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Drums not as prominent as they used to be?

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  • Drums not as prominent as they used to be?

    Maybe I'm just getting old, but it seems that, in today's music, drums are not really as "up front" as they used to be. I remember back in the day, the drums really cut through, and were featured throughout the entire song. Now it seems the drums are just there to keep time, and that's it. Is this due to miking or? Back in the 80's, EVERY pop song had that super-loud snare drum that really overpowered the rest of the song. Not that that is a good thing, it just seems now that the industry has done a complete 180, and the drums are barely there (same with guitar solos, but that's another thread for another board.)
    Perhaps this is why there are no modern day "drum heros" like Neil Peart or Stewart Copeland. Just my 2 cents...

    -Jim
    Hart 6.4 Pro TE3.2 kit (plus extra 8" Hart tom)
    3x CY-14, 1x CY-15, CY-12HH, KitToys 8" and 10" splash, Visu-Lite 18" China
    TD-10 w/ TDW-1, TD-8, SPDS Sampling Pad
    FD-8, Tama Iron Cobra Flexi-Glide double pedal
    1x PD-7, 2x PD-9, Hart Hammer
    Hart and Gibraltar hardware

  • #2
    I find their is two types of drummers, both excellent in their own right. The first is the grove drummer, happy to sit back and keep it all in the pocket. Not trying to out flash anyone but satisfied with being musical , playing with feel, doing an excellent job. The second is the the showboat drummer. He feels the drums should be out front, and he works hard to make it so. Also keeping the time, groove, feel and pocket, but in addition, pushing showing man ship as far as possible to grab attention to the drums. Some do a good job at it, some give it a bad name. My preference is any drummer playing musically first, showman second.
    As far as music goes, I find it hard to find a well written song that appeals to me. I'm not saying their is none, there is a ton if you know where to look. Just harder to find on main stream radio these days. A lot of great material with a lot of great drumming not being released into the main stream. What is main stream is mostly sissy girly cutesy, and pretty boy vocal bands, along with non talent rap junk. I forgot techno trance rave music. What the heck is "trance"? Drum machine music? At least some of the rap has some great rhythms and some thinking behind it, but vocally it's as lame as you can get. Let a rapper try to join Tower of Power or cop some James Brown, now that's talent! Music has gone downhill. Everything has gone Mombo #5, Just a big no brainer for the masses. How can a drummer be challenged with musical junk? I thought the disco days were bad, boy was I wrong. I hope I do not offend anyone with my comments. If I do, sorry to offend your musical tastes. My venting is mostly towards the radio stations and non talent bands that make big and push that junk. But as a drummer, I'm finding it harder relying on the mainstream radio stations to provide quality material to drum to. Big band stuff keeps looking better and better. Jene Krupa had it right!

    Comment


    • #3
      Jim7,

      As much as I'm enjoying your "embarassing drum influence" thread, I gotta ask what kind of music you're listening to now?

      Sure, a lot of stuff on the radio is middle of the road as far as drums are concerned, but that's what makes radio fly; appeal to the masses. Flip your dial over to the 'x-treme" station sometime, or listen to some of the indie rock bands like David Garza (his stuff is all snare and vocal and it rocks SO HARD) Soul Coughing, check out Weezer too. No drum heros?! What about Danny Carry of Tool? Tim Alexander of Primus? Dave Grohl? Carter Beauford? Matt Cameron (sure he's playing with Pearl Jam now, but times are hard for all of us), Josh "A Perfect Circle" Freese?!?! What about that guy from Dream Theatre? I hear some guys think he's ok...

      I say it's all what you choose to listen to... music doesn't stop when top 40 radio plays a comercial... It sounds to me like both you and Zorro need to stop listening to the radio for a while (I did... it made me feel better about music in general...)

      As far as guitar solos go, I never liked them anyway... good riddance!

