Quicksand drummer Alan Cage isn’t overly particular about his gear. “I’m not too attached,” he says. “But I don’t like deep drums, at least on the rack toms. I always play a 16″ floor tom, but I don’t mind it being different depths. I just don’t think deep toms sound as good, and, aesthetically, I don’t really like the way they look.”

Gretsch was going to send out a bell brass snare for Cage to check out, but he thought it would be insane to lug around such a heavy drum. So he opted for a beaded brass snare instead. “I’m not that picky with the snare,” says Cage. “It’s more about something that sounds consistently good in different types of rooms. Usually I go with brass, but I like wood snares as well.

“One thing that’s really important to me, which is the opposite of what’s been going on with drums, is that I like to have the rack toms on the bass drum,” Cage continues. “I don’t like to have stands everywhere. I want to be able to move the drums as a unit if I need to and have the setup be very tight. For the type of show we do, like festivals, we don’t always have a ton of time to set up. Having to move around giant stands can be difficult and takes a long time. It’s nice to use stuff that can be set up quickly and easily.”

When asked if he notices any difference in tone when using toms mounted on the bass drum, Cage says, “I’ve played tons of vintage kits that are drilled, and they sound great and resonate. I’m not a studio drummer or a wizard with drum sounds, and maybe I’d feel differently if I was recording all the time. But when doing a live tour, if there’s a tiny difference in sound but a much bigger hassle in setting up the kit, then I’ll take the slight variance in the sound. Efficiency is the key word. I want things to be easy to set up, easy to break down, and easy to replicate, even if I’m not using the exact same kit every night.”


Drums: Gretsch USA Custom in Satin Natural finish
A. 6.5×14 brass snare
B. 8×12 tom
C. 9×13 tom
D. 16×16 floor tom
E. 18×22 bass drum
F. 6×14 Pearl Masters snare (spare)

Cymbals: Sabian
1. 14″ AAX Stage hi-hats
2. 18″ AA Medium crash
3. 18″ AA Rock crash
4. 22″ Players’ Choice AAX Stadium ride

Hardware: Gibraltar stands, spare pedal, and throne, and an old single-chain Pearl bass drum pedal

Drumheads: Remo Emperor Vintage Coated on top of snare and toms, Ambassador Clear on bottom of toms, Powerstroke P3 Coated kick drum batter

Sticks: Promark 5B Natural