If there’s one indisputable truth in this world, it’s that alternative music has no shortage of iconic drummers. Quite literally setting the beat for the genre, these artists put the power behind some of our favorite tracks. And boy, do we love getting a taste for it right from the top with some badass drum intros.
Here are 10 drum intros from alternative tracks that you’ll always recognize immediately.
“I Miss You” – blink-182
There’s no denying that Travis Barker is one of the most iconic alternative drummers of all time. Even having set the beat for near-countless projects and collaborations, though, there are certain displays of his talent that stand out from the rest. Among the top of that list, of course, is the intro to blink-182‘s “I Miss You.” Though pared back, there’s just no mistaking that simplistic groove, even within the first two seconds of the song.
“Fences” – Paramore
There are a number of iconic drum beats present throughout Paramore‘s discography. Drummer Zac Farro just kills it like that. As far as intros go, though, we can’t think of any that are more immediately recognizable than the one in “Fences.” Even if you haven’t heard the song in years, you can surely remember it right off the top of your head. It’s just one of the many reasons that the track is among their most underrated, both on Riot! and across their entire catalog.
“All That We Needed” – Plain White T’s
Plain White T’s genuinely couldn’t have picked a better track to sit right at the top of their beloved 2005 album, All That We Needed. The song kicks off with an ultra-punchy, pop-punk-as-hell drum intro courtesy of De’Mar Hamilton. It also marks his debut with the band. Over 15 years later, it still gets our hearts racing whenever it plays.
“Come Out And Play (Keep ‘Em Separated)” – The Offspring
Admittedly, the Offspring have a propensity for making their tracks recognizable right out of the gate. “Come Out And Play (Keep ‘Em Separated)” puts drummer Ron Welty‘s immense talent on full display, though. While Welty later departed the band in 2003, the song’s drum intro remains their most iconic by far. It starts the track off with a deceptively chill vibe before launching headfirst into pure punk-rock energy.
“Are We The Waiting” – Green Day
No doubt, you heard this one in your head before you even finished reading the title. That’s because of all of Green Day‘s punchy punk songs, no drum intro breeds quite the same anthemic ambiance as “Are We The Waiting.” Is it among Tré Cool‘s most technically advanced displays? Probably not. But it’s impossible to mistake, nevertheless.
“Dance, Dance” – Fall Out Boy
You’ll never have to worry about not knowing which song is coming next at a Fall Out Boy show. Even with a sky-high stack of alternative hits, they have a way of making each track stand right out from the rest. In the case of “Dance, Dance,” it’s drummer Andy Hurley‘s immediately recognizable drum intro. Even if you’re totally incapable of distinguishing beats, you’ll know this one because your feet will take on a life of their own.
“California Über Alles” – Dead Kennedys
You don’t even have to be a drummer to play the intro to Dead Kennedys‘ “California Über Alles” in your sleep… Provided, of course, that you can match Ted‘s talents in your dreamland. Point being, this is one of those beats that you’ll hear once and never forget—even over four decades later.
“Move Along” – The All-American Rejects
Consider this one a challenge. Before you even listen to the song, try drumming out the intro on the nearest surface. Did you get it? Yeah, we knew you would. The All-American Rejects have no shortage of totally iconic songs that will hit you right in the gut with a punch of 2000s nostalgia. “Move Along” is a beast all of its own, though, due in part to drummer Chris Gaylor‘s energetic beat. You’re probably going to have a hard time shaking this one from your head.
“Rebel Girl” – Bikini Kill
Just leave it to the riot grrrl originators to dish out a drum intro with ultimate punk-rock aggression. Admittedly, Tobi Vail‘s punchy beats are going to hit you right in the chest, regardless of where they fall in the track sequence. If it were up to us, though, she’d kick off every song just like she does in “Rebel Girl.” There’s just something so inherently energizing about it.
“House Of Wolves” – My Chemical Romance
Did anyone else spend an entire year of their life just listening to My Chemical Romance‘s “House Of Wolves” on repeat? If you didn’t, you missed out. That said, you didn’t have to listen to the track nonstop to immediately recognize Bob Bryar‘s iconic drum intro. What’s even more impressive than the standout nature of the beat is the fact that it came with his first (and only) studio project under one of the most iconic alternative outfits of the time. Prior to The Black Parade, Matt Pelissier had provided percussion for the band.
What are your favorite drum intros from alternative tracks? Let us know in the comments below!