Christian Coma talks Vater in AP Mag

Vater Artist Christian Coma of Black Veil Brides spoke to Alternative Press Magazine about his favorite gear...his Vater 3A Nylon Tip Sticks. Check out this feature on page 24 of AP's April 2013 issue.

Posted by Chad on Friday, March 01, 2013 9:46 PM

NAMM 2013

The 2013 NAMM Show was another successful one for Vater! At the show, the New 5A Stretch, 7A Stretch, Whip Brush and Splashstick Rock were all officially introduced. The booth was packed all 4 days of the show with people coming by to check out the entire Vater Product line, picking up a copy the new 2013 catalog and checking out the new stick offerings. TONS of Vater Artists came by to show their love and support and to fill us in on what they have coming up in the new year. Our after show adventures were filled with hanging with friends and Vater Artists and catching some of the live performances that included some by Vater Artists Jen Lowe (who fronted her own band) Chris Dave and Drumheadz at the Sabain Live Party and much more. 


3 Part video series of our footage from the NAMM Show 2013 Floor 




Here's some pictures of some of the action at the Vater booth! 


New 5A Stretch and 7A Stretch making their debut on the booth wall!  


Mike Byrne [Smashing Pumpkins] meets Chris Dave [D'Angelo/Maxwell]  
Cyrus Bolooki [New Found Glory]  
  Brann Dailor [Mastodon] always excited to see his Vater 5B's!
Benny Cancino, Andrew Cook [A Rocket to the Moon], Aaron Montgomery [Trapt] and
Ryan Carman [Rocco Deluca and the Burden]  
  2 thumbs up from Mike Byrne [Smashing Pumpkins] and Brad Davis [Adventure Drums]
All visiting the Vater Booth at the same time were, Left to right: Jacqueline Cassell,
Jessica Goodwin [Diamonds Under Fire], Brad Davis [Adventure Drums] Dusty Watson [Dick Dale],
Branden Steineckert [Rancid], Cyrus Bolooki [New Found Glory], Jay Weinberg, 
Christian Poezach [Cirque du Soleil-Alegria], Eric Leiderman [Pearl Aday],
Kate Shellenbach [Luscious Jackson] and Didi Negron [Cirque du Soleil-Amaluna]
  Chaun Horton and Quinton Robinson catch up
  Didi Negron of Cirque du Soleil's Amaluna Show
  Evan Stone, John Cowsill [The Beach Boys], Xavier Muriel [Buckcherry], Erick Slick [Dr. Dog],
Nate Walker [Lit] and Ed Udhus [Zebrahead] 
  Jessica Goodwin [Diamonds Under Fire] with her Vater 5B's!
  Graham Hawthorne [David Byrne]
  Ilan Rubin [Paramore]
  Jen Lowe, Jeffrey Jones, Nick Oshiro [Blue Man Group] and Paul Bostaph
  Jeremy Stacey [Noel Galllagher's Flying Birds/Tom Jones]
  Kofi Baker, Jay Weinberg and Rancid's Branden Steineckert
Chris Korzin and Phil Ehart [Kansas]  
Mike Fuentes of Pierce The Veil  
Who's more shocked to be with the other one???  Mike Johnston [
with Brad Davis [Adventure Drums]
Mike Johnston [] with Serge Lysak [The Drum Lab]  
Miles McPherson [Kelly Clarkson, Isaias Gil and Sammy Balfour jacked with excitement!  
  Mona Tavakoli [Jason Mraz], Greg Clark Jr., Quinton Robinson and Manny Dominick
  Scott Pellegrom
  Scott Travis of Judas Priest
  Kate Shellenbach [Luscious Jackson]
  Sinbad and Fred Dinkins
Smitty Smith and Gorden Campbell 

Posted by Chad on Friday, February 22, 2013 11:22 PM

Gorden Campbell Releases New DVD

Vater Artist Gorden Campbell has relesed an exciting new educational DVD package, Secrets of the Working Drummer. Campbell’s resume—which includes Earth, Wind, and Fire; George Duke; Jessica Simpson; Ne-Yo; Whitney Houston; The American Idol Tour; Mary J. Blige; and Jonathan Butler—clearly illustrates his qualifications for creating such a DVD. The program contains advice and discussion on career-related topics often overlooked on other DVDs, as well as lots of great playing.

