Los Angeles-based photographer Deirdre O’Callaghan’s newly published coffee table book, The Drum Thing, from Prestel Publishing, presents 200 photos of nearly 100 drummers who are pictured in comfortable surroundings, including rehearsal spaces, studios, garages, basements, and gardens.

O’Callaghan’s subjects include such drumming luminaries as as Tony Allen, Ginger Baker, Travis Barker, Cindy Blackman, Patrick Carney, Terri Lyne Carrington, Chris Dave, Jack DeJohnette, Bryan Devendorf, Sly Dunbar, Steve Gadd, James Gadson, Dave Grohl, Mark Guiliana, Steve Jordan, Jim Keltner, Airto Moreira, Larry Mullen Jr., Neil Peart, Questlove, Jim Sclavunos, Ringo Starr, Lars Ulrich, Joey Waronker and Jack White. Each image is accompanied by excerpts from O’Callaghan’s personal conversations with the drummers.


“I am drawn to the type of personality that chooses to become a drummer, sit at the back, and be the driving force of the music,” O’Callaghan told the LA Weekly. “There is a dedication to carrying that equipment, being the first at the venue to set up and the last to leave. Visually, I love watching a drummer perform. It’s almost like a dance, like a form of meditation. The physicality, the mental state, the focus, all of it draws me to the rhythm section.”

Read O’Callaghan’s full interview with the LA Weekly.

Learn about the project, and view sample images, on author Dierdre O’Callaghan’s website.