Joey Waronker

Jon Joseph Waronker (born May 20, 1969) is an American drummer and music producer. He is best known as a regular drummer of both Beck and R.E.M., and as member of the experimental rock bands Atoms for Peace and Ultraísta.

Joey Waronker
Waronker with his hands up
Waronker on Roger Waters' Us + Them Tour, 2018
Background information
Birth nameJon Joseph Waronker[1]
Born (1969-05-20) May 20, 1969 (age 53)
OriginLos Angeles, California
GenresRock and roll, pop, indie rock
Occupation(s)Drummer, songwriter, producer
Instrument(s)Drums, percussion
Years active1989–present


Waronker was born in Los Angeles, the son of producer Lenny Waronker and actress and musician Donna Loren. He has two sisters (one being musician Anna Waronker) and two half-sisters. His grandfather was classical violinist Simon Waronker, namesake for the "Simon" character in the Alvin and the Chipmunks franchise.[2] Joey was a student of the renowned teacher Freddie Gruber.

Drumming careerEdit

Walt MinkEdit

Waronker's first professional project was the alternative rock band Walt Mink, which he helped form while attending Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota, in 1989. The band's name was taken from that of a former psychology professor at Macalester.[3] He played on their first two albums, Miss Happiness (1992) and Bareback Ride (1993).


Left-handed[4] Waronker first became well known in the late 1990s for his work with Beck (on Odelay, Mutations, Midnite Vultures, Sea Change, Guero, Modern Guilt, and Morning Phase). He continues to tour and record periodically with Beck.

Elliott SmithEdit

In 1998, Waronker played drums on two songs ("Bled White" and "Bottle Up and Explode!") on Elliott Smith's XO album. He also appeared on "Stupidity Tries" on Smith's next release, 2000's Figure 8.


In October 1997, R.E.M.'s drummer Bill Berry left the band in pursuit of a quieter life. Seven months later, as R.E.M. rehearsed in Athens, Georgia, for a tour in support of that year's Up album, Waronker entered the band and toured with them in support of the tour. His first performance with R.E.M. was in Washington, D.C., at the Tibetan Freedom Concert at RFK Stadium.

Between 1998 and 2002, Waronker toured with R.E.M. and appeared on two albums, 1998's Up and 2001's Reveal.

Roger WatersEdit

Waronker played drums on Roger Waters' album Is This the Life We Really Want? (2017) and joined Waters' band during the Us + Them Tour. He contributed to Waters' Lockdown Session[5] and is currently performing on Waters' This is Not a Drill tour.[6]

Other workEdit

Waronker has played on a wide range of albums since beginning his professional career in the mid-1990s. Highlights include recordings with Paul McCartney, Roger Waters, Johnny Cash, Norah Jones, Yoko Ono, Pink, Leonard Cohen, Dwight Yoakam, Thurston Moore, Daniel Johnston, Doobie Brothers, Bat For Lashes, Pete Yorn, AIR, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Richard Thompson, Gnarls Barkley, Jeff Martin's Idaho, Brett Dennon, Benji Hughes, Tracy Chapman, Leona Ness, Sia, John Doe, Five For Fighting, Nelly Furtado, Yusuf Islam (Cat Stevens), Lisa Marie Presley, Willie DeVille, The Vines, Badly Drawn Boy, Rufus Wainwright, R.L. Burnside and Ima Robot.

Some of his drumming can be instantly recognized on The Vines' "Get Free", Smashing Pumpkins' "Perfect", Beck's "Chemtrails" and Air's "Photograph", among others.

He has produced numerous acts, most notably "Tamer Animals" and "Rituals" from Other Lives, as well as albums for Yeasayer, Priscilla Ahn, Lisa Germano, Eels, Carole Facal, and The Moth & the Flame.

In 2009, Waronker joined Thom Yorke, Nigel Godrich, Mauro Refosco and Flea to play material from Yorke's album The Eraser, as well as other original pieces, for three dates in Los Angeles in October 2009.[7] The band, now named Atoms for Peace,[8] then played a brief tour of America in April 2010. Their full-length album Amok was released February 25, 2013 on XL Records. Waronker later contributed drums to the song "The Axe" from Yorke's third studio album, Anima.[9]

He currently plays drums with his band, Ultraísta, formed with bandmates Nigel Godrich and Laura Bettison. Their debut album was released on Temporary Residence on October 2, 2012. A remix single of their song "Smalltalk" was released September 18, 2012 on Ghostly International. He performed on six tracks on Brandon Flowers' The Desired Effect, which reached number one in the United Kingdom.

Waronker plays on Irish folk musician Malojian's[10] 2017 album, "Let Your Weirdness Carry You Home."[11]

Waronker also played on three songs from The Who's album Who, released in December 2019.


Waronker uses Istanbul Agop Cymbals, C&C Custom Drum Company, and Innovative Percussion Drumsticks

Soundtrack workEdit

In 1996, Waronker scored Miguel Arteta's movie Star Maps, followed by Chuck & Buck in 2000 and The Good Girl in 2002. He has also scored several documentary movies for AMC, including 2002's Lost in La Mancha. Other Waronker compositions have appeared in the drama Alias, the sit-com Malcolm in the Middle and on FOX Sports.

His drumming performances have appeared in a number of scores, including Man on the Moon (1999), Badly Drawn Boy's About a Boy soundtrack (2002), Collateral (2004), Dawn of the Dead (2004), and Walking Tall (2004).



  1. ^ "BMI | Repertoire Search". January 10, 2016. Archived from the original on January 10, 2016.
  2. ^ "The Chipmunks: Ross Bagdasarian Jr. & Janice Karman".
  3. ^ "Untitled Document". August 14, 2004. Archived from the original on August 14, 2004.
  4. ^ "Joey Waronker". Retrieved 2011-10-30.
  5. ^ "Roger Waters: Lockdown Sessions - YouTube". Retrieved 2022-06-11.
  6. ^ "Roger Waters This Is Not A Drill 2022 Tour". Pink Floyd - A Fleeting Glimpse. Retrieved 2022-06-11.
  7. ^ "Dead Air Space". Archived from the original on 2010-02-25. Retrieved 2011-10-30.
  8. ^ Dombal, Ryan (2010-02-25). "Thom Yorke Names Solo Band, Lines Up American Spring Tour | News". Pitchfork. Retrieved 2011-10-30.
  9. ^ "5 Takeaways From Thom Yorke's New Album, ANIMA". Pitchfork. 26 June 2019. Retrieved 2019-09-29.
  10. ^ "Malojian". Malojian.
  11. ^ "Let Your Weirdness Carry You Home, by malojian". malojian.