Among the many useful topics addressed in this package are the basic role of the drummer, the concept of pocket, learning basic song form, versatility (being able to play various styles), soloing in a musical situation, playing with a click, working with electronics, and conducting business professionally. These discussions are aimed at players of all levels who want to get more and better gigs. There are also informative and useful sections dealing with playing ballads, getting good tone from your drums, working with a group, and dealing with different types of gigs, from clubs to bus tours to sessions.

Interspersed among the educational segments are killer performances from Gorden and his group, The E&G Band, playing various song styles and grooves. There are also interview/advice segments from other famous working drummers, including Aaron Spears, Russ Miller, Will Kennedy, and a segment with jazz/fusion great George Duke, who also performs with Gorden.

Produced by Campbell and Eric Dorris and released on the Hudson Ltd. label, the main program of the DVD runs approximately one hour and 45 minutes, and is followed by extensive bonus footage including a detailed tour of Gorden’s gear (with explanations of the instruments) and a lengthy interview highlighting Gorden’s childhood, development, career, and more. Click here for more info and to purchase Secrets of the Working Drummer!



Posted by Chad on Tuesday, January 15, 2013 4:55 PM

2013 Grammy Nominations

Congratulations to all the Vater Artists who have been nominated for 2013 Grammy Awards!


Best Pop Solo Performance:

Adele-Live at the Royal Albert Hall [Derrick Wright]


Best Pop Duo/Group Performance:

Payphone-Maroon 5 [Matt Flynn]


Best Pop Vocal Album:

Stronger- Kelly Clarkson [Josh Freese and Miles McPherson]

Overexposed- Maroon 5 [Matt Flynn]


Best Hard Rock/Metal Performance:

Love Bites (So Do I)-Halestorm [Arejay Hale]


Best R&B Performance:

Gonna Be Alright (F.T.B.)-Robert Glasper Expirement [Chris Dave]


Best Traditional R&B Performance:

If Only You Knew- SWV [Mike Clemons]


Best R&B Album:

Black Radio-Robert Glasper Expirement [Chris Dave]


Best Country Solo Performance:

Blown Away-Carrie Underwood {Chris McHugh}


Best Gospel Album:

Jesus At The Center Live-Israel & New Breed [Mike Clemons]


Best Americana Album:

The Carpenter-Avett Brothers [Jacob Edwards]


The 55th Annual Grammy Awards will air at 8PM EST on February 10, 2013 on CBS



Categories: Awards | Artists
Posted by Chad on Thursday, December 06, 2012 5:36 PM

Deen Castronovo of Journey now with Vater

We are very pleased to announce that Deen Castronovo is now using Vater sticks.

Deen Castronovo was born in Westminster, California. Deen discovered the drums at age five and played his way through a long list of highly acclaimed bands. At 13, he had learned every song on Journey's album Infinity. Deen exploded on the scene with heavy rockers Bad English, led by his future Journey band mate Neal Schon. Bad English enjoyed great success throughout the late 80s and early 90s, all the while proving that Deen was a drumming force to be recognized. He has also released an instructional video entitled "High Performance Drumming". 


Photo: Steve Toomey 

Deen was the natural choice to join Journey when the band reformed and Steve Smith decided to continue on his path with Vital Information. For Deen, it was his dream gig and it's obvious by his enthusiasm on stage. Deen's solid back up vocals add another element to Journey's timeless music and he's a huge part of their continuing success, which includes receiving a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Deen has been touring around the world and recording with Journey for over 10 years.

