The Bucketlist with DRIFTER

*In this series we pose the age-old question to a wide array of music lovers. As fans of music, most of us keep a mental list of active bands we want to see live that we haven’t yet seen. The Bucketlist brings to you those lists of your favorite artists and why those bands mean so much to them*

Here at Metal Nexus, we always welcome newcomers to the music scene and love to hear new music from bands all over the world.  When we first hear about a band, it’s pretty interesting to sort of follow the band’s career as they gain more and more success from playing local shows to playing some of the biggest music festivals.  With that, New Jersey natives Drifter have been showing up in several independent media outlets in the recent months and one listen will have you understanding why. 

Drifter is made up of Mike Monto (vocals), Joe Derogatis (guitar/vocals), Jon Plunkett (guitar), Filip Halajko (bass), and Mark Karlstein (drums).  Collectively, these five individuals deliver intense, hard-hitting djent-inspired metal with a thrash/hardcore twist.  The band’s latest release, ‘The Howling’, proved to show some real promise for Drifter’s future, gaining support from media sources like Madness To Creation who spoke highly of the album:

“In sports, we often talk about “dark horses” and “sleeper picks”, those that fly under the radar.  Drifter is that dark horse in metalcore, they could be surprising some people with their hard-hitting tracks and gutteral screams while adding intricate layers in order to make the recipe that is Drifter be extremely palatable for the listener.  Madness To Creation rates ‘The Howling’ by Drifter a solid 9 out of 10 stars.”

Recently, Metal Nexus spoke with the band and asked each member for their very own Bucketlist and this is what they had to say:


Norma Jean“They’ve always been one of my favorite bands. They just have this unique raw style.”

Underoath“I’m actually stoked they just got back together for another album. Underoath has always been a major influence on me.” 

Bones“ He’s just a unique rapper, I just like his dark style and his productions. Always wanted to see him in concert.” 


Avenged Sevenfold“ They’re basically the reason I play drums and enjoy music.”

Dream Theater“Super technical, they’re the reason I furthered my drum skills and got more into designed music.”

Jason Richardson“Luke Hollan, is my favorite drummer and has been a huge inspiration for me when it comes to drumming.”


Norma Jean“I’ve always been influenced by their really raw style of guitar playing and I really want to see if their energy matches their live set.”

Stick To Your Guns“I just missed their set at Playstation Theater when I went to go see Architects and I only recently just got into them but I’m a huge fan. It was kind of a bummer missing

The Rolling Stones“I grew up listening to the Rolling Stones with my dad and it’s one of the main reasons I picked up the guitar.”


Original Misfits (With Danzig)  – “ Misfits are my all time favorite band when I heard they were getting back together for shows, it was like a dream come true.” 

Veil of Maya“ I love guitarist Mark Okubo. He does all this crazy live looping and the way he blends heaviness with melody is tasteful. “

Ichika“ He’s this crazy Japanese guitarist whose written some of the most beautiful songs I’ve ever heard. ” 


Jakub Zytecki“Showing support for my Polish bro. He is a crazy shredder with some delicious tracks.”

Plini – “He is a God.”

David Maxim Micic “His music is extremely creative and innovative. I would love to drift off to his tunes live.”

Be sure to check out Drifter on social media for updates and shows near you!  The band is planning to compile material for their first full-length album and even hinted at some possible touring this summer. In a recent Moshville Times interview, when asked about what fans can expect from Drifter in a live setting, bassist Filip Halajko asserted,

 “We tend to go pretty berserk during live shows and try to keep the energy as high as possible. Monto swings the mic around, sometimes we play dodgeball with the crowd. Definitely wear some headgear if you come!”

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