VINNIE PAUL Says He Can't 'Groove' To Blast Beats

January 20, 2015

In a brand new interview with, former PANTERA and current HELLYEAH drummer Vinnie Paul Abbott spoke about his approach to drumming and the tendency by a lot of the younger musicians to "really overplay." He said: "It's drummers playing for drummers. It's called, 'Look at me. Listen how fast I can go' — dudududududududu [mimics ultra-fast double-bass beat]. There's no melody, there's no song and there's no chorus. It just doesn't take you anywhere, so it doesn't have a groove to me."

He continued: "I think there's a lot of death metal or doom metal dudes that somehow or another find a groove in it. David Vincent from MORBID ANGEL is a good friend of mine, and he's, like, 'Yeah, bro, there's great groove in that. What do you call it? — blast beat, man. You just haven't found it yet.'

"I can appreciate people for being able to go that fast with their left hand, man. But I just can't groove to that beat. I'm sorry. It's just like somebody sweeping the floor or something — tik tik tik tik tik. It just doesn't really jam to me. I'd rather hear a [John] Bonham groove going on than somebody sweeping the floor. You know?"

Vinnie Paul added: "One of my philosophies about playing drums is if you really break it down, there's probably only about 10 or 12 percent of the people in this world that are actually musicians that understand what goes into making a song. The other people are just listeners and they feel the groove and they feel the beat and that's what makes them move and that's what makes them go, 'That's a fuckin' kick-ass song.'

"As a drummer, I always approach things as, 'I want to play just enough to keep other drummers interested, but not enough to go over the average listener's head.' That's where I think a lot of these guys today are just, 'I'm the drummer, man. Check it out. Here's my lick. I just learned this new drum lick. I'm just gonna blast all over the place.' It's like, 'Man, you've got to let the song breathe.'

"Metal kids aren't gonna like it, but that's why a band like DEF LEPPARD sounds so fuckin' great live is because there's so much space in their music — kicks, snare, boom — and stuff really moves and it all jives with the others. It's exciting, and it sounds great, and you can sing the song. It's not overdone. I think we did that with PANTERA and all the bands I've been a part of; we've been able to find a way to get that space in the music and really not go over the top. I mean, there were some times we did some stuff that was really overly aggressive and super badass, as far as fast and all of that, but it all came back to the groove afterwards."

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