#3: DANNY WALKER (INTRONAUT, EXHUMED, PHOBIA, MURDER CONSTRUCT, UPHILL BATTLE, JESU, ETC.)
MetalSucks recently polled its staff to determine The Top 25 Modern Metal Drummers, and after an incredible amount of arguing, name calling, and physical violence, we have finalized that list! The only requirements to be eligible for the list were that the musician in question had to a) play metal (duh), b) play drums (double-duh), and c) have recorded something in the past five years. Today we continue our countdown with Danny Walker of Intronaut, Exhumed, Phobia, Murder Construct, Uphill Battle, Jesu and more…
Not to sound like a condescending dick, but are you all familiar with auteur theory? In case you’re not, let us momentarily refer to the single greatest research tool in the history of Man, Wikipedia:
“In film criticism, auteur theory holds that a director’s film reflects the director’s personal creative vision, as if they were the primary ‘auteur’ (the French word for ‘author’). In spite of—and sometimes even because of—the production of the film as part of an industrial process, the auteur’s creative voice is distinct enough to shine through all kinds of studio interference and through the collective process.”
I don’t know if there’s a specific upscale word that is to drummers as auteur is to filmmakers (and, technically speaking I guess, authors), but whatever that word would conceivably be, one would absolutely have to apply to it Danny Walker.
This is a dude who has played with grind bands, stoner metal/so-called “beardo” bands, death metal bands, shoe gaze bands, and whatever the fuck other kinds of metal bands, and always, always, ALWAYS, without fail, manages to sound like himself. His “voice,” if you will, always rises above the din, even if that din is often very cool itself.
Of course, it helps that Walker’s voice is so profound. Walker’s drum parts are so much fun to listen to — they’re savage, but they’ve got swing, and they’re never clichéd or quite what you’d expect but you can always feel them hit you right in the solar plexus, but in a way which is oddly pleasing. I’ve never heard Walker play with a straight forward hard rock band like Led Zeppelin or even Muse, but I suspect Walker would absolutely KILL in such a position — he’s got just that right Josh Freese-esque mixture of aggression and groove.
In case it isn’t readily apparent, I love Danny Walker’s drum playing, and I’m glad he’s been in a bajillion bands. I hope he’s in a bajillion more.
Walker has his own YouTube channel with some really great shit on it (including video lessons), and I suggest you watch ’em all. But these videos are really stellar, too:
THE LIST SO FAR:
#4: Brann Dailor (Mastodon)
#5: Tomas Haake (Meshuggah)
#6: Gene Hoglan
#7: Danny Carey (Tool)
#8: Proscriptor McGovern (Absu)
#9: Chris Adler (Lamb of God)
#10: Sean Reinert (Cynic)
#11: Dave Witte
#12: Navene Koperweis (Animals as Leaders, Animosity, Fleshwrought)
#13: Dirk Verbeuren (Soilwork, Scarve)
#14: Kevin Talley
#15: Morgan Rose (Sevendust)
#16: Stef Broks (Textures)
#17: Blake Richardson (Between the Buried and Me)
#18: Aesop Dekker (Agalloch, Ludicra, Worm Ouroboros)
#19: Shannon Lucas (The Black Dahlia Murder)
#20: Ben Koller (Converge, All Pigs Must Die, United Nations, Acid Tiger)
#21: Dave Lombardo (Slayer, Fantômas, Grip Inc., Philm)
#22: Paul Bostaph
#23: Phil Dubois-Coyne (Revocation)
#24: Jade Simonetto (Hate Eternal)
#25: Mike Portnoy (Adrenaline Mob)