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Limelight Oct 3rd

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Willy Taylor 1974 – 2013

It is with great shock and sadness that Metalireland offers condolences to the family and friends of Willy Taylor, who has died aged 39.

I am sure all of us reading will keep them in our thoughts over the coming days and offer anything we can to support them.

Many users of Metalireland will have known, played with or watched Willy drum through his various bands – most memorably being the rhythmic force benhind the technical grind of Condemned for two decades, but also playing with Lesshelp, The Obscene Machine, Honey For Christ and others.

He was an astonishing musician.

Nothing short of an athlete behind those Tama kickdrums, there can be few of us who saw him over the years whose jaws did not either hit the floor, or turn into a giddy grin, as we watched him accelerate to speeds on the kit that practically no-one else in the country could.

His double kick, rolls, fills and blasts were a masterclass even at the most ordinary gig.

So many summer evenings I can recall hanging about just to the side of a stage where Condemned were playing specifically to watch Willy do his thing. All the musos practically took it in turns to do the same.

And to that end he was always helpful and supportive of young players – chatting, generally being friendly and without a single air or grace about him.

All that encountered Willy knew him as the quietly spoken gentleman, usually pausing behind a quick smile and a quicker rolled cigarette before giving his thoughts.

Its a wonder that from such a soft voice and self-effacing personality could come such total thunder behind the drum kit. He never let his talent get in the way of being extraordinarily humble and a genuinely kind man.

There will be so many happy memories shared by the bands, musicians, punters, promoters and crews of Willy Taylor and his down to earth charm.

His drumming leaves an example for everyone here not just to follow, but to aspire to as well. That's what every musician I ever watched watching him was doing – because he was the best.

I hope in the coming days and weeks his family and friends can take heart from the memories and anything anyone can offer for them.

The world has lost a great talent and it's with true fondness that we remember him. Dedicated musician, superlative drummer, and warm hearted gentleman to all he encountered.

All of us will surely affirm that it was a pleasure and a privilege to have known him.

He leaves a real legacy: a generation of younger rock drummers who looked up to him and got better because they did so.

What an incredible magic to leave us all with.

Rest in Peace.

  1. I will miss you Willy. RIP.

  2. Michael Ardill Says:

    Rest in peace Big Man. It was a privilege to play with you. You’ll be sadly missed by many.

  3. Nail on the head ct.
    Gutted hes gone. Total legend and a true gent.

  4. Seamy Donnelly Says:

    Sorry to read this condolences to his family, friends and band mates. He was a force of nature.

  5. Beyond shocked to hear this sad news. Played and watched many a show over the years, ill spin a Condemned record tonight, RIP Willie

  6. john gallagher Says:

    Im not ashamed to say I loved the man. Our 20+ year friendship may have ended but my love and respect for him wil go on. An amazing human being that I will never forget.

  7. Richard Troupe Says:

    A true gentleman, a maestro behind the kit and a quiet, yet approachable, friend. You were a powerhouse of drumming in Ireland and I can recall many a night when myself, amongst others, stood in awe as your blasts kept their quickening yet precise pace on the snare.

    I am sad to see you pass, I am happy to have met your acquaintance.

    You will always be remembered for creating some of the most original sounding grind that this isle, and beyond, has ever heard.

    Rest in peace Willy.

  8. Very sad to hear this today. We used to share a practise room with Condemned many a moon ago. It was this small, rat infested farm building just outside Ballyclare and it leaked and had power issues. But, I remember the first time I met Willie, was up there. You’d walk into this dank room to see Willie perched behind this massive pink Tama kit. I didn’t know what to think!! But as soon as he started hitting the drums…fuck!!! He was unreal. A proper gentleman too, he had time for everybody. I’ll certainly miss the big guy. RIP.

  9. DISRUPTER Says:

    Very sorry to hear, horrible news, RIP

  10. Eoin McLove Says:

    Awful news. My condolences to his friends and family.

  11. Corrupted Says:

    I didn’t know Willy to speak to, but I spent quite a bit of time around him over the years at DP gigs in Belfast. People always spoke very highly of him. I’m certain I’d have got on well with him. RIP.

  12. ardchieftain Says:

    Very well written CT. Sums the man up perfectly. When i read about his passing earlier i couldn’t quite get my head around the news. The Irish Metal scene has lost a legend. Rest well brother.

  13. RIP Willy.

  14. Very sad news.


  15. Was just watching a Scavenger video 2 days ago and noticed him in his usual spot at the side of the stage having a smoke and passing words of encouragement in the Rosetta. A gentleman, an awesome drummer and a real nice guy. Very sad to read this. R.I.P. Willy

  16. Sad news. Fucking incredible drummer, always a gent too, R.I.P.

  17. Gail Taylor Says:

    To all who have said such heartfelt words about our brother, we can only thank you. We are only realising now how many lives he has actually touched. Our family thanks you.

  18. A brilliant tribute Ciaran to one of my best friends. Thanks mate.

  19. Cormcolash Says:

    RIP Willy, hands down one of the best drummers I’ve ever seen.

