Megadeth drummer gives clinic

LEWISTOWN – On Friday evening, an eclectic crowd of varying ages gathered at DP’s Music Center to witness Shawn Drover, the current drummer of heavy metal titans, Megadeth, perform a free drum clinic. Drover joined the legendary group in 2004.

Drover spent the evening illustrating his various drumming techniques and fielding questions about his musical background, Megadeth, life and Steelers football.

When asked who inspired him to take up the instrument, he claimed that his first love was the 1970s progressive rock group Rush.

“Rush was the catalyst. I couldn’t believe somebody could play like that. They took me to another place. After Rush, I got into jazz and jazz fusion,” said Drover.

During the clinic, Drover played along to a series of classic and obscure Megadeth recordings to demonstrate his open-handed playing style.

Typically, a right-handed drummer will play hi-hat with their left hand and use their left hand to play snare; open-handed drumming is the antithesis of this and is rarely used.

Drover played blistering renditions of some of Megadeth’s most brutal, obscure selections, notably “Architecture of Aggression” from 1992’s Countdown to Extinction and “Liar” from 1988’s So Far, So Good… So What! He also explained and demonstrated how Megadeth songs are composed and recorded in studio by playing with only a guitar, bass and click track to “Set the World Afire.”

One fan asked Drover who he considered to be his favorite Megadeth drummer, “It has to be Gar (Samuelson) mainly due to his jazz-fusion elements. His background and technique was a unique mix with speed metal.” Samuelson performed on Megadeth’s 1985 debut album, Killing Is My Business… and Business is Good! and 1986’s metal masterpiece, Peace Sells… But Who’s Buying?

During the clinic, Drover entertained amusing questions such as, “what makes you so awesome?” and expressed, in a joking manner, how much he loves the Pittsburgh Steelers and despises the Philadelphia Eagles.

Megadeth will be uniting with another legendary metal group, Iron Maiden, for an upcoming tour.