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10 Top Acts With Dual Drummers

The Melvins
The Melvins

Tonight, The Melvins will perform at Trees. While perusing the Internet in search of photos, I realized the band has two drummers. I thought about how pointless and excessive it is to actually employ two drummers to support a band, but then I considered how powerful the result can be. Two drummers slamming the toms in time. There's something tribal about that.

What follows is a list of bands and musicians that use the dual drummer platform so well that we had to make a list. Enjoy.

The Melvins
What's interesting about their set-up is that drummer Coady Willis is left-handed and drummer Dale Crover is a righty. They set up at the back of the stage, one right next to the other, and even share a floor tom.

Radiohead
Radiohead has only recently ventured into the world of two drummers. Phil Selway has held down the band's backbeat for over two decades, and now he's joined by studio drummer Clive Deamer, who has played with Portishead, among other legendary acts.

Miles Davis - Bitches Brew sessions
This revolutionary double album utilized the relatively new platform of stereo recording to feature a left and right drummer. For the most part the drums are minimal -- just a cymbal tap throughout entire songs -- leaving room for the other musicians to play.


Mind Spiders
Denton punk act Mind Spiders don't really need two drummers. The jittery, caffeine-laced songs would do just fine with only one guy on the trap kit, but having a second drummer does serve a purpose. The energetic songs become more powerful and driving.

Bon Iver
I was one of the of the folks who championed Bon Iver's 2011 self-titled release. Unfamiliar with his previous album (must have been under a rock), I was surprised how powerful the instrumental sections were. They kind of reminded me of Explosions In The Sky with two drummers, which is awesome live.

Sufjan Stevens
When Sufjan Stevens released his latest album, 2010's The Age Of Adz, many longtime fans weren't too keen on the singer's new electronic leanings. In his live performance, though, the rhythm section translates incredibly, with two drummers on the far right and left side of the stage. Each drummer handles a share of the electronic parts.

Modest Mouse
The story has it that founding drummer Jeremiah Green left the band in 2003. The band replaced him with Helio Sequence drummer Benjamin Weikel and Green returned the next year. Instead of firing Weikel, they just had two drummers for a while until Weikel quit.
 
Arcade Fire
The most talented person in Arcade Fire might be Régine Chassagne. She dances, plays a variety of instruments including the drums. During live performances, especially since The Suburbs have been released, she often takes a seat behind a second drum set.

And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead
This Austin band has toned down over the last decade. There are legendary stories of the band throwing all their gear into the Colorado River during a performance at South By Southwest. They don't damage their gear anymore, but they've replaced the intensity by adding a drummer.

Phil Collins
Good Lord, is there a better drum moment than when the drums kick in on "In the Air Tonight"? During Collins' live performances, drummer Chester Thompson holds down the backbeat, but Collins drums on a second drum set for a portion of the set. They even do a drum off.


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