Drummer Focus

Welcome to Dundee Drum Academy's Drummer Focus! Every so often a new drummer will appear on her who I think is very worthwhile watching and learning from.

Dave Grohl

posted 3 Jan 2014, 08:41 by Chris Morris   [ updated 3 Jan 2014, 08:43 ]

Name: Dave Grohl
Performed With: Nirvana, Foo Fighters, Scream, Dain Bramage, Them Crooked Vultures, Tenacious D, Killing Joke, Mondo Generator
Years Active: 1982 - Present
Genre(s): Rock, Metal, Grunge, Punk

Dave Grohl is perhaps best known today as the lead singer and guitarist for the Foo Fighters. But lest we forget, Dave Grohl is also a very accomplished drummer.

Grohl began drumming while at high school and quickly found himself playing in various bands. He had a brief stint with the band Dain Bramage before joining Scream as their permanent drummer, at the age of seventeen. The band found some success touring and recording two studio albums. Grohl himself wrote and sang vocals on the song Gods Look Down.

When Scream unexpectedly disbanded, Grohl auditioned for Nirvana. His role as drummer in Nirvana is now one of his best-known ventures. Nirvana were quickly catapulted into mainstream stardom following the worldwide success of their album Nevermind which included the now infamous Smells Like Teen Spirit:

Although Nirvana had become a mainstream success, Grohl always wanted to be more than just another drummer. One of the ways in which he contributed more than just drumming was to involve himself in the song writing process after the release of Nevermind. Unfortunately this period in Dave Grohl's career didn't last long as lead singer Kurt Cobain passed away in 1994.

After Nirvana, Grohl continued to contribute to the music world by drumming for various bands including Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. In 1995 he wrote, recorded and released an entire album by himself called Foo Fighters

The album was such a success that Foo Fighters eventually became a band with Grohl as the lead singer and guitarist. Many of the band's earlier recordings feature Grohl on drums such as the song Everlong from the second album The Colour and the Shape.

Today, as well as performing with the Foo Fighters, Grohl continues to drum for additional projects. Most recently, he formed a new band with Josh Homme and John Paul Jones called Them Crooked Vultures (WARNING: The videos below contain some strong language in the interview sections):

Keith Moon

posted 12 Jun 2012, 07:50 by Chris Morris   [ updated 3 Jan 2014, 07:22 ]

Drummer Focus

Name: Keith Moon
Performed With: The Who, Pla
stic Ono Band, Jeff Beck Group, The Escorts, The Beachcombers
Years Active: 1964 - 1978
Genre(s): Rock

Keith Moon was the incredible drummer for The Who and will be remembered for generations to come for almost completely reinventing what it meant to be a drummer in a rock band. Moon was born in 1946 and began learning to play the drums at age 14, receiving some lessons from Carlo Little. 

At the age of 17, Keith Moon replaced Doug Sandom as the drummer for The Who, after the band were told that they would never get a record deal if they didn't find themselves a better drummer. During his interview with the band, it is said that Moon smashed the drum kit of the session drummer who was filling in for Sandom after he had left. 

Moon's drumming brought a more aggressive and edgy side to The Who, and the band wanted to set themselves apart from similar music in the charts at the time. One of the ways they managed this was by smashing their instruments at the end of their shows. This act has often been imitated by hundreds if not thousands of bands, but The Who were the first to do so. However, Moon wanted to go even further by using some cherry bombs during one particular TV broadcast:

Moon was known not only for being an outstanding drummer, but also for having a very jovial nature. He tended to play jokes on his band mates often, and was banned from the recording studio while vocals were being recorded due to him making the singers laugh while they were trying to record. He also sang lead in a few songs including 1:17 and 3:48 in the following song:

While Keith Moon liked to joke around, he also led a very destructive lifestyle. Those who knew him look back now with humour when they remember how he destroyed hotel rooms resulting in The Who being banned from several hotels around the world. On one occasion he was being transported to an airport and demanded that the driver take him back to the hotel as he had "forgotten something". On returning, he threw his room's television out of the window and into the pool. When he returned to the car he proclaimed "I nearly forgot".

Unfortunately, his destructive lifestyle didn't end with practical jokes, and in September of 1978 it would lead to his untimely death. However, Dundee Drum Academy would advise to look past Keith Moon's demons and simply appreciate the outstanding drummer that nobody could deny he was. 

Moon was a very unusual drummer in the fact that he rarely used a hi-hat, instead viewing each piece of the drum kit as one instrument and bashing away wildly at it. The result was actually a fantastic clash of rolls and beats that were perfectly synced with what the rest of the band were doing. Moon certainly wasn't a typical drummer and was one of the main reasons The Who were seen as different to other music of their period. 

Keith Moon attacked the drums with the same wild destruction that could be found in other parts of his life in a style could barely be imitated by others. As we sign off on this Drummer Focus and leave you with some highlights of his drumming, we would like to remember Keith Moon as one of the most influential and inspiring drummers of all time.

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