Go Back  DVD Talk Forum > Entertainment Discussions > Music Talk
Reload this Page >

My theory: change the drummer, change the band

Music Talk Discuss music in all its forms: CD, MP3, DVD-A, SACD and of course live

My theory: change the drummer, change the band

Old 07-16-11, 12:18 PM
  #1  
DVD Talk Gold Edition
Thread Starter
 
Traxan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 2,465
Likes: 0
Received 28 Likes on 19 Posts
My theory: change the drummer, change the band

I'd like to get input from folks here, especially musicians on my theory. I've mulled over my fandom of rock and metal bands, and why I turned away from them, and finally figured out the common pattern: a drummer change.

I maintain that the most significant change you can make to a band, other than a sole songwriter (like the way Tuomas writes everything for Nightwish) is to change drummers. The four most glaring examples:

Rush - Peart vs. Rutsey. Anyone want to have this debate?
Slayer - with and without Lombardo, it's two different bands
The Who - pre- and post-Moon they are also two different bands
Smashing Pumpkins - not the same without Chamberlain

But I also realized that I fell away from other bands when they had a drummer change. I was never a big Dream Theater fan because of Portnoy's hyperactive playing, but I cannot fathom how they are NOT drastically changed by the addition of Mangini. And a few other examples from my own tastes:

Iron Maiden. My interest plunged when Clive Burr left. Nicko has never impressed me
Megadeth, post-Peace Sells. Gar was unique among metal drummers in that he played to the up beat rather than down beat.
Soilwork. Henry Ranta was as vital to 'Natural Born Chaos' as Peter Wichers. Dirk, his replacement, just doesn't do it for me.

Likewise, I had a very hard time getting into Judas Priest because Dave Holland was so incredibly limited. My favorite track is 'Painkiller.' Wonder why?

Sure, I've lost interest in bands when they went to garbage (In Flames, anyone?) but thinking back, I realize now how much drummer changes impacted my interest in a band. Before anyone asks, yes, I wanted to be a drummer but the family wouldn't hear of it. Maybe some day I'll buy one of those electronic kits, but that's another story.

Drummers tend to be the butt of jokes but at least from my point of view, the drummer makes the band. He creates the spaces in which the rest of the band plays. For now, I just wanted to bounce this idea off some folks on a non-drummer board (because I know how THEY will view things).
Old 07-16-11, 01:02 PM
  #2  
DVD Talk Hero
 
Numanoid's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: Down in 'The Park'
Posts: 27,881
Likes: 0
Received 2 Likes on 2 Posts
Re: My theory: change the drummer, change the band

Certainly not from the genre you're discussing, but when Ultravox fired their original drummer, the resulting next album (which would be their last for almost 25 years) stood well apart from the rest of their catalogue, and was regarding as their worst by far. In this case, the style change drove the drummer change, and not vice-versa. I wonder how many times that has happened in other bands. And also, when have the bands perhaps taken the opportunity of a departing drummer to change direction? So how often is it the new drummer's "fault" and how often is it a case of coincidental timing?
Old 07-16-11, 01:13 PM
  #3  
Banned by request
 
Supermallet's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Termite Terrace
Posts: 54,150
Likes: 0
Received 5 Likes on 5 Posts
Re: My theory: change the drummer, change the band

R.E.M. took a noticeable dip in quality after their drummer left.

Black Sabbath got more muscular with the addition of Vinny Appice for The Mob Rules.

To this day I wish Bill Bruford had stuck around with Yes long enough to record Tales From Topographic Oceans. Alan White is an okay drummer, but he doesn't have the incredible creativity of Bruford, and the record suffers for it. On the other hand, he went to play with King Crimson and we got Larks Tongues In Aspic, Starless And Bible Black, and Red out of it, so I guess it was a worthwhile trade.

Gonna have to disagree about Maiden, though. Nicko is one of the most talented and respected drummers in all of metal. Just listen to the drums on Piece of Mind. Clive Burr wouldn't have been able to keep up.
Old 07-16-11, 02:21 PM
  #4  
Dan
DVD Talk Hero
 
Dan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: In the straps of boots
Posts: 26,683
Received 854 Likes on 605 Posts
Re: My theory: change the drummer, change the band

It's all subjective, of course.

In Rush, Neil still writes a good portion of the lyrics and his drumming defines the sound of the band. If they lost Neil, then Alex and Geddy would have to retire or start something new. Does anyone even care about Rutley? Leave him out of this.

Dream Theater. Mike Portnoy definitely had a distinctive sound. It'll be interesting to see how the new album plays out. Time will tell, but I think Petrucci, Myung, Rudess, and LaBrie can still call themselves Dream Theater with Mangini, unless they end up going in a drastically different direction.

On the other hand, White Stripes could have had anyone as a drummer. Meg was just convenient for Jack.

Nine Inch Nails has had a plethora of drummers, both in the studio and live. I can't say I've ever noticed a massive difference between them.

