Although John Tempesta is perhaps best known as a ‘metal’ drummer, he feels as at home unleashing high speed thrash as he does The Cult’s monstrous back beats.
After backing the likes of White Zombie, Testament and Tony Iommi, here John Tempesta shares the six records which have most-defined his career, telling Rhythm Magazine why they mattered so much along the way.
Force Of Habit (1992)
On John’s second studio album with Exodus, the 11-minute track Architect Of Pain saw John do “the Clive Burr thing”, overdubbing chimes and gongs on top of his drum part.
A drummer who grew up on classic and prog rock, John was also able to master the demands of thrash and make the style his own, showcased perfectly with Testament.
Astro-Creep: 2000 (1995)
Recording Astro-Creep: 2000 gave John his first exposure to working with loops and samples. The track More Human Than Human perfectly encapsulates how White Zombie seamlessly blended industrial metal with dance-friendly beats.
John provided drums for the track Meat on Iommi’s star-studded solo long-play. The pastoral setting of Long View Farm, Massachusetts, seems an unlikely spot for the recording of this track, which is driven by Iommi’s unmistakeable guitar, and fulfilled a lifelong dream for John.
Size Matters (2004)
When Page Hamilton decided to resurrect Helmet, he called John to handle the drum chores. The staccato rhythms and crunching guitars gave John room to lay down crushingly heavy beats.
Born Into This (2007)
The Cult’s first studio album in six years saw them turn away from the loops of Beyond Good And Evil, marking a welcome return to their classic, stripped-down sound.