Poll Results: Top 10 Alternative Rock Drummers

Poll Results: The votes are in for The Top 10 Alternative Rock Drummers!

So let’s countdown the winners. Tied entries are listed in reverse alphabetical order.

Let’s begin:

10. Chuck Biscuits 3%

chuck biscuits

The former Danzig drummer’s solid chops brought distinction for his work with Danzig as well as Black Flag and Social Distortion, just to name a few.

9. Sean Kinney 4%

<img src="Sean-Kinney-best-alt-rock-drummer.gif" alt="Sean Kinney best alternative drummer"/>

Kinney’s pummeling, intentional behind the beat style bring churning, miasmic dread to Alice in Chains, helping to forge their distinctive sonic signature. (Click here to listen to the new Alice in Chains song ‘Stone’)

8.  Budgie 4%


The former Siouxsie And The Banshees and Creatures drummer relied heavily on the use of toms, creating tribal and jazz inflected beats, which offered a unique exotic styling, perfectly meshing with Siouxsie Sioux’s shrill ghostly vocals.

7. Stewart Copeland 5%

<img src="Stewart-copeland-best-alt-rock-drummer.gif" alt="Stewart Copeland best alternative drummer"/>

Copeland’s jazzy/reggae influenced style made The Police an instant standout, with more use of the snare than the bass drums. He helped create a thoroughly original approach that has resulted in a style that no other band could ever replicate.

6. Stephen Perkins 6%

<img src="Stephen-Perkins-best-drummer.gif" alt="Stephen-Perkins-best-drummer"/>

Perkin’s tribal beats were intoxicatingly dark, and a crucial ingredient for Jane’s Addiction’s sound.

5. Matt Cameron 8%

<img src="matt-cameron-best-alternative-rock-drummer.gif" alt="matt-Cameron-best-alternative-rock-drummer"/>

Cameron’s use of odd-time signatures and unrelenting intensity made Soundgarden a primal juggernaut at their heaviest, and quirkily pulsating at their most subdued.

4. Dave Grohl 9%

<img src="Dave-Grohl-best-alternative-drummer.gif" alt="Dave-Grohl-best-alternative-drummer"/>

Kurt Cobain hired Grohl because he hit the drums harder than any other drummer he’d ever heard. This intense approach matched with his quicksilver chops made a crushing groove that provided the template for the 90’s alternative rock aesthetic. (check out the new QOTSA song featuring drums by Grohl, and  click here for my review of Grohl’s “Sound City” documentary.)

3. Jimmy Chamberlin 9%

<img src="Dave-Grohl-best-alternative-rock-drummer.gif" alt="Jimmy-Chamberlain-best-alternative-rock-drummer"/>

Chamberlain’s controlled jazz chops offered a finesse unique to rock. This helped set the Smashing Pumpkin’s apart from their competitors and made their soft to loud transitions flow smooth and precise. While Billy Corgan’s current incarnation rocks sufficiently, they still suffer in Chamberlain’s absence.

2. Danny Carey 10%

<img src="Danny-Carrey-best-alternative-rock-drummer.gif" alt="Danny-Carrey-best-alternative-rock-drummer"/>

Tool’s ace-in-the-hole provides rhythmically complex and hypnotic figures, giving them the prog-rock precision that separated them from their 90’s peers.

1. Mike Bordin 24%

<img src="mike-bordin-best-alternative-rock-drummer.gif" alt="mike-bordin-best-alternative-rock-drummer"/>

Faith No More fans came out en masse to put Bordin over the top. Bordin’s unique pulverizing style can be as decimating as a jack hammer or nimbly jazz flavored. He’s a left-handed drummer who plays a right-handed kick drum, which is pretty impressive. His talents are always in demand as he’s played for Jerry Cantrell and Ozzy Osborne as well.

So that wraps up the top 10 alt-rock drummers. But what about the other 10 entries you may ask? Well that breaks down as follows; Boris Williams, Stephen Morris and Terry Bozzio all tied at 2%. And Kevin Haskins, Bill Rieflin, Martin Atkins and Earl Hudson tied at 1% each. And Larry Mullen Jr, and Topper Headon? They got no love whatsoever, stalling out at 0%.

But there was a 4% vote for “other”, so I’m curious about what glaring omissions you felt deserved inclusion?

So feel free to sound off who makes your own top 10 list below, or if this syncs up well with your tastes.

Thanks again for voting and, be sure to read our list of best alternative rock bassists, best lyricists, underrated guitarists and underrated vocalists.



About SLIS

Middle Aged Gen-Exer obsessed with Alternative rock, metal, cult movies, comic books and cable TV.

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