By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
By Alice Laussade
By Scott Reitz
Precious few listeners notice the drumming in modern-rock bands. But Julian Dorio, stick man for the Whigs, is an exception to this rule. His agitated skinsmanship on Mission Control, the band's new full-length, not only anchors the album but provides just as many of the hooks as do frontman Parker Gispert's voice and guitar.
Julian first took his seat behind the kit at age 6, and before long, he and his kin were cranking out classic-rock covers at parties and family gatherings. "My dad had us play in front of people whenever we had the opportunity, whether it was five people or a hundred people," he recalls.
Thanks to this experience, Dorio was more than ready when he formed the Whigs with two fellow University of Georgia students, Gispert and bassist Hank Sullivant (recently replaced by Tim Deaux). The three made their debut, 2005's Give 'Em All a Big Fat Lip, on a shoestring budget, purchasing recording equipment on eBay and then selling it again after they were done. But upon signing with ATO Records, an imprint co-owned by Dave Matthews (whom the boys still haven't met), they got a chance to cut Mission Control in a high-rent facility under the supervision of one-time Beck producer Rob Schnapf. The disc that emerged has earned plenty of spins on college radio and brought Dorio to the attention of a growing legion of drumming aficionados.
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