What piece of equipment do you have to show us today?
A 1966 Slingerland ‘Modern Solo Outfit’ in Red Sparkle
How did you come across this particular item?
It was a local Gumtree find a few years ago that came pretty damaged. It had apparently lived in an attic for decades where moisture had gotten to it and more or less completely ruined the shells. A friend of mine, Tim Anstice spent about 3 months on an extremely detailed repair and restored it to its original condition.
What is it that you like about it so much?
About a year ago one of my drum heroes, Bernard Purdie was in town on a clinic tour and contacted Drumtek (where I work and teach) for some help with Backline. We were emailed a spec sheet and I noticed that he played the same sizes as my kit. I immediately offered it up for him to borrow. After he arrived, he spent a few minutes playing and then politely asked if I minded if he tuned the Toms a little lower. They were already set pretty low – but when The Hitmaker offers to tune your kit, you don’t refuse! He played it for a few more minutes and said, ‘it’ll work!’. When dropping it back after the shows he signed the inside of the Bass Drum for me, too. Apart from being the best sounding drums I’ve ever played, this kit is one of the most sentimental things I own.
How do you use it and how has it shaped the way you write music?
I like Slingerland because they’re not as jazzy as a Gretsch, but not as thumpy as a Ludwig – or as loud as a Rogers. They’re sort of somewhere in the middle, which is pretty much the sound I go for. I’ve got another bigger Slingerland kit as well and it has the same qualities.
These drums sound great when played gently, as well when you give them a good smack, making them really versatile. They’ve got this beautiful rich tone that I associate with a lot of my favourite recordings and drummers from the 60’s and 70’s. I also think Buddy (Rich) sounded his best during his Slingerland period, and I heard he went back to them in the last years of his life – which tells you everything you need to know about how they play.
Tell us a little about what you have coming up?
We’re trekking up to Brisbane to play at XXXX’s Live At The Brewery Festival on Saturday November 16. Can’t wait!
Grab your tickets to see Mildlife, Holy Holy, Confidence Man and more at XXXX: Live At The Brewery here.