BLACK LABEL SOCIETY has recruited Chad Szeliga (BREAKING BENJAMIN, OURAFTER) as the band’s new drummer. He replaces Mike Froedge (SPEED X, DOUBLEDRIVE), who toured with the group for the past four months.

Said Froedge: “It’s not every day that one gets to tour the world with a living guitar legend, and his amazing band and top-notch crew….. and I will never forget it! Nick [Catanese, BLACK LABEL SOCIETY guitarist] and I go back many, many years, and he and I will be making more music together one day soon.”

Szeliga‘s roots lie in jazz and funk, yet he still excels as the drummer of the riff-heavy rock band BREAKING BENJAMIN. “Some jazz players see rock as some downbeat, devil-worshipping thing,” he says. “But playing rock has brought more attitude and confidence to my drumming.”

Yet Szeliga isn’t a busy, hyper-technical player. He says, “One of the things that makes a mature drummer is knowing when it’s time to do your tricks and when it’s time to just play. When a rock guitarist is playing a heavy riff, you should know not to do a Dennis Chambers or Carter Beauford lick. You’ve got to keep it straight in the pocket and let the guitar player breathe.”

Szeliga has advice for drummers who find themselves suddenly inducted into a successful group. “Being a hired gun can be hard,” he says. “If you don’t do your job, you will be replaced instantly. But if you work hard and show the band you’re on your game, it’s a great opportunity. But you have to be hungry. You have to practice and show that you’re dedicated. Go to the extreme. If the drummer before you played perfectly but had bad stage presence, then play even more perfectly and have great stage presence. Don’t just do your job and get paid. If you love music, do it 101 percent.”

Will Hunt left BLACK LABEL SOCIETY in late February in order to join his EVANESCENCE bandmates in the studio for the recording sessions for the band’s third album.

Sitting behind the kit for BLACK LABEL SOCIETY‘s early 2011 European dates was Johnny Kelly (TYPE O NEGATIVE, SEVENTH VOID), who made his live debut with the band on February 25 at La Cigale in Paris, France.