Drummer Mike Dupke has left W.A.S.P. after a nine-year stint with the band. A replacement drummer has not yet been announced.
Said Dupke in a statement: "I would like to wish the guys in the band all the best in the future. I must also send thanks out to all the W.A.S.P. fans who welcomed me with open arms. You all rock! I would also like to add that I am now available to join, work, and tour with any new prospective artists or bands."
Dupke is a Michigan-born drummer who began playing at age 13. After "basically living in the band room" through high school, Dupke enrolled in the Indiana University School of Music, where he began studying with Kenny Aronoff. At only 19 years old, Mike performed with John Mellencamp's band, playing percussion alongside Kenny. He performed on the MTV "Human Wheels" special, the "Arsenio Hall Show", and the "When Jesus Left Birmingham" video. Dupke also played drums for a track on Mellencamp's "Dance Naked" disc.
After college, Mike relocated to Nashville where he met CINDERELLA drummer Fred Coury. It was Coury who ended up pairing Dupke with Los Angeles-based rock band HAIR OF THE DOG. HAIR OF THE DOG got signed to Spitfire Records and recorded two more discs, 2000's "Rise" and 2001's "Ignite". After that group disbanded, Mike began backing slide-blues powerhouse Eric Sardinas, and got his first taste of international touring. In 2006, Dupke joined W.A.S.P., with mainman Blackie Lawless calling Dupke the only drummer he "ever hired on the spot." Mike has recorded three discs with the band, 2007's "Dominator", 2009's "Babylon" and the forthcoming "Golgotha". Since joining W.A.S.P., he has performed in nearly 30 countries around the globe.
When not on tour, Mike resides in the Los Angeles area, doing sessions and teaching students.