Alex González, the drummer who is nicknamed “El Animal” was born in Miami, Florida and began drumming at the age of four. He cites drummers from Ringo Starr, Keith Moon, John Bonham and Phil Collins to Stewart Copeland, Terry Bozzio and Manu Katché as his influences and admits that he took very few formal lessons; learning instead to play “from the heart”.

Since joining Maná in the mid 1980’s he has recorded several multi-platinum albums with the band, including an “MTV Unplugged” session, while also performing on several movie soundtracks as well as the Grammy-winning Santana album, “Supernatural”, in 2000.

Since its inception in Guadalajara, Mexico in the mid '80s, before the term "Rock en Español" had ever been used, Maná's rise to global prominence has been strong and steady. Having released eight albums and having sold 22 million copies worldwide, they have become one of the most successful bands in the world. To date, they have visited more than 22 countries and have played in front of more than ten million fans. Dubbed by the Wall Street Journal as the "U2 of Latin rock," their music combines universal themes such as love, freedom, justice and environmental awareness with strong melodies and Latin and Afro-Cuban rhythms to create grooves and anthems that speak to the masses, regardless of their language.


  Installment 1: The early years
  Installment 2: From Sombrero Verde to Maná
  Installment 3: Through the years to Maná's current success
  Installment 4: On his trademark drum solo and singing as a drummer
  Installment 5: Alex talks about his Vic Firth Signature Stick
  Alex en Espanõl!


Alex's Signature Stick:
Alex Gonzalez (SAG)
From Mexico‚ Alex is the striking force in the band MANA. His stick features a barrel shaped nylon tip on a Rock shaft and is powerful and articulate.
L = 16 5/8" | Dia. = .600"
  [enlarge photo]



I discovered my passion for playing drums when I was five years old. I started playing to the radio with pots from my mom’s kitchen and cardboard boxes I’d get from the supermarket. One day, my kindergarten teacher saw me playing and, as a gift, gave me a red sparkle drumkit. I’ll never forget that day! It wasn’t until I was about 12 that I realized how cool it was to be in a band.

My influences start with Ringo Starr because when I saw the Beatles on TV I said to myself, “That’s what I want to do for the rest of my life.” “Abbey Road” was one of the first records I played along with. I also love John Bonham and Led Zeppelin. I love how solid he played and how huge his drums sounded. Keith Moon was the first rock drummer that stood out as much as the singer or guitar player. His drumming was full of energy and he was always doing something crazy behind the kit. Stewart Copeland of The Police was another of my big influences. I started hitting the drums harder thanks to him. Terry Bozzio is just incredible. He’s in another dimension. “Heavy Metal Bebop” and his solo videos are amazing.

I still listen to everything from the Beatles, Led Zeppelin, The Police, The Who, U2 and The Clash to Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Foo Fighters, Green Day, Blink 182 and Incubus.

It’s important to listen to all kinds of music because it gives you a bigger picture of what’s happening in music and a better perspective on how you can fit in. I think you can always learn something from everyone. I go to shows, buy videos and keep my eyes and ears open at all times. And I try to practice as much as I can.

Maná has been a big part of the Rock En Español phenomenon in the United States. We started playing in here in 1993 and we weren’t quite sure what to expect. But it took off and, when they saw how well we were doing, other bands started playing in the U.S., too. I think it’s incredible that Spanish language bands like ours can sell millions of albums and sellout arenas in the U.S. It’s also cool to see how many “anglos” are now getting hooked on our music.