Kings and Queens

One of my favorite drum parts is in the Thirty Seconds to Mars’ song “Kings and Queens.” In addition to being the finale of their live shows, “K&Q” represents the band’s exceptional lyrical and instrumental content. Shannon Leto’s powerhouse drumming drives the piece from beginning to end and the song’s accelerating and decelerating segments are an excellent example of effective dynamics. As the song opens Leto forcefully rides the crash while accenting the sequence with off-beats. He then tempers off to a tribal tom arrangement that rolls directly into a marching-like pattern on the snare drum before returning with a crescendo back to the epic opening. The song is a roller coaster ride from beginning to end and Leto’s drum parts propel the song forward. Too often forgotten Leto is known for his energetic live performances and his ability to blend traditional and experimental drum techniques. His talent for marrying acoustic and electronic drums is exceptional. “Kings and Queens” is a prime example of this drummer’s brute strength and tasteful touch. Here is a transcript and video:



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