Thomas Lang – "Virgil is the one drummer who definitely at a point raised the standard for all other drummers around the world. He showed everyone what truly is possible with total dedication".
Dave Weckyl – ""I mean look at Virgil. Imagine how much you'd have to practice to get that good!" and "Everytime I listen to or watch Virgil he blows me away and I realize that there are many things that I cannot do and many things I will never do that he has achieved"
Mike Portnoy – "When I see other drummers — Virgil [Donati] or Thomas Lang or Mike Mangini and their technical abilities — I walk away with my tail between my legs. I just feel like the sloppy metal drummer when I see people like that."
Simon Phillips - "Virgil is the MOST technically amazing drummer I have ever heard in my life"
Dennis Chambers - " The Man is SICK the MAN is SCARY! he has turned the drumming world on it's head, cannot wait to see his real impact on the drumming world"
Prominent and extremely capable drummers in their own right, and this is what they have been quoted as saying in reference to drum master Virgil Donati. Such recognition is not often seen from ones peers and it says so much about this talented musician.
You regularly see polls and forum topics in reference to who is the best? Well that's a topic that you won't get everyone to agree on and really is pointless exercise, though for those who appreciate a true leader in his chosen profession who is pushing the boundaries then look no further than Virgil Donati.
Virgil is a drummer who has shown for many years what is humanly possible if you have the ability and put the required effort in showing levels of independence that were unheard of. It was Stewart Copeland of The Police that inspired myself to play drums, his style was just so appealing, and he remains a favorite though when I first viewed footage of Virgil back in the late 80's I was floored, this guy was truly something else. Virgil was at a level I hadn't seen before, and while there are so many fine drummers out there I still don't have to think twice about the one whom I would select for my ultimate line-up as I'd chose Virgil anytime.
Virgil has continued to display his talent and showmanship whether it's performing at drum clinics or with the long list of artists he's accompanied over the years in various music genres such as jazz fusion, rock and progressive styles. Names like Steve Vai, Billy Sheehan, Steve Walsh,Tony MacAlpine, Allan Holdsworth and various groups. Speaking of which one release that surely helped Virgil gain added exposure is Derek Sherinian's solo album Planet X from 1999 which Virgil played a significant part in, showing he was not only an amazing drummer this was followed by further band releases under the Planet X banner. With no shortage of projects Virgil seems like the go to guy when someone requires a top notch drummer and as such his discography continues to grow. Be sure to check out his excellent new solo album with many notable guest participants In This Life for more Virgil Donati magic.
No doubt Virgil will continue to leave audiences in awe with the kind of ability most of us can only dream of attaining.