100 Greatest Drummers of All Time

From rock thunder machines to punk powerhouses, we count down the kings and queens of slam

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Danny Carey
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26. Danny Carey

Coming off an inauspicious late-Eighties stint drumming in novelty band Green Jellÿ (under the pseudonym Danny Longlegs), Danny Carey joined future alt-metal juggernaut Tool in 1990. In the years since, the 6' 5" Kansas native has established himself as the natural heir to Seventies prog giants such as Neil Peart and Bill Bruford, and one of the most widely admired rock drummers of his generation. Carey's style combines brainy ambition – and a knack for polyrhythms and odd meters – with uncompromising force and a fluid, natural feel. His gift is making the experimental sound natural. "It doesn't mean anything if you just hear the drums doing tricky things," he says. "I don't want to have people say, 'That guy is burning.' I would rather hear them say, 'That reminds me of the Moors running down the hill, or Scotsmen attacking with their heads on fire, butt-naked in the middle of winter.'"

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