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Dena Tauriello as featured in

Modern Drummer Magazine

Story by Ilya Stemkovsky

Photos by John Fell

September 2018

Dena Tauriello has rocked her whole life. Coming up with several bands, she brought power to the stage and a solid pocket in the studio. With country rockers Antigone Rising, Tauriello honed her craft to become the respected timekeeper she is today, displaying equal parts muscle and finesse over the course of several well-received records and tons of live concerts.

Tauriello’s secret weapon wasn’t just bashing away with abandon, though. Rather, it was her undying love for both Ringo Starr and Karen Carpenter, two drummers who got by without much flash, but whose sounds were irreplaceable in their respective bands. That’s the influence she draws on as a member of Matchbox Twenty frontman Rob Thomas’s stripped down quartet, where she taps into her subtler side. And now Tauriello finds herself deep in the world of Broadway, locked in the pit of Head Over Heels, a new production featuring the music of ’80s pop rockers the Go-Go’s.

One might think this is a whole new scene of meticulous charts and stuffy audiences, certainly the opposite of the seedy rock clubs and festival stages Tauriello has been dealing with her whole life. But today’s Broadway is a different animal, with numerous recent shows featuring full-on rock bands playing modern hits. So Tauriello will have room to shine and bring a little of her attention and song-oriented detail to material everyone knows. Oh, and of course she’s still going to rock.

MD: How did Head Over Heels happen? Were there auditions? Did you have to brush up on sight-reading?

Dena: Interesting you mention those things, because neither of them were part of the process. I didn’t audition or have to do any sight-reading.

As is so often the case in this industry, I knew the right people. I had been on a quest for the last several years to get connected to the Broadway world. I grew up a theater geek, and my mom used to take us to see shows, front center orchestra. And back then, before it turned into these full rock orchestrations, there was a real, full orchestra down there, and I’d sit and peer over the edge of the railing into the pit and look at the drummer and think how cool it was. I also had aspirations of playing rock ’n’ roll, which is the path I took out of the gate. But over the last few years I started to put my toe in the water of trying to figure out how to crack this nut.

Dena Tuariello as featured in 

Modern Drummer Magazine's Gimme 10! Series

Story by Adam Budofsky

September 2009

In a slightly different world, Dena Tauriello would be playing softball right now, and you certainly wouldn't be reading about her.  A four-year scholarship soft ball player at Penn State, the drumming bug bit Tauriello at age eight when she met Karen Carpenter.  It was a chance encounter, and a life-changing one at that.  "Oh my god, it was obviously live-altering because she inspired me so much.  My parents had been listening to their music, and I got into it.  I love her voice and I loved her music, and I found out she was a drummer when I got to see her in concert.  My dad finagled a way to get us backstage, and I got to meet her briefly.  It was unbelievable. She did a solo piece during the concert, and just watching her on stage playing, gushing, smiling, having a great time, and being amazing at what she did, I decided that's what I wanted to do." 

As a young girl, Tauriello raided her parents' kitchen drawers in search of a suitable makeshift drum set.  "I did the pots-and-pans thing.  I drove my parents crazy.  We had the one little drawer [where], for whatever reason, my mom had chopsticks and all kinds of random stuff.  I'd grab chopsticks and I'd take out pots and pans, lay them on the living room floor and wail on them."

Dena Tuariello as featured in 

Drum! Magazine

Story by Billy Ramirez

Photos by Paul Storey

September 2005

In a slightly different world, Dena Tauriello would be playing softball right now, and you certainly wouldn't be reading about her.  A four-year scholarship soft ball player at Penn State, the drumming bug bit Tauriello at age eight when she met Karen Carpenter.  It was a chance encounter, and a life-changing one at that.  "Oh my god, it was obviously live-altering because she inspired me so much.  My parents had been listening to their music, and I got into it.  I love her voice and I loved her music, and I found out she was a drummer when I got to see her in concert.  My dad finagled a way to get us backstage, and I got to meet her briefly.  It was unbelievable. She did a solo piece during the concert, and just watching her on stage playing, gushing, smiling, having a great time, and being amazing at what she did, I decided that's what I wanted to do." 

As a young girl, Tauriello raided her parents' kitchen drawers in search of a suitable makeshift drum set.  "I did the pots-and-pans thing.  I drove my parents crazy.  We had the one little drawer [where], for whatever reason, my mom had chopsticks and all kinds of random stuff.  I'd grab chopsticks and I'd take out pots and pans, lay them on the living room floor and wail on them."

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