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Charlie Benante (Anthrax, Pantera) Drums to Barbie Soundtrack’s “Choose Your Fighter” as He Hears It for First Time: Watch

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Charlie Benante is one of metal’s finest drummers, as he’s proven during his long run in his primary band Anthrax and his current stint in Pantera. But could he handle a dance track like the Barbie soundtrack cut “Choose Your Fighter”? That’s what Drumeo set to find out in the latest edition of its “For the First Time” series.

As we’ve seen in past editions of this series featuring Chad Smith (Thirty Seconds to Mars’ “The Kill”), Nandi Bushell (Twisted Sister’s “We’re Not Gonna Take It”), and others, drummers are challenged to come up with their own drum parts as they hear a song for the first time. The drum tracks have been taken out of the originals, allowing the drummers to use their skills and imagination to play along to the songs.

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“Choose Your Fighter,” a club-ready dance song by singer Ava Max, is just about the furthest thing from Anthrax or Pantera on the music spectrum.

After listening to the drumless track, Benante tackled the drums in one take. Usually, the guests have a practice run-though before a final performance, but Benante mastered the tune in his first pass. The metal icon kept it dancey but added some thrash elements with his double bass playing.

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Later on, as he listened to the song with its original drum part intact, Benante admitted that he was “trying to do the opposite” of what he thought it might sound like.

Benante received lots of praise in the YouTube comments, with one reading, “Big ‘when the drummer is overqualified for the gig’ energy here. Charlie B., what a legend.” And another declaring, “Charlie didn’t play drums for the song but made the song play for his drumming, absolute living legend crushed this one.”

Fans can catch Benante keeping it metal on the road with Pantera and Anthrax this year. Both bands are playing the Sonic Temple festival in Columbus, Ohio, later this month, and the Aftershock festival in Sacramento, California, in October.

In August, Pantera will continue to support Metallica on the next North American leg of the latter’s “M72 World Tour” (tickets available here). Anthrax, meanwhile, will embark on a UK/European tour with Kreator and Testament in late November (pick up tickets here).

Watch Charlie Benante tackling Ava Max’s “Choose Your Fighter” in the video below.

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