David Barbarossa

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Dave Barbarossa (born 1961,[1] London, England) is an English drummer.

As part of both Adam and the Ants and Bow Wow Wow, Barbarossa was instrumental in creating the "Tribal" drumming trend that was popular among British and some American bands, circa 1979–1983. The two most famous examples of this style were Bow Wow Wow and Adam and the Ants, but it also included John Lydon's Public Image Ltd., The Cult, and Killing Joke.

The revolutionary Tribal drum sound was heavily influenced by African Burundi drumming and featured backing beats played mostly on the tom-toms instead of traditional rock beats as played on cymbal, kick drum, and snare. This method created a rich, dramatic, and primeval atmosphere that had not previously been employed in a rock context, and was used extensively by post-punk bands of this era. Later bands, such as Jane's Addiction, Korn, Slipknot and many current bands have been influenced by this style.

In the mid-1990s, Barbarossa was in Republica, which had chart success in the UK and America with songs such as "Ready to Go" and "Drop Dead Gorgeous".

After a period of playing 'sideman' for such notables as Beats International and Chicane, Dave has returned to his unique drumming style of the early 1980s with Horse Brothers.[2]

Barbarossa wrote his first novel, 'Mud Sharks,[3] which was published in October 2012. It was reviewed by Eamonn Forde in Q magazine.


  1. ^ Strong, M. C. The Great Rock Discography. Pg. 5. Giunti, 1998. ISBN 88-09-21522-2, ISBN 978-88-09-21522-1
  2. ^ "Horse Brothers". Horsebrothersmusic.com. Retrieved 18 June 2013. 
  3. ^ "" Dave Barbarossa's books Ignite Books". Ignitebooks.co.uk. Retrieved 18 June 2013.