• Dylan O’Brien Plays Drums

    Carrie Underwood playing drums wasn’t totally surprising, but we had no idea that Teen Wolf star Dylan O’Brien plays too. You can hear him on the track “Snow on the Beach” from Taylor Swift’s latest album, Midnights.

    Update October 26, 2022: Taylor Swift herself added some more info during her latest appearance on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon. She said that “Dylan was just hanging out, drinking wine with us and listening to us. He wasn’t serious. And so we were just sort of like, ‘Oh, we haven’t recorded the drums for this one yet…’ And he just played the drums on the song. Sometimes it just happens like that.”

  • Matt Sorum Recording With Kings of Chaos

    New music coming from Matt Sorum with a new version of the super group Kings of Chaos. The full album comes out in 2023, but the first single and accompanying video drop on October 28. The tune is called “Judgment Day,” and it features Sorum on drums (obviously) and lead vocals (not so obvious but awesome).

    I was just clicking through the band’s nicely done website (linked above), and holy shit, there’s some serious talent playing with Sorum: Jack Blades, John Waite, Lita Ford (yes!), Sebastian Bach, Gilby Clarke, Warren DeMartini, and Sean McNabb.

    My inner teenage metalhead is positively squealing.

    Or headbanging, I mean. Headbanging is definitely cooler.

  • Travis Barker Is Really Attracted to Kourtney Kardashian

    And we think that is totally great. It appears, however, that we might be in the minority, at least according to this Sun article that claims fans are done with the couple’s frequent PDA. The final straw was Barker’s (over?)sharing this tidbit on TikTok:

    “Fun fact, my wife and I invented edging.”

    That is a fun fact. It’s also probably a “wrong” fact (we’re pretty sure that high school in general engendered the delightful horror of edging), but we aren’t going to hold it against Travis when he has so much on his mind. And in his hands. And on his lap.

  • The World’s Largest Bass Drum

    …is 55 inches and is called Big Bertha II. The first Big Bertha was a measly 34.5 inches.

    The new drum was custom made for the University of Texas’s Longhorn Band. Clearly it is brought out to terrorize visiting teams.

    But the real question here: what could Bonham have done with this big-ass beaut?

  • Help Abaddon Double Kick Cancer

    Abaddon used to beat the hell out of the skins for Venom, and now he’s looking to beat the shit out of lymphoma. He was diagnosed in July of this year. The docs so far have him on six rounds of chemo and eventually a bout of radiation. In Abaddon’s own words:

    “None of this will break me. Fuck cancer.”

    Indeed. Head on over to his GoFundMe if you’d like to donate.

    [via Metal Injection]

  • Play Drums, Get Smart

    Well, sort of. A new medical study suggests that playing a drumming video game called Rhythmicity (developed by Grateful Dead drummer Mickey Hart) improves short-term memory in older adults.

    The study tested 47 people between the ages of 60 and 79. Half the participants played a word-search game for 20 minutes a day, five days a week. The other half played Rhythmicity for the same amount of time. Those in the drumming group scored better on facial recognition tests.

    “Results showed that only musical rhythm training improved face memory, which was associated with increased activity in the superior parietal region of the brain when encoding and maintaining faces.”

    If you are into reading doctor-y study thingies, the full published article awaits your beautiful mind.

    As for us, I guess we have to take back all the times we bitched about gamers and Rock Band?…

  • Carrie Underwood Playing Drums

    See? Absolutely everyone loves playing drums, even bona fide country-music goddesses. Watch Carrie Underwood pick up the sticks on a South Carolina gig during her latest tour. She definitely ain’t shy about hitting hard. Fast-forward to 4:48 to get straight to the drumming bits.

    [via Country Now]


  • Mike Portnoy Plays Live With John Petrucci

    …for the first time in 12 years. The pair reunited to perform in support of Petrucci’s latest solo release, Terminal Velocity. Bassist Dave LaRue completes the trio. Portnoy and LaRue also recorded the album.

