Tim Alexander – “How to be musical” course
Tim “Herb” Alexander is one of the most innovative but still little known drummers in the drumming community. If you’ve heard of Primus then you probably still haven’t heard of him.
Herb is the second to last of a long list of drummers to play for the many incarnations of Primus. Primus’ frontman and bassist Les Claypool is very picky about his drummers. After many unsatisfactory drummers, Herb tried out and got the job. Herb’s mix of incredible technique and hard-core influences was admired by Les. Herb and Les first met at the Berklee School For Music in Boston.
We first heard Herb in the Primus context on the live album titled Suck On This. On this record, Herb plays his first and last recorded solo with Primus. Herb shows off his many chops and his often copied double bass drum technique. Admired by, among others, Steve Smith of Journey.
Primus later released their first studio album titled Frizzle Fry. Herb again shows us his vast array of chops but also shows some influence from players like Stewart Copeland of The Police.
The second studio album for Primus titled Sailing The Seas Of Cheese, shows the “pop” side of Herb’s drumming. His rhythms during the verses are very straight forward and simple sounding. I say sounding because in actuality they are not, due to the ghost or grace notes and other nuances rarely picked up by the unschooled musician. But, as always, Herb shows us how much is possible with double bass. Playing tasteful arrangements without sounding like the usual Heavy Metal bombast.
The next album by Primus was titled Pork Soda. According to Herb, the time when they recorded this album was a “dark time” for him. It shows. Herb takes a new approach to the music, yet he still plays in his Primus style. Playing some new time signatures, Herb makes it all look and sound so easy.
After the tour in support of this album, Herb and Primus took a break. While on his break, Herb started a band with his own friends called Laundry. Herb shows us an entirely different drummer on this album. Playing some impossibly difficult fills and fresh arrangements, Herb show how versitile he really is.
After Primus’ break, they recorded their second latest album and Herb’s last with Primus, Tales From The Punchbowl. This album is harder than the other Primus albums. It is also very diverse. Herb plays arrangements in many different settings. Even playing a jig on “Deanza Jig”.
After the tour for Punchbowl, Herb and Primus parted ways due to their different visions of the future. Herb is now playing with his friends in Laundry and playing clinics for his cymbal endorsement, Zildjian. Look for a new Laundry album out soon.
Herb uses Zildjian cymbals, Starclassic drums, Vic Firth Herb Alexander signature sticks and Remo drum heads.
Update: Tim is again with Primus