  20. Lovely words Ciaran, Willy was such an open and nice chap on the few occasions I met him. The Irish Metal scene has lost an amazing talent, but worse than that a true gentleman.

  21. Owenofhexxed Says:

    I feel very honoured to have had the chance to play music with this most talented, generous and dedicated man.

    You taught me so much and I miss you greatly already. Keep on blasting my friend.

  22. Very sad news!
    I’d initially only been in touch with him online about putting CONDEMNED stuff up on the Archive. And I’m glad to have had the opportunity to meet and chat with him face to face only a couple of months ago and actually thank him in person.

    A very obliging and humble man, to say the least.

  23. RIP – great tribute CT.

  24. RIP – Had the pleasure of playing a couple of gigs with Willy over the last few years. Pure gent. Really sorry to hear this.

  25. One off, if not the nicest guy in metal on this island. Great and so true words from CT, the guy made jaws drop with his playin and had time for everyone, nothing was ever too much for Willy.
    Such a loss to local music. Blessed to have shared many a stage with the man.

    RIP Willy T, never have the words local legend rang so true! \m/

  26. Andy Overoth & Obscene Machine Says:

    It’s with sadness and honour that I pay tribute to Willy T. A friend and band mate of mine, and an idol of so many others. I am truly honoured and privileged to have known the gentleman and to have played with the maestro that was Willy. He taught me a lot in the short time we were band mates and I’m sure he brought out the best (and the fastest) In me musically.
    A softly spoken, knowledgable wise man and a wizard behind the kit.
    He will be missed and idolised for many, many years.

    Willy T; Gentleman, Maestro, Friend.
    Cheers mate.

  27. RIP – my condolences to his family, friends and bandmates during this time.

  28. Couldn’t have met a nicer man. Lovely eulogy too, Ciarán. Too right he left a real legacy.

  29. Jason Hendry Says:

    I’ll NEVER forget the first time i jammed with Willy in my early teens,it changed me.I always looked up to him,even then his talent was already miles ahead of us.I remember recording a track with him in a Dublin studio in the early 90s,the rest of us were nervous but Willy soaked up every bit of information he could get from the experience.He loved and seemed to know everything about sound engineering and recording equipment.He was
    an amazing drummer and one of the most lovely people i’ve ever met.My heart goes out to his family and friends.

    RIP. We will miss you pal.

  30. Linda Clark Says:

    Beautiful tribute. Such a loss. RIP Willy, drum maestro and wonderful human being.

  31. blahblahbleh Says:

    Spent some time in his company when working with Andy Allen, was always amazed by his talent behind the kit and always remembered how sound the guy was. Sad news R.I.P

  32. John Moffatt Says:

    Far too young.
    Astonishing drummer and a gent.

  33. I’m so shocked to learn of this.Willy was such a nice guy to play with and had taken an interest in my son learning to drum.We looked forward to the help Willy was willing to give and will miss him dearly.
    RIP pal.

  34. Dancin Priest Says:

    Never had the pleasure of meeting the man but by all accounts a good dude.


  35. Barrytron Says:

    Played a few gigs with this guy alright, he was savage.
    Was looking round for some nice playing, this is pretty animal:


  36. Condolences to all friends and family. Very tragic.

  37. OpenSores Says:

    RIP Willy, you’ll be missed big time!!!

  38. I went to School with Willy and he was a good friend then. Didnt see him much after we left school though. Very sad to hear such news.

  39. RIP Willy T….You’re beat will go on. One of the few who followed his dream and made it a reality.

  40. I don’t know what to say. I really don’t. Willy was born to play drums. He carried drum sticks in his denim jacket before he had drums. I remember him practising on my bed when we chatted about bands and making bands. I remember him playing on pots, boxes and buckets in my mum’s garage. But when he got his first drum kit, his true potential was unleashed! He was SO happy and this can be seen in an old garage picture I have of us from yester year! And he was SO good already. The fact he got so much better is amazing. And then came the double bass drum. He was even amazing with them. I remember in the Merville practise room in the early 90s before it closed having to shout over him. In the end we ‘politely’ asked him to stop and Willy being Willy just laughed. To many he is rightfully a legend behind the drum kit, to me he was my class mate and early band mate who made me laugh and was such a great guy who plays a big part in my memories of growing up. We drifted apart as life went on but whenever we bumped into each other the bond was instant, like it was yesterday we last spoke. Sorry for going on (I could really go on) but I hope some appreciate the early memories of Willy. It’s all so hard to take in. So shocked. Willy, you may be gone in the physical world but you will live on in our memories and the lives you touched, who feel honoured to know such a gentle and great man.

  41. BloodyTroopsOfDoom Says:

    A true gent, who always had time for a yarn! Be it in the middle of the street or right before he went to thump the tubs.


  42. Mark Samuelsson Says:

    Deeply saddened to hear of Willy’s passing. It was an honour and a pleasure to have known him. RIP

  43. Sad news. Best extreme metal drummer bar none in Ireland.

  44. Very sad news . Grateful for the drumsticks you gave matilda , you will be deeply missed by all who knew you. We will never forget you willy, RIP.

  45. Five years today. Such an incredible drummer.

    Lest we forget.

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