Re: Neil Peart
just been watching some Peart Videos online, and after i thought about speaking my mind on him for a few years now actually, i decided to finally do so.
On a personal level, i really like the guy (from what i can tell through interviews etc.). Also i think he has a very good attitude towards his instrument and " to always be learning." I think you have to admire a person who carries himself that way (sorry for my english....)
But also - and unfortunately for him, because i bet he didnt start the myth and wouldnt want himself to be considered the best or anything like that - he is one of the most overrated drummers of all time, at least in my opinion. I want to explain this by adressing some of the most popular arguments about his playing:
1. His technical skills are amazing.
He has good technique - at the things hes playing (wich i'll get to later). But any Drummer who practices regulary and the right way can achieve Pearts level of technique in a relatively short amount of time (I'd say about 5 years, if not less, but thats debatable). Since he doesn't do any advanced independence or polyrythmic stuff it just boils down to pure hand and feet speed. I think his singles are pretty good, his doubles are not that fast though. His feet are ok. Keep in mind this is all IMHO. And dont give me the "Playing over 3 is hard "(regarding one of his foot ostinatos hes playing all the time, RLL) - it's just not.
2. He's totally creative and comes up with Stuff no one can come up with
Well i actually think hes creative. At least he was once in his life when i came up with that solo hes been playing for a gazillion years now. And maybe at the Time this stuff was innovative. But now it isnt anymore. I'd like to make one point clear though: i'm speaking to drummers here (i hope). So i think you guys should understand that writing or performing a drumsolo which makes an audience go crazy - a good thing and something i admire about peart - does not necessarily mean its the most creative or expressive solo. Like in Language theres things certain people just dont understand because of a lack in vocabulary. A perfect example would be the a tony royster jr. solo video that appears on the side of a peart video on youtube and leads a lot of peart guys to it - in that video tony plays a great solo but incorporates a lot of advanced stuff like overrideng and/or playing polyrithmic patterns. In the Comments of that clip you see a lot of Peart Comparisons, where fanboys write that to them it sounds like random banging on the drums without concept, which is ridiculous. Drummers at the level of Royster (just an example, I'm not even mentioning greats like vinnie or dennis chambers) could write and perform a solo like pearts while sleeping. They just dont do it because their vocabulary is much bigger and they like to express their emotions on a much more complex level. To a person who can understand these concepts and the patterns/phrases they play, their solos are much more touching, creative and awe inspiring than anything Mr. Peart could do. I'm not saying that i want constant Polyrithmic wanking or 10 minutes of blistering fast double bass playing. But these things can make a solo much better played at the right spot. And sorry to say this, Mr.Peart just simply cant play them, so he doesnt even have the option, wich in itself IMO should clear out any doubts about if he's the best. hes just playing the same patterns and phrases over and over again, nothing creative to me there nowadays. And im not even starting about his humongous kit. I'd like to see Mr.Peart play a solo on a 3 Piece kit and see what "great phrases" he comes up with. Even at the buddy rich memorial he had to bring those cowbells, so he could play his lame signature doubles/melody phrase thing. How creative is that? Please.
I'd like to close my statement with the Fact that i would never in my Life write such a post, if there wasn't this gigantic hype around the man. I respect him and his playing and i wish him all the best and success. But i think its a slap in the face to all those guys that have invested much more time and energy in developing their craft and have deliverd so much more interesting efforts on the instrument, to say that he is the best Drummer ever or anything even remotely close (btw out of all the "overrated drummers - Portnoy, Jordison, Barker, etc- i still like him the most :-))