The U.K.'s "best-selling drum magazine" Rhythm (web site) recently conducted an interview with former PANTERA/DAMAGEPLAN and current HELLYEAH drummer Vinnie Paul Abbott. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow:
Rhythm: What or who inspired you to become a metal drummer?
Vinnie Paul: The first time I heard KISS I knew that was the type of music I was attracted to. Even though Peter Criss is a pretty simple player, he played with great feel and made the music get up and go. The drummer who inspired my style was Tommy Aldridge. The first time I heard him play "Boom Boom (Out Go The Lights)" with the PAT TARVERS BAND, he was doing triplets and crazy shit with his feet — it floored me! I went to my dad and said I needed another bass drum. He was like, "People don't use two bass drums!" That's when I got started with the feet action.
Rhythm: How did you go about learning to play metal?
Vinnie Paul: Tommy Aldridge always started with his left foot, which most people don't do anymore. I learned his way — left foot first for the 16th notes — it seemed more natural because you keep time with your left foot. Your right foot has already been trained to play all the offbeats so it makes sense. Peter Criss never played any double bass, but he made use of everything he had. Alex Van Halen used double bass in certain fill licks and sometimes to drive the band. Neil peart used the double kick sparingly but when he did it was really effective. I took a lot from that. The double kick player who inspired me to use bass drums to drive the band was Mikkey Dee [KING DIAMOND].
I had some proper training but that was only on snare drum. Learning all the techniques in marching bands and realizing how important it is to play tight set a standard for me for when I did get into a band.
Rhythm: Which PANTERA track would you say represents your style the best?
Vinnie Paul: Probably some of the most impressive drumming I've done is on the "Far Beyond Driven" record. Our mindset was for everything to be over the fucking top. It really pushed me and challenged me. The crazy drumming in "Becoming" had never been done before!
Rhythm's entire interview with Vinnie Paul can be found in the magazine's April 2007 issue, available on newsstands now.