Tz’s Daily Dose of Drummers: Stephen Perkins

I spent years in my bedroom playing along to records and honing my skills. It was time to get out and play with some real people. After a couple of false starts in bands with my brother and another with some kids from school, i finally found a band of like-minded souls in Isolation. That’s not to say that musically we were on the same page, but we liked each other and each brought something different to the collective. Now, playing to records and playing with other musicians are two completely different things. It took some time to get to the point where i wasn’t just emulated beats from those records, but eventually i found my own voice and started to realize that a band is a gang. It is your tribe and it’s you against the world! That kind of thinking and approach to music was highlighted by the emergence of Jane’s Addiction.

I first heard of Jane’s in my buddy’s Honda Civic on our way to Los Angeles. He had the first self-titled live album on XXX Records, and it was heavier than anything i was listening to, but it was also exactly what i needed to hear. If ever there was a band as a tribe, it was Jane’s Addiction. In fact, Los Angeles was full of “tribes” at that time. Fishbone, Red Hot Chili Peppers and even Guns ‘n Roses. You just didn’t get the tribe-vibe from bands like Poison, did you?

Thus, Jane’s drummer Stephen Perkins became the idol for the times. I just loved the way he played his whole kit, and in another band it would’ve been too much, but in Jane’s it was perfect. Casting light vs. darkness and hard vs. soft, Jane’s Addiction is my generation’s Led Zeppelin. Check it out…


I was lucky enough to see them a few times in the late 80’s & early 90’s, and thank goodness i did, as i couldn’t figure out what Stephen was doing from the records. This made it easier to cop some licks, as they say…


And of course, i am obligated to show my all-time fave song…


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