Category: Feature Stories

Feature stories and articles from Modern Drummer.

Andrew Pinch Pinching 3

The Damned’s Pinch

When you follow a drummer like Rat Scabies into a band, as Andrew “Pinch” Pinching of British punk institution the Damned did, it’s easy to figure that to some extent, you’re always going to be viewed as “the new guy.”

Carl Allen

Carl Allen: Learning From the Giants

Allen is a revered figure in the field of forward-reaching, swinging jazz rooted in the tradition. When he first made waves in the jazz world, joining Freddie Hubbard’s band in 1982 at the tender age of nineteen, elder giants took note.


Tony Thaxton Returns to the Road with Motion City Soundtrack…One Last Time

It’s not a stretch to say Tony Thaxton’s drumming is just as vital to Motion City Soundtrack’s DNA as frontman Justin Pierre’s infectious melodies and neurotic internal monologue. Trust me—my band shared a Minneapolis practice space with Motion City in the early aughts, when they cycled though timekeepers at a Spinal Tap-esque clip, searching in vain to find a rhythmic match to their curiously jagged, sugar-soaked songs. You could hear the potential, but the band was not quite awesome—mainly due to constant rhythm-section turnover.

Jared Champion Cage The Elephant

On Tour: Cage the Elephant’s Jared Champion

For ten years, Jared Champion’s backbeat-infused, no-frills grooves have propelled the alternative chart-crushers Cage the Elephant. The group’s current tour runs through August, with additional select dates in September and October.

Brian Kantor Fruit Bats

Brian Kantor of the Fruit Bats on Absolute Loser

Brian Kantor has worked with indie faves Vetiver, ex-Cardigans singer Nina Persson, and Shudder to Think guitarist Nathan Larson, has for the past five years has a member of the Fruit Bats, led by multi-instrumentalist Eric D. Johnson. In May the band released a brand-new album, Absolute Loser, which was recorded by Thom Monahan (Pernice Brothers, Chris Robinson Brotherhood). Here we talk to Kantor about the making of the album and about his other projects, including his South County Music School.

Guitarist Paul Gilbert on Mike Portnoy

Guitarist Paul Gilbert on Mike Portnoy

Mr. Big founder and ex-Racer X guitarist Paul Gilbert is releasing his seventeenth solo album today, ‘I Can Destroy’, featuring Thomas Lang on drums. Gilbert has performed in a number of musical projects over the years with Mike Portnoy, including the drummer’s Beatles tribute group Yellow Matter Custard, which played the Modern Drummer Festival in 2003. Gilbert talks about those gigs in the brand-new Episode 18 of his “Scarified” video series; we asked him to expand on the subject here.

Dick DiCenso

Dick DiCenso Passes

We at Modern Drummer were saddened to hear of the passing of Dick DiCenso, the father of renowned drummer Dave DiCenso and the founder of Dick DiCenso’s Drum Shop, which was founded in 1982 and for twenty-three years served the Quincy, Massachusetts, area.

Hanna Brewer By Tobias Marti

Purple’s Hanna Brewer on Bodacious

Texas trio Purple has released its second album, Bodacious, which makes for another great showcase for Hanna Brewer’s many talents. Modern Drummer Online asked Brewer about the making of album, and about her background as a singing drummer….

Allison Miller Podcast

The Modern Drummer Podcast With Allison Miller

Drummer/composer Allison Miller’s new album, Otis Was a Polar Bear, once again features her Boom Tic Boom ensemble: pianist Myra Melford, violinist Jenny Scheinman, cornetist Kirk Knuffke, clarinetist Ben Goldberg, and bassist Todd Sickafoose. Miller recently invited Modern Drummer into her Brooklyn, New York, home, to discuss the making of the album….

Prince Dies at Age Fifty-Seven

Iconic Singer, Songwriter, and Multi-Instrumentalist Prince Dies at Age Fifty-Seven

Prince’s massive appeal crossed genres and generations, and besides his singing, songwriting, and production prowess, the influential artist was adept on many instruments, including the drums. In fact, Prince and his longtime drummer John Blackwell appeared on the cover of Modern Drummer in January of 2005, soon after the release of the Musicology album, which, like many of Prince’s records, featured him on drums on a number of tracks. Here we present our entire interview with Prince, which was conducted by MD associate editor Billy Amendola.

’70s-Era David Bowie Drummer Dennis Davis Passes

’70s-Era David Bowie Drummer Dennis Davis Passes

Longtime David Bowie drummer Dennis Davis passed away yesterday. Davis appeared on a string of Bowie studio albums in the ’70s, beginning with Young Americans in 1975 and ending with 1980’s Scary Monsters….

Blind Idiot God By Peter Gannushkin

Tim Wyskida of Blind Idiot God on Before Ever After

Modern Drummer sat down with drummer Tim Wyskida, formerly of the doom/avant-garde band Khanate, to get the lowdown on his drumming, the tracking of Before Ever After, and the band’s strangely sophisticated mixture of drone, noise, funk, prog rock, dub, and a host of other genres.