During our recent conversation with Band of Horses drummer Creighton Barrett — a tasteful timekeeper who rarely gets flashy and displays a Ringo Starr-esque manner — he agreed to answer a few quick questions for the City Paper.
Barrett, 31, got his first drum kit when he was 15. "I have short, very fat fingers," he laughs. "The only thing a caveman can do in a band is hold a stick, you know? I can't really do much else." His bandmate Ben Bridwell usually ends up pictured on magazine covers and front pages (including the City Paper), so we wanted to give the drummer a little limelight in the music pages.
Demonstrating good sportsmanship, Barrett —one of two members of the band based in Charleston — played a quick game of "word association." in an effort to illustrate some of his deep musical influences. We stated a famous drummer's name and he blurted out the first thing that popped into his mind and mouth. It went something like this:
1. Charlie Watts (The Rolling Stones) — "Ooof ... man, holdin' it down, dude."
2. Bill Berry (R.E.M.) — "Awesome. I wish he was still back on it, man. I haven't heard anything from that guy in a long time, but that's some classic, classic … real, original indie rock."
3. Larry Mullen, Jr. (U2) — "Hmmm... what the hell to say about Larry Mullen, Jr. besides the haircut..."
4. Moe Tucker (Velvet Underground) — "Which one's Moe Tucker? [to himself, after hearing the answer] Oh my god, dumbass! Yeah, well there you go. Yeah, I'm surprised she stayed awake for it [laughs]."
5. Buddy Rich (jazz/big band legend) — "Oh man, the best there ever was."
6. Levon Helm (The Band) — "Oh man, probably my favorite of all time, dude. Yeah, for sure. I love him, I love everything he does, and I love the way he plays drums even more. Watching that guy sing and play drums is ... it's hard enough to even try to get his backbeat while just playing drums without actually singing with a rad voice. That shit's incredible, man. I never get sick of watching Levon play."
7. Keith Moon (The Who) — "Probably the closest I could ever get to having 16 toms. I never have pulled a 'Keith Moon' on stage and kicked over the drums. I have a pretty good temper on stage, man."
8. Gina Schock (The Go-Go's) — "Gina Schock is ... Gina Schock is ... uh, not Hole, what the fuck was her band? Was it L7? I knew it was a girl band."
9. D.J. Fontana (Elvis Presley's first band) — "I don't know who that is ... Oh, wow, wow, wow — he's an original holder-down. He came way before that guy Ron Tutt, who played like an animal on the crazy double bass drum kit at Elvis' Vegas shows."
10. John Bonham (Led Zeppelin) — "Oh man, if I could ever have a right foot like John Bonham, I'd probably be in a band by myself.
11. Tré Cool (Green Day) — "I have to say I like '2000 Light Years Away' [from the 1992 album Kerplunk]. I liked that album quite a bit; I was really into it. And I'm stoked those guys are doing so well."
12. Chris Franz (Talking Heads, Tom Tom Club) — "Chris who? Oh shit, that's right. You're making me feel like a dumbass here. He was a badass. I listen to the Talking Heads a shit-ton, and I'm always picking out cool stuff the drummer's doing. He did some really cool sounds on a really minimal kit.
13. Phil Rudd (AC/DC) — "Oh man ... one bass drum on the first hit ... four on the floor [laughs]. He was absolutely under-rated.
14. Mark Price (Archers of Loaf) — "Aw, yes, dude! That's a good one … one of my fucking favorite drummers of all time. Archers is probably one of my favorite bands of all time, I gotta tell you."
15. Mick Fleetwood (Fleetwood Mac) — "Dude, so killer [laughs]. I've been wanting to see them for so long. He's under-rated, too. God dammit, I love that album Tusk so much."
Band of Horses perform at the Myrtle Beach House of Blues (4640 Hwy. 17, 843-913-3740) on Thurs. June 18. Showtime is 8 p.m. Tickets are available for $21.50 and $24.50. See hob.com and bandofhorses.com for more.