Dave Abbruzzese

Just lately, I have been listening to some of my favourite 90's albums - one of which is 'Vs.' by Pearl Jam. For me, this album was all about the drumming and the solid sound of those DW drums and bright crisp sound of the Sabian cymbals.

Like many drummers visiting this forum, I started playing in the early-to-mid 90's and around that time I was massively blown away by Dave Abbruzzese unique solid drumming style - double stroke grooves on the bass drum and his amazing cymbal wizardry was all very classy!!!

Which leads me on to the following - It was a huge shame that DA was not nominated with the rest of Pearl Jam for the Hall of Fame earlier this year. He played a huge integral part in the bands success during the explosive era which got Pearl Jam where they are today, so for him to not get the recognition for his contribution was a great shame and in my opinion, this should have been challenged!

That said, DA has done a number of awesome projects since his PJ days and I have seen lately that he did do some studio work with Peter Cornell (Chris Cornell's brother *RIP*) and the album 'Champion' is available on iTunes and YouTube etc... For any Abbruzzese fans out there, this album is well worth a listen!!

Anyway, I suppose I just wanted to make a post about this amazing drummer. Credit given where credit is due and all that!

His unique style was 'and still is' very much a huge influence to me and I'm sure many others out there!

Cheers all :)

Miles.
 
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Armor of Light

Senior Member
Agree 100%.
Very fine drummer, and a swell guy.
Way back in early internet times, I had the pleasure of chatting with him. He sent me a cassette tape (!) of his post-PJ project "Green Romance Orchestra". Quite good. I have since lost it, but...it sure would be nice to find it somewhere!
 

Rochelle Rochelle

Senior Member
Always loved Dave. As a huge PJ fan, I've always thought he was the best drummer they have had. I love Matt Cameron but he fit Soundgarden much better than PJ.
 
It's good to know there are a few drummers out there that appreciate DA's amazing talent!

Since writing my original post, I have downloaded his studio recording of 'Evenflow' (which is absolutely awesome) and a couple of his 'B-SIDE' tracks such as 'Alone' and 'Dirty Frank'. I also dragged out of my cd collection - 'Breath' and 'State of Love & Trust'... All of which are brilliant songs full of solid grooves and cymbal wizardry.

I also downloaded a PJ song called 'Brother'. This is an awesome tune and has great drumming however, I can't be sure it's DA on drums? It certainly has his raw solid feel however, there are no splash accents or rolls on the ride - all of which are his signature sounds. Anyone else know whether it's the mighty DA playing on this track?

finally, my thoughts on Matt Cameron - He's a great technical drummer who exceled with the likes of Soundgarden and Temple of The Dog. I'm pretty sure he also invented the metronome (which is a compliment) however, DA is the groove guru of the 90's and in my opinion was the most unique drummer PJ ever had.

Thanks for your comments :)

Miles.
 

Rochelle Rochelle

Senior Member
I also downloaded a PJ song called 'Brother'. This is an awesome tune and has great drumming however, I can't be sure it's DA on drums? It certainly has his raw solid feel however, there are no splash accents or rolls on the ride - all of which are his signature sounds. Anyone else know whether it's the mighty DA playing on this track?
Brother was an outtake from the Ten sessions so most likely it is Dave Krusen on drums.
 

RaxCity

Senior Member
My favourite albums from Pearl Jam are definitely the two with Dave Abbruzzese - Vs and Vitalogy. I love his unique, energetic style, so it's sad that he didn't really mesh well with the band. Him and Matt Cameron are probably Pearl Jam's two best drummers, and while I enjoy Matt Cameron's playing live, their best music was definitely from the early '90s. Matt Cameron was really good with Soundgarden though, Superunknown in particular has some great songs. But you really can't beat early '90s Pearl Jam.
 
