An Editor’s Overview
There’s a folksy old saying that goes something like, “People sure do make things more difficult than they need to.” We’ve all made that observation at one time or another about others—and, let’s be honest, at times we even make it about ourselves. We should, at least.
It’s been four years since the esteemed ex–Mars Volta drummer began playing in QotSA. Now we’ve been gifted with the multifarious Villains, and at long last we get to hear what he sounds like on a full-length record with the group. What’s immediately clear is that drummer and band push each other to new heights of artistic expression.
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In addition to many years spent powering the iconic band, he's toured and recorded with Iggy Pop, Ryan Adams, and many other greats. For him, though, the studying never stops.
The spry elder statesman, who made a splash in the mid-'60s with the Cannonball Adderley Quintet's soul-jazz classic "Mercy, Mercy, Mercy," is still showing us how it's done.
By immersing himself in the music, history, and lifestyle associated with multiple genres—and leaning hard on good-ol’ values like shedding rudiments and improving reading skills—the drummer with Thundercat, Ambrose Akinmusire, and his own band of modern greats, Nyeusi, has become one of the most in-demand contemporary players of the day.
The multidisciplinary artist has dedicated much of his career to exploring the solo drumset’s expressionistic capabilities. That pursuit has led him to the fringes of the visual art and music scenes. But it’s also helped him discover venues where he can perform his avant-garde compositions, audiences who appreciate them, and a range of unique sonic textures few musicians imagine when thinking about the instrument.
You’ve listened to his grooves a thousand times—perhaps even more than those of some of the drummers on your own personal top-ten list. But you might not have known his name, or his backstory, before now. Drummer, educator, and writer Zoro wants to change that….
A tribute to the longtime Prince drummer, who left us far too early.
Once the original progressive British bands, like Jethro Tull, ELP, and Genesis, blew open the gates of rhythmic delirium, a crop of wild-eyed Americans charged through with some daring ideas of their own.
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