When I worked at a music shop from 2006-2011, I had a really talented local musician as a co-worker. This particular musician was especially talented in the rhythm section of the various local cover bands he played in (and before that, original metal bands). He played bass like a champ, and was an incredibly solid and versatile drummer.
One day I mentioned to him that I like Dream Theater and Mike Portnoy’s drumming, and he snorted. “Mike Portnoy ruined a generation of drummers!” he told me.
His argument was that in the mid-’90s, Mike Portnoy became so popular among kids learning drums that they all tried to emulate him. But in doing so, they spent more time practicing tricky drum patterns and fills, expanding their kits with every little timbale, bell, whistle, and rototom, and neglected their most important job: keeping a beat. The result was a lot of kids in local bands throwing fills into every measure, losing time, throwing the band off, sounding like shoes in a dryer, etc.
In my friend’s opinion, if young drummers looked up to heroes like Phil Rudd and Jerry Gaskill (two of his favorites), they would put all that effort into playing solid, flawlessly-timed back beats, and they could then move on to trickier things.
So what do you think? Does my friend have a point or is he full of it? Or something else?