Re: What's More important FEEL or FILL?
I went to one audition and they asked for a drum solo before the band came in to play. I go to another audition where they specifically asked for a country swing groove utilizing cross stick and brush!
And then of course, there are those auditions where they give you a piece of music and 3 seconds later they count the tune off....
I think in every one of those instances, my feel is what made it sound good (not to say that I got everything I auditioned for). Just playing speeding notes and moving my wrists at mind-bending rates does not make for good drumming. Your timing in your execution is what'll push it over the top.
Looking at somebody like Thomas Lang, he displays all his incredible skill, but there's a groove to it, and it's like he's saying sentences, making up paragraphs. On the other hand, I have a neighbor kid whose display of chops sounds like friggin' World War III. Go figure.
I would personally say FEEL is where it's at, but really, it depends on what the guy with the checkbook wants, too. Would I forsake a high paying gig because I didn't want to fill or take a solo - absolutely not. But in my world, these instances are rare indeed, but I've seen it happen. And then you see somebody like Alan Jackson Jr., or Bernard Purdie, or Charlie Watts, and you're convinced that you don't need to do anything BUT groove!
Just be prepared to do whatever it takes to get the gig, and in the words of Jeff Porcaro, "don't EVER mess up the time".