Author Topic: Drumming is bloody good IMO  (Read 9921 times)

Offline randazzo

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Drumming is bloody good IMO
« on: Sun, 2007-10-28, 12:46:36 »
I do not know why but every now and then I find remarks on other sites or in album reviews that Mick Pointer is not that much of a drummer.

This strikes me really. Because one of the things that I like most about the last two albums are the tremendous guitar riffs and the fantastic drumming that's on it. I can listen over and over again to the music thanks to the tension Mick Pointer throws in. There's a lot in changes and powerfull support to the Arena sound. I love it. Makes me drumming in the air also. Just great and not doing justice to him I think. And I don't find him good becasue I'm an Arena fan. I'm  an Arena fan also thanks to his abilities.

BTW I bought recently a cd of Steve Thorne. You should listen to that if you already haven't. It does remind sometimes of Arena. Not because the sound is a duplicate but it has somehow the same feeling to it. Something nostalgic, don't know how to describe it exactly .  Really great and also with great drums and guitar play on it. Very important in this type of music.
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Offline Peter

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Re: Drumming is bloody good IMO
« Reply #1 on: Sun, 2007-10-28, 21:28:17 »
I do not know why but every now and then I find remarks on other sites or in album reviews that Mick Pointer is not that much of a drummer.

Seems to be a myth or rumour that never seems to die. As you pointed out, it doesn't have any substance at all.

Mick, thumbs up!
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Offline PH

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Re: Drumming is bloody good IMO
« Reply #2 on: Mon, 2007-10-29, 09:35:35 »
I do not know why but every now and then I find remarks on other sites or in album reviews that Mick Pointer is not that much of a drummer.
This is pointed towards his drumming on Script For A Jester's Tear (Marillion). He was still much of a boy back then. Nowadays he's an exellent drummer!! But people are very biased...

This strikes me really. Because one of the things that I like most about the last two albums are the tremendous guitar riffs and the fantastic drumming that's on it. I can listen over and over again to the music thanks to the tension Mick Pointer throws in. There's a lot in changes and powerfull support to the Arena sound. I love it. Makes me drumming in the air also. Just great and not doing justice to him I think. And I don't find him good becasue I'm an Arena fan. I'm  an Arena fan also thanks to his abilities.
Yeah, Mick's drumming is outstanding! Some of the Arena songs sound soooooo good with his drumming (On The Box, from Contagion: AMAZING!!!) The contra-rhythm and all that.

BTW I bought recently a cd of Steve Thorne.
Which one? There are two... I've only heard the first one and it's on my wishlist!!

You should listen to that if you already haven't. It does remind sometimes of Arena. Not because the sound is a duplicate but it has somehow the same feeling to it. Something nostalgic, don't know how to describe it exactly.
Hmmm, I guess you're talking about the second album then, because John Mitchell plays guitar on some of it. The first one didn't remind me of Arena to be honest.

Really great and also with great drums and guitar play on it. Very important in this type of music.
Absolutely! The first album has drumming by Nick D'Virgilio (from Spock's Beard). The second album has Gavin Harrisson (Porcupine Tree) behind the drumkit, and he is excellent too!
Drums are very important in progressive music. That's why drummers always get replaced, because it HAS to be GOOD... Phil Collins for example, was an excellent replacement for the other drummer in Genesis at the time. It lifts the music to a next level.

By the way, it's nice to have you here, keep posting! We love new members! ;D

-Paco

Offline Nicky007

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Re: Drumming is bloody good IMO
« Reply #3 on: Mon, 2007-10-29, 10:59:08 »
By the way, it's nice to have you here, keep posting! We love new members! ;D

It's more that they get tired of us  ;D

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Offline PH

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Re: Drumming is bloody good IMO
« Reply #4 on: Mon, 2007-10-29, 12:09:21 »
That remembers me about when we first 'met', Nicky.
"Hey welcome Nicky, I hope you post a lot and stay for a long time!"

I should have known better. ;)

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Offline Appelmoes??

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Re: Drumming is bloody good IMO
« Reply #5 on: Mon, 2007-10-29, 17:03:45 »
It's a matter of taste I guess. I'm not saying that his drummer is bad, not at all, but stricktly musically speaking the drums and bass "speak" least to me. That being said I must also say that I really like the drums and bass, but that the vocals, guitar and keyboard are my main focus in Arena.
I can understand that others might not like his style and then say it bad :-\

And remember that Mick is sooo much more than just a drummer ;)

Offline johninblack

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Re: Drumming is bloody good IMO
« Reply #6 on: Mon, 2007-10-29, 17:26:01 »
musically speaking the drums and bass "speak" least to me.