J

JohnoWorld

Guest
One of my "10 drummers that influenced me most" drummers. Will always strive for the relaxed look and feel he has in the "PJ MTV Unplugged" video. In case anyone missed it:

https://youtu.be/kz1kgURrY7k
Interesting. I love this performance, but apparently back in the day, this was one of the reasons they moved him on. It was an unplugged gig and he was playing full on rock bastard.

I played a gig like that not so long after and did the same, but played with rods instead.

I love Dave, vs was one of my big influences too, and Cameron was easily more suited to Soundgarden, another, but probably bigger influence than PJ.
 

magnusdrums

Member
Interesting. I love this performance, but apparently back in the day, this was one of the reasons they moved him on. It was an unplugged gig and he was playing full on rock bastard.

I played a gig like that not so long after and did the same, but played with rods instead.

I love Dave, vs was one of my big influences too, and Cameron was easily more suited to Soundgarden, another, but probably bigger influence than PJ.
I really doubt his playing on the "Unplugged" had much to do with him being fired. That recording was in 1992. Here's what DA wiki says about the time after and reason for him being fired:

"With Abbruzzese, the band recorded its second studio album, Vs., released in 1993. Upon its release, Vs. set at the time the record for most copies of an album sold in a week,[7] and spent five weeks at number one on the Billboard 200. Vs. was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Rock Album in 1995.[8] From Vs., the song "Daughter" received a Grammy nomination for Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal and the song "Go" received a Grammy nomination for Best Hard Rock Performance.[9] Abbruzzese toured extensively for Vs. and performed on a Saturday Night Live appearance. Abbruzzese wrote the music for the Pearl Jam songs "Go", "Last Exit" and "Angel" (from the 1993 fan club Christmas single). He played with Pearl Jam through April 17, 1994. In 1994, the band began a much-publicized boycott of Ticketmaster.[10] Although Abbruzzese performed on the band's third studio album, Vitalogy, he was fired in August 1994 due to personality conflicts with the band members, four months before the album was released.[11] Ament stated, "Dave was a different egg for sure. There were a lot of things, personality wise, where I didn't see eye to eye with him. He was more comfortable being a rock star than the rest of us. Partying, girls, cars. I don't know if anyone was in the same space."[11] Guitarist Stone Gossard said, "It was the nature of how the politics worked in our band: It was up to me to say, 'Hey, we tried, it's not working; time to move on.' On a superficial level, it was a political struggle: For whatever reason his ability to communicate with Ed and Jeff was very stifled. I certainly don't think it was all Dave Abbruzzese's fault that it was stifled."[11] Abbruzzese stated, "I didn't really agree with what was going on. I didn't agree with the Ticketmaster stuff at all. But I don't blame anyone or harbor any hard feelings. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't furious and hurt for a long time. But now I just wish there was more music from the band I was a part of."[11]"

Truly agree with Dave, would have loved to hear him on more albums :)
 

MBJ

Junior Member
I started using the Promark 2BLN Dave Abbruzzese signature model stick exclusively in 1996 and still do to this day. Promark discontinued them many years ago, but I found a supplier and bought a large supply. Unfortunately, I'm down to my last 20 or so pairs. After they're gone, I'll have to retire from drumming ;)
 
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DrumEatDrum

Platinum Member
He certainly under the "what ever happened too...." category.

I really do not like Pearl Jam, but there is no denying Dave Abbruzzese was a great drummer for them.
 

Captain Bash

Silver Member
The fact is that the drummer is the fool guy in Pearl Jam, none of the other members have been changed /replaced. It just goes to show that in most rock bands the drummer is the most replaceable. Especially when the singer goes off on one. DA was and sure still is a great drummer being in- line with the thoughts of the band leader is an important skill.
 

Brian

Gold Member
I always thought DA was too "splashy". Not to say he's not a great drummer. I was never a Pearl Jam fan in the 90's when everyone in my HS was. But his drumming is definitely great, great player, just a little too busy for PJ and my taste.
 

opentune

Platinum Member
I really liked Dave's playing in PJ, but always loved Jack Irons style the most. He suited their music the most.
 
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