Alumnus drums at nightclubs

Twenty years ago at Harvard School, drummer Dave Mintz ’87 was one of many students to take the ninth grade science class Matter and Energy from Head of Upper School Harry Salamandra.

Mintz, now the middle school plant manager, plays drums with the Natalie Wattré Band. At a live event last year, as he played the drums, he looked out into the crowd and spotted Salamandra watching his performance.

“It is fun every now and then to look out in the crowd and see someone like Mr. Sal and his wife,” Mintz said. “They first started seeing me play when I was a student at Harvard School.”

Mintz has played with the band for about 15 years and has played the drums for much longer.
“I play and have played essentially all types of rock,” Mintz said. With the band, the “material that I play tends to be a cross between Melissa Etheridge and Janis Joplin.”

The band is made up of four people, including Mintz as the drummer and Natalie Wattré, the lead singer, for whom the band is named.

The band plays live about every six to eight weeks in nightclubs around Los Angeles. Last month, Mintz played with the band at the nightclub The Mint and will play at The Joint this Saturday night.

Salamandra and his wife normally come to one of Mintz’s events each year.

Outside of band rehearsals, Mintz’s playing time is limited.

“I’m married with two kids, I’ve got a full- time job working for the school and I’ve got other interests outside of school too,” Mintz said. “I have instruments at home and play every now and then. My son is a lot more dedicated at this point in his life than I am.”

Mintz began playing the drums about 25 years ago.

For 22 of those years, Mintz has been playing in nightclubs, so he is used to playing in front of club audiences.

“After a while, they all start to look the same,” Mintz said.

The band has come out with two records. The most recent record, “After the Drought,” was released in May, and their first full length CD, “Break,” came out five years before that.

The band has a website, www.nataliewattre.com, and a profile on MySpace where some of the band’s songs are freely available.

“We just happen to play because we like it,” Mintz said. “I’ve been doing it a long time and I still get pleasure from it.”