As a bass player myself the bass tends to stand out when I listen to music and I can tell you Ian's bass playing is superb *horns* As was JJ's contribution.


And remember that Mick is sooo much more than just a drummer ;)

Well said Appelmoes??

I do not know why but every now and then I find remarks on other sites or in album reviews that Mick Pointer is not that much of a drummer.

I think that is one of the 'excuses' Fish gave when Mick and Marillion 'parted company'. As far as I'm concerned there is absolutly NO evidence to back this claim up with. It's one of these remarks made that have been passed down as fact when it is clearly bollocks.

As far as I'm concerned Mick is a first rate drummer.

Offline Appelmoes??

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Re: Drumming is bloody good IMO
« Reply #7 on: Mon, 2007-10-29, 17:48:18 »
As a bass player myself the bass tends to stand out when I listen to music and I can tell you Ian's bass playing is superb *horns* As was JJ's contribution.
I know, that why I said it's all a matter of taste. But also how much you know about the instrument itself. I don't know anything about that, so I just go bye ear and make out for myself what "speaks" most to me in music, and for Arena those are the melody lines.

In fact, that's it for almost every band for me :P

Offline Nicky007

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Re: Drumming is bloody good IMO
« Reply #8 on: Mon, 2007-10-29, 18:24:24 »
As a bass player myself the bass tends to stand out when I listen to music and I can tell you Ian's bass playing is superb *horns*

Really agree wth you there, John. Being an ex-lead guitarist and singer myself, I usually catch the singing and guitars much more than anything else, but with Ian, it's different: His playing is all upfront and exciting.

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Offline Tristelune

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Re: Drumming is bloody good IMO
« Reply #9 on: Wed, 2007-11-21, 21:53:52 »
As a drummer myself, I agree that Mick's drumming on Script was not incredible but on the 2-3 last Arena albums, he is really impressive. It is sad that this "label" is still sticking to him, he does not deserve it, not anymore.

Offline gwf64

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Re: Drumming is bloody good IMO
« Reply #10 on: Sun, 2007-12-09, 22:43:35 »
I really think his drumming on all of the Arena albums is great.  Many of the songs would not be the same without his style of drumming.

Offline randazzo

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Re: Drumming is bloody good IMO
« Reply #11 on: Mon, 2008-01-21, 16:23:21 »
There it is again!  On the dutch progressive rock pages this time.  http://www.dprp.net/reviews/200569.html#pallas

In the review on the latest Pallas album the reviewer states " I read a review of someone who compared Pallas with Arena. I can see where he's coming from, because the departure to heavier music is not unlike what Arena did with Contagion. Arena with more adventurous vocals and a better drummer might be a way to describe the music of Pallas."

And I do agree with the reviewer. This Pallas album is great! As is the band. But at two points I strongly disagree where he's referring to Arena. I personally find the vocals from Arena's leadsinger much more adventurous. The Pallas leadsinger is rather monotone....  I think compared to Arena. And Arena's drummer is a bit more powerfull and diverse.

What a BS altogether. I can understand someone' s saying he doesn't like the type of music that Arena produces. That's possible and can be understood. But his claims are just not true and IMO a bit unfair to the qualities of the referred musicians.
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Offline Nicky007

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Re: Drumming is bloody good IMO
« Reply #12 on: Mon, 2008-01-21, 17:10:50 »
Randazzo, I was happy to see your "footnote" text. Ascension is my fave Arena song (as I have expatiated earlier).

For me, Contagion is a religious icon. So I'm not gonna compare it to anything else !

Mick's drumming may not stand out (like e.g. Mike Portnoy's does), but neither does Clive's keyboard playing really. Let's keep in mind that Arena is very much a band who strive to make great concept (and -ual) albums and great songs, and the individual flourishes are really secondary to that.

The Dreams Of Men is also a unique album that stands its own, and one misses the point if one compares it with anything else  8)

Nicky.
« Last Edit: Mon, 2008-01-21, 17:13:12 by Nicky007 »
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Offline PH

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Re: Drumming is bloody good IMO
« Reply #13 on: Mon, 2008-01-21, 17:23:08 »
Mick's drumming may not stand out (like e.g. Mike Portnoy's does), but neither does Clive's keyboard playing really.

