At the ambitious age of 18, John leaves his hometown for California to attend and graduate at P.I.T. (Percussion Institute of Technology). That same year, John was hired for his first tour as well as recording with guitarist Paul Hansen in Germany.
Soon after John’s first recording session, he would go on to meet guitarist Alex Masi, who is now a long time friend. John and Alex have toured and recorded together since 1987 and are still at it to this day.
John joins Powermad in the late 1980’s and releases Absolute Power on Warner Bros. Records.
Powermad was flown to California and John Macaluso makes his motion picture debut in two scenes with actors Nicolas Cage and Laura Dern. Wild At Heart went on to win the Cannes Film Festival First Place Prize. After touring for almost a year straight, John would end his tenure with Powermad and join the Norwegian based juggernaut, TNT.
John records three albums with TNT and tours around the globe until the band’s demise in 1992. Shortly thereafter, John returns to New York to join Riot, replacing Bobby Jarzombek (Rob Halford). Riot tours extensively, spanning Europe, Japan and the United States on several occasions. It was not long before Riot has John appear on Brethren of the Longhouse. It was at this point where John would close the book on his run with Riot while discovering a phenomenal Norwegian guitar player Tore Østby.
Together, John and Tore had an immediate musical amalgamation of styles in the realm of a heavy groove, progressive rock mixed with a Latin feel. Blending flamenco guitars, double bass drumming and Pink Floyd like moods, this sound would go on to form the progressive metal force known as ARK. Exploding with incredible reviews on their two albums, ARK impresses fans from around the world with their originality and live performances. Consisting of the world renouned vocalist Jørn Lande, bassist Randy Coven (Mountain, Malmsteen), and Mats Oloussen (Malmsteen), the band’s short history has made history to some. John Macaluso played a vital role in the bands formation, writing and recording, having the two albums, ARK and Burn the Sun, under his belt.
John Macaluso would soon gain the attention and favor of guitarist Yngwie Malmsteen, using the first ARK album as the platform to jump to his next project. Yngwie flipped over John’s playing and loved ARK so much that he instantly hired John to fly down to Florida to rehearse and record Alchemy. It was this album that proved be a benchmark for John, having a drum solo on the record and being the only drummer ever to record a drum solo on an Yngwie Malmsteen album. John spends three years recording four albums with Malmsteen, spanning multiple world tours. After his tenure with the Swedish guitar god, John reunited with former ARK members to write and record music until the band’s split in 2003.
After attending The NAMM Show in California, John learns from drummer Mike Portnoy of Dream Theater that his singer, James LaBrie, was looking for a drummer to bring on tour for his solo record Elements Of Persuasion. With Mike’s recommendation, John receives the call from James and finds himself touring the world yet again. John claims, "This was one of my favorite tours ever, such a great time and great grooving band." He would later satisfy his taste for writing again and put out a solo record where he is joined by friends and fellow musicians James LaBrie and guitarist from the touring band, Marco Sfogli.
John Macaluso is a touring and studio drummer that has recorded over 250 albums to date and has played for some of the world's bands and players. Some of these include Yngwie Malmsteen, Symphony X, ARK, James LaBrie, TNT, Pete Steele, KRS-ONE, Riot, Joe Lynn Turner, George Lynch, Starnreaker, Vitalij Kuprij, Alex Masi and many, many more.
John is back from his European and South American tour with Prog Metal band Symphony X. He will now be hitting the road in August, drumming for Bumblefoot of Guns and Roses and Guitar legend Uli Jon Roth. John will be playing for both artists in the same show.
"Mark Drum has the most dynamic range of any electronic drums I have ever played, all my ghost note are heard.", says John, "Finally an electronic kit with realistic drum sounds!"