Drum Industry Past/Present/Future

ARGuy

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Drums94 - I think that quite a few of us actually agree with you in principle. What's getting in the way is your ability to communicate effectively in writing. One key of effective communication is a common language, and I'm not talking about the English language, I'm talking about the drum and music industry language. When we talk about endorsements we're using that term in the way that it is used and universally understood in the drum and music industry. You have your own definition of endorsements that is NOT universally understood and accepted by those in the industry. Why do those of us who use the term in the industry-accepted manner care about how we speak?
Because we want to be taken seriously.
You, by using terms that you're defining in your own way, will not be. If you contact any of the companies that have business relationships with these players and you ask them why they are endorsing them, it will be a big red flag to them. It seems like you would like to make a difference, but you're shooting yourself in the foot.
End of rant.
 

Whitten

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Are you an endorser?
So far you've had replies from people who endorse and someone who managed endorsing artists at a very high level. I don't think it's being aggressive.
Do you have examples of children who 'are endorsed', presuming they aren't fantastic prospects who will one day be the next drumming superstar?
I haven't seen any myself, so I would be interested.
Regarding teenagers and those in their early 20's - when I went to music college in 1975 a friend said I had to check out a local kid. I went to a rehearsal and saw a 15/16 year old (?) absolutely killing the Inner Mountain Flame album, playing exactly like Billy Cobham. That kid was Gary Husband.
 

Drums94

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Am I currently endorsing someone? No. Another person intelligently defended my point of view in this conversation and that has gone completely unnoticed. From the very beginning I have accepted everyones point of view. I disagree with a few major issues, notably about endorsements. I have been called a liar among other things. I have been ranted at. Have I done that? No. My responses are proof. Who can't handle whos opinion here?
 

bpaluzzi

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Am I currently endorsing someone? No. Another person intelligently defended my point of view in this conversation and that has gone completely unnoticed. From the very beginning I have accepted everyones point of view. I disagree with a few major issues, notably about endorsements. I have been called a liar among other things. I have been ranted at. Have I done that? No. My responses are proof. Who can't handle whos opinion here?
Nobody has called you a liar.

We're just telling you that you don't understand how endorsements work. It begins with your not understanding the endorser / endorsee language, and ends with you thinking that there was ever a time where technical facility on the instrument was why endorsements were offered. It was, has always been, and will always remain about exposure. Often times, exposure and facility go hand in hand. Often times, they don't.

An absolute monster playing drums in a dark room in his basement won't get an endorsement.

For the company, it's only ever been about getting the image of you, playing their drums, in front of people. At one point, that meant only broadcast television, national magazines / newspapers, and touring. That's not the case anymore. The audiences are online, and drummers who have audiences online are appealing to companies.

This isn't opinion, or an "agree to disagree" kind of thing: this is how it works.

You're not a liar for not knowing that, you're just misinformed.
 

Drums94

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One of the problems here is that
Nobody has called you a liar.

We're just telling you that you don't understand how endorsements work. It begins with your not understanding the endorser / endorsee language, and ends with you thinking that there was ever a time where technical facility on the instrument was why endorsements were offered. It was, has always been, and will always remain about exposure. Often times, exposure and facility go hand in hand. Often times, they don't.

An absolute monster playing drums in a dark room in his basement won't get an endorsement.

For the company, it's only ever been about getting the image of you, playing their drums, in front of people. At one point, that meant only broadcast television, national magazines / newspapers, and touring. That's not the case anymore. The audiences are online, and drummers who have audiences online are appealing to companies.

This isn't opinion, or an "agree to disagree" kind of thing: this is how it works.

You're not a liar for not knowing that, you're just misinformed.
I know how endorsements say they work. The whole debat was looking at it a little more profoundly. When I do, I see behavior that is not conducive to the regular definition. "Why would you misquote and mischaracterise us.
2) You haven't backed your criticism up with any facts." Sounds like I'm being called a liar to me. When in fact I did neither of these. They where empty claims then and still are now.
 

bpaluzzi

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One of the problems here is that
I know how endorsements say they work. The whole debat was looking at it a little more profoundly. When I do, I see behavior that is not conducive to the regular definition. "Why would you misquote and mischaracterise us.
2) You haven't backed your criticism up with any facts." Sounds like I'm being called a liar to me. When in fact I did neither of these. They where empty claims then and still are now.
If you think being told that you're "wrong" is equivalent to being called a "liar", then there's really no more discussion to be had. Good luck in life!
 

Drums94

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I never said you calling me wrong was calling me a liar. This is what sounds like you calling me a liar. Read - > "why would you misquote and mischaracterise us.
2) You haven't backed your criticism up with any facts." I have done neither.
 

Drums94

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Smart. Some of you actually creep me out. Go look at those posts you find nothing wrong with.
 

