Backline gear nightmares

T

The Old Hyde

Guest
Anyone have any horror stories about playing a supplied kit that doesn't actually fit your needs. We played a benefit gig this past Sunday and our band went on first out of ten or twelve, each getting 35 min. playing time with a 15 min. crossover. I knew we were first so I asked a ton of questions about the drum kit. I was told to just bring my sticks. I brought my cymbals, pedal and snare anyway just in case. The kit at first seemed ok, 1 up two down. it was made up of Tama and Mapex drums with a Pacific snare. It really sounded excellent...BUT!!!!!
The owner of the kit plays open handed and cut down his hi-hat tube so it was dead even with the snare....WHO DOES THAT AND THINKS ITS OK TO SUPPLY IT FOR OTHER DRUMMERS?!?!?! Idiot!
I squeezed the legs together so it raised it but the foot board was in the air when I played. I made it work but why supply something like that knowing that you are probably the only open handed player there ( he was, and he didn't even play).
 

WhoIsTony?

Member
rule #1 of playing a backline kit ...... always bring everything but your toms and bass drum shells

I never trust stands, pedals, or heads..... especially hi hat and snare stands.... they are regularly FUBAR

I showed up to play a CMJ show at the Continental in NYC years ago and both tom heads were broken and taped over with gaff tape.
luckily I had an old 12 and an old 16 in my trap.

I once showed up to a backline kit at a club in Mass. .... somewhere outside of Boston can't quite remember the clubs name off hand at the moment..... and first of all the drums were enormous .... 14" rack tom and a 18" floor 24" bass drum .... the drums were black and white striped exactly like Eddie VanHalens guitar on the cover of VanHalen 1 ... extremely tacky ...
... the best part about the kit was that the floor tom had 2 legs .... it was propped against the bass drum and taped there.
... so I duct taped two sticks together and made a make shift third leg and wrote "you're welcome" in sharpie on the head.

I could really go on all day about my backline stories that have accumulated over the past 24 years .... but I will bore you no further
 

keep it simple

Platinum Member
Young Hyde, you mean you haven't learnt to play open handed to allow for such an eventuality? Shame on you & your unprofessional approach. Did you think of lowering the seat & snare drum? No, of course you didn't. So wrapped up in your precious idealist "I'm an artist" state that you couldn't just do the obvious & get on with it. What a ponce! ;) ;) ;)
 
T

The Old Hyde

Guest
Young Hyde, you mean you haven't learnt to play open handed to allow for such an eventuality? Shame on you & your unprofessional approach. Did you think of lowering the seat & snare drum? No, of course you didn't. So wrapped up in your precious idealist "I'm an artist" state that you couldn't just do the obvious & get on with it. What a ponce! ;) ;) ;)
gggrrrrrrr....oh, the sound guy was amazing!

and its pronounced ar-teast, not artist. I wont make a single sacrifice, I can tell if a cymbal is 1mm lower than I need it to be and I wont play until someone adjusts it for me. and I expect an apology for such nonsense.

I wont even mention the gaffer tape on the throne. He actually came on stage after our second song and told me not to hit his cymbals so hard and my stroke is bad and will most likely crack them. he was kind of mad, I really wasn't doing anything wrong and was a little put off but it was his gear.. I don't know if he mentally survived the rest of the drummers there after me.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
I find it quicker to just move the backline stuff off except for the kick and toms. I hate trying to adapt to a drummer that is no where near as picky as I am. Then I replace the backline stuff with my already set up and adjusted stuff. All cymbal stands, hi hat, throne, snare stand, pedal. If it's miced, I make sure they are in the position they were before I moved stuff. I don't want to create any extra work for the sound person. It's way faster and frankly, if someone doesn't like it....and this someone....for lack of a better term... doesn't matter...I do what I want and to hell with them. They are not the ones playing. Sometimes it's in your best interest to be that way.
 
T

The Old Hyde

Guest
I find it quicker to just move the backline stuff off except for the kick and toms. I hate trying to adapt to a drummer that is no where near as picky as I am. Then I replace the backline stuff with my already set up and adjusted stuff. All cymbal stands, hi hat, throne, snare stand, pedal. If it's miced, I make sure they are in the position they were before I moved stuff. I don't want to create any extra work for the sound person. It's way faster and frankly, if someone doesn't like it....and this someone....for lack of a better term... doesn't matter...I do what I want and to @#!*% with them. They are not the ones playing. Sometimes it's in your best interest to be that way.
that's actually not a bad idea, and next time i wont be caught out. the issue with this gig was the very strict start and stop times for each act. I was afraid of making a big scene, however there turned out to be roadies there helping and i could have changed out some stuff ( i would have used my cymbals for one thing) all the bands got tons of email notices about being on time and coming on stage tuned up and 100 percent ready to go.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
Re: coming on stage tuned up.

One band I was in....OMG I wanted to strangle the leader. Multi band situation, by the time we got up there our 45 minutes had been whittled down to 30 minutes, we take the stage and the leader is tuning for over 5 minutes. It's not like there was an Ipod playing through the PA or anything. Dead quiet while this doctor guy tuned and situated himself for close to 10 minutes while 500 people, and us, waited for him. Then when he finally was ready, the wind started to blow his words off his stand. (I hate guys who have to read words) It's not like he uses them, he still flubbed lyrics. So unprofessional. I felt like crawling in a hole, but I just smiled. I asked him right before the first chord was played to PLEASE acknowledge the previous band who really killed it. Of course he didn't. So I did. Our 45 minutes were more like 22 minutes, with about a minute between songs. He was oblivious to everyone else but him. Friggin doctors.
 

keep it simple

Platinum Member
Re: coming on stage tuned up.

