There earliest memory I have of drumming is in elementary school. Back then I got to skip out early from math class to go take drum lessons. From there it was just your basic school band stuff. In middle school I was in concert band and in high school I was in marching band and concert band. I had taken a few private lesson throughout my youth but never was into practicing.
One day, I remember sitting in German class as a freshman and daydreaming, because I was not doing so well the the Deutsch people’s language. I remembered that my older brother who also played drums had a drum set piled up in the basement. I remember when my parents bought him that drum set and he played on it for a few years, and he even had some jam sessions, then it was relegated to the basement. At that time our basement had a horrible flooding problem so everything had to be off the floor. I had dug it out and setup the drum set in the family room and was banging around on it, to the joy of my family.
After a little bit I decided to ask the best guitar player in School if he knew anyone who wanted to jam or form a band, that guitar player was Dave, and he said he would jam with me and so we started our long musical journey.
Throughout the years Dave and I have formed different bands; Trinity, Retrospect, Steel Breeze, Waking Jane, Jumbo White Bread and Spare Change.
Basically Jumbo White Bread was a trio and our bass player had to quit. Not liking the thought of spending another year finding and breaking in a new bass player, I asked Dave if he wanted to try a Duo and Spare Change was born. Also up to this point we had primarily been an original band, but that scene is not the greatest (especially if you want to play gigs) in Cincinnati, so we decided to do covers.
My first Drum was a Premier Silver Snare I got in elementary school, which I still use to this day in Spare Change.
I then inherited my brothers old drum kit, that was a generic, but had a cool custom painted Drum head (which I still have in the closet).
Those shells were terrible on that kit, and I think my parents got ripped off. My Brother had covered the shells in contact paper and painted Japanese icons on them to help their appearance.
My Grandma then helped me out and I got my first new kit. A 9 piece pearl export in red. I loved this kist, but after a few years I really did not enjoy lugging it around, and I hardly ever used the top tom or 2nd floor tom.
I was at a local music shop and the saw a 4 piece set of TAMA Artstars in white. Same kind/color Joey Kramer played in Areosmith and the drummer from Queensrche also had this color for awhile. I traded my 9 piece Pearl Exports for this kit. Later I added an extra tom and added a double bass pedal. There it was all the best parts of my 9 piece in a smaller form factor. I still have and love this kit today!!!!
I have dabbled in electronics over the years, I made my own electric pads, and even bought Hart Dynamics pads for the studio. This is what we record on. I have an Alesis Dm pro (I traded up from an Alesis D4 and miss it) and Roland td-8 drum brains to power my pads.
I even had an TrapKat with FAT pedals for awhile, but the old band mates would not let me use it live, so I sold the TrapKat.
I even bought an Alesis control pad for Spare Change, but Dave thinks a percussion rack looks better.
I also tried a RIMS percussion kit.
With Spare Change since we are doing the hybrid acoustic, I am using a FAT pedal and my Roland td-8 for a bass drum. This way we can scale the volume appropriately. I use my Sabian hi-hats and a percussion rack with cowbell, synthetic wood block, and tambourine. For the snare I switch between my Artstar snare, and old metal Premier snare depending on the gig. I also use ProMark Hot Rod sticks so I can scale our volume.
Pride and Joy:
On a trip, long ago, to the local music shop I encountered a old 1934 Leddy (which eventually became ludwig) kit. The owner gave me a great deal and with the help of my master wood worker father in law, we re-stored it. It even made Drumkit of the month in Modern Drummer in May of 1995.
Here is pic from High school around 1986, I think it was one of Dave & my’s first gigs at a school talent show.