John DeChristopher

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Drums94 - I think that quite a few of us actually agree with you in principle. What's getting in the way is your ability to communicate effectively in writing. One key of effective communication is a common language, and I'm not talking about the English language, I'm talking about the drum and music industry language. When we talk about endorsements we're using that term in the way that it is used and universally understood in the drum and music industry. You have your own definition of endorsements that is NOT universally understood and accepted by those in the industry. Why do those of us who use the term in the industry-accepted manner care about how we speak?
Because we want to be taken seriously.
You, by using terms that you're defining in your own way, will not be. If you contact any of the companies that have business relationships with these players and you ask them why they are endorsing them, it will be a big red flag to them. It seems like you would like to make a difference, but you're shooting yourself in the foot.
End of rant.
This was a perfect response. Crystal clear and right on the money. And you know what @ARGuy , nothing you, Chris Whitten, me, or anyone says is going to get through. I have to wonder if he's messing with us. ;)
 

K.O.

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The problem occuring today in the industry is not the Steve Gadds or World Class drummer endorsement deals. Again, those are very easy to defend and understand. Please address the question of the children, teenagers, and young twenty year olds that obviously have no authority on the subject of the product they are claiming to endorse. One scroll through Instagram in a day following drum activity will reveal this reality, a saturated industry of endorsements of people that are being endorsed not because of their authority but for something else entirely. This fact reveals the state of the industry today, contrary to the industry before social media existed.
Two additional points, perhaps not worth mentioning, but whatever...

"World Class" Endorsers are very often (possibly more often than not) not playing the drums that they sincerely feel are the very best in the world. They are playing the drums from the company that offered them the best endorsement deal, or perhaps it's due to another of myriad potential reasons. At that level it is a two way street and if the company drops the ball in some way they may see an endorser jump to another brand regardless of what they think of either brand's drums. What they play on stage and tout in the ads may not be the same make as their dream set they use in the studio or have at home in the basement. For every famous drummer who has stayed loyal to a particular company for years and years there will be 2 or 3 that have jumped around from brand to brand and sometimes back again. These guys may have the gravitas and "authority on the subject" to know good drums from less good drums but that doesn't mean they won't play something else under the right conditions. You should always approach ANY endorsement with some degree of skepticism because there is a very good chance that he or she is playing that brand for reasons other than having decided that these are the very best drums they have ever played and that is that.

As far as "children, teenagers, and young twenty year olds that obviously have no authority on the subject of the product" I would tend to agree with you there. Their opinions mean nothing to me and maybe mean nothing to a fair number of drummers like me (pushing 60). But, a substantial part of the market for new drums, perhaps the majority of it, are kids, or the parents thereof, buying their first sets or maybe doing their first upgrade to a better set. These potential customers are likely to see these "children, teenagers, and young twenty year olds" as peers, and their opinions, or just seeing them using the products, may steer this younger set of drummer's purchases in that direction.

Not every endorser is meant to appeal to every sector of the market. When I see an ad featuring some thrash metal drummer I just think "next". Even with someone like Neil Peart whose talents I definitely admired (although never a big Rush fan) it never really mattered to me what brand of drums he played (he switched brands at least 5 times too, Rogers/Slingerland/Tama/Ludwig/DW) because I personally don't put a lot of stock into endorsements for the reasons outlined in my first point above. As I mentioned in an earlier post I don't even know who most of the drummers I see in current ads are so they are meaningless to me. Obviously though endorsements do work on some sector of the market because manufacturers continue to court endorsers and no company would waste their money on advertising that didn't work. But that's what it is....advertising.

It might be frustrating to see some snot nosed kid that you could drum circles around and who couldn't tune a drum, let alone change a head, have some spiffy deal that puts him in ads and nets him a brand new set of big name drums, but he/she must have something to offer or it wouldn't have happened. They have some form of visibility that the drum maker wishes to exploit. Doesn't actually matter if he's phenomenal or can't find a downbeat, if a million eyes are watching him do it that is what is important.

True endorsements deals are not rewards for being good or having worked in the trenches and paying your dues. They are business deals based on the amount of visibility someone has. It is ultimately up to us whether we chose to give any weight to what the endorsers are saying or selling. It's your right to think "well that's a waste of money and ad space, that kid sucks and his opinion is meaningless" just as it's the right of some 15 year old somewhere else to think "wow, I love those drums he's playing".
 

John DeChristopher

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@Drums94 , I think I understand the point you're trying to make. You feel drum companies shouldn't sign young artists who haven't matured as players, or understand the instrument to the degree older players do. Does that sound right? I won't get into a debate about that, other than to say if someone has proven market influence and that person can affect sales for a given product, then they probably meet most/all companies' endorsement criteria, regardless of their age. The number one objective of anyone who works in Artist Relations is to sign artists that sell/promote your company's products.

My point way back at the beginning was simply to correct your reference to drummers/artists being "endorsed" by the companies, which is incorrect. The drummer/artist endorses the company or brand. When someone endorses a product they're lending their name and likeness to promote that company or brand. There are times when companies promote artists in advertising etc, but it's only a means to utilize their name and likeness to sell their own products. I don't disagree with everything else you've said, just your statement that companies "endorse" drummers. That is incorrect.
 
