Drummers who have changed brand affiliation the most??

Lee-Bro

Senior Member
International back-line support and the ability for a working drummer to have access to the gear he/she needs or regularly uses on tour can be a huge factor.
 

bermuda

Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
Staff member
International back-line support and the ability for a working drummer to have access to the gear he/she needs or regularly uses on tour can be a huge factor.

I believe every major brand is represented on every continent. You'd have to be playing a really niche brand to not be able to source gear almost anywhere in the world.

I appreciate that backline is sometimes a necessity, and that drummers have genuine preferences. I don't understand why a drummer who loves a brand so much would simply abandon it just because they can't have those kits waiting around the globe. In that event, they should strive to bring their own gear so they can always be sure they're playing what they like. Yeah, it's costly to ship excess gear. The drummer and their band then need to decide if the expense is really justified. (Good luck with that! ?)
 

DrumEatDrum

Platinum Member
One of the weirdest hopping was that of McBrain. Sonor, Premier, then... back to Sonor for... Three months? And then British Drum Company.
Well to be fair, Nicko didn't leave Premier, they left him.

Premier had significant financial struggles and was unable to offer support. Premier essentially went out of business, and what was left was sold off to new owners. Nicko had little choice but to find a new company.

And if I recall (and maybe someone can verify or correct me) the British Drum Company is run by former Premier people, so in a way, it's not an entirely new endorsement.
 

s1212z

Well-known member
Matt Chamberlain seems to change every couple of years or so.

Craviotto to Gretsch to A&F I believe...pretty quick. Never understood Vinnie's brief jump from Gretsch to Ludwig and right back to Gretsch, that was pretty weird as was the Gretsch return video that was cringy. Dave Lombardo was with Ludwig really briefly too and jumped right back with Tama.
 

PaisteGuy

Well-known member
Craviotto to Gretsch to A&F I believe...pretty quick. Never understood Vinnie's brief jump from Gretsch to Ludwig and right back to Gretsch, that was pretty weird as was the Gretsch return video that was cringy. Dave Lombardo was with Ludwig really briefly too and jumped right back with Tama.

Lombardo went to ddrum for a while first before Ludwig. He didn’t stay to long with them (Ludwig) before going back to Tama.
 

DrumEatDrum

Platinum Member
I doubt anyone comes close to Carmine Appice for brand-hopping endorsements.

This.

Ludwig, Slingerland, back to Ludwig I think, Pearl, Premier, Mapex, then Ddrum, and back to the new Slingerland. His website currently says Ddrum (again?)

And on Cymbals, he went from Paiste to Zildjian, to Sabian to Istanbul. His website says he's back with Sabian now.

On sticks, he went from Regal Tip to Vic Firth.

On heads, he went from Ludwig to Remo to Aquarian, and now with Evans.

I'm just really surprised he never had a stint with Tama.
 

bermuda

Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
Staff member
Ludwig, Slingerland, back to Ludwig I think,

Definitely not back to Ludwig, although he really genuinely wants to be playing them. And although he was cut from the roster for an almost laughable reason now and it shouldn't be held against him, his hopping from brand to brand has hurt his credibility as an endorser. I would be very surprised if Ludwig had him back.

He is indeed back with Sabian, but isn't getting special treatment.
 

DrumEatDrum

Platinum Member
Definitely not back to Ludwig, although he really genuinely wants to be playing them. And although he was cut from the roster for an almost laughable reason now and it shouldn't be held against him, his hopping from brand to brand has hurt his credibility as an endorser. I would be very surprised if Ludwig had him back.

He is indeed back with Sabian, but isn't getting special treatment.
I meant back in the 1970s. He was with Ludwig in the 60s, then briefly with Slingrrland, but I swear he went with Ludwig again before switching to Pearl in the early 80's.

The fact that Sabian took him back is special treatment enough!
 

mpthomson

Senior Member
Well to be fair, Nicko didn't leave Premier, they left him.

Premier had significant financial struggles and was unable to offer support. Premier essentially went out of business, and what was left was sold off to new owners. Nicko had little choice but to find a new company.

And if I recall (and maybe someone can verify or correct me) the British Drum Company is run by former Premier people, so in a way, it's not an entirely new endorsement.


The gentleman who owns Premier and is now the sole director, Ken Tonkin, has owned it for the better part of a decade. During the early part of Tonkin's ownership Keith Keogh, who is the builder behind BDC was running KD Drums, based in Stockport near Manchester. When Premier moved all of their manufacturing to Taiwan they decided that they wanted a more bespoke and British type offering and basically subsumed KD drums, setting them up in a factory just north of Manchester with snares introduced in 2012 and kits and in time for the 2013 catalogue. All the One series/later Modern Classic drums and kits are fundamentally KD Drums builds with a different badge.

However as I understand it (happy to be corrected re this) Nicko's last couple of Premier kits were Taiwanese shells, with outsourced wraps from a UK designer (this continued with the Sonor and BDC kits), other than his signature sycamore snare which he'd worked with Keith on. At least one of these kits was recycled with new wraps for a different tour. He's on record as wanting to use British drums if possible so I suspect Sonor was always just a holding exercise until BDC had enough support and distribution to properly support him on tour.

Keith and co parted ways with Premier after a relatively short period and formed BDC in late 2015 with financial backing from a successful UK comedian called Al Murray. Premier still just about exists, producing marching gear and orchestral stuff in small quantities, though many pipe bands and UK military bands that for decades used Prem stuff have now moved to BDC too. They haven't produced kits in any real number since 2015 and haven't had kit distribution in any major market since a similar time.
 
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Lee-Bro

Senior Member
I believe every major brand is represented on every continent. You'd have to be playing a really niche brand to not be able to source gear almost anywhere in the world.

