28-year-old drummer Kristina Schiano is more known for pop-punk and rock covers but it turns out she can destroy prog metal style too, as you can hear in her cover of Beethoven’s “Moonlight Sonata” below. She teams up with talented shredder Cole Rolland, whose fretboard fireworks perfectly complement her rapidfire beats.
Rolland, a Canadian YouTuber, is a real virtuoso on guitar and leaves no doubt of that in the performance, turning Beethoven’s 19th century piano sonata into a wild prog workout. Schiano picks up the pace to match, switching up her usual style to lay brutal double kick runs and breakneck metal beats on the track.
Kristina Schiano, born August 1, 1995, is a Brooklyn, New York drummer who has built up 1.51 million subscribers on her YouTube channel through regular rock, punk and metal drum covers. Schiano and Rolland’s chemistry is really something and the pair have done a number of collaboration videos.
Another popular video by the duo is their cover of Eiffel 65’s 1999 Eurodance hit “Blue (Da Ba Dee)”. This cover is more of a mid-tempo performance, although Rolland still finds a way to add some blazing prog metal runs into the video, which you can hear below.
Both performances must have been challenging for Schiano, as playing with a shredder like Rolland required her to take a much more aggressive drum approach, which she handled with aplomb. Schiano’s most popular videos feature more straight-forward rock and punk playing, such as her covers of Evanescence’s “Bring Me to Life” and Green Day’s “Basket Case”, which racked up 30 million and 20 million views respectively.
Schiano traveled across the country to film the pair of videos at the LA YouTube Space, which is a program to provide facilities and resources to YouTube content creators. The big trip evidently paid off for her, as the Beethoven and Eiffel 65 covers have been viewed 5.9 and 2 million times respectively.
Fans gave a warm reception to the Beethoven video, with several noting how seamlessly the 19th century composer’s work could transition into metal. They added comments such as “This is proof that Beethoven was the first ever metalhead,” and “Turning Beethoven’s masterpiece to this pure class rock version requires extreme pure talent. This is not easy at all!”
The piece was originally titled by the great composer “Piano Sonata No. 14 in C-sharp minor,” although since his passing it has become known as “Moonlight Sonata”. The piece, which was composed in 1801, was one of his most popular works in his lifetime and has continued to remain relevant more than two centuries later.
The dramatic and demanding musical workout is a favourite with YouTubers, with various covers in different styles appearing on the platform. The full piece runs to 15+ minutes, but the third movement, which is the part Schiano covered, is particularly beloved by shredders due to its weighty tone and rapidfire arpeggios.