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Bill Ward by Colin Fuller

We’re all probably going bat shit crazy at the moments, and while we’ve been catering for our string playing friends in the form of practice amps to play at home, we can only imagine what our drummer compadres are going through, locked up and most of them unable to play as, let’s face it, drums aren’t exactly welcome in densely populated areas and cities. So, to shine a light on our drummer friends who are currently held up at home with an abundance of excess energy, we decided to ask a few drummers to share some of the songs that inspired them to start playing.

Massive thanks to Joey Castillo of The Bronx, Tomas Järmyr of Motorpsycho, Michael Amster of Nebula & Mondo Generator, Tom Marsh of Haggard Cat, Ken Pustelnik of The Groundhogs, Adam Bulgasem of Dommengang & Black Mountain, Thomas DiBendetto of Sacri Monti, Robby Staebler of All Them Witches, Rich Noakes of Derelics and Marco Ninni of Swedish Death Candy for contributing. Full playlist & artist overview of who picked which song below.

Joey Castillo, The Bronx, formerly of QOTSA

Circle Jerks – Red Tape
Motörhead – Motörhead
DEVO – Satisfaction
Led Zeppelin – Misty Mountain Hop
Fear – Camarillo

Tomas Järmyr, Motorpsycho

Meshuggga – Spasm
Cult of Luna – Finland
The Dillinger Escape Plan – 43% Burnt
Switchblade – 19:30
Tool – Schism

Michael Amster, Nebula & Mondo Generator

The Melvins – Honey Bucket 
Thin Lizzy – Massacre (LIVE) 
Poison Idea – Deep Sleep
Black Flag – The Bars (Live ’84-Live) 
Russian Circles – 309 

Ken Pustelnik, The Groundhogs

When asked about his top 5, Ken had this to say:

“This is tricky since I’ve spent my entire career trying to avoid listening to “just” the drumming for its merit alone. Why have I done that? Simply because I have attempted not to be influenced by other players so that I can preserve any natural originality in my own playing. Saying all that, here are 5 songs I have enjoyed today.”

The Who – Won’t Get Fooled Again
Mahavishnu Orchestra – Meeting of the Spirits
King Crimson – Starless (Live with 3 drummers)
Spirit – Fresh Garbage
Santana – Soul Sacrifice
Dave Brubeck – Take Five

Tom Marsh, Haggard Cat

Issac Hayes – Run Fay Run
The Mars Volta – Roulette Dares (The Haunt Of)
The Locust – Hot Tubs Full Of Brand New Fuel
Zach Hill – Face Tat
Lightning Bolt – 2 Towers 

Adam Bulgasem, Dommengang & Black Mountain

CAN – Pinch
The Police – Next to You
Mahavishnu Orchestra – One Word
Slayer – Jesus Saves
John Coltrane – A Love Supreme, PT, III

Thomas Dibendetto, Sacri Monti

Colosseum – The Kettle
Mahavishnu Orchestra – Vital Transformation
Dust – Chasin’ Ladies
Captain Beyond – Mesmerization Eclipse
Beck, Bogart, Appice – Lady

Robby Staebler, All Them Witches

Pink Floyd – Echoes
Led Zeppelin – Whole Lotta Love
Sun Ra – Dance of the Cosmos Aliens
Bill Frisell – Big Shoe
Miles Davis ‘Agharta’ full album

Rich Noakes, Derelics

Jimi Hendrix – Fire live at Woodstock (It has to be the Woodstock version) 
Jeff Beck – Led Boots
Dhaffer Youssef – Odd Elegy 
Mars Volta – Take the Veil Cerpin Taxt
Antibalas Afrobeat Orchestra – Dirt and blood 

Marco Ninni, Swedish Death Candy

Black Sabbath – War Pigs
Deep Purple – Speed King
Queens of the Stone Age – Sick Sick Sick
Sleep – Dragonaut
The Claypool Lennon Delirium – Boomerang Baby

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As a few days have passed and the hangover had time to wear off, it’s time to reflect on yet another spectacular Desertfest London. We kickstarted the weekend at The Black Heart at 2pm on the Friday for Israel’s ‘The Great Machine’, who totally kicked ass, by the way, before venturing out in the rain heading towards Electric Ballroom where Old Empire had curated the stage for the day. We caught soothing Jaye Jayle who were a nice little ‘calm before the storm’, as we knew we were about to get our ears blown out over the course of the next 48 hours.

Ben McLeod, All Them Witches

After a Black Heart pit stop for a rum and coke, it was time to interview Swedish ‘Skraeckoedlan’ where our first questions were “HOW DO YOU PRONOUNCE YOUR NAME WHAT DOES IT MEAN WHERE DOES IT COME FROM AND WHY DID YOU PICK IT?” We’d tell you the answers to all of the above, but we’d rather keep ya hanging so you’ll watch the interview we did with them once we release it in about four years time. We can tell you this though, they shared their thoughts on it perhaps not being the most beneficial name when it comes to world domination and reaching an international audience – no shit. Still, lovely guys and killer musicians, and totally cool with getting interviewed outside in the freezing rain, gotta love viking Scandis.

Over at the Underworld L.A record label Riding Easy was showcasing a selection of it’s bands, and we caught heavy rock band R.I.P which catered for those wanting fast and heavy rock ‘n’ roll. Later on in the evening saw OM headline Electric Ballroom, Electric Citizen the Underworld and Skraeckoedlan The Black Heart, before The Shrine played Electric Ballroom’s midnight afterparty, which was their first London show with bassist Corey Parks.

From previous year’s we’ve been pretty spoiled with sunshine and summer during Desertfest, something we had to pay for during the Saturday as we had thunderstorms, rain and hail all at once, which also called for yet another great outside interview with Savanna’s swamp metal band Black Tusk who were headlining the Black Heart later on in the evening. The Saturday consisted mostly of legging it between venues to catch as many bands as possible, all while not becoming a soaked mess while doing so.

Isaiah Mitchell, Earthless

Sunday was the grand finale, where we headed early to catch up with Earthless before their show, followed by Witch, All Them Witches and Fu Manchu. Once the Roundhouse headliner finishes everyone knows it’s do or die to get into the Black Heart, where we miraculously landed a table and spent the rest of the evening people watching and drinking until closing time at 3am, which then again calls for another half an hour (at least) lingering outside in the street hoping that somewhere else to party will somehow appear – it did. Fast forward two more hours to dehydration and a headache, and it was time to realise Desertfest London was over, for this time.

Charles Michael Parks, All Them Witches