Nicholas Rhoades--"Nick"--was the first drummer to play with Collision as Collision. (Travis Burlingame had been playing with the band as it became 7dB, but left when Tyler Chroniger did.) He joined the band in July of 2011, introduced by Jonathan Maness, who had recently come aboard as keyboards and vocals.
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Nick's drumming was impressive, technically brilliant and creative. He was also the driving force behind the production of the album Collision: Of Worlds in 2012. An old friend named Tony Mascara owned the studio and was willing to give Nick a discount, and Nick pressed us to put together an album, over Mark's objections that the band was not yet ready.
In January of 2013 Nick insisted that we had to do some covers. We had been doing some in 7dB and when Brittany Boscola was with the band, but had dropped them all because of instrumental or vocal changes in the band that made the arrangements impossible. The addition of Sara DeWitt, and Jonathan's keyboard abilities, had made them all possible once again, so they were restored to the repertoire.
Nick was always quiet about his musical history, sometimes mentioning people with whom he'd had opportunity to study or play but always brushing it aside as of no importance. He began his musical training at eight years old with what he calls "the dreaded piano lessons", and then within a few weeks changed to drums, continuing to take private lessons until he graduated both from high school and from what his drum teacher could teach him. After about a year away from lessons, he met jazz great Chick Corea, who in turn introduced him to one of his own dummers from whom Nick took lessons for another year or so.
It was a joke within the band that in every concert someone would say which song was next, he would ask, "How's this one go?", someone would hum a few bars, and he would say with a smile, "Oh, yeah, I like this one." Song titles never seemed to connect to songs in his mind, but once he knew what song it was, he played brilliantly well. In commenting on Nick's work in the recording of Free on the album Of Worlds, replacement drummer Daniel Payne was astonished that it was not double-tracked, that Nick had played it all in one sitting.
In March of 2013 Nick announced that he was leaving the band, as with his grueling work schedule he had too little time for family. He wishes he could continue with the band, and might at some time fill in on the songs he knew if needed.