Mike Dupke is a Michigan-born drummer who began playing at age 13. After “basically living in the bandroom” through high school, Dupke enrolled in the Indiana University School of Music, where he began studying with Kenny Aronoff. At only 19 years old, Mike performed with John Mellencamp’s band, playing percussion alongside Kenny. He performed on the MTV Human Wheels special, the Arsenio Hall Show, and the “When Jesus Left Birmingham” video. Dupke also played drumkit for a track on Mellencamp’s Dance Naked disc.
After college, Mike relocated to Nashville where he met Cinderella drummer Fred Coury. It was Coury who ended up pairing Dupke with L.A.-based rock band, Hair Of The Dog. HOTD got signed to Spitfire Records and recorded two more discs, 2000’s Rise and 2001’s Ignite. After that group disbanded, Mike began backing slide-blues powerhouse Eric Sardinas, and got his first taste of international touring.
In 2006, Dupke joined heavy metal legends W.A.S.P., with mainman Blackie Lawless calling Dupke the only drummer he “ever hired on the spot.” Mike has recorded four discs with the band, 2007’s Dominator, 2009’s Babylon, 2015’s Golgotha, and 2018’s Re-Idolized. While a member of W.A.S.P., he performed in nearly 30 countries around the globe. In addition, he has also performed with Dizzy Reed (Guns N’ Roses), Annabella Lwin (Bow Wow Wow), Love/Hate, and Casualty Of God. Mike and W.A.S.P. parted ways in 2015.
In August of 2017, Mike Dupke hooked up with legendary Twisted Sister frontman Dee Snider’s solo group for tour dates throughout the USA and Europe in support of Snider’s new releases, We Are The Ones (2017), and For The Love Of Metal (2018). Mike has also completed his Associates Degree in Drum Performance at Musicians Institute in Hollywood, where he recently joined the staff as a teacher.
Mike Dupke plays and endorses Pearl Drums, Sabian Cymbals, Evans Drumheads, and Ahead Drumsticks.