His sheer passion for drumming

Every note he plays is infused with an energy that is palpable, making his performances both captivating and electrifying. It is this passion that resonates with audiences worldwide and has earned him a dedicated fanbase.

Ilan’s nuanced techniques

His use of dynamics, from delicate ghost notes to thunderous fills, adds layers of depth to the music, creating a rich auditory experience for listeners. Additionally, Rubin's mastery of odd time signatures showcases his technical prowess and musical dexterity, setting him apart as a versatile and skilled drummer.

Collaborative spirit

Ilan’s ability to connect with other musicians on a profound level contribute to the magic of his drumming. Whether he is providing a solid foundation for a band or taking center stage with a jaw-dropping solo, Rubin's musical intuition and chemistry with fellow artists elevate the overall sound to new heights, leaving a lasting impact on all who have the pleasure of witnessing his drumming prowess.

Ilan Rubin style & influences

Rubin's drumming style is a seamless blend of technical prowess and musicality. His ability to seamlessly integrate intricate fills and complex rhythms without overshadowing the music is a testament to his musical sensibility. His playing is never excessive or showy; instead, he focuses on enhancing the music and elevating the overall sound.

Classic Rock Drummers

Today you can also hear the ever-present influence of John Bonham’ rock-solid grooves, the frenetic energy of Keith Moon, and the jazz-infused finesse of Buddy Rich. By incorporating elements from these drumming legends and infusing them with his unique touch, Rubin has developed a style that is unmistakably his own. As is the case for pretty much all rock drummers, Ilan’s respect for John Bonham in particular is huge: “He was and always will be my favourite”.

Hear from Ilan himself in this quick-fire interview where he covers off his biggest influences and how he came up as a professional drummer.

Big Band & Jazz Greats

When it comes to influences, Rubin draws inspiration from a wide range of drummers across various genres, but there are two drummers Ilan name dropped when he spoke to us recently; Buddy Rich and Louie Bellson.

“I really love the big band and jazz greats; Buddy Rich and Joe morello” Although he doesn’t consider himself a connoisseur of the music, he’s aware that “these drummers to the artistry of drumming and soloing to its peak”.

On Buddy Rich and Louie Bellson, Rubin speaks with passion: “They just played so well, and were able to solo in such a musical way, it really impacted me around 11, 12 years old. And made me really realise that the boring rudiments that you should be learning… that’s the greatest application of those things. And realising that was a huge benefit to my playing. It’s something I’ve incorporated into the music that I play.”

Who else has Ilan Rubin drummed with?

Throughout his career, Ilan Rubin has collaborated with some of the biggest names in the music industry. From Nine Inch Nails to Paramore to Angels & Airwaves, Rubin's drumming talents have been in high demand. His ability to adapt to different musical contexts and seamlessly blend in with different bands' sounds is a testament to his versatility as a drummer.

Rubin's collaborations have not only expanded his musical horizons but have also allowed him to leave his mark on some iconic albums. His contributions to Nine Inch Nails' critically acclaimed album "Year Zero" and his work on Paramore's hit single "Still Into You" are just a glimpse into the extent of his musical prowess.

Aside from his well-known collaborations, Ilan Rubin has also worked with a diverse range of artists across various genres. His drumming skills have graced the tracks of artists such as Beck, Lostprophets, and K.Flay, showcasing his ability to navigate different styles with ease. Rubin's versatility extends beyond just playing the drums; he is also a multi-instrumentalist and has been known to contribute vocals, guitar, and bass to his projects.

What drums does Ilan Rubin play?

When it comes to his choice of drums, Rubin always prioritizes quality and versatility. He has been known to use drum kits from renowned brands such as DW Drums and Gretsch. These drums, coupled with his meticulous tuning and attention to detail, allow Rubin to achieve the diverse range of sounds that his drumming requires.

It's worth noting that Ilan Rubin's drumming style is not only defined by the equipment he uses but also by his technique and musical influences. Drawing inspiration from a wide array of genres such as rock, electronic, and industrial music, Rubin infuses his drumming with a sense of dynamism and creativity that sets him apart in the music industry.

How to play drums like Ilan Rubin

While it is impossible to replicate Rubin's distinctive style completely, there are certain techniques and practices that aspiring drummers can incorporate into their playing to capture some essence of his genius.

