Zach Hill in 2012
December 28, 1979 |
||Punk rock, noise rock, math rock, psychedelic, alternative hip hop, electronic, alternative rock, noise, progressive rock, free improvisation
||Musician, drummer, visual artist, screenwriter, director
||Sony Music, Kill Rock Stars, Ipecac Recordings, Suicide Squeeze, Toad, Narnack, Frenetic, Moorworks, Omnibus, TNI Books, Temporary Residence, Skin Graft, 5RC, Anticon, Rock is Hell, Rampage Recordings, Sargent House, Porter, Maverick, EatUrMusic, Epic records
||Death Grips, Hella, Boredoms, El Grupo Nuevo de Omar Rodriguez Lopez, Wavves, Marnie Stern, Mick Barr, No Age, Scott Herren aka prefuse 73, Mike Patton, The Ladies, Team Sleep, Flössin, Crime in Choir, Nels Cline, Goon Moon, Scars on Broadway, Legs on Earth, Bygones, CHLL PLL
Zach Hill (born December 28, 1979) is a musician/drummer and visual artist from Sacramento, California. Primarily known for his drumming style, he performs/has performed in numerous groups, including Death Grips, Hella, as well as Boredoms, and a diverse range of others including, Marnie Stern, Wavves, Mick Barr, Nervous Cop (a collaboration with Greg Saunier of Deerhoof and Joanna Newsom ), El Grupo Nuevo de Omar Rodriguez Lopez, Mike Patton, Flössin (a collaboration with Christopher Willits and rotating members Kid606, Matmos, Nate Boyce and Carson McWhirter) and many others. Zach is self-taught, having started drumming around 1995, and has been touring internationally with various groups since 2001.
Drumming style 
One of Zach Hill's most defining characteristics as a drummer is his footwork, especially right foot double strokes on the bass drum. Additionally, his drum kit thus far has had generally very low-tuned tom-toms and floor-toms. His snare drum sound is often a contrasting highly tuned "crack" sound.
A unique aspect of Zach's style is his liberal use of 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."
Zach also utilizes complex time signatures and polyrhythms in his drumming. Zach has developed his approach to time signatures through playing, and goes by feeling a beat rather than writing it out or counting. As well as playing odd time signatures and polyrhythms, he played in a recognizable, yet more contemporary style with Team Sleep. When he was with Wavves and on Bygones "Spiritual Bankruptcy E.P." he displayed an intense hard core punk rock style that's a bit more straight forward than most of the other projects he's involved in.
Another notable aspect of Hill's playing is that he is an extremely hard hitter. His 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. A testament to his relentless hard hitting rhythmic assaults is that he recently fractured his left hand during a band practice with Wavves. As a result of said mishap, he has taken a hiatus from the project.
In addition to music, Zach is also a visual artist. One of the most notable examples is his 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 Zach's art, titled "Poltergeist", from April 1 to April 29 in 2006. Parts of the exhibit are visible in the photos accompanying Zach's article in the August 2006 issue of Modern Drummer and on the Fools Foundation website.
Hill is currently writing and directing an original feature film. Death Grips will be involved with the soundtrack of the film.
Split releases 
- Crime in Choir CD/LP (June 25, 2002, Omnibus)
With Holy Smokes 
- Zach Hill and the Holy Smokes - Masculine Drugs CD / Destroying Yourself is Too Accessible Book (September 14, 2004, Suicide Squeeze / TNI Books)
- Holy Smokes - Talk To Your Kids About Gangs CD (September 26, 2006, Skin Graft)
- Zach Hill and Mick Barr - Shred Earthship CD (May 9, 2006, 5RC)
- Zach Hill and Mick Barr - Volume 2 LP (March 12, 2007, Rock is Hell)
Zach Hill 
- Apotheke - Apotheke CD (Mash Down Babylon)
- Cex - Maryland Mansions CD (November 18, 2003, Jade Tree)
- CHLL PLL ( collaboration w/ Zac Nelson ) - Aggressively Humble CD/LP (October 20, 2009, Porter Records)
- Damsel ( collaboration w/Nels Cline ) - Distressed CD/LP (October 24, 2006, Temporary Residence)
- Diamond Watch Wrists ( collaboration w/Scott Herren aka prefuse 73 ) - Ice Capped at Both Ends CD (May 4, 2009, Warp Records)
- El Grupo Nuevo de Omar Rodríguez-López - Cryptomnesia CD/LP (May 5, 2009, Rodriguez Lopez Productions)
- Friend/Enemy - 10 Songs CD/LP (July 9, 2002, Perishable)
- Howard Hello - EP CD (July 3, 2005, Temporary Residence)
- Joan of Arc - Oh Brother 2xLP (February 8, 2011, Joyful Noise)
- The Ladies (collaboration w/Rob Crow of Pinback) - They Mean Us CD/LP (February 21, 2006, Temporary Residence)
- Legs on Earth - Lasers and Saviors CD (1999, Para-Sight)
- Robby Moncrieff aka Raleigh Moncrief - Who Do You Think You Aren't? CD/LP (June 15, 2010, Porter Records)
- Alan Moore - Unearthing 3xLP with 3xCD (July 5, 2010, Lex Records)
- Nervous Cop - Nervous Cop CD (November 4, 2003, 5 Rue Christine)
- No Age-Flannel Graduate CD-r (Self-Released, 2008)
- RISIL ( collaboration w/Scott Herren aka prefuse 73 ) - Non Meters Volume 1 CD/2xLP (June 2009, Important Records)
- Omar Rodríguez-López - Mantra Hiroshima Digital LP (Nov 29, 2010, Rodriguez Lopez Productions)
- Scars on Broadway - Ghetto Blaster Rehearsals (2003, EatUrMusic)
- Team Sleep - Team Sleep CD (May 10, 2005, Maverick)
- Toughguy Fantasy / Arctic Boyz - Thank Gods It's Friday / Louisiana Purchase 2xCD (January 17, 2005, Frenetic)
- V/A - Family Album (Hella "Friday the 13th" - Grass Roots Records)
- V/A - If The 21st Century Didn't Exist, It Would Be Necessary To Invent It (Hella "Been A Long Time, Cousin (Live)" - 5RC)
- V/A - Power Up! Mutations and Mutilations of 8-Bit Hits (Flössin "Castlevania aka Ascelitnava")
- V/A - Slaying Since 1996 (Hella "Meth Leper" & Goon Moon "Rock Weird (Weird Rock)" - Suicide Squeeze Records)
- V/A - Sur la Mer Samp-le-Mer (Hella "Madonna Approaches R&B Blonde Wreckages")
- V/A - Thankful (The Ladies "Trapped in the Hobbit" - Temporary Residence Limited)
- V/A - Under The Influence: A Jam Band Tribute to Lynyrd Skynyrd (Les Claypool "Call Me the Breeze")
- V/A - You've Got Your Orders, Volume One (Hella "Dance of the Drunken Siberian")
External links