Thanks everyone for your comments, experiences, and tips here! I agree that I'm underestimating drums/bass. I actually just picked up a nice bass guitar so I'm excited to see how this can improve my mixes. I'm also going to experiment more with quad tracking.
Also, I know this may be a completely subjective question, however what seems to be the consensus on highest quality/most user friendly VST drum software? Up until now, I've either manually programmed drums into the DAW with my Boss Dr. Rhythm pad, or imported MIDI directly from guitar pro. Both functional/rookie options indeed, I feel I'm just scratching the surface. I know I can massively improve my mixes with a better drum VST software.
Watching youtube or even browsing sweetwater/guitar center, my ears/eyes just glaze over and I feel overwhelmed with the amount of choices for VST drums. I was looking at getgood drums, but then it seems superior drummer may be more user friendly? Then there are metal expansion packs for each brand . The last thing I want is a terabyte of drum samples only to use 5% of the sounds available...
Thanks again guys!