Originally Posted by keep it simple
I'd like to volunteer immediately to teach your singer your drum parts, slowly. Man, those double 28" kick drums are a stretch in a short skirt, lol!
In the Victorian Era when I was half the woman I am today I was wearing a mini at a party with a lot of musos. There was a drum kit set up and I was the only drummer there. I had to borrow a towel from the hosts to maintain my reputation as a fine, upstanding woman of the world *cough cough*
Back to the thread, if you're playing covers then the original drummer will have probably already done the interpretation of the song's mood. At the extreme end, if you're covering Cosmic Debris
then you'd have to pick up all the little accents and fills, if you're playing Superstition
you'll be grooving along, and if you're in Weird Al's band you'd be checking out the original drummer's approach in detail.
A while ago our singer couldn't make band practice and I did "placeholder vocals". I had all the lyric sheets and I learned some things about the songs I didn't know about before, but none of it prompted me to change the way I played those songs. But we play a lot of songs about love lost/ found/ squandered/ renewed/ spoiled/ sold etc so there's just a generic mood - upbeat, melancholy, cheeky, intense, mellow etc.
Expressing songs on drums is like looking out through a bathroom window - you see the light, shade, approximate shapes and colours but not much detail.