Zach Hill

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Zach Hill
Zach Hill 2012.jpg
Zach Hill in 2012
Background information
Born (1979-12-28) December 28, 1979 (age 35)
Genres Experimental rock, noise rock, math rock, experimental hip hop, electronic
Occupation(s) Musician, drummer, visual artist, screenwriter, director
Instruments Drums, vocals, sampler, guitar, bass guitar, piano, synthesizer, cornet, trumpet, melodica
Years active 1999–present
Labels 5 Rue Christine, Ache, Anticon, Deathbomb Arc, Epic, Ipecac, Joyful Noise, Kill Rock Stars, Narnack, Ormolycka, Overlap, Rodriguez Lopez, Rock Is Hell, Sargent House, Sick Room, Skin Graft, Sub Pop, Suicide Squeeze, Third Worlds/Harvest, Toad
Associated acts Bygones, Death Grips, Team Sleep, Flössin, Goon Moon, Hella, Holy Smokes, Marnie Stern, Mick Barr, Omar Rodríguez-López, Spoek Mathambo, Wavves, Janet Weiss, Matt Cameron, Ben Weinman

Zach Hill (born December 28, 1979)[1] is an American drummer and visual artist. He is best known as the drummer of Sacramento-based experimental hip hop group Death Grips and math rock band Hella.

Drumming style[edit]

Hill uses unconventional sounding cymbals, often referred to as "trash" cymbals. His most commonly and characteristically used trash cymbal consists of broken cymbals (usually between 3 and 4) stacked on top of each other, mounted just to his right of his high tom. This setup produces a harsh sound similar to that of a China cymbal, but with much less sustain. This can be heard on almost every single Hella release. Part of the reason for his use of trashed and old equipment may be that he could not afford good gear in the first place and got used to it; "Ever since initially starting to play, I've always just played on beat-down shit, so in a way I'm most comfortable on stuff that's rickety or has personality."[2]

Hill's equipment tends to wear down very fast due to the combination of the speed and power of his playing, which has been known to break lug casings and bend the top hoops of his drums from the sheer force of his playing. His hard-hitting resulted in a fracture of his left hand during a band practice with Wavves, after which he took an indefinite hiatus from that group.[3] During a 2004 live show with Hella he injured his left hand, but finished the set with a blood-spattered snare drum.[4]


In addition to music, Hill is also a visual artist. He published a fully illustrated book, Destroying Yourself is Too Accessible, which included the Zach Hill and Holy Smokes album "Masculine Drugs" Released in 2004 on TNI books and Suicide Squeeze Records.

The Sacramento, California art space Fools Foundation ran an exhibition of Hill's art, titled "Poltergeist", from April 1 to April 29 in 2006. Parts of the exhibit are visible in the photos accompanying Hill's article in the August 2006 issue of Modern Drummer and on the Fools Foundation website.[5]


Hill was rumoured to be working on an original feature film. Death Grips would be involved with the soundtrack of the film.[6]


Solo Releases[edit]

With Bygones[edit]

  • by- CD/LP (August 4, 2009, Sargent House)
  • Spiritual Bankruptcy Digital (February 16, 2010, Sargent House)

With Death Grips[edit]



  • Exmilitary CD/LP/Cassette/Digital (April 25, 2011, Third Worlds/Ormolycka)


  • Death Grips Digital (March 8, 2011, Third Worlds)
  • Live from Death Valley Digital (June 28, 2011, Third Worlds)

With Flössin[edit]

  • Lead Singer CD/LP (September 14, 2004, Ache)
  • Live at Overlap 01 Digital (February 18, 2006, Overlap)
  • Serpents Digital (February 10, 2009, Overlap)
  • White Anaconda and the Rainbow Boa Digital (December 25, 2011, Overlap)

With Hella[edit]




  • Portals DVD-r (2008, self-released)

Split releases

With Holy Smokes[edit]

  • Masculine Drugs/Destroying Yourself Is Too Accessible Book+CD (September 21, 2004, Suicide Squeeze)
  • Talk to Your Kids About Gangs CD (September 12, 2006, Skin Graft)

With Marnie Stern[edit]

With Mick Barr[edit]

  • Shred Earthship CD (May 9, 2006, 5 Rue Christine)
  • Volume 2 LP (March 12, 2007, Rock Is Hell)

With Omar Rodríguez-López[edit]

El Grupo Nuevo de Omar Rodriguez Lopez[edit]

With Spoek Mathambo[edit]


