Don't let the frontman hog the glory
Andrew Trendell

13:05 30th January 2014

Frontmen get all the glory, don't they? The singers and the men and women with the mic are always the ones that make the headlines, land on magazine covers and become 'the face' of the band. But past your gaze past the spotlight and towards the back of the stage and you may notice an awesome force staring back at you. Who is that cool guy? It's probably the drummer. 

Throughout the ages, the undersung hero of many bands has been the drummer. Butt of all musician jokes and never given the recognition they deserve, many have gone unnoticed. However, cool drummers are in abundance - and more are often cooler than the rest of the band. 

Here are 11 bands where the drummer is the coolest member. Respect. 

  • Travis Barker (Blink 182): Behind the potty-mouthed antics of Mark and (until recently) Tom sits this unassuming but lightning fast drumming hero - able to survive a plane crash and still rock your world.

  • Fabrizio Moretti (The Strokes): The most enigmatic Stroke. It's always the quiet ones, eh?

  • Jack Bevan (Foals): Whether it's intricate math-rock beats, meandering soundscapes or balls-to-the-wall heaviness, Mr Bevan is the man driving it all (and still finds time to step out from his kit and indulge in a little crowd-surfing)

  • Joey Jordison (ex-Slipknot): It's hard to focus when there's nine maniacs tearing up the stage, but more often than not you'd find your attention drawn to the demonic presence and impossible thrash speed of Joey Jordison.

  • Sebastien Granger (Death From Above 1979): A shrieking, tub-thumping, beast of a man.

  • ?uestlove (The Roots): Drummer, DJ, producer, author, shoe-designer, journalist and owner of the most awesome 'fro in music - we challenge you to find a more beloved drummer in modern music than ?uestlove.

  • Neil Peart (Rush): Name another member of Rush, go on. You can't, can you?

  • Jon Bonham (Led Zeppelin): Renowned as one of the greatest drummers of all time, the sheer force, speed and style of all that he did is what had made him irreplaceable.

  • Keith Moon (The Who): An incredible drummer, and the last man to throw a television into a swimming pool before it became uncool.

  • Dave Grohl (Nirvana): The former grunge icon turned Foo Fighters frontman earned such a reputation as an unmatchable force behind the kit (as well as being as being a bloody nice bloke) then he's given everyone from Queens Of The Stone Age to Paul McCartney an earth-shaking kick up the arse.

  • Matt Helders (Arctic Monkeys): Sure, Alex Turner has the quiff and the swagger, but it's Mr Helders' inimitable wit that keeps the band's feet on the ground, while his furious rhythms blast them into the stratosphere.

  • Ringo Starr (The Beatles): The butt of too many jokes, our Ringo never gets the credit he deserves. Sure, his songwriting calibre may have never reached the dizzying heights of McCartney, Lennon or Harrison, but he was still an essential part of the greatest pop force of all time.

  • Taylor Hawkins (Foo Fighters): Sure Grohl is rock n' roll royalty - but it takes a certain special something to shine on your own terms when in a band with one of the most famous drummers of all time. Hawkins brings a class of his own to the kit, and for that we salute him.

  • Lori Barbero (Babes In Toyland): Warm, brash, outspoken and chaotic, Barbero usually does most of the stage patter at Babes In Toyland's gigs. Having never picked up a set of drumsticks before Kat Bjelland asked her to join her band, Barbero is an instinctive, forceful drummer in a truly pioneering rock band.

  • Nathan Followill (Kings Of Leon): Still managing to be cool from a hospital bed after you've broken your ribs in a bus crash is quite some feat. " I don't think a drummer should have to show off to get noticed", he says. "You're like the conductor of a train. You keep the train on the tracks - let everybody else worry about everything else." Followill keeps the train on the tracks in style.


Photo: WENN.com/Press/Justine Trickett