Skyharbor/Intervals Drummer Anup Sastry Plays Through His Contribution to Marty Friedman’s Inferno: “Sociopaths”

I think we can all agree that the guitar work on Marty Friedman’s Inferno is pretty jaw-dropping, whether or not you share his position that sweeps are lame sauce. Yet we’ve focused so heavily on not just Marty’s playing but the guest work of all the other incredible guitarists (Alexi Laiho, Dave Davidson, Rodrigo y Gabriela), that proper dues haven’t been paid to the similarly inspired percussion.


Well that changes now. Most of the drums on the record were performed by Jeremy Colson, but the Friedman/Davidson collaboration “Sociopaths” features Intervals/Skyharbor/Jeff Loomis drummer Anup Sastry. I hadn’t realized how busy this dude has been, but it looks like he’s quickly becoming the equivalent of a Dave Witte for the polished prog-metal scene, eh? Sastry just filmed this playthrough of his Inferno contribution, and it’s pretty fracking rad.

Here’s what Anup had to say about working with Marty Friedman on the album:

This was probably the most difficult writing/recording challenge I had accepted, primarily because I wasn’t completely used to this kind of playing. ‘Inferno’ is a blend of new and old, and I’m mainly used to the new… haha! So trying to learn how to mix both worlds was fairly difficult for me to grasp at first, but this was also why it was a fun challenge. Marty had a very good idea of what exactly he wanted out of the drums for this record, and I had a very good idea of what I wanted to deliver. It worked out really in the end, and I’m very proud of this record.

I’d be very curious to get his opinion on what constitutes old-school and new-school in this regard. Most of the performance sounds pretty damn modern to me, chock full of cut-time-to-half-time swaps and quad fills. If my rotting brain doesn’t leak the memory out of my ears I’ll try to make a point of asking him about it if I run into him at a concert or event.

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Chris Alfano has written about music and toured in bands since print magazines and were popular. Once in high-school he hacked a friend's QBasic stick figure fighting game to add a chiptune metal soundtrack. Random attractive people still give him high-fives about that.

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