Bands with the drummer as bandleader

KamaK

Platinum Member
While this may not qualify as "band leader" in the Gene Krupa sense...

I often listen to the Mercury Program as ambiance while I work. It's an analog alternative to Li-Fi-Hip-Hop channels for me.


It places the drums front and center in the mix, and does it in a manner that is uncommon in modern pop. It's basically a 45 minute drum exposition. I also find the playing to be clear and accessible.
 
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C.M. Jones

Well-known member
I'm quite confident that Rush would have been nothing without Peart. The Police's uniqueness would have been lost without Copeland as well. Both drummers were irreplaceable North Stars.

My belief is that all drummers lead the bands they join. Control of the rhythm section means control of the music. A drummer's authority is unmatched.
 

Reg Dewitt

Active member
Some people are talking about drummers who were essential to the band. But I think the original question was about drummers who are the official head, like they decide what is going to be played, and have the authority to hire and fire people, and often their name is the name of the band. Those people are a lot rarer.
 

eddypierce

Senior Member
Some older ones:

Roy Milton & His Solid Senders
Ben Pollack (Pollack was originally the drummer in his band, and then eventually he hired Ray Bauduc to take over drum duties in the late 20's, so Pollack could sing and front the band)
Lionel Hampton (although Hampton mostly played vibes and not drums in the band)
 

Xstr8edgtnrdrmrX

Well-known member
I'm quite confident that Rush would have been nothing without Peart. The Police's uniqueness would have been lost without Copeland as well. Both drummers were irreplaceable North Stars.
I agree about Copland and the Police...but I think that whoever replaced Rutsey in Rush would have had to have some competence given the songwriting ideas of Lee and Lifeson. And Neil is one of my personal gods, so I am not slighting him at all.

Funny, too, that for me, Lifeson is really who gives Rush their distinct sound. I think he is the most underrated guitarist from that era, in every aspect. He blew everyone away from the 70's in my book. Writing. Chording. Soloing...unmatched.

My belief is that all drummers lead the bands they join. Control of the rhythm section means control of the music. A drummer's authority is unmatched.
this is sooo true, and a great perspective for sure
 

C.M. Jones

Well-known member
I agree about Copland and the Police...but I think that whoever replaced Rutsey in Rush would have had to have some competence given the songwriting ideas of Lee and Lifeson. And Neil is one of my personal gods, so I am not slighting him at all.

Funny, too, that for me, Lifeson is really who gives Rush their distinct sound. I think he is the most underrated guitarist from that era, in every aspect. He blew everyone away from the 70's in my book. Writing. Chording. Soloing...unmatched.



this is sooo true, and a great perspective for sure
Yeah, Lifeson has often been unfairly overlooked. Lee and Peart seemed to take all the attention in that trio. Just too much talent on a single stage.

In a sense, I feel the same about Andy Summers. He was groundbreaking in some ways, but Sting and Copeland absorbed most of the spotlight.
 

Xstr8edgtnrdrmrX

Well-known member
Yeah, Lifeson has often been unfairly overlooked. Lee and Peart seemed to take all the attention in that trio. Just too much talent on a single stage.

In a sense, I feel the same about Andy Summers. He was groundbreaking in some ways, but Sting and Copeland absorbed most of the spotlight.
absolutely...every Police guitar part just makes me smile, and go: "man, that was PERFECT for what just happened"
 

petrez

Senior Member
One could argue his ability and/or lack of talent all day long, but I feel Lars Ulrich should be mentioned here as well. Without him, I'd doubt Metallica would be as known as they are today (or even exist, he came up with the name and got in touch with James to start it all off), he was the guy with the contacts in the early days of Metallica, he pulled basically all the strings to get the band known worldwide, did most of the song arrangements, despite of his drumming capabilities (personally, I feel he did a great job for them all the way until the early 2000's). I'm pretty sure the other guys in Metallica would have done great in other bands as well, but as for Metallica as a band, Lars is, and was, mainly the leader/spokesperson.
 

vyacheslav

Senior Member
Ginger Baker's Air Force
Ginger Baker's Jazz Confusion
The Band
The Eagles
The Romantics
Karen Carpenter/The Carpenters
Mel Lewis/Thad Jones Orchestra
Ralph Peterson Fo'Tet
Brian Blade & The Fellowship
 

jimmyjazzuk

Junior Member
One could argue his ability and/or lack of talent all day long, but I feel Lars Ulrich should be mentioned here as well. Without him, I'd doubt Metallica would be as known as they are today (or even exist, he came up with the name and got in touch with James to start it all off), he was the guy with the contacts in the early days of Metallica, he pulled basically all the strings to get the band known worldwide, did most of the song arrangements, despite of his drumming capabilities (personally, I feel he did a great job for them all the way until the early 2000's). I'm pretty sure the other guys in Metallica would have done great in other bands as well, but as for Metallica as a band, Lars is, and was, mainly the leader/spokesperson.
I think Ulrich's creative importance is overated. We all know how mouthy he is. Im sure James Hetfield is the real leader of Metallica and just lets Ulrich think so for a quiet life. Ulrich doesnt play guitar, he would be the weaker of the songwriting partnership. It will be Hetfield delivering the riffs, Ulrich could only offer an opinion on them, or arrange them. (which in nornal circumstances wouldnt even qualify you for a writing credit). I do understand he has hummed a couple of riffs to Hetfield here and there.

If doing the business side makes you a bandleader does a band manager qualify as bandleader too?
 

KamaK

Platinum Member
I think Ulrich's creative importance is overated. We all know how mouthy he is. Im sure James Hetfield is the real leader of Metallica
Metallica is one of those "sum of their parts" bands, which was readily apparent each time they've had a member pass/change and had to follow it up with a reinvention-album.

Ulrich's parts, and for that matter the entirety of Metallica's music, are appealing to aspiring musicians because they are accessible, coherent, and straightforward. A beginner can listen to a Metallica song, work on the pieces individually for a duration, and play the resulting facsimile with enough accuracy to trigger the esteem building serotonin release.
 

petrez

Senior Member
If doing the business side makes you a bandleader does a band manager qualify as bandleader too?
No, because a band manager is usually not playing in the band... Joking aside though, I still feel Lars could classify as the band's leader (which the thread is about), at least in terms of being the main driving force and the one who pulled most of the threads in the 80's. I've seen quite a few interviews and documentaries to still feel this is the truth. Of course, when the band started to gain fame and fortune, he didn't have to do that much to keep the train going, but if someone in that band deserves to be named a "leader", it should be Lars in my opinion. Yes, James is the frontman and comes up with most of the riffs/vocals. Still, in most of the interviews, Lars is the one who does the talking, has the vision and future planning for the band at hand. Usually, in most of the interviews you only see/hear Lars. He stalked on Venom, Diamond Head, Raven etc. to get the first tours going, he even dragged the band back to his motherland Denmark to record what many would say are their greatest records. That, plus doing a lot of the song arrangements, is enough in my book. One could of course argue how much of a "leader" he is today though.
 
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