Riley Breckenridge is best known for his syncopated, hard-hitting alt-rock grooves with Thrice, but for new project Less Art, he teamed up with brother and bassist-turned-guitarist Ed Breckenridge, as well as the drummer's Puig Destroyer bandmates, to deliver “post-hardcore by post-youths”.
The group - completed by Ian Miller and Jon Howell of Kowloon Walled City, and Mike Minnick, ex-Curl Up And Die - unleash an undiluted adrenaline rush of post-hardcore at its primal, brutal best on debut album Strangled Light.
Amidst the urgency of the record’s nine breakneck tracks, the band’s musicianship, refined over many years of touring and recording, shines through, and as always, Riley’s beats are a highlight.
Here, he reveals 10 drum albums that have had a monumental impact on his playing both in Thrice and Less Art, spanning alternative classics and a smattering of math-rock gems. Dig in.
Less Art’s Strangled Light is out on 28 July via Gilead Media.
1. Led Zeppelin - IV (1971)
“This record has been in heavy rotation since well before I started playing drums.
“John Bonham is a god, and while it took me getting behind a kit and playing along to Zeppelin to realize just how godlike his playing is, I’ve turned to his playing for inspiration (the feel, the dynamics, the pocket, the swing) more times than I can count over the past 20 years.”
2. The Mars Volta - De-Loused In The Comatorium (2003)
“Jon Theodore’s playing blows my mind.
“He’s the perfect combination of technicality, musicality, and pocket playing, and that he makes it looks so effortless is just jaw-dropping.”
3. Queens Of The Stone Age - Songs For The Deaf (2002)
“I really could have picked any record that Dave Grohl played drums on, because they all rule, but there’s something about how he supports the amazing guitar riffs on Songs For The Deaf that gets me hyped no matter how many times I listen to it.”
4. Shiner - The Egg (2001)
“There’s gotta be something in the water in Kansas City that creates freakish drummers.
“Jason Gerken’s ability to support mathy angular riffs and make them feel groovy is incredible. He’s unbelievably solid and tasteful, and he makes it look easy.”
5. Deftones - White Pony (2000)
“Abe Cunningham is another all-time fave.
“There are so many iconic beats on this record, from the opening grooves of Digital Bath and RX Queen, to the bashing of Korea and dynamics of Change [(In The House Of Flies)]. And he’s an absolute monster behind the kit at live shows.”
6. Radiohead - Hail To The Thief (2003)
“This is another situation where I could have picked any Radiohead record (save Kid A) as a favourite example of Phil Selway’s drumming.
“His knack for supporting the band’s eclectic arrangements is phenomenal.”
7. Cave In - Jupiter (2000)
“This record has been a go-to for inspiration for over the past 15 years or so.
“JR Connors is a beast of a drummer - the perfect blend of Grohl-esque power and Bonham-esque dynamics and groove, and this record is flawless as far as I’m concerned.”
8. Botch - We Are The Romans (1999)
“Tim Latona is another huge inspiration. The record is almost 20 years old and it still destroys everything hardcore/metalcore/post-metal.”
9. Refused - The Shape Of Punk To Come (1998)
“David Sandström rules. His playing on this record blew me away when I first heard it.
“I’ve had the opportunity to catch a few Refused sets since they reformed, and he’s just freakishly good - amazingly well-written parts, flawless fusion of multiple styles, and he’s another one of those guys who makes it look like a breeze to pull off.”
10. SUMAC - The Deal (2015)
“I’m a huge fan of Nick Yacyshyn’s playing with Baptists (and very well could have chosen Bushcraft for this list), but d-beats at 210bpm don’t really have much practical application within the parameters of Thrice or Less Art songs.
“His drumming on The Deal, however, is f-ing ridiculously good and I’m hellbent on figuring out even a fraction of his wizardry.”