Dennis Leeflang

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Dennis Leeflang
Dennis Leeflang 2.jpg
Dennis Leeflang performing live with Lita Ford in Cleveland, September 2009
Background information
Born (1979-05-22) 22 May 1979 (age 35)
Leiderdorp, Netherlands
Genres Rock music, Pop music, Heavy metal, Hard rock
Occupations Musician, producer
Instruments Drums
Years active 1987–present
Associated acts

Bumblefoot
Truth Table
Lita Ford
The Saturnine
Sun Caged
Within Temptation
Epica
Anneke van Giersbergen
Milan Polak

Ted Poley
Website www.dennisleeflang.com

Dennis Leeflang (born 22 May 1979, Leiderdorp) is a rock drummer, currently living in New York City. He is most known for his work with Bumblefoot (Guns N' Roses). Other artists he has worked with include Lita Ford, Within Temptation, Sun Caged, Epica and The Saturnine.

History[edit]

After having laid a solid foundation through playing snare drum in several marching bands between ages 8 and 12, Dennis Leeflang started playing the drum set at age 13, playing along with records of bands such as Nirvana, Guns N' Roses, Metallica and Iron Maiden. He started playing with local hard rock bands practically immediately. After mixed successes with local Dutch bands, Leeflang's career officially took off in 1996, when he joined Dutch gothic rock legends Within Temptation at age 17 as their first official drummer. With Within Temptation, Leeflang recorded the legendary "Enter" demo tape at his home rehearsal studio, which made a huge impact on the Dutch and later also the international metal scene and proved to be the official start of a major new movement in rock and metal music.

Leeflang played with various other successful Dutch rock and metal bands between 1997 and 2004, including Epica and The Saturnine, before relocating from the Netherlands to New York City, shortly after having departed his band Sun Caged, of which he was a founding member. In 2006, Dennis re-joined The Saturnine. The band would continue as an inter-continental recording project with occasional live performances in Europe.

Leeflang had been Bumblefoot's live drummer for European tours since 2002, but became his full-time drummer once having moved to New York in 2004. Though having recorded a song for a Jimi Hendrix tribute album with him in 2003, Dennis's album debut with Bumblefoot was the 2005 "Normal" album, followed by the 2008 "Abnormal" album. Throughout 2011, Dennis has released one song a month with Bumblefoot of which several were renditions of classic songs such as The Beatles' Strawberry Fields Forever, as well as original songs which Thal and Leeflang co-wrote at Leeflang's studio in 2009, just before embarking on the Lita Ford tour together.

Next to recording and touring with Bumblefoot, Leeflang has been recording drums for numerous albums since 2004, both from his own studio and at various studios in the New York area and in Europe for many known and up-and-coming artists, including Anneke van Giersbergen, Milan Polak, Indestructible Noise Command, Tiffany Giardina, Ted Poley (Danger Danger), Shane Gibson (Korn) and Angus Clark (Trans-Siberian Orchestra).

In the summer of 2009, Dennis was asked to join Lita Ford's band, with less than 48 hours to learn her set list. With Ford, Leeflang toured all over Europe and the US throughout the summer and fall of 2009, including performances at prestigious events such as the Bang Your Head!!! festival in Balingen, Germany, the Gods of Metal festival in Milan, Italy, and the annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally in Sturgis, SD.

Leeflang is known for mixing powerful hard rock drumming with funk and jazz influences, and the use of a wide range of dynamics in his playing.[citation needed] Especially in New York, he has done sessions in many different genres, adding more influences to his palette. He's also a drum teacher and clinician, performing drum demonstrations in Europe, Russia and the US regularly. In his home country of the Netherlands, Leeflang has become one of the most influential rock drummers of recent years.[citation needed] He reaches high positions in the readers polls of Slagwerkkrant magazine in the Netherlands annually.[when?]

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When not on the road, Dennis works out of his own recording studio in the New York City area from where he collaborates with musicians all over the world. He has also become an active producer and recording engineer in the New York area.

Influences[edit]

As some of his main influences, Leeflang names drummers such as Nicko McBrain, Stewart Copeland, Chad Smith, Josh Freese, Steve Jordan, Jeff Porcaro, Dave Abbruzzese and John Bonham.

Equipment[edit]

Leeflang is endorsed by:

  • Paiste (cymbals)
  • Vic Firth (drum sticks)
  • S-Hoop (drum hoops)
  • Ahead Armor cases (drum cases)
  • Ahead snare drums

Dennis plays Drum Workshop drums, live as well as in the studio. His most common setup consists of an 18"x24" bass drum (VLX), a 9"x13" tomtom (VLT) with a 13"x15" (X-shell) and a 14"x16" (VLX) floor tom. He has a large collection of snare drums but is mostly seen with either a 6.5"x14" solid brass DW snare, a 6.5"x14" PDP Ace snare, or a 6"x14" Ahead black nickel over brass snare drum. Dennis often incorporates a 1990s 3"x12" Tama metal piccolo snare on the left side of his hi-hat. His hardware is all DW 9000 series, with a 5002 double bass drum pedal.

Drum heads are all Remo: Clear Emperors on toms, Clear Powerstroke3 on bass drum, Coated Controlled Sound or Controlled Sound X on snare.

Dennis' cymbal setup varies per situation, but his most common (rock) setup is (left to right, viewed from behind the kit):

  • 19" Signature Full Crash
  • 8" Twenty Splash
  • 15" 2002 Medium Hi-Hat Bottom (used as top cymbal) with a 15" 2002 Sound Edge Hi-Hat Bottom
  • 20" Signature Full Crash
  • 24" 2002 Ride
  • 20" Signature Reflector Heavy Full Crash
  • 20" 2002 NOVO China
  • 19" Signature Reflector Heavy Full Crash

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Richard Willemse
Drummer for Within Temptation
1996
Succeeded by
Ivar de Graaf
New title Drummer for Sun Caged
1999–2003
Succeeded by
Roel van Helden
New title Drummer for The Saturnine
since 2003
Incumbent
Preceded by
LaFrae Olivia Sci
Drummer for Bumblefoot
since 2002
Incumbent