Originally Posted by zj2302
i also think he blows those guys like virgil donati or dennis chambers out of the water, just for the fact that he can make insane grooves that actually fit a band.
I'm actually going to risk the ire of the rest of the thread and agree with this. It's one thing to be able to play insane grooves like Chambers or Donati can produce on request, it's quite another to make them fit musically into a rock band without going into "Look at me! I'm the star of the show!" territory, which invariably comes off a bit 80s. I'm not a big fan of the Mars Volta - if I wanted to listen to Yes and Led Zeppelin I already can - but Jon Theodore does do a great job of fitting some very complex drumming into a band in a musical fashion.
I always find it odd how people do the whole "Oh, (chops guy X) isn't just about chops - he can do all that musical/grooving stuff too!" yet never the converse. Why is there nobody arguing that Jim Keltner can secretly out-chop Mike Mangini, he just never does it? Chops and groove/musicality are not rungs on a ladder, with chops higher and groove lower. They're both skills that need to be developed, and if you see a drummer displaying a lot of one and not much of the other it tends to suggest that appearance represents the amount of time they put into practicing the two approaches.