Think about some of today’s hits with really iconic drum samples. Songs where you hear the beat and you already know what song it is. Jay-Z and Alicia Keys’ “Empire State of Mind”. Taylor Swift’s “Shake It Off”. The infamous intro for Bruno Mars’ award-winning “Finesse”. And then try to imagine a world with no percussion. No breakbeats, no gut-busting solos, no bold rhythms.
To imagine a world without drums is to have fries without ketchup. You can have it that way, but there’s definitely something missing.
But in today’s society where a full bar sample complete with all kinds of instruments can be achieved with the simple ‘click’ of a mouse, who really thinks about drums, instruments, let alone drummers anymore?
"Drumming is arguably out of touch with millennial listeners, and that can be attributed to the fact that rock is no longer mainstream as it once was, with Linkin Park, Paramore, Yellowcard,” says Joseph Rigodon, 26, music producer and marketing associate for Pageant Vote. “With electronic music at the forefront of pop, young listeners now zero in to the drop or drum samples instead. They want to be DJs rather than drummers or band members.”
Think about the drum beats that you can recognize from a mile away, each roll of the toms and kick of the bass drum is a sonic fingerprint––whether you realize it or not. For more than 35 years, a handful of drummers have developed and maintained a reputation among fans, peers, and the international music community. It isn’t even about drum solos, or playing in a famous band––it’s about making music. Drummers, instrumentalists, they are all music producers. What they create are not fleeting, they’re forever.
“I found out about Dave Weckl through another crazy drummer called Aaron Spears, Usher’s drummer. He did this crazy drum cover of “Caught Up.”” Joseph shares. (Caught Up is an R&B hit that topped the charts in 2004) “Apparently Aaron Spears was inspired by Dave Weckl. [Weckl’s] hands are so fast, and it’s not even the crazy “blast-beat” fast that you’d hear in metal drummers. He can play fast notes so soft and musically, which is even harder to do.”
“Dennis Chambers, I discovered him because he mentored this kid called ‘Tony Royster Jr’, who was Jay-Z’s drummer when he released––you guessed it––“Empire State of Mind”.”
“Basically, they’re drummer gods. They played in a time where people just made music, not billboard hits. So their style is really organic.”
Because of this, The Electric Nomads was born, featuring a collection of legends who boast a repertoire of 8 GRAMMYs and instrumentalists belonging to the Rolling Stone’s 100 Greatest Drummers, guitarist Dean Brown, bassist Chris Minh Doky, keyboardist George Whitty, and drummer Dennis Chambers. They will be coming together to make magic on stage.
You can catch Dave Weckl and Dennis Chambers, aka the Drummer Gods, along with the Electric Nomads at Hong Kong Drumfest this year. You can catch Dave Weckl and Dennis Chambers, aka the Drummer Gods, at Hong Kong Drumfest this year. Use our exclusive code ‘HKIDFBSF’ for a 20% discount and 'KF28X7DF' for bundle package on HK Drumfest tickets.
They will also be joined by Mike Stern, a six-time Grammy-nominated American jazz guitarist, who was named Best Jazz Guitarist of 1993 by Guitar Player magazine, and received the Miles Davis Award to honor is internationally acclaimed jazz work that has contributed to the renewal of the genre.
Writer | Kristine Sage
Freelance writer, pop culture geek, and devoted to all things music.