Jose Pasillas: Sinking Back Into The Beat

Inside The Pasillas Pocket

Incubus’ latest release, If Not Now, When?, features more of drummer Jose Pasillas’ solid pocket drumming and a bit less of the unconventional groove approaches we’ve come to love on the band’s earlier discs. Fortunately, there’s still a taste of that here for us die-hard fans of his drumming.

“Promises, Promises”
This track almost sounds like it’s in an odd-time due to the way the bass and guitar interact with Pasillas’ straight-ahead part. There are eighth-note accents within his sixteenth-note hi-hat part that help the verse groove hard. In the next section, he rides his floor tom and throws in a tasty groove fill in the last bar.

DRUM! Notation Guide


This transcription starts at the end of the intro leading into the funky verse. For this section Pasillas plays a driving funk groove but adds his unique touch to it by substituting the anticipated backbeat on count 4 of the last measure with an extra pair of bass drum notes.


This funky groove reminds me of old-school Incubus. The mixer compressed the room mikes heavily to make the groove pump.


This slow and funky 12/8 groove starts with a nice fill to lead into the verse. Pasillas plays a syncopated bass drum pattern and is also accenting the hi-hat so heavily on the eighth-notes that the notes in between them are nearly inaudible. This technique makes his groove feel much deeper.

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