Richard is our first overseas customer. A fan of drum shows, clinics and masterclasses, Richard travels looking for great experiences and unique instruments. He is the proud owner of this 13"x8" 1920's Oak snare drum; one that almost started a bidding war between three people at The UK Drum Show 2019.
"Its size with 13” by 8” gives it a wonderful “crack” without losing the important lower frequencies. It has body for a rock tune, but can be cranked high for a funk song without any problem. In a snare drum I think one of the most important characteristics is the sensitivity when playing ghost notes. If the drum is built like it should be, and the hardware is of high quality, you can almost let the snare wires move by only looking at it. And that is what my De Broize snare drum delivers from day 1."
Firstly I’d love to know your drumming story; how did you start and develop?
I was born in 1960 and became a rock music addict in the first years of high school. I began buying records and visiting concerts. A friend of mine had a drum set in his bed room and I was blown away when I saw it for the first time. But living in a very small house with my parents and 2 brothers and a sister in a relatively poor environment it was not possible to play an instrument, let alone the drum set! Decades later, I was about 45 years old, I became a friend of a professional drummer here in The Netherlands. Because I was always asking him everything about his craft and life as a musician he decide to start and give me drum lessons. I bought an electronic Yamaha kit and started my first beats and fills and play along with my old Queen and Black Crowes records, loving every minute of it! My friend/drum teacher brought me the Dutch drum magazine Slagwerkkrant every month, which advertised a 3 day drum summer camp in August of that year. I decided to jump in and registered right away. On the Saturday night during that drum camp there was a professional band on a professional stage with professional sound & light. All students could choose a cover song and sit in with that band. I was scared and thrilled at the same time deciding I would take a go, with only 6 months of experience since my first drum lesson. We played “Hard to handle” in the Black Crowes version and I felt on fire! After finishing the song without train wreck, and receiving applause and cheers by 70 fellow drum students, I walked of that stage absolutely in 7th heaven, full of adrenaline and deciding to make drumming my main passion for the rest of my life. I sold my electronic kit, bought a Pearl acoustic kit and had a special soundproof drum room installed in our garage. I was in a covers band 3 months later and started to visit clinics, drum shows and more drum camps, even in the USA with lessons from Dave Weckl, Virgil Donati, Chris Coleman and others. I have been in bands since that time, took private and online lessons, bought a ton of drum books and dvd’s and had my own drum cave build under the ground when we moved out of the city. I practice there every night for at least one hour and rehearse with my present band for 3 hours every 2 weeks. Performing with my band in front of a live audience is the most exciting and wonderful thing I could do. I can honestly say that drumming changed my life and made it even better than it already was. I am fortunate to do all this and make so many drum related friends all around the world, it is truly a gift!
How would you describe your playing style?
Because I started late I am not a very technical drummer, and never will be. I still love classic rock the most, but when you start playing an instrument one of the benefits is you dig into other styles as well. And because I am in an all-round covers band I play pop, blues, funk and disco as well nowadays.
What artists / drummers have inspired you? Who has had the most impact on your playing?
With no doubt the classic rock drummers from the 70’s. In the first place Cozy Powell, but also Ian Paice and John Bonham, Roger Taylor and Max Weinberg for instance.
What is your favourite experience playing the drums?
Playing with my band for a live audience with a full 2 hour show on a proper stage with good sounds and light.
You go to a lot of drum shows and camps, how valuable are these events and would you advise others to take advantage of them?
They are great and a wonderful experience! You get drum lessons by the most famous drummers on the globe, and during camps you also eat and hang with them! There are so much different views on how to learn and play drums, all those opinions and lessons help you to find your own preferences and pace. Besides that you get to meet fellow drummers from all around the globe and stay in touch after the events through social media. I hope to visit Lab Drum Camp in Greece this year for the 4th time, and with me a lot of others who became real friends over the years. It is a great community, where we all want to help and inspire each other. In that specific camp you get the greatest names as a teacher like Keith Carlock, Stanton Moore, Annika Nilles, George Kollias, Mike Mangini and many more. And there is this great live band where you can play with during jam sessions and playing cover songs every night for 4 days in a row! It does not get any better! Drum shows are also worth visiting. You get to see and play the latest gear and also meet like-minded people from all over the world. If you can afford it I absolutely can recommend it to every drummer alive! You won’t regret it!
What do you do to stay creative?
I try to do more and more my own arrangements on the cover songs I play. Because I have no formal music education being creative is one of the hard parts in developing my drum skills. But that is exactly why I push it and force myself to give it a lot of attention during my private and online drum lessons. Simple exercises like playing a groove and start improvising with beat displacement or trading fills on the spot is what I do most to get better at it.
Could you talk us through your setup and how you’ve utilised the snare?
My main drum set is a Tama Starclassic Bubinga Elite in a Quilted Mocha Burst finish and black nickel hardware. It has a 22”bass drum and 8-10-12-14-16 toms. On that kit I use Zildjian A custom cymbals, with a K Lite 15” hihat and some effect cymbals along the side. I use Trick pedals and hihat stand and try to master a Roland SPD-SX for samples. The De Broize snare was a welcome addition to the 19 snares I already collected because of the 100 year old Oak wood and 8”depth, which is really special.
How did you discover De Broize Custom Drums and what were your first impressions?
I discovered De Broize snare drums during the UK Drum Show and immediately was blown away by the sheer beauty and sound. Besides that I think it is a wonderful story how Samuel started the company and put so much love into the making of those drums. Every drum is a one of kind because of the way they are build and how old furniture is used to recycle precious wood with a long history behind it. I was lucky to snatch mine away during the UK drum show because there were more people circling around it for hours and it is still remarkable to me that such a high quality custom built snare drum can be bought for those prices, I was absolutely thrilled I got it!
Can you give us an in-depth review of your De Broize snare?
I am sorry folks I have to state here that I own the best De Broize snare drum that is build and ever will be build ;-). Its size with 13” by 8” gives it a wonderful “crack” without losing the important lower frequencies. It has body for a rock tune, but can be cranked high for a funk song without any problem. In a snare drum I think one of the most important characteristics is the sensitivity when playing ghost notes. If the drum is built like it should be, and the hardware is of high quality, you can almost let the snare wires move by only looking at it. And that is what my De Broize snare drum delivers from day 1. Because of the natural wood and oil finish used it looks stunning and gets a lot of attention by all other musicians I have played with. I am a proud owner!
What can we expect from you in the future? New music? New bands? What are your ambitions?
My ambition is to develop my drum skills to a degree where I can play every rock and pop song within a few hours of study. If I own the song I want to be able to give it my own spin and surprise people with a different approach to the songs they already know for years. That way I can help to improve my band and with a better band you’ll get more gigs and chances to play live for an audience. And that is what it is all about for me. Also be active in the band and put in the effort to stay together for a longer period of time is essential in becoming better in playing tight and in good spirits! My goal is to practice and have fun every day, rehearse with my band every 2 weeks and do around an average of 10 live gigs every year. It is not easy, but if we stick together and all do our work it will be possible! O yes, and the last thing is I started giving drum lessons to my 9 year old grandson, we both live every minute of it. After 3 lessons he could already play “We will rock you” by Queen, you should have seen the smiles on our faces! Who knows where that might lead to?