Lars Ulrich. Yeah, i said it.

My favorite band in the whole entire world is Earth Wind & Fire, my favorite artist is Michael Jackson, my favorite music is jazz, and my favorite drummer is Art Blakey. i’m a punk kid who gravitates more towards post punk, and political/anticapitalist hardcore and punk.

i know, i’m pretty mixed up. So where does Metallica fit into all of this?

i enjoy metal music but i would not consider myself to be much of a metalhead. However, Metallica has been my favorite metal band since the age of 14. When i was regularly playing in bands i never played any of their songs in my life. Remember, i was (and still am) a basic drummer (and guitarist, and everything else). But something happened- i got hit by a truck, broke both my legs, and got one of them amputated. My journey with Metallica has been massively different as a whole adult in her 40s, than it was as an angry teenager.

Just like Earth Wind & Fire and Pharoah Sanders are healing salves for me when i am down, Metallica’s music has taken me on a journey in my healing in this period of my life. Not only are the songs well crafted, but they have an emotional resonance i didn’t necessarily grasp when i was younger.

Clyde (as i mentioned in the introductory video) was the catalyst for me getting back into the drums; Lars Ulrich was the inspiration. i was inspired to be up for the challenge.

The first Metallica song i ever learned on these here drums was ‘Blackened’- perhaps one of their most difficult songs in terms of time signatures. It’s also my favorite song of theirs.

Some days are better than others (obviously) but i practiced the song almost every single day… and then one day i got the timing. Is it perfect? Nope. But i continue to practice so i can get better at and refine it. i don’t know if i will ever be on the level of the type of drumming on …And Justice For All (my 2nd favorite Metallica album of all time; Load is no. 1) and i obviously can’t do double bass (i have one leg, remember?), but i figured out ways around it, and did it in a way which fits the basicness that is my drumming.

(pssssssst… there’s nothing wrong with being a basic drummer. And yes, those are Ahead/Lars sticks.)

All the tracks i played to were drumless (which you could find on Guitar Hero). i’ll probably come back and have a ‘Metallica Fridays’ post or something (not Mondays- that was already taken. HA!). Who knows?

Lars… duder, if you ever see this, thanks.

Master Of Puppets was my favorite Metallica album for 30 years (until Load knocked it out the spot), and to teenaged me, ‘Battery’ was the jam. It was the greatest song i ever heard about the thrash scene and moshing (still is; D.R.I.’s ‘Thrashard’ comes second). The play on words is excellent. James Hetfield’s pen and riff game are dope, and the solo is one of my favorites from Kirk Hammett. i remember seeing Metallica on the first leg of their Wherever We May Roam tour in 1991, and just turned 15-year old me was waiting all night to see ‘Battery’. And when they finally did it at the encore, i lost it.

So of course… i wanted to be up for the challenge. This is another song where the timing is not the ‘usual’ 4/4. i messed up a few times, but SO WHAT! (no pun intended).

‘That Was Just Your Life’ is one of my most favorites to play to. Sometimes i play along to the live version, which is almost twice the speed of the album version!

And finally… A LITTLE BASS!

An Introduction, Plus A Few Songs.

Here lies the journey…

‘The Traffic School Song’ was one of the first songs i was messing around with on the SPD-30 (Octoapad).  This specific audio/video situation was recorded back in November 2021.  i am working on getting an actual set (as that will help me get better) but the Octapad has been a great way for me to get some muscle memory back. 

Playing along to The Clash’s ‘Janie Jones’…  i’m definitely not perfect, but the journey is not about being perfect. 

And finally…  one of the most challenging parts of the journey so far!  D.R.I. is one of my favorite hardcore/thrash bands.  Even though i have played drums (and guitar) in several punk bands i was never a hardcore/thrash/metal/’traditional’ punk drummer.  Though i played in bands i never had a set of my own.   Because of those limitations i saw myself as a pretty basic drummer (which i still am!!!); my primary inspirations were post punk players like Hugo Burnham (Gang Of Four), Robert Grey (Wire) and Valerie Scroggins (ESG); as well as folks like David Lovering (Pixies). 

Will i ever get to the point where i’m as advanced as an Art Blakey, a Terri Lyne Carrington, Billy Cobham, Tony Royster Jr., Chris Dave, Tony Williams, Sheila Escovedo, Buddy Rich, Bernard Purdy, Neil Peart, Dave Lombardo, Mike Portnoy, Max Roach, Jeff Porcaro, Louie Bellson…  and the countless other amazing drummers and percussionists- including those on sites like youtube?  Maybe.  Maybe not.  What counts most is the journey, and the things i learn along the way. 

And while i am CERTAINLY no Felix Griffin, ‘Mad Man’ is an extreme challenge and a workout (for a basic drummer like me), as well as fun to play!