Very true, and this is why everyone is going to have a differing opinion on the matter.But one man's "overplaying" could be another woman's "This is perfect", no? And sometimes what I think is overplaying one year, becomes underplaying the next year. It's all art, it's all subjective. I like both the simple groove and the complicated groove, depends on my mood and the music they're playing. I don't think the DMB would be the DMB if they had anybody else that drum chair. I can't imagine anyone else in the Rolling Stones besides Charlie.
In my Carter Beauford example, I think about what Benny Greb might have done if he were the drummer for DMB. Benny can be more groove centric while throwing in different "textures" to vary the groove. Certainly, syncopated patterns and rhythms would happen, and fills would be there, but likely in a more subtle way. To me, it would seem to blend more with the relaxed, jam-style music that DMB plays.
As I mentioned in my original post, Carter would be a beast of a progressive rock drummer. It seems like that was his calling. I wouldnt consider his playing style out of place in a prog rock band setting. Speaking of Prog Rock, people have mentioned Dream Theater and Portnoy overplaying. A part of me understands how that can be seen (in a general drumming sense), however a larger part of me sees how the entire band plays at such a crazy elevated level with intentionally crazy time signatures, key changes, and general "epicness" that I found Portnoys playing very suited to the music. Now that DT has Mike Mangini on the skins, I look back at Portnoy as someone who helped ground the band and keep the music more on the heavy rock side of Prog Rock. I feel DT has gone off the rails since Portnoy's departure and they have moved in to some strange sci-fi fantacy style of Prog Rock that has lost most of its musicality. Mangini is a beast of a drummer, but he is doing nothing to help ground that band and bring rhythm and groove to the music. Its to the point now that I can barely listen to their music because it doesnt resonate with me. Its so far in to the realm of musical wankery that it has lost its soul. Which is unfortunate because I am/was a big dream theater fan.
Would I say Mangini overplays the music? No, but at the same time I feel like he is not doing a good job of being a drummer in a band. He is not grounding the music and giving it a pulse for people to follow. This is certainly by design and likely by the direction of John Petrucci. I cant blame Mangini for this as he seems like someone who is taking his musical direction from others and is creating parts that fit within that musical vision. I just wish someone else was at the helm of the ship to steer it back on course and get it out of the direction it is currently in.