Saturday, April 29, 2006

Riding On Coattails: The Man Behind the Drumstick

Geoff Trainor

We've all heard the cliche, "The grass is always greener on the other side". This may be true for many drummers. There's no denying that there's a large gap in the level of fame carried by the frontman and the drummer. Few drummers manage to successfully scale the fence to greener fields. Phil Collins (Genesis) and more recently Dave Grohl (Nirvana) come to mind.

Apparently Dave Grohl has been a great role model for his Foo Fighters bandmate, Taylor Hawkins. Hawkins first starting getting notice as the tour drummer for Alanis Morissette when she toured Jagged Little Pill. He's been at home behind the Foo Fighters drumkit since 1997, but now is taking frontman Grohl's lead and branching out with his own band.

Taylor Hawkins
...Maybe Taylor Should Stay Hidden Behind His Drums?

Taylor Hawkins is by no means new to being in front of the mic. He previously appeared on the M:I-2 soundtrack for the Foo Fighters cover of Pink Floyd's 'Have A Cigar', and more recently appeared on the Foo Fighters' In Your Honor with his own track, 'Cold Day In The Sun'.

Much like Grohl, Hawkins remained behind the kit for the recording of his debut album. Unlike Grohl, he enlisted the help of two other people. Chris Chaney of Jane's Addiction was brought in for bass, with friend Gannin on guitar. The end result, Taylor Hawkins & The Coattail Riders, is a good, but could be great, band.

Despite the fact that has the drummer in the band fronted by a man who came to fame behind the drum kit of Nirvana, he holds his own in the Foo Fighters. He has been known to do some amazing drum solos and from time to time likes to show off with moves that Grohl hasn't mastered. That said, the drumming on this album is subpar.

Taylor Hawkins & the Coattail Riders
Taylor Hawkins (center) & the Coattail Riders

Okay, maybe that isn't fair, he isn't just a drummer in a band anymore, but the fact remains that he is the drummer. In fact, the entire debut album has a feeling of being restrained. They can just never reach the point where they let themselves become immersed in their sound. Speaking of their sound, it makes you think Hawkins drummed with Queens of the Stone Age for Songs For The Deaf, and not Grohl. Think stoner rock.

Don't get me wrong, I still enjoy the band quite a bit, and I hope that they release another album, a more solid album. They have a great formula, they just need to let go a little bit. This was a good start for Hawkins, with a little fine tuning this band could end up in high rotation in my CD list (or iPod, had I one).

Taylor Hawkins & The Coattail Riders - Louise
Taylor Hawkins & The Coattail Riders - Better You Than Me

Taylor Hawkins & The Coattail Riders

Comments on "Riding On Coattails: The Man Behind the Drumstick"


Anonymous The Internet said ... (30/4/06 1:58 am) : 

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Blogger Geoff Trainor said ... (30/4/06 2:43 am) : 

Casey has one....kinda


Blogger Calum Marsh said ... (30/4/06 5:09 pm) : 

Casey and I both have broken iPods. We're cool.


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