Drummers are notoriously the most overlooked members of the band. They sit in the back onstage, hidden behind their kits, seemingly interchangeable.
Musicians know, however, that drumming is the essential backbone of great music. This is why Irish photographer Deirdre O Callaghan chose drummers as the subject of her latest book, “The Drum Thing,” recently released by Prestel.
The project, which was five years in the making, contains more than 100 images with interviews of the world’s finest including easily recognizable drummers like Dave Grohl and Jack White along with behind-the-scenes session wizards like Steve Gadd and Jim Keltner, and sprinkled through with rising stars like Julie Edwards from the L.A. duo Deap Vally.
“I love watching drummers perform, it’s like a dance,” said the photographer, who forged her career after getting her start with the edgy London-based pop culture magazine Dazed & Confused. “Just the dedication and the physicality of it.”
Those traits are on full display in the muscular images, most of which were taken in private homes or studios. That provides viewers with a rare look at both personal style and the rhythm of daily life.