By Anna Pulley
Sum 41 drummer Frank Zummo and street artist Shepard Fairey have teamed up on a new drum set art piece with a message about the dangers of gun violence. The “Rise Above” kit was recently unveiled at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.
“The ‘Rise Above’ art piece deconstructs guns and re-purposes them from weapons into components of a mandala,” says Fairey, who is well-known for his OBEY Giant artwork as well as President Barack Obama’s HOPE campaign poster. “There is a power in making something beautiful out of ingredients that are cold and threatening. I hope the ‘Rise Above’ gun mandala can be a metaphor for spiritual transformation toward peace and harmony.”
The one-of-a-kind set is made by SJC Custom Drums and printed with dark, organic patterns and three-dimensional woodgrain mandalas on each shell. The snare drum has Fairey’s Obey Giant logos on the metal exterior of the shell.
In the wake of the horrific school shooting in Parkland, Florida this week, Zummo and Fairey’s message is apt and timely.
“I like to speak and express myself through drumming and wanted to really create a kit that had a very powerful and moving message,” says Zummo. “I called Shepard and expressed my thoughts and he sent over his ‘Rise Above’ piece and it was perfect, powerful, and had an incredible message. Shepard and I value human life and hope we all can rise above and stop this horrific gun violence.”
The idea for this kit, Zummo tells Drum!, started back in 2015. “I had just become an SJC artist and Sum 41 was about to release our 13 Voices record. We both felt the time was right to create this full art drum kit.”
Zummo continues, “It was very special and inspiring to play this kit every night on tour. Towards the end of our touring cycle, the Hard Rock called and asked if they could display this kit. It was an absolute honor and I sent the kit right out! Shepard then created eight hand-painted wooden panels for the drum riser that surround the ‘Rise Above’ drum kit display.”
Zummo and Fairey are currently working on their next drum kit collaboration, and, this summer, the duo and SJC will be releasing a limited edition art snare drum.
“Shepard and I will be donating all of our proceeds to the Silverlake Music Conservatory,” says Zummo.
Scroll through the gallery above to see details of the kit and Fairey’s ‘Rise Above’ artwork.’
Anna Pulley is associate editor for Drum! magazine. Follow her on Twitter @annapulley.