By Greg Dawson Published July 11, 2009
Custom drum building began as a hobby for drummers Mario Santillan and Toby Semain, but quickly turned into a business. Playing in bands throughout the Los Angeles area, they began by working on their own drums as well as friends’ kits. In 2004 they took on a project restoring old Ludwig drums and built a new bass drum to create a replica John Bonham kit. Soon after, Thrust Drums was born.
The company’s goal is to provide drummers with great sounding drums that are solid and practical. “We’re not trying to reinvent the wheel,” Mario says, “We are just trying to make it as badass as possible. We want it to be functional and clean, for guys like us who play in rock bands.” With each drum they take the “muscle car” approach, making something of lasting quality and strength. “We are known for our bigger, more classic sizes,” Mario says, “We build a lot of 24” and 26” bass drums. People come into our shop and hit the big kits and they’re hooked.
“The oddest thing we’ve ever been asked to build was a set with shag carpet on the outside”, says Mario, “We will do what the customers want, but we also try to build stuff we’d like to sit behind.” They offer a number of finishes, wraps, and stains on their wood kits and frequently use auto paint. They also build acrylic sets. A custom Thrust set, designed to your specifications runs about $3,000.
Contact Thrust Drums, 1441 Huntington Dr. Suite 500, South Pasadena, Ca 91030, (966) 541-4565. thrustdrums.com