Cheers! My name is Mark Carlson and I’m the drummer of the Rugged Soul Project. I’m basically a California boy—grew up in San Diego, but have lived the past 20 years in the Sacramento region. I love nature, lighting and especially my cymbals (Paiste). Also, I’m a proud veteran of the U.S. Army having served as a radio operator and cavalry scout—I guess I’m the “eyes and the ears” of my commander (Rick) when going into battle…sweet! 

My style and ability reflects what I feel is best for the band and the “groove”. I’m not a solo artist and never want to be. I became interested in drumming when I was 13 years old. I was fortunate to have a teacher that was more progressive, which meant not having to only play on a drum pad or snare drum. Once I started college, I packed up my drum kit, which turned out to be for several years. Life seemed to keep getting in the way. It wasn’t until ’08 that I started playing again and now, I can’t get enough. Drumming is my escape. 

As for drumming influences, I find inspiration through many drummers. My biggest influence and mentor still is Jeff Porcaro of Toto (R.I.P.). He was a solid, groove machine and his timing was unparalleled. Others include: Terry Bozzio of Missing Persons, Carter Beauford of Dave Mathews Band, Vinnie Collaiuta of Sting, and Manu Katche of Peter Gabriel. To name a couple more, I would include; Steve Gadd, Jojo Mayer, and Gregg Bissonette….Gregg’s actually a close friend/mentor. 

I love 80’s music the most. It’s likely due to that fact that I graduated high school in 1980! Yes, I’m the “senior” in the band! However, just because I have a silver soul patch and am “follicly-challenged”, I still have a fire going inside! I love music and going to concerts with my friends.

Lastly, I’d like to share motto I’ve recently acquired, “You don’t stop drumming because your old…’re old because you’ve stopped drumming!” Live, love and learn…looking forward to seeing, meeting and sharing stories with you.


Thanks for voting!

Who is your favorite Rock drummer of all time?

Neil Peart 2
John Bonham 3
Keith Moon 1
Alex Van Halen 0
Myron Grombacher 1
Rick Allen 0
Kenny Aronoff 0
Other 1
8 responses