A while ago (2017), Music Radar took a poll to see who listeners thought was the best drummer today. They came up with a list of 17 drummers which is way too long for anyone to care about. Most people really want to know who’s the best or if their favorite drummer is even in the running.
Here I give you the top 5 best drummers in the world today, based on the results of that same poll. I actually had heard of 3 of the top five bands – Foo Fighters, Nickelback, and Blink 182. I’d never heard of Alter Bridge or The Killers, but that’s because I’m old.
I had never heard of the individual drummers’ names from any of these bands. Like I said, I’m old.
From 5 through 1 then, here are your leaders in the drumming world today.
Update: Obviously this was going to happen sooner or later. Taylor Hawkins died on March 25, 2022. So this list is no longer accurate.
5. Taylor Hawkins of the Foo Fighters
Taylor was briefly the drummer for Alanis Morissette. He volunteered to be the Foo Fighters drummer when Dave Grohl (formerly of Nirvana) was looking for someone to replace William Goldsmith.
4. Scott Phillips of Alter Bridge
Scott may be best known for his work with Creed and Alter Bridge. Some of his earliest recordings were with Creed in 1997. Even though he recorded with Alter Bridge starting in 2004, he was still working with Creed through 2009.
3. Daniel Adair of Nickelback
Daniel appears to have worked with as many as nine bands, but he is primarily known for drumming with 3 Doors Down and Nickelback. He has recorded three albums with 3 Doors Down and 5 with Nickelback.
2. Ronnie Vannucci Jr. of The Killers
Ronnie is chiefly known for his work as the drummer for The Killers, who have released five (consecutive) number 1 albums in the UK. (Maybe that’s why I’ve never heard of them.) That said, they have also sold over 22 million records worldwide, so maybe it really is just my age showing here.
1. Travis Barker of Blink 182
Rolling Stone magazine called Travis “punk’s first superstar drummer”. I have no idea if that is an accurate statement, but I won’t argue against it. They also featured him in their list of the 100 greatest drummers of all time. He just barely made the list at number 99. (For reference, John Bonham and Keith Moon were numbers 1 and 2, respectively.)
Travis is known to use Roland V-drums when not on stage. Check them out for yourself below.