Coheed and Cambria lost their original drummer. I think he went on to make a rap album. Still, I can't say he had any real influence on the sound of the band... but that's me.

Just my input.
Old 07-16-11, 05:54 PM
  #5  
DVD Talk Gold Edition
Thread Starter
 
Traxan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 2,465
Likes: 0
Received 28 Likes on 19 Posts
Re: My theory: change the drummer, change the band

Oh man I totally forgot R.E.M. But in truth, I think a lot was happening there and Bill's departure was only part of it.
Old 07-16-11, 06:06 PM
  #6  
Banned by request
 
Supermallet's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Termite Terrace
Posts: 54,150
Likes: 0
Received 5 Likes on 5 Posts
Re: My theory: change the drummer, change the band

And, to be fair, Up has actually aged pretty well.
Old 07-18-11, 09:45 AM
  #7  
Moderator
 
wendersfan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: America!
Posts: 33,921
Received 163 Likes on 119 Posts
Re: My theory: change the drummer, change the band

Oasis changed drummers after their first album but I don't think it had much of an effect. White was a better drummer but Definitely Maybe still holds up as their best album.

ETA: On the other hand I think Oasis didn't become a great live band until Zak Starkey became thei drummer.
Old 07-18-11, 10:13 AM
  #8  
DVD Talk Reviewer
 
Randy Miller III's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Harrisburg, PA
Posts: 4,717
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
Re: My theory: change the drummer, change the band

Man, The Flaming Lips have changed in style so many times over the years, and I think a lot of it has to do with their rhythm section. My favorite years were when (still-current member) Steven Drozd was the drummer.
Old 07-18-11, 10:59 AM
  #9  
DVD Talk Limited Edition
 
sauce07's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Centreville, VA
Posts: 6,547
Received 22 Likes on 16 Posts
Re: My theory: change the drummer, change the band

Originally Posted by Randy Miller III View Post
Man, The Flaming Lips have changed in style so many times over the years, and I think a lot of it has to do with their rhythm section. My favorite years were when (still-current member) Steven Drozd was the drummer.
Doesn't Steven still do the drumming (and most of the instruments) on the album? I thought Kliph was only the live drummer.
Old 07-18-11, 12:16 PM
  #10  
DVD Talk Hero
 
slop101's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: So. Cal.
Posts: 43,020
Received 312 Likes on 220 Posts
Re: My theory: change the drummer, change the band

Pearl Jam has had like 3-4 different drummers and no one has noticed.
Old 07-18-11, 12:57 PM
  #11  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Join Date: Sep 1999
Posts: 11,862
Likes: 0
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
Re: My theory: change the drummer, change the band

It really depends on the band and the style of music. If you replace Neil Peart or Stewart Copeland you have different sounding bands. You move from Pete Finestone, to Bobby Shrayer, to Brooks Wackerman and the music still sounds the same.
Old 07-18-11, 01:35 PM
  #12  
DVD Talk Godfather
 
Michael Corvin's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 1999
Location: Louisville, KY
Posts: 61,750
Received 647 Likes on 454 Posts
Re: My theory: change the drummer, change the band

Originally Posted by SomethingMore View Post
Dream Theater. Mike Portnoy definitely had a distinctive sound. It'll be interesting to see how the new album plays out. Time will tell, but I think Petrucci, Myung, Rudess, and LaBrie can still call themselves Dream Theater with Mangini, unless they end up going in a drastically different direction.
I agree, but we really won't know until the next album since Mangnini had no input on this one.
Old 07-18-11, 01:39 PM
  #13  
DVD Talk Hero
 
slop101's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: So. Cal.
Posts: 43,020
Received 312 Likes on 220 Posts
Re: My theory: change the drummer, change the band

Regardless, "change the drummer, change the band" isn't nearly as universal as "change the singer, change the band"
Old 07-19-11, 03:20 PM
  #14  
DVD Talk Hall of Fame
 
Cusm's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: Moore, OK
Posts: 7,651
Received 24 Likes on 16 Posts
Re: My theory: change the drummer, change the band

Originally Posted by sauce07 View Post
Doesn't Steven still do the drumming (and most of the instruments) on the album? I thought Kliph was only the live drummer.
In the past this was the case, but I know Kliph was in studio on this last album.

Their sound is so varied with or without drummer changes.

