Jonathan H Karel

Jonathan H Karel

The Sawtooth Grin, Shawn Javadi

Providence, RI, USA; Jon Karel is responsible for some of the most widely cherished technical metal drumming since the early 2000s. His playing on The Number 12 Looks Like Yous 2007 œMongrel is hailed as one of the most diverse and influential drumming performances of the decade. His drumming contributions to the globe-trotting 45-country œEARTH TOUR sonic noise adventure with HORSE The Band in 2008, and the resulting documentary film and photo book, have achieved legendary cult status amongst fans around the world.

Jons style is a unique blend of swinging feel, fast double bass, and early progressive-hardcore drummers like Ken Shaulk and Chris Pennie, mixed with the modern fusion approach a la Matt Garstka and Morgan Agren.

During a recent harrowing bout with cancer, he re-formed legendary grind-core outfit; The Sawtooth Grin, to co-compose and produce their highly anticipated magna-opus œGOOD (wax-vessel records, 2022) a technical and emotional master work, recorded and mix-engineered by Kevin Antreassian, formerly of The Dillinger Escape Plan, as well as featuring artwork from the legendary Japanese artist; Shintaro Kago.

Simultaneously, Jon's earning his Bachelors degree from Berklee college of music in Boston, MA. Awarded academic Dean's for his outstanding performance, he's determined to be as influential as an engineer/producer as he is a drummer.

With dozens of recording projects, educational contributions, tours, and collaborations already under his belt, Jon Karel is just getting warmed up.

IN 3

  • Most memorable Next-Level Performance

    Every time I play there's ups n downs. I have bad ADD and get distracted, but when pressure's on, and there's opportunity to improv, that's when magic happens. like a drug. The crazier the crowd; deeper the high. I played to an angry mob of drunken Serbs one night. A girl smashed a bottle on her head and cheered me on: "Go faster!" That was sik.
  • What Drives Your Creativity?

    Practice. I know that's cheezy but, the deeper i dive onto the instrument, the more insights I find. 10 hours on a great day, 4 hours on a good day. It's meditative.
  • Why do you choose Vic Firth?

    Pepper mills for sure, but also Buddy Rich sticks. They have a HUGE sweet-spot/fulcrum. They can smash all day, but with finesse, agility and dynamic grace. They make old heads sounds charming and organic, cracked cymbals sound artisanal and deliberate. They are the perfect pair.


The Sawtooth Grin, Shawn Javadi