For today's top ten Steve Todd, drummer of Demon Smiles and leader of 13 Stitches Records picks nine of his drumming influences and one legendary figure.
1: Travis Barker – Blink 182
When I first started playing drums at 13 I didn’t know much about Punk Rock, it was mainly bands like Blink 182 and the Offspring, and Travis was the coolest drummer I’d ever heard with his mix of technicality, energy and speed. I spent my last 2 years of school skipping lessons to play along to Blink, trying to learn every song. I think a certain amount of that still comes across when I’m playing today, nearly 15 years later!
2: Eric “Smelly” Sandin – NOFX
What really needs to be said about Smelly; he’s consistently fast, incredibly tight, the king of single kick pedal, and he’s been shredding for years! Plus, being the straight edge guy in NOFX has got to be HARD!! One day I WILL learn to play the proper beat to Lori Myers, it’s just so…so fast!
3: Yuri Ruley – MxPx
I didn’t really get into MxPx until I was 17/18 and the first record I heard was 10 Years And Running, it’s a great showcase of what they can do, and the varying styles of Yuri’s drumming is rad. He’s a proper master of timing changes and can easily hold his own playing fast skate punk, pop punk, and throwing down something a bit different (Chick Magnet).There are quite a few songs I’ve played that I’ve had a lot of inspiration from him. Also, he’s a really nice dude!
4: Fredrik Larzon – Millencolin
How many different ways are there to play pop/skate punk? Fredrik seems to constantly find new ways to play songs that a lot of drummers (myself included) would just take the easy route on, and it’s consistently awesome. This guy is totally underrated in my opinion, he always finds a great way to put both fun and energy into the songs, and is ridiculously solid live aswell!
5: Rory Koff – No Use For A Name
Another pretty underrated drummer aswell, Rory is also adrummer I find pretty inspiring style-wise.It’s generally pretty straight forward with some awesome fills and tempo switches thrown in, just to keep things interesting. It took me a while to realise but I play quite a similar style of drums to Rory, and since realising that and listening to NUFAN a bit deeper, he’s taught me some pretty cool tricks to make everything tighter and more interesting!
6: Brandon Carlisle – Teenage Bottlerocket
I gotta admit, I never realised how good Brandon is until I saw TBR live. I never really thought of him as an influence as we play quite different music, but his energy, speed and presence onstage are awesome! If there’s anything about him that I really try to imitate its how much fun he has when he’s playing, it’s always nice to see the guy hidden at the back getting involved in the stage antics and having a blast aswell!
7: Jamie Wilson – No Matter
We toured with No Matter back in July and watching Jamie every night for 9 days was awesome!! Dude is super tight, really versatile and always great to watch. I picked up loads of techniques off him over the whole tour, including loads when he spent 5 nights coming up and playing SOS for us. He makes it look so goddam easy! Plus he’s a really cool guy and was the second funniest drummer on that tour!!
8: Michael McDermott – (ex) Bouncing Souls
I got into Bouncing Souls after hearing Manthem on THPS4 and since then have tried to write a similar drum intro to that song in every band I’ve been in. It’s not a secret that I LOVE Bouncing Souls for various reasons, the drumming being one of them, he can put an amazing rhythm behind anything, slow, fast, superfast, and always makes it look super cool! Also, I’ve seen them at least 9 times now and have never once has he gotten pissed off at the super drunk fanboy I can’t help but turn into! Still no idea why he left though, if anyone knows, send me a message!!
9: Jordan Burns – Strung Out
What do I need to say about this dude, he’s a machine!! He’s got it all; speed, technicality, energy, you name it!! He’s probably one of the best drummers in punk rock around, smashing everything from punk to metal and making it all sound rad!!
10: Fat Mike – NOFX
Special mention on this list goes to Fat Mike, obviously not from a drummer’s perspective, but because he’s a pretty intelligent guy, a fantastic songwriter/lyricist, he runs arguably the best punk label ever, and he still manages to hold up his reputation as a drug-addled, party guy. That’s pretty impressive if you ask me!!