the fans can accept you as their new player.
"You do it for the fans," Moke said.
He has the best seat in the house when he steps on the drum
platform before a show. His thought… "Is to rock the house.
Second, it's done, relax, and spend time with the fans after
the show if possible."
if the fan's response is any indication, they have welcomed Moke with
open arms. Reviews from
the Sin City Tour that traversed the west coast and mid-west were more
than favorable with the question arising, who is the drummer.
Fans have been quick to respond to questions on the band's
message board, willing to give Moke a shout-out; the fans have
accepted the round of changes that befell the band in 2005 even though
changes have been difficult for everyone.
We appreciate Moke's sincerity, professionalism when
performing, and his generosity taking the time to make everyone at the
show feel like they had a great time and if he can enhance the fan
experience by offering an autograph or a photo with an admirer, then
that comes with the territory and he is happy to oblige when the
Moke isn't sitting behind the drum kit, he has other interests as an
avid car fan, participating in auto racing and restoring muscle cars,
Mopars, hot rods, and American made automobiles as a hobby.
His interest in cars began with his first car as a teenager, a
1970 Plymouth Duster and when asked if that car could talk what would
it say, "Never drove over 55 or I was airborne for 50 feet,"
the answer wasn't 55.
Restoration and rebuilds include a Porsche and a black 1970 Hemi 'Cuda.
Formula 1 racing is another favorite along with grand prix
style cars, and shifter carts that have the capability of doing 130
MPH; extreme sports as a relaxation and stress reliever to take him
out of one zone and into another.
not working with Puddle or his hobbies, with Moke's background in
music that covers everything from rock, metal, rap, etc., he has an
interest in the next level within the industry and has lent his
backing to Boston record label Common Wealth Records who's main genre
services the hip hop community.
shirt you owned from back in the day you wore till there were just
Van Halen, and Rush t-shirts.
concert you ever went to/last concert you went to?
concert AC/DC, last concert, Roger Waters.
album you ever bought?
Alive II on vinyl.
is currently in your Ipod/CD player?
Owl/Up With The Chickens
do you kill time on the tour bus- DVDs, CDs, reading, the Internet,
of the above.
To The Movies
Classic Rock Band
from Rush, Van Halen, KISS, Frank Zappa, too many to list a favorite.
is the next trend in music or is rock making a comeback?
is coming back!
to 7digital.com, bnrmetal.com, Charlie L. Yap, Cellophanelosangeles
Myspace, and various discography websites for helping to fill in the
special thank you to Moke!
POMuddRockOn Karen 10-25-06