BY NICOLAS GRIZZLE
When Drum Workshop bought the Slingerland name from Gibson in November, we weren’t sure what the future Slingerland drums would look, sound, and play like. But as DW global marketing VP Scott Donnell tells it, DW is focusing on quality, so that’s good indication these will be better than, ahem, previous iterations of the brand’s resurgence under other parent companies.
So far, we know that DW founder Don Lombardi is a big Slingerland fan, and had a kit back in his playing days. His son, DW President and CEO Chris Lombardi, presented it as a birthday gift to his old man at a party at DW headquarters, with many DW artists in attendance to help celebrate (what a great son!). And the first drums we see will likely be the return of the legendary Radio King snare drums. Beyond that, however, details have been hard to come by—until now.
Donnell gave us some insight into the future of this vintage drum revival with an email interview. Stay tuned to drummagazine.com in the coming weeks to see what we could sniff out from the NAMM show, which we will be covering all this week.
“We feel very fortunate to be stewarding some of the most recognized names in the industry and we don’t take that lightly.”
DRUM!: What will the future of Slingerland look like under DW’s ownership?
Scott Donnell, DW: We’re still determining both the immediate and long-term strategy for the brand. It’s obviously a heritage brand, much like Gretsch [editor’s note: DW also owns Gretsch], so we want make sure we do it justice. There are many purists out there and we want maintain the overall look and feel of what was established so many years ago. To that point, DW will honor Slingerland’s legacy with a focus on build-quality utilizing today’s more advanced manufacturing techniques.
Will these be made in the vintage, Slingerland style?
Our goal is to reproduce the look and sound of Slingerland to the best of our ability.
Where will the drums be produced?
This is still to be decided. We’ve only had cursory conversations thus far. Post NAMM, this will be a pressing topic.
When we see new Slingerland drums being released?
We’re looking towards 2021. An announcement will most likely be made late next year.
Are you able to disclose a purchase price?
No plans to release the details of the deal. Regarding the timing of the deal, it was right for us and for Gibson. We were aware that Gibson may not be interested in reviving the brand, so we inquired. We feel very fortunate to be stewarding some of the most recognized names in the industry and we don’t take that lightly. Our plan is to take our time and do this the right way. Longtime Slingerland fans will be thrilled to see it continue and hopefully we’ll also entice a new generation to discover what this storied brand has to offer.