Ronnie Vannucci: Emerges With The Killers

“We welcome the pressure. It’s every musician’s dream to be successful, and what I mean by successful at the very least is to be recognized for what you do, for your art. I’m not talking about money: I’m talking about being recognized for writing good songs and playing good music. There’s always going to be pressure — because this one was a success, people will always compare the two. Where do you go? Grow up? Remain consistent? Do we have another ’Somebody Told Me’ on the next record? Another ’Mr. Brightside’? I don’t know.”

Whether The Killer’s Record #2 is totally brilliant or sucks, Ronnie Vannucci will definitely deliver the goods on the drums, the only way he knows how. “If you’re playing music, you’ve got to have a fire inside,” he affirms. “You’ve got to have a level of passion, a certain level of talent, and a good balance of technical ability and know-how, but you’ve also got to have the heart. Without the heart, you’re nothing. I can show you a million rudiments, dazzle you with my paradiddles, but if I’ve got no heart behind it, nothing controlling that, nothing making it musical? It’s not worth it. It’s not worth anything to anybody.”

Groove Analysis

The Killers are categorized as neo-wave. I can see the thinking — new wave was 20 years ago, old wave wouldn’t sell to teenagers, so neo-wave was a go. Regardless, they’re a commercial-, radio-, and MTV-friendly band that’s equal parts The Smiths and Oasis with a large dose of The Cure. Ronnie Vannucci slams the skins and crafts some pretty cool parts for this Las Vegas—based band. We chose to write out “Jenny Was A Friend Of Mine” simply because it’s a good song with a tasty drum part. Vannucci’s opening cymbal roll leads us into a cool little fill to set up the intro. This funky rock groove uses a couple sixteenth hi-hat notes to lead into beat 4. The little figure he plays at the end of four-bar cycles really grabs your ear. He hits the snare on 4 & a to create an interesting syncopation and answers it with the e & of beat 1 on his bass drum. It’s the sort of little drum figure that adds a lot of rhythmic interest to the feel of this catchy song.

DRUM! Notation Guide

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