Re: Metal drummers using Gretsch?
My Gretsch USA Maple has served me well in everything from jazz and church music all the way through to the metal I play with my band.
Head selection has infinitely more bearing on how your drums sound in a particular context.
Personally, I dislike the sound of overly triggered drums in a lot of metal. If it's thrash or death metal, yep, fine; but there still needs to be some of the natural tone in there for most of it. I love the sound of Jason Rullo's drums in Symphony X, there are a couple of drum cam videos from a few live shows and they have a very open sounding tuning - not dead or thumpy like a lot of people say you need for metal (which is, IMO, rubbish).
In all honesty, any 'standard' unmuffled single ply bottom/double ply top head combination will suffice in almost ANY musical context. What it ultimately boils down to is getting the sound YOU want out of your drums - you need to have your own voice! If you want dark and thumpy for metal, then tune your drums with the heads that will let you achieve this, then swap them out for the heads that will enable you to get the sound you want for a fusion gig.
But yes, long story short, Gretsch = absolutely fine in any musical context.