I have an affinity for the work of Vukan Karadzic, a Serbian metalsmith who has been building drums under his brand Oriollo for a while now, and they are incredible. I told him I was not gonna quit until I had a dozen of his pieces. 

So in late 2018 I acquired my first #1, which was a 5x14 Bell Bronze (Bellmaker series). I then saw one of his aluminum drums, an homage to a 5.5x14 Acrolite in American Music in Seattle on the used rack and that became Oriollo #2. In 2019 I ordered a custom 5.75x14 Hammered Copper (Bakar series) drum and it ruined my entire collection! #3 acquired... 

And so as of late I've been pondering what's the next Oriollo snare drum going to be; definitely copper, something around 6x14 or deeper, not hammered so it's got great resonance, and I wanted it to be unique. So, I was in California recently and went into the drumshop in those parts (Drum Flip, Vista, CA) and lo & behold... on the "used" rack was this gem! 

"The Bellmaker". I have always wanted a bell brass snare drum; the clarity of their tone, the poignant attack they offer, something about them is truly unique. The problem was, I didn't want to spend upwards of $2000 on a snare drum to achieve this!

I've always been a fan of the underdog. The small business owner whom, armed with a dream and experience, does something so good, unique and cool that envelops passion and love into the final product... a lot of the large companies seem to have lost that part of the equation and I'm always happy to find someone who delivers. Vukan Karadzic is such a guy, and he lives in Serbia.

I first became aware of Vukan's work through the internet, photos of his drums began to show up on social media groups and I was intrigued with what he does, as the first video I watched was this 1:00 long reel about creating "spun" snare drums. One minute was all it took to convince me "this guy can build a badass drum!" and so I began to manifest one of his drums in my mind.

One day I was walking along in Central Park in NYC and it hit me, "Hey, I can actually make that drum happen!" and I put in for a 5.5x14 Bell Brass. I figured it would take 6 months to get and was in no hurry so I dropped the $200 deposit with Vukan. A little while later I thought about the size and decided I'd like a 5" deep shell instead of a 5.5" deep, and Vukan said he had that same drum in stock so I paid the difference and the drum was suddenly on it's way to me!

Here's a very easy way to play in 7, but throw in an even "crosscurrent" of 4 even beats. The places where the "4" lay into the 7 are the following: The One, Ah of 2, & of 4 and e of 6.

4 against seven

There's two things that drummers will constantly be on the hunt for- the perfect snare drum and the perfect ride cymbal. I've been a Sabian artist now going on a year and am really in love with the sounds they create. When I ordered my set of cymbals last year upon signing on as an artist I think that the choices made were all pretty much spot-on in regards to "what will work for me" being that I'm oftentimes called to play so many various types of music and in many different settings. I got a set of 13" AAX Xcellerator hats, 19", 17" 15" Vault crashes, a 17" AAX Xplosion crash, 7", 9" and 11" Maxx splashes and a 21" HH Vintage ride. Out of all those cymbals there's definitely something that I can use for nearly any gig.

But the need for a ride cymbal with a bit drier tambre and stick definition was something I felt my arsenal needed, being that the 21" HH Vintage ride is just so shimmery, washy and explosive. So at NAMM this year I fell in love with the 22" Phoenix ride from Sabian's "Big & Ugly" line and bought one straight away.