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  #1  
Old 11-01-2010, 07:51 AM
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Default Comparisons on Mars Volta drummers

I know that the music of Mars Volta is not really everyones cup of tea, but I feel that every drummer would find something interesting and impressive in their music. While I don't feel their music has changed drastically over the albums, the change in drummers has certainly given it a different feel. From Jon Theodore to Thomas Pridgen, and now to David Elitch, what's your opinion on how these drummers have approached the music? especially the first two, as Elitch is a recent addition. Here's my take:

Jon Theodore reminds me of a more skillful version of Dave Grohl, mainly because every note he plays has a purpose. His drumming on Cicatriz ESP is nothing short of breathtaking. The faily busy part in the start is similar to how Pridgen would approach it (which is a compliment in itself) but the period from 3:52 to 6:26 from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XOx38GLyYRY is nice and simple. The fill at 4:28 is so simple and solid, but every note just fits perfectly.

Pridgen on the other hand, tends to overplay a fair bit. There are times when it fits perfectly, such as on the track Wax Simulacra, but other times, it just seems to not fit the music. That's not to say I think he always overplays, and his drumming on Cotopaxi and Conjugal Burns fits quite nicely. But even in these songs, and every single other song, there always seems to be a couple of passages where I feel its unneccesary to play so much. He's got some of the best hand technique i've seen and his single bass drumming is insanely quick. But his apparent need to show this in every song i feel is not neccesary.

As for the new drummer David Elitch...It seems he's similar in style to Jon, I'll wait to judge him when the next album comes out.
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Old 11-01-2010, 04:10 PM
Bradastronaut Bradastronaut is offline
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Default Re: Comparisons on Mars Volta drummers

ARGHHH i wrote a massive reply to this and when i clicked submit it took me back to the login page!

Sum of my opinion was though, Jon = Groove and musicality. Thomas = Jon + more energy and enthusiasm. I cant wait to hear the new album with elitch!
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Old 11-01-2010, 06:53 PM
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Default Re: Comparisons on Mars Volta drummers

theodore > elitch > pridgen.
elitch is kind of in between the two of them, but theodore was the perfect drummer for that band, any live footage makes that painfully obvious.
I personally think that mars volta have got worse over the years and not better.

honestly I find pridgens drumming unnecessary I'm sure if I was cedric I would have wanted to give him a good slap sometimes.
if you like theodore then check out his album with zack de la rocha.
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Old 11-01-2010, 07:02 PM
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Default Re: Comparisons on Mars Volta drummers

Just listened to some Mars Volta (thanks for turning me on to em!) I must say Theodore is very solid. I find Pridgen to be too much as a listener. I can't groove to that. Theo on the hand, I can listen to for hours.
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Old 11-01-2010, 07:14 PM
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Default Re: Comparisons on Mars Volta drummers

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X6hz_k4xua0
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JovRNx40c6E
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=egFCHJC7TWg

and many, many more.
thedore is an absolute beast, his groove is sensational, and what he plays always fits just right with the music. unlike pridgen he plays with the music, not against it. and yet he still does some tight fills. very different feeling.
pridgen is a great drummer, but he simply wasn't a good fit for TMV in my opinion.

you may get the feeling that I'm slightly bias, it's because I am, and after listening to the mars volta for eight years there is good reason for this. off topic, ATDI were actually the first band that got me interested in playing rock music of any sort when I was young, so I have a deep affection for anyone that played in that band. I wish theodore had, I bet they would have been perfect.
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Old 11-01-2010, 07:39 PM
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Default Re: Comparisons on Mars Volta drummers

I have to agree with toddy on this one. I have seen both Pridgen and Theodore live with The Mars Volta and one gig with Theodore was the best gig I have ever seen all my life, the one with Pridgen wasn't. I understand people like Pridgen because he's flashy and energetic but music isn't all about that for me.
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Old 11-02-2010, 01:28 AM
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Default Re: Comparisons on Mars Volta drummers

Hey Toddy, thanks for those clips, I havn't seen that live version of Take the Veil Cerpin Taxt. I agree with you in some aspects that the Mars Volta have gone backwards. Deloused in the Comatorium is one of my favourite albums of all time. That being said, they have released many great songs in subsequent albums, such as Mrianda that Ghost, The Widow and L'Via L'Viaquez with Theodore, and then songs such as Cotopaxi, Desperate Graves, Metatron, Goliath and Ouroboros with Pridgen are great songs from a musical perspective...from a drumming perspective, they could be improved upon.

The two main differences I see between the 'old' Mars Volta and the 'new' Mars Volta is the difference between how Pridgen and Theodore approached the music, and secondly, i feel that in subsequent albums, they have added more 'pretentious' stuff. They add in the robotic voice thingo in a few songs but I feel it only really works when they use it sparingly at the end of Ouroboros. Other times it just detracts from the song. Also, the use of extremely extremely quiet synths for a minute and half at the start of Since We've Been Wrong was unneccesary. That was a good song, and the fill Pridgen played when the drums came in was great, but everytime I want to hear that song, I just skip to about a minute thirty and play from there.
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Old 11-02-2010, 04:37 AM
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Florian Florian is offline
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Default Re: Comparisons on Mars Volta drummers

Quote:
Originally Posted by toddy View Post
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X6hz_k4xua0
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JovRNx40c6E
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=egFCHJC7TWg

and many, many more.
thedore is an absolute beast, his groove is sensational, and what he plays always fits just right with the music. unlike pridgen he plays with the music, not against it. and yet he still does some tight fills. very different feeling.
pridgen is a great drummer, but he simply wasn't a good fit for TMV in my opinion.

you may get the feeling that I'm slightly bias, it's because I am, and after listening to the mars volta for eight years there is good reason for this. off topic, ATDI were actually the first band that got me interested in playing rock music of any sort when I was young, so I have a deep affection for anyone that played in that band. I wish theodore had, I bet they would have been perfect.
+ 1 bazillion Loved Drive In as well....I hear that Cedric and Omar are complete control freaks, hence the revolving drummer door....but Id love to play for em.


