“Nothing will stop Julian Delan, I know because I have met him and found him to be a stick wielding, snare sorcerer of epic proportions.”
Rob "Chappers" Chapman - guitarist & founder of Chapman Guitars, internationally renowned for his entertaining and instructional YouTube channel.
Julian “Figgy” Delan is a 13 y.o. drummer from Santa Cruz, CA. Drumming is his greatest love and passion. Julian started formal lessons at age six although he showed promise as a drummer as a toddler in the backseat of the car. He would drum along to complex rhythms with his hands and feet to Metallica and Grateful Dead albums. But music unlocked something big inside of Figgy while attending a concert when Justin Timberlake led an arena full of 25,000 in singing Happy Birthday to him on his 8th birthday. JT invited him backstage a couple months later and spent quality time talking to Julian about music. It lit a fire of epic proportion under Figgy.
Serendipitous events surround Julian wherever he goes and he brings out a child-like joy in everyone he meets. Figgy has an affinity for finding himself in extraordinary places with extraordinary people, like when Rick Springfield invited Julian and his sister, Minnie, on stage at age nine and again two years later when he was eleven. He jumped on the drum kit both times without hesitation in front of 2,500 people like he had been doing it for a lifetime. When asked what it was like to look out on an audience that big, his only response was, “I didn’t even notice all the people. I just wanted to hit the drums.”
He’s been fortunate to meet and befriend not only Justin Timberlake but others like Jason Bonham, Justin Kreutzmann, Harold Jones, Nicko McBrain, Greta Van Fleet, and St Paul and the Broken Bones. At NAMM 2019, Figgy was interviewed by Drum Talk TV as well as Drumeo where he played GVF’s “Highway Tune". Julian was invited to play guest spots with local band Zed at Slim’s in San Francisco last year, as well as invitations from phenomenal national acts like St. Paul and the Broken Bones, who asked Julian to play “Flow With It” with them at the Fox Theatre in Oakland in October 2018.
Julian is a founding member of his band, Smokestack Lightening, formerly known as Some Assembly Required. He and his cousin Ali noticed the phrase on his t-shirt one day playing with Legos. They dreamed of having their own band one day as they jammed Metallica in the music room with Peter on guitar, Ali on bass, and Julian on drums. Ali and Julian agreed and Some Assembly Required became the working title. As the band has grown, in the spirit of evolution and upholding the values of the original name, the band has reassembled into what is now known as Smokestack Lightening. The band began booking performances last year and went on a cross-country tour in October 2018. They are currently in the studio preparing to record their debut album. SL is made of all Julian’s family members: his dad Peter, his mom Marika, his sister Minnie, brother Josh, and cousins Ali and Bella, all of whom consider themselves autism advocates who have witnessed and accessed their ability to communicate meaningfully through the language of music.
Julian is part of the Regal Tip Drumsticks, Paiste Cymbals, Ludwig Drums, and Beatbox Drums families. He endorses Aquarian Drumheads, Perfect Seal In-ear Monitors, and Skygel Dampening Pads.
Talk to a lay person and they’ll comment on Julian’s maturity behind the drums. Talk to a drummer? They’ll tell you about his balance behind the kit, relaxed hands, understanding of polyrhythms and sense of personal style. Julian sees himself as an advocate and role model for others like him, and is building relationships throughout the music community. He and his family have established a non-profit and are currently working to create a music program for kids like him and their families. When Figgy isn’t playing or creating music, he’s listening, reading about, watching, or talking about music. At the end of the day when he crashes, he keeps his bunkmate and little sister awake drumming on his chest as he falls off to sleep. He also loves Legos and impersonating Les Claypool.