Escape The Fate hit town Thursday night, May 26th. While catching up with my friend Robert Ortiz, we went "drummer to drummer".

Ok, I'm really a bassist but the relationship in a band between bassist and drummer is vitally important so one is usually well versed in the others world. Meaning, basically, that I know as the old saying goes, "Just enough to be dangerous."

Our conversation went from catching up, to talking about the upcoming show at Speaking Rock, their new album, Chemical Warfare, (listen above), to our favorite drummers.

Here is part 1 of his "Great 8" which include some most would probably agree with, some that will ... as with pretty much all "best of" lists ... spark some debate and at least one that may surprise you.


Robert Ortiz: - Every snobby know it all musician who’s only concern is tangible mathematical ability talks sh** onLars Ulrich - Metallica. Yes he’s sloppy (these days) and eccentric. But he is without a doubt the GOAT. No musician / artist that has ever existed has ever understood the majesty of the riff more than Lars. He understands what makes songs great. Often it’s what he doesn’t do that makes him exceptional. It’s often what he does that we don’t see on stage that makes him even greater. Being the best drummer is about being a great band member. No one has ever worked harder and smarter than Lars to create the perfect Metal brand. There is no MetallicA without Lars. MetallicA is the greatest band of all time. Thats a scientific fact.

Dubba G: Agreed. Although Jason Newsted should be acknowledged for making a significant contribution to Lars' style by teaching him to work more closely with the bass player as opposed to simply staying locked into what James Hetfield was doing.

Robert Ortiz: You aren't a drummer if you haven’t attempted Tom Sawyer. That song alone places him top 3. In almost the opposite way of the number 1 spot, Neil Peart of Rush takes the spotlight and can hear things in spaces like no other can. Where the average drummer might play a simple beat, he accents things and that's pure magic. Couple that with the fact that he is without a doubt one of the greatest lyricists of all time and you have a musical genius. When i was a little sad at the passing of my grandfather, I had some emotions I needed to get out, Neil was the inspiration for me to write lyrics. Being drummer doesn’t mean you can’t be an artist.

Dubba G: Again, agreed ... and, 'nuff said.

Robert Ortiz: Teenage me couldn’t understand why Guns N Roses was so awesome to me. Groove. Pocket. Feel. When you got SlashIzzy and Duff deliver the gnarliest bluesy punk riffs, you need to help and also get the f*** out the way. No one else has his feel. You cant teach it. There is no appetite for destruction without Steven Adler. That is one of the best albums of all time. Simplicity is sometimes the best formula. No one else has his feel. You cant teach it. Simplicity is sometimes the best formula.

Dubba G: Yep, knowing what to do and what not to do is a talent all it's own and, when you're surrounded by egos and self indulgence, holding yourself back is not always ... pun very much intended ... "so easy

Robert Ortiz: As much as I love listening to Avenged Sevenfold, it was a hundredfold better being blessed to watch them live with the Rev. When I saw him, he was the best and fastest drummer I'd ever seen. And more importantly, he was real. He was in front of me. I saw him parking their tour van. He showed me that it was possible. And he could sing and he could write. I still miss him. I still get emotional when I think of ditching school to watch them play at the Huntridge in Vegas and having my entire existence changed. 

Dubba G: He was, not only all that, but also very technical and an incredibly cool guy. The first time I watched him play Bat Country, from behind the kit where I could really see what he was doing, I was floored. There is a LOT going on in that track.

That will do it for part one of Robert's top 8 drummers list. Click here for part 2 and don't miss Escape The Fate Thursday night at Speaking Rock Entertainment Center. Get their new album, Chemical Warfare, here. It's literally a "homecoming" show for Robert so, let's make it BIG.

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