The 5 best punk drummers of all time, by Kye Smith

A press shot of kye smith

You probably best know Kye Smith as the tenacious YouTuber who masterminded the “Drum Chronology” series, an online collection which sees him smash his way through every single song in a band’s back catalogue in five minutes or less. A devout punk rock fan, his chronologies tend to focus on punk bands and labels from the 90s, including every release in both the Fat Wreck and Epitaph catalogues. However, it’s his Beatles chronology which has garnered him the most attention, gathering over 2million views on YouTube and earning him an invitation to perform at Madison Square Garden during a New York Knicks halftime show in 2016. Impressive stuff for a bloke who specialises in novelty YouTube videos.

Now, Smith is branching out to make music of his very own. To celebrate his aptly-titled new album Punks On Speed, Smith picks the five drummers which most influenced him to bang the drum(s).

Tré Cool (Green Day)

“Green Day were the band who got me interested in music and Tré is the drummer who made me want to play the drums. Tré isn’t too flashy or over the top, he writes parts that complement the song and is one of the most solid drummers I have ever seen. He really has a style of his own, there are a lot of drummers who can try and mimic what he does but no one really nails all the nuances that makes it sound like Tré.”

Gordy Forman (Frenzal Rhomb)

“I think that Gordy is probably the drummer I have been influenced by most of all. Listening to his drum parts made me try and think outside of the box when writing drums, rather than just playing an easy go-to pattern or fill. I think I’ve unintentionally borrowed a lot of his tricks over the years. He also taught me that a super-tight snare sounds great for fast punk rock. Not many drummers can play that fast while also be hard hitting and solid at the same time either!”

“Travis set the bar really high for what could be done with incorporating different drumming styes into punk rock songs. He did it while playing in a band that was also commercially massive, so it was accessible and extremely influential to a lot of aspiring drummers including myself. I remember listening to The Mark, Tom and Travis Show when I was about 13 years old and new to drums, thinking that I will never be good enough to try and play some of that stuff!”

Dave Raun (Lagwagon / Me First And The Gimme Gimmes)

“I remember being in awe when I first heard Let’s Talk About Feelings and hearing Dave’s fills. His rolls were so fast and he used accents in different places than what I was used to – so it was a totally new level of learning for me. He made me really want to sit down and develop speed.”

Erik ‘Smelly’ Sandin (NOFX)

“Smelly’s single kick drum action is pretty much the benchmark for aspiring punk rock drummers. My goal for a long time was to be able to play the punk rock beat up to speed with a single kick pedal, and Smelly is the drummer that made me want to focus on trying to get it right.”

Kye Smith’s album, Punks On Speed, is available now via UPPM. You can check out his YouTube shenanigans here.

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