Tré grew up in a remote rural area known as Iron Peak and/or Spy Rock Road, 18 miles outside of Laytonville, California. When he was 14, his family moved to Willits, California, 21 miles south of Laytonville. His dad, a retired Vietnam vet, built some of the houses in the Iron Peak area, and helped build an addition to the house of Larry Livermore, their nearest neighbor and the founder of Lookout! Records. Livermore also gave Tré his nickname (comes from “tré cool” which means very cool in French). At age twelve, he joined Livermore’s band, the Lookouts. A lot of their gigs were at Berkeley’s punk club, 924 Gilman Street. In 1988, Tré played a gig at a high school party for the Lookouts and a new band called Sweet Children, who later changed their name to Green Day. That gig led to Green Day signing to Lookout Records. The Lookouts and Green Day often played together in the following two years, and after the Lookouts broke up in 1990, Tré joined Green Day as a replacement for their first drummer, John Kiffmeyer (aka Al Sobrante), who left the band to attend college.
Marriages and children
Tré fathered a daughter, Ramona, in January 1995, and married Lisea Lyons, the girl’s mother, two months later. They later divorced, but remain good friends. Cool remarried in 2000 to a woman named Claudia, and their son Frankito, which means “Little Frank”, was born in 2001. They divorced in 2003, but they still live together in a house in Oakland, California, because of their child. Cool then dated colleague drummer Torry Castellano (Donna C. of female band The Donnas). They have since separated.
In the earlier years (Kerplunk! and Dookie) Tré used a DW drum set. Since Warning Tré has gotten his own signature Slingerland drum kit, the “Spitfire”. However at the recent American Idiot tour, according to an interview published in the December issue of Drum Magazine, Tré has parted ways with Slingerland, and as described below, now uses a Ludwig Maple Custom Set and Zildjian cymbals. As he says: “It sounds like an instrument.” He also uses Zildjian’s Tré Cool Artists Series Drumsticks.
His drum set consists of a 22”x18” Bass Drum, a 14”x11” Rack Tom, a 14”x6.5” Snare Drum, 16”x16” & 18”x16” Floor Toms, and a tambourine next to his china cymbal.
He uses Zildjian’s 14” K/Z Special Hi-Hats (K Hi-Hat Top, Z Dyno Beat Bottom) on the left, a 19” K Zildjian Medium Thin Crash on the top-left, an A Zildjian 19” Medium Thin Crash on the top-right, an A Zildjian 22” Ping Ride on the top-right below the crash, a K Zildjian 20” Crash/Ride on the right, and an FX Zildjian 20” Oriental Classic China (upside-down) on the bottom right.
The drum-heads he uses are a Remo Coated Emperor X on the top of his snare, a Remo Ambassador Snare on the bottom, Remo Coated Emperors on the tops of his Toms & Remo Coated Ambassadors on the bottom, a Remo Powerstroke 3 with a Remo Falam Slam Pad on the back of his bass, and an Ebony Powerstroke 3 drum Head with the American Idiot Logo on the front.
Role in Green Day
Tré , similarly to bass player Mike Dirnt, plays a minor role in songwriting. He rarely writes for any instrument other than drums on officially released Green Day material.
Tré does, however, have some songwriting credits and vocals on the band’s albums. He wrote/sang the bonus track “All by Myself” on Dookie (which is hidden in the song F.O.D.), a song about masturbation, and the subtrack “Rock and Roll Girlfriend” from the medley, “Homecoming,” featured on the American Idiot album. He also wrote the humurous “Dominated Love Slave”, about sexual and sado masochistic domination, on Green Day’s 1992 album Kerplunk!, a track on which he also sings and plays both drums and guitar, and he sings “Like a Rat Does Cheese” which for obvious reasons does not appear on an album. On some rare performances of the song, Cool and Billie Joe switch instruments. It is implied that Cool plays the guitar in the “Rock and Roll Girlfriend” where he says “I play the shit out the drums, and I can play the guitar,” followed by a short guitar lick. On the album Dookie, he composed the guitar riff for the track “Welcome to Paradise” for which Billie Joe wrote the drum part. This is the only known time that he and Tré have switched usual writing duties for an official Green Day track. Tré also appears on the Fat Wreck compilation Short Music for Short People with Samiam, and wrote and sang several songs with the Lookouts.
During a radio interview at Washington DC’s alternative station, DC 101, Tré sang and played the guitar to a short song titled “Like a Rat does Cheese”, which is about the pleasure of fellatio.
Tré has influenced many punk drummers; Chuck Comeau of Simple Plan and Eric Westhaver of punk band A3 both cite him as a major influence. Other percussionists such as Dan Duggins from Hot Rod Circuit and Todd Hennig are also influenced by his frenzied drumming style, combining fast and powerful strokes. Travis Barker of blink-182, who is his rival in the fan circles for best pop punk drummer, has also said that he is a fan of Tré’s drumming.
About his influences, Cool confesses that he is mostly influenced by the legendary Keith Moon, whom he idolizes and who is a clear inspiration over his own drumming duties. He also says that as well as admiring his other favourite drummers like Charlie Watts and Ginger Baker, he also endeavors to stand on his own and be an original and stand-out drummer.
Tré has been a part of The Lookouts (1985-1990), Screeching Weasel, Samiam, The Network in addition to his better-known role as Green Day’s percussionist.
Edited by zolof54 on 27 May 2009, 19:52
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