Charlie Benante is one of the most respected and influential drummers in the metal scene. He has been playing drums for Anthrax since 1983. He has also been involved in other projects such as Stormtroopers of Death, Metal Allegiance, and the newly reformed Pantera. Charlie Benante is known for his fast and precise double-bass technique, his blast beats, and his creative drum fills. He is also a talented guitarist and a graphic artist who has designed many of Anthrax’s album covers and T-shirts. But who did Charlie Benante list as his greatest drummers of all time?
Who are the drummers that inspired and influenced Charlie Benante? In a recent interview, he revealed his top 10 greatest drummers of all time, spanning different genres and styles. Here are his picks, along with some of his comments on why he chose them.
10. Ringo Starr
The first drummer that Charlie Benante ever heard was Ringo Starr, who played for the legendary rock band The Beatles. Charlie Benante praised Ringo’s swing and groove, especially on the early Beatles records.
He said that Ringo had a signature style that made people play air drums to his parts. He also noted that Ringo was a pioneer in using different drum sounds and effects, such as tape loops, reverse cymbals, and dampened drums.
9. Lars Ulrich
Charlie Benante has a lot of respect for his fellow Big 4 drummer Lars Ulrich. Ulrich plays for the thrash metal giants Metallica. He said that he loves the way Lars thinks in a song, and how he creates drum parts that fit the riffs and the vocals.
He also admired Lars’ ability to write catchy and memorable drum hooks, such as the intro to “Enter Sandman” or the snare roll in “One”.
8. Dave Lombardo
Another Big 4 drummer that Charlie Benante admires is Dave Lombardo, who plays for the extreme metal pioneers Slayer.
He said that he loves Dave’s aggression and intensity, and how he propels the songs with his powerful drumming. He also praised Dave’s speed and stamina, and his use of double-bass and blast beats to create a relentless sonic assault.
7. Jerry Gaskill
Charlie Benante is a big fan of Jerry Gaskill, who plays for the progressive rock band King’s X. He said that Jerry always makes his head spin with his syncopated and complex drum fills.
Charlie Benante cited a song called “Burning Down” from the album Gretchen Goes to Nebraska as an example of Jerry’s amazing drumming. He said that Jerry plays a pattern for the rest of the song that is so tight and precise that it sounds like a drum machine, but with a human feel.
6. Alex Van Halen
Charlie Benante has a lot of admiration for Alex Van Halen, who plays for the hard rock band Van Halen.
He said that Alex has a signature sound that is instantly recognizable, and that he plays with a lot of flair and finesse. He also noted that Alex is very versatile, and can play different styles such as rock, funk, jazz, and metal.
5. Neil Peart
Charlie Benante considers Neil Peart to be one of his main influences and inspirations. Peart was the drummer for the progressive rock band Rush, and was widely regarded as one of the best drummers of all time.
Charlie Benante said that Peart was a master of technique, creativity, and musicality. He also added that Peart wrote drum parts that people played air drums to. He also said that Peart was always evolving and improving his drumming, and that he had an impressive drum kit with many different sounds and effects.
4. Phil Rudd
Charlie Benante named Phil Rudd as one of the best drummers ever because of his simple but effective drumming style. Rudd played for the hard rock band AC/DC.
He was known for his solid and steady groove that drove the songs forward. Charlie Benante said that Rudd had a great sense of timing and dynamics, and that he knew how to play for the song without overplaying or underplaying.
3. John Bonham
Charlie Benante considers John Bonham to be one of the greatest rock drummers of all time. Bonham played for the legendary rock band Led Zeppelin, and was known for his powerful and expressive drumming style.
Charlie Benante said that Bonham had a huge sound and a great feel. He added that Bonham played with a lot of passion and emotion. He also said that Bonham had an amazing technique and control over his drums, and that he could play anything from blues to funk to metal.
2. Buddy Rich
Charlie Benante named Buddy Rich as one of the greatest drummers of all time, and one of his personal heroes. Rich was a jazz drummer who was famous for his incredible speed, skill, and showmanship.
Charlie Benante said that Rich was a genius and a virtuoso, and that he played with a lot of finesse and flair. He also said that Rich was a master of improvisation and coordination, and that he could play any style and any tempo.
1. Gene Krupa
Charlie Benante picked Gene Krupa as his number one greatest drummer of all time, who was also a jazz drummer. Krupa was one of the first drummers to make the drums a solo instrument. He also used the full drum kit as a musical tool.
Charlie Benante said that Krupa was a pioneer and an innovator, and that he influenced many drummers after him. He also said that Krupa had a great swing and groove, and that he played with a lot of charisma and personality.
The Bottom Line
These are the top 10 greatest drummers of all time according to Charlie Benante. Do you agree with his choices? Who are your favorite drummers? Let us know in the comments below.