4 of the Most Underrated Rock Drummers of All Time

A band is only as good as its drummer, or so the saying goes. Drummers are the real lifeblood of any band, being they folk, rock, pop, or jazz bands and beyond. Unfortunately, drummers don’t get as much love as they deserve, often falling to the wayside in popularity in favor of vocalists and guitarists. That being said, there are so many excellent drummers out there who deserve their flowers. Let’s look at four underrated rock drummers who deserve some love!

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It’s worth noting that there are a lot of underrated guitarists out there. These four are just a few examples, and this list is far from exhaustive.

1. Terry Bozzio, Frank Zappa/Missing Persons

Most of the biggest bands in the world have had exceptional drummers to back them up. Terry Bozzio is an excellent example of a drummer who breathes new life into whatever band he’s in. Bozzio’s career started when he performed with Frank Zappa in the 1970s. He went on to form the new wave outfit Missing Persons with his ex Dale in 1980. Bozzio knows how to work with complex rhythms and the typical movements of rock music, making him one of the most versatile drummers alive today. It’s evident in his semi-recent work with Fantomas and Korn. Not a lot of drummers can pull that kind of versatility!

2. Tim Alexander, Primus

Tim Alexander’s work with Primus is fascinatingly unique. The band itself is almost impossible to classify under the genre of rock, and that’s what makes them so special. Alexander’s drumming skills offered a lot to the band’s alternative funky sound. Not many drummers can pull off a polyrhythmic drumming style like he can. It’s simply entrancing to listen to.

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3. Jon Theodore, The Mars Volta/Queens of the Stone Age

The Mars Volta has long been known for its prog-rock energy, and Queens Of The Stone Age are known for their heavy, alternative rock sound. Jon Theodore has drummed for both and managed to keep up with the very different energy of either band. He’s a force of nature live, and his contributions to The Mars Volta’s Frances The Mute and De-Loused In The Crematorium made a notable difference in the quality of those albums.

4. Reni, Stone Roses

We can’t talk about underrated rock drummers without talking about Reni. The Stone Roses were huge in the UK in the 1980s, and it makes sense why. The band managed to merge classic rock and indie-rock energy into something entirely new. And they became known as a musician’s band through the complex and smart drum work of Reni. 

Photo by Ethan Miller

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