Jonathan Van Dine

Location (Philly Neighbourhood): Fishtown

Hometown: Doylestown, PA


Current Project(s)/Band(s): CRUISR

Past Project(s)/Band(s): Ladder Devils, Marigold

Instrument(s) you play: Drums

What else do you do in the Philly music scene? These days I’ve been pretty focused on CRUISR. I used to shoot photos of shows a lot before CRUISR started touring and becoming a serious thing. I miss doing that, for sure. Does anyone wanna let me attempt to play jazz with them in Philly?


Location of Photo(s): Johnny Brenda’s / Philadelphia Drum & Percussion

What do those location(s) mean to you?: 

Playing Johnny Brenda’s was actually the main goal I had when I first started playing music and living in Philadelphia. I just dreamed of headlining a show there one day. It’s been one of my favorite venues in Philly since I moved here (the other being First Unitarian Church!). The first time I went there, I was blown away. It’s just the perfect size and has a vibe unlike any other venue. Turns out, I’ve been lucky to headline at JB’s not only once, but maybe three times at this point? We’ve been very lucky to play a lot of the great venues in our city, but nothing feels as special as JB’s.

Philadelphia Drum & Percussion is a solution to a missing piece in our music scene - a DRUM SHOP! It just opened recently and it is my favorite place to go and geek out over drums, cymbals, and all the newest accessories. The owner, Brandon is always so friendly and awesome to chat with. Even cooler is the fact that they host drum clinics with drummers I admire and it’s great to have a place where the drummer community can get together. I also wish I worked there.


Favourite Place in Philly: I’d say my house. It’s got drums, a really cute chihuahua named Elliot and everything I need. I’m really starting to embrace my 30s. I love just coming home, playing drums, drink some wine and cook dinner. I really do enjoy sleeping, too.

Favourite Watering Hole/Coffee Spot: Soup Kitchen Cafe

Favourite Restaurant: Wm. Mulherin’s Sons

Favourite Pizza Spot: Wm. Mulherin’s Sons or Bufad

Favourite Philly Record Shop: Siren Records (Doylestown, PA)

Favourite Philly Venue: First Unitarian Church


Recording Space: We always record in NYC, but as far as Philly goes, I’m really impressed by Retro City Studios. Andy and I rented it out for two days just messing around with recording drums on our own. It’s a fantastic studio and really inspiring. Would love to go there again.

Favourite Philly Band(s): Suburban Living, Hall & Oates, mewithoutYou, Former Belle, Fight Amputation, Pissed Jeans, and NOTHING.

Favorite Philly Drummers: Chris Ward (Pattern is Movement), Rick Mazzotta (mewithoutYou), Chris Wilson (Ted Leo, Hound), Steve Clifford (Circa Survive), Evan Chapman (Square Peg Round Hole, Lydia), and Justin Nace (PVRIS). These dudes are some of the most talented and interesting drummers out there today, not just in Philly. Also very good dudes!

Best show you’ve seen in Philly: So many! But most recently - Tortoise at Underground Arts.


What are you listening to now: You’d not think it based on the catchy and happy music CRUISR is known for, but I tend to listen to punk/hardcore. Especially this week with Trump newly being the (absolute nightmare of a) president, I’ve been listening to a lot of 90’s/2000’s screamo bands like Saetia, Neil Perry, The Locust, Swing Kids, and Portraits of Past. As I write this, though, I am listening to Manchester Orchestra. So good.


If you could sum up in one sentence what Philly / Philly music scene means to you, what would it be? The Philadelphia music scene is my community.


Life motto: “Be here now.” Although, I’ll admit it’s not an easy thing to do, but I sure try!

Random Fun Fact: I am blocked by Red Lobster on ALL forms of social media. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯  

Childhood Dream Job: Professional drummer!

Pets: Sam (RIP, buddy), Mowgli, and my roommates dog, Elliot Stabler who I pretend is my dog.


Future plans: Releasing the first CRUISR record (finally!) this summer and going on a bunch of tours as usual. I am also planning on drumming in some side projects i’ve been thinking of doing.