Remo Tattoo Skyns
The tattoo business can never have been bigger than during the past decade. And companies offering to apply graphics to your bass drum head are everywhere. Putting the two together is a smart move by Remo.
Especially when it just so happens that punk drummer Corey Miller is also a renowned tattoo artist, known in the USA for his appearances on reality TV show LA Ink.
Corey already has form in the drum business with Ludwig marketing a Corey Miller Signature Element drum kit. And now Remo has turned to Corey for these Tattoo Skyn designs.
There are just three heads at present - a 22" bass drum and 13" and 14" snare batters. The 22" is a Powerstroke-3 resonant head which is a single-ply 10-mil film with a 10-mil inlay perimeter ring for overtone control. The 13" and 14" snare batters are Suede heads, which are single-ply 12-mil gauge.
All the heads utilise Remo's Skyndeep "proprietary imaging technology that enables the image to be permanently embedded into the structure of the film without affecting the sound quality of the drumhead".
Corey has come up with two designs, typical of his oeuvre - Serpent Rose and Skulls. Serpent Rose is a complex intertwining design which looks rather fetching, particularly on the bass drum in white against a black background. The Skulls and snare batters are all black on white. Again we're told that Miller is known for his use of blacks and greys.
They have a blue-ish tinge and slightly blurred edges - very much like tattoos on human skin in other words.
I put a 14" snare batter on my home kit for a few weeks and bashed it daily. The tattoo is around the head perimeter so it suffers your ghost stokes rather than your meaty centre backbeats. But as Remo attests, it seems that no amount of thrashing will damage the tattoo. It's like a real one on your body in fact!
Suede heads are 2-mil thicker than standard Ambassadors, extending durability and overtone control, useful since these will probably be played by metal heads rather than genteel jazzers. However, the Suede head is more subdued, less resonant and darker in tone than a standard Ambassador.
It has a more traditional, almost calf head dryness which you may or may not like.
Quality Remo heads. Cool designs.
Suede's not the obvious choice for hard-hitting rockers. Limited appeal. Expensive.
Since you're only likely to put £80-bass drum head on the front of your kick drum, you are never likely to play it - in which case you don't really need the expensive, high-tech Skyndeep process, and plenty of graphics companies will do it for far less. The snare batters are realistically priced, but they are Suedes, not the obvious choice for hard-hitting rockers, the most likely customers. These are proper Remo heads so the quality is assured, but inevitably they will have a limited appeal.
22" bass drum, single-ply 10-mil with 10-mil perimeter control ring: £80; 13" and 14" snare batters, single-ply 12-mil Suede: £19.99 and £21.50