George Kollias here...

George Kollias

I've listened to a fair bit of Nile, I quite enjoyed Annihilation of the wicked as well as some of your other work, I found it had a lot more depth to it from a musical stand-point then most death metal, you were playing fast but I could hear technique to it.

One question I have which you may not get asked all the time is about achieving high foot speed with a single peddle.

Do you believe it is essential for fast kicks that you utilize a double-kick pedal or can you reach some fairly impressive speeds with a single foot?

I noticed you said the right foot often leads, how essential is it to have the left foot complimenting it?

The reason I ask is because some friends have been showing me a lot of metal drummers who do bass kick fills and they believe it will fit the dynamics of a couple of songs but I'm quite unwilling to move my high hat away from the snare, I like having it close and I like the ability to clap it and create different sounds with pressure on the high hat pedal.
My foot technique is very similar to my hand technique, almost the same thing actually.
As a right handed drummer it is like:
Right Foot=Leading Foot
Left Foot=Slave Foot
Everything starts with the right foot, the right foot get's in and out of the beat, sets starting points, balance in between and stops.And no matter how fast the leading foot will go, my left will always follow. This is why i advice drummers to NOT train their left foot THAT much. You need to have a leading foot, otherwise both will want to lead and you will end up in flams...i saw that happening many times to my students.

As for speed, double bass is different. Different world...
Yes you can play fast with one foot, possibly 16ths up to 140bpm or more but why push it that much when you can go with 2 kicks?
It all depends on the style you play, i never use 2 kicks outside metal.I try to focus on other areas.

George Kollias

Hey George!

Honored to see you here!

Attended your show at "Roskilde Festival" and enjoyed it immensely!:)

I have a question concerning pedal work and thought you'd be the right to ask.

I am currently not using double bass due to the fact that its inconvient for me atm. So i've made the best of it and since my favorite band is Led Zeppelin i've been practicing my double kicks and foot a lot in general in order to jam along with Bonzo. But after a talk about a more experienced friend about pedal technique he explained that most of the better drummers in the field use heel-down only due to it being more healthy and efficient at a higher level. So i came home and watched some of your vidoes yet agian and saw that you played heel-down all the time.

I've only been playing for little less than a year but im very active and i drum as much as i can everyday which means around an hour if im lucky and i would like to be able to use my foot effectively while drumming for quite sometime. So my question is: Is Heel-down superior?

Sorry for the lack of puncutation and commas.

Regards Victor
I don't play heel down, i am still a heel up player but my heels are staying close to the board and it might "look" like heel down.

Both ways, Hell down and Heel up have different benefits.

Heel down:
Great balance
Speed (cause your ankle is not "locked")

Heel up:

and so on....

The thing is, as most Death Metal drummers, i play heel up but staying very low on the board, so will be something in between those 2 techniques. If you play either way, and you try to go beyond your maximum speed you will see your body will ask you to use the same technique that i use.
So basically what i am doing is not a "special" technique but the most natural way to play fast stuff. This is a result of playing fast music for years and pushing beyond the limits, it came very naturally and of course it took time....but now i know what's up and this is what i am teaching out there, saying exactly what's going on.
Will that get people to my speed sooner than it took to me? Of course...but people don;t really think a very important factor which is the main thing in fast music.
FEEL what you play.....
Extreme metal requires a lot of just have to go for it....

Look at Buddy Rich, people saying this guy was all DNA and it was very natural for him to play super fast. Yes and No...Means, of course a part of it will be dna, i mean it was his muscle structure and all but.....on the other hand, he was pushing it day after day and night after night....

George Kollias

Was just watching Intense Metal Drumming again, felt like bumping the thread 'cause George kicks ass.

I've discovered one big problem I'm having with single foot blast practice: at certain speeds my power just collapses. I don't "tap", more like the opposite. The beater has a lot of motion, but it doesn't hit the drum head very hard at all. It's really messing me up.
Here's a small tip.

Play any double bass pattern, find the tempo that messes you up and stay there to solve this. Play the same pattern by taking your left foot out, so if you were playing 16ths you will be asked to play 8th notes, single foot only.
This is how we train our LEAD side on how to LEAD.
If you solve this then the left will follow with no problems.

Also, make sure there is a lot of spacing in between. It's more effective if you switch from a back beat to double bass patterns than just stay on the db pattern for long periods. Getting IN and OUT is more important than keeping the pattern for 10 minutes for example...

