BY NICOLAS GRIZZLE
Two custom drum companies have moved into new production facilities with increased capacity this summer. SJC opened in its larger production facility and showroom in Southbridge, Mass. and Doc Sweeney moved into a larger production space in Spokane, Wash.
SJC has quadrupled the size of its headquarters with the opening of the 60,000-square-foot facility in southern Massachusetts. The new space, which is just down the street from its previous location, also serves as the company’s showroom and an events space. Zach Matook, marketing manager at SJC, says the new showroom alone is as big as the entire former facility, and allows them to display custom kits they’ve made including for Green Day, Imagine Dragons, and Slipknot, all of which are currently highlighted in the showroom.
Sum 41 drummer Frank Zummo brought his Loyal To The Craft Tour to christen the space for the July 30 grand opening party. More than 100 people came out for the event and pop-up shop with SJC and Vans. “It was something new, but we now know there’s definitely a place for this,” says Matook. “It’s something we want to keep doing. We’re bringing it right to the people.”
The company plans to increase its workforce as it grows into the new space. Earlier this year, it brought in industry veteran John Shand as general manager overseeing all operations of the company.
Doc Sweeney has increased production on its steam-bent, one-of-a-kind kits with the opening of its larger Spokane, Washington facility in April. “We were struggling in the beginning to do one-and-a-half kits per month and a few snares,” says builder and founder Steve Stecher. Now they’re up to about six kits per month, with 10-15 additional snares. Since each drum is handcrafted start to finish, they’ve also brought on more experienced woodworkers to keep up with demand.
The company typically doesn’t re-make a specific kit, so each one is truly unique. Unlike ply or stave shells, steam-bent drums are made from one thick piece of timber, about one-half-inch thick, slowly bent over time. Doc Sweeney is known for using uncommon woods like tiger ash, rosewood, and myrtle.
The company also just released a new proprietary throw-off that will be used on all of its snare drums. The three-position DS1 is made of aircraft aluninum, uses a vertical switch, and has the same hole spacing as the popular Trick 007 previously used on Doc Sweeney drums (two holes 7/8” center-to-center vertically, butt plate two holes 1” center-to-center horizontally). It is available in chrome, black nickel, brass, and satin chrome finishes. As is all of their drums and most of their hardware, the DS1 is made in the USA.