On October 20, 2019, we witnessed the second edition of a drum event called Śląski Festiwal Perkusyjny (Silesian Drum Festival) held at the Chorzowskie Centrum Kultury theater in Chorzów, Poland. The festival bill featured six excellent drummers. Poland was represented by Michał Dąbrówka and Igor Falecki while the internationally recognized artists included the likes of Dali Mraz, Jost Nickel, Derek Roddy and Ash Soan. Naturally, we couldn’t miss out on an opportunity to film the drum kits and have a chat with those stars about drums and the festival itself. Today, we give you the German drummer, educator and author, Jost Nickel…
Hi everybody! My name is Jost Nickel and I wanted to tell about the drum kit I have been playing at the Śląski Festiwal Perkusyjny.
It’s a Sonor Vintage Series kit. I normally use three toms: 12”, 14”, 16” but I have to admit I don’t exactly know the depths of the shells because it differs from gig to gig. The diameter is always the same: 12”, 14”, 16”.
On the toms, I like to use Remo Diplomat heads on the bottom. They’re very thin and make it easy to control the sustain. I use Remo Ambassador Vintage Coated as batter heads. It’s different from the Diplomat because it’s a two-ply head which is thinner than the Emperor. I really like the combination of these two heads. On my snares, I always use a Remo Ambassador Coated because you can do anything with it. You can tune it high or low. If you don’t like the higher frequencies, you can use a bit of dampening. It’s a very versatile head. On the bottom of the snare, there’s the Remo Abmbassador Snare Side. It’s a very thin resonant head especially made for snares. My bass drum is always 22”. Again, the depth varies depending on the series I play. I tend to like bass drums that are shorter. I don’t need the depth of 18” or 20” to have a big sound. I think on the Vintage the depth is 15”. That might be right. The head on there is Remo Powerstroke 3 Clear. I don’t use coated drumheads on the bass durm. I really like the extra high frequency click that you get when you use a clear drumhead.
As far as sticks go, I play Vic Firth 5B with a wood tip.
Now we’ve come to cymbals and my choice of a cymbal brand is Meinl. I use different series and the only problem with Meinl is that the names they have for their cymbals are so long that it’s hard to remember them. So I’m gonna use my phone and my website to tell you exactly the right model. The hi hat is a 15” Pure Alloy and it’s the only… No, forget what I wanted to say. Then, I have two effect cymbals. They’re called Electro Stacks and they come in two different sizes: 10” and 12”. The smaller one is on my left side and the bigger one is on my right side. I like using these when I play clinics. I use three different crash cymbals. The one on my left is called Extra Thin Hammered Crash. Let me check it that’s right. Byzance Traditional Extra Thin Hammered Crash. That’s six words and now you know what it’s called. It’s hard to remember. On top of it, I always have a splash, which is a 6” Byzance Traditional. It’s upside down, as you can see in the video. On my right, I have two more crashes. Furthest to the right, I have a 22” Byzance Vintage Crash. The next cymbal is an 18” Extra Thin Hammered… Let me check. Byzance Extra Dry Thin Crash with a splash on top, which is… Let me think. Is it 6”, 8”? One of them is on the left and one on the right. I use two. One is 6” and the other one is 8”. Yeah, I was wrong before. The smaller splash is on my right and the bigger one is on my left side. So 6” splash and 8” splash. Then, the last cymbal that remains is the ride. I really like the 22” Byzance Spectrum Ride. It looks good and it sounds great. That’s my cymbals.
How do you like the festival?
Oh, this festival is really great. I’ve never been here before but I’ve been to many festivals and it’s really very well-organized. That’s not always the case with drum festivals. Yesterday, we did souncheck and I really felt good about the sound crew – very important factor at any festival. The sound guys were really professional and very fast. I had a good sound on stage, it sounded good through the PA. Perfect! The theatre is really nice and beautiful. I really feel good about this. I can really recommend it to everybody!