During class there aren’t many opportunities to talk to teachers and hear about their lives before teaching and outside of school. It can be even harder to get to know your teachers if they are new and this is their first year at AISB. That’s why The Bite makes sure to include stories about new teachers in both the high school and middle school. 

While browsing through teacher bios, The Bite discovered one teacher had experience with “recording music and touring with several bands/artists.” So we just had to get the story about Humanities teacher, Paul DeMichele, who seems to have had quite the life before he settled down and began teaching at AISB.

Getting Started in the Musical World 

DeMichele has been playing the drums ever since he was 17 years old. He says, “I had always kind of played around on my hands and on tables and um things like that. I didn’t think my parents would ever let me play, it was way too loud of an instrument.” This was resolved when an old girlfriend of mine told me to just ask, and I did. They said sure.” 

He didn’t just learn to play the drums though, he played in a band with his friends. Their band was called Trigger and although the band never got super big, he played local gigs and shows in the state of California. 

In 1993 they started getting a little more popular and began their first tour around California . They sold CDs and records using the Beach Boys’ personal recording studio. 

None of the people pictured above are Mr. DeMichele, but he has recorded albums in the same studio as the Beach Boys, who are pictured above. (Image by: Capitol Records, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons)

Everything seemed to be going great, and his band was touring through San Diego and selling records, until tragedy struck. In 1995 Mr. DeMichele’s father was diagnosed with cancer and since DeMichele was an only child, he had to stop touring to take care of him. 

After this event, the band stopped playing. “I just did not have any energy. I needed a break and I needed to just be sad for a little while,” DeMichele says. 

Memories of Touring

Despite his dad’s passing, DeMichele looks back at his touring days with fondness. When asked what his favorite memory was he happily recalled the time a woman in the audience jumped on the stage and stole the microphone:

“It was the last song of the night and we were trying to kind of wind down the crowd when all of a sudden this totally whacked woman jumps on stage and just starts scream-singing into the microphone. She just went totally nutso.” 

After getting his teaching degree at San Diego State University in 2009, DeMichele started playing the drums with a new band. This band had more success and had songs regularly on the radio and played live radio shows. They had a world tour planned until his best friend in the band tragically died. The band stopped playing a couple months after. “When something like that happens,” DeMichele explains, “it’s just not the same and it’s really hard to keep going.”  

His Life Now

Despite not touring, DeMichele still enjoys playing the drums whenever he can and listening to music. After mentioning his love for musical artists Taylor Swift and Noah Kahan, DeMichele adds: “I love listening to modern music and I listen to modern music more often than older music. I try to listen to music from all genres. I feel like there’s lots of great music out right now and why would I want to miss that?”

DeMichele has had a life filled with music at every step. Although grateful for his touring and band days, he is happy where he is, he says, and “wouldn’t trade his teaching life for the rockstar life in a million years.”