Deen's other playing credits include Hardline, Ozzy Osbourne, Steve Vai, Black Sabbath bassist Geezer Butler's G/Z/R, Social Distortion, Neal Schon, Jonathan Cain, Paul Rodgers, Tony MacAlpine and a solo project entitled "Soul Sirkus" with Neal Schon, Marco Mendoza and Jeff Scott Soto.

Journey is one of the most popular American rock bands of all time, creating some of the best-known songs in modern music. They have continued to tour and record into the 21st century, and have never stopped creating vital music. Since the group's formation in 1973, the band has earned 19 Top 40 singles and 25 Gold and Platinum albums. The band's Greatest Hits album is certified 15 times Platinum, bringing Journey into the elite club of Diamond-certified album holders.

 Deen Castronovo is currently on tour with Journey and is using the Vater Power 5B in wood tip.


Posted by Chad on Monday, October 22, 2012 11:10 AM

Max Weinberg is now a Vater Artist

Vater is very pleased to announce that Max Weinberg, the legendary drummer for Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, has joined the Vater Artist Family!



In 1974, Max Weinberg was playing in pit bands for theatrical productions when he answered the Village Voice advertisement that requested a drummer capable of playing R&B and jazz for an immediate audition. Weinberg had never seen the E Street Band and was unfamiliar with most of their material.
He was, however, a talented drummer and possessed superior instincts. Legend has it that Max’s performance on “Let the Four Winds Blow” during his audition won him the job. Weinberg could easily play the beat for the song, but it was his ability to take cues from Springsteen — specifically, playing a rim shot when Bruce held up his hand to stop the band and then starting back into the song — that was most impressive.
Max joined the band at the same time as new pianist Roy Bittan, and the new lineup of the E Street Band went on to record some of Bruce’s best selling and most highly regarded albums. Mighty Max’s crisp, powerful drumming is a highlight of hits such as “Born in the U.S.A.,” as well as deeper album tracks such as “Candy’s Room.” 
Following the band’s breakup in 1989, he would find great success as the musical director and band leader for “Late Night with Conan O’Brien.” Having literally talked his way into the job following a chance meeting with O’Brien on a New York City street, Weinberg put together a top flight set of musicians to form the Max Weinberg Seven.
When the E Street Band reunited and proceeded to tour regularly in the 2000s, NBC allowed a special dispensation, permitting Max to take leaves of absence from the show in order to go on tour. When scheduling difficulties associated with O’Brien’s move to the “Tonight Show” forced Max to miss several E Street Band shows in 2009, Bruce chose Max’s son, Jay, to serve as a temporary replacement.
Max is currently on an arena tour with Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band in support of their new release, Wrecking Ball. Released on March 5, 2012, Wrecking Ball debuted at No.1 in 16 countries and was Springsteen's tenth No. 1 album in the United States, tying him with Elvis Presley for third-most No. 1 albums of all-time.
“We’re very excited and honored to welcome Max Weinberg into the Vater Family!” said Chad Brandolini, Vater’s Artist Relations Director.  “When Max and I started talking early in the year, he explained to me the importance of the feel that he was trying to get out of the drumsticks when he played. Kudos to Vater’s production manager, Billy Clark, and the guys in our factory, who quickly turned Max’s thoughts into a design that perfectly met what he had been searching for. We’re thrilled that Max’s stadium filling sounds now start with Vater sticks in his hands.” 



