Alexander Arthur Van Halen (born May 8, 1953) is a Dutch American musician, and the drummer and co-founder of the hard rock band Van Halen. Initially, his brother Eddie played drums, while Alex practiced guitar. After spending time playing Eddie's drum kit, Alex became more skilled at the drums than Eddie. In 1974, the Van Halen brothers, David Lee Roth, and Michael Anthony formed a band, simply called Van Halen. They were signed to Warner Brothers in 1977 and released their debut album in 1978. The two brothers are the only members of Van Halen who have been in the band for its entire duration.