Avenged Sevenfold's Arin Ilejay's nine drumming heroes
Arin Ilejay came on to the Rhythm radar at frightening pace as he took over as sticksman for 21st century metal A-listers Aveneged Sevenfold. Ilejay is already well on the way to establishing himself as a bonafide drum hero, so when we sat down with him we wanted to find out which drummers have shaped his style.
"One of the first big influences for me was Dave Weckl. His is the kind of stuff that I would just sit and listen to. I learned drums by just listening to music and playing what I heard. My dad turned me onto Dave Weckl, and his playing was incredible.
"At the time I couldn’t pull any of it off - I don’t think I could even do any of it now to be honest. I haven’t listened to him as much lately because I’ve been focusing on different music, but he inspired me to want to be better."
Thomas Pridgen and Jon Theodore
"The Mars Volta was a huge thing for me. Guys like Jon Theodore and Thomas Pridgen are incredible. Thomas Pridgen has been huge for me recently. Jon Theodore had a huge influence on my style as well. He broadened my horizons when it comes to different techniques."
Chris Pennie, Gil Sharone and Carter Beauford
"Chris Pennie and Gil Sharone for Dillinger Escape Plan were big for me as well. Those guys influenced me a lot. Hearing that style of drumming drew me into Dillinger in the first place. I loved hearing the syncopated work between drums and guitar.
"I loved Carter Beauford from Dave Matthews Band as well because of all of the syncopated drumming. That stuff became my favourite stuff to listen to."
"The Rev was the person that got me into metal. There weren’t any metal drummers that drew me in until him. Jimmy’s parts are amazing, so [on joining the band], being already a fan of Jimmy - he’s one of my favourite drummers - I wanted to do his parts right, you know? So I was like, ‘I’m going to do these parts right. This is what I’m good at, this is what I do.’"
Lars Ulrich and Ringo Starr
"In so many ways Lars really is the best metal drummer. He doesn’t have the crazy shredding chops that a lot of drummers have, but he has the best stage presence of any drummer. He’s out of his mind but writes incredible parts for the music. He’s the Ringo Starr of metal. Ringo and Lars get the least amount of credit, but they are absolute geniuses. I used to think drummers had to shred to get anywhere, but when you look at the music industry it is saturated with incredible musicians and that doesn’t mean that your band is going to make it. It’s not enough to just shred.
"On Hail To The King, along with all of our fans, I thought I was going to be writing the craziest drum parts for that record, something to fill the shoes of The Rev. But the band wanted me to create my own sound and legacy. They wanted me to dumb it down and play caveman-like and spaced out, with big fills that support the music. I was bummed out about that at first, but it helped to have heard drummers like Lars. For the next album we have kicked around the idea of having some crazy fills."