Nine Inch Nails drummer Ilan Rubin makes statement regarding Q Drum Co. probate lawsuit

Ilan Rubin performs on Late Night With Seth Myers
(Image credit: Lloyd Bishop/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)

Nine Inch Nails drummer, Ilan Rubin has addressed what he calls a “smear campaign” against him, centred around Q Drum Co. —the drum brand that Rubin plays and is a partner in — and the estate of Q Drum Co. founder, Jeremy Berman, who passed away in January 2023.

The dispute emerged via social media, Reddit and a GoFundMe page that was set up when Jeremy Berman was first diagnosed with Stage 4 stomach cancer in 2022, and is the result of Ilan Rubin filing for a 'Probate - Other Probate' lawsuit relating to the Estate of Jeremy Berman. 

Brandi Booth, Berman’s partner and mother of the couple’s child took to social media as well as Berman’s GoFundMe page on July 2 to announce that Rubin has “filed a petition with the Superior Court to take complete control of all the remaining personal assets in our estate.”

Booth goes on to allege that Rubin’s legal representation has made “repeated false claims about me, like attempting to diminish my active role in Jeremy’s life for the past nearly 20 years” and that “Ilan’s litigious actions put the security and well-being of my family at risk”.

Meanwhile, friends and supporters of Booth started a now-deleted Reddit thread outlining details of the situation, as well as Booth’s side of the argument.

Ilan Rubin has made a public statement (transcribed below) via his Instagram account, claiming that after trying to deal with the situation amicably, he has been left with no other option than to start legal proceedings in order to resolve “loose ends” relating to Q Drum Co.

“Hello all. I feel like I need to share a perspective that has been sorely missed from a recent smear campaign. Please be aware that I have the FULL SUPPORT of Jeremy’s parents regarding this matter, and it means the world to me.

“I knew Jeremy for about 32 years and we were in business together for the last 10. He was a phenomenal guy and undoubtedly one of the world’s greatest drum builders. No question. He was a very close friend who I loved dearly. 

“After his death, all of the loose ends related to Q Drum Co. needed resolution and it fell to me. I tried to do it in a patient, polite, and understanding manner but it is an odd feeling when you get a notice of a warehouse lease termination out of the blue, only to find a workshop has been all but gutted. Still, I tried to handle things personally and directly, but eventually had to seek legal representation. 

“I’d like to take this moment to say that while I invested money into Q over the years, I never took out a penny. In the aftermath, I invested thousands more in legal counsel with nothing to gain other than the green light, based on our operating agreement, to deal with Q’s legal affairs in an above-board manner. 

“Nearly six months in, after having honestly tried absolutely every possible way to resolve this amicably, the final option left to me was tastelessly publicized on social media with the flashy words “lawsuit!” and “attempt to control estate!”. 

“The person on the other side of this dispute was told by a very well-respected lawyer that if she was willing to take on her appointed role and initiate probate proceedings we would be more than willing to discuss stepping away from the proceedings personally. 

“But she hasn’t taken steps to initiate probate and has instead put her energy into posting about it on social media for some inexplicable reason while making it sound like I am profiting from the petition (I am not!).

“I’m very thankful for the kind words I’ve received and truly appreciate the people who were able to see through the disparaging posts”.

Q Drum Co. employee, Roger Ko also weighed in, echoing Rubin's position via the updates section of Berman's GoFundMe page. Booth’s statements regarding the matter also linked to a public court case file, which shows a hearing is set for 21 July 2023 at Riverside County Superior Courts. 

Jeremy Berman began his career as a drum builder at OCDP (Orange County Drums and Percussion (Travis Barker, Joey Jordison, Abe Cunningham, Taylor Hawkins) in the ’90s.  

He went on to also forge a successful career as a drum tech, which he continued until his diagnosis. Q Drums was launched at the 2013 NAMM Show, and as well as Ilan Rubin, counts Muse’s Dom Howard and pop session drummer Adam Marcello (Katy Perry) among its artists. 

Jeremy Berman died on 9th January, 2013 following a short battle with cancer. He’s survived by Brandi Booth and his daughter, Brixton.  

Stuart Williams

I'm a freelance member of the MusicRadar team, specialising in drum news, interviews and reviews. I formerly edited Rhythm and Total Guitar here in the UK and have been playing drums for more than 25 years (my arms are very tired). When I'm not working on the site, I can be found on my electronic kit at home, or gigging and depping in function bands and the odd original project.