Ronnie Vannucci's Killers drum setup in pictures
Standing over his kit, his lanky frame flailing at the wide array of gleaming cymbals around his Corvette-red kit, Ronnie Vannucci is finishing in style.
Again. As The Killers complete their third encore at the intimate Leeds gig with their rousing hit ‘When You Were Young’, Ronnie is grinning like a kid on Christmas morning, hurling sticks into the crowd then disappearing momentarily to return with a whole bundle of them to distribute to his fans.
Rhythm feels privileged to be at the Leeds 02 Academy for this fans’ gig in a venue the like of which The Killers’ fame rarely enables them to play now.
Earlier, Rhythm met up with Ronnie for an interview, a squeak in time before the band were due on stage. A lengthy motorway delay for the band meant a hastily-executed photoshoot at Ronnie’s kit - Rhythm literally bustling past Brandon Flowers and the others the second they finish sound-check to get set up on stage - and an interview conducted in the noisy environs of the venue’s catering.
Here we bring you pictures of Ronnie’s kit from that photoshoot, plus extracts from the interview, which you can read in full in Rhythm issue 208.
Craviotto Maple/Poplar/Maple Stacked Solid Candy Apple Red Lacquer kit: 24x15-inch, 13x9-inch, 16x16-inch, 18x16-inch, 14x6 1/2 snare
The Killers are all about the big pop/rock songs, how do you manage to put tons of flair and musicality into your playing while still very much playing for the song?
“I’m just naturally a show-off! But I think when you’re writing songs, in that mindset that’s what I’m thinking about. I’m not thinking can I do a flam five or a six-stroke tap here or wow them with my prowess.”
Zildjian: 17-inch K Constantinople crash and 17-inch K Orchestral suspended cymbal as hi-hats; 22-inch Thin Overhammered with six rivets, 24-inch Light ride, 22-inch K Constantinople Renaissance ride, 22-inch Swish Knocker A series, 40-inch Gong
How do you see your development as a player over the course of the four Killers albums?
“Hopefully I’ve just become a better listener. I think more than playing, listening is probably paramount. I think if you listen and you’re able to understand where a song is going and understand yourself you can make good decisions.”
Remo Black Dot heads; DW 9000 series hardware, DW 5000 series pedal, Roland SPD-SX, Zildjian Ronnie Vannucci signature sticks
The music industry has changed a lot even in the time you’ve been making records, how do you think players starting out now can make a success of drumming?
“I think if you’re going to be a drummer and you want to make yourself valuable you need to learn other instruments. I know for a fact that Bernie Dresel for instance gets gigs, TV show gigs and movie gigs and stuff because he knows how to play other percussion instruments. And he’ll get the gig over someone who just does drumset.
“I don’t care how good you are, knowing more than just drumset will always get you the gig and it will make you a better player in the end. It’s all about understanding the instrument. Drums, especially in pop music, it’s a support role. So in order to be the best type of supporter, I think you should garner an understanding of who you’re playing with.”
Now check out Rhythm’s current Issue 209 for a celebration of 90 years of Premier. Or subscribe to Rhythm here for a monthly dose of new gear reviews, kit buying guides, pro drum lessons and all-star interviews.
Liked this? Now read: Drum kits of the pros: stars' live and studio drum setups in pictures
Get MusicRadar straight to your inbox: Sign up for the free weekly newsletter