Fifteen Hall Of Fame Drummers From The Past Score & Five
Joel Robinson demonstrates his BGC-19 kit, not utilized by anyone listed.
The Drumming Hall of Fame: as far as we know, no such place exists, not even within the angular confines of the Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame. Maybe that’s a good thing. The Rock Hall’s stirred up enough controversy as it is with their general inductees. Look, I have nothing against Red Hot Chili Peppers. They’re fun. However, if you put a gun to my greasy noggin and pose the question “funk crossover?” Faith No More will come up first.
But I digress. If there was a Drum HOF and they were looking to honor the best players from the past twenty-five years, the following fifteen people would get my vote, first ballot. Assuming I could participate in such an election process. I’m not really a part of drum writing’s sacred cabal.
Drumming in Primus seems like a thankless task, but Alexander’s handled it with aplomb. He has no problem letting the other instruments breathe without sacrificing his own unique flair. A true craftsman’s touch.
Matt takes the scenic route to the benefit of many a Soundgarden recording. Even their weakest stuff is interesting thanks to his little flourishes. He’s also been in Pearl Jam now for god knows how long; that surely speaks to something considering PJ’s previous drumming turnover rate.
The Chamb (as no one calls him) strikes such a nice balance between the fanciful and the forceful. He also managed to navigate the Corgan minefield for an impressive stretch. Seems like a mensch outside the drug abuse and the Dutch Schutlz haircut.
Slogging away in the Melvins, Dale has developed his own cult, and for good reason. He maps out those throbbing rhythms like a conquering hun.
Pretty versatile in his session work (Guns n’ Roses, Sting, Ween, Perfect Circle, DEVO), equally versatile on his home court with pop punk clowns the Vandals. Loose, limber, electric, Josh has helped keep the Vandals a joy far beyond their sell-by date.
Shades of Bonham, right? Can you think of an album Dave’s tapped on that isn’t classic? Even the first Tenacious D is held in esteem because of Grohl. The only drummer on this list your grandchildren’s grandchildren will know in absolute terms.
Like Primus, Slipknot would be unlistenable without the right person steering the rhythmic ship. Joey’s a busy drummer but never lets his rolls get away from him. Extra props for commercializing so many death metal moves.
There’s a reason Megadeth fans are constantly up D. Mustaine’s ass to reform the Rust In Peace lineup. Menza brings that clean, precise heavy metal fury. Extra props for his dedication to UFO culture.
ANDERS MØLLER (A.K.A. GLUEROS BAGFIRE)
A hard call only because I have so much reverence for the Danny Young era of Gluecifer, that glorious span of time when they were the greatest hard rock band America was ignoring. The white hot early stuff with Anders is what got me there, though. A great melding of punk speed and classic rock cues.
CHARLES MONTGOMERY (A.K.A. CHUCK BISCUITS)
Has anyone ever played with so much reckless abandon yet remained so precise and powerful? Has any other drummer for Danzig been able to so precisely match that singer’s strength and swagger? Doesn’t seem like coincidence that Danzig’s career began wobbling once Chuck departed.
Hugh’s meter was offensively good, the best in ’90s punk. Don’t Back Down is still the top Queers album thanks to his presence. What a crime cancer took him from us in ’99. Desperately wanted to hear his next moves.
His Mudhoney band mates jokingly call him “Tippy Tap” due to some perceived lack of power, but that light n’ limber touch works wonders when the guitars are vomiting up ’60s fuzz. Motherfucker can jam, too.
AHMIR THOMPSON (A.K.A. QUESTLOVE)
Dumbledorish in his musical knowledge, which of course informs his fantastic percussion. Superb control. Obliterating the stereotype that all drummers are one dimensional drooling clowns.
Always impressive to hear the inventive turns and accents this Sleater-Kinney stalwart utilizes. Seems to be much Bill Ward in her playing.
The Rocket From The Crypter who can shift tempo on half a rusty dime. So exuberant, such a party when he’s thumping away.
So who would you vote for?
Q: Rocket From The Crypt Or The Supersuckers?
A: I like both bands a lot but if you’re putting a gun to my head I’m going with RFTC because they’re just a tad more dynamic. That’s what it’s called when a rock group has trumpets, right? Dynamic? I’m sorry, I’ve misplaced my rock n’ roll thesaurus.