5 Jazz Artists Who Influenced Us, by Michael Kadnar (The Number Twelve Looks Like You) | Lists

Photo: Karen Jerzyk

After going on hiatus in 2010, The Number 12 Looks Like You reformed earlier this year and toured in support of their debut album’s decade anniversary, Nuclear. Sad. Nuclear. With a sound that alchemizes prog, shouto, metal and noise rock, the New Jersey lineup made all the difference on their first tour together, and now the band’s refreshed lineup includes original members Jesse Korman on vocals. and Alexis Pareja on guitar, plus new additions Michael Kadnar on drums and DJ Scully on bass.

While the band was working on new material, and touring the US with Rolo Tomassi and Cryptodira, The Number 12 Looks Like You drummer Michael Kadnar wanted to take a moment to pay tribute to some jazz artists who contribute to influence him and his gang. Also known for his work in Downfall of Gaia and Black Table, Kadnar is a gifted musician who, per the list below, is always on the lookout for new inspiration behind the kit trap.

Marc Guiliana

Mark Guiliana is definitely one of my favorite drummers right now, and he’s a huge influence on Number 12. He recently won a Grammy for his work on David Bowie’s latest album, Black Star, and published an award-winning drum method. However, his early drum work and songwriting style is what caught my attention. By mixing different subdivisions within the same groove or drum part, Guiliana is able to create tension and relaxation in her music while simultaneously propelling the band forward with a solid back beat. This kind of time manipulation has always fascinated Number 12 and continues to influence our live and recorded music.

Suggested listening: beat music PE and Locked in a basement (Herent)

John Coltrane

Coltrane’s concept of creating a “wall of sound” with his saxophone greatly inspired my playing and my way of looking at composition on drums. Combining different members and sound sources to build a larger drum performance has always been a goal of mine. Doubling cymbals or playing a floor tom and a bass drum at the same time are two examples.

Suggested listening: Giant step and supreme love

Tigran Hamasyan


I still remember the first time I heard Tigran Himasyan’s album, dummy root. I was actually driving to Saint Vitus for a show with some friends, and I was immediately mesmerized by the album’s unique blend of jazz harmony and metal ideology. For example, the song “Double Faced” begins with a complicated groove between piano and drums, then drops into a polyrhythmic breakdown where drummer Arthur Hnatek plays solid black porcelain while subdividing with the bass drum, ala Tomas Haake. This album is still in the tour van with number 12 look like you, and we are constantly trying to develop new ways to incorporate these themes into our songs.

Suggested listening: dummy root and A former observer

Miles Davis

Miles Davis evolved from cool jazz, to modal jazz, to bebop and all the way to jazz rock and hip hop. Its seamless evolution and masterful incorporation of new technologies will always be a source of inspiration for The Number 12 Looks Like You and me. One of my favorite eras in the MIles Davis catalog is his second major quintet with Herbie Hancock, Ron Carter, Tony Williams and Wayne Shorter. Tony Williams is one of the most influential jazz drummers of all time, and some people even give him credit for creating the blast beat (before it was distorted in the metallic context). Tony Williams pushed the tempos of Miles Davis’ music at lightning speeds, while maintaining a very musical approach to drumming, which still inspires The Number 12 in our songwriting process.

Suggested listening: Four and more recorded live in concert and Seven steps to paradise

Avishai Cohen

After joining Number 12 about two years ago, our guitarist Alexis Pareja sent me music, including a few Avishai Cohen albums. One record in particular stood out, and that was gently disturbed (also with Mark Guiliana on drums). The angular compositions and the harmonious interaction between the three instrumentalists are extremely inspiring. Alexis and I worked on incorporating these concepts into our songwriting for Number 12.

Suggested listening: gently disturbed


Tour dates of The Number Twelve Looks Like You, Rolo Tomassi, Cryptodira:
December 19 – Atlanta, Georgia @ The Masquerade
December 20 – Knoxville, TN @ Open Chord
December 21 – Pittsburgh, PA @ Mr. Smalls
December 22 – Buffalo, NY @ Mohawk Place
December 23 – Brooklyn, NY @ Brooklyn Bazaar

Tagged: the number 12 looks like you

Ada J. Kenney