Canadian Musician - January/February 2023 - Page 50

What would rock and roll be without drums ? Or country , or blues , or jazz for that matter ? Drummers and percussionists are the backbone of popular music , though rarely get the notoriety of their spotlight-stealing bandmates holding the mics and guitars . But to be honest , having interviewed countless musicians over the years , I ’ ve often had the most fun chatting with drummers . Yes , of course there ’ s exceptions to every rule , but so often I ’ ve found drummers to be enthusiastic , humble , good-humoured , and insightful in conversation , whether talking about their own craft or music in general .

And so , join us as we get input and insights from our 2023 panel of top-notch drummers on an array of topics . And don ’ t worry , there ’ s no shortage of gear talk …


Daniel Adair has been the drummer for Nickelback since 2005 . They have , of course been one of the biggest rock bands in the world throughout the 2000s , earning armfuls of Juno Awards , six Grammy nominations , and countless platinum and gold record certifications . Prior to joining Nickelback , Adair was the drummer for Martone and 3 Doors Down .
CM : When you listen to your drumming on the new Nickelback album , Get Rollin ’, and compare it your drumming as a younger guy in Martone and 3 Doors Down , what ’ s the evolution you hear in your own playing in those 20 years ?
Daniel Adair : I think my approach has changed for sure — dare I say it ’ s a little more mature . When I was younger , I knew to play for the songs but sometimes added superfluous fills in live situations that in hindsight sounded a little cluttered . I ’ ve noticed that my playing sounds more solid and deliberate , as well , over the last 17 years with the band . Nickelback calls for something specific and I think I ’ ve learned to deliver what ’ s required .
CM : If you could out one or two songs from the Nickelback discography that best exemplify your contribution to the band ’ s distinctive sound , what would recommend listening to ? Can you explain why ?
Adair : The most freedom I ever had on a Nickelback album was the All the Right Reasons album . There would be scratch guitar tracks laid down and a click track . I ’ d write the drum parts on the spot with input from the band . I feel that album really represents my drumming and how I approach music . The album starts out with the song “ Follow You Home ,” which basically said to the world , “ Hey look , we have a new drummer !” I am a big fan of Virgil Donati and I was always working on different double kick patterns . When Joey Moi , our producer , said I should come up with a drum intro , I started toying with different ideas and when I played that pattern , Joey and Chad [ Kroeger , Nickelback singer / guitarist ] said that was the one .
The other track that I would choose is “ Fight For All The Wrong Reasons .” There ’ s some really cool sixteenth note hi-hat work in the