No Instructions Necessary: Famous Drummers Who Never Took Lessons

When I first started playing the drums in bands I was self conscious about the fact that I had never taken lessons, but I soon found out that there are a lot of successful musicians who are completely self-taught, especially drummers. This realization seemingly proves all of the “drummers aren’t musicians” jokes that everyone loves, but I like to think it has more to do with a natural talent and ability to learn by watching and listening to other musicians.

I understand that there are certainly disadvantages, but I now wear my lack of formal teaching as a badge of honor, and in that spirit, here is a list of drummers who never took lessons:

Buddy Rich: American jazz drummer and band leader, billed as “The World’s Greatest Drummer.” Buddy admired and was influenced by Chick Webb, Gene Krupa, Dave Tough, and Jo Jones.

John Bonham: Drummer of Led Zeppelin, widely considered one of the greatest rock drummers of all time. Bonham was influenced by Gene Krupa and Buddy Rich, as well as other drummers in his hometown of Redditch, Worcestershire.

Dennis Chambers: American drummer, has recorded and performed with John Scofield, George Duke, Santana, Parliament/Funkadelic, and many others. Dennis has listed Clyde Stubblefield, Al Jackson, Steve Gadd, Vinnie Colaiuta, and Tony Williams as some of his influences.

José Pasillas: Drummer of alternative rock band Incubus. Some of his influences include Chad Sexton, Stewart Copeland, and Tim Alexander.

Joey Castillo: Drummer of Eagles of Death Metal, formerly of Queens of the Stone Age, Danzig and Wasted Youth. Joey’s style is influenced by bands such as War, Al Green, Led Zeppelin and Black Flag.

This is just a short list and I know there are more out there, if you know of any others leave me a comment!

AB

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The Top 5 Things to Expect from the New Queens of the Stone Age Album

It has been a long wait for QOTSA fans since the 2007 release of Era Vulgaris, but now it seems that the desert rock band’s sixth studio album has been confirmed for a 2013 release. This hiatus has allowed the band members to work on other projects, and the lineup has added a familiar face in the wake of Joey Castillo leaving the group, so there is plenty to be excited about in the lead-up to the album release. Here are my top 5 things to expect from the new album.

The Top 5 Things to Expect from the New Queens of the Stone Age Album:

5. Eager Musicians

It has been a few years since Era Vulgaris, and every member of the band has been either off doing other projects (Them Crooked Vultures, The Dead Weather, Mini Mansions) or touring and playing songs from the first album since then. I am expecting them to have entered the studio eager to work on some new Queens of the Stone Age songs. This can only mean good things for the fans.

4. Chemistry

Yes, Joey Castillo is gone. But guess what? Josh, Troy, Michael, and Dean have been together since 2007, and the only other member, Dave Grohl, was in the band in 2002. This album isn’t being recorded in the middle of a revolving door of a lineup, there is going to be chemistry there from the beginning. Hopefully this chemistry will create an easy flow of ideas and serious creation.

3. The John Paul Jones Factor

This might be a stretch, but stay with me on this one. In case you live under a rock, Josh Homme recently formed a supergroup called Them Crooked Vultures with Dave Grohl and John Paul Jones (formerly of Led Zeppelin). I simply believe that even if you’re a great musician in your own right, like Homme and Grohl both are, spending time playing and writing songs with a musical genius like Jones has to rub off on you. I’m excited to hear how Josh’s song writing may be influenced by his time in TCV. Maybe I’m reading too much into this, but I would be shocked if Dave and Josh didn’t pick up some insight from the rock legend.

2. Robot Rock

Even though I’m a die hard fan of the self-titled debut, my favorite thing about QOTSA has been their ability to evolve their sound over time, while all the while sounding like Queens of the Stone Age. Era Vulgaris had such a dark, electrical sound, and was a clear step away from their previous releases. While the new album was apparently headed in a blues direction, Josh announced that “the robots are back!” and the album has completely changed to what, it sounds like, is a continuation of the departure shown in EV. It will be interesting to see how Dave will factor into this new sound, but it seems Josh is continuing to evolve the sound of the band on the new album, and I can’t wait to see where he takes it.

1. DAVE GROHL!!! – Can this point be overemphasized? The announcement of the return of the former Nirvana drummer quickly brings back memories of 2002’s Songs for the Deaf, which featured Grohl on drums and is the band’s most highly acclaimed album to date. Now you might be saying,

“Big deal, you can’t just add Dave Grohl and suddenly have a great album.”

to which I would say,

“Of course you can, IT’S DAVE FREAKING GROHL!”

In all seriousness though, before playing with QOTSA Dave Grohl was a self-proclaimed fan, and after working on Them Crooked Vultures with Josh their obvious musical chemistry has only been strengthened. If there’s one person you would ask for to replace Joey Castillo, could you possibly get a better dream pick than Dave Grohl? I’m not saying it’s going to be album of the year, but anytime you get Dave in the studio you know you’re going to get some heavy ass drums. And what more could we really want?

Oh, I know…

AB