A few months back, I was having lunch at a very cool taco joint in Nashville with my buddy and Meinl Cymbal artist Grant McFarland. Grant was in town with his band This or the Apocalypse on a tour stop. They arrived in town early, and Grant and I got a chance to go break bread together.
A bit of back story on Grant first...I met him through Meinl Cymbal artist Chris Adler of Lamb of God, as Chris was gearing up to co-produce the second and most recent album from This or the Apocalypse, "Haunt What's Left." Chris told me about Grant and basically said that there was so much about Grant's drumming that he admired. Naturally this prompted me to check him out. I agreed with Chris. Grant is a fun drummer to watch and listen to. I loaned Grant some cymbals for his recording session and after speaking a few times, we both felt it was the right move for him to come on-board as a Meinl Cymbal artist. I've been very pleased with that decision, because Grant is a forward-thinking drummer who has a bit of marketing savvy in him.
Marketing - I've mentioned this theme before in blogs about our some of our artists. It's a two way street. The artist/manufacturer relationship is all about...say it with me boys and girls...Gear support for marketability. REAL marketability. In this day and age, that means thinking outside the box. The traditional box for a long time has been things such as clinics and print ads. Don't get me wrong, those are still effective and we support clinics from many of our artists all the time and we still run many print ads world-wide. But there are more means at a company's disposal these days that help just as much. That's where my lunch with Grant turned interesting.
Grant had a cool idea for a video contest that he and Chris Adler could judge together. He wanted contestants to learn his drum parts to a song and then to record themselves playing those parts along to the song and upload them to a site where he and Chris could judge the entries and choose a winner. I loved this idea and we set about really fleshing it out to get all of the details in order. I think what we have come up with is one of the cooler and more fun things that Meinl has done in terms of working with an artist to help spread the gospel of Meinl. It's not revolutionary, but it is something that's not every day. In my mind, one of the coolest aspects about it is that an artist presented me with the idea and it was obvious that he thought about it because he cared about being a part of the team and doing what he could to spread the word.
The grand prize to all of this is a comprehensive set-up of the new Meinl Classics Custom Series Cymbals. These are the same type of cymbals that Grant is playing in the video he recorded. The only cymbals in the video that aren't Classics Custom are the two bells. Those are straight up Classics series, which are made of a B8 alloy, while the Classics Custom are made from our B10 alloy.
If you're not going to enter the contest, be sure and at least watch the video of Grant playing along to the guitar and bass tracks from TOTA's song "Toro." Again, Grant is a very cool drummer to watch and listen to and the Classics Custom cymbals are pretty awesome. I haven't had a chance to sit and play every one of them yet, but the other day I did find what was a stand out for me, and that is the set of 14" Medium hihats. Wow! These hats had some mid-range BEEF to them. But they also had a good clean stick definition and a nice chick. They're just bright enough to cut through, but no so bright that they hurt the ears. No overtones whatsoever either. Basically I decided I would need to buy a pair of them for myself...and the fact is that I get to hear ALL of our cymbals, so when one stands out enough that I have to buy it right away, I know that's a sign of a choice cymbal.
CLICK HERE to be redirected to the page that will get you started on this very cool contest, or to at least watch and listen to Grant and the Classics Custom Cymbals in action. I'm pretty excited to see what all of the drummers who enter come up with. Have fun and good luck!!!