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Eloy Casagrande: Why Brazilian Metal Rules

Eloy Casagrande  /  UPDATED May 1, 2024

Eloy Casagrande joined Brazilian metal legends Sepultura in 2011 – when he was just 20 years old.

Now the drummer for Slipknot, he’s one of best players in the world (if you watch the video above, you’ll understand why).

The hour-long drum lesson covers everything from traditional rhythms to the “Brazilian blast beat”, and Eloy’s best advice for drummers.

“Respect who you are on the kit. Don’t try to compare yourself to other drummers – just be yourself.”

Who is Eloy Casagrande?

Born in São Paulo, Brazil (Santo André, specifically) Eloy Casagrande has been a sought-after drummer from a young age. At the age of 13, he won the Batuka International Drummer Fest

A winner of Modern Drummer’s Undiscovered Drummer contest, he performed at the 2005 Modern Drummer festival at just 15 years old where his solo introduced the world to his skills.

While he’s become an experienced clinician and session drummer since that time, Eloy is known largely in the heavy music community as the drummer of legendary Brazilian metal band Sepultura, which he joined in 2011.

Though he was voted “Metal Drummer Of The Year” at the 2022 Drumeo Awards and “Best Metal Drummer” in the 2021 Modern Drummer Readers Poll, Eloy is a gifted all-around player who has also been touring and releasing music with his progressive instrumental duo, Casagrande & Hanysz (featuring guitarist João Hanysz).

Eloy has worked with the following artists and more:

  • Slipknot
  • Sepultura
  • Casagrande & Hanysz
  • Iahweh
  • Andre Matos
  • Gloria
  • Aclla
  • Daniel Piquê
  • 2ois
  • Andreas Kisser

Eloy Casagrande’s biggest influences

He’s not your typical metal drummer. Eloy’s background in Brazilian music reflects his cultural upbringing, and he naturally fuses it into even the heaviest of parts. He grew up loving both metal and traditional Brazilian rhythms (like maracatu, samba, bossa nova, baião and maxixe), particularly those developed in Northeast Brazil.

Learn how to play these Brazilian rhythms and almost 100 other styles in The Drummer’s Toolbox, one of the best drum books to help you become a well-rounded drummer.

Combine that with an early love of Black Sabbath and receiving his first drum kit at age 8, and you have a recipe for a uniquely creative drummer who now plays crossover concepts rarely (if ever) heard before.

As for drummers who have influenced Eloy Casagrande, he took some key advice from a recent Vinnie Colaiuta interview: that “thought is the enemy of flow.” This means that if you think too much while you’re drumming, you’ll lose the feeling of the music. He mentions this in the video lesson at the top of this page, along with other great advice for other drummers.

What’s Eloy Casagrande’s drum setup?

Here’s Eloy Casagrande’s current drum setup:

TAMA Drums:
Starclassic Bubinga

  • 22″x16″ Bass Drum
  • 22″x16″ Bass Drum
  • 14″x5.5″ Snare Drum
  • 10″x8″ Tom Tom
  • 12″x9″ Tom Tom
  • 16″x14″ Floor Tom
  • 18″x16″ Floor Tom
Eloy Casagrande on his TAMA Starclassic Bubinga drum kit during his Drumeo visit

Eloy likes to tune his toms high, which is less common in metal music but common in Latin drumming. He keeps his highest tom tuned extra high for percussive “effect”.

Paiste Cymbals:

  • 20″ 2002 Wild Crash
  • 15″ Formula 602 Modern Essentials Hi-Hat
  • 12″ RUDE Shred Bell (as stack top)
  • 14″ RUDE Blast China (as stack bottom)
  • 19″ Formula 602 Modern Essentials Crash
  • 14″ PST X Swiss Flanger Stack
  • 14″ Formula 602 Modern Essentials Hi-Hat
  • 20″ Formula 602 Modern Essentials Crash
  • 20″Formula 602 Modern Essentials Ride
  • 18″ 2002 Novo China

Evans Drumheads:

  • 14″ Evans Genera HD Dry Drum Head
  • 14″ Evans Clear 300 Snare Side Drum Head
  • 12″ Evans G2 Clear Drum Head
  • 22″ Evans EMAD2 Clear Bass Drum Head

Promark Drumsticks:

  • Classic Forward 5B Hickory Drumstick, Oval Wood Tip

Follow Eloy:

Eloy Casagrande is the drummer of Slipknot and former drummer of Sepultura. At age 13, the Brazilian powerhouse won the Batuka International Drummer Fest, sponsored by Vera Figueiredo. Eloy also won Modern Drummer's Undiscovered Drummer Contest at the age of 15.

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