I’ve worked in the percussion industry long enough to have grown tired of reading a couple catch phrases that have been so overused by so many drum-related companies that they’ve been rendered all but irrelevant.
Namely: “Made for drummers, by drummers” and “The resource for serious drummers.”
Let’s take “made by drummers” first. I’ve got news for anybody out there that happens to read this – virtually every employee at every single company in the percussion industry that I’ve had the pleasure to know has started out as a drummer first. Many continue to play, either professionally or as a hobbyist. So get serious – business school graduates don’t venture into the drum industry because of the many opportunities it offers to get rich quick. Lord no. I can think of ten zillion better ways to make a whole lot more money – even in this economic downturn. I’d bet the shoestring industry grosses more annually than the drum industry.
You might then ask why in the world have so many folks gotten involved with the drum market at all, then? Simple. We love drumming. It’s a remarkable privilege to be able to pay our mortgages, raise kids, and bank some savings by working in a field that gives us so much more to think about than balance sheets and sales reports. At the end of the day we can say we love our jobs. How many people can make that claim?
So you should assume that behind every drum company is a team of drummers.
Now please consider “the resource for serious drummers” tag line, if you will. Pray tell, what’s the alternative? The resource for comical drummers? Or ambivalent drummers? Nope. I would argue that anybody who picks up a drumming magazine or buys a method book or surfs onto a drumming website is already pretty serious about drumming. The very act of looking for information qualifies that drummer as someone who is serious about his or her art, after all.
And I have to add – I’ve known the guys at Modern Drummer, our primary competitor, for many years. I can assure you that their editors are as serious about drumming as we are, and the readers of both magazines are equally serious about what they read.
So let’s drop the hype. Any company that employs either motto – “Made for drummers, by drummers” or “The resource for serious drummers” – is actually yelling at the top of their lungs, “We’re not creative enough to come up with an original catch phrase!”
I like the one Bill Detamore came up with for Pork Pie Percussion years ago: “Made By An American.” In four short words he told you that he touched every instrument that left his shop. He assumed that you’re smart enough to know in the first place that he’s into drums. And he’s right.
Okay. Glad I got that off my chest. At ease.