The Quietus - A new rock music and pop culture website

Baker's Dozen

Jamming Good: Spiders Drummer Woody Woodmansey's Favourite Bowie Moments
Valerie Siebert , February 22nd, 2017 09:50

During the earthly sojourn of Ziggy Stardust, Woody Woodmansey laid down the rhythm for David Bowie's mercurial backing band The Spiders From Mars. Here he talks Valerie Siebert through his 13 favourite Bowie tracks, sharing personal memories of how they were made along the way.

Suicide_1487690194_resize_460x400

'Rock & Roll Suicide'
That one was going to be the last track on the album, so we had to leave an emotional impact there. It wasn't hard to think like that, given the subject of the song. With a lot of Bowie's songs, you found you were not only being a musician, but a bit of an actor as well. You had to get in there and use your imagination at the same time as your drumming skills to communicate those lyrics with any sort of conviction. You didn't want to say: 'Go out and commit suicide', of course, so you had to find a way of playing it so it didn't communicate that but rather identified with how someone like that might feel at the end of the world – that whole concept. It's one of my favorite tracks. It doesn't need a lot from the drums, bass and guitar. There are times when it breaks down to just the bass drum, and that bass drum needs to be played with despair. So, it was interesting as an emotional song to play. Everything seemed to leave it hanging on that bass drum, so you couldn't play it flippantly. It was how you emotionally felt and getting that across with just your foot on the drum pedal. You look back on that track and think it was pretty risky – especially on his part!


If you love our features, news and reviews, please support what we do with a one-off or regular donation. Year-on-year, our corporate advertising is down by around 90% - a figure that threatens to sink The Quietus. Hit this link to find out more and keep on Black Sky Thinking.