• Limited-Edition Iron Cobras From Tama

    They might have been inspired by a Pollock or perhaps just a 3-year-old’s art project, but whatever the case, Tama’s new limited-edition Iron Cobras will get your feet feeling super psychedelic. Street price is $350 for the single pedal and $750 for the double.

  • Tama Representing at WGI

    Have you gotten your yearly fix of marching-band and percussion-ensemble bad asses? Check out some performance vids below. Gear courtesy of Tama.

  • Jimmy Chalfant Collapses on Stage

    Kix drummer Jimmy Chalfant suffered a suspected heart attack on stage last night in Virginia. Although he was quickly tended to by paramedics, Jimmy was reportedly unconscious as they carried him away. No details yet about his current condition, so we’re keeping our sticks crossed for the dude. He had a previous heart attack in 2021 but didn’t give up playing and touring.

    Kix made it big in 1988, essentially at the end of the hair metal era, with the album Blow My Fuse. The main single was the incredibly popular anti-suicide ballad “Don’t Close Your Eyes,” but as far as we are concerned, the quintessential, you-must-listen-to-this-now Kix tune has always been “Cold Blood.” In the video for the song, Jimmy hammers it down with traditional grip, one of the few rock/metal drummers who have used it (Steve Smith with Journey and pre-accident Rick Allen with Def Leppard are the others). Looks like Jimmy has switched to matched since then, but he definitely gets points for old-school-cool.

    Update 11/20/22: Good news. The band released a statement to Blabbermouth about Jimmy’s condition. He’s stable, alert, and undergoing testing:

    “KIX drummer Jimmy Chalfant is awake, alert, resting comfortably and in good spirits in the hospital after collapsing towards the end of their performance at the Tally-Ho Theater in Leesburg, Virginia on night one of a two nights stint. While clearly a cardiac event, it is unknown at this time whether or not Jimmy actually suffered a heart attack. Jimmy will be undergoing a series of tests to determine exactly what in fact occurred. The second performance scheduled for this evening (Saturday Nov 19th) is understandably postponed with a makeup date pending the prognosis of Jimmy’s condition. KIX appreciates the outpouring of love and concern for Jimmy and thank everyone for their courteous understanding in the matter.”

  • Peter Erskine Is in PASIC’s Hall of Fame

    If you love jazz or fusion or movies or drumming education or just drums in general, then you love Peter Erskine, even if you don’t know it yet. He made it into PASIC’s hall of fame back in May of this year, and I’m surprised it actually took that long. Peter has pretty much been a legend since playing and recording with Weather Report in the late 1970s. He now has over 700 albums under his sticks and two grammy awards. You might not listen on the regular to total jazzbo tunes, but you’ve definitely heard Peter playing on the Austin Powers, La La Land, Logan, or House of Cards scores. The dude and his drums gets around.

    I saw him live way the hell back in 2009 at the NAMM show. He was demoing Roland’s new (at the time) V-Drums. I’m going to embed the old videos of the performance here. The vid image and sound quality is pretty atrocious, but you can still see and hear how great a live player Peter is (and also how great those early V-Drums were!).

  • Vote for Best Metal Drummer of 2022

    Midterms in the U.S. are over now, but the voting isn’t done. Don’t worry: this particular election is more fun.

    Or less awful?

    Music Radar is taking votes for its annual best-metal-drummer award. Crowning a “best” musician in any genre is always a thankless, ultimately fruitless, and sometimes downright dangerous endeavor, but none of us semi-evolved simians can resist a list for long. MR’s candidates are more hit than miss at least, a good mix of legendary and new(ish) shredders, so we tip our sticks to that.

    Did your fav player make the cut? I voted for Brann Dailor…because I’m quite old I suppose but also because he’s super amazing and I’ve lately been thinking quite a lot about Mastodon, the namesake band of a certain decentralized Twitter alternative. Voting ends on November 20, 2022.

    Candidates for Best Metal Drummer of the Year

    • Art Cruz – Lamb of God
    • Ben Gordon – Parkway Drive
    • Brann Dailor – Mastodon
    • Casey Grillo – Queensrÿche
    • Charlie Benante – Anthrax
    • Charlie Engen – Five Finger Death Punch
    • Christoph Schneider – Rammstein
    • Dan Searle – Architects
    • Daniel Erlandsson – Arch Enemy
    • Danny Carey – Tool
    • Dave Turncrantz – Russian Circles
    • Dirk Verbeuren – Megadeth
    • Eloy Casagrande – Sepultura
    • Fabio Alessandrini – Annhihilator
    • Jay Weinberg – Slipknot
    • Jon Larsen – Volbeat
    • Marco Von Allmen – Zeal & Ardor
    • Mario Duplantier
    • Matt Alston – Machine Head
    • Matt Garstka – Animals as Leaders
    • Max Portnoy – Tallah
    • Michel “Away” Langevin – Voivod
    • Mike Wengren – Disturbed
    • Nicko McBrain – Iron Maiden
    • Ray Luzier – Korn
    • Thomas Haake – Meshuggah
    • Thomas Hedlund- Cult of Luna
    • Zack Simmons – Goatwhore
    • Zyon Cavalera – Soulfly