I think the atmosphere of the band is the differences in a band's sound. As bands deal with hunger, fame, fortune, drug abuse/addiction, family, age, line-upchanges, purpose/goal of album, etc. Look at the Beatles and Metallica, both have had the same drummer and both changed throughout their career (one more so than the other).
Old 07-19-11, 03:37 PM
  #15  
DVD Talk Limited Edition
 
JTH182's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 1999
Location: Chicago, IL
Posts: 5,552
Received 33 Likes on 27 Posts
Re: My theory: change the drummer, change the band

Travis Barker > Scott Raynor
Old 07-19-11, 04:02 PM
  #16  
DVD Talk Legend
 
cungar's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Posts: 22,903
Likes: 0
Received 10 Likes on 9 Posts
Re: My theory: change the drummer, change the band

Originally Posted by Suprmallet View Post
And, to be fair, Up has actually aged pretty well.
Not enough to make it one of their better albums. New Adventures is still their last great album.
Old 07-19-11, 04:09 PM
  #17  
DVD Talk Legend
 
bunkaroo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Chicago West Suburbs
Posts: 16,119
Received 115 Likes on 76 Posts
Re: My theory: change the drummer, change the band

Originally Posted by Michael Corvin View Post
I agree, but we really won't know until the next album since Mangnini had no input on this one.
Based on the first song released I'd say they didn't even skip a beat.
Old 07-19-11, 04:32 PM
  #18  
DVD Talk Gold Edition
Thread Starter
 
Traxan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 2,465
Likes: 0
Received 28 Likes on 19 Posts
Re: My theory: change the drummer, change the band

Originally Posted by slop101 View Post
Regardless, "change the drummer, change the band" isn't nearly as universal as "change the singer, change the band"
Not as much, especially if you are a band like Nightwish, where the singer had no input. Judas Priest suffered because Halford is a lyricist and Glen Tipton most definitely is not.

In the case of Van Halen, the singer change was accompanied by a style change. It was basically two very different bands.

But in the case of Iron Maiden, even Bruce couldn't have saved those Blayze-era albums.
Old 07-19-11, 04:33 PM
  #19  
DVD Talk Gold Edition
Thread Starter
 
Traxan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 2,465
Likes: 0
Received 28 Likes on 19 Posts
Re: My theory: change the drummer, change the band

Originally Posted by slop101 View Post
Pearl Jam has had like 3-4 different drummers and no one has noticed.
I did. I thought Abruzzese was great.
Old 07-20-11, 05:08 PM
  #20  
DVD Talk Hero
 
Rypro 525's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: a frikin hellhole
Posts: 28,264
Likes: 0
Received 2 Likes on 2 Posts
Re: My theory: change the drummer, change the band

Originally Posted by bunkaroo View Post
Based on the first song released I'd say they didn't even skip a beat.
Pertucci wrote the whole drum parts using a drum machine. The main difference is that the actual sound of the drums was recorded different as Portnoy has a very distinct drum sound (that you could even hear on Avenged Sevenfold's Nightmare album)
Old 07-20-11, 08:14 PM
  #21  
DVD Talk Hero
 
TomOpus's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Kansas City, MO
Posts: 37,641
Received 782 Likes on 570 Posts
Re: My theory: change the drummer, change the band

Originally Posted by Cusm View Post
Look at the Beatles and Metallica, both have had the same drummer and both changed throughout their career (one more so than the other).
Ask Pete Best about that. And I believe the Beatles would not have had their popularity with Pete as the drummer.... from what I've read
Old 07-20-11, 08:46 PM
  #22  
DVD Talk Platinum Edition
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: STL
Posts: 3,197
Likes: 0
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
Re: My theory: change the drummer, change the band

Slayer isn't really different, but the Lombardo-less material definitely isn't as good. With that said though, Paul Bostaph is a way better drummer than Lombardo, but Lombardo fits Slayer better.
Old 07-20-11, 09:06 PM
  #23  
DVD Talk Godfather
 
The Bus's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: New York
Posts: 54,914
Received 19 Likes on 14 Posts
Re: My theory: change the drummer, change the band

It's an interesting theory. I rarely pay attention to who the drummer is, so it's hard for me to find supporting arguments.
Old 07-20-11, 09:20 PM
  #24  
Needs to provide a working email
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: MD
Posts: 1,741
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Re: My theory: change the drummer, change the band

I think for "good" bands it's more "change the songwriter, change the band".

Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds recorded their double-album Abattoir Blues/The Lyre of Orpheus using two different drummers, one per disc. The percussion is noticeably different -- heavy and up-front on Abattoir Blues, subtle and distant on Lyre of Orpheus -- but the entire album is clearly the work of one creative entity. By that I mean that the "feel" is consistent, the "feel" being musical, lyrical, intellectual, political, whatever.

A drummer can clearly change the sound of a band. If the band is all about sound -- as I believe those in the OP's are -- then, yes, "different drummer, different band". (Don't get me wrong; I like music for music's sake and enjoy each of the bands the OP mentioned.) If a band, especially the "auteur" of a band, is about even a little bit more, then the drummer is just a guy with some sticks who keeps good time. He's important, even so.

(Cf. T-Bone Burnett's The True False Identity. I think that album is as close to percussively perfect as it gets, and Burnett had two or three different drummers playing on every song. Burnett is an auteur, a writer and director of music -- not just a singer.)
Old 07-22-11, 12:15 PM
  #25  
DVD Talk Gold Edition
 
Ayre's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 2,182
Received 2 Likes on 2 Posts
Re: My theory: change the drummer, change the band

Change the drum machine ... change the band. j/k

How about Bill Bruford vs Alan White?

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright 2021 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.