George Kollias

George, I think your drum compositions are very musical and a-typical for metal drumming. Keep at it. :)
Thanks man.
Trying to play what's best for the music, sometimes i go with overplaying but usually i do ok, ha ha ha. If you could only hear some of the new Nile album's demos we did, there was so much crazy stuff in there....

George Kollias


I watched your dvd and I noticed you're a multi-instrumentalist. I'm a drummer of 12 years, currently learning guitar.

How did you balance practicing your instruments?

What carried over from playing the drums to playing the guitar?

Also, the dvd is great.
I started with guitar 22 or so years ago.
I am a drummer but i could play guitar for a band, play a little bass and keys....You know, just enough so i can sit down and write my own music.I never practice anything else than drums, but i play that actually balances things.

Here's the latest demo i did for my personal solo album which i will be recorrding very soon:
Shall Rise - Shall be Dead

And here's a video of the same song from on clinic in Germany:
Shall Rise - Shall Be Dead (video)


Gold Member
Hey George,
I'm usually not a fan of heavy metal drumming, but I still love listening to your playing! You've got some wicked talent and speed. Keep it up!

George Kollias

Hi George, how did you get your bass drums speed that fast, your playing rocks
thanks a lot man,
speed is something that comes only with pushing,i happen to play Thrash/Death Metal so there you go...i had to play fast anyways...
Then, getting into the more extreme metal drumming things are getting complicated, you definitely need to play a lot and also understand what you do there, we are the ones to improve our technique, all books and DVDs are adding something you ALREADY know what i mean?
But like i said, the more you believe into something and you do it a lot you always get results. I wanted to play fast, i liked fast music so that's it.

As far as exercises and workouts go, i am about to post some great ones on my website, there will be on in about a week since we are updating the whole site. Simple and effective ones...please give them a chance!


Platinum Member
george kollias! as long as you're here i want to say i'm a great admirer of your playing! not only do you play super fast, but you do it with a very relaxed style. to me that's a mark of a great drummer, or any musician really.

George Kollias

george kollias! as long as you're here i want to say i'm a great admirer of your playing! not only do you play super fast, but you do it with a very relaxed style. to me that's a mark of a great drummer, or any musician really.
Thanks so much man, i appreciate your kind words and all your guys welcome in this great Forum!


Senior Member
Slightly off topic, but, do you get called 'The Pharoah' a lot, George? I saw it on the cover of a magazine and thought "wow, what a perfectly fitting nickname for him."

...In my opinion, I think you should keep it.


Junior Member
Hey George! I love your drumming :) I can honestly say you are one of my favorite drummers. Your speed and precision is incredible, and your fills, accents and style is impeccable and fills the appetite with drumming delicacy :p I've only heard your work with Nile, and am embarrassed to say I only had one album (and then lent it to someone/lost it, can't remember :/), but, simply, you kick ass.

Do you speak Greek? If you do, χαλάλι σου για το χάρισμα σου! Χαιρετίσματα απο την Κύπρο. :) (In case the characters didn't show: Xalali sou gia to xarisma sou! Xairetismata apo tin Kypro :))


Hey George, i assume you're in Bombay ( Mumbai ) right now for PALM EXPO. I really wish i could have been there to watch you in action. But right now i'm sitting studying for my final tomorrow :p How's India treating you? I hope you have the time to catch some live music in India. I'd really recommend Shaa'ir and Func.

Even if you cant see them live, see if you can meet them.

Anyway, have fun in India. Wish i was there tomorrow :(



Silver Member
Hey George, great to see you on here! I have become a huge fan of Nile in the last few months (never thought I'd ever get into death metal!). Your drumming is very inspirational to me, and gives me some well needed inspiration to keep pushing my personal boundaries! :)

George Kollias

Hey everyone,
i would like to share some info about my Signature Stick that's coming out from Vic Firth in a few days. Took us 7-8 months to develop this stick, it's very close to the 55A but the barrel tip makes a big difference and feels more comfortable for speed. This is is super durable and you can really play anything with it!

Please check it out when you get a chance!

Greetings to everyone and thanks for checking this out!


Platinum Member
congrats on your signature sticks!

I'm still no extreme metal fan (yet) and not long into drums but let me say this:
Your drumming is... awesome! It's pure fun watching you play. Your video (snippet from your DVD) where you're speeding up from 200 to 280 bpm is just ultra, simply inhumane.

Also great to see you're participating in this forum and take the time to answer 'normal people's' questions, haha.
Last edited: