Meshuggah have finally returned to North America headlining dates in the U.S. and Canada. Their latest album Obzen was released last year to critical acclaim and praise from drummers due to Tomas Hakke’s incredible performance. The track Bleed has set the bar at the highest level for double bass precision and power. SABIAN’s artist relations manager Chris Stankee caught one of the first shows in Hollywood.
He says, "The thing that is most incredible about Tomas’ playing is how much it grooves. There’s always a massive and steady pulse no matter how complex the music gets. The more it grooves- the heavier it gets and I’m pretty sure that is what Meshuggah is going for!"
I was talking to Sabian artist Gus Rios at the show who is a columnist for Sick Drummer Magazine and we were discussing what seems to be a competition in certain circles to be the fastest player out there. You know, there’s always going to be somebody faster and that doesn’t mean it will be better music. Meshuggah reminds me of what I like about Pantera- how heavy it is because of Vinnie’s groove. Half the drumming community in LA came out tonight to see the band- Troy Zeigler from Serj Tankian’s band, Dave Elitch from Daughters of Mora, Ray Luzier from KORN, Forest Robinson, Glen Sobel, Seven Antonopoulos from Leave’s Eyes, members of Tool and more! Tomas’ current cymbal set up is very unusual. There’s no ride cymbal in his set up though he uses a 22" Legacy Heavy Ride and 21" HHX Groove Ride as crashes. He rounds that out with 20 & 21" HHX Stage crashes. His stack is currently a 19" Paragon Chinese with a 16" HHXtreme crash mounted on top though he’s looking for something lower pitch, but louder. That’s a tall order because a heavier cymbal is typically louder, but higher in pitch. Mark and the guys in the Vault will have to dig into their bag of tricks for this order, but we’ll update his set up when something is made. Go see Meshuggah kids. They will melt your face." Touring with Meshuggah is the reunited Cynic. In the early 90’s they released one album, FOCUS, that made the band progressive metal superstars. You’ll often see Sean Reinert’s name listed by drummers in magazines as an influence and for good reason. Now more than 15 years later they just released their 2nd album Traced In Air. They recently finished a tour in Europe with Opeth. Sean is a masterful player- incredibly fluid and steeped in the Moeller Method. One of those players you know can play any style of music. In fact, check out Aeon Spoke’s Above The Buried Cry and the very influential album Human by the band Death. Sean is enjoying the reunion and let’s hope there’s not another 15 year wait between Cynic albums! Pick up the latest (March) issue of Modern Drummer for an in depth interview with Sean. Tour dates are listed here:http://www.meshuggah.net/tour/
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