While in the States last week I went to visit C&C Custom Drums in Gladstone, Missouri, just outside Kansas City for a full day. It was a great hang out with the thriving father-son business of Bill and Jacob Cardwell.
The guys began making drums in the late 90s when they recognised a niche in the market for drummers who loved vintage drums but needed durability and reliability for touring and recording sessions.
The C&C logo has been showing up all over the place. Among their quickly-growing band/artist roster are the drummers of Arcade Fire, The Shins, Flaming Lips, The National, Modest Mouse, Grizzly Bear, Paul Simon, Midlake, My Morning Jacket… and that’s only keeping it brief.
While at their shop they took me through every element of building the kit. Eight people work at C&C and all are drummers except for one – Brian Anderson, who is the shell builder. It was great watching him building three ply shells, while he talked me through every detail.
I then watched and talked to everyone as they worked away passionately on the drums. Bill was doing 10 jobs at once; spraying a kit in a green sparkle finish and picking finishes for new snare wraps, which he asked my opinion on, and I chose a different, off-kilter mix. Jake was forming the bearing edges on a new custom kit being finished for the Sigur Ros drummer Orri Páll Dýrason.
It was a pleasure and a privilege to experience a ‘day in the life’ of the C&C workshop. I play my drums in a different light now after seeing how they were handcrafted.