Watch The Ghost Inside Drummer’s Incredible Progress After Relearning Drums with 1 Leg

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Popular metalcore outfit The Ghost Inside has been on an inspiring recovery journey the past few years ever since their devastating 2015 bus accident. For context, a tractor trailer and their tour bus collided, causing a horrific crash that killed the driver of the tractor trailer and the driver of The Ghost Inside’s own bus. Additionally, members of the band suffered ghastly injuries, from singer Jonathan Vigil’s fractured back, broken ankles and ligament damage, to guitarist Jack Johnson’s having to endure over a dozen femur surgeries, to the band’s drummer Andrew Tkaczyk needing to have his right leg amputated right above his knee.

The band has been very forthcoming about their intense road back, including Tkaczyk even sharing video from his time at the Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital.  

In a 2020 interview with The Brag, Andrew described the mental and physical challenges of relearning how to play his instrument, including the special device that his father built that allows him to use his right leg to play drums without having a prosthetic attached:

“For myself, personally, it was obviously the task of having to relearn how to play drums again. The years of going back and forth with assistive devices in different ways and finding what works and what doesn’t work, and having ups and downs of ‘I want to do this’ and ‘I don’t want to do this’ and ‘I can’t’ back to ‘okay, I can do this’.

I have a device that my dad made me so I can play with what limb I have left on my right when I don’t have a prosthetic attached to my body. It gives me this freedom to swing my weight around and move around, and I’m not bound to the kick pedal like I was with a prosthetic. With the prosthetic and the kick drum, my foot had to be strapped down, or else it would slide off. This new device that my dad made just totally changed the game for me. Other than that, my drum kit is exactly the same. The hammer is what I call it.”

The band has of course since celebrated a series of impressive milestones by returning to the live stage in 2019 with a 6,000 capacity show in LA that sold out in 4 minutes, followed by the release of a new self-titled full length album in 2020.

But for anyone paying attention to Andrew’s Instagram, the progress he continues to make as a drummer since 2015 is truly astounding. When he first began using his “hammer” tool, Andrew had this to say:

“There’s a lot to work on. I physically can’t produce as much power and control as I can with a trusty ol’ REAL leg/foot/ankle combo. Mostly other musicians will notice that during the part where I switch the groove to the open hats. Because I only have a very short limb, there is also a timing/latency issue when striking The Hammer with my limb to the kick head that I think is just going to get better with more practice and experience. It’s honestly like having to relearn how to play drums again. The muscle memory is there, but my body is drastically different. Going to experiment with triggers to see if that helps my situation.”

Here’s video of Andrew Tkaczyk when he first attempted to start drumming again, using his “hammer” tool:

 

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And now here’s video of Andrew Tkaczyk drumming as of recently, with an insane amount of precision & power:

 

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Props to you, Andrew. Your dedication & commitment to your craft is inspiring.