Chad Szeliga

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Chad Szeliga
Chad Szeliga performing on stage at a Breaking Benjamin concert. Taken by MikeShot.It
Background information
Born (1976-12-23) December 23, 1976 (age 37)
Genres Heavy metal, post-grunge, hard rock
Instruments Drums
Years active 1999–present
Labels Hollywood
Associated acts Breaking Benjamin, Switched, Leo, Forever Oeuvre, APG, OurAfter, Crystal Bowersox, Hourcast, Black Label Society

Chad Szeliga (born December 23, 1976) is an American professional drummer born in Elyria, Ohio and now residing in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. He is best known for being the drummer for Breaking Benjamin, Black Label Society and Creed singer Scott Stapp.


Chad Szeliga started out with Switched, a hard rock band from Cleveland, Ohio. He was released from the band sometime during 2001. After his release from Switched, Chad played drums for another Cleveland band called Another Path and he joined the band Leo in 2004.

Breaking Benjamin[edit]

While with Another Path, Chad recorded an audition video for Breaking Benjamin playing drums for the song "So Cold".[1] The video submitted happened to be the only VHS tape submitted. Ben Burnley was forced to borrow a VCR from his neighbor to view the tape. After Ben reviewed the tape, the band decided he was the right guy for the job.[2] His first official recording with the band was for the full-band version of the song "Rain" from We Are Not Alone in mid-2005, which was sent to modern radio, and later appeared on the band's cover of Queen's "Who Wants to Live Forever". He recorded with Breaking Benjamin on their 2006 album Phobia, which was released August 8, 2006. He also joined the band on their tour supporting that album.[3] During their hiatus, Chad stayed active with Breaking Benjamin fans giving them updates on his life assuring them Breaking Benjamin was still around. As well as running a "Cards for Ben" campaign, where fans sent Ben Get-Well cards and fan letters. Ben responded via Chad's Facebook saying he appreciated the response and thanked Chad for his support.


December 2009, Chad started filling in for drums with Scranton based band OurAfter due to their drummer Eli Hludzik's departure. Chad filled in with several shows while opening for rock band Red. This caused a lot of speculation that Chad was quitting Breaking Benjamin or the band was breaking up. Chad said on his MySpace that he had no intention of leaving the band and that OurAfter was a side project. Late June Chad announced he was no longer in OurAfter due to both personal and schedule conflicts.


In Spring 2011, after a lineup change, Chad was asked by lead singer Patrick McBride to join Los Angeles rockers Hourcast as their fill-in drummer on the Inked Magazine Tour for the summer. The band was on the tour supporting headliners The Damned Things. Chad joined the group for the stint, though the tour was cut short by the promoters after the August 26th New York City date, for fears of problems in the northeastern US from incoming Hurricane Irene.

Chad was asked by Drummer and founding member of Hourcast Jerry Clews to fill in for him on Inked Magazine Tour.

Avenged Sevenfold Rumors[edit]

In the summer of 2010 there were rumors circulating on the internet regarding Chad joining Avenged Sevenfold. Chad denied these rumors on his official Facebook stating:

...The thought of drumming for them has occurred to me and I have briefly discussed it with the members of A7X this past summer. But I believe they may stick with Mike Portnoy who's a great fit for the band."[4]

Later that day Mike Portnoy announced that he is no longer working for Avenged Sevenfold. When asked again about joining, Chad had no comment. Later on Avenged Sevenfold hired Arin Ilejay as their touring drummer. Chad later stated in the interview he was blessed to hear that many Avenged Sevenfold fans wanted him to fill in on the drums and saw the new drummer Arin and said he was a much better fit for them.

Black Label Society[edit]

On September 14, 2011, in a hand-written letter, Zakk Wylde introduced Chad as Black Label Society's new drummer, replacing Mike Froedge.[5]

Chad did several different tours with Black Label Society including Gigantour, along with Megadeth, David Draiman's new band "Device", former Pantera drummer Vinnie Paul Abbot's band Hellyeah, Jason Newsted's own band "Newsted", and upstart band "Death Division".

Chad has since then appeared on Black Label Society's acoustic DVD entitled "Unblackened". The album was recorded during the Unblackened show, at Club Nokia on March 6, 2013 and wrote and recorded a new studio album, and it would be scheduled for a 2014 release.

In early 2014 Chad left Black Label Society for Creed's Scott Stapp.

Departure from Breaking Benjamin[edit]

On April 19, 2013, Burnley announced that the legal issues between him and Mark and Aaron had finally ended, with Burnley winning the rights to the name of the band. However, on April 20, 2013 a few days after the announcement was made, Chad stated in an interview with Sight of Sound Magazine he was sticking with Black Label Society and wished Ben the best of luck and wished Mark and Aaron the best of luck with their new project Stardog Champion. A lot of fans were concerned about Chad leaving the band. On April 22, 2013, Chad posted a statement on his official Facebook that he was leaving Breaking Benjamin due to creative differences and is sticking with Black Label Society.

