Growing up in the small town of Saginaw, Michigan, Alicia Warrington wanted to either be a musician or a professional wrestler. “My mom started taking me to wrestling matches when I was four years old,” Alicia says. “Most kids wanted to go to the circus – I wanted to go to wrestling matches. I even had all the action figures.”
Lucky for us, Alicia ultimately chose drumming over wrestling.
If Alicia’s striking presence seems familiar, it’s not because you’re confusing her with Cindy Blackman, Shauney Recke or other brown-skinned drummers with big hair – an all-too-common mistake – it’s because she’s played with many high-profile singers who got their start on television. She’s worked with Miley Cyrus, Selena Gomez, Chris Rene and Colton Dixon. In fact, Alicia got her big break when she replaced Kelly Osbourne’s drummer on the MTV hit reality show, “The Osbournes.” “The Osbournes opened a lot of doors for me and I am forever thankful,” Alicia says.
Alicia followed up that success drumming for the Dollyrots, Lillix, Gore Gore Girls, Uh Huh Her and Dawn Robinson of En Vogue. She’s appeared on “Ellen,” “Regis and Kelly,” “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno,” “MADtv,” “Top of the Pops,” “The American Music Awards” and “American Idol,” to name a few. Alicia also fronts her own duo, The All-Girl Boys Choir.
A hard-hitting drummer, she is equally adept at playing garage rock and punk as she is at pop and metal. “I’ve never limited myself to one band or style, Alicia says. “I’ve worked at all levels of this music game and never lost sight of who I am. I constantly challenge myself and hope I’ve inspired people along the way.”
Alicia was raised by a supportive single mom – the very same who took her to wrestling matches as a kid. Mom didn’t bat an eye when her daughter started playing in local punk and metal bands and hit the road to tour at 15. By the time Alicia was 18, she had already played in 30 states. By 20, she had relocated to Los Angeles “with a crappy fake ID and $700 to my name,” she says. She was even homeless for a short while, sleeping on friends’ couches, in her car or a dirty band rehearsal space with broken windows. She kept knives and a crowbar nearby and bought a gym membership so she could shower.
Although Alicia has evolved from homelessness to nice hotels and tour busses, success has never gone to her head. Her life-long commitment to her craft is obvious – and many of music’s most influential artists have taken note of her ability and humility.
Her former Lillix band-mate, Tasha Rae Evin, says, “Alicia is not only an incredibly creative and solid drummer, but she is so fun and easy to work with. Anyone who has a chance to work with her is lucky!”
Mat Dauzat, who worked with Alicia early on in Kelly’s band agrees. “Alicia is one of my favorite drummers I’ve worked with. She and I have performed together on countless stages in front of multiple millions of people … yet she remains humble and every bit as dedicated to the art as the first day we met. She is a fantastic musician, a true professional and a great friend.”
By Carla De Santis of MEOW
Illustration by Minka Sicklinger
Photo by Leigh Righton