A Los Angeles Diary: Part One
Our trip to Tycoon, Paiste, and Taye
- By Phil Hood
- Published November 19, 2012
Last week we had the opportunity to spend two days in Los Angeles, visiting manufacturers and artist relations facilities. On Wednesday we landed in Ontario, California and headed off for a day exploring what's new at Tycoon Percussion, Taye Drums, and Paiste Cymbals. Come along, and see what we found.
Last year Tycoon moved into a new larger warehouse in Ontario. This office houses US sales, artist relations, and shipping.
First contact: Nicole Abucejo holds down the marketing coordinator position at Tycoon.
Ivy Yu, shown here at last month's PASIC event, must be about the youngest company President in the DRUM! business. She is responsible for Tycoon's US operation.
Next stop, the conference room, which also houses an artist demo space. By the way, if you ever need a nine-foot tall Khong Yao drum, Tycoon is the place..
One of the best things Tycoon has introduced are high quality, carvings, shavings, and other techniques for finishing their high-end congas.
Tycoon manufactures all its products at its own factory in Thailand. It offers a dazzling array of cajons, including acrylic models.
Into the warehouse. Tycoon's facility is large giving the still-young company room to grow. This is Tycoon Music's 30th year, but as a global percussion brand it is much younger.
No trip would be complete without the ever-popular wall of cajons. Maybe they should rename the warehouse!.
Looking slightly forlorn in a corner of the warehouse, seconds, and artist's instruments in for repair, await attention..
After visiting Tycoon we headed just down the road to Chino, California to visit Todd Trent at Taye Drums. Todd was formerly the music of Ontario Music and now handles marketing for Taye. It's also a woman-run firm: Katy Chen is the US President.
"What is that sweet mirror-finish kit?" you might be wondering. It's one that Taye endorser Charles Streeter used last year on the Jennifer Lopez tour. He's currently out with JLo on the road until January.
After leaving Taye we grabbed a quick bowl of Pho for lunch and headed south to Brea, California, US home of Paiste. From left to right, that's Andrew, Julie, Arturo, Kelly (Paiste), Jace, and April. Paiste's US office includes a warehouse, in-house sales, dealer services, accounting, and artist relations. In short, all these people have pretty cool jobs. Our powerful female theme continues: Erik Paiste, great grandson of the company founder Michael Toomas Paiste, lives in the US but commutes regularly to Switzerland and the Paiste factory. His wife Kelly Paiste works in all phases of the business from store sales to events to being the company ambassador. She's been called the "first lady of cymbals."
In one corner of the warehouse they have a drumset with families of cymbals (Alpha, Signature, etc.) set up for artists to educate themselves on Paiste sounds.
Andrew Shreve who handles marketing explained that though the Twentys have been popular the company has been experimenting with more focused ride sounds, and a wider array of sounds. A dozen rides are setup for testing. We'd love to hang around with our Paiste cohorts but there are stories to file and plans to make. Tomorrow we have to be up early for a daylong visit to two Yamaha locations.