Paul Francis left Zildjian?

dogmanaut

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I am curious to understand exactly how he has impacted my many Zildjians over the years.

If he had anything to do with lines such as...
  • K Sweet's,
  • Take Five reissue,
  • A Avedis
  • K Dark's,
  • Low volume LV's
  • Kerope's
  • redesigned A's (wow!)
  • Constantinople's and all the variations,
  • K Custom Sessions,
  • K Custom Dry Complex series,
  • even the S Series and ZBT's
...then he is at least partially responsible for taking the company out of the "clanger status" it was mired in and is worth his weight in gold.

.
Ah, crap. What a bummer. Even though I pretty much only play Turkish brands these days, I was actually just thinking the other day how Zildjian seems to be on a winning streak with a lot of their recent pro-level lines. I imagine Paul Francis was a big part of that.
 

sixplymaple

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Maybe Zildjian got some fancy new robots? Boston Dynamics isn’t too far from them! ;) lol
 
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multijd

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It will be interesting to see what the real story is on this, if we ever do find out. Paul was a big face in Zildjian land but I dare say we all may be the only people who really knew about his relationship there. Most Zildjian buyers know very little about the company or its history. It just isn't important to the “business” of selling metal disks. Again everything is speculation at this point but it is really interesting, having heard the Drumhistory podcast about the origins of Bosphorus. The guys who started that company began working at the zildjian factory in istanbul when they were 16.
 

Sinclair

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Hopefully PF walked away with a sweet deal and a bright future. He deserves that. If Zildjian dumped him on the advice of a banker cutting corners who's never schleped drums to a bar gig getting home at 4am or waking up on a park bench not knowing the difference between high hats and highballs they could be in big trouble. Knowing your customers on a grassroots level is critical to the bottom line. This is one of the many things Paul was so great at IMO. This ain't the corporate world bub.
 

Rich K.

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Read an Instagram post by an endorser who had left and gone to Sabian because of this. Said cutting Sarah and Paul loose was the key to his decision. Said No one at the company even contacted him and he had no clue who was the contact now.
Comments on that thread mentioned corporate decisions are now at the forefront. I cant imagine Armand would be happy. Might be this guy.

That new CEO announcement was over two years ago.
 

Old Drummer

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I grew up loyal to Zildjian and having fond feelings toward the company. Over the last couple years of reading and seeing some of the Zildjian videos, I started to suspect that I have naively swallowed hogwash.

That 400 years of cymbal making? Not really. The Avedis in the US who started the company in the US wasn't even making cymbals when he opened the company. He was a businessman in another business altogether until the opportunity to capitalize on his family name was presented to him. The 400 years of cymbal making is marketing hype, not history.

Then there was the opening of the Canadian factory. Zildjian only opened it as a threat to its workers if they unionized. If the vote for a union had succeeded, Zildjian was prepared to fire them all and move to Canada. No wonder the union vote failed.

And the founding of Sabian after a legal battle inside the family tells us that these people were cutthroat when it came to business. Forget family loyalities, we're going to court!

Stunning was then a video with Paul Francis in which the interviewer several times mentioned Sabian. Paul never once said the name. In fact, he awkwardly phrased his comments in order to avoid saying it. This told me that Zildjian's company culture is very strict. Paul seemed afraid to even say the name Sabian.

For all I know, this is what it takes to run a successful company, but I realized that my fond feelings toward Zildjian were mistaken. It's a company like many others. If you like the products it makes, buy them, but don't for a minute think you're buying from nice guys or some historic Turkish cymbal makers. It's just another ruthless company with a marketing department looking out for its bottom line.

I have no idea what the situation was with Paul, but I'm pretty sure that he was working for a tougher boss than the marketing materials imply.
 

charlesm

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I think we need to hold our breath here a bit before we decide that Zildjian is now Satan's favorite cymbal maker.

Let's somehow try and get some facts and info. on the table, and let's also not forget the support and warm words that have come from so many seminal Z players and endorsers over the years. They always seemed to speak sincerely of Zildjian as a family truly dedicated to what they do.

At the same time, I would hope that a figure like Paul, someone who has been intrinsic to Zildjian's success and evolution for decades now, was not treated with disrespect for the sake of profit margins.

