Drumsticks & Paintbrushes: Why Michael Cartellone Rocks The Canvas By Day & Stage By Night


Lynyrd Skynyrd fans know Michael Cartellone as the group’s energetic drummer who’s appeared on their four latest studio albums. Michael first found his claim to fame as the drummer for Damn Yankees before he joined Skynyrd in 1999. 

While Michael has been drumming since he was nine years old, it wasn’t his first passion in life. As it turns out, Michael is also an accomplished artist, and he’s been putting paint to canvas since he was four years old.

It may seem unusual to some that a hardcore rock and roll drummer would have an interest in something as serene as painting, but for Michael, it makes perfect sense. As he explained during an interview with CNN in 2014, painting actually helps him unwind so he can give each show his all.

It’s a few hours during the day when I can recharge, because then that night it’s gonna go back to kickboxing with the drumsticks that I do for a living,” he said.

The interview clip shows Michael working on a highly detailed portrait of famed silent film actor and filmmaker Charlie Chaplin. Images of some of his “Road Series” paintings are featured in the clip as well, which are various Skynyrd-related paintings that depict Michael’s life on the road.

When asked what he thinks about critics who say his art only gets recognition because he’s part of Skynyrd, Michael had the perfect response. “I would say I can not be more proud of being in Lynyrd Skynyrd, and I’m absolutely using that to open doors with my art, why not?” he said.

We have to agree! Michael is an incredibly talented painter and drummer, and he should continue to share both of those talents with the world. You can listen to him talk more about painting on the road with Skynyrd in the clip below.

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