I met Todd Sucherman a few years back when he did a clinic at a local drumstore I worked for at the time. I will say first that I loved his playing (before I met him) and his kit too. Now, I'm not a real lover of large drum sets (having owned some and well, basically been lost behind them - the dreaded Cul-de-Sac (an English term for a short street that bends back on itself and doesn't go anywhere) fill appeared more than once at gigs) probably due to the gigs I do/did rather than an objection to them on a musical or visual basis. But, to see a Pearl Masterworks kit with a walnut burst finish covered with gold hardware and then surrounded by gleaming Sabian cymbals, well, that would turn the hardest minimalists heart.
The fact that I do have a certain desire for the acquisition of equipment (and in particular, snare drums) didn't hamper my liking of him as he does too (but on a much larger scale). All of his kit photos showed it all in prisitine condition - which may require a tip of the hat to his drum tech too - and this just re-enforced my opinion of him as anyone who knows me knows that I tend to look after my stuff.
To meet in him person was a joy. He was great to work with during the set up of the clinic, professional, unflappable and very approachable. He gave a great, inclusive, performance and all attendants left smiling with a plethora of things to work on.
Me? I left with his snare drum.
Todd has been know primarily in recent years for his playing with the stadium filling band Styx and within the drumming community for producing two comprehensive instructional DVD's 'Methods and Mechanics I and II'. These give us an insight into some of factors and techniques that put him where he is today (and also show his kits off in a gorgeous studio setting). Even if you don't feel like being 'instructed' they are great to watch and I would challenge anybody not to want to get on their kit afterwards (or during, which is my main problem in finishing watching drum DVD's).
He does like his cymbals too, using a selection of Sabians, mainly featuring from the mellow and vintage AA line and the cutting and bright AAX line.
So let's have a closer look at them shall we? (courtesy of www.sabian.com)
6" AA Splash
8" AAX Splash
9" Prototype Bell (there's that trip to Canada planned again)
10" AA Splash
14" AA Medium Hi-Hats
14" Artisan Hi-Hats (collective sigh!)
18" AAX V Crash
19" AAX V Crash
19" AAXtreme China
20" AAX V Crash
22" AAXtreme China
22" AAX V Crash (oh, yes!)
22" Vault Precision Ride
Check out Youtube (as usual, what did we do before this?) for clips of his live playing (Todd has his own channel) or search for recent concert clips of Styx ('Blue Collar Man') for a taster of the man in action.
If you'd like one of your favourite players featured in a future 'Cymbals of the Greats' then please get in touch via the usual channels.
Until next time, drop the volume, keep the feel and let's be musically careful out there.