Thanks to my buddy Ryan for not only exposing me to Mogwai and the new Foo Fighters, but also to The Mars Volta. Some of the drumming on TMV are quite intense, and I began poking around and found TMV changed drummers quite often... but then I ran into Thomas Pridgen references, clinics, youtube videos... and I as quite amazed. Not only does this young man have intense speed, precise stick control, remarkable syncopation, ability to play musically with a group (links below), a wide musical repertoire spanning many genres, but he also attended Berklee on a scholarship and sounds like a very nice young man - not an egotistical ass or cocky SOB.
As I review my list of the top 22 drummers, I think Thomas Pridgen should be in there somewhere. His right foot and hands are faster than most of the list, and he exhibits excellent technique and creativity. He started very young, so it's too early to tell where his drumming vocation will take him, but he's extremely talented. See - and listen - for yourself:
Wearing my favorite Muppet shirt, playing at a clinic right after leaving TMV in 2009
Drum Channel solo, where he seamlessly changes from hihat to double bass drum pedals, and accents what-would-otherwise-be ghost hits, very nicely throughout
Without a double bass pedal, tearing up a 5 piece (sound quality of the recording is terrible - but you can see he barely uses his hihat at all [after the 5 min mark he does briefly use it], bludgeoning his custom Zildjans instead)
Zenith Patrol - mic'ed very well (and played in a Buford / Giles / Copeland -esque manner)
State of Grace - Groove & Accompaniment
Under-stated cool, tight, jazz grooves with Christian Scott, very mellow, and easy to listen to
Basic dorm room jamming - fun, except for the annoying screen word splashes that stop the drumming
In his teens at the Berklee School of Music
Appearing on Letterman
Having fun warming up with Michael Jackson's "got to be startin somethin"
Speed Clinic - where he shows he's human, funny, and very down to earth
1 year ago