“I also want to make an honorable mention of the drummer who played on Plant’s Band Of Joy record, Marco Giovino, who is wonderful. Jay Bellerose is the on Raising Sand, and he’s really great.
“I just assumed that the drumming on Raising Sand was put together piece by piece, but it wasn’t. It’s super-earthy and dark, and the ride cymbal sound is really cheesy, but it’s perfect for the music. I met Jay on the Raising Sand tour, and I was very impressed with his kit. It was pretty old, from the 1940s – I don’t know the name of the manufacturer – and there was no metal on it. Back in the ‘40s, metal had to be used for making bombs and tanks for World War II, so Jay’s kit was all wood.
“It was a giant bass drum, one rack tom, one floor tom, one ride cymbal – that nasty, cheesy ride from the record – and I don’t think there was a hi-hat. He kept Velcroing different percussion to his leg. He didn’t play every song with drumsticks. One song might have a maraca as his riding stick. Marco Gionino takes that approach to another level himself.
“There’s nothing technical about the drumming on Raising Sand – it’s all feel – and the idea was to make the drums sound different song to song by hitting them with different utensils. Instead of sticks, there might be a mallet or a stick with a maraca taped to it. It’s a really creative approach.
“I don’t want to say this is the future, but when you see somebody apply their creativity in a new way, it’s special.”