Elaine Bradley – Drumming With a Purpose

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Youngest among seven children, Elaine Gabrielle Bradley, was born on October 19, 1984, to Carolyn and Robert Doty. The renowned American musician and songwriter is the drummer and backup vocalist for the American rock band Neon Trees. She can also be identified from BYUtv’s unscripted series, Grace Notes, as she has been the host since 2020.

Elaine’s love for drumming started at quite an early age. After realizing it wasn’t just a phase, her parents began buying her entire sets of drums where she’d do her thing. In her freshman year of high school, Elaine Bradley decided to form a band with some of her friends. Since they lacked a drummer, she had to sing and play drums at the same time

elaine bradley
elaine bradley

Eventually, they found a brilliant drummer, and she, therefore, shifted to a guitarist. This period sharpened her into a better drummer as she was able to learn from their drummer through observations. Unfortunately, the band broke after a few years. She is later moved to Utah to play music with her friend Bryce. At the moment, she majored in playing the guitar.

Since playing with Bryce didn’t work too well for them, she decided to jam with him once a week. She then realized she had gotten better at drumming after a very long time of not playing. Consequently, she decided to form a band with her friend on the guitar and her on the drums. The band ran smoothly until Tyler and Chris were looking for a bassist and a drummer. That is how she ended up in Neon Trees.

Elaine joined Neon Trees in 2006 after it was formed in 2005. Their single, “Animal,” is what gained the band nationwide exposure as it topped the Billboard Alternative Songs chart. In 2011, it won a Billboard Music Award for top alternative songs. They have explored with other groups like The Offspring and My Chemical Romance for more exposure, among others.

Currently, Elaine plays maple Sonor Custom Delite drums, a Marple Craviotto snare, and Zildjian cymbals. She uses DW hardware, and her bass drum head is an Aquarian, while her other heads are Remos. She uses Vic Firth 3A drumsticks but has been known to enjoy using 5A from time to time. 

elaine bradley performing
elaine bradley performing

She has also played in several bands apart from Neon Trees. She filled in as a drummer for ‘The 8G’ Band for a couple of weeks. She also played on Late Night with ‘Seth Meyers’ from 2016 to 2017. Music aside, Elaine is a married woman as well as a mother. She got married in the Draper Utah Temple to a dual German/American citizen, Sebastian Bradley, in January 2011. 

She and her family are featured in ‘The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ campaign video. In her blog, Elaine puts a lot of emphasis on how she has never viewed herself as a ‘girl drummer.’ She always views herself as a drummer as she does not want to be good for a girl but just good.

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