DRUMMERWORLD OFFICIAL DISCUSSION FORUM (http://www.drummerworld.com/forums/index.php)
-   Drummers (http://www.drummerworld.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=4)
-   -   Zach Hill (http://www.drummerworld.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1368)

swisscheese 08-12-2005 05:52 AM

Zach Hill
i was wondering of anybody was familiar with zach hill of hella and what they thought of him. in my opinion, he is damn good. heres a link to some videos.


Dill X 08-12-2005 06:07 AM

Re: zach hill
The video takes extremely long to load.

His drums are so low to the ground it's crazy. I'm suprised his hi-hat doesn't hit his knee.

swisscheese 08-15-2005 07:43 AM

Re: zach hill
yea i dont know what is up with the dl speed. i guess i never really noticed how low he had the set before

CyclopseSlayer 08-15-2005 07:57 AM

Re: zach hill
Zach is a good friend of mine, good to see other people on here interested in him, he's definitely one of the most unique players ever. I've never seen anyone play with more intensity. My avatar is a picture that I took of his right foot sitting around one night at South by Southwest

CyclopseSlayer 08-19-2005 09:05 AM

Re: zach hill

Folks, I highly recommend viewing this clip, I was standing less than 10 feet away from Zach when they filmed this at Rubber Gloves, it was a night that my concept of what is possible behind a drum kit was changed forever.

craigwikert 09-07-2005 12:38 AM

Re: Zach Hill!!!
ive seen one video of him and from the looks of it hes quite a beast. does anyone know how old he is?

swisscheese 09-07-2005 03:45 AM

Re: Zach Hill!!!
whoa i made a thread about him quite a while ago with some links to video. tha man is insane. hes so creative and has great speed. the music is so technical i dont know how he remembers it all. there is two videos of him on hella's website which are both very good. two other guys that come somewhat close to rivaling him are damon che and brian chippendale.

fkleiner 09-08-2005 05:33 PM

Re: Zach Hill!!!
Thanks for your opinions guys. @craigwikert, zach is i'm guessing about 26 or 27 years old. His playing ends up being very technical (and superhumanly fast of course), yet he doesn't think in terms of what technical is. it's just his style of playing.

The funny thing is you can catch him playing 4/4 songs all the way through on a few songs of the self titled crime in choir album, which i highly recommended. it shows his depth of style vocabulary, and that he can fit his own unique style successfully into standard time. i'm gonna post more in a little bit, gotta run out to class.......in the meantime, go to mxtabs.net/drumtabs.php and browse for hella, i tabbed quite a few songs in there so you can get any idea of how much sense (complete sense) his playing really makes. laterrrss.

low-tech 09-08-2005 07:39 PM

Re: Zach Hill!!!
the dude is truely mastered, saw them at bard college in ny a few years ago, my only criticism on the set was i thought they were a little too quiet<i had just came from a lightning bolt show an hour before>

the drummer of orthrelm is another good drummer and of course weasel walter of the flying lutenbachers, similiar off the wall avante-garde type stuff. i more into death metal/grind type of drum style but yeah, hella is really far out

CyclopseSlayer 09-08-2005 10:12 PM

Re: Zach Hill!!!
Zach is 25 years old

fkleiner 09-08-2005 10:27 PM

Re: Zach Hill!!!
yea i'm a fan of some of the drummers mentioned before too... damon che is definitely a beast, i have a good recording of a live show, very deft, accurate, and powerful. brian chippendale of lightning bolt i'm just not getting tho.... my familiarty with them isn't too thorough (i have ride the skies, self titled), but the ideas he has just seem for some reason sloppy to me and don't seem to have nearly the depth and cohesion of zach hill.

i find a multitude of aspects that sets zach apart from other comprable drummers:
Two will be discussed in this post:

1) he is one of the most hard hitting drummers out there (bloody knucles, broken sticks, broken skins regularly). he is actually planning to make a bedframe of all his broken sticks.
2) the relavance of playing hard is to allow an extended range of dynamics and accents:

-loads of ghost notes are always present. for example in "your dj children"
off the ep totally bugs bunny on wild bass, sextuplet rolls on hi hat and snare
are exectued so gracefully and quietly that they purr along thus creating
an interesting sound, as opposed to pointless wankery. the ghost notes are
used tastefully and in nontraditional areas to add a thickness and depth
to his sound.

