Her talent is massive. Her stats are off the chain. And for those pursuing a personal passion, her story is inspiring.
Despite vast technological advancements, I still can frequently struggle with getting a reliable cell connection. As a result, I had to stand outside my house on a brutally cold afternoon (at least by Florida standards) to score this interview. But in my biz, you take the prime ops however you can get ‘em. And as a longtime “drum junkie,” this was not an op I was gonna miss.
“I’ve definitely always felt like the oddball,” confessed soon-to-be 18-year-old drum phenom, Brooke Colucci, regarding coming of age in an era when her peers clearly were connected more to their hip-hop culture than to her rock-fueled world. “I always loved rock,” she added, with distinct conviction.
Described by Brooke as, “a huge rock and metal guy,” the recent high school grad credits her dad for igniting her passion, introducing her to bands such as Metallica, Godsmack, and Tool when she was just six years old. Her initial exposure to live music when she attended a friend’s birthday party as a first grader further fanned the flames of what soon would become her drum obsession.
Dig if you will, the magical imagery of a sleepy-eyed six-year-old, (possibly) sporting Hello Kitty jammies, trotting down the stairs on Christmas morning — then spotting the blue, kid-sized starter drum kit under the tree — mini kick drum, makeshift snare and tiny tom-tom. Mommy! Mommy! Look what Santa brought me!
In short order, the “genie” was “out of the bottle,” and that seductive siren was NOT going back in. The next Christmas, at age seven, Brooke graduated to her first proper “big girl” kit — a shiny new set of sparkly purple Ludwigs — 20” kick, TWO rack toms and REAL cymbals!
The now crazed tween attended her first rock concert, Godsmack and Sevendust in 2015. YIKES! The writing was scrawled across the wall, and even Mr. Magoo could see it. In fact, Brooke had been “bitten” by the “bug” so badly, not even the most skilled surgeon could stop the “bleeding.” I need more gauze, nurse! For the love of God — I-NEED-MORE-FREAKING-GAUZE!
At age 13, Brooke faced a major life decision, one that would define her future. She had to choose between going on an educational school field trip to Washington DC or stay at home and attend a Tool / Godsmack concert. C’mon, now. Do you really have to ask who won that coin toss? “It was my favourite, most inspirational concert,” Brooke said of the experience. “Tool is SO amazing live!”
As a result of being enrolled at the famed School of Rock, Brooke dove into formal drum lessons and had begun jamming with other local musicians by age 14. Around the same time, she also started posting clips online of herself playing along to iconic tracks from an array of legendary bands. “It took about a year to get traction on YouTube,” Brooke admitted. However, one of her earliest video covers, Tool’s “46 & 2,” now has received an astonishing 14 million-plus views. Her personal YouTube channel is approaching an amazing 300,000 subscribers, and she gives her dad total props for assisting with her super-savvy social media marketing while she was in school.
Then, Brooke’s story really ramped up when she was introduced to fellow New Yorker, singer/songwriter and guitarist, Moriah Formica, shortly after Moriah’s magnificent appearance on the wildly popular TV talent show, The Voice in 2019. The two aspiring musicians soon stirred an online sensation when they posted a YouTube video of their chilling recreation of the 1977 Heart classic, “Barracuda.” The clip now has been viewed nearly two million times.
Driven with a vision, Brooke and Moriah now were on a mission to assemble their own band, one possessing the balls to be bold, and the courage to embrace a tasty melody. By early 2020, Brooke had reached out to her former School of Rock classmate, New York-based bassist, Ashley Suppa — and then there were three.
With the assistance of Moriah’s friend, Halestorm matriarch, Lzzy Hale, guitarist Bella Perron was discovered and plucked from her home state of Maine. FYI, Maine is part of the continental U.S. and is located way up north, somewhere near Canada. And apparently, a bunch of people live there.
“As soon as we got together, it just fit right,” Brooke recalled of the band’s first official rehearsal. With the lineup now in place, and a crisp, catchy name, Plush plunged ahead in short order — cutting studio recordings of their original tunes, staging photoshoots, marketing themselves online, and ultimately signing to a prominent music management company. And just this month, the hard-hitting debut Plush single, “Hate,” dropped across all of the usual streaming platforms.
To interpret Brooke’s undeniable, alluring “girliness” as being stylistically “soft” would be to reveal one’s lack of sound judgement. Despite being raised on classic rock, her favourite artists reflect complete street cred. “I love Metallica and Dio,” she says specifically of her ‘80s era influences. “But hairbands, well, not so much.” Brooke’s authentic cred also can be recognized in how she consumes the music she loves. “I love listening to music on vinyl,” she stated. “It’s so raw and real.”
She has no “day gig” — music IS her gig. With a regimen that includes several hours each day devoted to social media, personal rehearsal, AND band rehearsal, while holed up in the add-on loft built over the garage of her parents’ home, there really is no time for anything else. “I’m so lucky how my parents are super-supportive of my drumming,” she commented humbly.
A versatile player, Brooke can adapt easily to large and small kit configurations, although even her single-kick setups always have double pedals. Her personal kit (ebony stain, Performance Series DW’s) includes (typically) a single kick, two racks and two floors, with her prized Predator Percussion snare. Her vast assortment of Meinl Cymbals could give even the most experienced drum tech a bit of anxiety. And as for sticks, her weapon of choice is the Vater Universal Series.
Her professionalism is impressive. Her dedication is uncompromising. At age 17, her future seemingly has no limits. And as long as the pandemic doesn’t morph into the apocalypse, one could wager a safe bet that Brooke C. and Plush are destined for very BIG things.