As a drummer, I used to be dead against drum machines. After all, these damn things were threatening my livelihood! But then I got into industrial music and several other genres where drum machines turned out to be pretty important. I’ve mellowed.
Noisey (part of Vice) has this feature on the history of drum machines in rock.
The drum machine is one of the most effective musical inventions of our time. It’s affordable, easy to use, and ruthless in its precision, able to do exactly what it’s been told for as long as required (so long as you’ve got an AC adaptor). Of course, not everybody warms to the drum machine’s big plastic buttons and bright LED screen.A decade ago, a musician in LA even launched a movement against it, printing out bumper stickers bearing the now-iconic slogan “Drum Machines Have No Soul.” But if the Bonham fans of the world resent the drum machine’s cold, totalitarian logic, plenty of punks, metal-heads and rockers have exploited that very soullessness to produce potent music.