I appreciate that backline is sometimes a necessity, and that drummers have genuine preferences. I don't understand why a drummer who loves a brand so much would simply abandon it just because they can't have those kits waiting around the globe. In that event, they should strive to bring their own gear so they can always be sure they're playing what they like. Yeah, it's costly to ship excess gear. The drummer and their band then need to decide if the expense is really justified. (Good luck with that! ?)

Derp, you're right. I was thinking more along the lines from boutique to major brand changes, not so much major brand to major brand. There must be a synapse wiring problem on my end.
 
So to summarize we have these factors: money, product quality, relations with employees, infrastructure / distributors in other countries, the chance to do clincics and design their own drums. I don't care if a drummer switches brands often (Danny Gottlieb comes to mind - Premier, Ludwig, Basix, Drumcraft) - the reasons to switch are purely their own and it doesn't influence what I want to buy.
If anything, I might even be put off by too much advertising and endorsing every Tom, Dick and Harry. That leads to higher costs for us regular guys and I'm cheap. :D
 

Sakae2xBopster

Well-known member
It's been a long time since an artist was paid directly to endorse a brand.
I've been wondering about the current state of endorsements, especially given the financial challenges of the acoustic drum market over the past few years.
What do endorsers get these days, basically a free kit? And what are they expected to do in return? With the concert scene all but dead for the moment, they can't really show their kits out there in live venues.
 

bermuda

Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
Staff member
What do endorsers get these days, basically a free kit? And what are they expected to do in return?

More from my FAQ:

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS TO THE ENDORSER?
In exchange for the drummer's endorsement, the drummer can expect "consideration" in the form of discounts on the product endorsed (and possibly on other products from the manufacturer). Based on the level of exposure the drummer can provide, the agreement may include free product, however there is generally a limit to the amount and frequency of such consideration. Other agreements may include exchanging old product for new, and in some instances, product is simply loaned as necessary. High-profile drummers may be compensated in addition to product consideration. The specific product may also govern the consideration. That is, a drummer is more likely to get free sticks from a stick manufacturer, than to get free drums from a drum manufacturer. The amount and type of consideration is usually proportionate to the marketing value of the endorser to the manufacturer.

Another valuable benefit is the "support" offered by the manufacturer. An endorser will enjoy better pricing, and usually faster service than at almost any retail store. This is especially important for the traveling drummer, where needed product may be unavailable in local stores.

The drummer may also have their name and/or photo used in the manufacturer's product literature and advertising campaigns.

Occasionally, the drummer may be involved with R&D (research and development) regarding the manufacturer's products, and may become an integral part of the manufacturing process.

WHAT DOES THE MANUFACTURER EXPECT FROM THE ENDORSER?
Since the manufacturer seeks exposure via the endorser, the endorser is expected to be seen using, and/or pictured with, the product. Sometimes clinics are arranged so that the endorser can help spread the word on a more personal level. For endorsers who do recordings, a 'thank you' or mention in the liner notes is customary. Traveling endorsers may be asked to accommodate manufacturer employees or representatives at performances. The endorser may be asked for R&D (research and development) input on the manufacturer's products. Schedules permitting, the endorser may be asked to demonstrate and represent the manufacturer's product at trade shows or conventions such as NAMM and PASIC. And of course, the endorser is expected to say nice things about the product and manufacturer in person and online.
 

Paul Blood

Junior Member
I've been wondering about the current state of endorsements, especially given the financial challenges of the acoustic drum market over the past few years.
What do endorsers get these days, basically a free kit? And what are they expected to do in return? With the concert scene all but dead for the moment, they can't really show their kits out there in live venues.

YouTube and other online platforms?
 

Paul Blood

Junior Member
More from my FAQ:

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS TO THE ENDORSER?
In exchange for the drummer's endorsement, the drummer can expect "consideration" in the form of discounts on the product endorsed (and possibly on other products from the manufacturer). Based on the level of exposure the drummer can provide, the agreement may include free product, however there is generally a limit to the amount and frequency of such consideration. Other agreements may include exchanging old product for new, and in some instances, product is simply loaned as necessary. High-profile drummers may be compensated in addition to product consideration. The specific product may also govern the consideration. That is, a drummer is more likely to get free sticks from a stick manufacturer, than to get free drums from a drum manufacturer. The amount and type of consideration is usually proportionate to the marketing value of the endorser to the manufacturer.

Another valuable benefit is the "support" offered by the manufacturer. An endorser will enjoy better pricing, and usually faster service than at almost any retail store. This is especially important for the traveling drummer, where needed product may be unavailable in local stores.

The drummer may also have their name and/or photo used in the manufacturer's product literature and advertising campaigns.

Occasionally, the drummer may be involved with R&D (research and development) regarding the manufacturer's products, and may become an integral part of the manufacturing process.

WHAT DOES THE MANUFACTURER EXPECT FROM THE ENDORSER?
Since the manufacturer seeks exposure via the endorser, the endorser is expected to be seen using, and/or pictured with, the product. Sometimes clinics are arranged so that the endorser can help spread the word on a more personal level. For endorsers who do recordings, a 'thank you' or mention in the liner notes is customary. Traveling endorsers may be asked to accommodate manufacturer employees or representatives at performances. The endorser may be asked for R&D (research and development) input on the manufacturer's products. Schedules permitting, the endorser may be asked to demonstrate and represent the manufacturer's product at trade shows or conventions such as NAMM and PASIC. And of course, the endorser is expected to say nice things about the product and manufacturer in person and online.

I've known "high profile" drummers that get basically everything for free, and other "low profile' guys that get good discounts. As far as I know, nobody gets paid.
 
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