-next level above grace notes are standard strokes on snare or anywhere else.
these notes are executed for standard purposes of course.

-finally for dynamics, he skillfully places rimshots on snares to really accent
and stand out from the many many notes he squeezes into a particular riff.
without these rimshots, his playing would be that much more difficult
to finding any connection between him and whoever may be playing with him.


-Accents are a part dynamics, but separate here because it is not
referring to the volume of his strokes, but the choices he makes on which
piece of his set to use to make sounds that stand out from the rest.

-When listening at first to his drumming, it will most likely
be incomprehensible to find meaning through the flurry of notes played at
outrageous speed. if you face that problem as a new listener, start listening
only for the cymbals. zach hill is the only drummer i've heard who uses
the hit hat to its full capability. the crash/ride strokes always show up at the
most appropriate times, and from listening solely to the cymbals, you will
find the connection to him and the other musicians that are playing.

-Keep in mind the only tools for drumming he has are: hi hats, crash, ride,
broken cymbals stacked on top of each other (and choked by placing the edge of
the cymbal firmly against the rim of his tom) in order to acheive a trashy china
sound. as for the actual drums, ONE bass drum, ONE bass pedal, a floor tom, and
a tom (in the 12" range) placed above his snare. Thats it, hit hat, ride, china, crash
and a 4 piece set. it's amazing what he creates from such a limited set up
(as opposed to "god like" drummers who have rather large sets).

The point of this part of my description of his playing is to demonstrate that
aside from him being insanely fast, he, like a mature professional drummer, understands the significance of dynamics and doesn't pound away on a whim to show off his "chops".

He may come across as unrestrained and full of himself, but he has
as much taste as the next guy and pays much attention to complementing the musicians he is playing with. Those musicians must be quite talented themselves: it takes a very creative and open mind (with no musical boundaries) and some proficiency
to be able to connect on zach's wavelength. just like any one playing with frank zappa, most were virtuoso's, because they could understand and execute the genious of what zappa wrote.

well that sure was long, but hopefully it helps people new to him get a start on the long process of grasping the ideas he puts out.

fkleiner 09-09-2005 06:53 AM

Re: Zach Hill!!!
[font=Courier New]thanks for the clips, i love to see close ups of drummers playing. i actually got lightning bolt's new album today and its pretty badass. brian is def a very unique, creative, and fast drummer and i really like that about him. that's all there is to it, he should definitely be recognized here for his approach to drumming, which a lot like a huge blitz, not random notes, but a blitz of notes that fit with the music. i believe they are improving as songwriters so definitely a good thing you brought him up.

i don't know if you have tried to see the hella video of biblical violence on their website but i suggest you save it to disk over nite it's always slow as hell.

when you do get it, or if you already have it take notice of his left foot independance. you most likely know he doesn't use double bass, but in between his double strokes with his right foot (ie: ba-boom, ba-boom) he somehow hits the hi hat with his left foot. i guess it's his way of either keeping time or rapidly choking the open hi hat as he often does, but you can see the technique in much of the video. so with the hi hat being pressed but not struck, it sounds like "ba-boom sss ba-boom." Or it can be seen as a RRL triplet - Bass. Bass. Hi Hat Foot.

In the last section of the song, when spencer the guitarist starts tapping with his right hand behind his fretting left hand, zach has an incredible part which is so abstract yet so in tune with the guitarist. i can't describe it accurately in words here is an excerpt from my transcription:

___trips 16ths trips_____16th trips
H |------|----|--------|----|---X--|----|--------|----|---X--|----|----------|
t |o-----|o---|o---o---|o---|o-----|o---|o---o---|o---|o-----|o---|o---o---o-|
S |-ooo--|--O-|-o---O--|--O-|-oooo-|--O-|-o---O--|--O-|-oo--o|--O-|-o---O----|
B |o-oo-o|o---|o-oo---o|o---|o-oo-o|o---|o-oo---o|o---|o-oo-o|o---|o-oo---oo-|
___1tl2tl|1 2 |1tl2tl3 |1 2 |1tl2tl|1 2 |1tl2tl3 |1 2 |1tl2tl|1 2 |1tl2tl3 4 |