“Such a huge inspiration growing up watching him play. He will forever be one of my favorite drummers!”  -Nate Walker [Lit]
“Such raw, powerful, positive energy while maintaining an unsurpassed level of integrity and class. Sums him up both on and off stage.  He's been such a great influence on my life as a drummer and human being. A true mentor and role model." –Branden Steineckert [Rancid]

 "A drummer who's determination, incredible playing and charisma has led an amazing example of how to stand out from behind the kit and grasp many different opportunities in the world of music and show business" -John Fred Young [Black Stone Cherry]

"Watching him play for the first time was a revelation - he was a guy who had all the chops in the world but instead he favored grooving and serving the song. It changed the way I thought about approaching the drums and that’s the biggest compliment I can give!" -Eric Slick [Dr. Dog/Adrian Belew Trio] 

“He is a pivotal part of his band and a perfect fit for their music. Rock n' Roll’s busiest drummer! Period.” –Kevin Baldes [Bass player for Lit]

“To me, this drummer signifies the best qualities that any musician would look for, driving the band with a rock solid feel regardless of the musical style!” –James Harrison [Boise State University Drum Line]
"His drumming is like a velvet fisted steam engine that can seduce, provoke, and conjure any emotion known to man!!" –Dave Krusen
"This man's drumming is legendary and he will no doubt go down in our musical history books as an icon of rock-n-roll!" –George Sluppick [The Chris Robinson Brotherhood]
" An MVP in a band full of MVP's. A Marathon Man, a Superhero and one hell of a drummer." –Mike Levesque [Seven Mary Three/Independent]

"When I see a drummer go from being a cooperative, solid backbone of one group, to being a fun, outspoken leader of another group in a totally different style, I'm really impressed and humble myself to the guy. This dude does it well." -Sean Winchester [Everclear/Something Bot Metro]

“Whether you regard this legendary player as a drummer’s drummer or a fan favorite, he is always at the top of the list. His career has spanned decades and he has remained not only relevant but groundbreaking, influential and pioneering. His accolades are many and his accomplishments unmatched. This guy defines taking things to the max in everything he does.” –Kenny Livingston [Sugarcult]
 “The King of the Big Beat.” - Modern Drummer Magazine
 "An American drumming icon. Known by name to even non-drummers. I don't know if it get’s any cooler than that!" Jimmy Pemberton [Educator/Kiley Evans/Independent]
“The man, the myth, the monster drummer! I’ve had the pleasure of meeting him and watching him play up close before, and that was amazing. So happy that he’s now a part of the Vater family. “ –Morgan Rose [Sevendust]
“First time I saw him I was mesmerized by the razor sharp precision and execution he had on the drums. His form, charisma, and style is so killin! He is a master of his craft that far exceeds drumming!  We are blessed to have him as one of our drumming heroes!” –Mika Fineo
Powerful rock drumming that keeps the beat banging for hours on end…year after year after year!” –Billy Amendola [Modern Drummer Magazine]
“This gentleman has impeccable posture at the kit ...he's funny as hell..And swings like he's in a Big Band too..oh, wait...he is!” –Chad Smith [Red Hot Chili Peppers/Chickenfoot]
“One of the most iconic and successful drummers in American music history” –Tony Escapa [Ricky Martin/Franco De Vita]

Categories: Artists | Video
Posted by Chad on Thursday, September 27, 2012 11:17 AM

John Fred Young of Black Stone Cherry Joins Vater

We are very pleased to welcome John Fred Young of Black Stone Cherry to the Vater Artist Family. John Fred is now using the Vater XD5A in Wood tip.



Vater Artist Spotlight Video:




About Black Stone Cherry:

Deep down in Louisiana, close to New Orleans, rang like a Sunday morning church bell, calling on saints and sinners alike to free their minds and become part of the revolution. They came out of the Southern swamps, the California desert, the working class towns of the Midwest and all along the East Coast. Loud guitars and larger than life drumming came together with storytelling poetry. Rebel-ism gave birth to rock “n’ roll. Every few years or so, a special batch comes up from the ground, to serve as a beacon. Black Stone Cherry has arrived with their second Roadrunner Records release, Folklore and Superstition.

"There is a mystique with folklore and superstition," says Black Stone Cherry drummer John Fred Young. "We're intrigued by and interested in history, roots and heritage, and we incorporate that into the band." The ability to tell compelling stories and lyrical tales isn't the only thing that Black Stone Cherry brings to the table. The band can churn out riffs that'll put hair on your chest. They crank out choruses that are fit for a fist-raising rebel rousing and still keep the beauty of a Sunday morning back porch service. Folklore and Superstition isn't just a Southern rock record. It's an American rock n’ roll record.