  • Aaron Molho - eclecticraft Digital (April 11, 2010, Sundial)
  • Alan Moore & Mitch Jenkins - Unearthing 3LP+3CD (October 25, 2010, Lex)
  • Apotheke - Apotheke CD (2005, Mash Down Babylon)
  • with Ben Weinman - Untitled Digital (August 31, 2007, self-released)
  • Cex - Maryland Mansions CD (November 18, 2003, Jade Tree)
  • Chll Pll - Aggressively Humble CD/LP (October 20, 2009, Porter)
  • Crime in Choir - Crime in Choir CD/LP (June 25, 2002, Omnibus)
  • Damsel - Distressed CD/LP (October 24, 2006, Temporary Residence Limited)
  • with Delicate Steve - Many Moods Digital (July 5, 2011, self-released)
  • Diamond Watch WristsIce Capped at Both Ends CD (May 4, 2009, Warp)
  • Friend/Enemy - 10 Songs CD/LP (January 1, 2001, Perishable)
  • Howard Hello - Howard Hello CD (May 3, 2005, Temporary Residence Limited)
  • Joan of Arc - Oh Brother 2LP (February 7, 2011, Joyful Noise)
  • The Ladies - They Mean Us CD/LP (February 21, 2006, Temporary Residence Limited)
  • Legs on Earth - Lasers and Saviors (CD, Para-Sight)
  • Mason Lindahl/Ellie Fortune/Raleigh Moncrief/Zach Hill Split 2x7" (October 10, 2010, Life's Blood)
  • Mick Barr - Mick Barr 2DVD (2008, aRCHIVE)
  • Nervous Cop - Nervous Cop CD (November 4, 2003, 5 Rue Christine)
  • with No Age - Flannel Graduate CD-R (2007, self-released)
  • Prefuse 73 - Everything She Touched Turned Ampexian CD/2LP (April 14, 2009, Warp)
  • Risil - Non Meters Volume One CD/2LP (October 28, 2009, Important)
  • with Robby Moncrieff - Who Do You Think You Aren't? CD/LP (June 15, 2010, Porter)
  • Scars on Broadway - Ghetto Blaster Rehearsals (2003, EatUrMusic)
  • Sol Invicto - Initium Digital (August 6, 2011, Altered Beats)
  • Team Sleep - Team Sleep CD (May 10, 2005, Maverick)
  • Them Hills - Greener Grassing CD-R (August 14, 2007, self-released)
  • Toughguy Fantasy/Arctic Boys - Thank Gods It's Friday/Louisiana Purchase 2CD (January 17, 2005, Frenetic)
  • Various Artists - Revival Drum Comp Cassette (2010, Mississippi)
  • Various Artists (Diamond Watch Wrists) - Warp20 (Recreated) 2CD (September 28, 2009, Warp)
  • Various Artists (Hella) - You've Got Your Orders - Volume One CD (June 6, 2003, Chrome Peeler)
  • Various Artists (Hella) - If the Twenty-First Century Didn't Exist It Would Be Necessary to Invent It CD (June 4, 2002, 5 Rue Christine)
  • Various Artists (Hella) - Slaying Since 1996 2CD (July 5, 2006, Suicide Squeeze)
  • Various Artists (The Ladies) - Thankful CD (November 2, 2006, Temporary Residence Limited)
  • Various Artists (Les Claypool) - Under the Influence: A Jam Band Tribute to Lynyrd Skynyrd CD (September 14, 2004)
  • Various Artists (Team Sleep) - The Matrix Reloaded (Music from and Inspired by the Motion Picture) 2CD (May 5, 2003, Maverick/Warner Sunset)
  • Weiss/Cameron/Hill - Drumgasm LP (August 27, 2013, Jackpot)
  • Xiu Xiu - Chapel of the Chimes CD/12" (July 30, 2002, Absolutely Kosher/Nail in the Coffin)


  1. ^ "ZODIAC DRUM KILLER Zach Hill on Blurt Online". 2008-12-09. Retrieved 2011-10-18. 
  2. ^ "Drum, solo - Music Feature - Music - August 14, 2008 - Sacramento News & Review". 2008-08-14. Retrieved 2011-10-18. 
  3. ^
  4. ^ "Zach Hill - Hella (4)". Retrieved 17 March 2015. 
  5. ^ "April 2006". Retrieved 2011-10-18. 
  6. ^ Pelly, Jenn (May 10, 2013). "Death Grips to Soundtrack Feature Film Directed and Written by Zach Hill, Working on New Album". Pitchfork. Retrieved May 10, 2013. 

External links[edit]