Basic Background Info

Birth: Unknown
Location: Detroit, Michigan
Band: Warlord, Fates Warning, Slavior
Genres: Metal, Rock
Instruments: Drums
Occupation: Musician


Mark Zonder’s first drum lessons came straight out of the Buddy Rich book. At the age of six, Mark Zonder's family moved from his birthplace of Detroit, Michigan to California. It was here, at the age of seven, that Mark Zonder began taking drum lessons. Though he had a practice pad, Mark Zonder was more interested in playing on an arrangement of suitcases he’d set up as his kit. The young Mark Zonder was into all kinds of music, but most distinctly recalls the first Monkee’s album that his father purchased for the family.

As he got older, Mark Zonder was drawn to athletics and became focused on baseball and basketball, which left little time for drum practice. Mark Zonder did, however, perform with his school bands from elementary school through high school and jammed with any other musicians he could find. Mark Zonder remembers jamming with a friend who played saxophone—together they played “unique” renditions of Chicago’s first album.

“As long as I practiced and showed interest, I had my lessons,” Mark Zonder says. His parents were very supportive of their son’s drumming, except once when a frustrated youngster planted his sticks through the head of his snare drum. Lessons were temporarily put on hold.

At the age of twelve was an age of two important firsts for young Mark Zonder. He got his first professional drum kit and his first job, working for a local San Jose music store where he also took lessons. As he was handing out flyers in exchange for cymbals, Mark Zonder was asked to jam after work by the guys who worked there. The twelve year old, with his father playing “roadie,” was driven to their place with his sparkling blue kit. It was the first time the budding drummer was around loud amps.

As the years went by, Mark Zonder began playing with various cover bands in the area, playing everything from heavy metal to commercial-friendly pop. It was during this time that he met Bill Tsamis. The two joined up and formed the metal band, Warlord. They spent hours playing together—Tsamis on guitar and Zonder on drums. They decided to follow their dreams and move to Los Angeles, getting a small space in a big building in North Hollywood. They recorded a few albums and produced a video, but despite auditioning many singers, they could never find the right voice. Things eventually fell apart.

In 1989, while Warlord was on hiatus, Mark Zonder replaced drummer Steve Zimmerman in the band Fates Warning. He Mark Zonder almost ten albums with them, but eventually parted ways in 2005.

Warlord came back together in 2001 on a project basis. They recorded their comeback album, Rising Out Of The Ashes, with HammerFall singer and Warlord fan, Joacim Cans.


Album Year Album Name Album Band
1976 Bomber Ken Baumgartner
1983 Deliver Us E.P. Warlord
1984 Lost and Lonely Days/Aliens Warlord
1984 ...And The Cannons of Destruction Have Begun Warlord
1986 Thy Kingdom Come (Best Of) Warlord
1989 Perfect Symmetry Fates Warning
1991 Parallels Fates Warning
1991 Guitar's Practicing Musicians, Vol. 2 Various Artists
1993 Best of Warlord Warlord
1994 Inside Out Fates Warning
1995 Chasing Time Fates Warning
1996 Working Man Various Artists
1997 A Pleasant Shade of Gray Fates Warning
1997 Metal Blade Records: 15th Anniversary (Producer) Various Artists
1997 Tribute to Judas Priest: Legends of Metal Various Artists
1998 Still Life Fates Warning
1998 Dead Air For Radios (Guitar) Chroma Key
1999 Away with Words Jim Matheos
2000 Disconnected Fates Warning
2000 Holy Dio: Tribute To Ronnie James Dio Various Artists
2002 Rising Out of the Ashes Warlord
2002 Under-Radio Under-Radio
2002 Metal Blade Records: 20th Anniversary (Producer) Various Artists
2003 Redemption Redemption
2004 FWX Fates Warning
2004 Beyond the Gates Joacim Cans
2005 Torn Between Dimensions At War With Self
2005 Bad-Heir Way Under-Radio
2007 Slavior Slavior
2011 Stormwarning Ten
2012 Anthology Warlord
2012 Standing Wave Psychic for Radio
2013 The Holy Empire Warlord
2013 Deliver Us Warlord
2014 The Cannons of Destruction & Lost and Lonely Days/Aliens Warlord
2014 The Ten Commandments (Warlord Through the Years) Warlord


  • "Try using different drums, cymbals, and whatever else you plan to use to fit the music. Do not be afraid to experiment and try different ideas. Sometimes the wildest ideas work out the best." -Zonder
  • Mark Zonder on discipline: "You either have it or you don't. It is a matter of loving what you do. As I said, I wasted a lot of time as a kid. I think it is a mature thing that you either grow into or not. If you don't like what you are doing, it does not matter how much disipline you have."

Instruments of Choice



Drums: GMS
Cymbals: Zildjian
Hardware: Drum Workshop
Heads: Remo
Electronics: Summit Audio, Metrophones
Percussion: Toca
Sticks: Vater

Pics & Clips