In a new interview with Meltdown of Detroit's WRIF radio station, IRON MAIDEN's Nicko McBrain shared his thoughts on the recent death of Charlie Watts, drummer and core member of THE ROLLING STONES for the past six decades, as well as the tragic passing of former SLIPKNOT drummer Joey Jordison. Asked if Watts was an early influence on his playing, McBrain said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "Oh, absolutely. Charlie was such a phenomenal timekeeper — a great player. There's a saying — I've said it a couple of times before — it's not about the notes; it's about the space in between, in taking the music generality of it. And that's what Charlie did — he had this incredible feel on the backside of the groove.
"When I started playing, it was Ringo [Starr] and Charlie — literally Ringo and Charlie were the two influences that I learned from, that I based my style of playing at that time on," he continued. "And then the wonderful Keith Moon came along, and John Bonham. So those four guys were my primary influences.
"But certainly Charlie is a sad loss to the music world and the drumming fraternity across the table. He will influence all these drummers that are getting into that music from THE STONES. He's a jazz drummer — he came from a jazz background. He played traditional grip; he played orthodox as well. Matched grip as well, but that was his main style. Just a wonderful, wonderful player.
"And Joey, of course… You turn eight chapters down the line, and you've got this guy who's playing these incredible kind of bar speeds [with a] beautiful, beautiful bass-drum technique," Nicko added. "I'm a single bass-drum player, but I can always really appreciate these guys that bring something else to the table. So having lost the pair of them, it's really a great loss to us all. And he'll be sorely missed, both of them."
Watts's publicist said that he "passed away peacefully" on August 24 "in a London hospital surrounded by his family."
Charlie's death came just weeks after THE ROLLING STONES announced that Watts would be missing several U.S. tour dates while he was recovering from an unspecified medical procedure.
The 12-date "No Filter" tour will reportedly take place as scheduled, with Steve Jordan taking Watts's place.
Although Watts wasn't a founding member of THE STONES, he had been with the band since January 1963.
He battled throat cancer in 2004 but got the all clear after undergoing two operations.
Jordison's family confirmed that he passed away "peacefully in his sleep" on July 26 of an unspecified cause. He was 46 years old.
SLIPKNOT announced its split with Jordison in December 2013 but did not disclose the reasons for his exit. The drummer subsequently issued a statement saying that he did not quit the group.
The same year that he exited SLIPKNOT, Jordison launched the band SCAR THE MARTYR and later, VIMIC. He also collaborated with former DRAGONFORCE and current KREATOR bassist Frédéric Leclercq in SINSAENUM.
IRON MAIDEN's 17th studio album, "Senjutsu", will be released on September 3 via BMG. It was recorded in Paris with longstanding producer Kevin Shirley and co-produced by bassist Steve Harris.
"Senjutsu" marks MAIDEN's sixth album to be produced by Shirley, who has worked with MAIDEN for the past two decades.