Metallica's Lars Ulrich on how Neil Peart turned him on to Tama Drums

Posted on Sunday, February 23, 2014 at 7:54PM

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#48 - Posted 2/28/14 @11:24AM by CraigJ [contact]

LAST!!!!!
#47 - Posted 2/27/14 @7:32PM by jiminseattle [contact]

Put a fork in this one!
#46 - Posted 2/26/14 @8:31PM by palidrummer11 [contact]

Bman, you nailed it. We gotta talk some time
#45 - Posted 2/26/14 @6:26PM by Bman [contact]

#44 - I can appreciate that. However, just because Phil Rudd doesn't make the same top-of-the-top list of 10-20 drummers.... guys like Pocaro and Bonham and Gadd, Purdy, G Harrison etc, it doesn't mean he gets shuffled into the "he sucks" category. I guess that's the main point for Rudd. And the other kid who goes to interlochen was dead on, in my opinion - you can't make it FEEL like he can. Meaning the way Phil Rudd is with time. I mean, maybe YOU can, I have no idea, but someone like Mike Portnoy couldn't lol, I guarantee it. His groove sucks. His playing is shallow (for lack of a better word). He totally has the wrong vibe. And his drums sound lame.

The reason I get so passionate about this stuff is when I was young I used to think I knew what a good drummer was (mainly before I actually became one-sort of). And I was ALL about the prog. And I would say shit like Phil Rudd sucks and nobody's better than Peart etc. Then I grew up, learned to play, recorded, and most importantly took some wisdom from my elders who could really play all the fancy shit (the guy I have in mind would make Portnoy look stupid in a drum solo. Seriously). Now when I see who I think might be the old me, the guy who preaches about people like Mike Portnoy while bashing Phil Rudd, I tend to jump on it. It's just a reaction of mine.

For the record, most of Portnoy's stuff is smoke and mirrors. It's NOT as hard as it looks. But the main point is that it kinda sucks musically. And the thing with guys like him, that's their "thing". That's their only trick. And it's a stupid game because there is always a faster gun, as the great Vinnie Colaiuta once said. And, to keep picking on Portnoy, for example, he loses that game as soon as you compare him on that level to someone like... Danny Carey. So then what does Portnoy have after that comparison? Sadly, nothing. Nothing original or compelling at all. That's what young players need to know about dudes like that, cuz it gets really obnoxious with other players. Most mature musicians I know don't want a monkey on amphetamines providing the foundation of their music.
#44 - Posted 2/25/14 @8:09PM by dr7915 [contact]

#38 - you are spot on. Civil discourse is always the way to go regardless of our opinions. Phil Rudd did exactly what was required for AC/DC but that doesn't mean I am impressed with his work.

#32 - where do I begin. You have been playing for 11 yrs. I've been playing for longer than you have been alive ...and what does that mean? Nothing.
You are entitled to your taste and opinions just like I am but I do take exception with statements like "It's almost impossible to play Back in Black and make it feel as solid as Phil Rudd did. End of story. If you're a drummer, you'll understand". I'm sorry, who elected you the drum king?

My dislike of Phil Rudd's drumming is not personal and I am a huge fan of the Beatles and the Stones but I do know how to separate great drummers from famous ones. On the rare occasion a drummer transcends both such as Buddy Rich or Neil Peart but, IMO, Ringo and Charlie are more famous than great. Solid...for sure but I can name many, many others that will drum them under the proverbial table. I'm not bashing them but simply putting their abilities (and work) in to perspective.

I have spent my life following the greatest drummers from all walks and none of the ones I mentioned (sans Neil & Buddy) fall into the greatest category. Give me, in no particular order, Neil Peart, Bill Bruford, Mitch Mitchell, Buddy Rich, Ed Shaughnessy, Alan White, Jeff Porcaro, Steve Gadd, Bernard Purdy, John Bonham, Keith Moon, Mike Portnoy, Gavin Harrison, Terry Bosio, Ian Mosley, etc...

