Charlie Benante: First Recorded ‘Blast Beat’ Came From S.O.D.
Blast beats are plentiful in today's metal, but where did the style begin? In an interview with Drumtalk (seen below), Charlie Benante says that his band Stormtroopers of Death played and recorded the first ever "blast beat" back in 1985.
The drummer, who is also known for his work in Anthrax, explained, "There's this style of beat called 'blast beat,' and I will say that the first time ever that type of beat was recorded and played on a record was on this S.O.D. record that we did in 1985. And I'm tired of people not crediting that that was the first time."
He went on to add, "Of course, people perfected it and play it way better, but that was the first time that a blast beat was on record. If you can prove me wrong, prove me wrong, but I believe that that was the first time. And, like I said, other people have mastered it and done it way better, and I never took it any further — that was it. It fit in that song 'Milk.' Like, when we would play it live, the more I played it, the more I started to develop a different way of playing it. Because I would always play it with a single kick drum, and I would either reverse it, which I think Paul [Mazurkiewicz] from Cannibal Corpse played more of that style of blast beat. I would play it either with the ride or I would play it with the hat, reversing it."
The drummer continued, "When S.O.D. would play more and more shows, I would always develop it and not just do a single kick — I would throw in a double. And then I discovered that some of the black metal bands, later on, were doing it [slightly differently]. So it was being developed even more. And then when I heard the Dimmu Borgir record Puritanical Euphoric Misanthropia, Nick Barker's drumming on that record was, to me, one of those moments where another door opened and he took the blast beat style to a whole other level."
When asked about "Milk" and if he felt like he was doing something new, Benante stated, "I remember when that song came out, 'Milk,' with the blast beat in it, and many people were saying, 'What are you doing here? What are you doing?' And there was a part of me that was, like, 'I can't really tell you what I'm doing.' [Laughs] When we would play it, I would always see people watching me play it. And S.O.D. didn't play many shows, of course, but when we did play, we played the whole record. And it was never at the same speed that the record was recorded — it was live and it was just fast, so it was always moving forward."
"Milk" was part of Stormtroopers of Death's 1985 debut album, Speak English or Die.
Charlie Benante Speaks With Drumtalk
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