Category: Drum News

  • DW Turns 50

    Drum Workshop is 50 years old this week, and they are celebrating with a bunch of live events in Santa Monica, CA. Because most of us sadly are not in or around that particularly delightful beach-adjacent locale, you can also sign up for live streams of the events. Today’s clinic features DW co-founder Don Lombardi and drum superstars Terry Bozzio and Thomas Lang. After you sign up, check out at the link above the really swank timeline of DW’s history as a drum and hardware maker.

    The 50th anniversary drum set is drool worthy as usual (perhaps “DW” actually stands for “drool worthy”?). It’s a 6-piece shell pack made of persimmon and spruce. Sizes include 8″ x 10″ and 9″ x 12” mounted toms, 12″ x 14” and 14″ x 16” floor toms, an 18″ x 22” kick, and a 6.5″ x 14” snare. The shell hardware is an “antique gold” that I really dig. Looks great with the “burnt toast burst” lacquer finish. Only 100 kits will be made, so get your wallet ready.

  • Golf Is Stupid

    Kings of Leon drummer Nathan Followill actually digs golf for some inexplicable reason, but when he tried to play at a fancy (and yet-to-be-named) course in Australia, he was told to cover up his tattoos. The dress code for swinging clubs is apparently much more rigid than for swinging sticks.

    Followill said the course moved from his “bucket list” to the “fuck-it list,” and then continued to have a bit of understandably snarky fun on Twitter.

  • Premier Turns 100 and Unveils New Drums

    Premier has been making drums since 1922 (interestingly, the same year that saw the creation of Gummy Bears, the malted milkshake, and F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby), and for a good bit of time in the ’60s, Premier was the drum of choice for first-rate stickstuds like Mitch Mitchell and Keith Moon.

    The company fell on less stellar times and was eventually purchased in 2021 by the British gear retailer Gear4music…which seems, frankly, quite weird and worrisome. Kind of like if Ludwig was acquired by Guitar Center. Would that be a trustworthy union? Would they actually continue to make good drums, or would they just produce some cut-rate percussion pablum to bolster profits?

    We haven’t a clue what Premier’s P&L statements look like, but the company has just released some new gear that does inspire faith. Brace yourself for the drum porn!

    First up is the Artist Club 100, a 4-piece compact kit finished in classic British Racing Green. Sizes include the following:

    • 20″ x 8″ bass drum
    • 10″ x 6″ rack tom
    • 13″ x 11″ floor tom
    • 13″ x 5.5″ snare drum

    Next up is the Genista 100SE, a 6-piece, all-birch shell pack with a tri-band finish. The lugs on these guys are unique and cool. The kit includes the following sizes:

    • 22″ x 18″ bass drum
    • 10″ x 7″ rack tom
    • 12″ x 8″ rack tom
    • 14″ x 14″ floor tom
    • 16″ x 16″ floor tom
    • 14″ x 5.5″ snare

    And finally, we have the Della-Porta 100 snare drum. It’s handmade in the UK and limited to only 100 units. The shell is walnut and comes in one size, a 14” x 5”. 

  • Matt Helders Talks New Arctic Monkeys

    Sometime ago in 2006, with the prescient clarity available only to booze-fueled youth, we reviewed the debut album from the Arctic Monkeys and said, “You’re going to love it.”

    Sixteen years later, the love remains the same even if the music has changed a bit on the band’s latest disc, The Car. Helders describes how his own playing style evolved to fit the new Monkeys music:

    “[Being] the rock guy is easier. To the naked eye it probably appears less technical, but in actual fact it is more of a challenge to do what was going on on this record and more considered in a way….And it’s fun to be able to achieve it as well. I notice more of a difference when this kind of playing is good. There’s more room for improvement. The subtleties of it can be more of a big deal.”

  • Hootie Drummer Wrote a Book

    …and he’s chatting about it tonight at 7 p.m. If you are in or around Naperville, IL, click on over to Anderson’s bookshop for tickets. Each ticket purchaser apparently gets a free copy of Soni’s book, Swimming With the Blowfish: Hootie, Healing, and One Hell of Ride. Along with the more serious topics of addiction and recovery, Soni will hopefully regale with a scandalous tale or two of what it was like to bang (drums) in the biggest radio band of the ’90s.