The truth is I could go on and on with a ton of great drummers I haven't even mentioned but the point is that NOWHERE in my list will you see Phil Rudd, Ringo Starr, Charlie Watts or heaven forbid...Lars...

Like whom you like and more important...Happy Drumming!
#43 - Posted 2/25/14 @7:10PM by ToadBrother [contact]

#32 Whenever people mock Ringo, I think about what the great drummers, guys like Phil Collins have to say. They have nothing but good things to say about him; about how good a compositional drummer he was, how he provided the solid backbone even with some pretty oddball songs (think Rain here, which Ringo himself picked as his best drumming). I'd put Charlie Watts in the same category. Neither Ringo or Watts are flashy drummers; they're not bombastic or maniacal like Bonham or Moon, but they do what they do well.
#42 - Posted 2/25/14 @4:48PM by nodrush [contact]

Sounds like Ulrich has alot in common with you #6, although a much better drummer..... where can we see you play mg, you know, so we can see a real ex-pert!
#41 - Posted 2/25/14 @11:06AM by jiminseattle [contact]

Love the Beatles, I am old.............
#40 - Posted 2/25/14 @10:52AM by CraigJ [contact]

#37 Specifically the Beetlejuice Keaton, not the Batman Keaton.
#38 +1

And now for something completely different, yet Canadian: link
#39 - Posted 2/25/14 @10:28AM by riab4cameraeye [contact]

In this thread you are talking about two very different subjects. Creating music & performing music. I bet half of us could play Neil but who amongst could create like Neil? Or these other's that are mentioned? That's what separates .... Why aren't all models great actor's? Because they cant create. They look good but they don't have that creative spark that separates them. You know it when you see it just like you know it when you hear it!
I saw Kenny Aronoff (Melencamp's druumer amongst other titles) give a drum clinic at a music store back in the early 90's. His main point was exactly what some of you are saying. It's not about playing super fast or with amazing chops (although if that what your genre asks for it might fit - see Mike Portnoy), it's about playing tastefully within the music and adding something. Now he was talking about creating - not just performing. He could play really fast and all these fills but he learned that sitting in the pocket and adding tasteful fills etc.. was more satisfying.
#38 - Posted 2/25/14 @10:22AM by cpb [contact]

I have a legitimate question: given that the average age of people who post here is somewhere around 45, are people often drunk when they retort to opinions they disagree with?

There seems to be, among many, the inability to say "I respectfully disagree" and go straight for the hyperbolic: "you obviously don't know anything!" "Get your s together pops!" "blah blah sucks and blah blah is great and you're an IDIOT". I know we're into heavy rock but this shouldn't preclude nuanced discussion.

In other words, let's show each other a little respect.

p.s. Post #17 made me laugh like a mad fiend. And Phil Rudd is GOOD but not GREAT in the same way Mike Joyce of The Smiths was a good, solid drummer. If you can literally name 100 drummers with better skills, I don't think the term "great" applies - BUT Rudd does exactly what he's meant to do for the music so in that sense he's GOOD.

damage inc
#37 - Posted 2/25/14 @8:59AM by Denny Crane [contact]

Dude looks a lot like Michael Keaton. Wow.
#36 - Posted 2/25/14 @7:22AM by mysticbeat [contact]

#34, agreed, not a fan either. I think it is
Yoko Ono who makes them look cheesy or
something, not sure.
#35 - Posted 2/25/14 @1:04AM by CraigJ [contact]

#34 Yeah, re: The Beatles, I never got it. My dad does though.
#34 - Posted 2/25/14 @12:37AM by cagster [contact]

Yeah what Jim said.
I am also curious to know if I am the only one who can't stand the Beatles. I like nothing about them at all.
#33 - Posted 2/24/14 @11:13PM by jiminseattle [contact]

Pali: astute as ever.

