If you close your eyes, the iPad drummer known as Appleman sounds like he is tearing up a real set of skins. What you see in his YouTube videos, in which he covers the drumming parts of rock classics like Marilyn Manson’s “Beautiful People,” contradicts what the ears hear.
But how would he do against a drummer on an analog kit? Fast fingers met fast sticks recently as the anonymous Appleman went mano a mano with 17-year-old drumming phenom Yamachika Takuto.
By the sounds of the exchange of solos and the cheers from the audience, the two battled to a draw.
Appleman has set his sights (and fingers) on the goal of covering 100 songs. (He’s about halfway there.) His three-minute video “iPad Drum Solo” has been viewed more than 3.1 million times since publishing in 2013.
In a previous interview, Appleman told Cult of Mac his fingers are likely to wear out before the glass on his iPads. He is shy about his identity, but not about his love for Apple products. He is known to show up outside Apple stores for the release of new products wearing a homemade Apple mask. He is also a gifted photographer.
For his five-and-a-half-minute performance with Takuto, posted to YouTube this week, Appleman appeared onstage wearing what looks like a bright red apple helmet.
He did his virtual drumming in front of a screen so the audience could see his fingers move in GarageBand.
The two took turns soloing, but also offered supporting beats during one another’s herculean efforts. It looked and felt like a conversation.
Appleman does have drumming experience. He was in a rock band when he was in school in England. Once he returned to Nagasaki and a small apartment, he could not practice on a real kit for fear of disrupting the peace of his neighbors.