Dariusz „Daray” Brzozowski is one of the most recognized drummers on today’s extreme metal scene. He is known for his extreme playing, blast beats, precision and supersonic speed. He tours extensively with all the bands he’s in (has over a thousand gigs under his belt). Bron in 1980, he got his first drum kit at 14. His career started with the band Vesania, continued with such groups as: Vader, Masachist, and now thrives with Hunter, Black River, Dante and, of course, Dimmu Borgir. He is also an active session drummer and can be seen at drum festivals and drum clinics all over the world. Today, he remains one of the top drummers on the extreme metal scene.
We caught up with Daray during the sixth edition of the Caban Drummer Fest, which took place in Chrzanów, Poland on September 23, 2023. Daray was invited by the organizers of the event as the “headliner” of this event. He certainly lived up to the task having filled the room to the max and left the stage to the accompaniment of a big round of applause.
We asked the Artist to present or update his arsenal (depending on whether you have seen the previous drum kit tour hosted by Daray).
BeatIt: Dariusz “Daray” Brzozowski. Welcome to Beatit! We’ll be talking about your gear ’cause we need to make an update. Tell us about your current drum kit. Let’s start with the cymbals, shall we?
Dariusz „Daray” Brzozowski: Yes, Meinl cymbals, of course. I’d been using the Classics Custom Dark series for quite a few years, but I wanted to freshen up the set a bit. I started using the Pure Alloy series a year ago. Now, after the premiere of the video, you will see there will be a Byzance crash and a pair of Byzance hats. But in general, all the crashes, chinas and splashes are Pure Alloy now. The only thing that’s left is one ride, because Pure Alloy rides do not offer the ping effect that I need. But all the other cymbals are Meinl Pure Alloy.
BeatIt: The drums.
I’ve had this set for some time now. In fact, it consists of three drum sets that are in the same configuration. As you know, here in Poland, I use one with Hunter and Black River. I have the second one in the studio. That’s the one set up on the stage here. The third one is in Norway. It’s Tama Starclassic made from birch and walnut. The configuration is: 10″, 12″, 14″, 16″, 18″. Sometimes, instead of the 18″ floor tom I will use a gong drum made of bubinga. Two 22″ x 16″ bass drums, so a bit shallower. When it comes to snare drums, it’s generally the S.L.P. series but it can also vary at times. Either maple or brass. Recently, I’ve also been using regular snare drums, such as steel or aluminum ones. Depending on the situation or what sound we need, we often discuss it with our sound engineer. It’s like: ‘Okay, this is the band, the repertoire is such and such, so let’s take this snare drum.’ And, of course, I use at least ten of these snare drums in the studio. And over the years, I have accumulated quite a few of those so that I can have this whole palette of colors depending on the song and the sound it needs.
The sticks are still Wincent, but I started my career with size 2B, then, when I turned 30, I started using 5B, and now, in my 40s, I’ve switched to 7A, but XL. Anyone who checks my sticks can’t believe how thin they are. This is because when the pandemic started and there were no concerts, my son and I played on an electronic set. He was 7 years old then, so I ordered 7A. I also played them myself and then I couldn’t go back to 5B.
The heads are Remo. I put the Black Max on the snare drums during concerts. This is a head for marching snares and works great live. In the studio, it’s the Ambassador. There is no need to fiddle with them and search for anything new here. As for the toms, it’s Emperor Clear in the studio and Emperor Clear Vintage live.
Monitoring system? Has anything changed here?
No. I still have a Sennheiser set with two body belt packs – for me and for the tech. The headphones are Jerry Harvey. SE microphones, right. They have recently been pushing it on the market quite strongly. I see my favorite drummers have started using them. I wrote them, got a discount and now I have the whole set. I’m satisfied with them. These are microphones for the stage and for heavy playing, because they produce a specific sound. I also have a Sennheiser 906 set. These microphones give a more open sound that you can do more with, and the SE ones are for heavy and fast playing.
Take a look at Dariusz “Daray” Brzozowski giving you a tour of his drum kit!