Mike Malinin grew up in Miami, Florida and started playing drums at the age of 11. After high school, he attended the University of North Texas. The thriving music scene around the north Texas area led to many local and regional touring gigs. He moved to Los Angeles in 1992 and landed the gig with the Goo Goo Dolls in 1995. He was with the band until 2013, having played on all their albums and tours during that time. He moved to Nashville in 2014, and has been playing with legendary country artist Tanya Tucker since 2016.