Always important to point out that we all have our own opinions and should not be chastised for them.
#32 - Posted 2/24/14 @10:26PM by palidrummer11 [contact]

Ok as a drummer for 11 years now (and hoping to continue playing drums in college), I can say that Phil Rudd is a great drummer. I'm not even a fan of ACDC. Sure, I kinda like Back in Black, but that's pretty much it. The point is, Phil's playing on that song, which I hear ALL the time on the radio, is extremely solid. Most people have the coordination to play a beat that simple, but to have the FEEL and POCKET you hear in Back in Black, for example, is a real art. This sort of goes back to my previous post in the Modern Drummer 50 Greatest Drummers thread. It's easy to play Back in Black note for note. It's almost impossible to play Back in Black and make it feel as solid as Phil Rudd did. End of story. If you're a drummer, you'll understand. If not, then you could look at my post on the Modern Drummer thread to get a better idea of what I'm trying to explain.
For the longest time, I thought Ringo was a shitty drummer. We all know he didn't have a fraction of the chops of many drummers today (even drummers from the 70's on). But Ringo's playing NEVER gets in the way of the music, and it only supports it as solidly as possible. This past summer at music camp (Interlochen Center for the Arts, in Michigan), I was chosen (we had to audition) for the part in our concert's big 'feature' song, the Golden Slumbers medley at the end of Abbey Road. It really took me until that point, when I learned those parts, to fully appreciate what Ringo did to the art of drumming. Just like Neil's iconic tom rolls in many Rush songs (Red Barchetta, Grand Designs, Tom Sawyer, YYZ all immediately come to mind), Ringo's playing was perfect for the songs. It seems as if that specific drum part, that specific fill, was always MEANT to be played at that specific point in whatever song he was playing. Does that make sense? Same goes with Charlie Watts, though with him, I feel that it's more exclusively about the groove than it is about tasteful fills (the classic "Ringo" fills, for example)- of course, that's not to say that Watts' fills weren't great.
And as cool as he seems, Mike Portnoy really is overrated. I don't want to bash him too much, because I'm sure some of you are probably fans of his work. But I will state the fact that most of Portnoy's playing is technically very impressive (killer chops, excellent command over insane time signatures, great speed and power), but I get the impression that that's ALL he can really do, at least at a somewhat presentable level. He himself has said that jazz is NOT his thing, and he turned down one of the Buddy Rich concerts because he didn't want to embarrass himself. It takes a really honest man to say that, so props to him. He doesn't pretend to be the best drummer alive, because he's NOT, and he knows it. He simply doesn't have the feel required for jazz or some pop or funk. Nothing wrong with that, until people (like Modern Drummer readers) start saying he's one of the all time greatest, IN FRONT of handfuls of drummers who are much more versatile. I'm not a huge Portnoy fan, but I have respect for him, since he seems like a cool guy, he's a Laker fan :), he loves what he does, he excels at what he does (within his genre), and he's honest about his abilities as a drummer.
I know I got a little off-topic, but I just get really excited talking about this kind of thing haha. OH WOW I never even mentioned Lars! Yeah he sucks hahaha. Never been a fan of Metallica, never liked any of their personalities, never say anything special in his playing. I don't really have much else to say about that lol
Ok time to study for my Statistics test....
#31 - Posted 2/24/14 @10:22PM by jiminseattle [contact]

In my opinion of course. The Nirvana stuff was rudimentary but the first two Foo Fighters albums had it all percussion wise plus he played every other instrument and sang. Then Tom Petty wanted him to join his band and he has jammed with many great artists. He gets around that kit of his with lightning speed and precision.
#30 - Posted 2/24/14 @10:06PM by jiminseattle [contact]

Oh and to the Dr. Dave Grohl is far from average.
#29 - Posted 2/24/14 @10:06PM by jiminseattle [contact]

Jupe: Club Ninja is a stinker! Agents of Fortune and Spectres are their best albums imho and Donald "Buck Dharma" Roeser is an extremely underrated guitar player like someone else we all know and dig. Cool thing about BOC songs is the guitar is omnipresent throughout the songs, no solo in the third section of the song but throughout the song. Unique.
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