I’m extremely fortunate to have endorsements for every part of my set up with companies that I believe make some of the best gear available. It’s taken years to get to this point, but it really makes a massive difference when the people that you get to deal with are all so cool.
My current main setup is generally back to double bass (the way nature intended it!) but occassionally just a single if stages are small and room tight.
10″ and 13″ rack toms
14″ and 16″ floor toms (mounted on the rack)
2 x 22″ bass drums
1 x Black Panther snare
14″ Paiste Heavy hi-hats
17″ Paiste 2002 Power Ride
18″ Paiste RUDE Wild Crash
18″ Paiste RUDE Crash/Ride
18″ Paiste Dark Energy Crash
22″ Paiste Rhythm Master Ride
18″ Paiste RUDE Novo-China
2 x Duallist pedals (Quickly convert from two singles to a double if using a single bass drum)
Wincent sticks (5B)
Aquarian Skins (Triple Threat snare heads, Performance II tom heads, Super Kick II bass heads),
Best Tronics cables (drum snake)
Everybody has their ultimate set up and this one is mine. I also have a second kit that I use for playing covers locally in Black Iron Priest (no prizes for guessing the three bands whose tracks we play) and this one is a single bass white Mapex kit with the same cymbal and skins configuration. It’s also what I used for recording The Blacklist because the double bass was under construction then.
These are great pedals for a few reasons. I used to use Tama Iron Cobras (which are superb) but switched over to Duallist a while ago. They’re made of DupontTM Zytel® engineering polymer – essentially a form of plastic. Thsi makes them light (great for flying in and out of festival gigs) and extremely tough. I have broken three pedals footboards over the years – all made of metal – but haven’t managed to dent one of these polymer ones. Great pedals – smooth and fast with easy adjustments and the ability to switch in a few minutes from a double pedal to two singles with the addition of an extra spring. You can check them out here.
I use standard 5B sticks and Wincent have been my favourite for about twelve years now. The 5B are 406mm long, 15mm in diameter and made of hickory. Wincent use a Unique Wax Protection which is great for grip and also I have less issues with the sticks splintering than other brands I’ve used. You can check them out here.
Years ago I really favoured Yamaha drums which I still think are magnificent. In 2007 I switched to Mapex, a Taiwanese brand, and since then I haven’t looked back. I mainly use Saturn series drums (maple and walnut shells) , but also Armory (birch and maple shells) which, though considered a level below Saturn, are prefectly crafted drums with all the punch needed on stage. To check out the different specs and series visit the website here.
As far as snare drums go, again I used yamaha for years, mainly one that used to belong to Cozy Powell. It now belongs to Eric Singer as I wanted it to go to a good home and Eric was something of a fan of Cozy’s. Now I use Black Panther snares (made by Mapex) which are simply magnificent! My main snare is the Sledgehammer, though I also use the Machete model a lot too, and now have taken on an Armory Tomahawk, which is slightly shallower than the other two. Great drums – loud, crisp and clear.
I have been using Paiste for years now and they are, in my opinion, the best sounding cymbals on the market. That claim in itself is really saying something as there are many superb cymbal makers – form large ‘mainstream’ companies to smaller boutique-style makers. However, Paiste are, to me, the cream of the crop. I use:
14″ Paiste Heavy Hi-Hats, 17″ Paiste 2002 Power Ride, 18″ Paiste RUDE Wild Crash, 18″ Paiste RUDE Crash/Ride, 18″ Paiste Dark Energy Crash, 22″ Paiste Rhythm Master Ride and the 18″ Paiste RUDE Novo-China (which Simon Wright – ex-AC/DC and Dio amongst many others – said was the ‘loudest fucking cymbal ‘ he had heard. It made me so proud!)
Paiste have an excellent website, complete with soundroom, that you can check out here.