Flaming Drum Sticks

Daphfz

Senior Member
Hey guys!

I'm performing with my band in a couple of weeks at a talent show and I had this idea after watching a few drum line vids of a group called 'top secret', I believe there are a few vids of them on this forum.

My idea is to light the shoulder/body of my drum sticks on fire while playing on a marching snare drum after we perform (my guitarist likes to solo for a min or so after we finish the song, which would give me time to light them).

Does anyone know what liquid/compound I can/should use to do this? because I cannot think of anything that wont go out from the constant fast motion.

And before anyone says the obvious, I will be using a my steel snare drum with a cheap 2-ply snare head and will have a fire blanket on the ground next to me to smother the flame out as soon as I am finished, not to mention someone standing by with a fire extinguisher and I'll be wearing fire-resistant gloves.

Dave.
 

Naigewron

Platinum Member
Eric Singer does this sometimes, see this video (starts at about 0:50):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t6WvVhX6x20

He seems to use either mallets or sticks wrapped with some cotton-like material (dipped in lighter fluid or soemthing like that I'm guessing). He's definitely much more careful than when playing with regular sticks (which lessens the impact of flaming sticks a lot, at least for me), but it seems to work fairly well.

You might be better off going for sparklers instead, like Christoph Schneider used to do when Rammstein played "Engel" back in the 90s (sparks start to fly at around 2:50):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q-QQt7z1R3o

In both cases you'll need to be extremely careful, though. The sparklers can easily spray into your eyes (or the eyes of a bandmember), and flaming sticks can cause serious damage to drumheads (not to mention the obvious hazard of actually setting stuff on fire). You'll also need to get permission from the venue before attempting these kinds of stunts, or you can be pretty sure you'll never be invited back there again. As far as I know, venues need to have special permission from the fire department to allow bands to use any kind of pyrotechnics as part of their act.
 

Daphfz

Senior Member
Eric Singer does this sometimes, see this video (starts at about 0:50):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t6WvVhX6x20

He seems to use either mallets or sticks wrapped with some cotton-like material (dipped in lighter fluid or soemthing like that I'm guessing). He's definitely much more careful than when playing with regular sticks (which lessens the impact of flaming sticks a lot, at least for me), but it seems to work fairly well.

You might be better off going for sparklers instead, like Christoph Schneider used to do when Rammstein played "Engel" back in the 90s (sparks start to fly at around 2:50):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q-QQt7z1R3o

In both cases you'll need to be extremely careful, though. The sparklers can easily spray into your eyes (or the eyes of a bandmember), and flaming sticks can cause serious damage to drumheads (not to mention the obvious hazard of actually setting stuff on fire). You'll also need to get permission from the venue before attempting these kinds of stunts, or you can be sure you'll never be invited back there again.

Thanks for the links :) And yeah that's why i'll be using my steel snare so the drum cant catch on fire and a crappy 2-ply head so that if it gets damaged I'm not worried lol. The sparklers look cool, but I think there is alot more risk involved with them than there would be fire as it's only a smallish stage and there will be tech crew like 3 metres from me.
 

Naigewron

Platinum Member
Thanks for the links :) And yeah that's why i'll be using my steel snare so the drum cant catch on fire and a crappy 2-ply head so that if it gets damaged I'm not worried lol. The sparklers look cool, but I think there is alot more risk involved with them than there would be fire as it's only a smallish stage and there will be tech crew like 3 metres from me.
Well, just make sure you don't assume that everything will go perfectly. You might drop a stick (or break it), meaning the flaming stick could go just about everywhere. You say you'll be using a steel snare, but what about the floor? Will your kit be on a rug? Maybe a rug made of synthetic fibres? What about your toms and kick; they'll probably still be made of wood, right? What will be behind you? Maybe a dusty old stage curtain? How far above you will the lights hang? And like I said, make damn sure the venue allows pyrotechnics, and check local rules. Some places might require anyone handling pyrotechnics as part of a performance to have special training and/or permission.
 

