Jimmy Chamberlin Explains Charlie Watts’s Strength In Drums


Former Smashing Pumpkins drummer Jimmy Chamberlin commented on Charlie Watts’s playing style in a recent interview on Drum Channel on YouTube.

Charlie Watts was the iconic drummer of the Rolling Stones for over 50 years. He is regarded as one of the best drummers in the history of rock and praised for his unforgettable drum licks. After a six-decade-long presence on the music scene, Watts, unfortunately, passed away last year. It is known that he had been battling throat cancer since 2004, but the actual cause of death was never made public.

With his distinctive playing style, he added a touch of jazz to one of the best rock and roll bands. It’s hard to find someone who wouldn’t praise Charlie’s drum expertise. For example, Pink Floyd’s drummer Nick Mason shared a post praising Watts’ unique beat skills after his death. Watts was not only known for his unforgettable rhythms but also his cool appearance on stage.

Jimmy Chamberlin, the American drummer and record producer, also shared his views and admiration for Watts’ technique in his latest interview on the Drum Channel. During the conversation, Chamberlin praised the simplicity and foundation of Charlie’s beats.

He explained that in drum playing, simplicity may be preferable to complex sounds that ‘fool’ the audience only because they sound ‘sophisticated.’ Chamberlin stated that simple foundations contribute stronger beats and make the drum sound much better as it is in harmony with the song, and this was something that Watts had mastered.

In his words, he explained Charlie Watts’ drumming style as follows:

“That was a great lesson for me to really get down to, you know, ‘what is the subject of the sentence before we start writing the predicate?’ Right? Because oftentimes, the predicate is easy. I can do all this flashy stuff, I can make the drum sound super sophisticated, I can do all this kind of trickery, and when it’s done, it sounds to the uneducated listener like this glossy, well put together drum take.

Because it’s like there’s all, there’s so many moving parts that nobody can think anything different. But when you listen to Charlie Watts, it’s like, all there is foundation [imitates drum beats]. Right? So, and it’s like… Look, we’ve all read books that we’d get to the end of a thousand-page book and go, ‘Oh my god, that was so profound.’ Right? Or we see a three-word billboard on the highway, we go, ‘Oh, that was so profound.’

I mean, profundity doesn’t have to be a thousand pages. It can oftentimes be three words. Like, you know, don’t stick your hand in the fire, or you’re going to get burned. Things like that.”

You can check out the interview on Youtube below.