The album is a timeless work by American pied pipers destined to take their music from the back roads of America to the four corners of the globe. "We are taking Southern tradition and giving a taste to the rest of the world," says bassist/vocalist Jon Lawhon.

Black Stone Cherry didn't stray too far away from home to record the album. The band wrote all the songs in the infamous Practice House, an old farmhouse used by John Fred’s father and uncle to write Grammy winning albums for The Kentucky Headhunters. A song like “Soul Creek” fills the room with its vintage arena rock sound yet was born where the band held bonfires around a creek across the road.

The band enlisted famed rock producer Bob Marlette (Ozzy, Shinedown) and headed to Nashville’s Blackbird Studio that has housed everyone from Kid Rock to The Raconteurs, just 85 miles from their hometown of Edmonton, Kentucky. “We incorporated regional sounds into the mix throughout the album,” says Young. The band used turkey calls, a banjo and a washtub basin, among other things. Jon Lawhon recalls, "I made a washtub bass out of a tub, a broom handle and nylon rope!" Clearly, the band shyed away from absolutely nothing when it came time to explore and experiment. "We didn't want to leave any door unopened while recording," says guitarist/vocalist Ben Wells.

Years of touring in support of their self-titled debut helped inspire and direct Black Stone Cherry's worldview when it came time to write the new album. The band traveled extensively outside the United States during the tour cycle on their 2006 self-titled debut. This allowed them to stretch their creative muscle and flap their musical wings even higher, with songs like "Please Come In" and “Sunrise” that show the band's growth and diversity.

"This album has allowed us to dig deep into our roots," continues Young. "It also shows the influences of the songwriting. Our band is a positive band and we try to write songs that are uplifting. We also have a very big storytelling side which comes through on the songs 'Ghost of Floyd Collins’ and ‘Reverend Wrinkle.’"

Vocalist/guitarist Chris Robertson reflects on the process, saying, “Starting out as a band seven years ago, with high hopes and even bigger dreams, I honestly believe this record shows the experience of our past travels, and gives a hint of the future. It captures all the energy and heart that make up Black Stone Cherry. We took some chances on this album and I believe that our fans will appreciate seeing the other sides of the band that they may or may not have known existed.”

Guitarist/vocalist Ben Wells comments on the band’s expansion of its sound and subject matter, saying "The songwriting took on a life of its own, as the structures of the songs themselves have grown so much from touring. We have so much more to talk about and can use the things we picked up musically.” He admits the band also kept the ladies in mind this time around, recalling, “On the last album, girls would come up to us and say, 'You have songs for guys, so where are our songs?’ So we have a song called 'You' on this album, which is a timeless ballad."

The band’s family and friends are another influence. "Long Sleeves" is told from the viewpoint of a friend who took part in the battle of Mogadishu as featured in the film “Black Hawk Down,” while "Things My Father Said" is a ballad that hits home with people from all walks of life.

From the eerie swagger of “Devil’s Queen” to the tell tale rocker “Blind Man” to the triumphant stomp of the anthem “Soul Creek,” Black Stone Cherry say the trick to Folklore and Superstition is simply brotherhood, family, friends and home; no more, no less.

