Ilan Rubin

It’s Friday and I’m feeling adventurous so I’m going to break my rule and post a drum solo video. Admittedly, I just wrote about my dislike of self-indulgent solos (see but this one is different as the entire performance itself is an unaccompanied piece. In other words the solo is meant to be just that, a solo. One of my favorite drummers at the moment is Ilan Rubin. In addition to his brilliant drumming with Nine Inch Nails he is also a multi-instrumentalist who fronts his own band Angels and Airways. He also shares the drum stool for Paramore. Rubin is on the front cover of this month’s issue of Modern Drummer which sparked this post. A short time ago he performed at the coveted Guitar Center Drum Off. His performance showcased his skills as a loop programmer, his hard-hitting style inspired by his hero John Bonham, and his infectious energy. (Midway through the solo he does these amazing quad runs at breakneck speed. I was inspired and I’m still trying to play them at half speed.) While watching his performance notice how Rubin powers his way through the groove and syncopates the floor tom and snare in an off-beat pattern. There is gorilla-like power behind every stroke, but they are executed with finesse. He also does some nice patterns on the ride cymbal that fit in perfectly with the loop. At 27 years-old Rubin’s playing is far beyond his years.


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