Will Calhoun - best drummer in the world for me!

MrWriter

Active Member
Ok, I’ve been a massive Living Colour fan since their debut album, Vivid, and the superb follow up, Times Up. Their next album, Stain, was a tad questionable for me and lacking the overall genius and funky rock style of the first two albums and I feel that the new bassist, Doug Wimbish, lacks what the amazing Muzz Slillings had to offer in the bass department. The latter three albums, Collideoscope, The Chair in the Doorway and Shade all have smatterings of typical early Living Colour stuff (Flying from Collideoscope for example), but for the most part they lean towards a heavier more raw sound with less of the early funky riffs.

Will Calhoun has been on the skins for all Living Colour’s albums and it is only recently that I’ve read a bit more about him on Wiki and I was not surprised to learn that Will studied music production and engineering at Berkeley College of Music and he received the Buddy Rich Jazz Masters award for outstanding performance as a drummer. Seriously, I was not shocked in the least, his drumming is amazing and I was lucky enough to see Living Colour live at the Forum (Town & Country Club) in North London shortly after their debut album, Vivid, came out and (along with Nirvana doing their Never Mind tour at the Kilburn National Ballroom in London) it is in the top three best gigs I’ve ever seen. Admittedly, Vernon Reid does hit a lot of bum notes and chords live but the ones he gets right are better than anybody else and I would not want another guitarist in Living Colour because Reid just comes up with amazing stuff and I’m sure he influenced Tom Morello of Rage Against The Machine (another of my favourite guitarists).

Back to Will Calhoun, who has also recorded jazz albums as a leader and appeared on dozens of other records.

Calhoun’s drumming is not typical, he does stuff that other drummers don’t and if you are a fan of Living Colour you’ll know just what I mean, his drumming style and what he does is recognisable anywhere for his unique snare sound and what he does with it and his kick drum style, in the same way that Neil Peart has a recognisable ride cymbal rhythm.

Although Will plays with the ‘traditional’ grip, he still manages to get good power on the snare and around the toms in his playing, even more so than Peart and I just love the production quality of the drums, especially the less polished production on Time’s Up, where the snare drum sounds like a fire cracker when cranked up!

Yup, it is fair to say that Will Calhoun is my favourite drummer of all time and I suspect I’m just one of a handful of drummers and music fans on the planet who would have pulled Will’s name out of the hat rather than the usual suspects.

Give the first two albums, Vivid and Time’s Up a listen today!
 

Spreggy

Silver Member
I saw them live once in a converted church in Rochester. Holy hell they were loud! Their singer had great stage presence, all around a very good show. I saw WC do a clinic too, very good stuff. Cool pyramid drum rack.
 

harryconway

Platinum Member
He's one of my "main" influences, when it came to me courting electronics. I really like his acoustic/electronic "hybrid" sensibilities. Met him at a NAMM show, when he was doing Jungle Funk, with Doug Wimbish (and Vinx). He and Doug, both very cool, approachable dudes.

This Modern drummer video of him with the wavedrum and the loop pedal blew my mind when I first saw it

That's one of the original models. It was in those Jungle Funk years that I first saw him using that. Both Will and Doug are masters with the loop pedals and stomp boxes. Again, huge influences on me. His rig (below) has the Korg OG wave drum, and a second gen. red "oriental" one. And also has a Synesthesia Mandala (ver.1) and a Roland SPD-S.



will calhoun.jpg
 

Trigger

Senior Member
He's one of my "main" influences, when it came to me courting electronics. I really like his acoustic/electronic "hybrid" sensibilities. Met him at a NAMM show, when he was doing Jungle Funk, with Doug Wimbish (and Vinx). He and Doug, both very cool, approachable dudes.


That's one of the original models. It was in those Jungle Funk years that I first saw him using that. Both Will and Doug are masters with the loop pedals and stomp boxes. Again, huge influences on me. His rig (below) has the Korg OG wave drum, and a second gen. red "oriental" one. And also has a Synesthesia Mandala (ver.1) and a Roland SPD-S.



View attachment 124105
Yeah, it makes me wonder if him and Danny Carey crossed paths at some point - Their electronic setups are similar.
 

Trigger

Senior Member
I mean in terms of what they're using, but looking at that picture, it appears that Danney Carey is using every percussion instrument known to man haha
 

harryconway

Platinum Member
I think they both have some of the same influences (like Bill Bruford). And they're both adventurous. Like using theWD-1 Korg Wave Drum. That came out in 1994. Neither drummers nor keyboardists seemed to care. They sold 800 (maybe). But Danny and Will got their hands on 'em, and pretty much revived interest.

Every year we (a buddy and me) went to NAMM, we used to go by Korg and say "hey, when are you guys gonna bring back the wave drum???" Took 'em 15 years, but they did.:LOL:

My hybrid rig (courting the dark side) started off, with a Roland SPD-S, and a Electro-Harmonix 16 Sec. looper. Then I got my hands on a "vintage" Tama Techstar. When the new wave drums re-appeared, I got 2 of those, and I also scored 2 Mandala V1's. Then I added a Nord Drum 1 module, using Yamaha pads to trigger it.

I watch a lot of guys. Besides Will and Danny, Mino Cinelu, Pete Lockett, and Pat Mastelotto as some of the "bigger" names.;)

Ans this guy below .... Alessio Fantini (maybe not as well known)

 

Xstr8edgtnrdrmrX

Diamond Member
one of my all time fav's, and when Vivid came out, it rocked my 80's era metal/punk/prog metal mind .I LOVE playing along to that album still to this day, and feel like it gave me a smidgen fo groove...just a smidgen....

I also agree that Stain was sort of ....meh...
 

fabiodrummy

Junior Member
This is one of the great drums - solo played by drummer Will Calhum , in session with the famous 'free-jazz' Master..: Pharoàh Sanders,.!! ,, fabiodrummy@gmail.com ,,-
Pharoàh Sanders ,sax 4t , Orrin Evans ,p , Matthews Garrison , basso.
,. Will Calhum , dr ,Live in Viersen jazz -,2004 ,t.62'..vd,958..-
,, -
,,.-
-- xx --
 
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