Video: Charlie Benante of Anthrax on the History of Thrash Drumming

Recently, we here at Reverb were lucky enough to sit down with legendary Anthrax drummer Charlie Benante at Dark Matter Coffee in Chicago. From behind his kit, Benante talked through the origins of the thrash drumming style and demonstrated a bit for us.

Benante sees thrash drumming as the lovechild born of the punk rock and heavy metal styles. He was inspired by English bands like Judas Priest and Iron Maiden. But when it comes to the band that he most wanted to emulate, that title goes to Motörhead. "They were one of the bands that were playing a form of metal, but it was more punk rock—especially the aesthetic. The drumming in that, to me, was next-level."

Benante goes on to talk about how the German band Accept set what he saw as the standard for fast drumming in the mid-'80s, with the lightning-quick double-kick on "Fast As a Shark"—the song Benante played during his Anthrax audition that earned him a spot in the band.

Be sure to check out the video above to hear Benante talk more about the metal scene he grew up in, how Anthrax wrote sections of songs with moshing and slam-dancers in mind, and to hear more of Benante's playing. To keep up with his show dates, watch his YouTube show "Talking Coffee," or buy your own bag of the Charlie Benante x Dark Matter coffee blend, you can check out his website here.


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