C |X----------|------|-----------|------|-----------|------|-----------|----X-|
H |---X-------|------|---X-------|------|---X-------|------|---X-------|------|
t |-------o---|o-----|o------o---|o-----|o------o---|o-----|o---oo-o---|o-----|
S |-oo-ooo--O-|-o--O-|-oo-ooo--O-|-o--O-|-oo-ooo--O-|-o--O-|-oo---o--O-|-o--O-|
B |o--o--oo---|o-oo--|o-oo--oo---|o-oo--|o-oo--oo---|o-oo--|o-oo--oo---|o-oo--|
___1tl2tl3tl4 |1 2 3 |1tl2tl3tl4 |1 2 3 |1tl2tl3tl4 |1 2 3 |1tl2tl3tl4 |1 2 3 |

this also demonstrates the ease with which he switches time signatures and feels (16th note/triplet).

enough for this post.... come on people, check this guy out and tell me what you think! matter of fact one of the best quality bootleg live shows i've ever heard can be found here

low-tech 09-09-2005 02:54 PM

Re: Zach Hill!!!
i live across the street from the bolt, my roomate runs laserbeast.com, Load records is just right up the street from me

lightning bolt is ten times louder than hella, thier show is 10 times funner too, as tho chip is not as technical as the hella dude, who cares, i like lightning bolt more because of ENERGY, but not to take anything away from hella who are monsters in thier own right

fkleiner 09-09-2005 08:57 PM

Re: Zach Hill!!!
yea, i initially didn't like lightning bolt too much, but they are starting to grow on me, especially after getting an advanced copy of hyper magic mountain... hella shows can be iffy, i assume for the most part they turn out well, but i'm also sure that a good many dont turn out so good due to whoever is mixing the sound. my personal preference for hella is not only because of zach hill, but spencer (the guitarist) too. their music has more depth (meaning layers of melody and rhythm) than anything else i've ever heard. i mean the guitarist is just phenomonal and if it were anyone else playing guitar, i probably wouldn't like it as much. the melodies, modulations, and the mere fact that the guitarist can play the part of 2 guitars and a bass all at once on his guitar WHILE ALSO BEING INCREDIBLY TIGHT AND IN TUNE WITH ZACH is what sets them apart from almost any band i've heard. i can confidently say two musicians haven't ever combined technicality and musicality as well or nearly as well as hella. but thats my opinion, to some people, its just incomprehensible noise. but if those people listened to even just one song 20 times over, they'd keep finding more and more aspects that match up and make sense. all their songs are on such a different level it takes many, many listens to fully grasp. that's why i've listened to them consistently for probably a full year right now. tehy never cease to amaze me....

again i wanna stress that i'm not saying "hella is the best anyone else sucks" its just my way of explaining why people should be patient with them, because they may eventually agree with me. and yes, lightning bolt does kick ass. i just wouldn't compare them because the style of music although similar is also at the same time very different, and pointless to compare to the sound lightning bolt strives for. if lightning bolt sounded the same as hella, it would be dissapointing because i really am starting to like their approach, it's different, full of energy, and sounds like just plain old fun. cheers to both bands.

ralphthepirate 01-19-2006 09:05 AM

Re: zach hill
I've just gotten into the Team Sleep Cd and Zachs phenomenal on it! I was amazed at some of the tight fills he was pulling off. Do you know what cymbals he uses?/what he used to practice to become soo good?

Stu_Strib 01-19-2006 09:33 AM

Re: zach hill
errrrrrrr......I have no idea what I just listened to. That's not a good or bad thing I just have no idea what it was.

Either those guys are musical geniuses, showing off their ability to incorporate 9s 7s and 5s all over the place, or they really have a horrible groove. I'll give them the benefit of the doubt and say that was some complex schtuffff!!!!

fkleiner 01-20-2006 05:09 AM

Re: zach hill
believe me i know exactly what they're doing, i've transcribed a lot of their songs (that is if you're talking about hella)... there maybe a lot of odd timing but they don't think in terms of technique, the music you hear are just two guys writing music.

Stu_Strib 02-15-2006 12:44 PM

Re: zach hill
They post on myspace? Doesn't that kind of shoot down their credibility a bit? In anycase, that is some sick drumming on "Rich Kid"!

moparpunks 02-15-2006 09:02 PM

Re: zach hill
Never thought networking would affect credibility. alotta good bands out there.

