17. Clem Burke (Blondie)
The Rhythm Best in drums 2017 polls have received over 137,000 votes, and we're ready to roll out the winners. The nominees were what we considered to be the drummers and gear that have excelled in 2017. Here, we present the best international rock drummers of 2017. First up we have Blondie’s Clem Burke...
2017 highlight: The Big Apple new wave legends showed no signs of slowing down this year with the release of return-to-form longplayer Pollinator, with the effortlessly cool Clem Burke making his mark from the off on opening track Doom or Destiny.
The MusicRadar Best in drums awards are brought to you in association with Allianz Musical Insurance - the UK's Number 1 Specialist Instrument Insurer
16. Gil Sharone (Marilyn Manson)
2017 highlight: The Big M’s newest album Heaven Upside Down was a welcome distraction from the headlines and a delightfully devilish return to old school Manson. Gil Sharone returned to the drum kit for a second time to lay down his heavy groove on tracks including We Know Where You Fucking Live and Saturnalia.
15. Jose Pasillas (Incubus)
2017 highlight: It had been a while since the nu-metal survivors put out anything truly memorable, but 2017 saw them turn in an absolute triumph of a record in the shape of 8. Rocky, punky and funky in equal measure, it’s everything we’ve ever loved about the Californian alt-rockers rolled into one and, most importantly, it gave Jose Pasillas the opportunity to truly stretch out behind the kit.
14. Frank Ferrer (Guns ‘N Roses)
2017 highlight: There’s only one choice for Frank’s highlight of the year, and that’s the awe-inspiring London shows he performed this summer with the original line-up of Hollywood’s most dangerous rock’n’roll band. Some were disappointed not to see Adler or Sorum on the kit, but Ferrer took us on a trip to Paradise City and proved he was the man for the job.
13. Jon Theodore (Queens Of The Stone Age)
2017 highlight: Taking their new songs to super producer Mark Ronson was a genius move for Josh Homme and co. The resulting album, Villains, combined Ronson’s funky feel with Queens’ desert swagger. From the Trampled Under Foot-style stomp of Feet Don’t Fail Me Now to the Queens meets punk Head Like A Haunted House, Villains was brilliant from start to finish, making Jon Theodore’s first QOTSA album proper one to remember.
12. Adam Carson (AFI)
2017 highlight: AFI have blossomed from black-clad hardcore punks with a cult following to alt rock superstars. At the start of the year they released their tenth studio album, AFI (The Blood Album). Adam Carson’s skills behind the kit have always flown under the radar, but on this new album - and on the subsequent live shows - he really shines. Take a listen to the groove on White Offerings for proof.
11. Brad Wilk (Prophets Of Rage)
2017 highlight: Zack de la Rocha might be out of the picture, but the Rage Against The Machine engine room has risen from the ashes in the shape of Prophets Of Rage, reuniting Brad Wilk with Timmy C and Tom Morello. They teased with a few new tracks and covers in 2016, but this year we finally heard what they’d been cooking up. Their self-titled debut, with Chuck D and B-Real on the mic, is everything we loved about RATM – political, razor sharp and funky as hell. Great to have you back, Brad.
10. Tony Palermo (Papa Roach)
2017 highlight: Tony Palermo is an unsung hero within the ranks of Papa Roach. He joined the band after their nu-metal purple patch, just in time to play on sixth album Metamorphosis. He’s been holding it down with the band ever since and has played a huge part in their rebirth into a hard rock behemoth, particularly on this year’s Crooked Teeth.
9. Stella Mozgawa (Warpaint)
2017 highlight: Not only was Warpaint’s third studio album Heads Up, released at the end of 2016, their most ambitious to date, it was also Aussie drummer Stella’s crowning glory, filled with beautiful electronic soundscapes interspersed with intelligent, mature playing, highlighting what a talent she is as both a drummer and songwriter.
8. Roy Mayorga (Stone Sour)
2017 highlight: We’re stoked to see Roy on this list. Not only has he been sharpening his chops in bands since his teens, but the calibre of those bands is second to none – Nausea, Amebix, Sepultura and Soulfly to name a handful. Roy’s main gig is with Stone Sour and it’s the perfect showcase for the breadth of his percussive talents. If you’re unfamiliar with Roy’s playing, Taipei Person/Allah Tea off new album Hydrograd is a potent introduction to his bombastic, tribal style.
7. Chad Smith (Red Hot Chili Peppers)
2017 highlight: In recent years Chad’s main reason for visiting the UK has been to headline festivals and play stadiums with the Chili Peppers, but this year he took the time out to stop by the Academy of Contemporary Music for a masterclass with his old mate Steve White. The chance to experience that effervescent character up-close, hear his amazing stories and witness the funk in full effect was clearly as fun for Chad as it was for the audience.
6. Zac Farro (Paramore)
2017 highlight: Fans rejoiced when Zac Farro officially rejoined his pals in Paramore at the start of 2017, but little did they know that the band had been cooking up an astonishing album on the quiet. After Laughter marked a slight change of course for the band, but one that introduced a new era of maturity, taste and groove for the young drummer. Give the verse of Fake Happy a spin and you’ll know exactly what we mean.
5. Taylor Hawkins (Foo Fighters)
2017 highlight: Why have one legendary drummer in your band when you can have two? During their Glastonbury headline slot this year The Foo Fighters officially became ‘The Taylor and Dave Show’, with Hawkins proving exactly why he’s such a perfect fit for Dave Grohl’s stadium-rocking riffs. What’s more, on new album Concrete and Gold Taylor had the chance to channel more of his 70s rock heroes.
4. Scott Phillips (Alter Bridge)
2017 highlight: Most bands can only dream of playing the prestigious Royal Albert Hall in London. In October of this year Alter Bridge played it twice, with the 52-piece Parallax Orchestra no less. The result was the night of the band’s (and the fan’s) life. Scott Phillips handled the monumental gig like a true pro, driving the entire show from the back.
3. Daniel Adair (Nickelback)
2017 highlight: This year Daniel celebrated 12 years since joining Canadian hard rockers Nickelback, and boy has he earned his place on that drum throne. This year the band released ninth album Feed The Machine. The album gave Daniel a chance to stretch out beyond the usual rock fare and delve into some odd time prog metal territory, as well as record the drums from the comfort of his new home studio.
2. Ronnie Vannucci Jr. (The Killers)
2017 highlight: 13 years since Ronnie first exploded onto the drum scene with his masterful playing on The Killers debut Hot Fuss, the band is still producing dynamite material. 2017’s Wonderful Wonderful is the sound of a band who have matured (and gotten to know some talented producers) since 2004, but still possess the fire that shaped them. Run For Cover, in particular, is solid gold Vannucci.
Winner: Travis Barker (Blink-182)
2017 highlight: Travis won this hotly-contested category by a country mile this year – no mean feat considering the calibre of the other shortlisted drummers. But between touring the globe with a re-energised Blink-182, new Transplants music and work on a second solo album, there really is no competing with the workaholic drummer.