Support Local Journalism. Join Riverfront Times Press Club.

Best Drummer: Patrick Hawley 

My introduction to Patrick Hawley's skills came in the early '90s, when he was in a great lost pop band called Twiggy (from Champaign, Ill.). Songwriter Todd Fletcher's vulnerably boyish vocals were given no-nonsense musical bodyguarding by Hawley's tough drumming. And that's Hawley's style: Whereas some drummers beat with masturbatory fills, playing with their own instruments like schoolboys in heat, Hawley comes from the tradition of Big Star's Jody Stephens and Television's Billy Ficca -- seldom any pompous displays of drum kitsch.

These days Hawley plays with both Robynn Ragland and Prisonshake -- and Adam Schmidt, when he plays in town -- and his drum patterns have slowly evolved, showcasing a tense restraint that opens spaces for his bandmates to fill. There is postpunk angst in Hawley's descriptive, judicious attack -- but it comes across like Keith Moon shining in "Nighttime," not macho cheese. Hawley says his "two main, and longtime, drumming influences are Rick Neuhaus of the Champaign, Ill., band Combo Audio and Terry Bozzio, the drummer for Missing Persons. Rick was my mentor and taught me everything I know about drumming." Hawley doesn't view drumming as an insular role -- in idea or execution. "I don't see drumming as an entity on its own," he says, "merely as a nonessential component of music. Any drummer who's worth a shit will certainly listen to all of the instruments in any band, since drumming is just as much about making a song work as is playing rhythm or lead guitar. Those who focus on Western drumming as its own entity -- anyone who owns more than one videotape of just a drummer -- has simply been misled."

-- Jordan Oakes

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Riverfront Times Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Riverfront Times Club for as little as $5 a month.

More by Jordan Oakes

Read the Digital Print Issue

June 9, 2021

View more issues

Newsletters

Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Best Things to Do In St. Louis

© 2021 Riverfront Times

Website powered by Foundation