CyclopseSlayer 02-16-2006 08:26 AM

Re: zach hill
Their myspace account isn't maintained by them at all. A fan started it up without their knowledge, they weren't too keen on it at first, but saw that they were being represented well (some people start fake accounts for bands and just talk trash to people) and pretty much gave it their blessing.

Myspace is actually becoming pretty big with bands, clubs that book national acts now sometimes just ask for a link to the band's myspace page instead of their website.

grifbassking 03-02-2006 03:24 AM

Re: Zach Hill!!!
I was just reading the thread and i agree that both chippendale and hill are insane drummers

zach hill is amazing, his ability to create such complex riffs is astounding. chippendale is much more simple compaired to hill, but has just so much more energy. to compare the two drummers is very difficult to do. hella is heavily influenced by frank zappa and captain beefheart... my father described them as Beefheart on speed. naturally hill is a more complex drummer when he gets his ideas from two geniuses of music. chippendale (and his bass bud Brian Gibson) sound much more influenced by punk music and ambient sound than more "classical" music such as Zappa and Beefheart. i would say that Hella should be considered Avant-Garde where-as the Bolt should be considered Noise Punk.

No matter what, both drummers are masters of the art of beating their drums to splinters. they are incredible.

Stu_Strib 03-02-2006 10:32 AM

Re: Zach Hill!!!
I'm not a moderator, but I'd like to ask that anytime you guys start a thread like this, to please give some information about the guy before you start talking about him.


Jimbob Hooberstink -- Anyone ever hear this guy? OH man he is the best.

next reply - Yeah amazing!

next reply - for sure, I really like his work on that one album.

Try -- Zak Hill, drummer for (fill in the name here) is really great. Check out his work on (fill in the blank). What do you guys think?

Sorry to be so preachy, but if you haven't noticed, I spend a lot of time on here, and this is just one of my many pet peeves.

Terraform 05-04-2006 04:24 AM

Re: Zach Hill!!!
He's definitely one of my top favorites, and one whom I'm currently listening to for inspiration, via "Hold Your Horse Is" album. Very technically complex, powerful, and energetic.

I highly recommend Hella's live DVD "Concentration Face". It's got great live footage, and a lot of it. A good insight into Zach's amazing playing style and technique. And he has some tremendous endurance; the 2nd part of the DVD is a gig consisting of their fast, complex music lasting over an hour.

CyclopseSlayer 05-24-2006 11:39 PM

Re: Zach Hill
Have any of you guys picked up Zach's new record with Mick Barr called "Shred Earthsip"? Super intense record. I would describe Zach nowadays as being less a drummer and more a force of nature.

JIM_fear 05-25-2006 12:19 AM

Re: Zach Hill
The guy is definitely amazing. He should be a well-known drummer by now, but Hella has such a small listening group. He's starting to get more recognition with Team Sleep though.

JIM_fear 06-24-2006 12:17 AM

Re: Zach Hill
He are some videos of his playing for Stu

With Hella

With Team Sleep

CyclopseSlayer 06-26-2006 04:04 PM

Re: Zach Hill
Everyone be on the look out for Zach's big spread in the August '06 issue of Modern Drummer (with Stewart Copeland on the cover)!!!

meandhimcallitus 07-24-2006 08:44 AM

Hella (Zach Hill)!
Zach hill drums for Hella, Team Sleep, and other groups.

And he has been my obsession for the past month.

What do you guys think of him as a musician?

I really enjoy his playing and even if its a complete chopfest, I think thats his style of playing and it suits the bands and his playing. And the way he sets up his kit is intersting but it looks like he feels pretty comfortable behind it.

If you haven't picked up the new issue of MD you should cause his on it and they transcribe one of his songs, which am still working on.

Heres some of Hellas and Team Slepps live vids...





canonedrum 10-24-2006 11:48 PM

Re: Zach Hill
Yeah, I first heard Zach on the dedut Team Sleep record and was amazed by complexity of the drum grooves played over the simplistic guitar playing and was in awe of how well it fit together especially with the electronic beats played in between specific drum fills at song climaxes (ex. Princeton Review, Tomb of Liegia). I also was really into how he could take an almost normal drum beat and then place fills in the most abnormal places and make it flow and groove in an incredibly extraordinary way (ex. Blvd. Knights).

