Jessica Burdeaux is a rising star in the drumming community. The Chicago-based up-and-comer started turning heads through her @jburdsbeats Instagram feed a few years ago, and has since gone on to perform and tour with original indie rock act, City Mouth. She’s recently been featured in a few sound selection-centric informative videos created by Reverb, she was profiled in Drum Magazine’s #WCW series, and as of last week, her popping, powerful play earned her a spot on Zildjian’s artist roster. It’s been a big year.

Following Burdeaux’s big Zildjian announcement, we reached out to learn more about the gear she’s playing now and what she looks for when building her sound.

First, can you tell us a little about your regular gigs and where you’re playing?

I play with my band City Mouth. We have several shows coming up around the mid-west next month! I also have been making videos with Reverb and collaborating with some other amazing musicians. Hoping to hit the road with them in the near future!

How did the gear selection videos for Reverb come together?

They asked me to come in to do a How to Make Your Drum Kit Sound Like Travis Barker’s video, but it went so well, they kept finding more videos for me to shoot. Not it’s become a regular thing.

What kind of drum set are you playing, and what drew you to it?

I’ve been playing a PDP X7 Series kit with a 22” kick, 12” rack tom, and 14” floor tom for years now. It was my second drum set ever, and it was the perfect choice for me at the time. It was an affordable option that looked and sounded great.

Burdeaux’s PDP kit and Zildjian cymbals

Did you pick these sizes for a reason?

Not at the time, but having these sizes allowed me to experiment with different configurations and figure out what was the most comfortable for me.

What about snare drums? Do you have a main drum you’re using most of the time, or do you cycle between a few?

I’m almost always rocking my 7×13 Tama S.L.P. G-Maple Snare. That thing pops!

You recently announced that you’ll be endorsing Zildjian? What’s your regular cymbal setup? What made you choose those models?

Zildjian 21″ K Sweet Ride, 18″ K Sweet Crash, 18” K Cluster Crash, and 14” K Sweet Hats. The K Sweets and K Clusters are absolutely beautiful cymbals. The unlathed bells caught my eye right away, but they sound just as good as they look and work with so many styles of music.

Talk to us about head selection. What are you using most often?

When it comes to heads, I look for warm tom sounds and a solid crack out of my snare. Currently, I have clear Remo Ambassador heads on my toms and an Evans G1 coated on my snare.

I see you’re using Big Fat Snare Drum heads regularly. What models did you choose and why?

I use the Donut XL on my toms. It muffles the drums just enough to give them that deep, fat sound I’m going for without making the drum sound dead.

Do you use the same stick model consistently or do you change for different situations?

Vic Firth 5A’s are my go-to. They have always felt comfortable to me in all playing situations.

What about your pedal and beater? Do you have a specific preference or are you comfortable with whatever’s available?

I use a DW 9000 on my kit, and I am very comfortable with it. The weight of a beater and response of a pedal can be really distracting if it’s not what I’m used to, so I prefer to stick to models I know and like.

If you could add one item to your kit that you’re not using currently, what would that be?

Probably a foot pedal for a cowbell. I love to mess around with different foot patterns, and I love the way it sounds when you can play over a cowbell ostinato (MORE COWBELL).