Scott Stapp[edit]

Early 2014, Scott Stapp Frontman for the band Creed announced in an interview he will be touring for his new album Proof Of Life and has hired Chad to be his drummer. Chad said in an interview that he was asked 4–5 years ago to work with Scott and he declined because "Scott was fighting demons on the road and all that and trying to get his life back together so I was like, you know maybe one day if it happens it happens." Chad and Scott eventually met up and discussed touring and Chad will be touring with Scott.


Chad was endorsed by Yamaha Drums for many years. All of the "Sw1tched" albums were recorded using various models of Yamaha drums, as well as Breaking Benjamin's "Rain" (full band version), the entire "Phobia" album, as well as "Dear Agony", in its entirety. Chad switched to DW Drums, pedals, and hardware in the middle of the "Dear Agony." Tour. The DW kit is in a "regal to royal fade" lacquer finish.

Drums: DW Drums

  • 20"x18" Bass Drum
  • 8"x5" Rack Tom
  • 10"x5.5" Rack Tom
  • 12"x6" Rack Tom
  • 14"x12" Floor Tom
  • 16"x14" Floor Tom
  • 14"x12" Floor Tom (left side)
  • 13"x6.5" Main Collector's Series Edge Snare
  • 10"x6.5" Side Snare

Cymbals: Zildijan[6]


(Left to Right, Drummer's Perspective)

  • 18" Oriental China "Trash"
  • 13" A Custom Mastersound Hi-hats
  • 12" A Custom Mastersound Hi-Hats (Closed)
  • 8" A Custom Splash
  • 6" A Custom Splash
  • 16" K Custom Hybrid Crash
  • 18" A Custom Projection Crash
  • 6" Zil-bel
  • 6" A Custom Splash
  • 8" K Custom Dark Splash
  • 20" A Earth Ride (Custom Brilliant Coating)
  • 16" Oriental China "Trash"
  • 19" Z Custom Thrash Ride (Used as Crash)
  • 19" K Custom Hybrid China


(Left to Right, Drummer's Perspective)

  • 18" Oriental China "Trash"
  • 13" A Custom Mastersound Hi-hats (Closed)
  • 13" A Pocket Hi-hats
  • 8" K Splash
  • 8" ZXT Trashformer Splash stacked on top of a 16" K EFX
  • 6" A Splash
  • 18" A Custom ReZo Crash
  • 6" Zil-Bel
  • 6" A Custom Splash
  • 9" Oriental Splash
  • 6" A Custon Splash
  • 11" K Custom Hybrid Splash stacked on top of a 16" Oriental China "Trash"
  • 22" A Earth Ride(Custom Brilliant Coating)
  • 19" A Custom ReZo Crash
  • 19" Z3 Over-Hammered China
  • 20" A Custom EFX

Heads: Evans


  • Vic Firth American Swinger SD10 Sticks
  • LP Jam Block, Medium Pitch, Black (Mounted Near Side Snare)
  • LP Cow Bell "Salsa" (Mounted Near Ride Cymbal)
  • Drum Workshop Rack
  • Drum Workshop 9000 Series Pedals and Hi-Hat Stand


Chad is now sponsored by the popular energy drink company Liquid Lightning.[10] He was slated to appear in ads for the company sometime in 2010. He is also sponsored by Remetee, Skull Candy. Instrumentally, he is sponsored by Drum Workshop (DW Drums), Remo drum heads, Zildjian Cymbals, Vic Firth Drumsticks and Vestal.[11]


  1. ^ "Chad Szeliga Video Audition for Breaking Benjamin So Cold Elyria Ohio". YouTube. Retrieved 2011-10-29. 
  2. ^ "Breaking Benjamin Underground". The Shallow Bay. Retrieved 2011-10-29. 
  3. ^ "Breaking Benjamin - Chad Szeliga". Retrieved 2009-04-07. 
  4. ^ Chad Szeliga Facebook Page December 16th 2010
  5. ^ "BLACK LABEL SOCIETY Recruits BREAKING BENJAMIN Drummer". September 14, 2011. Retrieved August 10, 2012. 
  6. ^ [1]
  7. ^ [2]
  8. ^ [3]
  9. ^ [4]
  10. ^ "Liquid Lightning Energy Drink". Retrieved 2011-10-29. 
  11. ^ "Zildjian Artist Chad Szeliga". Retrieved 2007-12-21. [dead link]

External links[edit]