Originally created 05/12/05

Sonic Spotlight

E.J. Sharif

AGE: 22

HOMETOWN: Warner Robins, Ga. Moved to Augusta in 2003

DAY JOB: Full-time student at Augusta State University, majoring in psychology

PLAYS: Five-piece Sonar Sonic Plus drum set. He also plays the tabla, a two-piece drum set popular in India. "My dad really likes that kind of music, so he takes me to shows, and I just started to learn how to play them."

HIS FIRST SHOW: "At a talent show in the seventh grade, I played drums and sang. We did 21st Century (Digital Boy) by Bad Religion. I was dreading it, but it really was a great experience. The only glitch was my drumstick hit the microphone that was hanging over my head during the drum solo. It would have been a cool effect if I could have pulled it off."

PLAYED WITH: Challenge Theory, January 2004 to present. "It's based on the quote by Groucho Marx- 'I don't want to be a member of any club that will accept me as a member.' It kind of sounds like the title of an emo band, but we're really not that kind of a band."

FIRST CONCERT HE ATTENDED: Dave Matthews Band at Atlanta's Lakewood Amphitheatre in 1995. "I'm not the biggest fan of (Dave), but his band really impressed me, especially his violinist, and his drummer, Carter Beauford, became an idol to me."

BEST LIVE MOMENT: Halloween 2004 at The Playground. "It was our best sounding, most fun show. We dressed up in costumes and opened with Michael Jackson's Thriller. We had the whole fog machine thing going; it all went surprisingly well."

WORST LIVE MOMENT: The band's first show at the 40 Watt Club in Athens, Ga. in August 2004. "We were all backstage when we were supposed to be onstage, so we ended up being cut off, and we didn't get to do our closing song. We made up for it our second time back, though."

IF HE COULD COVER ANY ALBUM: nima, by Tool. "To be able to do that album, including that amazing drum solo on the song Forty Six & 2 plus the song nima; that'd be great. As a drummer, Danny Carey (of Tool) is up there with Carter Beauford.

IF MONEY WERE NO OBJECT, WHAT STAGE EFFECT WOULD YOU USE? "I want to invent a drum train that would go all the way around the venue, sort of like a roller coaster. I just think it'd be fun to move around while I'm still playing."

Challenge Theory will have its CD release party June 3 with Jemani at The Playground, 873 Broad St.


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