12 days of Xmas: Rhythm's 2013 Highlights
26th Dec 2013 | 09:00
A celebration of Gretsch
To celebrate the 130th anniversary of icon American drum brand Gretsch, we explored the impact of ‘That Great Gretsch Sound’ on today’s musical landscape. From big band soloist Chick Webb in the 1930s to the Foo Fighters’ Taylor Hawkins, we looked at the great drummers who have played Gretsch and delved into the rich and fascinating history of the company from its earliest days in Brooklyn, New York. The cover of the September ’13 issue featured the iconic Gretsch round badge, and for the digital edition you could also choose your drum finish!
Matt Helders moving cover
Back in the October 2013 issue, Rhythm met Arctic Monkeys’ Matt Helders to find out about the band’s new (and subsequently) hit album AM, plus the band’s incredible couple of years playing the Olympics and Glastonbury. Matt revealed, among other things, that he still lives and breathes drums. “It’s the easiest thing to talk about for me!” he said, adding that, “It’s definitely still my first love.” He also spoke about the writing process and tracking his drums, and sat at his new Premier gold sparkle kit for the photoshoot in a matching and rather snazzy jacket. Our iPad edition also featured Rhythm’s first moving cover – with Matt sitting down at his kit and playing a beat before freezing for the cover image. How cool is that?
We Love Drum Solos
While the drum solo may have diminished in popularity in the post-punk age, the art of the virtuosic drumming performance is very much alive and well. As we found in the December 2013 issue when Geoff Nicholls embarked on his thorough history of the solo – from the jazz age, via prog and ’70s rock, to today’s top drum clinicians. December’s cover feature also had contributions from some of modern drumming’s most virtuosic players and soloists, such as Joey Jordison, Neil Peart, Mike Portnoy, Gavin Harrison, Mike Mangini and John Blackwell Jr.
Ilan Rubin took your questions
The almost-annoyingly-talented-for-his-age Ilan Rubin was our cover star in June 2013, and he told us just how he’s landed the big gigs with Nine Inch Nails and Paramore. While that issue was on the shelves, Ilan also joined us for a live Twitter interview in which a huge number of Rhythm readers posed a good many questions, and young Ilan answered. In less that 140 characters, of course.
Joey Jordison announced new project Scar The Martyr
When the now ex-Slipknot drum maestro announced a new band called Scar The Martyr it was all the excuse we needed to get Joey Jordison back on the Rhythm cover for the Summer 2013 issue. A newly-bearded Joey told us about the recording of Scar The Martyr’s debut, revealing that although the project revealed something of a different side to his playing, the Joey we all know and love is still very much in evidence. “A lot of people would be like, ‘We don’t need double bass in this song,’” he told us. “The kids need the double bass, yes they do, I’m throwing it in!”
The drummers of Nashville
Over two issues (August 218, Summer 219), and with the help of Nashville session pro Rich Redmond, we rounded up 10 of the country and rock scene’s busiest session players to tell us what it takes to be a Nashville drummer, and how the scene has changed from the days of Patsy Cline, Kenny Rogers and other country stars to today’s Nashville-honed talent such as Taylor Swift, Jason Aldean, Rascal Flatts and more.
Perennial Rhythm favourite Travis was back this year to talk about the return of the Transplants and share his Ultimate Drum Workout – his personal exercises, tools and tips to help improve your playing. The cover star of the August 2013 issue, Travis also shared his favourite stickings, including paradiddle exercises, flams, triplets and more.
Drum like Bonham!
Obviously the great John Bonham is never far from our hearts and minds here at Rhythm, so when we got behind the scenes of the Natal Bonzo Bash at the NAMM show in Anaheim California, we took the opportunity to pick the brains of the drum stars involved. Brian Tichy, the Bash’s organiser, plus Nicko McBrain, Mike Portnoy, Gene Hoglan, Dave Lombardo, Will Calhoun, Ray Luzier, Jojo Mayer and more revealed their mindset when approaching playing like Bonham, and their tips and techniques for emulating their hero. All of this appeared in our Drum Like Bonham cover feature in the April 2013 issue.
