10-year-old drummer joins Steel Panther for Van Halen cover... and slays!

Avery Molek onstage with Steel Panther
Avery Molek onstage with Steel Panther
(Image: © YouTube)

Never work with children or animals, they used to say. But in the last couple of weeks Korn have hired a 12-year-old bass player, while a 10-year-old girl triumphed in Denmark’s Got Talent after impressing the nation with her tubthumping takes on Rage Against The Machine and Led Zeppelin.

Add to the list 10-year-old Pennsylvania native Avery Molek. He attended a Steel Panther show at Stage AE on the North Shore of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania earlier this month, accompanied by a sign reading “Can I Play Hot For Teacher?” The sign was removed by security staff, but Avery wasn’t to be defeated and put together another sign once inside the venue.

The ploy worked, and Avery was invited to join the band onstage for the Van Halen cover, with Joe Lester from Van Halen tribute band The Atomic Punks filling in on bass guitar. And he did pretty well!

If you’re thinking this might be Avery’s big break, it turns out he probably doesn’t need it. With a YouTube channel that has 80,000 more subscribers than Steel Panther themselves, Avery is already something of a star, covering tracks by the likes of Kiss, Rush, Guns N’ Roses, Metallica and The Who.

“I am 10 years old, absolutely love drumming, and have been playing since I was two,” says Avery. “Some of my favourite bands are Kiss, Van Halen, Rush, Metallica, Pantera, Avenged Sevenfold, Dream Theater, AC/DC and many more!”

He’s already come to the attention of drumming legend Mike Portnoy, who was impressed by Avery’s cover of the Dream Theater classic Panic Attack — filmed when he was just eight — and in 2014 joined members of Kiss onstage to play Love Gun at a pre-show acoustic performance.

Steel Panther will play this year’s Download Festival on Sunday June 11. Tickets are on sale now. Who knows what Avery Molek will do next?

Watch 12-year-old Indonesian girl's triumphant version of Rush classic YYZ