Counting members of Metallica, Deftones and Converge among their fans, Belgian post-hardcore trio Brutus have quickly become international stars in the world of heavy music. The spotlight shines brightest on the group's powerhouse singer-drummer Stefanie Mannaerts, a whirlwind force of nature behind the kit with a voice the cuts through the band's dynamic caterwaul like a laser.
Mannaerts' vocals loom large on Brutus' third album, Unison Life, but her adept percussion work is not to be overlooked. With that in mind, ahead of the LP's October 21st release via Sargent House, we caught up with Mannaerts to find out who she counts as her top drumming heroes and why.
When you are young and are listening to "heavy guitar music," at some point you come across the band Converge. He makes it look so easy, like the only thing you want and need in your life is drumming. Benjamin shows no weak spots, only 100 percent focus, and the direction is clear at all times. Something to look up to.
A singing drummer or drumming singer. The Band's drummer was a true inspiration to me. I didn't know he sang until I saw live some live footage. "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down," from The Last Waltz, was an eye-opener. The singing and drummer were one world, not two separate.
Inspired by surroundings, all things and persons who are close to me, Stake's drummer Joris is what I call a true drummer. He makes every riff greater and every note bigger. He forces the air to blow through the song, but lets the song suffocate when needed so that a deeper emotional level is reached without using notes, just dynamics.
A thing that you can't learn is having a positive vibe. The greatness and happiness that Hawkins radiated was something from another universe — an ego-less universe where music is only fun and greatness is required. He was one of the reasons I, amongst so many countless others, picked up the drums. He was like the ultimate drum ambassador. My favorite part of him is his 16th fill-ins on the toms. He always had something up his sleeve. He played a song at 100 percent and killed everyone in the room by playing the fill-ins at 200 percent.
The coolest and the most inspiring characteristic Bonham has in his playing is, when you only solo the drums, you can't guess the genre of the song he is playing. He crosses genres without any effort. His fill-ins sound so effortless and his taste is out-worldly. It is impressive how bars don't matter, and when you think he hadn't time enough to finish the fill-in, he was there before you even thought it.