Alexander, Tim

  • Birth name: Timothy W. Alexander
  • Born: April 10, 1965
  • AKA: Herb, Ginseng Drummer
  • Genres: Alternative metal, alternative rock, experimental rock
  • Occupation: Musician, songwriter
  • Instruments: Drums, vocals, guitar
  • Years Active: 1989-present
  • Labels: Prawn Song, Interscope
  • Associated Acts: Primus, A Perfect Circle, Attention Deficit
  • On the Web: GinsengDrummer.com

Tim Alexander is best known as drummer for the rock group Primus, which he joined in 1988 and stayed until 1996. In 2003 he rejoined Primus again and stayed until 2009 when he was replaced by another ex-Primus drummer Jay Lane.

After leaving Primus for the second time, Tim formed his own group, Laundry, which released on Les Claypool’s label Prawn Song Records. He also formed the group Attention Deficit with experimental bass player Michael Manring and guitarist Alex Skolnick.

Tim was the first drummer with A Perfect Circle, performing live shows and recording drums for the track “The Hollow” on the band’s debut album, Mer de Noms.

He joined the theatrical group Blue Man Group, and has occasionally played with the Las Vegas-based improvisational rock band Uberschall.

Although primarily known for his drum work, Tim is also a guitarist and singer. He played live guitar with the group Born Naked and was lead vocalist on Laundry’s second album and supporting tour.

From 2008-2009 Tim worked on a project called The Presence, which featured songs by Luis Carlos Maldonado.

In 2010 Tim joined Maynard James Keenan’s Puscifer project.

In 2014, Les Claypool was all set to reunite and tour with the ‘classic’ Primus lineup including Tim and guitarist Larry Lalonde, when Tim suffered a heart attack. He underwent triple bypass open heart surgery and pulled through with no complications and rejoined Primus for their Primus and the Chocolate Factory tour 3 months later.

“When Tim ‘Herb the Ginseng Drummer’ Alexander had a minor heart attack a few weeks back, we were all startled. When he went in for an angioplasty the next morning and they said he needed a triple bypass, we were all shocked,” Les Claypool told Rolling Stone Magazine in 2014. “Tim is the ‘Ginseng’ drummer for a reason: He was always the non-meat eating, teetotaling, mastodon of a man who could throw a football over a mountain, chuck a curve ball at 89 miles per hour and could play his drums for hours on end without breaking a sweat, but unfortunately genetics and a taste for dessert have a way of catching up and kicking one’s balls.”

In 2016 Tim, in a pair of Instagram posts, revealed to his fans that he suffered a second heart attack saying that he was back home and doing well. “I had a second heart attack the other day. I did not think this could happen after having a triple bypass almost exactly 2 years ago,” Alexander wrote (via Diffuser). “I was overwhelmed with sadness, not because of the fact that I could die but that I would have to say goodbye to my family. It can happen at any moment, and remember IT WILL HAPPEN ONE DAY so tell the people in your life you love them. Enjoy the days you have with them, they are limited. We are all here for a short time.”

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