Drummer Blog: Subversion’s Ben Atkinson Talks Style and Technique on New Album, <i>Animi</i>


Hello all! Ben Atkinson of Subversion here. The band has been active for a while, and I was aware of their music before joining them. It’s great because we push each other out of our comfort zones and develop more as players and listeners. My approach through most of our song “Born of the Sun” is very kick-heavy to complement the heavily rhythmic guitar parts.

Saying that, the rest is quite simple to play. I wanted to keep the drums relatively straightforward to let the music as a whole come together and have it not be just about my playing. Through the course of the album the dynamic changes, in terms of mood, feel, and style, and I tried to reflect that in the drumming.

The one thing I learned over the years is that listening is almost more important than playing, but when you do apply it on the drumset only play what the part is asking for. There’s no need to overplay, as fun as it is. Advertisement

The great thing about a collective like Modern Drummer is that each of us would approach things differently and have something new to bring to the table; everyone has their style and technique, and this is the main thing that intrigues me about expression through music. For example, I’ve always been a bass drum kind of player. The first drummer I heard like that was Joey Jordison, and he blew me away. This is reflected in the drum parts of our new album, and it is arguably the hardest thing to get tight. I remember sitting at home when I was younger tapping away with my feet for as long as I could at the dinner table, thinking it would give me more stamina, but I used to sit at the kit and play slowly and eventually build up speed. That takes a lot of discipline when you want to play like Slipknot overnight.

Subversion recently toured the UK in April. Our new album, Animi, is out now and is available through iTunes and Bandcamp. Thanks, and I hope to see you on the road.

Watch the “Born of the Sun” drum video here:

For more on Ben Atkinson and Subversion, visit and

Photo by Jemma Martin