Good morning, afternoon, or evening, metalheads! Mr. Gray here to talk Metal Shop. Now, I’ve recently been consuming a lot of drum-related content online with the intent to soon work towards learning the art form. I mean, I have a little bit of experience in that I played a bass drum three times in basic training for the Air Force. However, a steady cadence is maybe a bit different from the technical skill and creativity required for actual drumming.
So, I was going to come in here and gush over Chris Adler, talk about his crisp heel-toe bass drumming, and his fantastic overall style. I was going to lament his departure from Lamb of God, say how the latest album just isn’t the same without him and blah blah blah. I fell into a Youtube hole. You know how it goes. Start watching something, glance at the recommendations, and an hour later you don’t know how you got to something involving Dave Grohl (I always end up back at Fresh Pots). Well, I didn’t get quite that deep, but I did find a damn amazing jazz drummer named Larnell Lewis. The video I found was him listening to Metallica’s Enter Sandman literally one time, and then replicating it… not note-for note by any means, but damn. I mean DAMN. It also gave me a new Lars joke with “still open hi-hats, okay.” I digress.
It also served as a reminder that metal was born from rock, which was born from the blues, which was born from jazz. Let’s be real here, jazz is a completely different beast. Not everyone’s cup of tea, and definitely not mine, but there’s a healthy respect there. Especially when you get a foot cam and watch a jazz drummer heel-toe to a level that shouldn’t be humanly possible. I believe my quote was “the f—? Did his foot even MOVE!?”
So I guess the theme here is to always remember your roots. You could even remember The Roots, because Questlove is a damn good drummer, too. But that’s a whole other can of worms. Either way, my listening recommendation for this go-round is Firstborne, Chris Adler’s most recent project. Chris pairs up with James Lomenzo (Megadeth, Black Label Society) to do something a little different. Don’t go into it with any expectations, because what you’ll end up hearing will absolutely not be that. I’m not saying it’s bad by any means; it’s damn good, but it’s different. Not Devin Townsend Project different, but different.