  • Matt Sorum Recording With Kings of Chaos

    New music coming from Matt Sorum with a new version of the super group Kings of Chaos. The full album comes out in 2023, but the first single and accompanying video drop on October 28. The tune is called “Judgment Day,” and it features Sorum on drums (obviously) and lead vocals (not so obvious but awesome).

    I was just clicking through the band’s nicely done website (linked above), and holy shit, there’s some serious talent playing with Sorum: Jack Blades, John Waite, Lita Ford (yes!), Sebastian Bach, Gilby Clarke, Warren DeMartini, and Sean McNabb.

    My inner teenage metalhead is positively squealing.

    Or headbanging, I mean. Headbanging is definitely cooler.

  • The World’s Largest Bass Drum

    …is 55 inches and is called Big Bertha II. The first Big Bertha was a measly 34.5 inches.

    The new drum was custom made for the University of Texas’s Longhorn Band. Clearly it is brought out to terrorize visiting teams.

    But the real question here: what could Bonham have done with this big-ass beaut?

  • Help Abaddon Double Kick Cancer

    Abaddon used to beat the hell out of the skins for Venom, and now he’s looking to beat the shit out of lymphoma. He was diagnosed in July of this year. The docs so far have him on six rounds of chemo and eventually a bout of radiation. In Abaddon’s own words:

    “None of this will break me. Fuck cancer.”

    Indeed. Head on over to his GoFundMe if you’d like to donate.

    [via Metal Injection]

  • Play Drums, Get Smart

    Well, sort of. A new medical study suggests that playing a drumming video game called Rhythmicity (developed by Grateful Dead drummer Mickey Hart) improves short-term memory in older adults.

    The study tested 47 people between the ages of 60 and 79. Half the participants played a word-search game for 20 minutes a day, five days a week. The other half played Rhythmicity for the same amount of time. Those in the drumming group scored better on facial recognition tests.

    “Results showed that only musical rhythm training improved face memory, which was associated with increased activity in the superior parietal region of the brain when encoding and maintaining faces.”

    If you are into reading doctor-y study thingies, the full published article awaits your beautiful mind.

    As for us, I guess we have to take back all the times we bitched about gamers and Rock Band?…

  • Carrie Underwood Playing Drums

    See? Absolutely everyone loves playing drums, even bona fide country-music goddesses. Watch Carrie Underwood pick up the sticks on a South Carolina gig during her latest tour. She definitely ain’t shy about hitting hard. Fast-forward to 4:48 to get straight to the drumming bits.

    [via Country Now]

  • Let There Be Drums! Documentary

    Let There Be Drums! is a new drumming documentary that will be released on October 28. The title feels like part command, part exaltation, and part biblical oratory—all of which are appropriate considering that Taylor Hawkins gives one of his last known interviews in the film. In short, it’s looking like a must-see.

    The documentary also features Jason Bonham, Ringo Starr, Stewart Copeland, Chad Smith, Stephen Perkins, Adrian Young, and Tré Cool. And that is very cool indeed.

    If you are feeling brave, you can catch the film in select theaters (I’m still a Covid coward, so no goddamn way), and it will also be available on Apple TV and Amazon Prime. I’m not sure, though, if it can be rented or if it is purchase-only at this time. Snag an actual physical DVD, you luddite, on November 1.

    Check out the trailer below.

  • Anderson .Paak Snares From Ludwig for Sell on Reverb

    This here is one seriously sexy drum menage a trois. Anderson .Paak partnered up with Ludwig to create a signature snare line called the Pee .Wee. It includes a 5″ x 14″ and a 6.5″ x 14″ that you can buy right now exclusively at Reverb for $799 and $849, respectively. Each drum is limited to only 250 units, so time is not on your side if you want a piece of .Paak to…ummm…bang.