      ------------------
      \oo/_ _\oo/

      [This message has been edited by rus (edited April 09, 2001).]
      \oo/_ :mad: _\oo/

      Comment


      • #4
        Jim7, I agree with you. As far as the radio goes, I wish they would play what you mentioned, but where I live, the local rock station does not play the newer stuff. So most of the time the radio is off. The other non rock stations for the most part play the mindless dribble. I heard a great song by Vertical Horizon on the net, do think my station would play it, never heard it again. I have to find it on the net. I wish there was a progressive radio station in my area. With a population of less than 500,000 the radio stations play it safe, play what the think the masses will like. Sell commercials, not music. To be honest. I have to scan the air waves hoping to find something half decent that may pop up at times. Once in a while a Police song may appear, or Journey, etc. There is no x treeme stations here, only x treeme junk. As far as musical tastes go, rock, pop, fusion, jazz, power rock, a wee bit of country, funk, celtic, and latin. Anything with good drumming, good writing, something that moves the emotions, makes you want to play. Drummers, many greats too many to number but, Stewart Copland, Billy Cobham,Carmine Appice, Zoro (the real one not me), Bobby Rock, David Garibaldi,Tommie Aldrage, Neal Pert, Louis Bellison, good old Buddy Rich, David James, and the all time great, Gene Krupa! Many more drummers not mentioned, and you know who they are. What stations do you find them on in your area? Never heard Billy Cobham on my radio. I have to look for these guy's music, and if I rely on the local radio stations, I may start liking Mombo #5 and taking up bass heh.

        Comment


        • #5
          Hey, guys.
          Thanks for the replies. First off, I need to clear something up. My username is JimVII. My initials are JV, and I am "the second" behind my father. No biggie, I just thought it was funny that people thought I was Jim7. I knew that would happen though...

          Ok-back on topic (LONG!)

          RUS- I find it hard to find anything new (radio) that is challenging or even fun to play to now and days. I don't know why. I guess because a lot of the rock songs out today are just a 4/4 backbeat with a few (hardly there) fills thrown in. And I don't mean Backside Boys, or N'Stink or any of those "bands." I mean actual rock bands. I think it is due to the fact that drummers (and bands for that matter) just don't put in the time, that others used to. In the past, it was not uncommon for a band to gig for 10 years before they hit it big, now it seems to happen overnight, Of course, none of those bands have any staying power either. I think it's funny when I read about a rock or pop drummer who says, he started playing 3 years ago and is in a big time band now. These guys never paid their dues, in my opinion. They never talk about being in drum corps, or taking years of lessons/woodshedding (refining their technique.) It shows in their playing too. Maybe it is just the type of music they are playing. I know a lot of drummers are big fans of Carter Beauford, and Mike Portnoi (sp?) from Dreamtheater, but I never hear them play anything that would make me say "Woh!" Not that I doubt they are both excellent drummers. I have heard their SOLOS, and they are amazing. You really have to go to a live show now to see if the drummer is talented or not. They just never get a chance on an actual song. I guess I like to hear drumming that is a bit different, then interjected into a mainstream rock song. It's funny, but when I hear a song on the radio that actually has a triplet fill (wow!), I get excited about the music and think "Ok, now were getting somewhere, keep going, play something else..." Those songs seem few and far in between though.
          As far as any mainstream stuff to listen to in the past 10 years-
          I like the drumming (on SOME songs) by the drummers from 3rd Eye Blind. Lit, Rage Against The Machine, some Pearl Jam, Nirvana, No Doubt, and a few others that are probably not around anymore (15 minutes are up.) Not that I think those drummers are all that special or that I neccessarily even like those bands. Maybe I am getting desperate for some actual technique on the radio, and that's all there is.
          As far as non-radio stuff, there is a plethora of great drummers out there (jazz, big band, etc.) and that, I hope will never change. Most stuff I drum to, I don't actually listen to on a regular basis. I still love to drum to Rush, Van Halen, and The Police, but I don't find myself listening to them as much as I used to (although they are all still great in my book.) I think the days of the "featured" MUSICIANS are long gone. Nobody seems to care about someone who is a great player. They just like the singer or frontman. If you were to take a band like the Police, for instance, you can tell that they are all very good musicians (especially Stewart). Yes, Sting was the star of the show, but their success was not due to just Sting. Pop music followers liked the lyrics and the way Sting looked, but descerning people (musicians especially) knew there was something special in all the arrangements. The bottom line is there
          are a lot of new, good drummers out there. I just wish they would get a bit more attention or put a little bit more into it when they are thinking up thier parts for that new song.

