Pete Lockett has traveled the globe countless times in search of new sounds and ethnic styles to interpret. The latest example of his approach is Boom!, a collaboration with Luis Conte where the two master percussionists seamlessly meld Indian, Cuban, American, and European rhythms in beautiful, harmonious symmetry.
Lockett frequently moves from vast arrays of ethnic percussion to an ever-evolving drumset. “I’m lucky because I get to play completely different setups in many different musical situations,” he says. “Sometimes I can go out with just a set of tabla and my konnakol vocal cords, whilst other times I’ll get session calls that require truckloads of stuff. I just did the soundtrack to Andy Serkis’s Mowgli film, for example, where I filled the studio with tons of gear—lots of LP percussion and a dozen DW floor toms, including the great DW gong drum.”
For his solo performances, Lockett tends to take one of two main approaches. “First, I might have a huge combined percussion and hybrid drumset rig. Alternatively, I could just use an extensive percussion rig.” Whatever the scenario, Pete always carries certain pieces of gear he deems indispensable. “For the percussion rig, the new DW cajon pedal is something I cannot even shower without!” he jokes. “It totally redefines the cajon pedal. The feel and mechanics are top drawer, and the beater is well positioned to leave room for your hands to play the front face.”
Other items in Pete’s must-have arsenal are his Sabian Choppers. “These effects cymbals sound really great with brushes,” he shares. “I use them as a kind of hi-hat substitute in my percussion rig.”
Also vitally important in Lockett’s gear bag are Vic Firth Jazz and Rock Rakes. “Because of the flat profile at the end of the shaft,” he says, “they’re great for cajons and frame drums. They’re also a little stiffer than other brushes, allowing for better definition and attack.” Pete has also become inseparably bound to much of his LP percussion. “In particular,” he says, “the smaller FX djembe is a highly versatile drum that performs really well when played in a similar way to darabouka.”
• DW cajon pedal
• Sabian Choppers
• Vic Firth Jazz and Rock Rakes
• LP FX djembe
• 12″ hand kick
• Remo Muff’l control ring
• ATV aFrame
• DW Lowboy
Within Lockett’s hybrid drumset, his 12″ prototype “hand kick” has become a vital component. “I also use the Remo Muff’l control ring in this rig,” he adds, “which really helps me get the sound I want. And for electronics, the new ATV aFrame is a totally happening device. It’s the only electronic instrument I’ve ever played from which you can get the definition and detail of an acoustic hand drum. It’s an utterly fantastic instrument. And, last, but definitely not least, is the totally funky DW Lowboy hi-hat pedal. I pop a 10″ Sabian splash and a China on there and it’s killer.”
When it comes to transporting Lockett’s favorite gear, he salutes the great support from all of his sponsors who help make the supply of his must-have gear in foreign countries seamless and trouble-free. “Of course, sometimes you need to fly with lots of stuff,” he adds. “My record was a trip to Hong Kong a few years back. It was about 440 pounds, which cost us something like $10,000, as I recall. Not an ideal scenario!”
Lockett plays DW drums, Sabian cymbals, LP percussion, and the ATV aFrame, and uses Vic Firth sticks and Remo heads.