John Sands

Drummer / Percussionist


John Sands was born and raised in Marietta, Ohio. He began drumming at the age of nine and gigging at age twelve, playing with a local jazz/rock group. He then went on to perform pit percussion for area high school, college, and community theater productions.

He attended Berklee College of Music in Boston, where he studied with Tony Tedesco, and then privately with the legendary Alan Dawson. 

John has recorded and/or toured with Aimee Mann, Lori McKenna, Lisa Marie Presley, Liz Phair, Lisa Loeb, Merrie Amsterburg, Duke Levine, Kevin Gordon, Catie Curtis, Lyle Brewer, Kimon Kirk, Nellie McKay, Paul Pena, and Milla Jovovich, among many others.

“Drummer John Sands in particular has quietly developed a simple yet distinctive feel that’s as integral to Mann’s sound as Nigel Olson’s skin work was to Elton John’s classic recordings."
—Paste Magazine


"John Sands, the secret weapon in Mann's band, created his own twinkling vocabulary."
—The Boston Globe

"When bassist Paul Kochanski and drummer John Sands (moonlighting from Aimee Mann's band) arrived for Lori Mckenna’s "I Know You" and stayed, the country-folk campfire became a raging roots inferno: a soul-satisfying crackle of dueling slide and lead guitars, conversational harmonica, and stunningly supple bass and drums.”
—The Boston Globe