'Guess The Drummer' With Queens Of The Stone Age

'Guess The Drummer' With Queens Of The Stone Age

Attentive Queens of the Stone Age fans should know by now a fair few musicians came and went during the production of ...Like Clockwork. Most of them can be counted as regular parts of the fluctuating musical community that is Josh Homme’s Queens, and some of them probably aren’t worth thinking about too long. You should be thinking about the drumming work thrown together for the LP though because it represents a logistical triumph the likes of which musicians can seldom facilitate. Three different drummers, 10 tracks, varying degrees of cymbals and toms, drastically different sounds being made – that’s the result we’ve been given. I’m keen to take a punt at who kitted up to play on each song, bearing in mind we’ve Dave Grohl, Joey Castillo and Jon Theodore to pick from.

1. ‘Keep Your Eyes Peeled’ – Probably Joey, maybe Jon

Joey has been – for all intents and purposes if not officially – booted from Homme’s touring roster and I think it’s mainly because he rushes his beats consistently. Queens haven’t played ‘Feel Good Hit Of The Summer’ for a while because they’ve been afraid of Castillo catching on fire. ‘Keep Your Eyes Peeled’ is a steady, sauntering tune by comparison, one you’d think he couldn’t run away with easily.

2. ‘I Sat By The Ocean’ – Most likely Grohl

Grohl has an unmistakably fierce hi-hat snap and his snare grace notes are some of the tightest you’ll ever hear. I hear some I reckon, particularly in the verse-connecting sections.

3. ‘The Vampyre Of Time And Memory’ – Anybody’s guess, most likely either Jon or Grohl

Jon represents a finessed alternative to Joey’s brutality, and ballads like this one call for calculated strikes. It makes logical sense to have Jon in on ‘The Vampyre’; his phrases are simple, but not TOO simple. That’s his thing.

4. ‘If I Had A Tail’ - Absolutely Dave

There’s no way this tune couldn’t have been handled by Dave. The post-chorus section follows a dance beat totally like ‘Gunman’ by Them Crooked Vultures (Dave’s other drumming venture with Josh) with the same cymbal-snare-snare-cymbal fill in between two-bar stretches.

5. ‘My God Is The Sun’ – Jon, Joey

Lot of finesse present in this song, and while the break-neck pace comfortably suits a drummer like Grohl, the deceptively simple drum phrases you get seem like they’ve come from Jon.

6. ‘Kalopsia’ – Jon, Joey, Grohl. Take your pick

This one is tough. There are no obvious style signifiers. Joey drummed in a similar way for the track ‘I Think I’ve Lost My Headache’ a while ago, with a similar sense of syncopation, so I’d tip him.

7. ‘Fairweather Friends’ – Again, most likely Joey

‘Fairweather Friends’ is probably the most straightforward track on the album rhythmically, so it stands to reason Homme’d give it to Joey.

8. ‘Smooth Sailing’ – Joey

Brutal, straight and sure. Definitely Joey.

9. ‘I Appear Missing’ - Dave definitely

Toward the end of this one there’s a solid 8-odd-bar stretch of rolling tom work that sounds an awful lot like Dave’s stuff on either ‘No One Loves Me And Neither Do I’ (Them Crooked Vultures) or ‘No One Knows’. You know it’s his chops you’re hearing.

10. ‘Like Clockwork’ – Another wildcard

I want to say Dave helmed this one. The periodic changes in bar-length during instrumental sections have his branding.
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