My First Kit: Cody Hanson Of Hinder

first kit

While on tour in support of Welcome To The Freakshow, Hinder drummer Cody Hanson – currently shaking off the remnants of sleep in a Baltimore hotel room – has been feeling nostalgic about the instrument that set him on his platinum-selling path.

Hanson could stock every room in his house with a brand new kit, but buying stuff doesn’t compare with the element of surprise on Christmas morning when he was 12. “My dad was always like, ’No, you’re not getting a drum set, we can’t afford it, sorry to let you down’ or whatever,” says the Oklahoma City native, who is also the band’s principal songwriter and coproduced Freakshow. “He was really good at doing that and then I get up in the morning and there it was.

“It was a real old-school Pearl, like 1970s. I don’t even know what year. No heads on the bottom, just a big 7-piece kit with four toms across the top. It had kind of like an off-white cream color and all fiberglass shells.”

For a second we thought he said fiberglass. “Yeah, it was fiberglass with a wrap,” he confirms. The 100 percent fiberglass kits first appeared in Pearl’s Japanese catalog in 1972 and were built until 1982. The company also made blended wood/fiberglass shells, which were discontinued in 1980. In other words, Cody has a fairly collectible kit. “I never even thought about that,” he says. “[Dad] got it from some guy that he knew, a bricklayer buddy, or some guy that he knew that needed to get rid of it. So we bought it off of him.”

Make no mistake: The setup, with its big, deep toms arrayed over the kick, is a creature of its time. “I want to say the first tom was 12" [diameter] and they just went up from there,” he says. “They were massive toms.” Oddly enough for an older kit, the toms were not mounted on the bass drum. “They were on separate stands and the tops had a little U bracket that slid onto them.”

The holiday gift also came with four crashes and a ride. “All the cymbals actually sat on springs,” he adds. “That was pretty interesting. I’d never see that before.”

Sadly, all the topside labeling was worn off so Hanson is unsure of the exact models, but, he added, “I know some of them were Sabians because, you know, how they stamp themn So they were mostly Sabians.”

Sporting an appealingly lived-in look, the batter head sweet spots were worn to naked Mylar surrounded by a patina of grime. “They were pretty jacked up,” he laughs. “I don’t know if I even to this day ever changed the heads.”

It was no living room queen either. Hanson played the kit out for the first year of Hinder’s existence. He thinks its resounding tones can even be heard on the band’s early demos. “They might [be on there] but I’m not sure to be honest.”

Currently residing in a storage shed rented by his parents, that original kit suddenly seems appealing again even if it no longer serves a purpose. “I need to get it back out and work on it,” he says. “I’ve got so many drum sets I’ve collected over the years I don’t even have room for them.”