Anthrax Drummer Charlie Benante Says He’s “Tired” of Not Being Credited as the Creator of the Blast Beat
In a new-old interview with Drumtalk (the interview was conducted last year in Germany, but is just being released on YouTube now for some reason), Anthrax drummer Charlie Benante takes credit for creating the blast beat, and says he’s “tired” of not getting his due:
“There’s this style of beat called ‘blast beat,’ and I will say that the first time ever that type of beat was recorded and played on a record was on this S.O.D. [Stormtroopers of Death] record that we did in 1985. And I’m tired of people not crediting that that was the first time. And, of course, people perfected it and play it way better, but that was the first time that a blast beat was on record. If you can prove me wrong, prove me wrong, but I believe that that was the first time. And, like I said, other people have mastered it and done it way better, and I never took it any further — that was it. It fit in that song ‘Milk’. Like, when we would play it live, the more I played it, the more I started to develop a different way of playing it. Because I would always play it with a single kick drum, and I would either reverse it, which I think Paul [Mazurkiewicz] from Cannibal Corpse played more of that style of blast beat. I would play it either with the ride or I would play it with the hat, reversing it. When S.O.D. would play more and more shows, I would always develop it and not just do a single kick — I would throw in a double. And then I discovered that some of the black metal bands, later on, were doing it [slightly differently]. So it was being developed even more. And then when I heard the Dimmu Borgir record Puritanical Euphoric Misanthropia, Nick Barker’s drumming on that record was, to me, one of those moments where another door opened and he took the blast beat style to a whole other level.”
“I remember when that song came out, ‘Milk,’ with the blast beat in it, and many people were saying, ‘What are you doing here? What are you doing?’ And there was a part of me that was, like, ‘I can’t really tell you what I’m doing.’ [Laughs] When we would play it, I would always see people watching me play it. And S.O.D. didn’t play many shows, of course, but when we did play, we played the whole record. And it was never at the same speed that the record was recorded — it was live and it was just fast, so it was always moving forward.”
The term “blast beat” has generally been credited to former Napalm Death drummer Mick Harris, although the actual technique pre-dates Harris.
For his part, Benante seems to have since dismissed his own comments:
You can watch the interview with Benante below.