Born in the Netherlands, Nathanael grew up in the UK from the age of 3 until he returned to the Netherlands as a young adult.
He studied contemporary music in England and operated as a freelance drum teacher for many years. From 2012 onwards, Nathanael has been involved in multiple musical projects and bands, working with some acclaimed artists and even a few of his musical heroes.
In terms of drumming style, he is specialized in progressive rock & metal as well as fusion/world music. He uses a rare technique that allows competence in very fast bass drum patterns using one foot, up to speeds that would usually require a double pedal.
Nathanael has described the development of this technique as follows: “I started drumming at the age of 10, and shortly afterwards became interested in the musical tastes and drumming example of a good friend, who introduced me to the likes of Iron Maiden, Dream Theater and a number of other bands.
The inspiring footwork of Nicko McBrain and Mike Portnoy, combined with the insufficient pocket money i had to buy a double bass pedal at that time, resulted in me improvising my own technique out of necessity, in order to be able to play fast constant bass using just one foot. I found eventually that I could keep up with all of the music I was listening to back then, and it has become my ‘signature move’ ever since.”
See the featured ‘Doom’ video for a demonstration of this technique.
Since 2013 Nathanael has contributed (drums, co-composer) to 5 worldwide “Nylon Maiden” or “Nylon Metal” album releases by guitar virtuoso Thomas Zwijsen, that featured guest artists such as former Iron Maiden front-man Blaze Bayley, keyboardist Derek Sherinian (Dream Theater, Billy Idol, KISS) and Guitar legend Kee Marcello (Europe), as well as other esteemed musicians. In 2015, he was part of the release of a full album of original work, titled ‘Divide & Unite‘. Co-composing and contributing drum parts towards 6 of the 11 fusion/flamenco pieces by Zwijsen, he also featured on the simultaneously released ‘Treasure Island’ EP.
Nathanael composed and recorded all drum parts for the 2016 album “Out Of The Freakshow,” by acclaimed Dutch progressive metal band Cirrha Niva. Other guests on the album included Devon Graves of Psychotic Waltz, Lisette van den Berg of Scarlet Stories and Erik van Ittersum of The Theater Equation.
From 2019 he will be playing for Skaldic Folk Metal band Alvenrad both for their upcoming studio album, as well as a number of shows in support of Heidevolk.
If you’re curious as to how the nickname ‘priest of percussion‘ came about you’ll find the answer here.