Gary Powell (The Libertines)
The Rhythm Best Of Drums 2015 polls have received over 102,000 votes, and we're now ready to roll out the winners. The nominees were what we considered to be the drummers and gear that have excelled in 2015. Here, we present the best Rock Drummers of 2015. First up we have Gary Powell of The Libertines.
2015 highlight: Considering the volatile nature of his band The Libertines, it's quite possible that the 2015 Gary Powell actually experienced may never have happened. But thankfully it did, and the release of new album Anthems For Doomed Youth and huge headline shows has ensured 2015 has been a belter.
Jack White (The Dead Weather)
2015 highlight: Mr White is not someone you immediately think of as being a drummer, but check out his work with Nashville supergroup The Dead Weather and you'll soon hear his natural talent, groove and ear for a decent drum sound.
Jack Bevan (Foals)
2015 highlight: The Oxford quintet went hard and heavy with their fourth album What Went Down, and it clearly worked, bagging them a number three on the British charts. Drummer Jack Bevan told Rhythm in his 2015 interview that the band wanted to “make party music essentially”. On the evidence of tracks like Mountain At My Gates and Night Swimmers we'd say mission accomplished.
Richard Danielson (Vintage Trouble)
2015 highlight: 2015 felt like the year Vintage Trouble finally broke. As a band on the lips of those in the know for some years, it was great to finally see them make ground, including support slots with AC/DC and a brand new, grown up rhythm and blues album 1 Hopeful Rd.
John Tempesta (The Cult/Motor Sister)
2015 highlight: We couldn't believe it when we learned that White Zombie's classic Astro Creep album turned 20 in 2015. John Tempesta's performance on those tracks is still talked about to this day, but we're pleased to report that he isn't sitting on his laurels. There's a new The Cult album on the way and John has been plugging away with Motor Sister, a new band featuring Anthrax's Scott Ian.
Gil Sharone (Marilyn Manson)
2015 highlight: Gil's contribution to The Dark Lord's latest album The Pale Emperor helped bring Mazza back to his rock and roll roots. One of the most versatile drummers on the LA rock session scene, Gil has also leant his many talents to a live album for Team Sleep and we're hoping to see more from those guys next year.
Tommy Lee (Motley Crue)
2015 highlight: This might be the last time we see T-Bone in the Best Rock list for a while as Motley Crue supposedly wind down their touring activity for good. We're sure he will continue working on music, but this year we salute Tommy's longstanding contribution to rock and the advancement of insane drum risers…
Atom Willard (Against Me)
2015 highlight: Atom Willard may have jumped between gigs a fair bit through his career (Rocket From The Crypt, The Offspring, Angels & Airwaves, Social Distortion), but in Against Me it feels like he's found a true home for his stylish punk beats. He's a cracking live drummer too, as evidenced by new Against Me live album 23 Live Sex Acts.
Dom Howard (Muse)
2015 highlight: It's difficult to fathom Muse getting any bigger than they are now, but with 2015's Drones album the Devonshire power trio did just that. Dom continues to astonish us with what he can do with the simplest ideas behind the kit and how three people can make such a monstrous noise.
Steve White (The Family Silver)
2015 highlight: Not only has UK drum legend Steve forged a new alliance with Yamaha Drums this year, but he's also formed a new band in the shape of The Family Silver, alongside Damon Minchella and Matt Deighton. Their debut album Electric Blend is a fantastic mix of Britpop, acid-jazz, blues and more, and we can't wait for live dates in 2016. Welcome back, Whitey!
Michael Spearman (Everything Everything)
2015 highlight: It's difficult to pin Mike Spearman's drumming down, and rock doesn't quite cover it, but we're pleased to seem him featured here. His performance on Everything Everything's Get To Heaven is inventive, unique and undeniably toe-tapping. Everything you'd expect from one of drumming's future heroes.
Mike Bordin (Faith No More)
2015 highlight: Eight years is a long time between albums, unless you're Faith No More. Expectations were high when the world learned the band had been recording a new album on the quiet, so it was sweet relief when we finally heard Sol Invictus in May 2015 and it was full of Mike's biggest beats and that signature sound.
Eddy Thrower (Lower Than Atlantis)
2015 highlight: Quite rightly Lower Than Atlantis receive a lot of praise from the rock press. They write fantastic songs and toured like dogs this year, but the fact they are all fantastic musicians is often overlooked. Drummer Eddy is a master technician and a great songwriter, just check out his performance on 2014's Here We Go.
Glen Sobel (Alice Cooper)
2015 highlight: Whilst his playing with Alice Cooper rocks our world, the biggest event for Glen this year was filling in for a tendinitis-suffering Tommy Lee during a number of dates on Motley Crue's World Tour. He played his first gig with The Crue just hours before showtime. Talk about pressure!
Jamie Perkins (The Pretty Reckless)
2015 highlight: One would be forgiven for thinking that The Pretty Reckless, the New York rock band fronted by Taylor Momsen, would be all about the singer. But when we caught the band on tour early in 2015 we were blown away to see drummer Jamie Perkins given a pounding, musical drum solo and our minds were changed.
JP Gaster (Clutch)
2015 highlight: The biggest groover on this list and possible one of the most underrated, JP Gaster has been serving Clutch' blues-soaked riffs for almost 25 years now and shows no signs of stopping. New album Psychic Warfare was one of the Rhythm team's highlights of the year.
Taylor Hawkins (Foo Fighters)
2015 highlight: Dave Grohl's Sonic Highways series was a huge project in 2014 and 2015 was the year where the Foos toured the accompanying album. As if that wasn't enough, they just unleashed a free EP of five new Foos songs on the world. It looks like things are about to go quiet in Foos land so hopefully we'll see some more solo material from Taylor in 2016.
Chris Slade (AC/DC)
2015 highlight: Phil Rudd has had a rough year in and out of the courthouse. Meanwhile, AC/DC surged on with the release of rock banger Rock Or Bust, with Chris Slade stepping back into the fray with his mounted bass drums and killer backbeat to save the day and assist the Aussie rockers as they toured the world.
Mike Portnoy (The Winery Dogs)
2015 highlight: Mike normally pops up in the Best Prog category, but because of his work alongside Billy Sheehan and Richie Kotzen in rock outfit The Winery Dogs, and 2015's cracking Hot Streak album, he's more than earned his spot here in the Best Rock top 5.
John Fred Young (Black Stone Cherry)
2015 highlight: Another hot young rocker riding high in our Best Rock poll. John Fred certainly has the chops to back up this accolade, most notably on Black Stone Cherry's recent Livin' Live In Birmingham film, complete with blistering drum solo.
Arejay Hale (Halestorm)
2015 highlight: A fantastic placing for the Halestorm drummer in this year's poll. One of modern rock's best showman behind the kit, Arejay and his Pennsylvanian cohorts this year took things up a notch with Into The Wild Life, and Arejay's mini solo at the start of Sick Individual is ace.
Winner: Travis Barker (Blink-182, Antemasque)
2015 highlight: Travis rarely sits still. If he's not publishing tell-all books, he's popping up in so many playing situations it's hard to pin him down to one genre. This year he's been playing live and working hard on the next Blink album with new guy Matt Skiba and has just finished a tour with the mighty Antemasque. Rock on, Travis!