          BTW- Is Tim back in Primus? I thought they replaced him. He was great! Definately Peart influenced.

          I will definately check out some of those other drummers you mentioned.

          -Jim
          Hart 6.4 Pro TE3.2 kit (plus extra 8" Hart tom)
          3x CY-14, 1x CY-15, CY-12HH, KitToys 8" and 10" splash, Visu-Lite 18" China
          TD-10 w/ TDW-1, TD-8, SPDS Sampling Pad
          FD-8, Tama Iron Cobra Flexi-Glide double pedal
          1x PD-7, 2x PD-9, Hart Hammer
          Hart and Gibraltar hardware

          Comment


          • #6
            Hey JimVll , you hit the nail on the head!!
            Quote "not uncommon for a band to gig for 10 years before they hit it big, now it seems to happen overnight," How true! The drummers that I know put tons of hours practicing and years of dedicated work into the craft. Today we have instant dinners, instant burgers, fast food, and instant rock stars. The music lacks depth, and I have to blame the radio stations and the Mombo #5 mentality of the masses for lapping it up. They target pre teens and the poor suckers get hosed into thinking garbage is real music. They get older and believe entertainment is some talentless nut sitting in front of a record player moving it back and forth making zippy sounds, pressing some effects and looking cool. Maybe the stuff sounds better drunk or stoned, because I'd have to be really stoned to put up with that noise, more like passed out to be exact. Since they buy into it, it's $old. There are some great new bands coming out mind you, but getting to be scarce.

            Comment


            • #7
              I was there when FM hit the general public airwaves in the 60s and sometime thereafter was called underground. No commercials at 1st and entire album sides were played. It was too good to last.

              Now I listen to the radio for news/traffic/weather/ and NPR. Oh, and depending where I happen to be (travel alot), I'll try and hunt down a pirate station or one of them radical college stations that get "re-programmed" after the usual complaints.

              Drums are only prominent when the man behind them is. You're right, not as they used to be and won't be until the planet turns out another Bonham, Moon, Baker, Paice, Palmer, Peart, etc., etc., etc.

              ~ ~

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              • #8
                I find it funny that 1.people look to the majors for "change" and 2.drummers are still listening to the same old rock beat.

                Comment


                • #9
                  [QUOTE]Originally posted by Zorro:
                  Q: "I forgot techno trance rave music. What the heck is "trance"? Drum machine music?"

                  Trance is one of the electronica/techno/dance styles. Yes drum machines are used in many cases do to the fact that a lot of techno musicians are only one or two people and they are not playing all the instruments, so the drum machines (amongst other gear) are used to run sequencing parts or live triggering of loops from many pieces of gear.

                  But more & more techno acts are using more and more band members playing live instruments including live drums (present company included ) Ė sometimes all live and some times over sequenced parts, it depends on each track sometimes. The techno music is changing more and more with a feel of a live band.

                  My band and I have been playing LIVE techno for about 8 years now and we take some responsibility in pushing the live band aspect in the techno seen, where in the past a techno band is one guy with a sh!t load of gear triggering loops and sequences. The styles of techno have changed and always change, much faster than any musical style out there. More and more artists are playing the instruments live and in doing so, are changing the techno/trance/drumíníbass/break-beat styles a lot.

                  You want to talk about edrums used for professional applications, look no further then techno Ė very synonymous with the music style and the need for edrums rather then acoustic.

