Shawn DroverWhen Shawn Drover joined Megadeth in October 2004, his biggest concern wasn’t learning the group’s head-spinning drum parts, but rather being accepted by long-time fans. “Fans of Megadeth are so proud of this band that I think if you weren’t doing a good job, they’d let you know,” Drover says. “I wanted acceptance from the fans, and I think, after more than two and a half years, the consensus is quite positive.”

Positive indeed, especially after the release of Drover’s first studio album with the band, United Abominations, and on the concert DVD That One Night. Drover was hired six days before a recent Megadeth tour, after head honcho Dave Mustaine and crew parted ways with drummer Nick Menza. Drover’s brother Glen had become Megadeth’s lead guitarist about six weeks earlier, and when the drummer spot opened, things were kept familial–especially because Mustaine dug the Drovers’ previous band, Canadian thrash/power outfit Eidolon.

“Dave called and asked me the big question, and I was floored,” recalls Megadeth’s fourth drummer. “Next thing I know I was on a plane.” A few rehearsal days later, Drover was on stage with a group he’s idolized since first hearing Peace Sells…But Who’s Buying twenty years ago. As for the album he plays on, Drover’s proud of his chops on “Sleepwalker” (“It has a twenty-four-note bass drum pattern and a lot of nuances with the ride cymbal”) and “Washington Is Next!” (“It has a galloping beat, then cuts loose with this whole speed-metal onslaught”).

Nowadays Drover plays a ddrum acoustic kit. “One of the things that sticks out with it is the two bass drums–20x22s instead of 18x22s. The sound is just explosive.”

Jeff Perlah