MÖTLEY CRÜE's TOMMY LEE Reveals His Top Three Early Drumming Influences
June 14, 2020
During this past Thursday's (June 11) "All Access Hits" webinar with host David Frangioni, MÖTLEY CRÜE's Tommy Lee was asked which drummers really influenced him and got him excited about drumming when he first started playing. He responded (see video below): "The hands-down guy is John Bonham [LED ZEPPELIN], and you can probably hear it in my playing. That guy, most people will talk about how heavy his foot was and how laid back his snare drum was, but not a lot of people talk about his cymbal placement. He doesn't really play a ton of cymbals, but when he does, he always seems to pick that right moment. And you can hear it in the studio — they've got the cymbals mic'd and compressed really well, so that when he does hit it, it [sounds huge]. And if you were to do that the whole time, it would be messy sounding. But he really had this amazing ability to pick and choose when those moments were when he wanted that power and that big [cymbal sound]. That's something that a lot of people don't talk about. Other than his amazing timing and just his groove, man — the way he laid back on that big heavy foot and the snare drum way, way on the back side. I mean, that's money. The first time I heard that, I'll never forget it. I was sitting there. I must have played 'Physical Graffiti' nine million times, just flipping out, like, 'Jesus, listen to this dude.'"
He continued: "And then later on, other influences… Tommy Aldridge [OZZY OSBOURNE, WHITESNAKE] was another one — just the showmanship part of his playing, the stick spinning and the cymbal grabs and all that kind of stuff. Tommy was another one. And for pure just, like a metronome — Phil Rudd [AC/DC]. Dude, that guy is like a human drum machine. I mean, you could probably clock that guy and I'll bet you it doesn't move — he's that solid. So there's different guys for different things, but I've been inspired by many drummers. And more that I could mention, but we'd be for freakin' hours. [Laughs]"
A week ago, Lee released two new solo songs. "Knock Me Down" is a collaboration with Killvein, while "Tops" features South African rapper Push Push. Both tracks will appear on Tommy's new solo album, "Andro", which is due in October.
Earlier in the month, MÖTLEY CRÜE, DEF LEPPARD, POISON and JOAN JETT & THE BLACKHEARTS announced that "The Stadium Tour" has been postponed until the summer 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic.
"The Stadium Tour" was scheduled to kick off in a week — on June 18 at TIAA Bank Field in Jacksonville, Florida — and run through September 5 in Los Angeles. The bands reportedly also booked time at VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville to rehearse for the tour.
When it happens, "The Stadium Tour" will mark the CRÜE's first live dates since wrapping its 2014/2015 farewell tour. CRÜE toured with POISON back in 2011 and DEF LEPPARD teamed up with POISON for a string of road dates in 2017 — but the upcoming jaunt marks the first time all four acts have hit the road together for an extended tour.
Hope you can join this webinar with Tommy Lee Thursday 3pm EST Modern Drummer Magazine