Greatest Ever Rhythm Sections
An online poll at MusicRadar/Rhythm brought votes in by the thousands for your favourite pairing of drummer and bass player, and the results formed our exhaustive Greatest Ever Rhythm Sections cover feature in July’s issue. Bonus video lessons on the Rhythm Disc taught you how to play better with a bassist, including some basslines to jam along with. And the eventual recipients of the title of Greatest Ever Rhythm Section? Don't remember? Refresh your memories here!
A great year in gear
What a year it’s been in gear! Where to even start? Well, Tama’s new top-end series, the Star series, gained the coveted Rhythm five-star review in the May 2013 issue. We were similarly impressed with DW’s new Design Series kit in December. But also along the way there was Chequerplate’s eye-catching LED Series, Liberty Drums’ maple shell pack, Crush Drums MIA-award winning Sublime E3 Maple kit, the Sonor Prolite, and a striking one-off drumset of maple and acrylic hybrid shells from SJC Custom. The Mapex Black Panther Widow kit came highly rated from our team of expert gear reviewers, and we also got an eye-ful of Premier’s Nicko McBrain’s signature snares with Spitfire markings! In terms of hardware we’ve had a couple of great new pedals including the Gibraltar G-Class pedal, plenty of percussive treats including cajons and Natal’s fibregrass congas. We’ve had snares galore, and new cymbals from Zildjian (A series), Paiste (Precision series), Sabian (AAX V-Crashes) and more. In fact, if it was new gear and it was out this year, you can bet our reviewers cast their discerning expert eyes over it all – and we look forward to doing the same with new gear in 2014!
We’re always championing new talent here at Rhythm, and in 2013 we (hopefully) introduced you to some great new drummers. Top of the pile for us was Julie Edwards of bluesy all-girl rock duo Deap Vally, Eric Hernandez, brother of and drummer for Bruno Mars and Thom Green of Alt-J. There was Zyon Cavalera, nephew of Igor, and now drummer in Soulfly. Arin Ilejay, the more-than capable replacement for the late The Rev in Avenged Sevenfold. And of course, every month in our Introducing pages, four new drummers were profiled. Expect to see a good number of those in the mag in the coming year and beyond.
Top-name drummers speak to Rhythm
Of course, it’s not just about the cover stars (though we’ve had our share of great drummers grace the front page), like Tool’s Danny Carey way back in February. In Rhythm in 2013 we’ve also run interviews with Biffy Clyro’s Ben Johnston, Mudhoney’s Dan Peters, David Bowie drummer Sterling Campbell, jazz legend Jeff Hamilton, Slim Jim Phantom of Stray Cats fame, The Smiths’ Mike Joyce, Black Keys’ Patrick Carney, Bon Jovi’s Tico Torres, Captain Beefheart drummer John ‘Drumbo’ French and loads more. And you can be sure 2014’s Rhythm’s will feature more of the drumming world’s finest too!
New Breed Of British Session Drummers
Way back at the start of the year, in the March 2013 issue, we introduced you to the new breed of pop session drummers – those young sticksmen and women lighting up stages and TVs with their skills behind some of today's biggest pop stars.
Rita Ora drummer Dexter Hercules, Jonathan Tuitt (Emeli Sandé), Cherisse Ofosu-Osei (Paloma Faith), Jonathan 'Ginger' Hamilton (Jesse J), Emily Dolan Davies (Cher Lloyd), Luke Harris (Wretch 32), X-Factor drummer Ben Kennedy, Tinchy Stryder drummer Junior Kirton, Plan B's Cassell The Beatmaker and Paul Stanley McKenzie (Gorillaz Sound System) gave us their personal career stories, and shared their tips for success for wannabe session drummers.
All 2013 digital back issues currently half price!
There were loads of other great things in the 13 issues of Rhythm that made up 2013! If you missed any of the issues, you can get them half-price right now for iPad at Apple Newsstand! Yep, there's 50% off 2013 issues, but only until 1st January 2014 - so hurry!
Maybe you got a new iPad for Xmas? What better way to use it than to download 2013 digital issues of your favourite magazine!
Print back issues are also available to buy from myfavouritemagazines.com.