ALL HAIL WOMEN DRUMMERS

There was a time when women drummers were like unicorns, and even if one cropped up here and there they hardly got the attention they deserved. Lenny Kravitz, Hole, L7, Babes In Toyland, Sleater Kinney, Savages, Eagles Of Death Metal, The Donnas (and many more) all made a mark in music with a women drummer carrying the beat and paved the way for a new generation of kickass women drummers.

Now there are publications like Tom Tom Mag (the only magazine in the world dedicated to women drummers) that have helped put the spotlight on women drummers.

If you haven’t already, you need to check out these two incredible drummers from Japan, Senri Kawaguchi and Kanade Sato, 15 and 10 years old respectively at the time of the video below.

Drumming isn’t as easy as it seems, and to sing while playing drums (which most of these ladies do) is another thing all together. It’s time to put a spotlight on the incredibly vital element of a band, the rhythm, the beat, the pulse, the drums. Although there are many more great women drummers out there, here is our list of 11 currently active women drummers who hit and hit hard, making a bang in the music world!


[11] EMILY MAXWELL OF DADDY ISSUES

female drummers Daddy Issues Emily Maxwell
Emily Maxwell

Daddy Issues’ recent release Deep Dream has quickly become one of our favorite albums of 2017, and Emily Maxwell is at the foundation keeping the beat throughout the record. You can’t hide behind a wall of sound in a 3 piece band, and the drummer in particular needs to be rock solid. Emily is just that, and provides the perfect drumming style for Daddy Issues’ sound.


[10] AMBER GRIMBERGEN OF HINDS

female drummers
Amber Grimbergen – Photo courtesy of Billboard Radio China

Hinds is one of those bands that really exploded on to the music scene. They were buzzing one minute and the next minute the foursome from Madrid, Spain were selling out headlining shows and playing major festivals all over the world. Behind their drum kit is the youngest of the crew, Amber Grimbergen. Amber’s drumming is fun and genuine like the band itself. She’s not trying to be anyone or anything, but being herself and having fun playing music with her friends which is at the heart of her infectious drumming style.


[9] LUCY GILES OF DOG PARTY

Dog Party Lucy Giles Female Drummers
Lucy Giles

It’s hard to believe Dog Party already have 5 albums out given they are still so young but what can I say, sisters Gwendolyn and Lucy Giles pump out one irresistible punk track after another. I was shocked to see that this 2 piece performs as a 2 piece, guitar, drums and their voice. So punk! I’ve seen them open up for Green Day as well as play at small venues, and they sound great whatever the setup. Lucy manages to keep the beat while singing, whatever the speed of the song. Straight up impressive!


[8] LAURA “THE KID” KELSEY OF DEATH VALLEY GIRLS

Death Valley Girls Laura Kelsey the kid female drummers
Laura “The Kid” Kelsey – Photo by Sonic Highlark

To this day Death Valley Girls hold the crown for my most fun interview ever, and hell’s house band has a badass drummer. Her name is Laura Kelsey but you can call her, The Kid. It’s imperative for musicians to develop their own style and The Kid’s tom heavy Rock’n Roll drumming is instantly recognizable. One of the things I love about the band’s sound is their backing vocals and harmonies which The Kid crushes with ease while drumming. Glow In The Dark was one of our favorite albums last year and while the entire album is killer, make sure you check out the song “Pink Radiation” to hear The Kid sing lead and play drums at the same time.


[7] LELAH MAUPIN OF TACOCAT

Tacocat Lelah Maupin Female Drummers

Lelah Maupin of Tacocat admits that she’s a bit of a ham when it comes to playing shows, hence her colorful hair and fun wardrobe. It certainly makes for a more memorable show, but her skills behind the kit more than justifies giving her attention. It’s essential for any artist to develop their own style and musicians are no different. It’s not that easy to do, but Lelah definitely has her own style. When you hear Tacocat, you instantly know its Tacocat much like when you hear Lelah play drums, you know who is behind the kit without looking.


[6] JULIE EDWARDS OF DEAP VALLY

Deap Vally Julie Edwards Female Drummers

Not many bands are more badass than Deap Vally, whether it be their don’t-take-no-shit attitude or musical style. They don’t need help on stage either, growling guitar and hard hitting drums are all the instrumentation necessary for the girls to rock out. Julie Edwards has a way of playing that makes the drums sound so big and profound. I’ve seen them live several times so it’s not studio magic that does this, it’s just Julie. Fast or slow, each hit has intent and it just rocks, hard.


[5] MARIAN LI PINO OF LA LUZ

Marian Li Pino La Luz Females Drummers
Photo by Marianne Spellman

From rhythmic snare hits to intricate tom fills, Marian Li Pino keeps the good vibes strong for Seattle surf rock band La Luz. 60s style music maybe oldies but it’s certainly not an easy genre to pull off. Marian can do it better than most, with her ability to emanate and create a certain mood. Aside from the technical requirements, this style of music is all about the vibe and the band along with Marian’s drumming is so authentic that it can take you back in time.


[4] ANNE-MARIE VASSILIOU OF WHITE LUNG

White Lung Anne-Marie Vassiliou female drummers
Anne-Marie Vassiliou

I was invited to White Lung‘s secret show last year around the release of their latest record Paradise, and although I didn’t know what the band looked like at the time I remember liking the thrashing fast paced drumming in their songs.

I have to admit, I thought the drummer was male before I saw them but the talent on the throne was Anne-Marie Vassiliou. Song after song she ripped through the set without ever changing her cool, calm and collected demeanor. She makes it look so easy right?


[3] CELESTE “CC” SPINA OF LITTLE HURRICANE

Celeste CC Spina Little Hurricane Female Drummers

Celeste “CC” Spina plays her brand of gritty jazz drumming for her band Little Hurricane consisting of CC and guitarist Anthony “Tone” Catalano. With only two members in the group, chemistry is a must especially when playing the blues. CC’s drumming truly complements the guitar, showcasing her technical abilities. She hits hard and isn’t shy about being loud when the song calls for it but she can also tone it down, delicate and refined.

Dynamics are so important in music and CC is a master of it, her playing truly breathes with the songs.


[2] STELLA MOZGAWA OF WARPAINT

Warpaint Stella Mozgawa Female Drummers
Photo by Ryan Hunter for Guitar Center

Warpaint is just an incredibly talented band that deserve all their success and more. Their songs are well crafted and really define the word harmony, where every sound, note and instrument play off of each other tonally as well as rhythmically. It doesn’t necessarily sound it but the composition of their songs are very intricate. It would all fall apart if the beat isn’t solid but no worries, Stella Mozgawa has it covered.

It’s Stella’s complex drumming that really takes Warpaint’s music to another level. Her drumming style just makes you want to vibe out and dance which is exactly what the beat should do.


[1] SHISHIDO KAVKA

female drummers
Shishido Kavka

Born in Mexico, Japanese musician Yuna Shishido aka Shishido Kavka started out as a drummer for an all-girl rock band called The News. She has said the she started playing drums and liked the idea that the cameras never really focused on drummers, but ironically she developed her own style of singing while playing drums which has gotten a ton of camera attention. Now add runway model, actress and radio personality to the list and you get Shishido Kavka, a one-woman show on and off the stage.

Although her latest solo album DO_S released earlier this year is a pop record focused on her voice, it’s hard to forget her intensity and finesse when she plays the drums. This girl got skills.