Journeymen drummer Mike LaBelle has been a Viper for the past 16 years. The lifelong drummer from Johnston RI is the longest person to hold the drummer's seat as a Viper. He joined Neal after stints with various local bands and his work with Dave Howard and the High Rollers.
Mike's love for music began as a teen listening to albums. He would sit with friends and LISTEN to full albums-- There was dead silence as the tunes played, not talking with music in the background! Drumming later came with Mike's interest in playing music, which began while hanging out with and listening to a friend's band. He really liked hearing and seeing the drums play, so he watched how the drummer moved his hands and feet, starting to emulate it.
Early in the drummer's musical career, he would get ideas in school and couldn't WAIT to get home to try them. Later on, Mike's friends would bring their guitars to gather around the drums at his house; jams ensued. He and his friends learned many Stones, Beatles, and Bowie songs-- It was Rock and Roll!! Then, there was the "original band" era, lots of jamming on riffs and making songs out of them. A friend of Mike's was taking a recording class at Normandy Sound when she asked if his band would go in and record so that she could be graded on what she had learned. He says this was "GREAT fun and a WICKED learning experience!!"
Mike LaBelle did work with an original band that played several shows, and even recorded in a studio in Providence! He was also involved in rock bands, WHJY type of rock such as Foreigner, Van Halen, Judas Priest, the top 40, and a few his band liked just for fun. They played in numerous shows across Rhode Island.
Joining the Vipers in 2003, Mike currently plays the drums with a true passion for music pouring from the heart and soul of rock and roll, delivering his best performance every show.
"Currently, being a Viper, I feel pretty damn good about it!! The entire band is on the same page, musically, we complement each other, and it's arguably the best band in the area!!! It's been 16 years this month since I came on board!! Amazing journey, that ain't done yet!!"
-Mike LaBelle, January 2020