One of my favorite drummers in the mix today is Billy Rymer of the Dillinger Escape Plan. Although he’s on the throne at the back of the stage behind a band that puts on a near-riot of a live show, Billy’s playing has a mesmerizing quality. Unlike most death metal drummers whose muscles are completely tense, and who have limited mobility with their sticks and arms during blast beat parts, Billy plays with this incredible fluidity through drum beats and speeds that are no walk in the park. He’s got arms like snakes.
Of course, the sticks at the end of those snake-arms are important to the physical balance of his style. I hadn’t realized that as of only a few months ago, Billy had changed up his stick game, switching over to the vaunted Vater Percussion company. Vater makes some fine sticks, used by some of the other metal heavyweight drummers (like Brann Dailor of Mastodon), so I’m sure they’re stoked to add Billy to their roster.
Check out an interview with Billy about his playing, DEP, and Vater sticks below: