Gavin Harrison

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Gavin Harrison
Porcupine Tree Gavin Harrison TS Wisła Kraków 001.jpg
Background information
Born (1963-05-28) May 28, 1963 (age 53)
Harrow, Middlesex, England
Genres Progressive rock, jazz fusion, experimental music, rock
Occupation(s) Musician
Instruments Drums, percussion, tap guitar
Years active 1979–present
Labels Lava, Roadrunner, Atlantic
Associated acts Porcupine Tree, King Crimson, OSI, The Pineapple Thief

Gavin Harrison (born in May 28, 1963)[1] is an English drummer and percussionist. He is best known for playing with the British progressive rock bands Porcupine Tree and King Crimson. His influences come from his father's jazz collection and from drummers such as Steve Gadd[2] and Jeff Porcaro.


Gavin started to work professionally in 1979. In 1983–84 he toured as a member of Renaissance. He worked as a freelance session drummer on records and tours for the following artists: Incognito, Lisa Stansfield, Lewis Taylor, Artful Dodger, Paul Young, Iggy Pop, Level 42, Porcupine Tree, OSI, King Crimson, Shooter, Dizrhythmia,The Kings Of Oblivion, Sam Brown, Tom Robinson, Go West, Black, Gail Ann Dorsey, B J Cole, Dave Stewart and Barbara Gaskin, Nathan East, Yasuaki Shimizu, Camouflage, Kevin Ayers, Claudio Baglioni, Franco Battiato, Chizuko Yoshihiro, Jakko, Richard Barbieri, Mick Karn, Eros Ramazzotti, Devogue.

In 2002 he joined Porcupine Tree.

In 2007 Gavin began a long term collaboration with singer/extended range bass player 05Ric which led to the release of three CDs, Drop (2007), Circles (2009) and The Man Who Sold Himself (2012).

In 2008, Gavin joined King Crimson as part of a dual-drummer line-up with Pat Mastelotto. Gavin played a number of shows in the United States in August with the band.

On 23 August 2011 he was a featured performer on the 'Late Show with David Letterman' as part of their second "Drum Solo Week", along with such players as Stewart Copeland, Neil Peart, and Dennis Chambers.

As of January 2017, Harrison plays live in the new eight-member formation of King Crimson, as one of the four drummers.

In January 2017 he was guest drummer with The Pineapple Thief for European tour in support of their album Your Wilderness (in which he also played all the drums). ”We’re so excited that we have made it happen. It’s a real once in a lifetime event", said their leader Bruce Soord.

Comments from other musicians[edit]

Some musicians have cited him as an influence, including Ryan Van Poederooyen,[3] Dirk Verbeuren,[4] Andrew Spence,[5] Raymond Hearne of Haken,[6] Aaron Stechauner of Rings of Saturn,[7] Jamie Saint Merat of Ulcerate,[8] Thorsten Harnitz of Counter-World Experience,[9] and Vishnu Reddy of Crypted.[10]

In addition, other artists have been quoted expressing admiration for his work including Neil Peart of Rush,[11] Bill Bruford of King Crimson,[12] Devin Townsend,[13] Martín López,[14] Dave Bainbridge of Iona,[15] Kai Hahto,[16] Jimmy Keegan.[6]


He won the Modern Drummer magazine readers' poll for "best progressive drummer of the year" consecutively from 2007–2010 and again in 2016. He won "Best Prog Drummer" in DRUM USA magazine 2011. He is the featured cover story on Modern Drummer January 2009. Rolling Stone Magazine polls rate him as the third best drummer in the past 25 years. Best Prog Drummer 2011 & 2012 in Prog Magazine. In 2014, Modern Drummer magazine placed Gavin in the Top 50 Greatest Drummers of all Time.


Harrison has authored two instructional drum books entitled Rhythmic Illusions and Rhythmic Perspectives. He also wrote and produced his own instructional DVDs, Rhythmic Visions and Rhythmic Horizons, at his home studio. 2010 saw the release of Rhythmic Designs, a book of transcriptions by Terry Branam, and a 3-hour DVD of Gavin's explanations and demonstrations. It won 'Best in Show' at the summer NAMM show in the USA. 2014 sees the release of Rhythmic Compositions a book of 20 detailed drum transcriptions (by Terry Branam) of recorded Porcupine Tree performances – plus photos and stories of the recording and creative process.


