Nihilist Drummer, The, By Dr. Lane D. Pederson, 132 pgs.

Mar 17, 2021

I was excited to review this book since not only was it written for drummers (and I am one), but it was also written by a talented drummer who plays in the band Dillinger Four. He would be the first to point out how meaningless it is to include those details, and after reading this book I would be inclined to agree. That is only because I now feel like I am better able to understand and embrace nihilism (in regard to drumming).

When I first received this book in the mail, I was immediately nervous and thought that it was going to be awkward that I would have to write a bad review, since it’s a small black book of unnumbered pages with only a couple sentences on each page. It’s almost like a book of memes written by the guy who refuses to just bite the bullet and learn how to do social media. But I’m glad to say it was actually hilarious and I ended up with nearly a third of the pages folded to mark my favorites lines.

It opens with a foreword by Dave King, who is apparently a famous jazz drummer. Although he somewhat roasts Lane, it really only further strengthens the appropriateness of embracing the nihilistic philosophy since he too—although extremely accomplished and expertly skilled in drumming—is more or less just as unknown and unimportant as the rest of us (drummers). It felt like I, too, was getting roasted as I read it, but I also felt a comradeship in the smugness of the jabs at the drummer “culture.”

Lane reminds me of a Larry David of drummers, spouting some realness and knocking any cocky drummers down a peg or two. Lane owns a drum shop and is also a clinical psychologist, so it’s safe to say that he has geeked out on drum gear as much as a gearhead can and he’s come out the other end as a nihilist. There is something oddly comforting about knowing that no matter what, you’ll never be as good as the best legends, but also that, “Your drumming hero sold 300 records last year.” It was an unexpected delight and perfect for drummers who don’t take themselves too seriously, which we all know are the best kind. –Rosie Gonce (

Thankful Bits is supported and made possible, in part, by grants from the following organizations.
Any findings, opinions, or conclusions contained herein are not necessarily those of our grantors.