There's so much to say about this...

First off, I agree that Arena is more of a band effort than Dream Theater and thus it's more logical that nothing really stands out. But I think Clive is one of the best keyboarders running around. Also his compositional skills are amazing and far, far, FAR above average.
To be honest, through the years I am getting more sceptical about Mike Portnoys drumming. He is good, he is fast, but he has an obsessive way of drumming. He doesn't know the art of subtile drumming. I think Gavin Harrisson (Porcupine Tree) or Nick D'Virgilio (Spock's Beard) are better drummers. They can be fast too, but their drumming has a 'jazzy' feeling to it. As if they studied more. A.C.T's drummer also has this feeling, same goes for Kaipa drummer. They have something that Mike doesn't have. Mike is more of a metal drummer: full and heavy.

Which doesn't make Dream Theater a bad band. 'Cause I think they belong to the greatest. ;D

-Paco

Offline randazzo

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Re: Drumming is bloody good IMO
« Reply #14 on: Mon, 2008-01-21, 18:29:57 »
You're right.

I also believe that we are being influenced by our feelings towards a certain artist or band. In other words. If I like the compositions of Genesis, I tend to think that Phil Collins is a good drummer. (which he is by the way) My objections are against people (and certainly reviewers) who make sometimes bold statements. I have a lot of praise for people that play in bands like Arena. I guess it's hard to make a living out of it and on the other they're always trying to get the best result. In which they succeed. Lif would be less interesting with their kinds of music.

BTW Nicky, you hit the nail on it's head with Ascension. It's the best album ending I've ever heard. Even better than Los Endos - Genesis. It certainly  has a religous atmosphere and is operating on the same level. A song that strikes me at full power every time agian. What sets Arena apart for me is that they I'm never getting tired of listening to their music.
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Offline Peter

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Re: Drumming is bloody good IMO
« Reply #15 on: Fri, 2008-01-25, 19:57:41 »
Mick's drumming may not stand out (like e.g. Mike Portnoy's does)

A few things here:
1) I never had any -not even the slightest- "problem" with Mick's drumming, to me it's a perfect part of the package.
2) Mike Portnoy is often being praised for his drumming. For me, his drumming doesn't stand out to many others. He's accurate, fast and all, but hey, many others are.
3) A drummer that really does stand out from the mass is Gavin Harrison, from Porcupine Tree. Just try and look at a few of the things he does with his drum kit, there's a lot from him on youtube.

Quote
but neither does Clive's keyboard playing really.

Aaaaah, I'm not the 14 year old fan boy, but this is just *gnarf*....- not correct. I can say little about the virtuosity apart from that I can't do it and he does it far better than anyone I know personally. But the creation of sounds and using them in the right places to create a mood is also a job a keyboardist has to do, and sorry: isn't Clive a genius at that?!
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Offline Deenfan

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Re: Drumming is bloody good IMO
« Reply #16 on: Mon, 2008-02-11, 11:31:27 »
Clive is superb. In Arena, there are two who stand out, head and shoulders above the rest (both in the band and as related to other musicians), and those two are Clive and Ian. You can say a lot of nice and respectful things about the rest, but those two are world-class. I mean proper contenders for the title, if such a thing existed (and made any sense at all - it is not a competition, remember?)

I think this discussion is not going to be constructive, because we're on the Arena forum, and this is not the place to tell the band or any of their fans how much they, or any individual band member, suck! Even steering clear of such characteristics or words, it is very hard to say something ultimately negative in a respectful way. But I will try, if only because mindless praise doesn't look good either...

For me as a song writer needing a drummer, I'd find Mick Pointer more than adequate. What he does on the albums is very musical. Not mind-boggling, but that is neither here nor there, 'cause that's usually not what a song asks for, anyway! As a drummer, I can say that the live recordings, be they on DVD or YouTube, show that we are not talking about a drummer that has timekeeping as his forté. This is not a matter of taste - he is really pushing the envelope at times. (Not apparent on Arena studio albums, but recognizable on the early Marillion stuff). Whether that is a problem or not is a matter of taste and preferences. But I believe that this, in combination with the so called "lack" of technical brilliance, is where this notion about him being a bad drummer comes from. As a band member, I know that none of these need be the most important. As Appel says, he is sooo much more than a drummer.

