1. Henry Flink
My mom’s dad. He was a very good jazz drummer and had a kit at his house. I would play around on it when we visited him when I was a kid. He never really showed me how to play or anything, but him being a drummer and letting me hit the drums at such a young age made a huge impression, and I kind of always knew I would be a drummer because of him.
2. Milford Graves
He is a transcendent musician. His work speaks to everyone regardless of cultural reference points, and he has been doing the good work all along. He is the strongest human being that I know, and he is in his mid 70s. He cements my dedication to this craft as a lifelong pursuit.
“Lightning Bolt really changed my life”
3. Terry Bozio
When I used to work in the drums department at Manny’s Music in NYC, I would watch all the instructional drum videos when the store was empty. Watching the Terry Bozio Solo Drums VHS, I learned how to play polyrhythms and also all about feathered hair… His work with Frank Zappa was a HUGE early influence on me and got me very excited about playing double bass drums.
4. Guy Licata
Guy was a co-worker of mine at Manny’s. When we had downtime at the store he would show me hand technique and exercises. I really learned some of the most important stuff I know from him and I owe him big time for all the free lessons he gave me. He studied with Jojo Mayer and got me into jungle and drum & bass music, which got me playing with greater speed and complexity, and gave me a lot to strive for with my physicality.
5. Brian Chippendale
I first saw Brian play in 2003 or so at the Oops tour show in Brooklyn. The way he played, his energy, the way he affected the audience, myself included… it made a gigantic and everlasting impression on me. His creativity and strength are extremely inspiring to me; Lightning Bolt really changed my life in that it showed me there are other [places] for drummers besides metal or jazz. I really did not know about a whole world of music until seeing Lightning Bolt, which really lit the fire for me. I know that is the case for many other drummers as well. They really were a lightning bolt. SHOCK! And laughter.
OTHER DRUMMERS I LOVE EQUALLY WHOSE NAMES MUST ALSO BE INCLUDED: Papa Jo Jones, Zach Hill, Louie Belson, Elvin Jones, Kid Millions, Ryan Sawyer, Brian Chase, Shahzad Ismaily, Thor Harris, Tomas Haake, Dave Witte, Kevin Shea, Buddy Rich, Art Blakey, Bernard Purdie
Greg Fox plays drums in the Brooklyn-based power trio Guardian Alien, who just released their second record through Thrill Jockey, ‘Spiritual Emergency’. He’s also performed and/or recorded with such experimental acts as Liturgy, Pontiak, Teeth Mountain and ZS. Fox’s new solo album, ‘Mitral Transmission’, is due out February 18th through Data Garden. Check out a track from that LP and other Fox-related releases below…