John Kiffmeyer (also known as Al Sobrante), was born on July 11, 1969[1]. He was the original drummer for the punk rock/alternative rock band Green Day. He was given his nickname in reference to his hometown, El Sobrante.


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 on 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, he left the band to attend college at Humboldt State University in Arcata, California. Kiffmeyer later joined the band The Ne'er Do Wells, leaving abruptly in 1994. Following a stint with punk band The Ritalins, he became manager of The Shruggs until their split. Recently he produced "The Lost Troublemakers Album" by The Troublemakers, a garage band from Sacramento, California. He now lives in San Francisco, California with his wife Greta and his young son Lolo.

Drumming styleEdit

John Kiffmeyer is left-handed and plays drums open handed, playing the hi-hat cymbals with his left hand, and the ride cymbal positioned just to the left of the hi-hat.


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