John Stanier, Embracing Technologies Behind The Drum

Many drummers in the world are known for hitting their drums with the hardest energy. But John Stanier seems to think differently. His ideal drumming idea is that one must let their drums flow and sound freely without any frustration.

John Stanier
John Stanier

In a 2011 interview, John Stanier stated that the loop becomes the drummer when you are playing with them. In other words, the drummer needs to know how to control their gear so that they give out the best sound, and more.

One thing that defined the drummer and perhaps the reason his band, Battles, loves him is his high tech-approach. The music industry has evolved so much in terms of technology and gear.

Today, there are all sorts of electronic gear that make the life of musicians much easier. John is one of the most influential drummers that have fully embraced these technologies, and this becomes the reason he is widely sought after. It is also through his innovative approach to drumming that he has been able to create the most incredible pieces.

John Stanier Performing
John Stanier Performing

Everything he works on comes out with a difference from other tracks he has played. As such, he has managed to stay relevant for many years.

To John, a drummer needs to run the show, and that is why he talks about letting the loops become the drummer. Whenever Stainer takes that stage, you can never doubt that he is the one in charge. His power can be felt through the performance with lean, pulverizing, and furiously danceable beats.

It is not only his team that feels the control but his audience too. It becomes automatic that you will start dancing to his beats no matter how rigid you are. “It is as if he throws down a spell that just takes you right into the moment.” One of his fans was heard saying.

In the nineties, alt-metal kingpins Helmet burst into the music mainstream. By 1992, they were so strong that they released their million-selling album “Meantime.” It was this time the sound of heavy metal was redefined, and the team has carried this task ever since.

However, they would not have risen to such fame were it not for the work of John Stainer.  The drummer came into play with his meaty, yet calculative approach to the kit that elevated Page Hamilton’s hand-crafted riffs to a whole new world of precision and emotion.

John Stanier Performing
John Stanier Performing

Stainer was inspired by Neil Peart’s work and combined it with the drum-corps technique that let Stainer drill and shape rock drumming to its bare essential. This trend continued until Battles were able to reach their peak.

Stainer is known for applying his unique stripped-down kit, outfitted with only one cymbal tower. And he says this as usually in reaction to the multi-instrumentalism and complexity of the other players.

He has always used this simple approach in many projects according to what other drummers were doing. He has a gift for making the minimal feel great, and not one can take that away from him.

What do you think?

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Written by Andrea

Andrea is a music lover and an experienced drummer with more than 15 years of drumming with different bands and music projects, such as Seditius and Hermano & the Marines.

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