Jack White's Drummers

boomstick

Silver Member
I was on a youtube kick and started checking out live clips from Jack White's various bands. I like how they all have a similar sound, but the different musicians bring a different vibe to the mix. This is especially noticeable with the drummers, since guitar and drums are the dominant instruments throughout. And even though the kits are very similar, in term of big drums and cymbals, each drummer has such a distinctive sound, yet each complement the music so well. I've pulled a few clips as examples. I thoroughly enjoyed all of these.

The White Stripes/Meg White
I really like Meg's playing in this one. So emotive and expressive. I can see why there is no White Stripes without her. The chemistry between these two is electric.



The Raconteurs/Patrick Keeler
Solid player with a nice swing/swagger. Reminds me of Stan Lynch (a huge compliment, imo).



Jack White/Carla Azar
Really impressed with this drummer. So powerful and precise, so energetic, knows when to hold it steady and when to wail, and really rockin that kit with trad grip.



The Dead Weather/Jack White
I revisited this one, the first video I saw with JW drumming. I remember thinking, "Is there anything this guy can't do?" I really like his playing style, and his unusual kit setup* was somewhat of an influence on mine.

 

PorkPieGuy

Platinum Member
I've never been a big Jack White fan, and I've been just as guilty as anyone of giving Meg White a hard time, and for that I apologize. She plays whatever the song needs at the time, and you can't really ask for anything more than that. If I was in her shoes, I'd have probably overplayed like crazy to try to take up more sonic space, being paranoid that a 2-piece band needs to sound as full as possible.
 

boomstick

Silver Member
What she plays totally makes sense in the context of the music, which takes a very stripped-down approach. No bass guitar means the bass has to come from the drums, so big drums and simple rhythms makes it work. Also, the energy between the two added something special to the performance that I don't see with the other drummers.
 

Jasta 11

Well-known member
Damn, put some reverb on that mic for the backup vocals on Steady as She Goes....WTF soundman!?!?!?!
 

bud7h4

Silver Member
What she plays totally makes sense in the context of the music, which takes a very stripped-down approach. No bass guitar means the bass has to come from the drums, so big drums and simple rhythms makes it work. Also, the energy between the two added something special to the performance that I don't see with the other drummers.

I get what you're saying and it's a great point, I just think no amount of bass coming from the drums is a suitable replacement for bass guitar. Just my opinion but so many cool songs with no bass is a and real tragedy.
 

boomstick

Silver Member
I get what you're saying and it's a great point, I just think no amount of bass coming from the drums is a suitable replacement for bass guitar. Just my opinion but so many cool songs with no bass is a and real tragedy.

I can sure appreciate a good bass groove. I haven't started many threads on here, but here's one of them:


That said, I'm open to music without bass guitar as long as it works, and in the case of the White Stripes, I think it totally works.
If you watch the video I posted above with the tour of White's drum kit, he actually explains his bass philosophy right at the beginning.
 
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bud7h4

Silver Member
I can sure appreciate a good bass groove. I haven't started many threads on here, but here's one of them:


That said, I'm open to music without bass guitar as long as it works, and in the case of the White Stripes, I think it totally works.
If you watch the video I posted above with the tour of White's drum kit, he actually explains his bass philosophy right at the beginning.

What he talks about regarding bass doesn't explain the lack of bass in his songs. I'm not even talking about a "bass groove", just bass period. The big kick drum certainly doesn't fill the void, if that's what he's suggesting (?)
But hey, music is art, and it's his project, and people love it so I can't call it "wrong". If a rock song has no bottom end it does nothing for me. Same reason I don't listen to bassless Animals As Leaders. They seem to thing the 8 string guitars make up for the missing bass. Clueless.
 
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drumnut87

Well-known member
dont forget about daru jones whose played with jack white a few times :)
 

boomstick

Silver Member
What he talks about regarding bass doesn't explain the lack of bass in his songs. I'm not even talking about a "bass groove", just bass period. The big kick drum certainly doesn't fill the void, if that's what he's suggesting (?)

I disagree. His point is that the bass drum is the most important component in his music. Imagine trying to do that music as a duo with just guitar and bass. Would not work. The drums have to be there, specifically the bass drum. If you feel blues based rock must have bass, that's your personal preference. But I think there is value in a stripped down approach, and in fact, if you want to strip blues music down to its most basic element, it requires no instruments other than sad souls singing.
 

bud7h4

Silver Member
I disagree. His point is that the bass drum is the most important component in his music. Imagine trying to do that music as a duo with just guitar and bass. Would not work. The drums have to be there, specifically the bass drum. If you feel blues based rock must have bass, that's your personal preference. But I think there is value in a stripped down approach, and in fact, if you want to strip blues music down to its most basic element, it requires no instruments other than sad souls singing.

I don't disagree totally. Except that your personal preference (which I agree with) that "The drums have to be there" is stated as fact somehow, while my personal preference that the kick drum doesn't make up for lack of string bass is dismissed as "that's your personal preference".
Just saying the songs sound to me like a perpetual intro that never really kicks in. I also understand they sound exactly as intended, and I get that.
 

boomstick

Silver Member
I don't disagree totally. Except that your personal preference (which I agree with) that "The drums have to be there" is stated as fact somehow, while my personal preference that the kick drum doesn't make up for lack of string bass is dismissed as "that's your personal preference". Just saying the songs sound to me like a perpetual intro that never really kicks in. I also understand they sound exactly as intended, and I get that.
Point is that White Stripes songs with bass and guitar only wouldn't sound as good as guitar and drums only, so in that sense, the bass drum is more important. Is it fact that it's better? No. It's the feel of it. I think that's the point he was making, you can remove a lot from the music, but "without the kick, we can't kick it." That's the bass he builds everything else upon, so the White Stripes makes sense from that philosophical standpoint. Say what you will, but this approach did breathe some new life into a genre that's on the decline.

Also, from a business/practical standpoint, I find the idea of a duo quite appealing...splitting the proceeds between just two people has got to be very nice in a business that doesn't pay so well. That said, I would prefer to have bass in whatever band context I find myself in.
 
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bud7h4

Silver Member
I think that's the point he was making, you can remove a lot from the music, but "without the kick, we can't kick it." That's the bass he builds everything else upon
Well hell that's true about everything from funk to country to death metal.
The drums + guitar thing is quirky and fresh and WS obviously makes it work. If this became "the" trend however, that would be the worst thing since "unplugged" hard rock/metal.
Sorry for hijacking the thread OP.
 

someguy01

Well-known member
*Charlie Hunter and his 'guitbass' entered the chat
Just to add another dynamic to the conversation.
 

drumnut87

Well-known member
its an odd setup, but works for him :)


 

boomstick

Silver Member
its an odd setup, but works for him :)

Hey, thanks for picking up the slack for me! Actually, I really like his signature PDP kit. I think it would make a great gigging kit.

 

drumnut87

Well-known member
i
Hey, thanks for picking up the slack for me! Actually, I really like his signature PDP kit. I think it would make a great gigging kit.

yeah it seems a lovely little portable setup, are you going to have the same angles as he does though? :p

im not a big jack white fan, so hearing any of the stuff from his band is new to me :)
 
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