Meet Your Maker: MBW Drums

MBW Drums

As a boutique drum builder, being known for exquisite finish work can be both a blessing and a curse. On one hand, the immediate appeal of such striking tubs can attract a lot of attention. But on the other hand, you run the risk of potential buyers assuming you’re a looks-first, sound-second company.

Thankfully, that’s not the case with Greenville, South Carolina’s MBW Drums. “If it sounds like crap, to me, it’s pointless,” says owner and founder, Michael Bouvier. Since 2009, the one man band (with occasional help from friends specializing in ornate wood burning) has been cranking out some of the most breathtaking drums on the market today, with many showcasing his trademark antiqued finishes.

MBW Drums

Bouvier honed his fine finishing skills while working as a painter in his early twenties. “One day, we were messing around with some finishes, and I realized that some of them might make pretty neat looking drums,” says the Carolina native. “It just kind of clicked from there.”

Since then, the young company has built a formidable client list by never losing sight of what really makes an instrument valuable. “If someone suggests something, I’ll do my very best to make it happen,” says Bouvier. “But, if something is going to compromise the finish integrity or the tone, I just won’t do it.”

This year will see a new addition to the MBW family – a series of one-piece, antiqued aluminum snares with single-flanged brass hoops and beer tap—style throw offs [pictured]. “We gave it a really heavy relic-style finish, so it looks like a drum you’d find in the back of an old club or something,” says Michael. Sounds good to us.