Nilo Hodge Photo

Nilo Hodge Photo Blog

Nilo Hodge Photo Blog showcasing personal projects and recent work.

Passions: Mario Napoli

So I've been toying with the idea of a personal project for a few months now. I decided I wanted to connect with people through what they're passionate about and create a series called Passions. I love hearing the enthusiasm people have when they talk about something that moves them. A couple weeks ago, I reached out on social media to see if I could drum up any interest in the project and hopefully photograph some interesting people. One of the first people to reach out was Mario. 

I've known Mario for a long time now. Drumming was always something I knew he was really into. I never actually sat down and talked to him about it. After finding out he was interested we set up a day to make the shoot happen. A few days before I was supposed to come to his house, we had a pretty bad snow storm and a lot of areas were without power for days. Mario's place was one of these places. His dad owns a pizza shop nearby so he set up his drums in there before they opened for the day. He played a few songs and I took some portraits after he was done. Here's what he had to say.


Mario Napoli


So first thing's first, what is your passion?

-Drumming has been my passion since I was little.  I come from a family of musicians so watching my dad play the drums when I was little has really stuck with me.

Aside from your dad, what are some of your music influences?

-Definitely the Beatles.  Been listening to them since I was young.  Ringo Starr was a simple drummer so my influence mainly comes from him. I like to keep it basic when it comes to drumming.  Other music influences would be Carter Beauford from Dave Mathews band. His style of drumming is a bit on the harder side but I love listening to him play. Rush is a great band along with drummer Neil Peart.  Foo fighters etc. I have a few favorites so I can't pick just one. I'm also big into reggae music and listening to Bob Marley was an influence as well on my drumming.

Those are all some solid influences. What keeps you motivated?

-I would say just practicing and playing out. I practice a few days a week for about an hour or so. When I play in bands, I love seeing the reactions of people when playing a great song.  I'm not the greatest drummer out there but when I get compliments from other drummers or people in general in the area saying how good I am makes me feel great. That's what keeps me motivated. I'm also self taught besides my dad teaching me a little when I was younger.

That's great man, a bit of validation always helps. What's your ultimate goal when it comes to drumming?

-Ever since I played in bands I always wanted to do it for a living. I know it's 10 times harder in today's time but I still think there is a chance that one day I can  play full time. Times are changing and so are the styles of music.  I just need to find that one missing piece to allow me to play full time.  That and being in a great band and lots and lots of playing out.


I'd love to see that happen. And lastly what's a drummer, artist or band you can't stop listening to right now?

-Ahh, that's a hard one for me. My music taste changes for different seasons.(weird i know)  During fall and winter months I tend to listen to more mellow music 70's, 80's, 90's and 2000's. But to keep it  short I've been listening to a lot of Eric Clapton and Neil young lately.  Come spring/summer it's more heavy rock and reggae of various artists.