Kit Chat with Brooks Wackerman



© Paul Hebert/Corbis

Brooks Wackerman is back in the UK this week with Jack Black-led comedy rockers Tenacious D, so we've dusted off some gear chat with the sticksman.

What was the first kit you ever owned?
"It was a Remo kit. My first endorsement was Remo. I was a big Terry Bozzio fan and he used Remo so that's why."

Is there anything unusual about your set-up?
"I reverse the floor toms so it goes 10", 12" (rack), 16", 14". It makes it interesting. It makes the listener perk up a bit. In the studio I'm always changing things up, I'll switch my rack toms around."

If you were restricted to one set of hi-hats, one crash and one ride what would you choose?
"Probably what I have up there. My hi-hats are also huge. They're not even hi-hats. I have an 18" Constantinople crash on top and the bottom is an 18" ride. My friend Ronnie Vannucci had that set and when I went to his house and played his hats I was intrigued. They're really easy to play because the diameter of the Constantinople is thinner than a 14" regular hi-hat so it has this swish to it. It just gives more options to play on that hat because it's 18". People are pretty blown away by how musical they are. Ride is hard because I use a 22" crash ride on certain songs and then a 22" A on certain songs. Probably the 22" A Custom. Crash is the 18" K Session."

Do you have a set tuning routine?
"Pretty much by ear. I've never used one of those tension things or anything. Luckily all my techs I've used have had a great ear for where the toms and snare should be. For snare I like a lot of crack, but not too high."

Are you a collector of kits?
"Slowly. I'm a slow collector. I want to get more. I have probably 15 snare drums now. I've got to get more into vintage stuff."

Do you prefer modern or vintage gear?
"In the studio I'll get into some of the vintage stuff but on tour for dependability it's always new D stuff. Plus DW drums sound amazing. I have no beef about that."

Is there a piece of kit you couldn't live without?
"My drum throne. I could not do a set without the drum throne. That's my most valued piece."

Rich Chamberlain

Rich is a teacher, one time Rhythm staff writer and experienced freelance journalist who has interviewed countless revered musicians, engineers, producers and stars for the our world-leading music making portfolio, including such titles as Rhythm, Total Guitar, Guitarist, Guitar World, and MusicRadar. His victims include such luminaries as Ice T, Mark Guilani and Jamie Oliver (the drumming one).