We spoke to Ilan to get his unique perspective on how students should approach learning the drums. One of his core beliefs is that basic beats can be overlooked when trying to develop your sound:

“If I’m using a basic beat, I’m sure that basic beat has been used 10,000 times but it’s serving its purpose of providing the tempo and backbone, and the groove. That’s another thing that really makes drums in particular a fascinating instrument is that 10 people can play the exact same beat and all sound different. And make you feel differently, as to whether somethings behind or feels rushed or is on top of it, and all of that is very personal as to how you want to play”.

Beginner drummers should focus on developing a strong sense of timing and rhythm around basic beats and then look at how to add their personal sound to those parts.

  1. Focus on timing and rhythm: Developing a strong sense of timing and rhythm is crucial. Practice with a metronome and work on playing in different time signatures to improve your overall precision.
  2. Study different musical genres: To broaden your musical vocabulary, explore various genres and learn drum parts from different styles. This will help you develop versatility and adaptability, just like Rubin did when he listened closely to the drumming of Buddy Rich and Louie Bellson.
  3. Experiment with different textures: Incorporating electronic elements into your setup can add unique textures to your playing. Explore electronic drum pads and triggers to expand your sonic palette.
  4. Embrace creativity: Don't be afraid to take risks and think outside the box. Experiment with different patterns, fills, and dynamics to bring your own unique voice to the drum kit.

Learn to play like Ilan Rubin with Melodics with our Kiss & Tell song lesson

With Melodics, you’ll learn by playing. Our highly interactive app takes drummers through lessons beat by beat, giving them specific feedback on how they're doing. Our interactive drum lessons walk drummers through songs beat-by-beat and offers detailed feedback on their performances.

Access over 100 song lessons, including Angels & Airwaves - Kiss & Tell! Built in collaboration with Ilan so you know you’re playing exactly how he does. And for those starting out, there are beginner and intermediate versions available too.

Start your free trial

Melodics is the only drum lesson app that tracks performance & progress, giving you specific feedback on how to improve. Play along to tutorials on rudiments, songs & techniques and receive specific, tailored feedback based on your performance.

In the words of Ilan Rubin himself; "Melodics is a great tool for learning songs. It allows people to see what they might have been missing when listening to improve accuracy."


Quickfire Ilan Rubin FAQs

Who is Ilan Rubin?

Ilan Rubin is an American musician, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist, best known as the drummer for the bands Nine Inch Nails, Angels & Airwaves, and his own project, The New Regime.

What bands has Ilan Rubin been a part of?

Ilan Rubin has been a member of Nine Inch Nails, Angels & Airwaves, and The New Regime. He has also played with other bands, including Paramore and Lostprophets.

When did Ilan Rubin join Nine Inch Nails?

Ilan Rubin joined Nine Inch Nails in 2009, becoming the youngest member to ever play with the band.

What instruments does Ilan Rubin play?

Ilan Rubin is a versatile musician who plays drums, guitar, bass, keyboards, and sings.

What is The New Regime?

The New Regime is Ilan Rubin's solo project, where he writes, performs, and produces all the music. The project showcases his talents beyond drumming, featuring him on various instruments and vocals.

What awards has Ilan Rubin won?

Ilan Rubin has received several accolades, including being recognized for his drumming skills. Notably, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of Nine Inch Nails in 2020.

How old was Ilan Rubin when he started playing drums?

Ilan Rubin began playing drums at a very young age, reportedly starting at around 8 years old.

What albums has Ilan Rubin released with The New Regime?

The New Regime has released several albums, including "Coup," "Speak Through The White Noise," and "Heart Mind Body & Soul."

Did Ilan Rubin play with any bands before joining Nine Inch Nails?

Yes, before joining Nine Inch Nails, Ilan Rubin played with Lostprophets and filled in as a touring drummer for Paramore.

Has Ilan Rubin collaborated with other artists?

Yes, Ilan Rubin has collaborated with various artists throughout his career, both as a drummer and a producer.

What style of drumming is Ilan Rubin known for?

Ilan Rubin is known for his powerful and dynamic drumming style, which incorporates elements of rock, alternative, and electronic music.

Where is Ilan Rubin from?

Ilan Rubin was born and raised in San Diego, California, USA.



Come Together

As made famous by The Beatles

Learn to play this and over 500 songs in Melodics

Play this song now