    The drums look quite cool—nuanced and textured and playful and a little unexpected in the really good way, just like .Paak’s music. Check out the images and the great promo video. I hope more companies and artists do similar marketing vids in the future. It’s nice to see and hear the drum in action and get some laughs along the way.

  • This Guy Took Ronnie Vannucci’s Throne

    …But only for one song.

    Apparently the Killers have a tradition of inviting a drummer-fan to play a tune with them each show. During the band’s Detroit gig last week, Scott Hickok got the lead singer’s attention by holding up a two-paneled sign that said “Drummer” on one side and “Strong Right Foot” on the other. And the rest is history for Hickok:

    “Around 11 songs into the set, the house lights came on, and Brandon Flowers saw my sign and we locked eyes for a second….It gets a little fuzzy, but the next thing I know I’m high-fiving people on my way to the front of the room, climbing over the barrier with help from security staff and am escorted to side stage for an introduction to Brandon….I was told I nailed it. I caught all the intricacies of the live version of the song [“For Reasons Unknown”]. I’m very pleased with how I played. It was an amazing time, a dream-come-true, a pure bucket-list moment.”

    Scott Hickok on stage with Brandon Flowers

  • So Much Ringo News

    Everyone’s favorite Beatle is 82 years old now, but he still ends up in the news more often than most other famous drummers.

    First up is that he tested positive for Covid a little over a week ago and had to cancel a couple handfuls of tour dates in Canada and the U.S. That he’s still even touring and performing at a high level is pretty goddamn amazing, so he’s prob got the right mega-genes to beat coronavirus (along with being vaccinated of course…surely he is). So we ain’t worried.

    Which is good, because he announced yesterday on Instagram that he is now Covid free and back on the road. Dig the negative test as a necklace.

    [Update 10/14/22: Yikes, Ringo tested positive again for Covid. All remaining stops on his North American tour have been canceled.]

    His first show back is in Seattle. Apparently to mark his arrival, the Seattle Times published an article last week that asked if Ringo is the most underrated drummer ever. Some Seattle-based drummers offered their thoughts, including Heart skinsman Ben Smith:

    “I remember the moment I first heard Ringo play, and how it gave me chills listening….His parts are so well-composed. Ringo set a standard that we all grew from. Texture, groove and attitude are the high points of a great drummer, and he hits all the marks.”

    We hear the “underrated” and indeed “overrated” discussion quite often about 2-and-4 drummers who are intimately associated with one band: Ringo Starr, Charlie Watts, Peter Criss, etc. They aren’t virtuoso instrumentalists like Vinnie Colaiuta (shit, who is really?), so it’s easy to underappreciate or overestimate them depending on what kind of mood your music ears are in.

    The thing is, though, music isn’t sports: we don’t need to pick winners and losers here, rank the highest and the lowest in an artificial hierarchy. Instead, music is like a great party with a bloody big dinner table—plenty of room and seats for all kinds of players. Ringo was perfect for the Beatles, and the band would have been far less great without him. Neil Peart was perfect for Rush, and the band would have been absolutely unimaginable without him. Our party would have super sucked if neither dude took a seat.

    Now we can all move on and go practice.

    Dominating headlines like it’s 1965

  • Drummer Seba Stephens Is 10 Years Old…

    And apparently pretty amazing. He just earned a professional certificate from Berklee college of music (you know, that little place that graduated drummers Cindy Blackman, Gary Burton, Will Calhoun, Tommy Campbell, Terri Lyne Carrington, Vinnie Colaiuta, Joey Kramer, Mike Portnoy, John “J.R.” Robinson, Marvin “Smitty” Smith, Steve Smith, and Antonio Sanchez). He’s the youngest person ever to get the certificate.

    Why do we care? Well, we weren’t around to post when the incredible Tony Royster Jr. first came on the scene in 1997, so we don’t want to miss the chance to jump on the Seba bandwagon now. If he’s super famous in another 10 years, maybe he’ll send us a free signature snare.

    And for those of you who also missed prepubescent Tony Royster Jr., prepare for humiliation: