Re: How do you listen to a song?
Great question - there are two types of listening (as far as I'm aware of): Active and passive.
Active is when you're focused 100% on the song and conciously aware of everything that is going on in the piece of music, whereas passive is when you're subconciously aware of it (eg. background music in a social situtation). Or is it the other way round?
I think drummer should devote some time in their practise schedule to just active listening(or passive if it's the opposite way round). It's like learning to talk - you listen to other people and pick it up from them.
For me, as I'm a religous jazz listener so I try to listen to the WHOLE music, not just the drums, but how each musician responds, relates and 'talks' to the other musicians, but I tend focus on the drummer slightly more than I do the other musicians. As for rock, pop, etc. I can't say I'm lyric man so I'm more focused on the drummer whilst absorbing in the melodies, chords and general jist of lyrics.
"You can play a shoestring if your sincere." - John Coltrane