Recker Eans is living the drummer’s dream. He’s rocked his heart out with punk bands like Pennywise and Silence the Voice, landed himself a featured act at each Roosevelt Row First Friday, and with a name like his, he's been hailed as a drumming monster from Gilbert.
But even with the fierce name, mad skills, and sick endorsements with companies like Rooster Thrones and SJC Drums, Recker isn’t very scary at all. He’s a little different than most punk rockers because he is only 9 years old.
He's been slaying at the drum kit since the age of 5, and he's intense enough to knock the socks off 20,000 fans at a music festival. Recker has been and always will be a metal drummer at heart.
“I started playing on my drum kit, and I just loved it,” says Recker. “When I was super-young, my mom always played Breaking Benjamin or Bob Marley, and I just liked banging on stuff. I liked that vibe.”
His mother Laura says music has always been a huge part of the family's lifestyle, but Recker took it to the next level. Since he was 1-and-a-half-years old, they would go to punk rock festivals and concerts as a family. His father, Justin, remembers seeing Recker tap out beats and rhythms on his lap to songs on the radio.
“His birthday was coming up in a few weeks, so I asked ‘Hey buddy, What are you thinking for your birthday?” Justin says. “As he’s tapping on his legs he says, ‘How about a drum set?’”
Recker’s parents have never played an instrument, and Recker’s older twin brothers followed in their father's footsteps and raced BMX bikes in Mesa. While Recker is supportive of his brothers, his love for drums was much stronger.
“He actually raced a few BMX races himself, but with his passion for music and now these great opportunities he’s been given, he’s chosen to see those through first,” Justin says. “But if he needs a break or says I wanna go ride or whatever, we support that and go have fun in the dirt.”
Recker learned to hone his skills at School of Rock in Gilbert, a music school that provides kids up to age 18 with the instruction and resources to rock out on stage with no limitations to their abilities.
While the starting age for students to enroll in the Rock 101 class is 6 years old, the staff at School of Rock was blown away by his ability, making Recker the youngest student admitted into the class.
“It was because of his determination," says School of Rock's Sidney Roten. "He showed focus and was able to take direction better than typical students of that age would. He just showed the dedication of an older kid.”
Recker learned proper rhythm and technique with his drumming mentors at the school. He even played his first-ever gig there. The videos of his rehearsals gained him a large following on Instagram. His account now has over 7,000 followers, which has helped him land those big gigs.
“I just like playing in front of a crowd. I have a connection with them,” Recker says.
Whether he’s drumming out at a charity concert or rocking out with his band, The Twits, it’s easy to see how much Recker loves drumming. Watching him play is like watching Animal go at it from The Muppets.
“I like to play heavy metal because that’s my favorite genre,” he says. “But I’ll play anything if it means I get a chance to play.”
Recker is known as a drumming prodigy on and off the stage. When he was 8, he took part in the BBC/PBS documentary The Amazing Human Body to show the advanced development that playing drums has done for his brain. He also took part in Gap’s 2019 back-to-school ad campaign that featured prodigy musicians. He was featured on a billboard in Manhattan and performed in a television ad.
But Recker is just like your everyday 9-year-old. He hangs out and rides bikes with his family, strikes a goofy pose in all his pictures, and gets endless slobbery kisses from his bulldog, Skully. During the day, he goes to a Chinese immersion school where he speaks conversational Chinese.
“I’m not super insanely good at it, but I’m working at it,” says Recker.
Recker has started to learn to play other instruments, but his heart will always be for his drums.
While he’s taking a break in December, Recker will always find any excuse to rock out to his favorite music. He will, however, continue to perform at First Fridays.
“I’ll literally go into a parking lot if I have to,” he says. “I’m a 9-year-old kid, and I just have fun.”
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