Steve "Doc" Wacholz

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Steve Wacholz
Steve "Doc" Wacholz.jpg
Steve "Doc" Wacholz from 1991's Album Streets: A Rock Opera.
Background information
Birth nameSteve Wacholz
Born (1962-11-05) November 5, 1962 (age 56)
White Plains, New York, U.S.[1]
GenresHeavy metal, progressive metal, power metal, thrash metal
Occupation(s)Musician, songwriter
InstrumentsDrums, percussion
Years active1979-present
Associated actsSavatage, Doctor Butcher, Trans-Siberian Orchestra, Jon Oliva's Pain, Metalium, Crimson Glory, Reverence

Steve "Doc" Wacholz (born May 11, 1962) is an American heavy metal drummer. He was the drummer of Savatage from 1979–1994 and was known for playing a large three bass drum kit.


Wacholz was born in White Plains, New York.

Steve "Doc" Wacholz met Criss Oliva when he was 14 years old in Tampa Bay Florida.[2] In 1979, Steve Wacholz joined the Oliva brothers band Avatar and jammed in a shack behind the Oliva home that was dubbed "The Pit" by the band. Wacholz originally had tried out to be part of Criss' older brother Jon Oliva's band, Alien, but when the first Savatage line-up was taking shape in 1977, Jon, who was originally on drum duties, was relieved of them by Wacholz.[3] They also gave Steve a nickname that would follow him throughout his career: "Doctor Hardware Killdrums", often shortened to just "Doc" or "Doc Killdrums", which referred to Steve's hard playing style.[3]

Leaving Savatage[edit]

In 1993 "Doc" played on the Edge of Thorns album, but due to personal reasons "Doc" couldn't make the tour. Following the Edge of Thorns Tour, while away in 1993, his band mate Criss Oliva was driving with his wife Dawn on their way to the Fourth Annual Livestock Festival held in Zephyrhills, Florida. An oncoming car operated by a drunk driver crossed the median and struck Criss' 1982 Mazda RX-7 head-on, killing him instantly. After this, "Doc" decided not to return to Savatage citing Criss' Death as his reason to retire from the band. "My choice NOT to be in SAVATAGE today has something to do with his will never be the same... it can never be the same...but his music lives on thru his brother & Chris Caffery who has the essence of Criss in him. YES I believe that. I know that. God bless those guys...And may God bless Criss, friend, musician and probably one of the nicest guys you would ever want to have memories about! And I have those and I am thankful."[2]

Later career[edit]

Currently, Wacholz is a member of the band Reverence which also includes ex Tokyo Blade guitarist Bryan Holland.

Music videos[edit]

Throughout the late 80s to the early 90s Steve "Doc" Wacholz appeared in all the Savatage Music videos from 87-91 in addition...Steve has carried on with Michigan-based metal band Reverence.

Hall of the Mountain King (1987)[edit]

  • "Hall of the Mountain King"
  • "24 Hours Ago"

Gutter Ballet (1989)[edit]

  • "Gutter Ballet"
  • "When the Crowds are Gone"

Streets: A Rock Opera (1991)[edit]

  • "Jesus Saves"

Edge of Thorns (1993)[edit]

  • "Edge of Thorns"

Reverence - When Darkness Calls (2012)[edit]

  • "Too Late"
  • "Bleed For Me"
  • "After The Leaves Have Fallen"

Reverence - Gods of war (2015)[edit]

  • "Gods Of War"
  • "Until My Dying Breath"
  • "Race To Obscene"

Steve "Doc" Wacholz three Bass Drum Kit[edit]

Steve "Doc" Wacholz Drum Kit.jpg


  1. ^ "". Retrieved May 24, 2007. External link in |title= (help)
  2. ^ a b
  3. ^