Then, I noticed 'Hella's Zach Hill' on the cover of the August issue of Modern Drummer and remembered that that was the Team Sleep drummer, and reading that clued me into a lot of his inspirations, approach, and drum style and how he works it around whatever he's playing to. I saw some of his stuff online and immediately bought 'Hold Your Horse Is'. I think what this guy is doing for drums is phenomenal and should really be heard by any drummer. He's really changed the face of modern drumming and is pushing it forward into new dimensions.

"At first listen, Zach Hill's drumming sound spastic and random. But when examined closely, the intricacies within his playing illustrate the depth, intellectualism, and eccentricity of Hella's music." -Modern Drummer

Goody602 10-25-2006 12:41 AM

Re: Zach Hill
I went on youtube the other night, typed 'Zach Hill' in the search and spent the hour and a half flabbergasted at what I was seeing. I can't even wrap my mind around the Hella stuff, not really my bag anyway, but fun to watch if only purely for the drums. But the Team Sleep stuff, awesome grooves, phenomenal bass drum work. As a single bass pedal guy myself I read the MD issue about him hoping to get some insight on how he practices his right foot but he was kind of vague about it. I think he has the fastest right foot I've seen so far, and his playing is an inspiration to all the single pedal guys who refuse to go to two but still manage to come up with some jaw dropping bass drum licks.

Ian Ballard 10-25-2006 06:17 PM

Re: Zach Hill
He's an absolute monster.

I was lucky enough to see them at the Jackpot Saloon here in Lawrence. There you can stand right next to the band. He blew the doors off of anybody I've seen live.

And I mean... anybody.

canonedrum 10-27-2006 07:38 AM

Re: Zach Hill
Does anyone know if he uses the heel-toe technique?

Goody602 10-27-2006 11:06 PM

Re: Zach Hill
I'm not an expert on heel-toe because I don't use it. I looked at all the the videos on youtube to try to find a good shot of his right foot in action but it was hard to see anything. I could tell that his foot definitely slides up and down the pedal though.

low-tech 10-27-2006 11:20 PM

Re: Zach Hill

Originally Posted by canonedrum
Does anyone know if he uses the heel-toe technique?

dude, he does all kind of stuff ive never seen. i saw them live......he slides his foot forward and turns the foot to the right and plants his heel further up sometimes. i couldnt really tell what that motion did because it was in the context of a blurrying amout of rudiments,polybombastic insanity.

this guy is better than all the fusion guys put together as far as im concerned, speaking from a skill point of view. well, at least i like him better and the music is actually listenable.

he's one of the few "show off" drummers i like. watching him play is like watch a natural disaster destroy civilization, you cant look away.

Ian Ballard 10-27-2006 11:28 PM

Re: Zach Hill

Originally Posted by canonedrum
Does anyone know if he uses the heel-toe technique?

Eh... I was standing right next to him watching everything he did at the Jackpot show. He wasn't doing anything wild or innovative, technique-wise. He's just an animal and has amazing creativity.

He has good, solid technique, but I don't think he delves into super-advanced techniques.

Goody602 12-03-2006 02:06 AM

Re: Zach Hill
After listening and watching videos of this guy play I really really wanna see him live. He plays in several groups right? I haven't been able to find any info on tours which I'm guessing means he's not touring with anyone right now. Anybody know any more information about Zach Hill touring in the future?

CyclopseSlayer 12-04-2006 12:26 AM

Re: Zach Hill
Hella is a now a five piece band and will be touring extensively in 2007 in support of their forthcoming album "There's No 666 In Outer Space" which comes out on Ipecac in January.

CyclopseSlayer 02-02-2007 09:32 AM

Re: Zach Hill
Hella's new album "There's No 666 in Outer Space" is out now. It is a huge step for the band. Go pick it up!

Bernhard... now is a great time for Zach to finally get a drummerworld page... ;-)

Iain 02-08-2007 05:27 PM

Re: Zach Hill

Originally Posted by CyclopseSlayer (Post 246029)
Hella is a now a five piece band and will be touring extensively in 2007 in support of their forthcoming album "There's No 666 In Outer Space" which comes out on Ipecac in January.

Do you know if they're are coming over to Scotland?

sloppydrummer 07-29-2007 08:07 PM

Re: Zach Hill
Zach Hill should be a featured drummer!!!

All times are GMT +2. The time now is 04:51 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.0
Copyright ©2000 - 2015, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Bernhard Castiglioni's DRUMMERWORLD.com