Nick Balkun is an American rock drummer who is best known for his work with the band, Balkun Brothers. Nick’s hometown is Hartford, CT and he has been playing drums since the age of 16. Nick has studied with various teachers since he began playing and also was part of the University of Connecticut marching band. He specializes in rock, funk, and blues drumming but also has been trained in jazz, latin, heavy metal and world percussion. Some of Nick’s biggest influences include Chad Smith, Taylor Hawkins, Tim Alexander, Dave Grohl and John Bonham. He has recorded and toured with various bands including Balkun Brothers, Three Wheeled Fonk Cirkis, Phonosythesis, The Search, Cashed Fools, Pool Shark, and many more. He is currently touring the US with his award winning psychedelic-rock band, Balkun Brothers. Balkun Brothers was voted the ’Best Band In Connecticut’ in 2015, by CT.com and the Connecticut Music Awards. Nick also owns and manages his own recording studio, Balkun Studios, in West Hartford, CT. He has produced, engineered and recorded a number of bands and solo artists since opening his studio.
After recently exploding onto the music scene with their powerful brand of psychedelic rock n' roll, Balkun Brothers are creating a name for themselves amongst the top rock and blues bands in the USA and worldwide. Founding members Steve Balkun (guitar/vocals) and Nick “The Hammer” Balkun (drums/vocals) are gaining followers across the world with their raw hard-rockin’ swagger and are becoming known for their explosive live shows. Balkun Brothers, who are originally from Hartford, CT (USA) bring a fresh mixture of funk, rock, blues, and intense improvisation that has been impressing crowds from Paris to New York City! The brothers, both in their mid 20's, are solidifying themselves as top musicians in the rock and blues scenes today.
In 2015, after being named 'Best Band In Connecticut' at the Connecticut Music Awards, Balkun Brothers released their latest album, "Balkun Brothers", which offers a hard-nosed, gritty sound that hints at many of the band's influences including Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, Johnny Winter, The Black Keys, and Jimi Hendrix. Their new album, released on the French label: Dixiefrog Records, is a follow up to the band's previous body of work including 2 full length albums and 3 EP's since 2010. The band recently completed their first world tour and is currently on the road promoting their new album across the United States.
The band's style has been explained as a mixture of Muddy Waters and Motörhead and since the brothers grew up in the early 90's their sound also draws from punk-rock, grudge, and garage rock, while bringing traditional funk and blues sounds to the table as well. Being described as “… Spectacular torch-bearers for rockin’ American blues.” by Theday.com, Balkun Brothers have toured endlessly since their start and have shared the stage with artists such as Johnny Winter, Joe Bonamassa, Gogol Bordello, Eric Sardinas, Dopapod, Popa Chubby, Devon Allman, James Cotton, Dana Fuchs, Mike Dillon, Melvin Seals and many more!
The band is currently recording another album and plans to release it in Fall of 2016 along with full European and United States tours.
Check out the Balkun Brothers on Facebook!
Check out Nick on Facebook!
Check out the Balkan Brother's Website!
Enjoy the below videos from Nick and the Balkun Brothers!
Check out the below interview with Nick!
Where in Connecticut did you grow up and when did you start playing the drums?
I grew up on the Hartford/West Hartford border. I started playing the drums in high school around age 16 and never stopped.
What are your thoughts on the current Connecticut local music scene?
I think the local music scene in CT is one of the best in the country. Not only does CT have some great venues, it also is a hot spot for all types of music on all levels. It may be a small state but CT gathers talent from all parts of the globe and supports the local musicians and bands as well as nationally touring acts. New clubs are opening all the time in CT and it is awesome to see the scene growing every week while bringing in better and better acts.
What advice do you have to any upcoming drummer or band that is trying to take it to the next level?
My advice would be to keep getting better. Many bands and musicians nowadays are looking for a quick fix and trying to make it as fast as possible or find some trick to get more notoriety. The best advice I can offer is to get better at your craft before expecting anything in return. To be able to play your instrument with confidence and individuality is the most important thing to me, especially in a band setting. Everything else comes second, from promoting, to recording, to playing gigs live, the basis behind doing all those things well, is being able to play consistently every time you approach your instrument. That ends up opening all the right doors when you mix hard work with dedication to music and creativity. In order to truly "make it" in this industry today, you have to stand out as something new and unique as well as proving that you are willing to work as hard as you possible on your own to succeed when compared to other artists in your position. That is what has gotten me and my band to the next level.