  • Bill Platt Signature Snare Drum From Tama

    I haven’t spent much time frequenting orchestra pits, but if this new snare from Tama is typical of the gear classical percussionists get to play, I shall have to dust off the tux, dress shoes, and fancy stick bag. Here we have a brass-shelled beaut that belongs to Bill Platt, who was the principal percussionist (aka “chief buzz-roller”) at the Cincinnati Symphony and Cincinnati Pops.

    The drum has a couple of interesting features that I haven’t seen on a drum-set snare. First up are its “freedom lugs” and claw hooks, which when loosened can be tilted back to release the drumhead. This allows for quick head changes without completely removing the tension rods. Very cool.

    The drum also has three different sets of snare wires that can be individually adjusted for different sounds. Also very cool.

    Not sure how those two features would actually translate to louder kit playing, but I’m definitely intrigued, especially about the freedom lugs. I would imagine that rock drummers for example have more of a need to change heads than classical percussionists do. Perhaps though the lugs aren’t as sturdy or hold tuning as well for heavy-sticked playing.

    Not sure, but gimme gimme.

  • DW Turns 50

    Drum Workshop is 50 years old this week, and they are celebrating with a bunch of live events in Santa Monica, CA. Because most of us sadly are not in or around that particularly delightful beach-adjacent locale, you can also sign up for live streams of the events. Today’s clinic features DW co-founder Don Lombardi and drum superstars Terry Bozzio and Thomas Lang. After you sign up, check out at the link above the really swank timeline of DW’s history as a drum and hardware maker.

    The 50th anniversary drum set is drool worthy as usual (perhaps “DW” actually stands for “drool worthy”?). It’s a 6-piece shell pack made of persimmon and spruce. Sizes include 8″ x 10″ and 9″ x 12” mounted toms, 12″ x 14” and 14″ x 16” floor toms, an 18″ x 22” kick, and a 6.5″ x 14” snare. The shell hardware is an “antique gold” that I really dig. Looks great with the “burnt toast burst” lacquer finish. Only 100 kits will be made, so get your wallet ready.

  • Dead Kennedys Drummer Has Died

    Man, it’s almost Halloween, the very best holiday ever, and now it totally blows this year because we just lost D. H. Peligro. He held down the throne for punk icons Dead Kennedys from ’81 to ’86 and then did a long, long second stint with the band throughout the 2000s. He was also in Red Hot Chili Peppers for about a minute (before Chad Smith), but he’ll always be most remembered and loved for hammering thick and fast punk beats with the Kennedys.

    He died on October 28 from head trauma due to an accidental injury, which is particularly galling because the dude was only 63 and in outstanding shape. Check out his superb playing posture for example.

    So I’ve decided to take away the candy bowl this year and hand out homemade copies of Frankenchrist instead. The little knobtards in my neighborhood could do with less sugar and more music-muscle anyway.

    Photo credit: Stefan Müller on Flickr

  • Roland Celebrates 50 Years With New Concept Drums

    Roland turns the big 5-0 this year, and they are celebrating with a new e-drum concept called the D-Flux. The triangular pads look a lot like Roland’s Alpha drums, the company’s first foray into electronic bangables way back in 1985.

    Roland Alpha Drums circa 1985

    The D-Flux, however, will build on all of Roland’s considerable experience and success with the sounds and mesh pads of its venerable V-Drum series. The really interesting part of the new D-Flux is its take on the kick drum—now essentially two horizontal belts that purportedly replicate the dynamic feel of a drumhead.

    I’m intrigued for sure. The triangle-shaped pads do make sense in terms of saving space (you can nestle them right against each other), but I still profoundly love the look of Roland’s gold-standard V-Drums, especially the Acoustic Design series. It could just be that my old-ass eyes can’t see the future very well.

    The D-Flux isn’t for sale yet or perhaps ever, but it is supposed to be out on a “global tour” where some lucky drummers can get sticks on it.

    Roland has also put together a retrospective of their e-drums. Though clearly a marketing piece, it’s still a good read if you are interested in some of the major moments in the history of electronic drums.

    More pics and a vid of the D-Flux below.

  • Golf Is Stupid

    Kings of Leon drummer Nathan Followill actually digs golf for some inexplicable reason, but when he tried to play at a fancy (and yet-to-be-named) course in Australia, he was told to cover up his tattoos. The dress code for swinging clubs is apparently much more rigid than for swinging sticks.

