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.