As part of our new series called “My Magnificent Five“, we will be asking drummers to give us five names of their favourite sticksmen or women – those that have left the biggest mark in our guests’ musical lives. Why five? Because it is five fingers that make a strong fist (ask Five Finger Death Punch members and fans, they know it only too well). Today, it is time for the Belgian electronic drumming master and Roland V-Drums ambassador – Michael Schack.
Michael Schack’s Top Five Drummers
“I’ll do miscellaneous five or six names with no time line.
When I was young, so there is a time line, I played along to lots of Billy Cobham records. I even tried to copy his drum setup. So I wanted this birch natural Tama Superstar when I was 16. I saved my money and I got it, but not with that many toms. My parents took me to Billy Cobham’s concert when I was 12 years old and it was still something I remember.
Another big influence for me is Stuart Copeland from the Police. The way he sat behind his drum set… He was a basher and a punk drummer, but he could be really funky and reggae. The sound he had with the timbales and the very tight snare… I loved it!
Another influence, and this is more because I’m a fan of P-Funk’s, is Dennis Chambers, who later went from funk towards fusion and jazz. He was my favourite drummer when he was playing with Parliament/Funkadelic. He was quite a groover, a typical autodidact, pre-gospel chops.
One drummer I really appreciate a lot, not only because of his playing, but also because of his songwriting capabilities and the way he brought drumming in front of a band, is Dave Grohl. In Nirvana but also Foo Fighters, especially the recording he did with Queens Of The Stone Age. It’s an amazing recording, an amazing album. I think that is the ultimate pop-rock drumming you can have. It’s not a coincidence that, as a song writer, he played those parts like he did.
Another drummer that just pops into mind because I’ve mentioned Queens Of The Stone Age is John Theodore. The first time he played with The Mars Volta, I was blown away. I actually copied some of his ideas and I made some of the ¾ bashing kind of thing. I met John later. While touring with Netsky, we’d sometimes run into each other at festivals, where he was playing with QOTSA. He’s a very charismatic, very tall guy and an amazing drummer.
If there’s one Prince drummer I can mention, and also an amazing time-keeper, who, when he plays toms it’s like: ‘Boom!’ and a lot of weight goes into it… Of course, everybody’s talking about Aaron Spears and Eric Moore and so on, but I’m just a very big fan of Michael Bland, also known as Michael B. He is the drummer in the ‘Diamonds and Pearls’ video. That album is the most exquisite Prince drumming and pop drumming that I’ve ever heard. It still stands the test of time. Michael B.! Unfortunately, he couldn’t go on tour with Prince a lot because a bit too big to fly and everything. He’s an amazing drummer.
Of course, I could mention Buddy Rich and so on, but those are the really inspiring guys.”