Judas Priest’s Scott Travis talks about writing the “Painkiller” drum intro

The American drummer Scott Travis joined the legendary British Metal band Judas Priest in 1989 and helped to write one of their most famous and praised songs: “Painkiller”. Released on the album of the same name in 1990, the track is one of the heaviest ones written by them and has an incredible drum intro.

The musician recalled in an interview with Drumtalk (Transcribed by Blabbermouth), about coming up with that drum pattern.

Judas Priest’s Scott Travis talks about writing the “Painkiller” drum intro

“Me personally, I always loved the drum intro of certain songs. We all know ‘Rock And Roll’ by Led Zeppelin and ‘Walk This Way’ by Aerosmith, and, of course, ‘Hot For Teacher’, which is Van Halen. So, anyways, I grew up like that, always understanding that, ‘Man, if ever I could come up with a signature drum intro — no guitars; just drums — and make it really impactful.’ And sometimes I get emotional, now that I’ve been playing for so long, that I was able to come up with something.”

“(I recently saw a video featuring) ‘Top 15 drum intros’. And, of course, it’s subjective. I don’t know who made the list; I think it was some rock magazine. So, naturally, I watch it, and it had ‘Where Eagles Dare’ (Iron Maiden), it had ‘Rock And Roll’, and number two was ‘Painkiller’. And I was, like, ‘Oh my God. Thank you so much.’”

Scott continued:
“And number one, which I’m happy to take a backseat, was ‘Hot For Teacher’ — Sir Alex Van Halen. If I’m second place to old Alex, then, man, that’s fantastic. Again, that’s one opinion and one little something someone made up. But nonetheless, I didn’t make it, so I’m happy that people appreciate ‘Painkiller’ and it has become a signature Judas Priest song, which I never in a million years would have imagined that,” Scott Travis said.

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