    Holy damn, I cannot believe it has been twelve years (years!) since Portnoy left Dream Theater. We mere mortals are all old and even legit geriatric now, but Portnoy and Petrucci seem to defy time, at least as evidenced by the performance footage a fan posted from the gig in Rhode Island. The fan-captured audio kind of blows (as cell-phone audio is wont to do), but it’s obvious the dudes are still totally inspiring shred monsters. Check ’em out.

  • Let There Be Drums! Documentary

    Let There Be Drums! is a new drumming documentary that will be released on October 28. The title feels like part command, part exaltation, and part biblical oratory—all of which are appropriate considering that Taylor Hawkins gives one of his last known interviews in the film. In short, it’s looking like a must-see.

    The documentary also features Jason Bonham, Ringo Starr, Stewart Copeland, Chad Smith, Stephen Perkins, Adrian Young, and Tré Cool. And that is very cool indeed.

    If you are feeling brave, you can catch the film in select theaters (I’m still a Covid coward, so no goddamn way), and it will also be available on Apple TV and Amazon Prime. I’m not sure, though, if it can be rented or if it is purchase-only at this time. Snag an actual physical DVD, you luddite, on November 1.

    Check out the trailer below.

  • Anderson .Paak Snares From Ludwig for Sell on Reverb

    This here is one seriously sexy drum menage a trois. Anderson .Paak partnered up with Ludwig to create a signature snare line called the Pee .Wee. It includes a 5″ x 14″ and a 6.5″ x 14″ that you can buy right now exclusively at Reverb for $799 and $849, respectively. Each drum is limited to only 250 units, so time is not on your side if you want a piece of .Paak to…ummm…bang.

    The drums look quite cool—nuanced and textured and playful and a little unexpected in the really good way, just like .Paak’s music. Check out the images and the great promo video. I hope more companies and artists do similar marketing vids in the future. It’s nice to see and hear the drum in action and get some laughs along the way.

  • This Guy Took Ronnie Vannucci’s Throne

    …But only for one song.

    Apparently the Killers have a tradition of inviting a drummer-fan to play a tune with them each show. During the band’s Detroit gig last week, Scott Hickok got the lead singer’s attention by holding up a two-paneled sign that said “Drummer” on one side and “Strong Right Foot” on the other. And the rest is history for Hickok:

    “Around 11 songs into the set, the house lights came on, and Brandon Flowers saw my sign and we locked eyes for a second….It gets a little fuzzy, but the next thing I know I’m high-fiving people on my way to the front of the room, climbing over the barrier with help from security staff and am escorted to side stage for an introduction to Brandon….I was told I nailed it. I caught all the intricacies of the live version of the song [“For Reasons Unknown”]. I’m very pleased with how I played. It was an amazing time, a dream-come-true, a pure bucket-list moment.”

    Scott Hickok on stage with Brandon Flowers

  • Anton Fier Is Dead

    Way back in 1989, I was still pretty much a cymbal-destroying metalhead when one day some of my musically hipper friends made me listen to Bob Mould’s Workbook. The main single from the album, “See a Little Light,” turned me into a bona fide fanboy for indie alt-pop, and it’s not too far off to say that my musical life was completely changed. Anton Fier played drums on that track, and now Anton Fier is dead.

    In addition to Bob Mould, Fier played with the Feelies, the Lounge Lizards, Pere Ubu, and the Voidoids, and he also founded the Golden Palominos. If you were in a punk-flavored indie-alt-rock band, Fier was the dude you wanted driving your sound, a genuinely great drummer.

    He died, age 66, on September 14 in Switzerland by assisted suicide. He did not have a life-ending illness, but he reportedly did decide that he had “completed life.”

    Mortality is always a complicated, slippery, tricky affair. Speaking selfishly as a fan, I’m just glad we had Fier for as long as we did.

  • So Much Ringo News

    Everyone’s favorite Beatle is 82 years old now, but he still ends up in the news more often than most other famous drummers.

    First up is that he tested positive for Covid a little over a week ago and had to cancel a couple handfuls of tour dates in Canada and the U.S. That he’s still even touring and performing at a high level is pretty goddamn amazing, so he’s prob got the right mega-genes to beat coronavirus (along with being vaccinated of course…surely he is). So we ain’t worried.