Performer Year Album
King Crimson 2016 Radical Action
Dizrhythmia 2016 Dizrhythmia Too
The Pineapple Thief 2016 Your Wilderness
Nick Johnston 2016 Remarkably Human
King Crimson 2016 Live in Toronto
Fjieri 2016 Words Are All We Have
iamthemorning 2016 Lighthouse
Franco Battiato 2015 Anthology - Le nostre anime
King Crimson 2015 Live At The Orpheum
Carlo Berton 2015 Planetarium
iamthemorning 2014 Belighted
Amadeus Awad 2013 Schizanimus
The Tangent 2013 Le Sacre Du Travail
Lo-Fi Resistance 2012 Chalk Lines
Porcupine Tree 2012 Octane Twisted
Fusion Syndicate 2012 The Fusion Syndicate
Franco Battiato 2012 Apriti Sesamo
Kompendium 2012 Beneath The Waves
Harry Shearer 2012 Can't Take A Hint
Ed Poole 2012 Routes
Dario Zeno 2010 L'incoscienza di Zeno
Alberto Rigioni 2011 Rebirth
Alice 1992 Mezzogiorno sulle Alpi
Angela Baraldi 2001 Rosasporco
B. J. Cole 1989 Transparent Music
B. J. Cole 1995 Heart of the Moment
Black 1988 Comedy
Blackfield 2004 Blackfield
Blackfield 2007 Blackfield II
Camouflage 1991 Meanwhile,
Carlo Fimiani 2007 Too Early
Chizuko Yoshihiro 1993 Conscious Mind
Claudio Baglioni 1992 AncorAssieme
Claudio Baglioni 1992 Assieme
Claudio Baglioni 1995 Io Sono Qui
Claudio Baglioni 1996 Attori e Spettatori
Claudio Baglioni 1997 Anime in Gioco
Claudio Baglioni 1998 A-Live
Claudio Baglioni 1999 Viaggiatore Sulla Coda del Tempo
Claudio Baglioni 2000 Acustico
Claudio Baglioni 2003 Sono Io
Claudio Baglioni 2005 Cresendo e Cercando
Claudio Baglioni 2006 Quelli Degli Altri Tutti Qui
Claudio Baglioni 2009 Q.P.G.A
Claudio Baglioni 2013 Con Voi
Dave Stewart & Barbara Gaskin 1990 The Big Idea
Dave Stewart & Barbara Gaskin 1991 Spin
Dave Stewart & Barbara Gaskin 2009 Green & Blue
Dave Stewart & Barbara Gaskin 2009 TLG Collection
David Devant & His Spirit Wife 1996 Ginger
Devogue 1997 Devogue
Dizrhythmia 1987 Dizrhythmia
Donna Gardier 1990 I'll Be There
Ed Poole 2008 ED 4
Ed Poole 2010 Depth
Eddie & the Tide 1986
Eros Ramazzotti 1995 Più Bella Cosa Live
Eugenio Finardi 1990 La Forza Dell'amore
Eugenio Finardi 1991 Millennio
Fiorella Mannoia 1992 I Treni a Vapore
Franco Battiato 1993 Caffe' de la Paix
Franco Battiato 1996 L'Imboscata
Franco Battiato 1996 L'ombra Della Luce
Franco Battiato 1998 Gommalacca
Franco Battiato 2012 Apriti Sesamo
Froon 1987 Froon
Fjieri 2009 Endless
Gail Ann Dorsey 1988 The Corporate World
Gavin Harrison 1997 Sanity & Gravity
Gavin Harrison & 05Ric 2007 Drop
Gavin Harrison & 05Ric 2009 Circles
Gavin Harrison & 05Ric 2012 The Man Who Sold Himself
Gavin Harrison 2015 Cheating the Polygraph
Heraldo Zuniga 2001 Triangulo de Musgo
Iggy Pop 1986 Ritz N.Y.C Live / Real Wild Child Live
Iggy Pop 1989 Lust For Live
Incognito 1991 Inside Life
Jakko Jakszyk 2006 The Bruised Romantic Glee Club
Jakko Jakszyk 1994 Kingdom of Dust
Jakko Jakszyk 1994 Mustard Gas and Roses
Jakko Jakszyk 1996 Are My Ears on Wrong?
Jakko Jakszyk 1997 Road to Ballina
Jakszyk Fripp Collins 2011 A Scarcity of Miracles
Kevin Ayers 1992 Still Life with Guitar
King Crimson 2008 Park West, Chicago, Illinois – 7 August 2008
Lene Lovich 1990 March
Lewis Taylor 2000 Lewis II
Lewis Taylor 2005 In Session
Lisa Stansfield 1997 Never, Never Gonna Give You Up Live
Lisa Stansfield 1999 Swing
Lisa Stansfield 2001 831 – Change
Manfred Mann's Earth Band 1996 Soft Vengeance
Manolo García 2002 Nunca el Tiempo es Perdido
Marco Tafelli 2010 Reset
Mick Karn 1995 The Tooth Mother
Mieko Shimizu 1990 A Road of Shells
Miss Thi 1991 Lover
No-Man 2008 Schoolyard Ghosts
OSI 2009 Blood
OSI 2012 Fire Make Thunder
Paolo Gianolio 2009 Pane e Nuvole
Paolo Gianolio 2012 Tribu' di Note
Patty Pravo 2002 Radio Station
Paul Cusick 2011 P'dice
Paul Young 1995 Grazing in the Grass Live
Peter Cox 2001 Flame Still Burns
Porcupine Tree 2002 In Absentia
Porcupine Tree 2003 Futile
Porcupine Tree 2003 XM
Porcupine Tree 2004 The Sky Moves Sideways reissue
Porcupine Tree 2005 Deadwing
Porcupine Tree 2005 Up the Downstair reissue
Porcupine Tree 2005 XMII
Porcupine Tree 2006 Rockpalast
Porcupine Tree 2006 Arriving Somewhere...
Porcupine Tree 2007 Fear of a Blank Planet
Porcupine Tree 2007 Nil Recurring
Porcupine Tree 2009 Ilosaarirock
Porcupine Tree 2009 The Incident
Porcupine Tree 2010 Anesthetize
Porcupine Tree 2010 Atlanta
Progetto Cavani 1993 Alza la Testa
Raf 1993 Cannibali
Richard Barbieri/Tim Bowness 1994 Flame
Richard Barbieri 2008 Stranger Inside
Rob Cowen/Beverley Craven 2004 Lady Advertiser
Sam Brown 1987 Stop!
Sarah Jane Morris 1988 Can't Get to Sleep
Saro Cosentino 1997 Ones & Zeros
Shari Belafonte 1989 Shari
Sharon Rose 1994 Never Be The Same
Sheila Nicholls 2002 Wake
Shooter 1999 ..And Your Point?
Shooter 1999 Life's a Bitch
Stefano Panunzi 2005 Timelines
Steve Thorne 2007 Part Two: Emotional Creatures
Steve Thorne 2009 Into the Ether
Steven Wilson 2008 Insurgentes
Storm Corrosion 2012 Storm Corrosion
The Kings of Oblivion 1987 Big Fish Popcorn
Three Blind Mice 2007 Good Grief
Tom Robinson & Jakko Jakszyk 1988 We've Never Had It So Good
Yasuaki Shimizu 1989 Aduna
Zerra One 1986 The Domino Effect

