All Quiet On The Western Front

Not a lot has been happening recently – not musically anyway. Been diving and writing, so there’s more on my book website than here. But the wheels of steel are starting to roll again and I will be back drumming shortly with some new developments…

In the meantime, I thought I’d procrastinate for another hour or so instead of researching Brandenburger information. Was going to just ramble on Facebook until I figured that I may as well do it here instead 🙂

I was having an interesting conversation the other day about who I think is the most underrated metal drummer around. It’s a huge question really. There are quite a few underrated guys who play in bands that are also underrated and successfully flying below the world’s heavy metal radar due to no other reason than the music scene being, shall we say, ‘not what it once was.’

But we were talking about established bands, so I pondered the question a little more. It’s not just a list of my favourite drummers…nor is it a list of overrated drummers (that’s a huge list too…but very negative, so why bother). There are many who should get far more attention than they do, in my opinion; Randy Black, John Tempesta and Jon Dette are three that spring instantly to mind. Awesome drummers who never seem to grace the magazine covers that they should. There is, of course, the King himself, Mikkey Dee. He too should be far more lauded than he is, in my opinion. I also sometimes think Phil Rudd doesn’t get the attention he actually deserves – some people (who clearly don’t know shit)  seem to take the piss about uncle Phil, but he’s got a groove to his playing that is phenomenal and he was, and still  is, always inspiring to me. Simon Wright too, excellent hard-hitting (I like that!) drummer who has some of the most rock solid timing I’ve seen. Robb Reiner too…that boy can really play! So these guys are all on the ‘why aren’t they more obviously respected’ list. Plus the heroes we’ve lost that many seem to forget: Philthy Animal Taylor and Cozy Powell.

But my final vote would go to a drummer who is a truly superb heavy metal machine, although his first and favourite love is progressive music. Nigel Glockler is a massively underrated drummer I believe. He’s been powering Saxon for  loooong time now. Though I really liked Pete Gill (especially in Motörhead), when Nige joined Saxon and did the ‘Power And The Glory’ album I though that the whole thing shifted up many gears. He’s rock solid, hits it properly (I’m not a fan of triggers and all that electronic shit) and is incredibly fast. He can bring the same swagger to fairly straight forward beats that Phil Rudd does and never fails to inject some little jibs and jabs into tracks like that (‘Solid Ball of Rock’ is a great one) while, on the other hand, also plays ridiculously complex pieces by way of contrast. Of course, part of the art is knowing ‘what to play and when’ and he never misses on that mark either.

Check out the lovely little flourishes on one of my favourite ever tracks here…

When we toured with Saxon I used to watch him play every night and he never failed to blow me away. The opening cymbals and drum work on ‘State Of Grace’ (opening song on the ‘Inner Sanctum’ album and tour) is awesome. I also got to see him warm up at soundcheck when he’d play all kinds of fiddly prog stuff too.  To top that off, he went and had a brain aneurysm that, frankly, scared the piss out of himself, his family and friends and within a few months was back in the studio and on the road like nothing had happened.

So, my vote for most underrated metal drummer would be for Nigel Glockler.

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Fortunately he’s also a very nice bloke (and interested in military history).

And on that note…I’d better get back to work.

See you on the road….