With her car packed to the brim and only $700 in her wallet, Michigan-native Alicia Warrington set out to Los Angeles to join a rock band on a fast track to success. But when that band never materialized, Alicia quickly found herself in a tough spot. Homeless and working a small waitressing gig to get her back on her feet, Alicia had a chance conversation with a co-worker that led her to an audition for Kelly Osbourne’s band. Hours later she was hired and this game changing moment began to open doors far and wide for Alicia including her most recent— landing the job behind the kit of British singer-songwriter Kate Nash to round out her Girl Talk tour. We were excited to sit for a chat with the vibrantly beautiful Alicia Warrington.
T O M T O M M A G A Z I N E: TAKE US BACK TO T H A T M O M E N T W H E N YOU AUDITIONED FOR K E L L Y O S B O U R N E ’ S BAND. THIS IS SUCH A B R E A K T H R O U G H M O MENT FOR YOU. DID YOU H A V E A N Y I D E A W HAT YOU WERE WALKING INTO? I had no idea what I was walking into. I moved to Los Angeles from a small town in Michigan and had never been on an audition before. I got a voice message saying that Kelly was looking for a female drummer to replace her current drummer. I just remember running out to Amoeba Records to buy her single and I stayed up all night going over the song a million times. My audition was after work the very next day. I was working in a restaurant and went to the audition straight after—in the same clothes that I had worked in! It wasn’t like a Denny’s uniform or anything, I had normal clothes on but, still. I was a clueless 22-year old. W A S T H E R E A L O T OF P R E S S U R E T O P E R FORM WITH A L L T H E C A M E R A S AROUND YOU?
than just being a good drummer. But, the number one thing I learned was—to always retain humility. I went from having no money, sleeping in my car and on the floor of a band rehearsal space, to being on television, playing arenas, staying in 5-star hotels and traveling around the world. In the words of the great Dusty Rhodes, “I’ve wined and dined with kings & queens and I’ve slept in alleys and dined on pork & beans.”
‘I went from
having no money, sleeping in my
car and on the
floor of a band
rehearsal space to being on
television, playing arenas, staying in
5-star hotels and traveling around
An MTV camera crew was filming for The Osbournes from the time I met Kelly, which was very stressful but it was at that moment where I was like, ‘Okay, this is it. This is how it works here. Just get it together.’ It was at that moment that I knew I had just stepped into a new world and had to act as if I knew what I was doing. All of those years spent practicing along to tapes and videos, touring around the country as a teenager, sleeping in cold vans or on stranger’s floors —it was the moment that I had been practicing for my whole life.
THIS WAS ALSO YOUR FIRS T OPPORTUNITY TO GO OUT O N A MAJOR TOUR. WAS THAT A BIT OF A WHIRLWIND FO R YOU? Absolutely! The very first show that I did with Kelly was in front of 17,000 people, followed by TV appearances on Regis & Kelly, Mad TV, Tonight Show w/ Jay Leno, Top of the Pops UK ... all within the first couple of weeks of working with her. YOUR EXPOSURE TO PLAYIN G VARIOUS GENRES RUNS THE GAMUT FROM METAL, PUNK T O ELECTRO-POP. HOW HAS TH I S ALLOWED YOU TO EVOLVE OVER TIME AS A MUSICIAN ?
Playing different genres pushes you to be a better musician and songwriter. You constantly have to change the way you think and the way you approach a song. I’ve always listened to everything from Riot Grrl to Country to Hip-Hop to Death Metal so it only makes sense to me that I would be comfortable working across the genres.
I W O U L D I M A G I N E THAT GETTING HIRED FOR A S T E A D Y G I G W O ULD BE A GREAT THING A F T E R B E I N G I N A PLACE OF HARDSHIP FOR A WHILE. W H A T D I D YOU TAKE AWAY FROM THAT EXPERIENCE? I learned a lot about the music game during that time. I learned that it is very much a business and there is so much more to it 30
TO M TO M M A G A Z I N E
WHAT DREW YOU TO THE DRUM KIT ORIGINAL L Y ? I started on guitar when I was 10 years old and that was cool, until the day I walked into my grandparent’s basement and there was my Uncle Kevin’s drum set. It was the most glorious sight I had ever seen—in all 10 years of life, ha! It was a 16-piece, stainless steel, 1970s Ludwig kit with 26” double bass drums. Uncle Kevin was an ’80s rocker complete with spandex and big hair so, naturally, he had the drums sitting atop a homemade drum riser with fog, a PA system and concert lighting in the basement. I fell in love immediately.