Barnetto Beats, AKA the Great Barnetto, (or Rob Barnett to his friends), has provided his beats to many bands and projects over the years with a trademark effortless feel for pop, indie rock, punk to funk, alt-jazz swing and more. Whatever the genre, Barnetto’s beats lock down tight, move with the groove, get the feet tapping and the hips rocking.

His credits stretch back to the late 1980s and include indie-rockers Ice Cream Regime, Sugarcane and Forget the Down, indie-poppers the Beach, Tonal Wagners, Kirsten Blakley Band, and The Lights; the enchanting alt-rockers Airbaby, the irresistible upbeat 60s garage sound of the Instants and many more. Beats is currently working with alt-blues-folksters The Symptoms.

Music-News caught up with Beats for a quick chat over a beverage.

MN: What made you pick up the sticks?
BB: The sticks picked me. My dad was a jazz drummer in 1950s London but sold his kit to pay for an engagement ring when he met my mum. Both my brothers are drummers so I guess it’s in the blood. I knew from a very early age that I had rhythm, and there were always drum sticks lying around the house.

MN: Who are your drumming influences?
BB: Where do I start? John Bonham (Led Zep) for his special feel and graceful power, Stewart Copeland (The Police) for his rock-reggae fusion chops, Topper Headon (The Clash) for his effortless adaptability, Buddy Rich for being Buddy Rich! Steve White (Style Council) for his jazz fills, Larry Mullen (U2) for inspiring me to use the toms more, Rick Buckler for his punk fills and simply for being in The Jam, Chad Smith (Red Hot Chilli Peppers) for his beautifully crisp and powerful funk, Neil Peart (Rush) for being a one man orchestra, to name a few!

MN: Do you plan to expand to other genres of music/drumming?
BB: I’d like to spend more time studying Latin rhythms. I plan to never stop learning, keep an open mind and always be a student.

MN: What’s the best musical advice you’ve been given?
BB: Be yourself as a musician and celebrate your own uniqueness. You don’t have to have the best chops in town, but you do have to understand the heart and soul of a song.

MN: What are your musical ambitions?
BB: To keep loving and learning the instrument, and continue to play with great musicians and great people. That’s what it’s all about!

MN: What’s the biggest thrill playing the drums?
BB: Feeling at one with the instrument and the sticks being an extension of my arms. When you, the drums and sticks are one unit, rather than three separate entities, and are beautifully locked into the other musicians around you, it’s the most liberating, spiritual feeling. Like an out of body experience.

MN: What’s next for Barnetto Beats?
BB: The upcoming months will be spent writing and recording with The Symptoms, and at least one show early in the new year. The rest is ‘watch this space’.

Barnetto Beats Soundcloud
The Symptoms Soundcloud

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