March 26, 1962 |
Montour Falls, NY
|Genres||Heavy metal, progressive metal, power metal|
|Associated acts||Savatage, Trans-Siberian Orchestra, Chris Caffery, Doctor Butcher, Metal Church, John West, Machines of Grace|
Jeff Plate (born March 26, 1962, in Montour Falls, NY) is a professional drummer and percussionist. He currently plays with the progressive rock group Trans-Siberian Orchestra. He also worked with thrash metal band Metal Church until their 2009 disbanding, although he is most remembered for his drumming for Savatage on their albums since Japan Live '94.
Life and career
Plate grew up near Elmira, New York with dreams of becoming a pitcher for the New York Yankees, but his hip popped out of a joint and he was advised to give up playing sports for two years, leaving his dreams behind. However, he saw Olivia Newton John perform on television when he was 13, which inspired him to become a musician. After moving to Boston, Massachusetts in 1986 (after living in Tampa, Florida in 1981 and returning home in 1982), Jeff met Boston guitarist Matt Leff through a mutual friend, Leff had been playing in a band Wicked Witch, whose lead vocalist was Zak Stevens. Wicked Witch went through a few lineup changes and had broken up at the time Matt and Jeff started playing together. Zak was living in Hollywood but had decided to move to Boston to reform a 2nd version of Wicked Witch. On one night in late 1989, Zak flew in to meet Matt and Jeff. After picking him up at the airport the 3 of them decided to go to a downtown Boston club called The Channel. Oddly enough the band playing that night was Savatage.
Wicked Witch played the Boston music scene for 2 years opening for many national acts but the band did not have what it took at any level. In the fall of 1992, Jon Oliva announced he was leaving Savatage. Zak got the call to join them, with Wicked Witch at the crossroads. Zak accepted the call, and made his Savatage debut on 1993's Edge of Thorns. Wicked Witch folded soon after, as they couldn't get a replacement for Stevens. Jeff went back to his parents house in upstate New York at this point, and joined an alternative/country rock band called Voodoo Rodeo. They played around New York for about a year, but failed to gain any mainstream success.
The success of the single "Christmas Eve (Sarajevo 12/24)" from Dead Winter Dead lead to the formation of the Trans-Siberian Orchestra (TSO), who have, as of 2010, released five CDs starting with 1996's Christmas Eve and Other Stories.
In addition to his work with TSO, he has recently performed on the solo albums of fellow TSO member Chris Caffery. Plate has recently joined Metal Church and can be heard on their latest album, This Present Wasteland.
2009 found Metal Church calling it a day and disbanding. The bands breakup led to Jeff forming a new Heavy Metal group with fellow Savatage alumnus Zak Stevens (vocals), Matt Leff (guitars), and Chris Rapoza (bass) - the band's name is Machines of Grace. The band has an independent self-titled release. Jeff currently resides in upstate New York, still tours with T.S.O. and plays local gigs when not on the road.
Trans Siberian Orchestra albums
- Christmas Eve and Other Stories (1996)
- The Christmas Attic (1998)
- Beethoven's Last Night (2000)
- The Lost Christmas Eve (2004)
- Night Castle (2009)
- Long Time No Sing (2006)
Machines of Grace
- Machines of Grace (2009)
- "Jeff Plate biography". Savatage.com. Retrieved 2003-05-24.
- "Jeff Plate biography". JeffPlate.com. Archived from the original on 2007-01-29. Retrieved 2007-05-24.
- Jeff's Savatage.com bio lists his place of birth as being Horseheads, New York. His official site however lists Montour Falls, NY.
- ":: Welcome to". Jeffplate.com. Retrieved 2011-10-24.
- Jeff's home page
- Machines of Grace home page
- Interview with Alex Skolnick 1/2 hour interview with music on the MaximumThreshold.net show