A visit to the C&C Custom Drums workshop in Gladstone, Missouri

C&C Drums factory visit - Graham with staff

C&C Drums factory visit – Graham with staff

C&C Drums factory visit - Graham with staff

HARD TO BEAT: That’s me with the staff at C&C in their studio just outside Kansas City

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 front door of C&C Custom Drum Company

MEN AT WORK: Through the front door – I got a rare insight into the drum business

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.

C&C leave vintage inspiration on the wall. WFL, Ludwig, Slingerland, Rogers & more

PILED  HIGH: Vintage inspiration on the wall. WFL, Ludwig, Slingerland, Rogers & more

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.

C&C Drums factory visit

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.

Plies of wood waiting to be made into drum shells.

READY TO ROCK: Plies of wood waiting to be made into drum shells

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.

Jacob Cardwell forming the bearing edges on a new Sigur Ros drum

Jacob Cardwell forming the bearing edges on a new Sigur Ros drum

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.

Advertisements