One band I was in....OMG I wanted to strangle the leader. Multi band situation, by the time we got up there our 45 minutes had been whittled down to 30 minutes, we take the stage and the leader is tuning for over 5 minutes. It's not like there was an Ipod playing through the PA or anything. Dead quiet while this doctor guy tuned and situated himself for close to 10 minutes while 500 people, and us, waited for him. Then when he finally was ready, the wind started to blow his words off his stand. (I hate guys who have to read words) It's not like he uses them, he still flubbed lyrics. So unprofessional. I felt like crawling in a hole, but I just smiled. I asked him right before the first chord was played to PLEASE acknowledge the previous band who really killed it. Of course he didn't. So I did. Our 45 minutes were more like 22 minutes, with about a minute between songs. He was oblivious to everyone else but him. Friggin doctors.
Terrible selfishness & diva behaviour there Larry. What he doesn't realise is, it makes him look like a boring dick, & reflects poorly on everyone else. I've walked away from bands for less!

On occasions when I run festival sound, I make absolutely sure that the crew are able to turn things around within the allotted time (& that sometimes requires a virtual stage rewire), & I meet each band well before their slot so I'm aware of their needs. I always remind them that any time they use up beyond the allotted changeover time, will come straight off their set time - no exceptions.
 

MJD

Silver Member
Rule one of playing a backline kit. bring your own snare,cymbals,bass pedal and have the stands with you. Drum Key and Sticks are so obvious that they shouldnt have to be mentioned though i've played shows where the drummer of another band didnt even bring those and asked to borrow mine. In my experience often times the only thing you end up needing to have brought with you is the cymbals and bass drum pedal but one should always be safe. One never knows what one will encounter. I encountered a kit where the tom mounts were so bent out of shape and rickety that i just used my snare stand instead. I always retune the kit quickly before we play as i've found that floor toms are invariably at JAW when i get there. I've gotten audience comments like "What did you do? the drums sounded so much worse before you played." on some of those gigs.
 

v.zarate

Gold Member
Young Hyde, you mean you haven't learnt to play open handed to allow for such an eventuality? Shame on you & your unprofessional approach. Did you think of lowering the seat & snare drum? No, of course you didn't. So wrapped up in your precious idealist "I'm an artist" state that you couldn't just do the obvious & get on with it. What a ponce! ;) ;) ;)
did you just shemp old hyde? LMFAO!
 

keep it simple

Platinum Member
did you just shemp old hyde? LMFAO!
Yup, & about time too. He's relentless in his pursuit as Andy nemesis. Occasionally I have to give him some back to keep him on his toes. Hyde is to me as the Wumpus is to Larry, only I haven't quite got into planning a humiliating demise "wumpus hunting style" as advocated by the Uncle ;)
 

Les Ismore

Platinum Member
I love it when guitar players bitch about back line amps.

Just think if they had to play someone else's guitar and amp!
 

Winegums

Silver Member
As drummers we have the crap end of the stick when it comes to house kits. Sometimes the house kit isn't so bad and it's setup 95% the way you want minus adjusting snare, hats and throne. BUT the last place I played at was pretty terrible, taped up heads, a full laundry load in the kick, worn out heads, the second beater on the pedals was twisted at a 45 to the head and the right hand crash was about 1 foot farther away than it should have been.

Typically I like to do a full run down of a kit and be there with the other drummer(s) for sound check and the most common thing that is out on the kit is the heads are out of tune. I also will bring all my cymbals, three spare convertible boom stands, drum throne, snare and stand, and 4 sets of sticks.
 

mikel

Platinum Member
/\ This.

Why is it ok for the drummer to have to use, usually, rubbish backline kits when the other musicians would not use a no name guitar with an action 2 inches off the fretboard just because it was part of the gig.

I watched a local festival recently with lot of bands and they all set up there kits off stage and had them in place before the other members had finished tuning up. Its really not necessary.
.
 

alparrott

Platinum Member
Which is why 99% of the time I insist on bringing my own drums for a gig, and that remaining 1% of the time it's on a kit I've played on before.

Even in little hole-in-the-wall clubs with 10 minute changeovers, I was able to get my kit on and set and playable much faster than trying to shoehorn all my breakables onto someone else's kit.

In fact, on the local circuit several times I have been asked to provide the drumset because local folks know I take the time to tune the drums and they will be dependable and ready to mike up. I only tend to do this when I know every drummer on the bill, though. I have enough money issues without having to replace cymbals and heads someone else trashed.

The last time I "just brought sticks", this happened. Unsatisfactory!
 

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Winegums

Silver Member
/\ This.

Why is it ok for the drummer to have to use, usually, rubbish backline kits when the other musicians would not use a no name guitar with an action 2 inches off the fretboard just because it was part of the gig.

I watched a local festival recently with lot of bands and they all set up there kits off stage and had them in place before the other members had finished tuning up. Its really not necessary.
.
I have the mats that my drums sit on at home taped and marked where every stand sits exactly, same with my tom legs and other stands that need to be collapsed for transport. I can have the whole thing setup in 15 mins while being careful not to damage anything.
 

steadypocket

Gold Member
Like most of you, I can recount countless train wreck stories of situations when I used a backline kit that had no right to be provided on a professional stage. Played a festival this spring though when I had an unexpectedly pleasant experience. I showed up to play a big festival and much to my surprise, the backline kit consisted of a new DW Collector's Series kit, Zildjian K's, and even the kick pedal was a DW9000 series. I used my own snare just because. Couldn't believe my good fortune. What a pleasure to get out of dodge as soon as our set was over and actually mingle with the crowd. Doesn't happen often.
 
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