Simon Phillips Biography
Simon Phillips (born February 6, 1957 in London, England) is a prolific jazz and rock drummer. He has played with a wide array of musicians including Toto, Jeff Beck, Jack Bruce, Brian Eno, Toyah, Mike Oldfield, Gary Moore, Mick Jagger, PHD, Mike Rutherford, Phil Manzanera, John Wetton, Asia, Stanley Clarke and Derek Sherinian. He was also the drummer for The Who in their 1989 American reunion tour, and appeared on solo recordings by band members Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend. He has also worked with heavy metal acts Judas Priest on "Sin After Sin" and Michael Schenker's debut album "The Michael Schenker Group." Simon has played, co-produced, and mixed four Derek Sherinian solo records - Inertia (2001), Black Utopia (2003) Mythology (2004) and Blood of the Snake (2006). Simon also co-produced and mixed two albums by Mike Oldfield. Phillips also appeared with Jeff Beck, Jimmy Page, Eric Clapton, Steve Winwood and others in the video for the 1983 A.R.M.S. concert benefit for Ronnie Lane. In the late 80s Simon formed part of RMS with fellow session musicians, Mo Foster and Ray Russell.
Simon began to play professionally at the age of twelve in his father's Dixieland band for four years. He was then offered the chance to play in the musical "Jesus Christ Superstar". He quickly became a sought-after session player, until he joined Toto in 1992. The same year, he released 2 instructional videos displaying some of his best work.
He has released four studio albums of varying styles.
Simon's trademark is his precise, creative and very dramatic style. Simon's fills often start building earlier than is expected, often beginning on the "2-and" and continuing to build until "1" of the next bar. His use of metric modulation is notable, and he often uses it to build tension in sections of songs with repeated chord progressions. He often uses double bass drums in the context of a fill.
Simon has been an endorser of Tama drums for many years. His carefully tuned and dynamic drum sound is highly identifiable, and he uses large drums and incorporates octoban drums and a gong bass drum in his kit.
Simon Phillips is noted for his versatility. He plays pretty much every style (rock, fusion, metal, prog, jazz ). He also plays open-handed, meaning that he plays the hihat with his left hand and the snare with the right, not crossing his hands. The ride cymbal is also played left instead of right. However, when playing jazz music, he switches to playing the traditional way with the hi-hat and ride. There are not many drummers who can use both techniques.
In 2006, Simon released a new DVD with jazz band Vantage Point called "Resolution" with writer and pianist Jeff Babko, trumpeter Walt Fowler, saxophonist Brandon Fields and bassist Alphonso Johnson.
Right now, Simon is doing the successful "Falling in Between" tour with Toto. After the tour, he wants to record another solo album and maybe another instructional video in DVD format.