Overkill – Motörhead


Overkill is the title track on Motörhead's second album (1979). The song is notable for drummer Phil "Philthy Animal" Taylor's relentless sixteenth-note double bass ostinato which inspired a generation of hard rock and metal drummers.

In the 1980s, drummers such as Slayer’s Dave Lombardo, Anthrax’s Charlie Benante, and Metallica’s Lars Ulrich took this concept further and faster. The following generation added even greater speed and complexity.

This is how music evolves. Musicians become inspired by others’ work. They imitate and expand on pre-existing ideas, draw from different genres and combine various elements to create something new.

One cannot copyright a drum beat. If it were possible, perhaps we wouldn’t have genres of music, we would just have several songs of a particular style. Fortunately, we are free to take what others have done before us, learn from it and use it in our own way.

As the famous artist, Pablo Picasso, said “Good artists copy. Great artists steal”. So take everything you can from your favourite drummers, absorb it all and you just might come up with something revolutionary that inspires the next generation!

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