Frederik Ehmke

Frederik was born on June 21, 1978 in the small town of Malsch near Karlsruhe, Germany. At the age of eight he moved to Taunusstein near Wiesbaden in the state of Hessen, where he still lives today. He grew up happily with his older brother.

His parents discovered quite early his interest in music in general and drums in particular, since he started building his own drumkits out of empty detergent bins as drums and egg holders as cymbals and recorded „songs“ on tape already at the age of four. To support that they sent him to an early musical education class, where he learned to play the typical beginners instruments like flute and bell chimes and sang in the music school’s kids’ choir. Later he joined the middle school’s big band as a percussionist, then took over the drum stool and started to take drum lessons at the age of 10. Parallelly he discovered the piano as a fascinating instrument and found it fun to explore harmonics and melodies there on his own.

At the age of 12 he discovered his liking for harder rock and metal and started to record his favorite metal radio show on tape to run to the store and get the albums which were introduced there. Only 1 year later on the same show he listened to an interview of a band who introduced their current album „Somewhere Far Beyond“ by playing „Journey Through the Dark“ and „Bard´s Song“. He fell in love with that sound right away. They became his favorite band and together with Dream Theater, Rush, Judas Priest, Testament, Death, Pantera, Fear Factory, Machine Head and Gamma Ray were his main influences and the music he listened to the most. Little did he know back then, which important role that band would be playing in his later life and how much it would change it! Frederik quit the school big band and joined a rock band project from the city of Taunusstein to bring teenagers together to make music. At the age of 13 he found the core of his first metal band „Blackdogman“, which lasted for 8 years and played a sort of progressive thrash metal. Meanwhile it was clear to Frederik, that he wanted to become a professional drummer, so he started taking Jazz and Pop piano lessons to prepare his musical education.

His participation in the high school band lead to a crossover band called “PSE”. After graduating high school in 1997 with a focus on classical music, and after the year of German civil service, Frederik started studying drums in Jazz and Pop at the FMW in Frankfurt/Main, Germany with a focus on teaching as well, where he learned mostly the stuff he wasn´t playing with his metal bands.

In order to get the opportunity to play some different styles of music he joined a Pink Floyd tribute band called „Interstellar Overdrive“, with which he is still playing today when the tour schedule allows it. Almost at the same time, he founded, together with some friends, the medieval metal band „Schattentantz“, which lasted till 2009. Frederik always loved the sound of metal and bagpipes which he knew from „Somewhere Far Beyond“. Since „Schattentantz“ also had a straight acoustic medieval music set, Frederik learned to play medieval bagpipes and composed a lot of songs for that sound.

After his graduation in December 2004 and his daring to perform his Jazz exam concert with playing doublebass stuff as the first student in the history of that Jazz school – which was honoured and appreciated by the teachers – Frederik tried to establish his own drumschool „Drumworks Taunusstein“, which had developed over the years eversince he started early teaching other kids in his school bigband times at the age of 12.

Right at that time, in the Spring of 2005 at the age of 26, he heard the news that his favorite band, Blind Guardian were without a drummer. So, quickly he decided to find a way to contact the band to try to apply for the job. Since that was before social media and finding people quickly, it was a great coincidence that he found André´s phone number and was able to ask him if he could send in material to introduce himself. After producing a 3-song video DVD in a studio nearby and getting invited over by the band to work in their studio for some days, Frederik became the new drummer for Blind Guardian and has been part of their history for more than a decade now. And, to complete the circle he brought back the bagpipes to the band, that were once the inspiration for him to learn that instrument, and he performed not only the drums and percussion, but also bagpipes for some Blind Guardian songs.

In 2008 he joined „Sinbreed“, a German power metal band a friend of his was looking a drummer for. Despite being busy with his family, now 3 bands and his drumschool, there was in some years still time left to participate at a project called „Classic meets Rock“, for which a classical orchestra with conductor and a rock band share a stage and perform hits from both genres. In 2019 Frederik was asked to play the drums for the tour of Hansi´s project „Demons & Wizards“ which he gladly accepted.

Frederik feels very lucky to have found his wife Gemma who makes it possible for him to lead a life of balance between being with his beloved family and pets at home and the musical life with actively playing and teaching. In general, he likes to be at his house and work from his home studio, but it is also always exciting, to go out there and meet the people who share the same passion for this music. At home he is surrounded by his wife, his four daughters, cats and rabbits, some friends, his further family, a lot of yellow stuff, many board games and his Nintendo consoles and games collection in his home cinema. Even though there is not enough time to play a lot at home, Frederik will always have a game device and a little projector in his backpack when out of the house! He prefers cooperative board and video games, especially in the fantasy and sci-fi world. His greatest dream these days – besides music – is, to make more out of his passion for board games …