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Mick Fleetwood on Drumming: ‘I Don’t Really Know What I’m Doing’

Rob Loud, Getty Images

“As a percussion player, I approach my own work in a very emotional, personal way,” says legendary Fleetwood Mac drummer Mick Fleetwood, “and so I have to rely on one thing, the essence of feel.”

As drummer for Fleetwood Mac since 1967, Mick has always been steady as a rock behind the kit. He tells Music Radar, “I didn’t always understand what it was, and I used to be insecure about that, but now I truly know that I feel most comfortable when I’m emotionally involved.”

Like any good drummer, he knows when to play and when not to play. “I was a guy who knew, through listening to blues music, when to not play, and I became an expert at it. I’m told that what I do as a percussion player is all sort of back-to-front, where the fills are usually not in the obvious places.” He humbly sums up by saying, “it’s because I don’t really know what I’m doing. I just do it spontaneously.”

From the early blues days of the band up through their chart-dominating prime and all those lineup changes, the one constant has been the locked-in rhythm section of Fleetwood and bassist John McVie. Their interplay is the stuff of legend and according to Fleetwood, comes from really listening to what each other are doing. “We both have that,” he said. “Through the years, I believe I’ve honed it down to an accidental skill. Growing up playing blues, it’s is all about listening and doing something that is ostensibly very simple…. but it involves great attention to dynamics.”

Next: Find Out Fleetwood Mac's 2013 Plans

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