Anyone who’s ever seen Arejay Hale play drums with his band Halestorm knows that he takes on a passion and ferocity that’s hard to put words to. With that in mind, some fans have taken to comparing him to a character from the Muppets – the lovable, hard to contain, drumstick wielding Animal.

In a new interview with EMURG, Hale weighs in on the comparison, giving it his full seal of approval. “I absolutely embrace it,” admits Hale. “I think it’s the coolest thing ever!”

However, his philosophy on drumming runs a lot deeper than puppetry. “I’ve always been drawn to and enjoyed energetic drumming leads, and drumming that helps to shape a band’s sound,” explains Hale. “If you listen to Led Zeppelin, John Bonham, in my opinion, was pretty irreplaceable. When he died, Zeppelin just couldn’t go on anymore – they just didn’t have that same sound.”

He continues to talk about being drawn to legendary drummers like Bonham and Keith Moon of The Who, calling them “great drummers that really help shape the music” and considers it an honor to be compared to any of them. “For people to say that I’m worthy of that breed, it’s so incredibly humbling,” admits Hale. “I don’t really know how to take it. In my opinion, I’m not really a technically geared drummer at all.”

Strangely enough, Hale drew a lot of inspiration for his frenetic stage presence from frontmen rather than drummers. “I like to bounce around and have fun on stage! I think most of it comes from Lzzy and I growing up — we were always drawn towards frontmen in bands,” explains Hale. “I always liked the drummer, but I was always really hooked on the frontmen — like really good front men like Freddie Mercury, David Lee Roth..even modern frontmen like Jacoby [Shaddix] from Papa Roach is one of my favorites, M. Shadows from Avenged Sevenfold, and Brent [Smith] from Shinedown is awesome.”

Halestorm are currently out on the Carnival of Madness tour alongside Evanescence and Chevelle.