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Gavin Harrison | Biography". Retrieved 2015-07-22. 
  2. ^
  3. ^ "Interview: Ryan Van Poederooyen of DTP". 3 October 2014. Retrieved 11 February 2017. I’d have to say my biggest inspiration on the drums at the moment is Gavin Harrison from Porcupine Tree. The guy is absolutely amazing on the drums. Great feel, great chops, amazing groove and he always plays unique beats and fills that really stand out to me. 
  4. ^ "A Toontrack Interview with Soilwork Drummer Dirk Verbeuren". 3 December 2013. Retrieved 16 February 2017. 
  5. ^ Marc, Travis (2010). "Andrew Spence Interview". Retrieved 11 February 2017. 
  6. ^ a b Kearns, Kevin; Haid, Mike (14 October 2014). "The Essence of Progressive Drumming". Modern Drummer. Retrieved 13 February 2017. 
  7. ^ Cece, Dan (29 February 2016). "INTERVIEW: Aaron Stechauner From Rings of Saturn". Retrieved 11 February 2017. 
  8. ^ "Entrevista exclusiva: Ulcerate". 25 November 2009. Retrieved 16 February 2017. 
  9. ^ Hefele, Anton (17 December 2010). "Offbeat Interview With Thorsten Harnitz of Counter-World Experience". Retrieved 13 February 2017. 
  10. ^ Muralidhar, Vilasini (8 September 2011). "Vishnu Reddy (September 2011)". Retrieved 11 February 2017. 
  11. ^ "Exclusive Interview with Neil Peart". 9 November 2006. Retrieved 11 February 2017. Along with all the drummers I have always enjoyed, and still listen to and appreciate (many mentioned in the DVD and related material), I like what Gavin Harrison is doing with Porcupine Tree, and on his instructional DVDs. His playing and his thinking are interesting, musical, and inspiring. 
  12. ^ Bruford, Bill (2012). "FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS". Retrieved 16 February 2017. Fellow countryman Gavin is leading the field in improvising with meters. He has managed to distil the essence of , and codify the laws of what I think is generally considered to be the next big step in drumming, namely the ability to move at will through several parallel meters, whose relationship to the basic pulse can then be said to be ‘displaced’ or ‘modulated’. He has the cleanest and tidiest execution of any drummer I’ve ever heard. Try his group ‘Porcupine Tree’, or some of his excellent instructional books and DVDs. 
  13. ^ Holmes, Nicholas (23 October 2012). "Devin Townsend Interview". London. Retrieved 11 February 2017. 
  14. ^ López, Martín (26 November 2014). "Soen drummer Martin Lopez's top 10 drum heroes". Music Radar. Retrieved 13 February 2017. 
  15. ^ Strik, Henri (January 2015). "Interview Dave Bainbridge: "With this album I was aiming to recapture some of the emotions that first motivated me to devote my life to music"". Retrieved 13 February 2017. 
  16. ^ Jovicic, Uros (2 November 2015). "Nightwish Fanpage - INTERVIEW WITH KAI HAHTO 2015 !!! :)". Facebook. Retrieved 16 February 2017. 

External links[edit]