As a song writer, again, the one that I would find the most limiting is the singer - and that goes for all Arena singers. None of them has offered the song writers near as makes no difference "free reins" with regards to what melody lines they can write. To be fair, few singers do. And in many styles, that is not an important aspect. But in many, it might just be. It seems, however, that Clive wants a specific sort of singer, as the three he's had so far is roughly within the same realm both with regards to voice and range. The only thing arguing against this is that some of the melody lines Clive (or indeed Mick, for all I know!) writes are not within the singers' preferred/comfortable range(s). This too, is more apparent live.

But at the end of the day, the only two things that matter are:

1)Do you like what you hear?

2)Is Arena doing what the members (especially the main driving force) of the band wants the outfit to do?

Even if 1) is a "No", there is nothing to criticize if 2) is a "Yes".

PS: The guitarist is really very, very good.
« Last Edit: Mon, 2008-02-11, 11:34:08 by Deenfan »

Offline Nicky007

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Re: Drumming is bloody good IMO
« Reply #17 on: Mon, 2008-02-11, 16:36:22 »
I have to protest a bit at your evaluation Deenfan:

John Mitchell's stellar guitar playing is one of the major reasons why I was gripped by first The Visitor, then Contagion, and Pepper.

I really dig the way that he has taken over a lot of Dave Gilmour's sound, and progressed from there to a wonderful personal style.

Further, I like John's musicianship much more in Arena than in any other context that he's in. Quite honestly, I find particularly The Urbane rather boring, far below Arena's brilliance.

And leave the singing to Rob. He's a lot better at it than any of the other guys.

In fact, I like Arena far more than any of the other line-ups with any of the guys. Now I'v said it, and I know other roomies will disagree, or think that I'm being too blunt, but this is my honest opinion guys  8)  :)

That's why I'm really hoping that they'l stick together, and continue to make groundbreaking albums like the aforementioned.

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Offline Deenfan

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Re: Drumming is bloody good IMO
« Reply #18 on: Mon, 2008-02-11, 18:04:24 »
Not much of a protest, really! ;D

Mitchell's guitar playing is indeed reason enough to be listening to Arena, and I also seem to like their work better in this band than anywhere else.

Come to think of it, the current line-up is the best coming of Arena, in my mind.

Also, it still holds true for me that every new album is even better than the last one before it. Amazing.

Offline Peter

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Re: Drumming is bloody good IMO
« Reply #19 on: Mon, 2008-02-11, 21:33:24 »
Whoa, should I close this thread now? I feel like doing it. I will not close it technically, though, but with a closing statement:

ARENA, we love you! We adore the music you guys create. I, personally, think you are all geniuses.

And I would like to say to randazzo, who opened up this thread for us: Yes, you are right. Now go and post some more.

'Nuff said.

Geee, now I am the 14 year old fan boy, seems like... but hey, that's what I think.
« Last Edit: Mon, 2008-02-11, 21:34:57 by Peter »
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Offline Nicky007

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Re: Drumming is bloody good IMO
« Reply #20 on: Mon, 2008-02-11, 21:58:58 »
I have the impression that if Arena needs a roadie who would work 16 hours a day seven days a week for free, we have a good candidate in store  ;D

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Offline Peter

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Re: Drumming is bloody good IMO
« Reply #21 on: Tue, 2008-02-12, 08:08:06 »
:P

If I were 18 and free, maybe :)
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Offline maddox

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Re: Drumming is bloody good IMO
« Reply #22 on: Tue, 2008-02-12, 20:48:17 »
:P

If I were 18 and free, maybe :)

You can always take a sabbatical year.  ;)
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Offline cabo

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Re: Drumming is bloody good IMO
« Reply #23 on: Wed, 2008-03-19, 17:31:45 »
As a drummer myself i think Peppers Ghost is the best "drum" album, the fills are more different than earlier stuff. Maybe Clive could tell us if the recording of the drums was any different to earlier albums? I know that they didn't use triggers on that album(i like that) There are definitely some really good drumming on that album. The drum-sound is awesome on that album also.

Offline Nicky007

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Re: Drumming is bloody good IMO
« Reply #24 on: Fri, 2009-10-30, 12:55:57 »
D.unton, you should try to visit the Earth some day, but wait till summer, or go directly to Port Darwin  :P

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