Roland Artist: Drummer Chris Whitten

Chris Whitten

Introducing Roland Artist: Drummer Chris Whitten

Never scared to simply play what the song requires, Chris Whitten is the sort of hit making drummer top artists and producers call first to be the perfect rhythmic match for their music.

Chris Whitten V-Drums
Chris Whitten on V-Drums @ Roland Australia HQ

The man behind the drums for the Edie Brickell hit ‘What I Am’, and The Waterboys ‘Whole Of The Moon’, Chris’s playing draws from a wide range of musical styles which has enabled him to work cohesively with such varied artists as Tom Jones, Johnny Cash, The Pretenders, Swing Out Sister, ABC and The The.

Playing The Hits


Drummer Chris Whitten with the Paul McCartney band from 1989
Drummer Chris Whitten with the Paul McCartney band from 1989

Joining his idols on stage, Chris’s drumming formed the backbone of Paul McCartney’s new band and the resulting album ‘Flowers In The Dirt’ album from 1989 concluded with in a massive world tour.

The tour saw the all star band lead by McCartney playing not only the new album but also, for the first time since The Beatles split, classic Beatles songs to rapturous applause.


Money For Nothing

Barely having closed his front door and unpacked his suitcase, Dire Straits were soon to come knocking. 

The new gig lead to Chris hitting the road again for the epic ‘On Every Street’ tour lasting eighteen months and playing to over seven million people world-wide.

Playing ferociously intense gigs to millions around the globe couldn’t be more different from the confined walls of a sound studio but Chris took it in his stride.

In an act of supermarionation, Chris was immortalised as a Thunderbirds style puppet for the video “Calling Elvis”

 Chris Whitten marionette from Dire Straits “Calling Elvis” Video clip


Great British Studios Kit Collection for TD-17 Available Now!

Adventures In Sound

No stranger to electronic percussion and synthesis, Chris was using a Roland Octapad with Paul McCartney back in 1989. 

See this live video from Paul McCartney’s “Flowers In The Dirt” world tour where Chris uses loops and samples to great effect in “Coming Up”.

Always absorbed by sound creation and passionate about vintage synths, Chris co-created music for the game Burn:Cycle with long time writing partner Simon Boswell and has since become heavily involved in creating his own unique sample libraries.


Chris and fellow conspirator and engineer Peter Henderson are responsible for some of greatest drum sounds available including the sounds in the Roland TM-6PRO

See the making of the TM-6PRO sample library here.

Chris Whitten's Links

Interviews with Chris Whitten

Interview with Chris Whitten Part 1

In part 1, Chris talks about his beginnings and early experiences playing live and in the studio.

Interview with Chris Whitten Part 2

In part 2, Chris describes his experiences on tour with Paul McCartney in brilliant detail. Amazing anecdotes from the road and meeting his heroes.

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Created by Roland V-Drums specialist Simon Ayton, these patches were designed using the internal factory sounds and many of the techniques covered in the TD-50 guide. Enjoy exploring the possibilities!