The resurgence of progressive rock has opened the door for younger drummers to rediscover the more technically challenging aspects of this classic art rock culture. The Woodstock, New York–based prog-pop group 3 is on the rise, and has tapped into the old-school vibe of such iconic progsters as King Crimson, Yes, and Pink Floyd.
Drummer Chris “Gartdrumm” Gartmann explains the basis of his drumming technique with 3 as a “Bonham meets Bruford” approach. “I grew up listening to all of the great English classic rock drummers,” he says, “like Bruford, Bonham, and Ginger Baker. Then I got heavily into the American jazz-fusion drummers like Billy Cobham, Tony Williams, and all the Zappa drummers. That’s where my drumming sensibility comes from.”
Double bass drumming is a big part of Gartmann’s technique, as is evident on the title track to 3’s recent CD, The End Has Begun. “I love tasteful double bass playing,” Gartmann plainly states. “Why would you ever want to completely shut that door on your technique? Playing broken triplets or duplets with two pedals sounds totally different from trying to do it with one foot. And double bass is always a great way to kick the music up a notch while still keeping a groove.”
The band has picked up steam over the last few years, touring with Coheed & Cambria, and more recently with Porcupine Tree. But they’re about to make a quantum leap into the spotlight as they head out on Mike Portnoy’s Progressive Nation Tour 2008 with Dream Theater, Opeth, and Between The Buried And Me. “We feel we’re a modern-day classic rock band trying to create good melodic pop with more sophisticated arrangements,” Gartmann insists. “We’ve paid our dues, and we are so ready for this tour.”