    Followill said the course moved from his “bucket list” to the “fuck-it list,” and then continued to have a bit of understandably snarky fun on Twitter.

  • Premier Turns 100 and Unveils New Drums

    Premier has been making drums since 1922 (interestingly, the same year that saw the creation of Gummy Bears, the malted milkshake, and F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby), and for a good bit of time in the ’60s, Premier was the drum of choice for first-rate stickstuds like Mitch Mitchell and Keith Moon.

    The company fell on less stellar times and was eventually purchased in 2021 by the British gear retailer Gear4music…which seems, frankly, quite weird and worrisome. Kind of like if Ludwig was acquired by Guitar Center. Would that be a trustworthy union? Would they actually continue to make good drums, or would they just produce some cut-rate percussion pablum to bolster profits?

    We haven’t a clue what Premier’s P&L statements look like, but the company has just released some new gear that does inspire faith. Brace yourself for the drum porn!

    First up is the Artist Club 100, a 4-piece compact kit finished in classic British Racing Green. Sizes include the following:

    • 20″ x 8″ bass drum
    • 10″ x 6″ rack tom
    • 13″ x 11″ floor tom
    • 13″ x 5.5″ snare drum

    Next up is the Genista 100SE, a 6-piece, all-birch shell pack with a tri-band finish. The lugs on these guys are unique and cool. The kit includes the following sizes:

    • 22″ x 18″ bass drum
    • 10″ x 7″ rack tom
    • 12″ x 8″ rack tom
    • 14″ x 14″ floor tom
    • 16″ x 16″ floor tom
    • 14″ x 5.5″ snare

    And finally, we have the Della-Porta 100 snare drum. It’s handmade in the UK and limited to only 100 units. The shell is walnut and comes in one size, a 14” x 5”. 

  • Own Bob Bryar’s Black Parade Costume

    If you are a My Chemical Romance fanatic and always wanted to walk around in Bob Bryar’s clothes, you now got a chance. The former MCR drummer is auctioning off his original Black Parade costume on eBay. The auction ends on October 29, 2022, at 8:14 p.m. The current bid is up to a hefty $12,100…which is a whole shitload of sticks, heads, and cymbals for your kit, but if you’ve got the desire and the cash, your winning bid will ultimately go to a good cause: all proceeds will be donated to help abandoned and sheltered animals that were displaced by Hurricane Ian.

    Though Bryar might have hung up his sticks professionally in 2010, his big heart is clearly still beating strong. Good on you, man.

    [Update October 30, 2022: The winning bid was for $17,365.80. That shall acquire mucho kibble.]

    Because eBay will remove the listing once the auction has ended, we’re going to post here for posterity Bob’s original description and photos.

    hello. does anyone want this? i have no clue how much it’s worth. it’s my OG black parade costume. it was used in the photos, videos, DVD’s, and handmade by colleen atwood (look her up).

    it’s just sitting in a box doing nothing and people need help with money right now.

    there might be a few surprise dog hairs on it because i let my dog fred wear it for a minute as you can see in the picture. the fred hairs are free.

  • Tommy Lee Turned 60 This Month

    It seems absolutely gobsmacking unfathomable that Tommy Lee is 60 years old now (wait, that means I’ve been listening to Crüe tunes for….39 years?), but there is legit photographic documentation of the birthday celebration straight from Tommy’s Instagram.

    The festivities allegedly took place in Punta Mita, Mexico, but there must have been a stopover at the Fountain of Youth because Tommy does not look old enough to nearly be a pensioner.

    Need more explicit photo evidence? Then you’ll prob have to throw down the 20 bucks a month for the dude’s OnlyFans account.

  • Matt Helders Talks New Arctic Monkeys

    Sometime ago in 2006, with the prescient clarity available only to booze-fueled youth, we reviewed the debut album from the Arctic Monkeys and said, “You’re going to love it.”

    Sixteen years later, the love remains the same even if the music has changed a bit on the band’s latest disc, The Car. Helders describes how his own playing style evolved to fit the new Monkeys music:

    “[Being] the rock guy is easier. To the naked eye it probably appears less technical, but in actual fact it is more of a challenge to do what was going on on this record and more considered in a way….And it’s fun to be able to achieve it as well. I notice more of a difference when this kind of playing is good. There’s more room for improvement. The subtleties of it can be more of a big deal.”

  • Hootie Drummer Wrote a Book

    …and he’s chatting about it tonight at 7 p.m. If you are in or around Naperville, IL, click on over to Anderson’s bookshop for tickets. Each ticket purchaser apparently gets a free copy of Soni’s book, Swimming With the Blowfish: Hootie, Healing, and One Hell of Ride. Along with the more serious topics of addiction and recovery, Soni will hopefully regale with a scandalous tale or two of what it was like to bang (drums) in the biggest radio band of the ’90s.