KEVIN FOLEY (Benighted) – To me drumming seems natural

KEVIN FOLEY (Benighted) – To me drumming seems natural

(…this article is in English…)

Kevin Foley is the drummer in the French death metal / grindcore band BENIGHTED and in the Dutch death metal band DISAVOWED. He is one of those people that annoy their friends to sit and hit himself on the knee all the time. He says further that it was Kai Hahto which was the very first blast beat drummer who inspired him and that it was the former drummer of Suicidal Tendecies, Ronald Brunner Jr. which is the drummer that has impressed him most. Here‘s KEVIN FOLEY from the BENIGHTED and his contributions to The Blast Beast Series..


What is the force behind you being a drummer, that is, what keeps you going?

To me drumming seems natural, I’m always hitting my knees with my hands, and that’s so annoying for my friends!

You are playing in a genre where both technique and speed, together with groove, are important ingredients. What do you think is the most important of these?

Nowadays I think the groove parts are more important, since lot of drummers now can go up to 260 bpm and more! Sometimes in my opinion some drummers can play so fast that it’s becoming a bit “funny”!!

Which drummer has inspired you the most throughout the years, and what would you have said to him/her if you had the chance to meet him/her in person?

I think Kai Hahto when he was into Rotten Sound period is the first “blasting” drummer who really inspired me, his cymbal work is just amazing!!! If I had the chance to meet him, I’ll tell him “Man, please could you play the whole “Murderworks” album for me please??!!!”


Which is best while rehearsing alone: systematic progress or full improvisation?

Well, I have to admit I’m not the kind of drummer who practice alone a lot…I really prefer to jam with my bands or with some friends! But when I’m jamming alone, most of the time it’s full improvisation…and total crap!!

Do you have any “core rehearsal tips” that have given you a lot of progress in your drumming?

I’ve been working a lot on my finger technique. It consists in putting the stick between your index and your major. It’s really powerfull and faster for the blastbeats! It’s a really weird technique, and I have to say it really hurts when you start practicing this!! To have an idea of how this technique looks like, you can check my vid here:

What is important for you while rehearsing new songs/riffs with your band? Is there something in particular you do or listen for?

Well, I’m just trying to make the riffs sounds the most pounding or groovy it can be. I don’t want to make it sound like a drum master class (It arranges me, I don’t have the level to do it! hehe). We also try to have sometimes some bass and drum part to make it groove, which is not really common in brutal death metal.

Wrists or fingers? Heel up or down? Why?

It depends of the speed. For the slow parts, I would say whole arms and destroy your drumkit !! I really enjoy the drummers who hit hard(Kevin Talley,Adam Jarvis…). For the Blastbeats, I’ m using a really strange (shitty?!!) technique which consist in putting the stick between your index and your major. I can have both power and speed with this technique, but when you start playing it, it really hurts !!


You must have rehearsed for an insane amount of hours to be as good a drummer as you are. Do you think it is worth it, and have you ever thought about quitting?

Thanks a lot! Well I’ve been working a lot during the 5 last years, since I’m into Benighted. Before that I used to play punk rock and I didn’t know that you could play so fast with both hands and feet!! So I‘ve spend a lot of time practicing on my pads! Unfortunately now I don’t have that much time to improve, I wish I could play more…

While playing at a concert: are you 100 % concentrated about what you are doing, or do you notice some of the mood and energy among the audience?

I’m 100% concentrated since I’m using headphones from the triggers to hear my bass drum, so I can’t hear anything else. Actually it’s even sometimes hard to hear the monitors.

Is it expensive to become a drummer, and what does it take outside all that can be bought for money to become a clever and good drummer in extreme metal?

That’s true , it’s so expensive to be a drummer !Sometimes I wish I could play Harmonica! The best would be to get endorsed so you can spend less money of course, but it stills hard to get it…But at least buy some durable gear is better than buy some bad stuff every month.


And then some about your equipment:

I’m using a Spaun drum custom which sound great, with remo pinstripe heads on the toms and emperor x on the snare. Axis pedals, Saluda and Zildjian cymbals, and Vic firth 5b sticks.

Which snare drum and configuration do you like the best? 12”, 13” or 14”? And which material? Wood, steel, brass or bronze?

I’m actually using a Mapex black panther walnut snare, 14*6,5.

That’s the best snare I’ve ever heard, at least for the extreme drumming. Really powerfull,aggressive but lot of low ends!

What kind of pedal(s) do you use? And which “settings” fits your style the best?

As lot of extreme drummers, I’m using axis pedals. I also use the e-kit triggers, which are great for the fast parts! I prefer medium tension so you can play fast and keep control.

As always, we are rounding off with you picking the next drummer in these series. Pick a drummer, and explain why he/she deserves (!) to be one of our Blast Beasts.

Well, now he’s not in metal anymore but the most impressive drummer I ever saw still Ronald Brunner Jr by far!! He used to play in Suicidal Tendencies, now he plays with Stanley Clarke. Not so much blasting, but just check his videos, you’ll be really impressed!