Jess Bowen of The Summer Set Modern Drummer Drummer Blog
Photo by Dan Gillan

My band and I have been on the road this whole summer with the Vans Warped Tour. Right now I’m sitting in the front lounge of our bus, driving through the middle of nowhere, writing this blog. Before going into this tour, we were warned by other Warped Tour veterans of the brutality that we were getting ourselves into for the summer. With only two weeks left to go, I can honestly say that this has been the most rewarding tour we have ever been privileged to be a part of. We work hard to get through the long, hot, and exhausting days, but the results of all our efforts have been astonishing, and all of the friends we have made on this tour feel like family to me.

Speaking of family, I can’t thank these companies enough for taking me under their wing and helping make my life easier: SJC, Vater, and Sabian. Growing up in a household of drummers, I had always dreamed of one day being able to design my own kit. I was lucky enough to be able to work with the amazing guys from SJC to design my ideal kit. I went with a semi-girly, purple oyster finish, accompanied by pearl white wood hoops with the purple oyster inlay on the hoops. In my opinion, this kit sounds even better than it looks. I use a 20×24 kick, a 7×14 snare, an 8×12 rack, and 16×16 floor. My cymbal setup consists of 14″ AAX Fast hats, a 20″ Metal crash, 21″ HHX Legacy ride, and a 22″ HHX Legacy ride. To complete it all, I use Vater Universal sticks, which I consider to be slightly thicker than a 5B, but not too much heavier. These are the perfect sticks for me because they are durable enough to take the beating I give them each and every show.

I have been lucky to meet so many amazing and influential drummers on this tour. I grew up listening to bands such as Sum 41, the All-American Rejects, Motion City Soundtrack, and the Rocket Summer, so to be able to share the same tour/stage with these artists is mind-boggling to me. Every drummer has a different type of style/groove that they are known for, and being able to watch these drummers play live has helped with my own skills as well. It’s great to be able to share a tour with amazing drummers to learn and take notes from. I’m extremely honored to say the least, and all I can hope is that you all try to come out to the Warped dates to witness the same musical talent that I get to enjoy every single day of this tour.

For more on Jess Bowen and the Summer Set, go to

To see Jess’ newest blog post on Modern Drummer go here.