100 Greatest Drummers of All Time

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

Load Previous
Jon Theodore
100
Tim Mosenfelder/Getty88/100

88. Jon Theodore

Jon Theodore is the contemporary rock world's most visible superdrummer, a player who has internalized the styles of key Seventies touchstones — the otherworldly facility of Billy Cobham, the elephantine swagger of John Bonham — and updated their approaches to fit the demands of the modern arena show. Theodore first turned heads in the early 2000s, playing dazzling Latin-infused prog with the Mars Volta. "I saw some of his first performances as a member of the Mars Volta," said Rage Against the Machine's Zack de la Rocha, who would later play with Theodore in the sinewy guerilla-funk outfit One Day as a Lion. "It was clear that music in L.A. was never going to be the same now that he was here." But it was a recommendation from Dave Grohl that led to Theodore's most high-profile role yet. "Dave was, like, 'You know, the guy who really blows me away is Jon Theodore,'" recalled Queens of the Stone Age leader Josh Homme, who brought Theodore into the QOTSA fold in 2013. The gig apparently isn't exclusive: When Skrillex, Diplo and Justin Bieber gave "Where Are Ü Now" a live-band makeover at the 2016 Grammys, Jon Theodore was behind the kit.

Back to Top