May 20, 2024

Keith LeBlanc, former Ministry and Nine Inch Nails drummer dies


Keith LeBlanc, former Ministry and Nine Inch Nails drummer dies

🇺🇦 Side-Line stands with Ukraine - Show your Support

Keith LeBlanc, known as drummer with bands like Ministry, Nine Inch Nails, and TackHead, has died. On-U Sound, his record label, announced the sad news.

Adrian Sherwood reflects on LeBlanc’s legacy: “Keith was a major, major talent…incredible drummer, producer, and musician… Along with Doug, Skip and also dearly missed Mark Stewart we enjoyed some of the most creative times together that shaped my musical life. Thank you Brother Keith…Love Forever. Heart and Soul.”

Starting as a session drummer at Sugarhill Records in the early 1980s, LeBlanc was a key figure in forming the Sugarhill House Band alongside Americans Doug Wimbish (bass) and Skip “Little Axe” McDonald (guitar). They collaborated with top rap artists, including the Sugarhill Gang on “Rapper’s Delight” and Grandmaster Flash and Melle Mel on tracks like “The Message” and “Freedom”.

Adrian Sherwood first encountered LeBlanc and his bandmates at the 1983 CMU conference in New York. Their innovative work, especially the “No Sell Out” single featuring Malcolm X speeches, led Sherwood to invite them to London. In the UK, they pushed boundaries in sample-based music, with Sherwood joining as a de facto fourth member. As Fats Comet and Tackhead, they produced a range of music from dancefloor tracks to politically charged songs, also backing Mark Stewart as The Maffia.

In addition to his role with the On-U Sound group, Keith LeBlanc launched several innovative sound projects through his own label, Blanc Records. He worked on song writing and production with artists such as Living Colour, Peter Gabriel, The Cure, Ministry, and Nine Inch Nails. As a versatile drummer and programmer, LeBlanc collaborated with an array of music legends, including James Brown, Trevor Horn, Seal, R.E.M., The Rolling Stones, Jalal of Last Poets, The Stone Roses, Robert Palmer, Bomb The Bass, Annie Lennox, Tina Turner, Bryan Ferry, Depeche Mode, and Sinead O’Connor.

author avatar
Bernard - Side-Line Staff Chief editor
Bernard Van Isacker is the Chief Editor of Side-Line Magazine. With a career spanning more than two decades, Van Isacker has established himself as a respected figure in the darkwave scene.

Since you’re here …

… we have a small favour to ask. More people are reading Side-Line Magazine than ever but advertising revenues across the media are falling fast. Unlike many news organisations, we haven’t put up a paywall – we want to keep our journalism as open as we can - and we refuse to add annoying advertising. So you can see why we need to ask for your help.

Side-Line’s independent journalism takes a lot of time, money and hard work to produce. But we do it because we want to push the artists we like and who are equally fighting to survive.

If everyone who reads our reporting, who likes it, helps fund it, our future would be much more secure. For as little as 5 US$, you can support Side-Line Magazine – and it only takes a minute. Thank you.

The donations are safely powered by Paypal.

Select a Donation Option (USD)

Enter Donation Amount (USD)

Verified by MonsterInsights