Daphfz

Senior Member
Well, just make sure you don't assume that everything will go perfectly. You might drop a stick (or break it), meaning the flaming stick could go just about everywhere. You say you'll be using a steel snare, but what about the floor? Will your kit be on a rug? Maybe a rug made of synthetic fibres? What about your toms and kick; they'll probably still be made of wood, right? What will be behind you? Maybe a dusty old stage curtain? How far above you will the lights hang? And like I said, make damn sure the venue allows pyrotechnics, and check local rules. Some places might require anyone handling pyrotechnics as part of a performance to have special training and/or permission.
that's true, I will make a list of things to check and get a friend of mine who is a fireman to help me out. Thanks mate :)
 
Mate, all the best in your project but first and foremost: Safety (You, band, audience, place). You want to avoid an Smoke On The Water II.

- Prevention.
- Fire Dept. consultancy.
- Checklist to assure things are OK.
- Personal Protective Equipment to wear (PPE).
- Make a Hazard Analysis and Risk Control.

Good luck!
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
One thing, I would practice this first. You don't want the first time to be at the performance. This way you will know what to expect. This has all the earmarks of a potential disaster. And you will be inspiring young and impressionable kids to follow suit, possibly with hazardous results.
 

Deathmetalconga

Platinum Member
This sounds like a nice idea and has been done many times successfully before, but after the 2003 Great White disaster, I can't see how any venue or fire department is going to let you do something like this.
 

Naigewron

Platinum Member
This sounds like a nice idea and has been done many times successfully before, but after the 2003 Great White disaster, I can't see how any venue or fire department is going to let you do something like this.
He's in Australia; I'm guessing not too many non-musicians ever heard of the Great White incident there.
 

azrae1l

Silver Member
lighter fluid i wouldn't use,burns too quick and hot. i'm assuming you want it to last for at least a minute or so, i would use something like sterno. thick jell, doesn't burn very fast, readily available at most stores that carry camping equipment, cheap. yeah, have somebody stand by with a fire extinguisher just in case, wear thick fire resistant gloves, sell some in the cooking section of most stores.
 

jeffwj

Platinum Member
I know that here in the US you could end up in jail for something like that. Pyrotechnics are something to be handled by people who are experts in that field. Even the bands that use them need to have permits and licensed technicians on hand. I have the feeling that you are trying to do this as a surprise, but you could be the one that is surprised with fines, legal implication, or worse.

Not to mention the fact that if the smoke detectors or sprinklers go off, the place will be evacuated and the fire company will respond - fire or not.

Jeff
 

braincramp

Gold Member
I've done this with lighter fluid on mallets... I would have 2 coffee cans #1 with lighter fluid the mallets would soak in and #2 with water. I would only hit my cymbals for about 1 minute or so with the lights down..too scared to hit my drums.. had a roadie light the mallets for me then I'd dunk them in the can of water.. I'm 48 I did this when I was around 21...yeah the good old hair band dayz.................but thats another thread.... by the way this was a bad idea when I was 18 and even worse one now
 
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zakhopper316

Silver Member
i think you should go for it, just be careful, think ahead, don't keep it a secret, and practice this! i don't think you will end up in jail, lighting to drum sticks on fire is hardly "pyrotechnics"
honestly i think you might have a hard time keeping them lit
if you have that fire blanket and a friend with a fire extinguisher i think you will be ok.
 
C

Crazy8s

Guest
Great White....

Its not worth it. Get lighted drumsticks instead.
 

zakhopper316

Silver Member
what is great white?

also does anyone here music and jojo mayer talking about his lifestyle when they opened this thread
its coming through my computer speakers and freaking me out.
 

Aeolian

Platinum Member
This is why I get nervous every time someone starts a "sound proofing" thread and people chime in with all kinds of very flammable "solutions", like carpet, egg cartons, mattress toppers and so on. While I don't think anyone is going to be setting off pyrotechnics in their basement studio, a faulty guitar amp or any little thing could set off something similar.

Pyrotechnics is a profession. I knew folks in Hawaii who did the flaming knives thing and I've been in a couple of shows where pyro was done (smells awful and makes it really hard to sing). In other words, I know how it's done, but I'm not putting it up on the internet. This is not something to be treated lightly. Getting a spot on Tosh.O isn't worth the people that could get hurt.
 
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