Influences – Benny Greb’s Grebfruit

posted in: Music, Musicians, Videos | 0
Share on Facebook4Share on Google+0Tweet about this on Twitter0

Benny Greb - Grebfruit @ Drumeo
I remember years ago hearing this for the first time and was immediately compelled to buy the album on iTunes.

Hearing this album which featured songs like these which are made of up mostly vocal lines with some layers of other instruments was quite different and inspiring… in fact you hear some people say “that’s like a breath of fresh air”… and musically you could say this was surely the case.

Often times in music it is rare that something truly different or innovative appears. When it comes to the business when something new becomes a success you always have a period where there are tons of acts signed that sound like that new innovative thing.

Benny never had that super hit of course, but when many drummers around the world heard his style of playing to these tunes his name became a staple in drumming circles.

Mr Greb is one of those cats who has his voice on the instrument. It is a rare feat in today’s age that when you hear a drummer play that you instantly know who that drummer is. Some names come to mind, Vinnie, Bonham, Peart, Rich, Bruford… you really end up with a select few. (Of course that’s not meant to be a complete list!)

Benny has a great groove, great feel and sometimes it feels so loose while at the same time being so tight. A master of laying it back.

Something that he obviously did was find his voice… learned many different techniques of drumming and styles and made it into his own.

That’s a challenge that we all face on our instrument as drummers, how do you take your influences, learn those cool licks, learn different styles of music (as much as possible!!) and apply them to our playing situations. Then as we apply these “tools” to our playing, make them our own. Learn how to use them.

I remember playing in a country band while also playing in a metal band…. and playing an early metal gig then driving over for a 3 set country gig. It likely wasn’t a super cool night for the folks who were trying to dance on that night. I hadn’t really learned about playing to the situation I was in… .maybe trying to sneak in a bit of Neil Peart and Dave Lombardo into that country gig. (You can almost hear a disaster here can’t you??)

I learned through time to play with the band and play for the song. Today I try to close my eyes and play to the music.

This tune and album was a huge influence on me. Enjoy!