                  Q: "At least some of the rap has some great rhythms and some thinking behind it, but vocally it's as lame as you can get."

                  Rap is as mundane as you get as far as music goes. The only thing rap has gotten recently, is the influence from techno style-drumníníbass and now some of the rap has some good grove to it.

                  ------------------
                  szvook
                  Studio

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by szvook:
                    The styles of techno have changed and always change, much faster than any musical style out there
                    Oh really? Techno has styles? Techno may have evolved from the beginning (again, I was there), but changing styles? Hmmmmm ....

                    ~ ~

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Marc.:
                      Oh really? Techno has styles? Techno may have evolved from the beginning (again, I was there), but changing styles? Hmmmmm ....

                      ~ ~

                      Yes techno has styles! Maybe you were "there" as you say (I' am not sure where you are now, nor where you were then) but techno music has evolved from its early conception - (rave music, which did sound the same) to identifiable styles NOW!

                      Careful dude, I will hold my ground on this issue and I will bite!!!!



                      ------------------
                      szvook
                      Studio

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I agree with most everything in the thread.

                        Just wanted to add:

                        Good Pop drumming is obviously different than such things as Neil Peart or Dave Weckl, right? So we need to expect the "pop drummer" to fit into the mostly "groove player". That being said, I do feel that today , either too much is programmed (most pop) or the musicians are "average" at best (many grunge bands)...not that I don't like some of the music anyway...but it's not very challenging to listen to OR play. Hell, I can almost play most of the guitar on a lot of it, and a guitarist I am not!

                        Two good "pop drummer" CDs I can recommend, though neither is terribly recent:

                        1. Jellyfish - "Bellybutton" - Andy Sturmer ROCKS on drums and vocals. Great big, natural drum sound...some obvious jazz roots and TONS of 60s/70s "powerpop" in the playing...Also...great harmonies. Came out in about 1991.

                        2. Dishwalla - "Pet Your Friends" - Just good groove throughout and a pretty nice sound as well. I don't however recommend their second album as much. Came out in 1995.

                        See ya.
                        Blades
                        My Updated Website: https://blades.technology

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by szvook:
                          Careful dude, I will hold my ground on this issue and I will bite!!!!
                          That won't phase me, I've had my shots. You are so intimately involved to such a degree that you could be blind to the fact that if you criss-crossed the globe and took a straw poll, the results would most likely see it my way. Sorry.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            REDBRICK-

                            That is funny you would mention Jellyfish! I had them in mind, when I was writing into this thread the second time. I really like the drumming on their stuff, and the fact that the drummer sings doesn't hurt.
                            Baby's Coming Back" is just a really fun song to play. Good stuff!
                            -Jim
                            Hart 6.4 Pro TE3.2 kit (plus extra 8" Hart tom)
                            3x CY-14, 1x CY-15, CY-12HH, KitToys 8" and 10" splash, Visu-Lite 18" China
                            TD-10 w/ TDW-1, TD-8, SPDS Sampling Pad
                            FD-8, Tama Iron Cobra Flexi-Glide double pedal
                            1x PD-7, 2x PD-9, Hart Hammer
                            Hart and Gibraltar hardware

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Marc.:
                              That won't phase me, I've had my shots. You are so intimately involved to such a degree that you could be blind to the fact that if you criss-crossed the globe and took a straw poll, the results would most likely see it my way. Sorry.

                              My involvement is not limited to techno only, so I beg to differ. Techno to me was & is a new, raw realm to push the envelope. But since you seem to be in a different musical taste your response is stale and inappropriate, to say the least.
                              As far as spanning the globe - done that (many gigs) and will continue just that.
                              The response Ií am hearing on your behalf, is that of a ROCK mentality and I have faced that many times before and probably face again. By now Ií am very used it and the response from you is of no surprise to me, it just makes me smile.

                              Donít dabble in things you donít know about!


                              ------------------
                              szvook

                              [This message has been edited by szvook (edited April 10, 2001).]
                              Studio

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