When it comes to the world of metal music, drummers are the powerful pulse that drives the thunderous soundscapes of this genre. While many metal drummers opt for drum kits designed for their distinct characteristics and brutality, some have found an unexpected ally in the form of Gretsch drums. In this article, we’ll explore some notable metal drummers who have chosen Gretsch as their weapon of choice and examine what makes these drum kits stand out in the world of heavy metal.
- Charlie Benante (Anthrax): Charlie Benante, the iconic drummer of thrash metal legends Anthrax, has been a long-time user of Gretsch drums. He often employs a Gretsch USA Custom kit, known for its warm and resonant tone. While this kit may not be the typical choice for a thrash metal drummer, Benante’s preference showcases the versatility of Gretsch drums, which can deliver power and precision, as well as warmth and musicality.
- Dirk Verbeuren (Megadeth): Dirk Verbeuren, the drummer for heavy metal giants Megadeth, is another notable metal drummer who plays Gretsch. His choice of the Gretsch Renown Maple kit demonstrates how Gretsch drums can provide the necessary punch and clarity required for intricate double-bass patterns and precise fills while maintaining tonal depth.
- Josh Eppard (Coheed and Cambria): Josh Eppard, the drummer for the progressive rock/metal band Coheed and Cambria, has been known to use Gretsch drums in his setup. His selection highlights the adaptability of Gretsch drums across various genres, as Coheed and Cambria’s music often blends elements of progressive rock and metal.
- Jay Weinberg (Slipknot): Although Jay Weinberg, the drummer for heavy metal juggernaut Slipknot, primarily uses custom SJC drums, he occasionally incorporates Gretsch drums into his setup. This willingness to mix and match drum kits shows the flexibility of Gretsch in accommodating the complex demands of modern metal.
What Sets Gretsch Drums Apart for Metal Drummers?
So, what is it about Gretsch drums that attracts metal drummers to their sound, even though they may not be the first choice for the genre?
- Resonance and Warmth: Gretsch drums are known for their resonant and warm tone, often attributed to their maple and mahogany shells. While this tonal quality may be associated with jazz and rock genres, it can provide a unique and full-bodied sound in metal, creating a distinctive presence in a mix.
- Versatility: Gretsch drums are versatile instruments that can adapt to a wide range of musical styles. This adaptability is particularly attractive to drummers who want to experiment with different sounds and textures within the metal genre, from classic thrash to progressive and experimental subgenres.
- Craftsmanship: Gretsch is renowned for its craftsmanship and attention to detail. Metal drummers, who often require precision and consistency in their playing, appreciate the build quality and reliability of Gretsch drum kits.
- Customization: Gretsch offers customization options, allowing drummers to tailor their kits to their specific needs. This flexibility enables metal drummers to fine-tune their setup for the best performance in a metal context.
While Gretsch drums may not be the most common choice among metal drummers, they have found a place among those who appreciate their unique tonal qualities, versatility, craftsmanship, and customization options. The presence of notable metal drummers using Gretsch drums serves as a testament to the adaptability of these instruments across different musical genres, including the fierce and unrelenting world of heavy metal.