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Whitten

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One of the problems here is that
I know how endorsements say they work. The whole debat was looking at it a little more profoundly. When I do, I see behavior that is not conducive to the regular definition. "Why would you misquote and mischaracterise us.
2) You haven't backed your criticism up with any facts." Sounds like I'm being called a liar to me. When in fact I did neither of these. They where empty claims then and still are now.
Firstly I haven't called you a liar. You misquoted us and mischaracterised us because some of us disagreed with your original premise. If we carefully try to correct the premise it's unfair then to characterising us as not caring about your false premise.
We explained how IN OUR EXPERIENCE endorsements worked. In reply you posted that we had 'no problem with children endorsing drum companies'.
*You say there is a problem with aliens opening restaurants in Chicago. We say there is no evidence aliens are opening restaurants in Chicago, you then characterise us as not having a problem with aliens opening restaurants in Chicago.*
My second point - you haven't backed up your criticism with any facts. That is just the simple truth.
In order to educate myself perhaps, and understand the issue, I have asked you multiple times to example children who are 'endorsing drum companies' - over several days you have failed to provide any examples.
I have simply pointed out you haven't proved your point - the point no one who endorses or who runs endorsement programs can identify with.
 
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Whitten

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As far as "children, teenagers, and young twenty year olds that obviously have no authority on the subject of the product" I would tend to agree with you there. Their opinions mean nothing to me and maybe mean nothing to a fair number of drummers like me (pushing 60). But, a substantial part of the market for new drums, perhaps the majority of it, are kids, or the parents thereof, buying their first sets or maybe doing their first upgrade to a better set. These potential customers are likely to see these "children, teenagers, and young twenty year olds" as peers, and their opinions, or just seeing them using the products, may steer this younger set of drummer's purchases in that direction.

Not every endorser is meant to appeal to every sector of the market. When I see an ad featuring some thrash metal drummer I just think "next".
I think one has to divorce personal taste from evaluation of skill. Personally there are few genres of music I dislike more than metal, let alone thrash metal. A lot of the metal and thrash metal drummers I have seen on social media (Youtube etc) are highly skilled, more technically adept than me.
Most of the Youtubers who are also high profile endorsers are highly skilled musicians. I find myself criticising the tuition/ clinic industry simply on the basis that young learning musicians should aspire to music based public performance - whether that is in concert or on recordings that will stand the test of time. Promoting, almost to the exclusion of other aspects, complex solo drumming in a fusion style, is not serving the music community in the long run IMHO.
I'm not saying my criticism is absolute, but young drummers who have never toured with a recognised band, have never played on a popular recording are heavily promoted online, while drummers who have so much to offer in a musical context are largely ignored.
Andy Newmark - ever see him being asked to share his incredible experience? Rick Marotta? Younger guys like Joey Waronker, Will Champion (Coldplay).
Once a young learning drummer goes out into the real world, their ability to play three bass drums in 15/8 is going to be largely useless. Their ability to deliver a fantastic drum sound in the recording studio or cavernous arena. their ability to play JUST what the song requires. These are all things young drummers should be learning. n
 

Whitten

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Just another quickie anecdote...
I was mentoring a promising young drummer. I saw an ad that a local drum store was having a weekend clinic event, day one featured Kenny Aronoff, day two featured a well known clinician. I rang the kid and said " you have to go see Arnoff, he's probably the busiest studio drummer in America right now".
A few weeks later I heard back from the young drummer. He chose to skip Aronoff and attend day two of the clinic, seeing the famous clinician. He said he had come away inspired and that he was thinking of adding a second floor tom to his kit. Sigh. Well that clinician sure did his job.
 

bassanddrum84

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I’ve seen clinics from insanely famous drummers such as bun e mangini and schuccerman and I’ve seen clinics of you tube drums all who endorse a company and put off all them I gathered the most and was entertained the most by Todd we hung out before and after and talked about all kinds of stuff non drum related. The YouTube drummers offered no tips outside of them playing to covers which I could just go on there YouTube channel and watch. It actually made me feel bad for the people watching. I’ve also seen world famous drummers like Eric Moore switch from zildjian to paiste and boast the same “these cymbals provide me with what the other couldn’t” response to they’re not always backing a product they truly love. Sometimes it’s who gives the most free stuff and before you say famous drummer don’t get free stuff they do. Travis barkers drum tech flat out told me zildjian sends Travis all the new cymbals before they ever hit production. Same with a lot of other drummers. Todd indeed doesn’t pay. And couple YouTube drummers don’t either
 

K.O.

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Just because a drummer is doing clinics doesn't mean he has anything to teach. In some cases it merely means he/she has enough of a following to insure people will show up and is willing to be there to make some extra money on the side or fulfill part of the contract of their endorsement(s). I've been to some amazing clinics and also to some where it was a total waste of time unless you happened to win one of the door prizes. But I did show up and I did see and hear the products they were talking up, me and a bunch of other folks, so the real purpose of the clinic was achieved.
 


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