Motley Crue Drummer Tommy Lee Reveals Which Drummers Affected His Playing Style

In a new interview with Modern Drummer, the 57-year-old drummer Tommy Lee, known with his Motley Crue career, talked on his playing style and revealed which drummers affected it.

While he talks on the issue, Tommy Lee praised Led Zeppelin legend John Bonham and talked on his style.

“The hands-down guy is John Bonham, and you can probably hear it in my playing. That guy, most people will talk about how heavy his foot was and how laid back his snare drum was, but not a lot of people talk about his cymbal placement.

“He doesn’t really play a ton of cymbals, but when he does, he always seems to pick that right moment. And you can hear it in the studio – they’ve got the cymbals miked and ecompressed really well so that when he does hit it, it sounds huge.

“And if you were to do that the whole time, it would be messy sounding. But he really had this amazing ability to pick and choose when those moments were when he wanted that power and that big – that’s something that a lot of people don’t talk about.

“Other than his amazing timing and just his groove, man, the way he laid back on that big heavy foot and the snare drum way, way on the backside… I mean, that’s money. The first time I heard that – I’ll never forget it.

“I was sitting there. I must have played ‘Physical Graffiti’ nine million times, just flipping out, like, ‘Jesus, listen to this dude.’”


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