July 11, 1969
El Sobrante, California
|Occupation(s):||Musician, cinematographer, songwriter|
|Years active:||1987-95 (musician)|
John Kiffmeyer (born July 11, 1969), better known by his stage name Al Sobrante (a pun on "El Sobrante", his hometown), was the original drummer of Green Day. He was replaced by Tré Cool starting with Kerplunk.
Biography[edit | edit source]
John Kiffmeyer was born in California on July 11, 1969. His first exposure in the punk scene was as the drummer of the band Isocracy. The group was popular in the East Bay, and mainstays at the famed club 924 Gilman Street.
However, Kiffmeyer is most well known for his time in Green Day. After the end of Isocracy, Kiffmeyer helped form Green Day. Because of his experience and knowledge of the underground community, Kiffmeyer was able to get the young band on its feet by placing calls to friends, among them prominent figure of the East Bay Larry Livermore. The first few performances took place at Contra Costa College, where Kiffmeyer was a journalism student. On the strength of an early performance, Livermore vowed to release a Green Day record via his Lookout! Records. The group's first full-length effort, 39/Smooth would feature a Kiffmeyer original, "I Was There", which documented the band at that place in time.
In 1990, Kiffmeyer left Green Day to attend college at Humboldt State University in Arcata, California. Kiffmeyer later joined the band Ne'er-Do-Wells, leaving abruptly in 1994. Following a stint with the Ritalins, Kiffmeyer became manager of the Shruggs until their split. Recently, he produced The Lost Troublemakers Album by the Troublemakers, a garage band from Sacramento.
Kiffmeyer now lives in San Francisco, California with his wife Greta and his young son Lolo, working as a cinematographer for commercials.