If we're talking about a situation in which a corporate consultant has approached them and said, "Look at what your competition is doing. I can take your company there as well, but you have to be willing to let go of a lot of traditional notions. You have to be able to entertain the possibility of radical changes." Well, then, I would hope that Zildjian is not simply all in for the promise of a windfall from some extreme makeover. They would be wise to respect their roots and the traditions that put them where they are, since that accounts for a huge part of their cachet.

A 180-degree turn from that principle would certainly disappoint many, many longtime customers, myself included.

(It would be interesting to know what Leon Chiappini's status is with the company now, too.)
 
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dustjacket

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I think we need to hold our breath here a bit before we decide that Zildjian is now Satan's favorite cymbal maker.

Let's somehow try and get some facts and info. on the table, and let's also not forget the support and warm words that have come from so many seminal Z players and endorsers over the years. They always seemed to speak sincerely of Zildjian as a family truly dedicated to what they do.

At the same time, I would hope that a figure like Paul, someone who has been intrinsic to Zildjian's success and evolution for decades now, was not treated with disrespect for the sake of profit margins.

If we're talking about a situation in which a corporate consultant has approached them and said, "Look at what your competition is doing. I can take your company there as well, but you have to be willing to let go of a lot of traditional notions. You have to be able to entertain the possibility of radical changes." Well, then, I would hope that Zildjian is not simply all in for the promise of a windfall from some extreme makeover. They would be wise to respect their roots and the traditions that put them where they are, since that accounts for a huge part of their cachet.

A 180-degree turn from that principle would certainly disappoint many, many longtime customers, myself included.

(It would be interesting to know what Leon Chiappini's status is with the company now, too.)
Leon definitely jumped into my thoughts after hearing this strange news.
 

Cliff DeArment

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The thing is... 99% of drummers don't know or care about a change in the business, or even knowing of Paul Francis. There is a Zildjian cymbal pack on Amazon! Don't know what it sounds like (does that matter?) just buy it cuz it's "cool".
 

kevinyarger

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I grew up a Zildjian fan boy, my favorite drummers of all time all played Zildjian at one time. The older I got the more I was trying to pinpoint a more unique sound. I got obsessed with finding Zildjian prototypes that I knew were not being mass produced. Years later I would get to meet Paul Francis at the Memphis Drum Shop‘s “Cymbal Summit” back in 2010. Along with other prototypes Zildjian brought a set of K Constantinople Prototypes which consisted of a 15” hi hats, a 19” crash ride and 21” crash ride. They were all cymbals I wanted and were perfect for my gig at the time, so I bought the whole set. After I made my purchase I got to talk to Paul for a little bit, he went into more detail about the cymbals I just purchased and shared with me how he wasn’t able to get the hi hats where he wanted with the machine so went on to hand hammer out the cups of cymbals to get it where he wanted them. Even showed me the photos someone had captured of him working on them. He shared with me that it was his goal that none of the cymbals in the set I bought would be a regular production item.(He was able to hold that true for the 15” and 21” cymbals, the 19” was put in production a year later)I was so impressed I asked him to sign my ride but he declined and insisted Craigie sign it instead. Paul would later be willing to sign my copy of a Zildjian history book along with Leon Chiappini.

I had noticed Mr. Francis not post much about Zildjian late last year but didn’t think much of it, but a month ago I was getting ready to email him for some help with my cymbal set up as I couldn’t find what I was looking for sound wise. That’s when I noticed a former Zildjian artist post online why they left the company and that’s when I found out Paul was no longer at Zildjian.
I have some Zildjians that I am keeping because of sentimental reasons(like those K Cons) but I had to sell the rest of my collection to be able to explore Paiste for a bit. I am disappointed the higher ups at Zildjian felt this was a necessary move to a very long standing employee.
 

MaskingApathy

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Read an Instagram post by an endorser who had left and gone to Sabian because of this. Said cutting Sarah and Paul loose was the key to his decision. Said No one at the company even contacted him and he had no clue who was the contact now.
Comments on that thread mentioned corporate decisions are now at the forefront. I cant imagine Armand would be happy. Might be this guy.

Any chance you can share the Instagram post here, or tell us who it was?
 


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