Quote:
Originally Posted by JPW View Post
I have to agree with toddy on this one. I have seen both Pridgen and Theodore live with The Mars Volta and one gig with Theodore was the best gig I have ever seen all my life, the one with Pridgen wasn't. I understand people like Pridgen because he's flashy and energetic but music isn't all about that for me.
Another great point, I saw em with Pridgen, and it seemed that TP wanted to be the star and kinda overshadowed things.....just not a good fit.


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  #9  
Old 11-02-2010, 05:19 AM
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Default Re: Comparisons on Mars Volta drummers

I would say I'm biased toward Mars Volta for disliking. My purpose for doing so is because when I saw them with the Chili Peppers so long ago, they played a terrible show, and that was my first impression of them so I never really bothered to give them another chance.

I do this with a lot of band though, such as The Silver Sun Pickups, and Queens of The Stonage.

And thats all I have to say bout that
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  #10  
Old 11-02-2010, 06:19 AM
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Default Re: Comparisons on Mars Volta drummers

You know that John Frusciante from the RHCP (well not anymore) does a fair bit of the studio guitar work for the Mars Volta. If you like Frusciante's solo music theres a good chance you'd like TMV. They can be pretty dissapointing live, mainly because Cedric often sings off key in alot of live performances which kinda ruin it for me.
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Old 11-02-2010, 06:48 AM
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Default Re: Comparisons on Mars Volta drummers

I saw QOTSA @ reading festival this year. they were incredible.
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Old 11-02-2010, 07:59 AM
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Default Re: Comparisons on Mars Volta drummers

I'm not that into TMV, but Thomas is from around these parts and I've met him and heard him play some different kinds of things with mutual friends. Thing with him is that even when he's going wild, the groove is still there underneath. I've never heard him play something that sounded intellectual.

But I would agree that something like TMV is more about contrast and picking spots.
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Old 01-23-2014, 07:20 PM
Raul Mendiratta Raul Mendiratta is offline
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Default Re: Comparisons on Mars Volta drummers

I Love both drummers and you can really tell a huge difference between the albums De-Loused in Comatorium and Bedlam in Goliath. I think there isnīt a best drummer for Mars Volta, they both have their own things. Theodore has more of that 70īs groove like John Bonham ! Thatīs fine for most of people, but not for Omar. I Saw a quote from Cedric saying that Jon, is more like Bonham type Groove drummer, and thatīs a problem in Omarīs view. Omar was in a time that he looked for a caotic drummer. He actually wanted someone like Zack Hill. Then he found Thomas who could fill that kind of requirements. Now in the personal level, I love Theodore more than Thomas ! I mean the guy already has one of the best careers in rock drumming. Mars Volta, One Day as a Lion, Queens of the Stone Age... But If I was Omar, (and here is the crucial point), and I wanted make something like Mars Volta is now. I would also choose Thomas Pridgen. PS: Live, Jon kicks ass !!!!
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Old 01-24-2014, 01:54 AM
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Default Re: Comparisons on Mars Volta drummers

Jon Theodore blew me away. Some of the best drumming I've ever heard. While I appreciated the fury that Pridgeon played with, it just didn't impress me as much as Jon. Can't speak for Elitch as I don't think I've seen or heard him before.
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Old 01-24-2014, 02:01 AM
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Default Re: Comparisons on Mars Volta drummers

Quote:
Originally Posted by FoolInTheRain View Post
Jon Theodore blew me away. Some of the best drumming I've ever heard. While I appreciated the fury that Pridgeon played with, it just didn't impress me as much as Jon. Can't speak for Elitch as I don't think I've seen or heard him before.
Pretty much my thoughts. I really couldn't get into the band at all with Pridg. Just too much.
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Old 01-24-2014, 02:14 AM
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Default Re: Comparisons on Mars Volta drummers

Jon Theodore's drumming is amazing. He's technical but understated. He doesn't overplay. One of my favourite drummers. Little things like the syncopated BD/HH pattern in the verse of Inertiatic ESP.

I really like some of Pridgen's studio tracks on Bedlam. As you noted, Wax Simulacra is a great feat. Though, his live drumming is a bit overbearing in my opinion. I notice when he's playing Theodore's (& Harrison's) tracks that he totally sucks the subtlety out of the drum parts (like the middle 8 in Roulette Dares).

Elitch was great when I saw them in Melbourne but it's hard to pit him against the aforementioned as he never recorded anything with Volta.

Also, what about Deantoni Parks? Great drummer but very, very different feel to any of the others.

Blake Harrison's contribution (Roulette Dares, Cicatriz) was fantastic, too.

Theodore > Pridgen > Parks - for me, regarding studio work only and omitting Harrison.
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Old 01-24-2014, 02:45 AM
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Default Re: Comparisons on Mars Volta drummers

I like Deantoni Parks is better than Pridgeon. He just grooves and his time is perfect. Saw them open for Soundgarden a while back, and Parks was the only one who really impressed me in the shell that used to the be the Mars Volta. Even though I'd been listening to them for a long time up to that point, Cedric and Omar were just going thru the motions.

John Theodore's still the best. He set the precedent for the band and that bar was really high.
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