    Which is good, because he announced yesterday on Instagram that he is now Covid free and back on the road. Dig the negative test as a necklace.

    [Update 10/14/22: Yikes, Ringo tested positive again for Covid. All remaining stops on his North American tour have been canceled.]

    His first show back is in Seattle. Apparently to mark his arrival, the Seattle Times published an article last week that asked if Ringo is the most underrated drummer ever. Some Seattle-based drummers offered their thoughts, including Heart skinsman Ben Smith:

    “I remember the moment I first heard Ringo play, and how it gave me chills listening….His parts are so well-composed. Ringo set a standard that we all grew from. Texture, groove and attitude are the high points of a great drummer, and he hits all the marks.”

    We hear the “underrated” and indeed “overrated” discussion quite often about 2-and-4 drummers who are intimately associated with one band: Ringo Starr, Charlie Watts, Peter Criss, etc. They aren’t virtuoso instrumentalists like Vinnie Colaiuta (shit, who is really?), so it’s easy to underappreciate or overestimate them depending on what kind of mood your music ears are in.

    The thing is, though, music isn’t sports: we don’t need to pick winners and losers here, rank the highest and the lowest in an artificial hierarchy. Instead, music is like a great party with a bloody big dinner table—plenty of room and seats for all kinds of players. Ringo was perfect for the Beatles, and the band would have been far less great without him. Neil Peart was perfect for Rush, and the band would have been absolutely unimaginable without him. Our party would have super sucked if neither dude took a seat.

    Now we can all move on and go practice.

    Dominating headlines like it’s 1965

  • Tito Puente Is a Google Doodle

    My cat wakes me up around three this morning by trying to push me out of the plushiest spot on the bed. I go to Google for techniques on how to Obi-Wan Kenobi her (“This is not the spot that you seek”)…and what is that? Tito Puente. Tito is a Google Doodle!

    Holy shit, is it his birthday? Nope. That’s April 20.

    His death day? A bit unnecessarily morbid, but nope again. That’s June 1.

    Is it a recently consecrated celebration of timbales and timelessly kick-ass timbaleros? No, but not totally far off.

    Today is the one-year anniversary of the unveiling of Tito Puente’s monument in East Harlem, New York City. The Doodle commemorates that and is also part of Google’s overall celebration of National Hispanic Heritage Month, running from September 15 to October 15.

    Puerto Rican artist Carlos Aponte created the Doodle. Check out the well-done-as-usual Behind the Doodle video for some background.

    But for me, Tito on Sesame Street is way more my speed this sleepless morning. I never did get the good spot back from the cat.

  • Charlie Watts Biography Comes Out Today

    Without even trying, you’ve already heard the late Charlie Watts play on dozens and dozens of Rolling Stones songs throughout your lifetime, so you might as well read up on the dude a little bit. Besides, books are awesome.

    Charlie’s official and authorized biography hits the shelves today. The length of the book’s title is antithetical to Charlie’s own spartan playing style, so that’s amusing already:

    Charlie’s Good Tonight: The Life, the Times, and the Rolling Stones: The Authorized Biography of Charlie Watts

    The book is penned by Paul Sexton, a very experienced music journalist who has spent three decades covering the Stones, and Mick Jagger and Keith Richards have contributed forwards. Personally, I can’t wait for the audio edition just to (hopefully) hear Richards do his Pirates of the Caribbean voice thing.

    Click on over to Billboard to check out an excerpt. We’ve posted a wee excerpt of the excerpt below.

    Charlie had immense pride in the Stones’ dedication to their work, but knew that it was somewhat at odds with the unjust idea that their collective hedonism somehow undermined their commitment to their craft. “Unbeknown to a lot of people, the Rolling Stones are theatrical and terribly professional,” he said. “They always have been, about whatever large or small facet of talent they have. The band has only ever not turned up once, and I only ever missed a show because I got the wrong date,” he said, referring to the 1964 diary malfunction we heard about earlier. “Even as young tearaways, which we never really were…a lot of that was bullshit. I know people who were much more…whatever the word is. Newspapers are dreadful things, bless ’em. I can’t read them. I flick through the cricket page, and that’s it.”