Posted by Chad on Tuesday, September 11, 2012 11:35 AM

Jose Pasillas of Incubus Videos

We caught up with recently new Vater Artist Jose Pasillas II of Incubus at the first stop of the 2012 Honda Civic Tour in Boston. Jose took a few minutes out of his crazy schedule that day to talk about why he moved over to Vater and also answered the questions that were submitted on Vater's Facebook Fan Page and Twitter Page

Jose Pasillas Vater Artist Spotlight Video:


While we were there, we had our long time friend and Jose's Drum Tech, Sean Bates, talk about working for Jose, what his daily schedule is like, Jose's kit set up, maintanence, how he got into drum teching and more!Check that video out here:

Sean Bates Vater Video: 

Posted by Chad on Monday, September 10, 2012 12:11 PM

Brittany Harrell In the Studio

Brittany Harrell of Veara checked in with us from the studio where she's finished tracking drums for Veara's upcoming release:

"I just wanted to give everyone out there an update on recording the new Veara record! First off, everything is sounding absolutely AMAZING!!! I can't tell you enough how sick this record is going to be. Working with Dan Korneff has been un-real. He's a great dude and a super solid producer. We're doing things on this record that I could have never dreamed of!

We recorded the drums in a big empty warehouse next door to the studio. We set up room mics, as well as the mics on the kit, in various parts of the warehouse to get that all natural reverb. The drums sound friggin' HUGE!! The drum set I recorded on was an old Tama w/ a Pearl Vinnie Paul sig snare and we used my SJC floor tom. I used all my hardware and cymbals. And of course I rocked out with my Vater Universal model sticks!

We would pre-pro a song in a room with the whole band and Dan then we'd immediately go to the big warehouse where the drums were set up and track it. That way the song would be fresh in my mind with the new arrangements, fills, etc. We did this for about a week and half. I'd usually get two songs done a day depending on how well pre-pro went. I was playing drums for 14hrs a day for that whole week and half. My sticks held up so awesome! That's why Vater is the best, haha. I can bang the living crap out the drums for 14hrs a day and my Vaters take the abuse great!



So we're nearing the end of recording now. We have all the basics done pretty much. Now were onto reviewing the songs and figuring out what else the songs need. Adding in extra vocals/harmonies, guitars, percussion, gang vox, etc.

The new record will be our 2nd release out on Epitaph Records! It's expected to drop the beginning of next year. Be sure to check back with Veara on all of our social networking sites for updates on the new record, tour dates, etc. This record is going to be amazing and I can't wait for y'all to get to hear it!"

-Brittany Harrell [Veara]



Posted by Chad on Thursday, August 23, 2012 10:10 AM

When You've Found The Right Stick, It Really Hits You: New Ad

Readers of Modern Drummer Magazine or Drum! Magazine, have been seeing a brand new Vater Ad that features Mike Johnston. The new ad entitled: "When You've Found The Right Stick, It Really Hits You!" has been gettting a lot of attention and creating quite a buzz already! The most heard comment is: "Is that picture REAL!?" And the answer is: YES! The ad is pictured below and there is also a brief video with great info and footage on how photographer Sasha Leahovcenco capured the shot that you see in the ad. 

Here's a bit about the ad from Mike:

"So about 2 months ago I did a shoot for a new VATER Drumsticks ad at this scary abandoned sugar mill. It was definitely the scariest location I had ever been on, lol. My photographer, Sasha Leahovcenco, had this idea that he wanted tons of sticks just floating around me and flying right at my face, and me looking as non frightened as possible right before they all hit me, lol. The concept of the ad was to show every model of stick that VATER makes flying in the air and for me to be holding my signature sticks. We wanted to show that with the huge variety of sticks that VATER makes, there is one model that is just right for you. In my case it's the 2-4-5-1's but I want everyone to find their "perfect stick". Sasha is very big on doing shots that look fully Photoshopped, but doing them for real. Here is the shot. Hope you like it! " -Mike Johnston


Behind the Scenes Video:




Educator Mike Johnston's 2451 Model is a great all-around design that can be used in any musical style. It has a grip size between a 5A and 5B with a gradual taper to a barrel tip for ride cymbal definition. The gradual taper gives the model a fantastic and quick feel around the kit.
The 2451 model is available in both Hickory and Sugar Maple. The Sugar Maple version is perfect for lower volume and lesson room type settings, while the Hickory version is the right choice for live and harder hitting performance settings.


Posted by Chad on Wednesday, July 11, 2012 11:34 AM
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