September 26, 2023

I know I’m preaching to the choir here, but we all know metal drummers are fucking unreal. They can play intricate fills at blistering speeds while laying down intense rhythms of their own, often looking like it’s just another day at the office. Megadeth‘s Dirk Verbeuren is exactly that kind of player, so when I saw a video pop up on my timeline with the title “Megadeth Drummer Hears “Mr. Brightside” For The First Time,” my initial thoughts were “bullshit” and “he’s going to fucking kill this thing.”

For a while now, Drumeo has had some killer drummers come in and participate in this really interesting video series where they listen to a song for the first time without a drum track and then try to see if they can come up with something that’s close to the original. Though it’s extremely unlikely that they get close (though some sort of get there), it’s really an exercise in active listening and seeing how session musicians sometimes have to quickly learn a song’s patterns before they actually play.

How Dirk never heard The Killers‘ mammoth hit “Mr. Brightside” is beyond me, given the fact that it was fucking everywhere in 2004, but here we are. As you can check out in the video, Verbeuren takes time to listen to the drumless track and take notes of each section before taking the challenge on.

Spoilers, but he only needed one take and the final product was a groovier, more emotional sounding bit of drumming over the song. Where Ronnie Vannucci Jr.’s drumming is fast and in constant motion, Verbeuren’s takes a more deliberate approach, opting to let the track breathe a bit. It’s really an interesting take on the song.

You can check out the full video below, or skip to 3:19 to watch the whole thing.

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