Joe Berardi has had a long history in the Los Angeles music scene, both as a multi-instrumental performer and composer. Primarily known as a drummer/percussionist, he also plays keyboards, vibes and marimba and has done extensive work with electronics and sampling, utilizing his unique homemade circuit bent instruments, toys and effects along with more traditional noise making devices. He incorporates this individual approach in the many diverse settings he finds himself in, from solo performances to group improvisation to straightforward song form, always bringing his own characteristic vision of color, rhythm and texture to every musical situation.
Berardi first came to prominence as a member of the critically acclaimed avant-rock group The Fibonaccis, whose pioneering “elevator music from hell” sound helped usher in the neo-lounge scene of the early 90s. Since then he has been involved with a wide assortment of musical projects, from experimental to pop to points between and beyond. Non Credo, his ongoing collaboration with Kira Vollman, highlights his compositional and multi-instrumental skills, playing marimba, keyboards, electronics and the occasional accordion, cello and viola. Non Credo have several releases available on adventurous experimental labels such as Les Disques Victo, Recommended No Man’s Land and Musea. He is also a member of surf-spy experimentalists Double Naught Spy Car, the metal/found objects percussion group The Obliteration Quartet, Nancy and Beth (with Megan Mullally), LA punks The Deadbeats and the bent blues band The Mentones.
With his extensive touring and recording experience, Berardi has been the drummer/percussionist of choice for a diverse group of notorious performers, including recordings, tours and collaborations with such notables as: Stan Ridgway (ex-Wall Of Voodoo), Rufus Wainwright, folk legend Donovan, Malcolm Mooney (of CAN), punk poetess Lydia Lunch, James White and the Blacks, Pixies Frank Black & Joey Santiago, Mike Watt, Greg Ginn, Petra Haden, The Eastside Sinfonietta, Japanese composer/sound artist Haco (After Dinner), Algerian vocalist Rimitti (with Robert Fripp & Flea), ex-Bongwater performance diva Ann Magnuson, Congo Norvell (featuring ex-Cramps Kid Congo Powers), chamber ensemble Motor Totemist Guild, Mothers Of Invention Don Preston & Bunk Gardner, Alain Johannes, Kristian Hoffman, Stew, The Velvet Hammer Burlesque and Nels Cline.
Berardi endorses Paiste Cymbals.
“Percussionist with a distinct junkyard style and go-to sideman for many outlanders, Berardi is known for numerous bands that atom-smash different genres into a near uncategorizable mix. Berardi favors a jerry-rigged drum setup of metal/found objects: outmoded keyboards, wood blocks, pots and pans, metal mixing bowls, Lincoln Logs, children’s toys and things not normally associated with percussion. Also one of the pioneers of “sample” drumming – improvising with samples on the spot, much the same way jazz musicians improvise.” – StompBeast
“Do you hear the beat of a different drum? Maybe it is just a different sort of drummer. A drummer who plays all things under the sun. The rhythm of the streets. The whispers in the corners. Heels clicking along the promenade. The sound of the waves lapping on the shore. Joe Berardi is a drummer, yes. A musician, for sure, and he is a conjurer able to evoke the sounds of filmic delights.”
“I can easily conclude that Non Credo’s music is totally different, bizarre and extremely original.” – Proggnosis
Other activities include work in live theatre in the Los Angeles area, performing in several productions as solo percussionist, drummer and keyboardist. In celebration of the Kurt Weill centennial in 2000, he was musical director for the Museum Of Contemporary Art (MOCA) production of the rarely performed Weill/ Brecht musical “Happy End”. Berardi also has his own electronics side venture, F Hole, which is an outlet for his work with circuit bending and noise/effects pedals. Check out the F Hole site here.