Influences Archives - Modern Drummer Magazine


Modern Drummer is the world’s most widely read drum magazine, is dedicated entirely to the art of drumming and caters to the needs of amateur, semi-pro, and professional drummers.

The Great Jazz Drummers

Though Sidney “Big Sid” Catlett came out of the swing era... TO READ THE FULL STORY: LOG IN Digital Access $4.99 /month or $49.99 /year SAVE 15% Digital Monthly Magazine 47 Years of Archives (500+ Issues) 40+ Drum Channel Subscribe…

Modern Drummer
Sep 1, 2020

Tower of Power's David Garibaldi: The Beat Builder

Building upon the James Brown legacy, he expanded the vocabulary of beat-displacement groove patterns and applied them in a “linear” concept.

by Jeff Potter
Nov 25, 2019


Bernard “Pretty” Purdie has played on enough tracks to overstuff an iPod. His drumming is, in fact, pretty. And nasty too. TO READ THE FULL STORY: LOG IN Digital Access $4.99 /month or $49.99 /year SAVE 15% Digital Monthly Magazine…

by Jeff Potter
Apr 24, 2018

Ringo Starr: The Perfect Fit

When he joined the Beatles, he was the man, the one with all the playing experience. He fit like a glove, driving the music with a singular feel while meshing perfectly with the other Mop Tops and their wry sense…

Modern Drummer
Apr 19, 2018

Lloyd Knibb: Ska Pioneer

In the early 1960s, when Jamaica was liberated from British rule, the island’s musicians were tasting musical freedom, experimenting with and synthesizing a number of diverse influences from their native Caribbean, the Americas, and Africa to create a new style…

by Will Romano
Apr 17, 2018

Stephen Perkins: Rolling Thunder

His eternal smile and energy are impossible to forget, and whether he’s playing just a shaker and a pair of bongos or bashing home the finale of one of Jane’s Addiction’s more heady epics, his drive and feel are inspirational.…

by Stephen Bidwell
Apr 5, 2018

Alex Van Halen: Of Sound And Vision

You know who it is the second you hear the crack of that snare drum. Like a musical fingerprint, Alex Van Halen’s sound and style are singularly his own. TO READ THE FULL STORY: LOG IN Digital Access $4.99 /month…

Modern Drummer
Mar 29, 2018

BILL COBHAM: The Power Player

Billy Cobham is widely regarded as the premier drummer of jazz-rock fusion’s golden era—and he remains a dynamic and revered player to this day. TO READ THE FULL STORY: LOG IN Digital Access $4.99 /month or $49.99 /year SAVE 15%…

by Ken Micallef
Mar 23, 2018

CHAD SEXTON: A Free Spirit to the Corps

Chad Sexton and 311 have been riding a wave of good vibes for over twenty years. Since the band’s 1993 debut album, Music, which followed several independent releases, there have been no hiatuses, no lineup changes, and no periods of…

by David Ciauro
Mar 22, 2018

Art Blakey: The Mentor

We all know those iconic black-and-white images: Blakey at the kit, sweat beads on his forehead, a flash in the eyes, and that mouth agape—sometimes with the tongue flat out—in pure elation. TO READ THE FULL STORY: LOG IN Digital…

by Jeff Potter
Mar 19, 2018

Charlie Benante: Beyond Speed

Alongside Metallica, Megadeth, and Slayer, Anthrax is part of the “Big Four” architects of thrash metal, and the band is a monolith in the metal genre in general. TO READ THE FULL STORY: LOG IN Digital Access $4.99 /month or…

Story by Billy Brennan | Photo by Lissa Wales
Mar 9, 2018

Dennis Chambers: Multidimensional Rhythmic Warrior

By merging elements of funk, fusion, R&B, and jazz into a daunting style that rides magically on a carpet of stunning power and technical exhilaration, Dennis Chambers has become one of the most important and influential drummers of the post-fusion…

by Ken Micallef
Mar 6, 2018

Bill Stevenson: All or Nothing

Bill Stevenson’s playing in Black Flag and the Descendents provided an archetype for hardcore drumming, making Stevenson perhaps the most influential player from the original West Coast punk scene. TO READ THE FULL STORY: LOG IN Digital Access $4.99 /month…

by Stephen Bidwell
Feb 23, 2018

Clem Burke: Pure Pop Power

“Clem was new wave’s premier drum showman, but his showmanship never got in the way of his emphatic, tom-heavy drumming style. TO READ THE FULL STORY: LOG IN Digital Access $4.99 /month or $49.99 /year SAVE 15% Digital Monthly Magazine…

by Patrick Berkery
Feb 21, 2018